Aces Hammering Out Navy And Future Settings

We've got a couple of fan role-playing updates for today. There's a couple ongoing discussions at the Wing Commander Aces Temporary Forums. They are perfecting at a cruiser design and discussing its role in the in future Aces Club stories. Here's Raptor's take.
Apart from the design itself, the thread covers the technological progress of the Border Worlds faction in general from that seen in WC4. Has it gone too far and made the Union too strong, or is it right for the BWers' place in the universe?
As the Holding the Line story winds down, the club needs input on deciding where the next club focus might be. Besides the club's primary adventures, you can pick up tips on independent storylines or discuss infrastructural issues as well. Help influence the club's direction here.

Could Crius/Sol Use A Steady Forums RPG?

Sylvester has proposed some guidelines for a straightforward forums-based role playing game to take place at Crius or Solsector forums. Interested players would act out specific characters on an important mission.
Setting: The RPG is set in the Deneb sector in the year 2664, the year before the beginning of Wing Commander II. The prinicipal missions will begin in the Goddard system of Secret Missions one fame. Our mission involves safeguarding colony vessels in their attempt to rebuild Goddard from the ashes of the Sivar attack 10 years previous. The Kilrathi have launched a new offensive and it is up to the job of our pilots to support the 6th Fleet as it defends the borders from the advancing Kilrathi.
These sorts of things always need some work to become playable, and creative people are always in need. But these sorts of games can be easy and fun, so drop by the thread here if you'd like to participate.

WC: The Reckoning 3.0 Released

Bob has sent us the latest build of the Wing Commander Freelancer mod. The Reckoning incorporates familiar Privateer bases, landmarks and ships into the wild black yonder. A host of other Confederation, Border Worlds and civilian designs from elsewhere in the Wing Commander universe fill out the mod.
Version 3.0 of Privateer: The Reckoning is the best yet. OpenSP, or sandbox play, is built right in to the mod - just launch from the ship on the tarmac once the intro finishes. Voices direct from Privateer immerse you deeper in the universe that is Gemini. In a first for the mod, you can even pick the difficulty and starting ship! So… how about flying a Galaxy home today?
Woohoo! The current build of the mod comes in at about 18 megs. It's easy to apply to an existing Freelancer installation with the help of the Freelancer Mod Manager which Lancers' Reactor hosts here. Bob also sent in some screenshots of some hot Tarsus action.

You can download The Reckoning 3.0 here. Check out The Reckoning's forum if you have any questions.

Holding The Line Chapter 185

Apparently Raptor survived the trip to wherever it is that he has gone to for his overseas experience, and has sent through a new HTL chapter for you all.
Hey All, Raptor here.

HTL continues with "In The Eye Of The Hurricane", a great story following the crew of the light carrier TCS Endeavor and Battlegroup Aurora. While the Endeavor group hasn't suffered the devastating losses that Valkyrie or the Valley Forge group have, they have taken their fair share of knocks. Now, they're about to be thrown right back into it. Please send any and all comments to Shaun at velacia@rogers.com, not to me.

The story is at: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/...

Best, Raptor

Wedge Puts ICIS Manual Online

Wedge has typed up and put the entire Prophecy ICIS manual online for people to browse. It doesn't have any of the pictures, but the layout has been painstakingly recreated in HTML. This is a version of the manual from Singapore. There were slight differences between regions. Stay tuned for possible updates and highlights of different versions. You can help out and provide feedback at Crius here. Here's one of the coolest things the North American manual didn't get: Null-G Bomblets!

The scan's from Kelvin Lim. As stated earlier, Wedge's version is without pictures.

Happy Wing Commander Halloween

It's been a while since I've switched to all digital photography, but I recently developed an old roll of film and got a couple neat pictures. Here's me and D-Man spreading some Wing Commander cheer last Halloween.

How To Make a WC Game

Bob found and typed up an old article from early 1994 about the design process of Privateer. It provides an interesting insight in to how games went from an idea in an Origin designer's head to a finished product. It also features comments from some of the many people who worked on Privateer.
Game development at Origin Systems follows a fairly structured and organized approach. When a designer comes up with an idea for a game, the designer submits his idea to a review board. The review board evaluates the idea and decides whether or not it is worth investigating.

If a game design is approved, the designer gets a software engineer (programmer) to help develop the idea further. What follows is a period of research and development where the designer and programmer work closely together to build the basic framework of the game.

Just think, it doesn't matter if you've designed games which have sold a million+ units. You get in line and beg for the money like everyone else.
Some initial ideas never quite made it into the final game. One such idea involved player finances. The game initially enabled players to get loans from banks or other (less reputable) characters. In this scenario, you might run into debt, and be pursued by creditors or bounty hunters which were after the price on your head. Privateer took about a year and a half to make, and so during this period, many such ideas were dropped while others were developed and added to the game.
You can read the entire article here.

Job Opening At Edge of Chaos

Role-playing club The Edge of Chaos is looking for someone to help manage their website:
Web Content Assistance
Interested in helping to develop content for WCRPG.COM? Iceman is looking for people to help put together content such as basic info about the rpg, staff listings, histories, faqs, timezone charts, etc. If you are interested in helping out or having any other ideas of what would be useful on the site, get in touch with Iceman.

Game Informer Disses All Game Movies Everywhere

The February 2004 issue of Game Informer had a feature that chronicled the "history of sadness" that are the movies based on game franchises. They pan a few really decent movies such as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Wing Commander.

Along with his life partner Matthew Lillard, Prinze starred as a fighter pilot engaged in a galactic war with the evil Kilrathi aliens. Unlike the reptilian aliens in the games, the Kilrathi in the movie resembled catlike Muppets. The disparity between the two was especially strange considering that Chris Roberts, who worked on the video game series since the beginning, directed the film.
Good luck spotting the error. I spared you the part where they whine about science fiction gravity.

WCIV Model Archive Resurrected

In response to LOAF's plea for copies of the model packs which we have posted for download over the years but lost track of, Tolwyn sent us a package of WCIV models. We think they may be from the model pack which Wildcat produced three years ago. As promised we've made the 3DS format models available for download here.

Howie Day Sharpens Up Dralthi

Howie Day has further refined his Dralthi models reported on last week. The coloring has been improved and more detail has been added to areas such as the cockpit. Eventually he hopes to put together some sort of animation with this creation.


It's looking pretty great. You can help provide feedback at Crius.net here.

DJ Erik Explores Vega Through The Hell's Unicorns

The Fan Fiction Forum at Crius.net isn't our busiest chat zone, but occasionally it gets a fairly interesting ongoing story. DJ Erik has been working on hard an adventure he calls "Wing Commander: Hell's Unicorns, The Vega Campaign." Chapters 1 through 10 are archived at his website, and chapters 9 through 14 are available at Crius. You can provide feedback in the thread and bookmark it for future chapters if you like what you see.

Check Out Femme Fatales Saffron Burrows Interview

We've found an old copy of Femme Fatales that has an interview with Saffron Burrows in relation to Wing Commander. These days the magazine reveals "the sexy sirens of the screen," but back in April 1999 Femme Fatales' focus was on "the luscious ladies of horror, fantasy & science fiction." This made Ms. Burrows a prime candidate to be featured.

"In the Wing Commander movie, I'm Angel Devereaux, the wing commander of a group of fighter pilots," explains Saffron Burrows. "I get to play like an RAF pilot in an RAF cockpit that's been converted into a spaceship of the future." ... "And there's a wonderful, old feel to Wing Commander."
The rest of the interview actually spends a lot of time on the movie she did after Wing Commander, Deep Blue Sea. You can click the images above to see the full pages.

New Fancy 3D SETI Client Ready

It has been a while since we've covered SETI, but that's because there hasn't been a new client version available in ages. But that's now changed as their new client has lots of fancy new features and it sounds much more professional. Also it's not just for aliens any more. Here are the features that you're likely to care about:

Variable credit per work unit

BOINC assigns a variable amount of credit per completed work unit, based on your CPU speed and the CPU time used.

Highly configurable preferences

You have more control over how your computer is used: for example, you can limit the disk usage, the network bandwidth, and the work hours. You can also control the amount of work that your computer downloads each time it connects to our server. These 'preferences' are managed using a web-based interface, and they automatically are applied to all the computers on which you run SETI@home.

OpenGL-based graphics

SETI@home's graphics now have a modern 3-D look. When they're running in a window, you can use the mouse to rotate and zoom. You can even customize the graphics using a web-based interface.

You can download the new client from the SETI BOINC site, and if you're a new user, don't forget to join the CIC's SETI group.

The Green Hornet Is Back

Last week we reported on Forum member Alpha 1-1's efforts to create a Hornet fighter out of balsa wood and aluminum. The craft is now finished and he posted these pictures to show off the end result. Very impressive!

Instructions to build your own are forthcoming and Alpha 1-1 is thinking about putting together a Kilrathi fighter next. You can join the discussion here.

Ultima Online 7th Anniversary Edition Arrives

The special Ultima packaged that we reported about last month has made it to stores. Complete with the Origin logo on the box, the 7th Anniversary edition comes with a complete patched version of Ultima IX. Either one is well worth the $19.99 price tag. All the previous UO expansions are included and seven friend codes are available to bring others online or expand your current account. One of seven possible rare in-game gifts is included in the box, including the possibility of a rare armor not due to be introduced until an upcoming UO expansion being released in the fall.
Launched in 1997, Ultima Online was a pioneer in the world of online gaming and defined the category of massively multiplayer Internet-based entertainment and is still recognized as the most immersive of any online world. Ultima Online is offered in six languages and is played in more than 100 countries located in every time zone. The game stands as the longest-running online subscription-based game in history. More information on Ultima Online can be found at www.uo.com.
It looks like UO still has at least a few good years of life left in it yet. It's pretty amazing to think of a massively multiplayer game reaching its tenth anniversary. You can find the official press release about this event here.

This Might Be a Cover-Up

THE_WUQKED has kindly brought us a set of gigantic Wing Commander DVD cases. If you've got bandwidth to spare, a nice color printer and a burning desire to store your Wing Commander games in DVD keepcases then you'll want to grab these at once! Note that the final download (Wing Commander IV Set) contains all three of the previous Wing Commander IV covers. Here's some preview screenshots:

Wanted: In-Game Models

Several years back we posted zips of extracted 3D models from Wing Commander Armada, Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV for download - does anyone have copies of these models? The more modern fan made models are fantastic, but we're working on a major presentation that requires the original Origin ship models. We'd also like to make them available for download again. Please contact news@wcnews.com if you still have any of them!

WC Saga Unveils Escort Carrier

The WC Saga Team has shown off their Confed escort carrier design. It continues the art style seen in many of the other Saga models. It'll be great to see a fleet of their creations in action in the mod when it's complete.

The model is by Standoff's Eder Vieto with the conversion to WC Saga by Michael ‘Starman’ Pretli. Michael 'Lynx' Lechner completed the Saga style textures.

Jumpgate Hits 1000th Day Anniversary

Andrew Dice let us know that Jumpgate has reached a thousand days of operation in the US. Their European server has even been online a little bit longer. Congratulations to the NetDevil team! Some of the developers have been discussing this milestone in the official Jumpgate forums here.
We'll keep the servers up and keep patching as long as we have enough players to keep operations in the black. After the economy patch, there are a number of major changes and enhancements planned for the remainder of 2004, some of which surely will extend into 2005. High on my list after the econ are changes to conflux spawning and behavior, and addressing some bounty-related issues. Graphical enhancements that do not constitute an entire rewrite of the graphical engine are being explored. If you have the inclination and opportunity, please help out with guerrilla marketing. It's the player numbers, not how much I have on the list to do, that will in the end determine whether it all gets done.
Early on Origin was looking at potentially using Jumpgate as a model for Privateer Online.

You can find more at the Jumpgate JOSSH terminal or the NetDevil developer site.

Announcing The First Annual #Wingnut Wedding

We're happy to announce that CIC staff member Brandon Strevell and Cheryl Jornov were married yesterday in Valatie, New York. Everything went off perfectly as planned. We'd like to share a few happy photos of the event.

First photo above, from left to right: Frosty, LOAF, Blonde, ace & ChrisReid.

Bob Fires Up His Quine 4000

Bob has booted up his latest creation and taken a screenshot for us all to see. If it's a Quine 4000, why is it running Netscape 4.0? It's good to know the CIC is still around in 2669.

Howie Dishes Up Pancakes

Forums poster Howie Day has produced an amazing looking model of everyone's favorite flying pancake, the Dralthi.

It looks pretty great. You can post your own comments in this thread.

First Look at Dark Matter

Last week Gamespot noticed that the website of German developer Pixelcage has been updated with details of a previously unknown space-sim. Dark Matter: The Baryon Project is a space-sim/first person shooter hybrid, which is an unusual concept but one which could go down well. Probably the only thing which puts me off the game right now is that some of the enemies are "time warriors". Maybe Germans like corny things in their games (remember "Ban Danna" in X2 by Egosoft? There are some very pretty pictures on the Pixelcage site and a video in the downloads section which features a WC1 stye running down the corridor with red lights scene. It also quotes a release date of 2006, so it's a way off yet but definitely one to keep an eye on.

Congratulations ace and Blonde!

Today is extra special as not only is it still ace's Happy Month, but today is the day that ace gets married! In fact it's happening right now, as I type this. Chris, LOAF and Frosty are all in town for the big day too. So spare a moment to send ace and Blonde your best wishes.

Intrepid Gets A Kick in The Chops

There's been a huge increase in the number of wallpapers that we've had sent in since we opened our Wallpapers section, and official art aside the submissions have been renders or photoshops. But not this one! Oh no, Bob frowns on using these professional tools, instead using MS Paint to unleash his creative...talent. That said, it's not as bad as you might think. It should be fairly obvious which WC4 scene this wallpaper recreates. Unless you haven't played WC4 of course.

Neck-and-neck Poll Concluded

It was a very close call, but Wing Commander III won the favorite ending poll. Here's the top three:
Wing Commander II: 215 (12.33%)
Wing Commander III: 591 (33.89%)
Wing Commander IV: 574 (32.91%)
Our eighth poll this year asks what black market commodity you like best. Guess what I voted.

Exeter and Thunderbolt Designs For Show

#Wingnut veteran Bob McDob has found some interesting pictures at Scifi-Meshes.com of both an Exeter and a Thunderbolt that were created by other Wing Commander fans. Information on the Exeter is sparse, but there are two nice pictures that show off what Morpheus has done. You don't see all that many Exeter models.

The Thunderbolt was created by a fan named Braxton who provided well over a dozen pictures detailing the creation and complexity of his model.

Unfortunately both of the threads at Scifi-Meshes.com have been inactive for quite some time, but it is always interesting to see what fans outside of the WCNews.com community accomplish.

WC Movie Still Going Strong

Out on our many adventures through Boston, ChrisReid and I stumbled upon a video store. Of course, the first natural reaction of any true Wing Commander fan is to seek out copies of Wing Commander movies and games. The copy of the Wing Commander movie we found looked as though it has seen many happy homes and has a long life ahead of it.

Not bad for a five year old movie.

Wing Commander Case Mod Nears Completion

Working hard and diligently, Castle02 has made a lot of progress with his PC case dedicated to Origin. It's looking even better than it did when we updated on its progress last month and it should make fellow fans acrylic black with envy.

The sleek looking Centurion on top of the case will provide not only aesthetic appeal, but functionality once a fan is installed. Leave some feedback for Castle02 in this thread to show your support.

Cover Your Crusader

For those of us who have decided to update our game cases to the sleeker and more stylish DVD cases, ZFGokuSSJ1 has provided us with a pair of beautiful covers for the Origin games Crusader: No Remorse and No Regret.

ZFGokuSSJ1 would like to thank LOAF for the help he provided in the creation of these wonderful covers.

EA Fights For Protection From Copying

Sites such as Gamespot have reported that Electronic Arts, along two other leading game publishers, have filed a lawsuit in an effort to stop a new program that they feel would allow people to circumvent the copy protection of PC games. The program called Games X Copy allows the user to create a flawless copy of their original game discs. Copy protection in games has come a long way since Wing Commander 1 where you were asked questions directly from the manual at the start of the game. Games now rely more on various protections built into the game CD itself as well as entries into your Windows registry. Some of these methods prove to be very effective and in some cases even punish legitimate users. A recent EA game, Command & Conquer: Generals, sometimes stops working if the hardware configuration of your computer changes too drastically. Ever since I've installed my DVD burner, my base explodes after thirty seconds each time I play. Certainly that isn't very fun.

Striker's Jalthi Poses for High Res. Shots

Maj. Striker has been keeping busy providing the community with high-quality WC1 creations. His latest pictures show a very attractive and menacing Jalthi that he plans on improving even more in the future. It's certainly a terrifying sight for any pilot unfortunate enough to cross its path.

You can join in on his thread to give him some comments or suggestions.

Krant Hardly Wait

Continuing to show off his stuff, Maj. Striker has released two higher resolution pictures of his WC1 Krant model. Hot stuff, let's hope he continues to release more pictures. Visit this thread for more Krant fun.

AHM 2004 In Full Swing With A New AHA

We're two weeks deep into ace's Happy Month and ace has shocked his followers by releasing a brand new AHA to celebrate AHM 2004. At 13.5 megs, it's a model of divx compression. You can grab it off AHS here. And for good measure, here's a couple pictures of ace and I hard at work on today's updates.

Hornet Day, First Update

Howard Day has been busy since the last time we checked in on his Hornet model. He's constructed a breathtakingly detailed 3D rendering of the classic fighter that began all of our Space Forces careers! Just take a look at the pictures he's posted (below), or this AVI (DivX 5.1, 10 megs) that shows off the ship in action.

Hornet Day, Second Update

Alpha 1-1's Hornet may not have quite the detail level of Mr. Day's ship... but it does have one thing going for it -- it's real! He's built his model the old fashioned way, using balsa wood and aluminum rods! Certainly an impressive first for the Wing Commander community... now make it fly! There's a thread at the forums to gauge interest in whether or not other fans would like plans to build their own wooden Hornets - so let him know you're into it!

Hornet Day, Bonus Hornet!

Happy Hornet Day, WingNuts! Don't drink and drive on your way back from any of those rockin' Hornet Day parties!

Get Your Origin Audio CD Details Here

Origin Audio CDs are strange beasts. Volume 1 was so rare that until a few years ago many people wondered if it even existed. Volume 2 didn't contain any WC music, and volume 3 was given away with WC3 Premiere. Very few people have all three. So unless you're LOAF (who has all official WC audio CDs) or Joe, you can at least pretend that you have them by memorizing the details on the following site found by Shades. The PC Game Soundtrack database contains scans, play time and track listings for all three volumes. There are also samples, though full versions are available in our music section. You can view the pages for Volume 1, Volume 2, or Volume 3 for more details.

Wing Commander D20 Game Produced

Forums poster Blackjack2064 has produced a Wing Commander D20 game based off of the Star Wars D20 game. If like me you don't actually know what a D20 game is, it's apparently a type of dice game.
It took me a while, but I managed to finish my Wing Commander Roleplaying Game: Core Rule Book. It came to a total of 141 pages of rules and resource material. It is based off of Star Wars D20.

Any suggestions on equipment, classes, ideas for prestige classes, adventure plots and the such be free to say so. Once I know how maybe I would post it to be used. After I add artwork and such of course. All I need know is a full group to play with (moved away from my old group).

If this sounds like the kind of game that you'd be interested in playing, post away in this thread. Hey, if it's ready maybe we could give it a try at Dragon*Con.

Maj. Striker's Krant is Ready for Launch

Maj. Striker has been working his 3D magic and has produced this model of WC1's Krant medium fighter. It's pretty great looking, even though these shots are only low res. Hopefully there'll be some higher res versions soon.

You can comment on his work in this thread.

CIC's Sixth Birthday Approaching

Mark the date in your calendars now - August 10, 2004, 7PM EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT). On that date we'll be holding the CIC's sixth birthday party over in our regular IRC channel, #WingNut. There'll be our usual event of throwing prizes at random people who just happen to be there, and with a bit of luck we'll have some new additions to the site to unveil. There's really no reason not to be there (unless you have to work the next day, in which case book the day off now). It's less than two months away now. We hope to see you there!

WC Unreal 2004 Level On The Way

Many review sites said Unreal 2004 would be ideal for a Wing Commander mod because of its support for spaceflight integrated with shooting action. Dishwasher agreed and has been quietly working on a map based on a modified Durango Class Heavy Destroyer.
The work is far from done, but the exterior is shaping up quite nicely. I have attached some screenshots from both the exterior and some semi finished hallways. It's going to be a pretty big map and I hope to convert some of the really nice fighter meshes posted on your website. If all goes well players should be able to fly in Wing Commander fighters in this map. I hope this will be of some interest for you.

It looks pretty neat so far. This should end up being a lot of fun.

Holding The Line Chapter 184

Raptor has sent through what will be the last HTL chapter before he leaves Kiwi-land. But fear not! Apparently other countries have the Internet too, so we'll continue to get new chapters.
Hey all, Raptor here.

HTL continues with Part Three of the "Welcome To Hell" series, written by James Andrew "JAG" Greenhow. This story follows the Confed reserve units who have been awaiting, preparing for, and dreading the arrival of the Nephilim throughout the battle to hold the line. Now that the Nephilim are here, they're about to be thrown right into the jaws of hell. Please send any and all comments to JAG at rambo.123uk@btopenworld.com, not to me.

http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/...

On a completely different note, I'm off tomorrow on what Kiwis call the Big OE (Overseas Experiance.) It's pretty much a rite of passage to spend a few years living and working overseas after finishing college, or in my case grad school. Thanks to modern technology though, everything HTL and Aces related will continue as normal. I've got a global roaming setup that'll let me connect to the Net anywhere in the world, and you can reach me as normal at theraj@es.co.nz

Best, Raptor

That's Darn Near A Heretic

Last week we showed everyone John Douglass' custom built space ship models. They're mostly original designs he sells at conventions. Cam found one more ship that was inspired by Wing Commander. Last week's Fralthi took quite a bit of artistic license, but today's ship is actually pretty close to the real thing. Take a look for yourself. Mr. Douglass calls it a Gilyeat, but I'd call it a Heretic.

Get Wing Commander Ship Rules for Babylon 5 Wars Game

Dareith is a fan of both Wing Commander and Babylon 5, and he's gone ahead and spent a lot of time implementing new rules to incorporate Confed and Kilrathi ships into the Babylon 5 Wars tabletop game. He's made a site that details his calculations and lays out exactly how to use everything. If you're into B5Wars, make sure you check this out. Thanks to Heiko Wisper.

Saga Needs More Voices

The WC Saga team is looking for voice actors to star in their upcoming mod. Saga is coming right along this year, so sign up while you still can.
Just like the Standoff guys, we're need just a few more voices to round out our voice talent. Previous voice work for another mod like Standoff is preferred, but not absolutely required. Candidates should be serious and be able to sound like someone in their 20s. Openings are for miscellaneous ships and roles, with a strong emphasis on Confed fighter pilots.

To become a candidate for this process, reply to this thread to officially let us know and then PM or email Tolwyn at Tolwyn@gmxpro.net for more information.

You can find more information at Crius.net here. There are a variety of sample lines you can practice recording.

EA Layoffs And Restructuring Analyzed

Various places are reporting about the EA filing that estimates about 117 people will take severance packages in the Origin move from Austin to Redwood Shores. GameSpot estimates that some 400 EA employees have been "laid off" in this manner in the last year by EA closing satellite studios and relocating everyone to primary development centers. However the company has maintained that it will be increasing the size of its workforce over the next year. The Motley Fool site went into much more depth on the matter and even quoted us a tiny bit. Yay.

Improved Pair Of Cruisers Released For WC Saga

The WC Saga team has released two new and improved cruisers for WC Saga. The first is an upgraded version of the Tallahassee that was originally launched six months ago. The new model has some additional details and a more authentic paint job. It's pretty damn sharp. The second model is a conceptual design based on a lighter cruiser. Psych provides some more detail below.

This first ship is our final model of the Tallahassee-class, the Confed heavy cruiser from Wing Commander 3. This gun-heavy warship is designed for slug-fests with other cruisers and planetary bombardment. Weaponry is 4 Anti-Matter Turrets, 8 Laser Turrets, 6 torpedo tubes, and a capship missile launcher. Length is 530 meters and displacement is approximately 18,200 tons.

Credit goes to Michael “Lynx” Lechner for the original model and textures. Anton “Tolwyn” Romanyuk did the final texture correction and technical assistance. The final texture adjustment and additional details was done by Michael “Starman” Pretli. The ship was a bitch to bring online, it was so bug-ridden that it took us literally months to finish.

This second ship is a “fill in the gaps” design. Like the Jutland-class carrier, this ship wasn’t seen in the games but was mentioned very very briefly in the novels. It was basically up to the artist to design the blueprints of the ship, but something that involved lots of research so it wouldn’t turn out to be a dissapointment.

This ship is the Savannah-class light cruiser, a ship that is fan designed but has its roots in WC canon. These vessels are supposed to be the light cruisers that were in service with the Confed Navy during the 2669 era, and then were sold to the Republic of the Landerich. The existance of these ships are founded in the WC novels. One is the TCS Andromache, which later becomes the FRLS Themistocles in the False Colors novel; another ship of this class would eventually become the FRLS Xenophon.

Psych did the concept for the Savannah. Lynx and Starman wrapped it up. You can find more information and provide feedback at Crius here.

Raylight Announces DS Development

Raylight, the talented studio that developed Prophecy Advance, has announced that it is now an official Nintendo DS developer.
Raylight is also proud to announce we're an official Nintendo DS developer and now working on our Blueroses 3D Technologies for the new Nintendo handheld. More info on new projects for GBA and DS will be available soon on our website www.raylight.it

Thanks for your kind attenction
Regards
Raylight Studios s.r.l.

The studio has recently relocated to a newer office and has been keeping busy. They did the 3D parts of the Spider-Man 2 GBA game and are wrapping up Smashing Drive for the GBA. Look forward to a website update and announcement on DS games soon.

Stop Korah-Pokh'ing Me

You may remember several days back when we asked for help restoring three of Wing Commander II's source models (here). Well, at long last we've finally put together images collecting all available source images of the ships in question. Depending on which project you're working on, pick one of the large (100-200k) .bmp files below and get to work! As previously announced, new textures and/or models are needed for the Dorkathi, Depot and Fralthra! Please let us know if you're going to be helping with the project. Thanks!

Origin Museum Continues Expanding

As founders of the Origin Museum, Joe and Paula Garrity were of course upset when it was announced back in February that Origin Systems would be permanantly closing its Texas doors. Of course they weren't about to let everything just get trashed. So they contacted a few of the remaining people from Origin. Luckily Chris 'Binky' Launius saw their email, so he gave the museum a call.
I have been asked to give you a call to let you know that we appreciate all the Museum's work in preserving Origin's history. As the company prepares to move to the Electronic Arts offices in California, we obviously are packing up all of the items in our offices, and have come across some items that we feel need to be preserved. I've spoken to Deby Sue Wolfcale, and she agrees with me that The Origin Museum is the best place for these things to be. I won't tell you what we're sending, but I'm sure you'll be pleasantly surprised.

To find out what happened, you should read the rest of the story, which includes many photos of what they received. That's a pretty big box.

Tabula Rasa Stretches Garriott's Boundaries

One of the interesting offerings at this year's E3 was Tabula Rasa by Richard Garriott. This will be his first major venture back into the game realm since leaving Origin and Ultima. Starr Long is also working on the project. Tabula Rasa is an online game, like all NC Soft games, that take place in a half fantasy/half sci-fi setting. Their team has spent a lot of time trying to work out boring elements of other online games and make the entire experience fun. A lot of the features focus on easy collaboration with friends. Teleporters let you join someone far away, and voice communication is natively supported within the game. Character skills and attributes can be modified as the game progresses so early decisions don't hinder players. I watched a lot of people having fun playing at E3, but I also think the game looks mighty weird. Take a look for yourself.

You can find a lot more information at the official site here.

Deathlok's Books End Today

Here's a quickie reminder that former EA/Origin producer Mark Day's set of WC novels ends in a few hours. Right now they're pretty cheap. Head on over to eBay if you'd like to take a peek.

Interplay Shutting Down?

A variety of places are reporting that major publisher Interplay may be shutting down, despite objections from its CEO. California is apparently no longer allowing Employees to work because of various violations, and it appears their headquarters lease has run out. The last game they made that I really enjoyed was probably Judgment Rites, but they also published Planescape Torment, Fallout and Freespace, among many others.

Additional Game Covers Now Available

Not to be outdone by The Wuqked, forums poster StewMc has created some of his own cover art for anyone wanting to replace their old WC game CD cases with nice new DVD keep cases. He has made covers for WC II Deluxe and Prophecy (featured below). If you want to use a triple-width case for your all of your Prophecy CDs, a version with a wider spine is available here. If you missed the earlier covers, you can find The Wuqked's Privateer, Armada and WCI/II covers in this update.

Love these or want to help with making more? You can comment in this thread.

Allston Board

Heads up, Dragon*Con attendees: Aaron Allston's official site has been updated with word that he will be attending D*C 2004! That means we need to start collecting copies of Claw Marks to once again innundate him with at once! (Mr. Allston wrote/edited the original Wing Commander game's classic manual, and for two years we've tried to get him to sign as many copies as possible.) If you're going to be at the convention, stop by the forum to let us know.

Several Slippery Cerberuses Slide Stealthily Somewhere

It's time once again for those four small words that breathe fear into the hearts of men everywhere: HotT'e been very busy. Actually, this is a different brand of more serious HotT artwork that should impress all varieties of Wing Commander fans. He's put together a Banshee firing missiles, two pictures of the Cerberus in beautiful environs, a full on fighter battle and... well, Stitch and the wooden Cerberus. I guess you can't always be serious! Fantastic work, though! You can find this art, along with HotT's explanations and much more, at his site here.

Mark Your TVs for Hamill

Just a last minute reminder that the episode of G4TechTV's 'Players' featuring Mark Hamill (and about a minute worth of Wing Commander-related footage) will be re-airing tonight at 8 pm EST/5 pm PST. If there's anyone out there with both a capture card and this crazy new age TV channel, we'd love to post the Wing Commander segment for download. Contact news@wcnews.com if you can help!

Forstchen Comes North

Another year, another book about the alternate universe Civil War. Wing Commander author William R. Forstchen and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich begin a book signing tour on Monday to promote their latest collaboration, Grant Comes East. You can find a list of planned signings at Newt.org. You'll have to check with your local store to see if both Forstchen and Gingrich will be there, though - since Forstchen's official site hasn't been updated yet. If you're in the DC Metro area, both will be at Olsson's Books in Alexandria, VA next Friday (of course, that's what we said last year). I'll do my darndest to try to attend, so at the very least there'll be someone there to argue with about the continuity of the Wing Commander movie.

Fill'er Up, Date

Bob McDob sends us this link to a site where someone has graphically documented the evolution of the space combat game, all the way from Space Invaders to... Starfox64. Yeah. Wing Commander earns the second to last slot, though, so... that's pretty good. And hey, Starfox's dad is a giant space whale, so he's got that going for him. Not included: Freespace 2 slash and burns the genre to a standstill.

Deathlok's Books For Sale

Wing Commander 3, 4 and Prophecy producer Mark Day stopped by #Wingnut to say 'hello' the other night and mentioned he had listed a few of his old Wing Commander books on ebay. In the past he has graciously donated his most precious Wing Commander possessions to fans, but a few items remain that he's ready to part with.

You can find his copy of End Run, Heart of the Tiger, two Fleet Actions and a WC4 Official Guide here.

Wing Commander On Sci Fi Tonight

Don't forget that the Wing Commander movie will be showing on the Sci Fi Channel tonight, Wednesday, June 2 at 11:00 pm. If that's a bad time for you, Fry's still has $4.99 Region 1 DVDs available here.

That's Not A Fralthi

John Douglass is a creative guy with a passion for building original space ship models. Bob recently found that one of his old designs was based upon a Wing Commander 1 Fralthi. He called it the Sobol. I can see a little resemblance, but the final ship Mr. Douglass has made is rather unique.

I scratch-build a half-dozen or so spaceships every year, displaying them at Wonderfest and Scalefest and selling them in the Worldcon Art Show, this year Noreascon4. The first Wing Commander game had a Fralthi Cruiser that was arrowhead-shaped, with a notched-nose, a raised aft-neck that led to a large engine module and two huge downward-swept wings. That was the precursor to this ship.
You can find all his designs here.

You Know You Want This WC4 Ad

Filler found this old advertisement for Wing Commander 4 in the June 1996 issue of PC Gamer. It's a fold out cover flap ad. Open up page 1 to reveal pages 2 and 3. Cool!

This truly is the vanguard of the next generation of electronic entertainment. 4.5 out of 5 stars. - Computer Gaming World

Origin's latest science fiction spectacular is even more impressive than its predecessor. - PC Gamer

That color scheme looks familiar..

The CIC Is On The Move

In keeping with our tradition of improving our server every year, we're in the process of doing it again. If you're reading this, that means you're already getting through to our new server. It will take about another day for everyone to connect straight here, so until then you may notice odd things like just our IP in your address bar or problems staying logged in at the forums. Don't panic, everything will be back to normal soon. It'll all be worth it in the end - we now have a server 4-5 times better so we'll soon be doing even more amazing things.

Happy ace's Happy Month!

The arrival of June means that it's ace's Happy Month time once more, and this year marks the 8th annual AHM. This year ace, Blonde, LOAF, Trelane and Frosty are all in Boston to celebrate. I'm not exactly sure what their celebrations involve but I think they may have included...a boat. I'm sure there'll be other special AHM 2004 things soon, but for now I invite you to visit AHH and catch up on anything you may have missed.

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