December Is Almost Here

Next month we'll be conducting the annual voting for which Wing Commander web sites and fan projects contributed the most this year. Nominations are always quite a bit lighter than actual voting. If there are sites out there that have helped you or mods and projects that you have enjoyed, now is a good opportunity to recognize them for their effort. Email vote@wcnews.com to support your favorites.

Comic Proposal Winner Chosen

The results are in, and Kenshi has chosen what will be the story for his Wing Commander based comic series. It came down to a battle between proposals written by Maj. Striker, our very own LOAF, and one other. And the winner is..
Before we let you know who the lucky joker is, I'd like to take this moment to tell everyone who submitted a proposal that ALL of them were fantastic. We had a hell of a time deciding whose idea was actually the best. It finally came down to 3 proposals (2 of which we received TODAY!). They had everything we were looking for. At one point, we almost came to blows with wiffle ball bats. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed.

We will be keeping all of the submissions on file. We're hoping to allow everyone who's willing to have a shot at writing for the comic eventually.

So, without further ado, the writer for our first story arc is... Maj. Striker!

In the days to come, we'll be working together and you'll start seeing some SERIOUS artwork.

On a side note, Bandit LOAF had an Awsome idea that we would like to see made into a mini-series. We'd like to do it eventually but it may be a while. If there are any other artists who'd like to take it on, contact him and maybe we can even assist with inks, colors, lettering, ect.

WC4/Prophecy Blend Heads Planetside

Filler and Pedro have released a shot of their test engine based on elements from Wing Commander 4 and Prophecy. It's not meant for a specific mod or anything, but it's a pretty good artistic blend of the two HUDs. This shot is a terrain test. We posted a spaceflight test a while back.

Saga's Shuttle Ready To Fly

The next craft in WC Saga's complement is this Wing Commander IV style shuttle. It may not have a sleek design, fancy weapons or a great speed, but.. well, what can you say about a flying box? Post suggestions to this thread!

Annie Get Your Gun Chart

One of our more popular articles has been updated -- the Wing Commander Gun Chart. The gun chart collects all known specifications for the energy weapons throughout the series in a single spreadsheet -- allowing for easy comparisons between different makes and models of guns. The new version now lists both the 'in game' and 'manual' stats for Wing Commander: Privateer. Several of the guns which appear in Privateer were altered between the printing of the Gemini Sector manual and the final release of the game... accurate "in-game" specifications were later printed in The Playtester's Guide to Privateer. Four alternate sets of 'manual' specifications have been added, for the Mass Driver Cannon, Particle Cannon, Plasma Gun and Tachyon Gun. The chart is an excellent resource for both Wing Commander historians and for mod teams hoping to port accurate Wing Commander weapons to other games! You can find it here.

Comic' Get It

As we reported last Tuesday, Kenshi is searching for a story writer for a Wing Commander fan comic book series. In order to drum up more support, he's done a 'colorized' version of his original preview sketch! Check it out and get your proposals in -- but you'd better hurry, the winning storyline will be announced tomorrow!

WC Saga Team Unveils Their Transport

Starman has posted pictures of the latest ship to join the WC Saga fleet, a transport based off of the Wing Commander IV design. In the absense of an official title for the class, WC Saga have dubbed the ship Amadeus class after the civilian refugee transport in the intro of WCIV. The model was created by Starman and Lynx, and is looking pretty good, and you can post your own comments in this thread.

Put WC Saga On Your Desktop

As well as working on transports, Starman also managed to put together this wallpaper for you to put on your desktop.
I was a little bored this evening, and then I remembered someone requested a battle-wallpaper. Well, it is not really a battle, but shortly before one

Note that all you see in this picture is from ingame-screenshots, only the fleet and the fighters were two different ones and I merged them later. They perspective may be not perfect, but for half a hours of work I thought it is worth posting. (I hope the title is correct grammar). The lights on the ship look way better ingame, but some of them get lost when making the screenshot.

You can post your thoughts here.

SBG Wing Commander Cover Scanned

Cyberion has scanned the cover of an older Russian SBG magazine. This one's from April 1996. It doesn't seem like the magazine is still around anymore, but Wing Commander 4 was their cover story at one time. The article contained a review of the game and some historical data on the Wing Commander series. Cyberion is working on getting the actual article next.

These are always like pretty neat time capsules. Wing Commander 4 still seems like a new game to me, but the rest of the titles mentioned on the cover are ancient.

Wing Commander Movie Holiday Round-up

Today is traditionally one of the biggest shopping days in the US. To help you finish up your gift shopping a little more quickly, here's a short list of some of the cheaper places to pick up a copy of the Wing Commander Movie DVD. At under $10, these make a great gift for anybody. The shipping can vary widely from place to place, so we've provided a variety of links. If you're already shopping any any of the places below, combining shipping costs is the best solution.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey, everybody. This year we're thankful for the holiday so we can get away with writing one less real update today. Don't worry, we'll be back to normal tomorrow. The staff has gone ahead and hung up our Christmas lights now that there's just one month left to go until December 25. And soon after that, it'll be time for new Super Soakers to come out! Oh, and throw some Nominations our way to acknowledge the other Wing Commander web sites or fan projects you're thankful for this year.

WC Saga Corvette Evolution

The Corvette Evo pic reminds me of one of those Pokemon that only evolves once. So it is that we have a WC3 Corvette versus WC Saga picture. Don't forget that the Corvette also appeared in Prophecy with a few more angles. The WC Saga variation is a close match to the WC3 version.

Cyberion's Razor Package Prepped

Cyberion has prepared a zip with a variety of things for Razor Fans. The package contains the lightwave files for his model, a 1024x wallpaper and a 2 megabyte test video of the Razors in motion. You can grab it all here.

I modeled it especially for the video sequences, so it's originally high detailed and should look just great in video. I always dreamed to model this ship and here it is. The model is of a high quality, although the textures aren't. I'm not a drawer so excuse me for this part.

Animators will find the ship pretty flexible. I've made every part of it on the different layers, so if anyone wants to blow ship into the pieces, he may do it. In time I want to make a test video of blowing the ship apart. First goes engine, then wings, than Coller system, cockpit and so on..... it falls apart in other words. The multiple layers of this model allows you to do it. ;-)

More on EA Labor Complaints

We reported a few weeks ago that a number of Electronic Arts employees were seeking some sort of suit against the company for extensive overtime and rough working conditions. The New York Times has weighed in on the story.
Still, the company is a generous warden: free laundry service, free meals, free ice cream and snacks. The first month, the E.A. employee recalled, he and his colleagues were delighted by the amenities. But he said they soon came to feel that seeing the sun occasionally would have had more of a tonic effect.

This employee, who has not had a single day off in two months, is experienced in the game software business. But he said he had never before had to endure a death-march pace that begins many months before the beta testing phase that precedes the release of a project.

The article also notes that this isn't limited to Electronic Arts or the software industry. EA, as the biggest game publisher, is the most noticeable, but other software companies have similar practices. The relatively high wages compared to non tech jobs are probably most appealing, and others seem to genuinely care about the games they are developing. This will probably be a developing story as the software industry continues to mature. You can find the complete article here.

Wing Commander Comic Needs Writer

Kenshi is working on a Wing Commander themed comic story over at Crius.net. He's done a little bit of professional comic and concept art over the past few years and will be using a variety of tools to handle the graphical side of the project. Now he's looking for a good writer to handle the story side.

I'm producing a Wing Commander comic book for the CIC web site. Our art team is in place and we hope to have the first issue out as soon as January! However, there is one problem... we don't have a writer. Anyone who is interested should send a proposal to simmons07@cox.net

There are a few ground rules though:
Do not send us all the Fan Fiction you have written. We are looking for proposals, short descriptions of the main characters, and where you'd take the story during the first 4 to 6 issues. It must take place during the Kilrathi War (between WC1 and WC3). Keep it PG-13, guys...

We'll choose the winner on Monday, November 29th.

You can help out at Crius.net here

Everyone Loves Richard Garriott

Slashdot shows that Origin founder Richard Garriott is still an attention-grabber. Kotaku did a short and sweet interview with the famous gaming personality and published the results here.
What is your best near-death experience?

Fortunately, I’ve not had very many real near-death experiences. But being a thrill seeker I love doing things like throwing myself out of airplanes, taking MIG’s to the edge of space and other things that appear to be unsafe, while being statistically safe. I really enjoy being part of an expedition to the edge, even when things go poorly, when I can exercise my crisis management skills to help get through the event. So, I might pick either getting stuck in the Amazon when the river we were on dried up, and we had little chance to get out when fortunately rains came, or getting stuck in Antarctica due to inclement weather as our food supplies dwindled!

Nominations Time Again

With the end of the year less than six weeks away now, it's time to start thinking about our Web Site of the Year and Fan Project of the Year contests for 2004. The only way to ensure that your favorite effort to excite the WC community gets through to the final voting is to nominate your choice of fan site and/or project.

The nominated site and/or project (you may choose one in each category) must have been active within the past three months. Past winners may be viewed in our archives: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2003.

The final winners and runners up in each category will receive the appropriate fancy graphic once we've persuaded Kris to make them. So nominate now!

Privateer 2 Developers Warthog Bought Out

When Privateer 2 was developed it was at EA's Manchester division, but shortly afterwards it was closed prompting the former staff to form Warthog. The most notable of Warthog's games within the space sim community is of course Starlancer. Now BBC News (see bottom of page) reports that the company has been bought out by US based company Tiger Telematics in exchange for $1.13 millon, and 500,000 shares in the Tiger company. Together this is worth a reported $8,1 million, which doesn't sound like a bad deal at all. You can read a bit more at the bottom of this page.

Bhantkaras Get Their Turn To Evolve

With all of the evolving that WC Saga has been doing lately, it's a little bit like Pokemon. Next up is the Bhantkara carrier which gets a comparison between its original WC3 form, the first WC Saga version, and its current version as it will appear in the final mod.

Nintendo DS Launches Today

The latest Nintendo hand held game system sneaks out into stores this morning. Although there are games coming up that take advantage of the touch screen, microphone and wireless play, the system will also play Game Boy Advance games such as Prophecy. The screens are fully backlit rather than front, so the colors and images should be even crisper. Unfortunately, standard link play multiplayer mode is no longer supported.

Raylight's Latest Offering Now Available

It has been quite a while since Raylight released Prophecy Advance, but they're still putting the Blue Roses engine to good use in their latest game. Announced in July, Smashing Drive for the Gameboy Advance is now available in the US for around $19.99.

Cyberion Revisits Wing Commander II

The latest creation from Cyberion: a brief animation showing the Wing Commander II opening sequence. The file is available here (1 MB).

Cyberion also let us know that his website is now located at cyberionsystems.com.

CIC Continues Search For Intelligent Life

Our local SETI@home group stats have been updated. Since January of this year we've gained just 9 members, but we've put in a combined 33 years of computing time. Up-to-date numbers can always be found here.
Description     Visitors, regulars and staff of the Wing Commander Combat Information Center (CIC) that run the SETI@home program.
Web site     click here
Members     131
Results received     141,824
Total CPU time     168.686 years
Founder     ChrisReid

Don't Forget The Archives

Sometimes people ask LOAF how he has such a vast and intricate knowledge about what Origin planned to do in both released and canceled Wing Commander games. Part of the answer is the CIC Document Archives section. LOAF has scanned in over three thousand pages of behind the scenes documents that explain the progression of Wing Commander products as the developers saw it. Highlights include the series guideline bible, Privateer TV show bible and much more. We hope to have some new and exciting stuff in the near future, so now's a good time to catch up on what we have.

Maps Caught Up A Bit

Last month we reported that LOAF was fixing up a few links on the various Wing Commander universe maps that we feature. The larger general maps were updated then, and now the smaller individual updates have been cleaned up.

Don't forget that there's also a special map archive with scans of numerous printed maps that have been released over the years.

Sample Hat Is Here!

We've finally got a prototype hat for everyone to check out. Sorry this has taken so long. Working with our various suppliers always ends up in a game of phone/email tag that lasts for weeks. The same thing has happened with various polo shirt, glass and ccg commitments I've been trying to keep. But the good news is that the hats are gorgeous! We'll have additional information in a couple weeks when the main order arrives, but I thought some of you might like to check out a preview shot.

Check Out Rangers Evolve

The next WC Saga evolution shot involves the Ranger type carrier. There's a good parallel between the WC3 and first Saga shot and WC4 compared with the current Saga shot.

WC Saga Compares Their Transports

Following on from their demonstration of how their Tallahassee model has changed and how it compares with the originals, here is the next in WC Saga's series of comparison pictures. This time it's the Kilrathi Transport as originally seen in WC3, and WC Saga's two versions.

Razor Cuts Into WC Saga

Lars and Lynx have another WC Saga ship prepped for duty. It's the pirate Razor highlighted in Wing Commander 4.

Possibly the second most succesful private industries fighter behind the Talon, the Razor ranks as the top light fighter. No other craft can match its price performance value out on the market, both private and military craft. The shields and armor are really, really thin, but the speed and maneuverability more than make up for it.

Everyone Loves Mechanics

None of us are strangers to sustaining critical damage while out in space. Each and every time we bang up our ships, our trusty mechanics are ready to patch things up good as new again. Today we've selected a few of our favorite technicians and would like you to pick your favorite among the bunch.

Last time we asked which bars and hang outs were your favorite. These are the places you bond with your fellow pilots between missions. and each place is quite memorable. The original Tiger's Claw lounge won out with the TCS Victory's bar coming in a good second.


Standoff Pounces On The Little Guy

Eder has released a couple of new Standoff shots that show your wingmates tearing apart a mighty Gothri. So often in Wing Commander the human forces are outnumbered and must gain the edge with technology and tactics. These shots show how the friendly AI reacts when the tables are turned and several Gladius fighters converge on a lone target.

The pictures come from what will be Episode 2 in the upcoming Standoff campaign. Welcome back to the Oxford System.

High Res Standoff Gladius Poses

If the action shot above got you excited, here's the actual high resolution Gladius model being used in Standoff. The in-game model isn't quite so detailed. This model is for prerendered scenes.

Privateer: The Reckoning (Light Edition)

Reckoning, the Privateer mod for Freelancer has been in the news a few times, most recently when Beta 4 was released. If you felt the mod made too many changes, then this may be for you. The Privateers have released a ships pack containing 23 Wing Commander ships.

This mod replaces Freelancer's ships, but leaves everything else unchanged. You can download it here (5 MB).

Gemini Sector Focus of New Fiction

Forums member ck9791 posted the following to our Fan Fiction zone:
Seeing others posting their stories, I've decided to share what I've been working on. If anyone wants to read the wing commander fan fiction I've been working on, feel free to e-mail me at ckukla79@hotmail.com and I will send you what I have written so far. This story is not finished, but it is the one I've made the most progress on. The file is too large to post here though, the story is currently 29 pages in microsoft word. I am going to try to find a way to upload it and then I will post a link here.

If you are interested, the story takes place in the Gemini Sector prior to the original Wing Commander. It focuses on a young 2nd Lieutenant from the Space Forces flying a Scimitar medium fighter off a carrier that is trying to prevent the Kilrathi from making progress into Gemini.

Thanks

A plain text version can be downloaded here. ck9791 will send you the original Word document if you e-mail him. Comments can be posted at the Forums.

Holding The Line Chapter 194

Raptor has come to the rescue of those waiting for the next chapter of HTL. This one is written by everyone's favorite forums Net.Nazi, Death. Here's Raptor:
Hey all, Raptor here.

HTL continues with a great story called "Once More Unto The Breach", as the battle for Nifelheim continues to heat up. As you saw in the last story, the Combined Fleet is starting to take a heavy toll on the attacking forces, but the humans are taking substantial losses of their own. This story focuses on Taskforce Abbey, a small strike force of Border Worlds corvettes centred around an escort carrier, and is written by Dan "Death" Poore. Please send any and all comments to Dan at nohbody@mail.com, not to me.

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

Best, Raptor

Wing Commander Conversion For EV Nova Announced

We haven't mentioned EV Nova, the third game in the Escape Velocity series before, but Eric Langois thinks the game is suitable material for a Wing Commander total conversion. As with most fan projects, a little bit of assistance would be appreciated. A thread on what he hopes to achieve as well as what help he needs can be found here. We look forward to seeing some screenshots soon.

Cyberion Shows Off His Starbase

Cyberion's latest model is a Kilrathi inspired starbase by Wing Commander 4.

Pretty easy model. Didn't take me too long to model, although it has some nice advantages. Originaly it was made to use high resolution textures. So every edge of the base, every corner, is smooth and round. If you take a closer look at the model you will see it. This helps to creat realism when the model has high detailed textures. I hope that one day someone will make them. ;-)
You can grab the files for yourself here.

Disgruntled EA Employees Seeking Case?

GameSpot is reporting that a number of Electronic Arts employees are pursuing a lawsuit to recover unpaid overtime expenses. The story originated in a live journal that has been making the popular internet rounds recently. GameSpot took it a step further and contacted a local law firm and they confirmed some of the basic information.
GameSpot contacted attorney Robert C. Schubert, a partner at the San Francisco law firm Schubert & Reed. He said that he has initiated legal proceedings to start a class-action lawsuit on behalf of a group of EA employees. "We are seeking unpaid overtime for a good number of [EA] employees who weren't [properly] paid," Schubert told GameSpot this afternoon. "EA contends they were exempt," Schubert said. "We contend otherwise."
You can find the full article here.

Void War Conducting Weekly Games

Unfortunately we missed the boat for this week, but Rampant Games has announced that weekly games of Void War are now being held. The events take place Thursday evening at 7:00 pm Pacific US time.
To play, simply click on the multiplayer button in the launcher, and click on the game appearing in the list with the word "Rampant" in the name (depending on whoever is hosting... it might not always be me). Double-click on that line, or select it and click on the "Connect Now" button. We'll be switching the game types around as needed.
Even players with the Demo version of the game can play! To grab Void War, check out their web site here.

Buy A Decapitated Kilrathi

There are some bargains to be had on the auction site eBay, but sometimes things are far too expensive. $400 copies of Kilrathi Saga have nothing on this: the animatronic head of Melek from Wing Commander IV. If you want to get your hands on this furball, you'll probably need a loan since the seller wants over $9,000 for it. The exact amount is unknown as there is a reserve on the auction. Shipping is $150 and a $100 insurance payment is required. You can find the auction here.

Red Point Project Promises Many Missions

Here's a new project recently announced by one of the Standoff team members. The mod is still in the early stages so there are no screenshots yet, but already has a partial plot written and is promising a massive 64 missions, which will apparently be spread across an introduction and two episodes with a total of eight chapters. With such an ambitious target, it is likely to be some time before we see a full release, particularly as getting missions written seems to be the biggest problem for many of the current projects. Regardless, we wish Red Point luck and look forward to seeing where there project goes. You can find the project's official site here (Spanish) and you can find a rough English translation here. There is also a thread where you can post your thoughts.

A Glitch In The Matrix

Some people are having a hard time connecting to the CIC today. Our provider is having some routing issues that are affecting some (but not all) of the traffic to and from the server. Pages may take longer than usual to load and downloads may get interrupted. Be sure to use a download manager. Hopefully everything will clear up soon.

WC Saga Demonstrates Evolution

Starman from the WC Saga project has put together this graphic to show how the design of the Tallahassee class cruiser has changed over time. It's not just the original games that changed the design, WC Saga's own design has developed over time.

Some time ago, I got a hang of the idea showing off the evolution the Wing Commander universe has gone through, not at least because of this mod here. This should give you all a better insight in what you can expect when WC-Saga will finally be done. (The view-angle of WC3 and WC4 will sometimes be a little different than the other, that is because they are ripped away from original game-screenshots).
You can post your own comments in this thread.

Is That a Tom Wilson?

Dan Rough reports that Tom Wilson (Todd "Maniac" Marshall) is selling art work through his website. Some pieces are available as posters and giclées1. The original oil paintings are also for sale.

Tom Wilson is also an actor and a singer.

1 - Now the term giclée is used for any high-resolution, large-format inkjet digital printer with fade-resistant inks or dyes. Though originally intended for proofing, many artists and photographers use giclée printers as an alternative to lithography for limited editions or reproductions. -- Wikipedia.org

Privateer: The Reckoning 4.0 Beta Released

Forums member Warzog reports that the Beta release of Reckoning 4.0 is out. This Freelancer mod features ships and locations from the Privateer and Wing Commander universe. You can download the Beta here (21 MB). Updated Paradigm textures are available as a seperate download here (750 kB).

  • This new version has 70 new systems which conform to the original game, 540 people populating 99 new bases, with 51 new wrecks, and 76 new rumors. New models include the TCS Vesuvius, Perry Naval Station, New Constantinople, and the original Privateer's Mining base.

  • All of the ships have been reworked to repair weapon hardpoints, with some ships receiving new textures. The wrecks have a new look, complete with sparks, smoke, and fire. And they are now destroyable.

  • Factions have been renamed, new music has been added, the Kilrathi have Kilrathi names, and capitol ships now have TCS names. A new faction, the Privateers, has been added, and they will even give out missions.

  • The commodities have been reworked to more closely conform to Privateer.

It's Almost Halo Tuesday

A few of you are probably anticipating the imminent release of Halo 2. It should be pretty neat, and we're all fairly big fans of XBox Live. If you're afraid of playing with random internet weirdos, some of us will be organizing a small game this Friday evening. You can visit Crius.net for details. If you feel like trying it out another time, stop by #Wingnut and see if anyone is available to play.

Holding The Line Chapter 193

Raptor is taking the HTL website places. Where exactly we aren't entirely sure of yet. Stay tuned for more details.
Hey all, Raptor here

As you've seen in the past few chapters, the battle for Nifelheim is already heating up, and enemy forces are closing in from both sides. The crew of the TCS Endeavour has already played a vital role in the battle by helping two other Confed battlegroups destroy a Nephilim dreadnaught, but their struggles are far from over. This story is written by Shaun "Iceman" Rashid. Please send any and all comments to him at velacia@rogers.com, not to me.

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

In other news, I was able to make the downpayment for the HTL website recently, and we're on track to go live at the end of the year. We've got a heck of a lot planned for the site (including those tasty ships Cyberion has been kind enough to create for us) and we plan to unveil it step by step throughout 2005. The site will include message boards dealing with the site itself as well as with HTL, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you guys to help shape the site as it develops.

Best, Raptor

Tell Your WCA To Cover Up

If you've got a DVD writer, one of the best things you can use it for is to make WCA DVDs. But something is still missing.. like cover art for your DVD case. CTP wants to address that problem and has sent in this cover for people to use.

WCU's Interiors Get 3D Make Over

Over at the WCU: Privateer project, work has started on recreating Privateer's base interiors in 3D, presumably as scaling Priv's original 320x240 artwork didn't produce the best effect. The first room to get the treatment is the repair bay. BradMick's model is now complete and now just needs textures. You can post your comments in this thread.

Standoff Fills In Episodic Blanks

Following on from Standoff's announcement a couple of weeks ago that the mod would be released in episodes, a few more details have been released about their intentions. Better still, the prologue missions are currently expected to be ready before Christmas. Here's the word from Eder, courtesy of this thread.
Our focus is more on replay value than on sheer length. Look at the progress page where missions are split into series for a better idea of length... I'll tell you that the possible paths go like this:

Prologue->Series A->Series B1 or B2->Series C1 or C2->Series D1 or D2

And that's really it, that simple. For example, if you screw up on Series A and get sent to B2, just do well in B2 and you can get to C1. There's no trapping players in a dead end path... and likewise, there's no amount of previous victories that will let you screw up the final missions and still win (Come on, we all know the final missions involve space kittens trying to bomb Earth ).

I think the shortest path takes 23 missions from the beginning of the Prologue to the end of Series D. Some will take longer because there are "transition missions" in some of the, well, transitions. For example, going from B1 to C1 skips a mission that you'd get to fly if your poor performance meant you were to go from B1 to C2 instead - these are not extra missions to reward successful players or anything like that, they're extra missions to make sure that all possible combinations of Series Bs, Cs, and Ds fit together into a coherent storyline. Going down the B1-C2-D1 path has to feel as seamless as going down the B1-C1-D2 path, etc.

The only way to get less than 23 missions (IIRC) before the credits is to let the Lionheart or Firekka get destroyed.

Saga Sabre Makes A Cameo

Today we take the wraps off a pair of new fighters for two different Wing Commander mods. First up we're going outside the Sabre for Wing Commander Saga.

Here is the WC 3 style retextured Sabre that will be used in WCS main campaign. Model is done by Eder, textures by (Lynx). It'll make only a brief appearence as InSys and Reserve squadron fighter in some misssions and will not be flown by the player as far as I know.

Standoff Mystery Fighter Unveiled

Standoff's new ship is the Kilrathi/Retro Salthi/Shok'lar/Unknown. They're keeping its exact role and origins a secret, which fits just fine with its role in the Wing Commander universe.

Almost As Cramped As A Tarsus

Following on from the success of Capship Wednesday, we've decided to have another theme day.. Cockpit Thursday! First up is from Standoff as they have released screenshots of their rendition of the Raptor's cockpit. It's a pretty good likeness too as you can see below. The first screenshot is the WC1 version including the top part which is only seen when ejecting, the other two are from Standoff. Seven years on, the Prophecy engine still looks great. You can comment on the new screenshots in this thread.

Sabre Cockpit Gets Remodelled

Cyberion has sent along his latest 3D model, but this time it isn't a ship - it's a cockpit. As you can see below, it stays very close to the Sabre's original design and it's available for your use. The left screenshot is the original and the right one is Cyberion's design. You can also download Cyberion's model which is in Lightwave format here.

Nexus Launches In Europe

A couple of weeks ago we took a first look at a neat looking Homeworld style real-time strategy game, Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. The game is now out, and will be available in stores across Europe tomorrow. Sadly it looks like North America may have to wait a further few months before getting hold of the game, though there is now a multiplayer demo available for download from the game's website.

Standoff's Dorkathi Arrives

We've got new capital ships for two of the more prominent Wing Commander mods today. First up is a Dorkathi transport from the Secret Ops mod Standoff. The first shot puts it in the sights of a Rapier pilot's guns. Originally the Dorkathi wasn't scheduled to show up in the mod, but they've recently dug in to add a few neat surprises.

You can find additional ships and add your comments at Crius.net here.

Saga Bhantkara Polished Up

WC Saga has also updated its Bhantkara Carrier model. This is another one created primarily by Lynx.

Comments can go directly to Crius here.

Vendetta Online Launches

Sorthak reminded us that Vendetta Online just went live. It is currently shipping to primary retailers in North America and it can be purchased online. The online option includes a free trial and then continues at $9.99 per month.

You can find our previous coverage on the game here.

And Bush Gets It

Thanks to the people who joined us to watch last night's news coverage in #Wingnut last night. Feel free to drop by the channel any time to hang out or see what we're up to.

New WCU Privateer Beta Ready For Bug Squashing

The team behind the WC Universe: Privateer mod for Vega Strike has released the latest beta of their game. Attempting to emulate such a complex game as the original Privateer is no easy task so don't expect the game to run flawlessly at this point, and people new to Privateer should probably wait for the final release for the best experience. There is also a version for OSX based Macintosh computers, but this hasn't been tested yet. If you fancy yourself as a beta tester, you can grab everything you need for either PC or Mac from the site's downloads page. The team is trying to wrap up testing, so this is intended just for the few who will put in some constructive work towards polishing the game. Everyone else should wait for the full version 1.0 expected soon.

Join Our Election Night Party

If you're in the US or looking for something to do in a few hours, drop by #Wingnut tonight and join us watch the US Election results come in. No matter what side you support, it's always a fairly interesting to watch the results develop. If your local television isn't absolutely drowned in election coverage tonight, CNN has a fairly good scorecard that will be updated throughout the night. If you're not a regular irc visitor, you can easily join for the first time through our web client here.

Ultima Online Samurai Empire Ships

The latest Ultima Online expansion has been released. Samurai Empire adds the Ninja and Samurai classes and provides an exotic new continent to explore. After Origin closed, production of this game was moved to EA's primary California studio. I haven't seen an actual box yet, but if you preorder you get a paper with an access code for an exclusive in-game item. The preorder slip still features a prominent Origin logo.

Launched in 1997, Ultima Online was a pioneer in the world of online gaming and defined the category of massively multiplayer Internet-based entertainment. It is still recognized as the one of 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.
The pictures are pretty dated now, but it's amazing the game is still going strong after all these years. It is still one of the most popular massively multiplayer games around.

Shedding Some Light On Saga Action

Lynx posted these Wing Commander Saga screenshots to the Forums:
Those screenshots don't really represent the graphical standards since I just took them in one of my test missions - they weren't intended to be shown off here. I just posted them since people wanted to see something new and I thought the action in these pictures was good.

The campaign missions have everything better, more, better background nebulas/planets etc., installations and other places and such, and the grapical effects are better too there when you turn 32 bit graphics on. The engine trails, some weapon effects, textures backgrounds and everything looks worlds better.

About the performance, it's quite playable on lower end system too as far as I know (I think about 700-1000Mhz are minimum for stable gameplay, and a fast graphics card).

Happy Halloween

It's November now, so some of us got a chance to spread some Wing Commander Halloween cheer again. Hopefully next year we'll have suits readily available for more of you to do the same.

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