Files Arrive at Port Eighty

This week we're testing a new method for hosting files, so here is a list of interesting downloads that you might have missed. These files require the DivX codec.

3.5 minute animation, 30 MB. Download

Major Striker has put together a new animation that's a compilation that combines several of his recent works. The animation features an attack on a Bengal Class Carrier and some dogfighting between some Dralthi and Raptors.

Wing Commander 4 recorded gameplay, 30 MB. Download
AD has made some progress in his project to create an adaptation of Wing Commander 4 using its cutscenes and gameplay.
Wing Commander 4 Behind The Scenes, 100 MB.

Computer Chronicles Wing Commander clips, 120 MB.
BrynS has been doing some digging and has found a whole bunch of really old and cool video segments.

Clive Owen Starring in Sin City This Week

Privateer 2's Clive Owen will have yet another high profile role this week in Sin City. He'll star alongside Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, Elijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Brittany Murphy and a dozen other big names in this slick looking comic adaptation.

The official website has a neat poster creator where you can pick characters, backgrounds and scenes and generate your own desktop image.

Saga Gets The Flashlight Out

We've always commented on how dark screenshots taken in the Freespace engine have been, but we didn't realise that the darkness in the WC Saga mod was by choice. Now gevatter Lars has shown what is possible by tweaking the brightness. The three pictures below demonstrate the lighting set at 75, 100, and 160. In this thread there are also examples set at 90 and 120. Apparently most people play with the lighting set at 75, which as you can see below only shows up half of the ship. We now look forward to being able to see something in future WC Saga screenshots.

First Dragon*Con Guests Announced

The first copy of the Dragon*Con guest list is now online, something we eagerly watch at it's updated throughout the year. Even at this early stage, there are a couple of guests with Wing Commander experience, Bill Fawcett and Margaret Weis. We hope to see more WC related guests added to the list over the next five months, and we'll keep you updated if any more are added. Here's a picture from when we met Margaret last year.

Kilrathi Saga Manual Online

Viper has scanned the fascinating Kilrathi Saga manual for fellow Wing Commander fans to enjoy. The documentation included with this anthology did a wonderful job of combining elements from the first five years of Wing Commander history and presenting them in a uniform format. Elements that were initially presented separately are brought together in a cohesive way, and valuable information from secondary sources such as the novels are integrated seamlessly. You can download the 17 meg PDF here.

Check out the Game Manuals section for more documentation.

Meet Tom Wilson In Burbank

Stephen from the Back to the Future CIC let us know that Tom Wilson's art will be receiving a special gallery presentation soon. The Big Pop Fun Exhibit will be on display for one month at the Nickelodeon Studios in Burbank. This is a rare honor for a non-Nickelodeon artist and a neat opportunity to see his work in person. There will be a reception with Mr. Wilson on the evening of April 29, 2005 when the gallery goes live.
“I’ve spent my entire adult life as an “object” of pop culture. I get stared at in airports, and restaurants, and supermarkets, and somewhere in those eyes is the joy of memory, that curious thrill of pop recognition that’s so powerful, yet hard to explain. These paintings are as close as I can get to explain it. These “objects” make us feel good, more for the memory of a time and place than for the objects themselves. …I love them, and I paint them as dramatic still life pieces of art, because they are beautiful…and I know how they feel. Hey, bottom line - these paintings are fun and I love looking at them.”

More information on the gallery can be found at Tom's official website here.

Saga's Flight Deck Detailed

The WC Saga team has released shots of their light carrier's flight deck. The amount of detail visible in the Victory's hangar always impressed me in Wing Commander 3. The Saga version is a bit sharper, darker and still looks like a fun place to launch or land in.

Happy CIC Easter

Before you all rush out to grab some clearance priced Easter candy, here's some more CIC Easter Eggs.

Reckoning Links Fixed

If you were having trouble downloading the Reckoning's video clips from Saturday, the files should work for you now. Hopefully we've fixed up the problems some people were having.

To End The Cannon Debate..

It's a holiday (Easter Candy Clearance Sale Day Eve), so we're taking it easy here today. We've got a fun shot of LOAF touring remains of the civil war while on spring break. He was not without his Wing Commander divx however, and this shot should help resolve the recent Crius "Cannon" issues.

Check Out The Fleet

While we're having a tangential topic news day, here's a new wallpaper from Major Striker. This particular shot doesn't use any of his neat Wing Commander models, but it's pretty well done so we thought we'd share it.

Happy Easter everybody. We'll see you Monday.

Reckoning Gives Out Birthday Treats

In celebration of the second birthday of the Reckoning mod for Freelancer, Bob has sent in a variety of goodies showing off some of the amazing work done for the mod.
It's Reckoning's second birthday, and to celebrate we're launching a veritable media blitz! As the team puts the final touches on the next release, we've taken the time to showcase a bit of our work. Now, even those of you who don't have Freelancer can experience the vicarious thrill of combat, thanks to three DivX video clips in easily digestable installments of 3, 4 and 5 megs each!
First up we have the pictures - an InSys Rapier as created by Marc of Tarawa fame, and in-game pictures of a Demon, Hector mining base, and some Rapiers.

Now for the videos..

Star Wars Insider Interviews Mark Hamill

Also from Bob is this scan of a Mark Hamill interview from Star Wars Insider magazine. His work on Wing Commander is mentioned only briefly at the start of the article, and they neglect to mention his work on Academy during the section talking about his work voicing cartoons but it is otherwise an interesting look at Hamill's career.

Jump Points And FTL Travel Explained

A lot of people have recently had questions about how jump points work. In the Wing Commander universe, the galactic network of jump lines connect systems with eachother. It gets a lot more complicated than that. Mini jumps, double jumps, long jumps and more create a complex dynamic. There is also a considerable amount of information on how spacecraft utilize these tunnels. And the traditional jump lines are not the only means by which travelers in the 27th Century move faster than light. LOAF has updated his Jump FAQ with the latest information for you to consult. You can find the FAQ here.
Were space devoid of gravity, it would be completely a flat plane. However, every object which creates gravity causes an impression in this plain -- the size of which is based on the mass of the object. Where these impressions connect to one another, a jump line exists. Objects of higher mass, which cause deeper impressions, are more likely to cause and effect jump lines. It is for this reason that stars (99.85% galactic mass) produce the vast majority of jump lines, whereas planets (0.135%) and other objects (0.0150002%) cause only minor fluctuations. In addition, high concentrations of antigravitons also warp the plane of space. Such occupancies exist in nature, but are uncommon.

New Poll Up Today

Our most recent poll was affected a bit by a few thousand visiting PC enthusiasts via Slashdot, but it looks like XBox Live was the winner here. Although there is a small fee associated with the service cost, the easy interoperability between games and universal headset support seems popular. I was not surprised to see the Handhelds category come in last, although I think this that would be a very fun category as well. With the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP now sporting WiFi multiplayer and enhanced graphics/features, that's a field ripe with potential. Here are the details.

Our new poll asks about your favorite Wing Commander multiplayer game. Since it's possible that some Wing Commander fans haven't been blessed with such an experience, we decided to add an option for future console or PC games as well. Just go ahead and pick which one you'd most like to try next, in the event the first four options don't apply to you.

Wing Commander Animated Series Gets An Update

It's been a year since we've goten an update on Corsair(pilot)'s Animated Series Project. It looked great back then, and Corsair is still working hard on it. He's released three promo shots to let everyone know the project is still in the works.

The original version of the script called for a very nice montage of the Battle of McAuliffe as the opening sequence. It didn't take very long to realize that this was just not feasible if I ever wanted to actually finish this thing, but by that time I had already done the background for this image, and so it was kept in as a single shot. The aftermath of the great battle. The final version will have much more depth and scope.

As the script for the pilot episode stands, you won't actually see the Kilrathi, but I developed their look anyway. The idea was to go with the "big cats" personified. This one was the Siberian Tiger, and is intended as a hardened lower-class warrior.

What you see here is very unfinished, but it conveys the style of the CG being used for the project very well. It originally was intended to just make a cameo appearance as a beaten up version in the debris field shot, but it turned out much too well not to use.

Most of the year has been spent attempting to refine the 3D CG style and establish a unique visual presence. Some people expressed that this earlier work was too cartoony, and when placed with the subject matter of the script, I agreed. So a more serious, mature looks was worked out.

You can provide feedback at Crius.net here. The original shots of the project are in our Archives.

Sony PSP Launches In North America

The Sony PSP launches today in North America. The handheld game system also sports a variety of multimedia and entertainment features. In addition to high quality gaming, pictures, mp3s and movies can be viewed off a memory card. It's very shiny, so good pictures are hard to take, but here are some quick shots.

Wing Commander Ranks In PC Gamer's Best List

AD and ZFGokuSSJ1 noticed that Wing Commander 3 once again ranked in PC Gamer's April 2005 Best Games Of All Time feature. When they last ran this feature in 2001, Wing Commander ranked 19th place. It's an interesting observation that their own original review score of 96% puts the game solidly in their top twenty.

Beats forty-nine! We'll have to hope for it to gain a few spots next time.

Warren Spector Makes A Case For Creative Game Distribution

At the Game Developers Conference recently, Warren Spector made a bit of a splash by challenging the current model for game distribution. He cited publishers such as Electronic Arts as part of the problem with the current situation, but didn't blame them for the overall fault. While thanking publishers for footing the bill on the industry's biggest projects, he asserted that developers need to find new ways to market their products in order to stay creative and avoid the formulaic rut that game development often falls into. GameSpot has the complete text of the conference panel here.
We got a real problem, OK? It seems like, from my end of the game business, all our efforts are going into trying to reach a mainstream audience that may not even be interested in what we do. The idea that my next game is going to cost [intentional mumble] million dollars, compared to the first game I did, which cost $273,000, and got me into trouble as a result, is absolutely terrifying to me. You know, in order to minimize risk--how many people work for publishers that insist on focus-testing everything? And how many people actually work on games that make money?

Composer With Wing Commander Style Looking For Fan Projects

Felagund's hobby is composing orchestral music, and his latest creations are exciting Wing Commander based tracks. Below we're mirroring his distinct Confederation and Privateer themes. They're both small files that should put you in the mood for some space sim action. While some of his work was intended for the Privateer mods, his songs don't yet have an official home. He's looking to work with talented teams who like what he's created so far. On the Confed Main Theme:
I wanted to do something a bit different than the other Wing Commander themes have done, almost going back to an original game-style heroic feel. I focused on communicating with it both a sense of flying and a sense of heroism. I hope that it really captures the essence of Wing Commander.

For MIDI, I use a Roland MGS-64 sound module (which is based on the SC-88), plus an EMU Proteus/2 sound module. My keyboard is a Yamaha DP-250. I use Musicator to arrange the music.

To find more samples and contact information for Felagund, check out his site here.

Space Exploration On Pocket PC

Space Treker 3 is a new space exploration and trading game for Pocket PC. If you own one of these devices you may want to check out these Wing Commander and Ultima Underworld ports.
Space Exploration has never been this much fun
Choose from one of 5 ship types (Carrier, Salvage, Fighter, Explorer and Colony) and explore a vast galaxy with hundreds of inhabited systems full of trading opportunities and populated by numerous alien cultures many of whom will prove hostile. Can your skill as a trader, your tenacity as an explorer and your cunning as a fighter guide you through the worlds of Space Treker to achieve the ultimate rank? You must equip and repair your ship, discover resources, trade at a profit, defeat your enemies and join the guild of your choice if you are to succeed.

Hours of gameplay in a vast Galaxy
Each time you begin a new game all systems, ships, names and trade goods are renewed to ensure a long gameplay lifetime. You can save the current game to restart at a later date and the keys used can be re-mapped to suit your preferences.
Thanks to Bobeat.

Detailed Hellcat In The Works

We've got another cool model to show off today. BradMick is currently working on a highly detailed and accurate Hellcat V fighter.

A little something I'm working on for Halman. An uber high res Hellcat V (WC3 version). This is what I've got so far on her. The panel lines are geometry, thanks to TC for hookin me up with the WC3 ripped Hellcat, having the textures makes creating panel lines easier. Also, if you don't know about the WC3 Warbirds deal, go to the manuals section of the CIC. I'm use that for a reference as well, since the model in that guide is the cinematic one rendered out.
You can help provide feedback at Crius here. BradMick has also put together a thread on tips and stuff for modelers here.

Wing Commander Movie On German Pro7 Tonight

The first part of today's updates are going up early because there's such short notice here. CFF noticed that the Wing Commander Movie will be showing for free in German tonight on Pro7. The show begins at 8:15 pm (GMT+1), so hopefully you have time to catch it if you're in Germany.

Sheffield Never Looked So Good

It seems that Cyberion is continuing to regularly construct high quality models, and next up is the TCS Sheffield. This particular model seems destined for the Wing Commander Universe mod. Here are a couple of work-in-progress shots next to a couple from the finished version for comparison purposes.

That's possibly the best looking Sheffield we've seen yet. If you're interested in the construction process of the model or if you just wish to comment, there are more pictures of the model from start to finish in this thread. If you've missed it before, don't forget to check out Cyberion's previous works.

Space Sim First Look: X3 Reunion Announced

Ruadrim noticed that Egosoft has announced the cancellation of X2: The Return. Elements from the game will be used in an all new sequel, X3 Reunion. The cancelled expansion was due out soon, but the new work will take most of this year. The X Beyond the Frontier series has been known for sharp graphics and decent Privateer-style space exploration, trading and combat. X3's story will be beefed up heavily and the universe will be more immersive. It will also be made for at least one home console system. This is a trend I expect will follow among many future space sims, and in fact could easily help to revitalize the space sim genre overall.
X3: REUNION immerses the player into the most realistic, living universe, ever experienced. Extensive development has gone into the X3 engine, making full use of DirectX 9 technology, to create dramatic visual effects and stunningly realistic starships. The economy model in X3: REUNION is more complex than any previous X game. Coupled with the massively enhanced A.L. (Artificial Life) system, X3: REUNION will present players with an ever changing, evolving universe; where a player’s actions really can shape the future of the universe. Community involvement has been extensive, throughout the development process and the launch of X3: REUNION will see many innovative fan creations in the final retail game.
The graphics shown off so far look very good, though they're not exactly screenshots. The first image is a redone shot of an X2: The Return release and the others may be prerendered scenes.

A long time ago we noticed that elements of X2 seemed to have been inspired by Prophecy. The third shot reminds me a bit of Kilrah.

Get Your Tickets Booked

It seems like flights are really cheap right now, making this the perfect time to book for Dragon*Con. Several of us already have tickets, which is a couple of months earlier than usual for us but I was able to save about $400 on my tickets alone. In case you've forgotten, Dragon*Con is "America's largest, multi-media, popular arts convention—focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film", and is where we hold our annual Wing Commander get-together. We've also been able to meet various WC celebrities each year. Everyone is welcome, and each year several new people attend after seeing how much fun we've had. Try searching for flights - you need to arrive at Atlanta airport on either September 1 or early on September 2, and fly home on the afternoon/evening of September 5. Just look at our past gatherings to see what fun we have, and our commentary on the photos such as this:


ChrisReid: Usually I start with pictures of people sleeping, but the day really didn't start like that. The Wing Commander card game we started at 11:30 pm the night before didn't end until about 6:00 am this morning.
Hades: Four player games are fun, if a little confusing and time consuming.
Blonde: I was asleep at this point but...
ace: It's pretty easy to get tired of the CCG after six hours, but we'd always play again a few hours later.



ChrisReid: After the card game we did some top secret investigation and stayed up a little more.
Blonde: I was awakened about an hour later to take part in the top secret investigation.
LOAF: The shocking results of the investigation are directly below!

The results of the investigation are on this page. If you have any questions about attending, post here.

Kuiper? LOAF Just Mer Her!

Antman and team have been working on a new space sim project. They are attempting to recreate elements of the original space sim Allegiance with a greater emphasis on capital ships. Allegiance was almost an mmo game, and Kuiper will also support large numbers of multiplayer ships. You can find more pictures and gameplay videos here. There isn't too much to see yet, but certain parts seem fairly polished already.

Introducing Fan RPG 'Against All Odds'

A new Wing Commander fan role playing game has spun off from the Galactic Conflict project. As the WCGC is on hold now, new members can sign up for Against All Odds at their forums. Main events take place at their primary message board, where capital ship movements and large scale events are created. Subforums handle individual characterization and interaction.
Unlike many RPG's, Wing Commander included, AAO focuses on Fleet and Capital Ship based combat, rather then the more often preferred role of a signal character. While some may believe this detracts from the chance for a person to get in character, we at AAO disagree. There are many chances for our players to get into character with Forums such as the Logbooks and Communications Forums on our boards.

If you'd like to join WCAAO it's as simple as following the link to our Forums and registering there, where our members will happily assist you in getting started with the RP.

-Akula
RPG Administrator

Wing Commander 4 DVD Compatibility Explored

A couple people have had some minor problems with the Wing Commander 4 DVD compatibility patch that gulikoza released last year. Our local copy was outdated, so we've upgraded to version 1.2. It's a tiny file you unzip to your Wing Commander 4 DVD's installation directory. Prior to the patch's original release, special hardware was required to play the game. Don't forget to set Windows 98 compatibility mode in XP. His research has also identified two separate builds of the game, so an optional file has been added that will help the game run if your version has problems. Patches for the VirtualProtect() error are also available. All the latest information and files can be found at gulikoza's page here.

I've always really liked this splash image for the WC4 DVD.

Tarawa Deck Gets Control Room

Continuing his design for his model of the Tarawa, Marc has been making plenty of fun additions to the flight deck, including an Eel flag and a control room. The eel flag is now famous as LOAF's forums avatar. Also there are now ships, which are always useful on a flight deck.

People Like Clive Owen

A recent IMDB Poll picked Privateer 2 star Clive Owen as the fan favorite for the next James Bond film. Taking in almost a third of the vote, he even beat out the current Pierce Brosnan by almost ten percent. Although some of the poll choices listed are more silly than serious, Lev is clearly becoming a bigger star. As it currently stands, he apparently hasn't actually been contacted about the role.
Oscar-nominee Clive Owen has shot down recent reports that he's a finalist for the role of James Bond in the upcoming Casino Royale. "They have never approached me," Owen reportedly advised tonight's episode of Access Hollywood. "It's nothing but a rumor."

New Ships Coming To The Reckoning

Bob has released three small shots revealing the next fighters being added to the Freelancer mod The Reckoning. I liked Freelancer quite a bit, so it's always seemed to be a game well suited to a Privateer themed Wing Commander mod. Their team has undergone some changes this year, so Bob could probably use a little assistance in a few areas if people are interested in helping out.

You can provide feedback at Crius.net here.

Steven Petrarca On Screen Again

Steven Petrarca, who played the leading Lance Casey in Wing Commander Prophecy, will be showing up on screens again this weekend with the release of The Ring Two. Since his character isn't getting a name, it's likely he won't get a whole lot of screen time, but this will probably be his most high profile movie to date. If you're planning to see this movie, keep an eye out for the "Young Detective."

The Ring Two appears in theaters in the US and across parts of Europe on March 18.

Electronic Arts Super Hero Details Announced

Last year when it was announced that EA would be teaming with Marvel to release a comic book styled fighting game, the gaming industry let out a collective, "What the hell is an EA Super Hero?" EA has now clarified a number of details about the game.
Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects will feature more than a dozen fighters in fully interactive and destructible environments. Gamers will have full control over the individual characters with each fighter having unique attributes and super powers that are true to their background, adding more depth and fighting strategy to the game.

The Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects videogame also spawned the new Marvel six issue mini-series, Marvel Nemesis: The Imperfects(TM), launching this May. In the comic book, Marvel Super Heroes including Spider-Man, Wolverine, The Thing and Elektra clash with EA's Niles Van Roekel, an evil alien scientist out to create a super army of vicious warriors. Through the comic books, the new EA characters will be unveiled each month leading up to the launch of the game.

I guess that answers that. Niles Van Roekel. You can read the full story here.

Striker's Raptors Defend The Falcon

Major Striker has put together a new animation that's a compilation that combines several of his recent works. The animation features an attack on a Bengal Class Carrier and some dogfighting between some Dralthi and Raptors. The three and a half minute scene comes in at 30 megs and you'll probably need DivX. The file is available here or here.

It's just a little skirmish involving my untextured retrofitted Bengal model and my newly revamped Raptor models.
It's a little bit dark here and there, so turn up your brightness if the shadows are too heavy in parts.

Space Suits Can Be Sexy

While searching for someone with the same fetish as himself, Delance stumbled across this website featuring women in space suits from various films and TV shows. It seems that to qualify the women have to be wearing a huge helmet, and Angel (Saffron Burrows) from the WC movie qualifies in her marine armor. I dread to think what the site's owner gets up to with his Angel action figure. The site seems oddly popular and occasionally cuts out when bandwidth is exceeded.

It's Not A Jailbreak

LOAF reactivated a number of banned Crius.net accounts this morning. Hopefully this goodwill can help a few projects get back to business. Record levels of new members have filled the forums this month. Now's a great time for people to join in the discussions.

Sample Some Privateer Music

Pas-2 has created a few sample remake tracks of Privateer music for the Privateer Remake. He's looking for feedback on them now. So far there are samples of the Intro and Refinery music available for you to critique. The originals can be found here and here to compare.

Matt Tyson has also added a track we were missing from the Privateer Music Section. It's the Mining Base theme recorded on a Yamaha DB50XG Midi.

CIC Finance Trading In France

Remembering our announcement of CIC Finance on April 1 last year, Major Striker was shocked to find this ATM during a trip to Paris.

We're not sure if CIC Finance can co-exist with "CIC Banques" or if we'll have to take on the legal might of a French bank, but we have been investigating new industries to break in to for some time. Expect a new announcement soon!

More Movie Memories

It was pretty fun digging up random Wing Commander Movie pictures yesterday, so I've got a couple more here today. From left to right, it's the Pilgrim Cross Collectible Knife, Blonde wearing a Movie shirt, Confed Handbook author Chris McCubbin having dinner with Chris and LOAF, a memorabilia collage, and two memorable scenes from the actual movie. The collage includes the press kit and promo phots, the Confed Handbook and Movie novels, several magazines and action figures, the DVD and VHS of the film, a Maniac poster, and a draft of the script. I originally didn't put a description of the pictures in yesterday's update, so that's been edited in now.

Happy Spring Break

Schools on the semester system in the US mostly begin Spring Break this weekend. LOAF's on the move for the next ten days with a list of exciting adventures to complete. He promises to bring back a hilarious picture of a cannon.

Happy Sixth Birthday Wing Commander Movie!

Six years ago today the Wing Commander Movie stormed theaters across North America. Hades was here to deliver the announcement, because LOAF and I were in Austin for the premiere.

Although not everyone gave the picture glowing reviews, the film contributed to our community quite a bit. I've met many fans who say they were introduced to the series thanks to the Movie. We also got an exciting set of novels that we're still hoping to see completed. A plot synopsis is online for the unreleased third chapter. The eight action figures made Wing Commander toys a reality. Only prototypes of the vehicles were made, and LOAF and Joe own the only two that exist. The Movie based ride never came to be because its producer fell on hard times, but they've recently reemerged and we've tried to contact them for an update. The Nostalgia Factory still sells posters and press kits for Wing Commander. It's hard to believe so much time has passed. Can you believe the Movie only just made its debut in the United Kingdom two months ago?

Edit: From left to right: the action figure vehicles, ace finding the DVD in stores, the Japanese poster, LOAF and Chris at the Premiere, Joe Garrity in Blair's flight suit, the US promo poster, a set photograph of Prinze, a Spanish poster, a Belgian advertisement and Chris in a movie uniform.

Relics From The Past Still Around

Six and a half years ago, on our very first day of operation, we did an update about the Wing Commander GMS website. The site gained some notoriety over the next few days because of a squabble over rights to posting pictures. Everything worked itself out amicably, and we all lived happily ever after. Recently TC noticed that the site is still up! While the official site, Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site, and Fox's DVD site have all gone away, the original GMS site still stands today. You can visit it now here. It seemed bigger in the past.

More Game Manuals Online

The Game Manuals section is starting to fill out nicely. Duriel has helped us by adding a few extra files. The Secret Missions reference cards were always exciting to me. Though at first they seemed to be little more than installation quickstart guides, they have mission trees and valuable historical facts littered throughout. These tiny footnotes establish things such contact with the Kilrathi that occurred before the infamous Iason Incident in 2629!
All information in this article was compiled from the notes of anthropologist Dr. C.L. Kohl who was captured and executed by the Kilrathi priestesses in 2621 while secretly observing the Sivar-Eshrad ceremony on Ghorah Khar.

The exact purpose of the Sivar-Eshrad ceremony is not known, as the Kilrathi do not allow nonbelievers to be present at their religious ceremonies. But the crews of 3715 Kilrathi warships attended the Sivar-Eshrad on Ghorah Khar.

Here's a list of what's been added today. Note that the Armada VEBEs are an old alternative to PDF files that may take some tweaking to install on newer systems. VEBE (Vermont Electronic Book Engine) must be installed, and must be run under win 95/98 compatability mode in Windows XP.

Fly Around Space With Celestia

Reality based simulations seem to be the in thing right now. Last month we mentioned the X-Plane Space Combat game and the Orbiter simulation. Now TheRedDuke has brought to our attention Celestia. Celestia is a free, open source universe simulation which enables you to explore the solar system and 499 other stars in 3D, in real time. There is also the Motherlode site which offers a whole load of additions to expand on the program's features. It's pretty fun travelling around things like Hubble and Huygens too. You can download Celestia in Windows, Mac OS X and Linux flavors here.

Wing Commander Done Differently

Everyone voting for the last option on the current poll is already missing out. LOAF's compiled a list of Wing Commander games on platforms other than the PC. Some are direct ports from their PC counterpart, others have some neat things added. Take the 3DO Wing Commander 1:
3DO: This is 'Super Wing Commander'. All of the graphics are redone in Privateer-level VGA. It has some new 'bridge' plot points (characters occasionally mention stealth fighters) and a 'middle' set of addon (Secret Missions 1.5!) missions about blowing up the Sivar's base. Full speech, ships look different, people look different, etc. Amazingly, of all the ports this one *plays* most similar to the original game.
A comprehensive list is online in the Article section.

Warren Spector Starts New Company

It was only a matter of time before Origin veteran Warren Spector made news again with his next job plans. At the GDC this week, he announced the creation of Junction Point Studios in Austin. So far the group is made up of Spector's former colleagues and laid off Ion Storm workers. Today he is participating in a panel called "Why Isn't the Game Industry Making Interactive Stories," which seems a question he'd be particularly good at discussing. GameSpot has more information on these events here.

Demystifying Tarawa's Flight Deck

Forums member Marc is trying to come up with a design for the Tarawa. All he has to go on is the picture on the End Run cover and descriptions from the novels.

You can help Marc come up with a design that works. Share your thoughts on the Forums.

Casual Photos On The Set Of Stealth

After we reported about Stealth starring Josh Lucas last week, Rick Salemi dug up some navy file photos taken on the set of the movie. Lucas, who played the test pilot "Flash" in Wing Commander 3, will once again be portraying an elite pilot. The film was partially made aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln and USS Carl Vinson. The cast spent time aboard the aircraft carriers and signed autographs for the crew.

If you go to www.navy.mil and type "Stealth" in the search box, you'll come up with a bunch of images from the movie. Some of the fighters and some of the camera crew and a couple of the other stars. Note these are NOT the PR images that the distributor will release, but military photos.

Wallpaper With The Majestic 'Claw

Atekimogus has created a wallpaper featuring the TCS Tiger's Claw and its escort traveling by a beautiful blue cloud of some sort. The oldest capital ship design in Wing Commander is still a favorite among modelers and artists. This scene is an evolution of a preliminary model shown off some time ago. The wallpaper is scaled to 1280x1024 and comes in at about half a meg.

I added a few details to turrets and bridge, played a bit with bump and glowmaps and made this wallpaper. I hope you like it and as always I appreciate your feedback.
You can provide feedback and check out a couple alternate angles of the scene at Crius.net here.

Wing Commander Galactic Conflict Recruiting

The Wing Commander Galactic Conflict is a role playing group that has recently relaunched itself to take advantage of the recent buzz concerning fan RPGs. WCGC plays out on a set of Forums where characters create interdependent stories with eachother.
How is Galactic Conflict differant from other Wing Commander Role-playing Games?
WCGC is set more on the Command side of the Wing Commander Universe. Rather then play as an individual fighter pilot or a marine, or any derivitive thereof, you play as a Commander of either a Task Force, Ship or Fleet in the Wing Commander Universe, helping to fight the war. It is set in 2656, right after the destruction of the TCS Tiger's Claw. With this sim, you can forge your own telling of the Wing Commander storyline. There are no fan ships or factions here, everything is strictly canon.

What's up with the Confederation Commander?
The Confederation is the primary faction being played in the Game right now. Previous experiences have shown us that when everyone tries to lead, nothing turns out well. This is true in war as well as in role-playing games.

The whole sim is run by the GM, known as the Confederation Commander. He sets mission objectives for our players to carry out. Another GM plays as the Kilrathi against you. Depending on how well you accomplish your objective, you are rewarded or promoted at the end of an assignment.

Check out Crius.net for more information on the game. Visit the WCGC Forums if you'd like to join.

Game Developers Conference This Week

One of the spring's big gaming conferences takes place this week. Slashdot has an article about Raph Koster's keynote comments. The former Privateer Online lead always has an interesting take on game design philosophy.
The console manufacturers are currently recommending 8 hours of gameplay rather than 40. Because people get it already! The brain is trying to optimise the chunks away. Fun is the process of encountering bumps along the way. A new pattern to master. New data thrown into the mix. This is what levels in a shooter should do. They should teach you different data per level. I'm giving you a hammer and I'm going to show you every variety of nail under the sun. This is a "possibility space" and a game is iterating through the possible combinations. The problem is, computers suck at this. This is why, until the advent of the computer, you played games with other people. This is why with the internet space, we’re rushing back to it, to that social play. Other people offer a much more interesting challenge than an algorithm. People introduce a really interesting array of problems into the question.
The GDC seems to be a nonstop schedule of keynote addresses. There'll probably be more interesting ones later in the week. The most recent has EA's John Batter discussing their plan to dig into the mobile phone market very aggressively.

Privateer Remake Title Wallpaper Released

We've got a bunch of new people coming in today via Slashdot's Privateer Remake coverage, so we'll continue that theme through today. Cyberion has joined the fun with a remake of the game's original intro screen. It's done up quite nicely with BradMick and the Priv Remake's actual models. You can find more info on the fan project that inspired this image over the last couple days' news. The original screen that this was based on can be seen below.

Here To Help With The Original

The Privateer Remake has helped stir interest in the older Wing Commander games quite a bit this week. Some of our new visitors might be storing old Wing Commander games on their shelves without realizing new methods to play them have been developed recently. The original Privateer was long a game that would never run in any flavor of Windows and was difficult to get going on modern PCs. These days, everything from Wing Commander 1 to Privateer to the Wing Commander 4 DVD edition can be made to operate smoothly in Windows XP. This has been made possible by emulators such as DOSBox and various fan patches. Fellow Wingnuts are available to walk you through the troubleshooting process at the CIC Tech Support Forum.

Get Your Privateer Remake 1.0 Now

As promised by the Privateer Remake team yesterday, the big version 1.0 release is now finished and available for download! I could tell you all about it, but the team behind the project are probably the best ones to do that:
We are pleased to announce the 1.0 release of the Wing Commander Privateer Remake. The original Privateer is a well loved game, with incredible graphics and gameplay for its day. Built on an open source codebase, the Remake is a community effort to bring the universe of the original into the 21st century, playable on all modern operating systems (win,mac,linux), and in 3d glory.

Privateer gives you the freedom to carve your own path in the Wing Commander universe. Opportunity abounds in the Gemini Sector. Wedged between the unknown frontier and the Kilrathi Empire, Gemini is home to various competing factions with which you can choose to align yourself.

Upgrade your ship or trade it in to deal with the demands of a Privateer. Find your fortune by logging into the mission computer, or take your chances with seedy characters in bars. Meet up with Sandoval in New Detroit, tilt back a glass with Demetria in a Munchen bar in the Tingerhoff System. Make your way as a trader, traitor, bounty hunter, or pirate. Only you can imagine what you might encounter beyond the frontier.

Download the Remake here: http://www.priv.solsector.net/downloads.htm

Celebrate Remake Release With Some Music

To celebrate the afore mentioned Privateer Remake release, Hellcat has released a little song. I'm not exactly sure if this music is from the project or if it's completely new, but you can download the mp3 here, and join in the release celebrations in this thread.

Privateer Remake Wait Almost Over

After a lengthy period of beta testing, John Cordell from the Privateer Remake team has a special announcement to make.
we will release the Privateer Remake 1.0 if no further problems occour in approximately 36 hours. Then you will be able to download it from your favourite base at http://www.priv.solsector.net.

There you have it, folks. 36 hours would make the release fall somewhere on either Sunday or Monday. When the time comes, we'll have the news here as well. This is the second of the long-awaited mods to get a release in the past few months. It's a good time for mod fans.

A Look At Frontier RPG

In the third in our series of looks at the online WC RPG scene, today we feature the Wing Commander: Frontier RPG. João Marcelo Beraldo is here to tell us what his RPG is all about.
Wing Commander: Frontier (http://wcfrontier.com) is a different style of wc rpg going since Mid 2001 and growing day by day. The story happens in the Frontier, a region of space beyond Gemini, where the Confederation has little control over the dozens of independent worlds and alliances that were formed after the sector was mostly left to fend for itself due to war cutbacks.

In the middle of this turmoil, seven worlds join forces as the Frontier Alliance, and forms its own defense and police force. Players play the part of militia pilots, trained both on ground and space, as part of an elite unit whose mission is to keep the Alliance and its conterparts safe.

The game uses IRC and Message Boards. Game rules include character creation, ground and space combat, cyber and genetic modifications and more. Three new sections of the game are now been released: Mercenaries (become a mercenary or bounty hunter and take on dangerous missions for money and fame), Crimson Kings (be part of the forntier police in the remote years of Frontier colonization) and Iceholme (join the elite forces of the frozen nation of Iceholme in its fight for survival in the war-torn world of Tiberias).

Check out our brand new website and contact us thru the board (http://wcfrontier.com/boards) or email (webmaster@wcfrontier.com).

Snackbar Makes Prophecy Advance DS Art

Snackbar Games is engaged in a neat project to create box art for the entire Game Boy Advance library. These art files can be printed out and slipped into the nice Nintendo DS cases that keep better than the cardboard GBA boxes. The high resolution file (much larger than the one you get from clicking below) might need some processing before you can print it. I had to make sure it was set to print 300 dpi and at 10.9 inches width. To ensure nothing got cut off at the margins, I printed the art as two separate 5.5 inch sections, but that's not necessary if you can set 0.25 inch borders on your printer. You can find over 450 other pieces of cover art here.

And here's a few shots of the finished product! You can order empty DS cases from Nintendo here.

Lighting Up The Darkening

One of the most interesting features in Privateer 2: The Darkening was the exhaustive text database of Tri-System lore that the game included. Because entries were 'unlocked' as the game progressed, many players have never read a number of them. Now is your chance to do just that, as we proudly present an article featuring the complete text of the people, planet and company databases! Enjoy a healthy dose of unusual Wing Commander history here.

Put A Galaxy In Your Space Combat

When we mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Overmortal had been able to add ships in to the X-Plane Space Combat game, it was only a matter of time before someone made a WC ship for the game. Well, Aradayn is that person, and he made this model of a Galaxy.
I noticed your mention of 'Space Combat' on the news site and I thought I'd share the Wing Commander ship I made for that game - a model of the Galaxy class merchant ship from Wing Commander- Privateer.

You can download the file for use in the game here.

Where Would You Like Your WC?

Our latest poll asks which next generation console you'd most like to play a Wing Commander game on. Each kind of system has its own merits, and it's a tough choice. A couple of years ago we did a similar poll based on current systems, but since development on those systems will slowly be phased out now and with release of at least one new console rumored to be this year, we figured a new poll would be timely. It'll also be interesting to see how opinions have changed over time. You could also click the Discuss link below and mention your reasons for supporting your system of choice.

All Dressed Up And Ready To go

I really like flight suits, but sometimes you're in the mood for something a bit more casual. The light duty movie outfit is a simple two-piece set done in strong blues with a CSS Tiger Claw patch. The top is a padded sweater and the pants are of a thick material with bungie cord and zipper fasteners. There is a button flap on the back. This one is a screen-worn prop from the Wing Commander movie, but we're thinking about the idea of making a light duty Prophecy style outfit with spare materials from flight suit construction.

We Destroy Worlds! Get It?

Apparently today is a clothing themed day, so up next we have the latest Origin Crusader shirt obtained by ZFGokuSSJ1. The front is similar to his last shirt, but the back has a joke about the OSI Loose Cannon team's explosive games.

Wing Commander Battle Stations Rebuilding

The Wing Commander Battle Stations project has been quiet for several months, but Daniel Brito and team are back at work now. The project had to be restarted due to some major technical difficulties, but a small tech demo has been released. You can find the 1.5 meg file here. There are no enemies or levels implemented, but you can fly a couple ships and shoot a few guns to get a feel for how the game will control. You select ships with Enter, fire with Control and move with the arrow keys. G switches guns in the Rapier.

Since the main story of WCBS is that you are a mercenary squad, the new version will allow you to buy ships, weapons and missiles. It will feature a winning and losing path like Wing Commander. Player ships will have weapon energy and shield energy.
Let this also be a lesson to other fan projects out there. I've heard of more than one project that went away due to crashed hard drives. Back up your data!

Josh Lucas In The Spotlight

We've never really taken a good look at what Josh Lucas has been up to since he played Flash in Wing Commander 3. MSGS tipped us off about Stealth, a summer movie where Lucas will once again play a hot-shot fighter pilot.

Josh Lucas, who portrayed Major Jace 'Flash' Dillon in Wing Commander 3, is starring opposite Academy Award Winner Jamie Foxx and Jessica Biel in Stealth, a near future glimpse at what the UAV will mean for combat aviators and what could go horribly wrong.
You can find various trailers for the movie here. It looks kind of neat. Information on Lucas' other upcoming movies is available here.

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