Murphy Arrives In Bridge Commander

SabreAce has performed the first bit of modding we've seen for Bridge Commander by importing a Murphy class destroyer into the game. Bridge Commander is a Star Trek simulation game, and while it is now a few years old, it is still impressive looking.

I finally found a Milkshape converter to make NIF files for BC. Combine that with Milkshape's ability to read 3ds files (after you rotate the model around in Max a bit), and WC ships are now possible in BC.

I'm still looking over how to do the glow maps for BC so we can have some nice lit engines, as well as hardpoints (as opposed to the temp hardpoint from an Ambassador-class ship...no point in having a Murphy behave like the Enterprise-C).

We hope to see a patch that everyone can use once work is complete.

Check Out The DragonCon Preview

A few of us have started getting things ready for our annual meeting this week at DragonCon. We'll have more complete galleries online soon, but here's a few sample pictures from the beginning of the adventure. In the first shot, my cousin Collin gives us a tour of the US Military Academy at West Point on Saturday. On Sunday we scaled a mountain, and on Monday we visited New York City. There's shots of Grand Central Station and the Nintendo World Store below. There's also a shot of Chris from the top of the Empire State Building looking back at the Statue of Liberty. In the final picture, ace and Blonde ride a carousel at the New York State Museum. Everyone will start popping up in Atlanta tomorrow for the actual convention. As our schedule changes over the next few weeks, you should notice us updating the front page a bit earlier in the day.

Dralthi Prepped For Flight

tbaldree has created a fun Dralthi IV for modders and modelers to play around with. A 10 meg zip includes the model in 3DS Max 7 format. The original Photoshop textures and some additional normal maps are included in the pack. Have fun.
I've been playing around with a little side project, and during that time I whipped up a quick Dralthi MK IV model to test some things out. I wanted something a little higher poly than the originals from WC3, 4 and Prophecy, and higher res textures - but I wanted to keep the same gritty feel.

I figured someone else might want it to play with. It's about 2200 polys and designed for game usage, so it should be easy to drop into one mod or another where appropriate.

Aaron Allston Cancels Dragon*Con Appearance

Bad news for any WC fans hoping to get Aaron Allston to sign copies of Claw Marks at Dragon*Con - he has had to cancel due to a knee injury. Aaron Allston is a famous Star Wars author, but we know him as the author of Wing Commander 1's Claw Marks guide. He also wrote the Privateer TV bible for what would have become a Privateer TV series that tied in with a pair of Privateer games. Meeting Aaron and asking him to sign copies of Claw Marks is almost an annual tradition, but there's always next year. Here's the official quote from Aaron's web site:
I suffered a knee injury on Saturday, August 20, and have concluded that attending Dragon*Con this year would probably make things worse. Apologies to anyone who might have been planning to see me at that convention.

RPG Expanding Against All Odds

The fan role playing game WC Against All Odds has been enjoying considerable success this year. They've increased the number of simultaneous games in operation and added fighter combat to their mix. Now's a good time to check them out if you're interested in Wing Commander fantasy life. Their forums are where the primary action takes place.
We've been having a grand time over at the WCAAO (Wing Commander Against All Odds) forum. Though we are primarily a Fleet Action style RPG we've added in a squadron of Fighter Pilots serving on the front lines. In addition we've launched new Campaigns in the Vega and Gemini sectors in response to a number of new players who have joined our ranks.

We're certainly enjoying the current expansion, and we'd like you to enjoy it too. We have plans to add at least two more campaigns to the RPG, and if Fleet Action style combat isn't your style - stop by for some of the other RPG. It's pretty engaging.

WCAAO isn't the only active RPG. Check out our June Roundup for links to a few other games fans conduct online.

Milary Wants To Rotate Ships

Milary is build a Wing Commander ships database for Prophecy. The stats are readily available in-game, but he'd like help creating movie files or animated gifs of the rotating fighters from the Ship Viewer. He's created a simple TigerShark poster in the mean time. If you think you can help, click the Discuss link below.

Temblor Bomb Draws Crowd

For Lancelot Flight to reach its target, the Kilrathi Home Fleet had to be drawn out. For this purpose, the Confederation built up a large fleet in a nearby system. Forums member BrynS has made this scene from Wing Commander 3 available in DivX format. You can download the 1MB file here.

Things That Go Boink

Our local SETI stats page has been updated. Stats for the new version of the software (BOINC) can be found at the bottom of the page. The old SETI client was supposed to cease functioning months ago, but it still works as before. That's probably why most people haven't yet switched to BOINC. If you have spare CPU cycles, join Team CIC in finding aliens.

DescriptionVisitors, regulars and staff of the Wing Commander Combat Information Center (CIC) that run the SETI@home program.
Web site click here
Members 135
Results received 189863
Total CPU time 191.906 years
FounderChrisReid

Saga Prologue Progressing

It's been a while since we last heard from the Wing Commander Saga team. Sphynx had this to say:
Thank you for your support. As the others have said, you can rest assured that there is a great deal of work going into this project, even with our busy lives and lack of new screenshots. We have been doing a lot of spit-and-polish work with the game engine, the in-game fiction, and so forth, and so a lot of it doesn't translate well into screen shots.

But, we realize that fans want to see progress. So, you can expect some updates and new things to look at very soon, and while I cannot give an exact date, we are really not far at all from releasing the Prologue (barring some major real life catastrophe... again! Real life has been tough on our team members lately with everything ranging from moving fiascos, job changes, and-- sadly enough-- personal losses, just to name a few. But we're hanging in there). Also, once we resolve the coding issues that are holding up the Prologue, that will allow us to release the main campaign much more quickly.

Thanks for your continued interest in WC Saga. We are building this mod to make it as enjoyable as possible for the fans. I have been a part of the play-testing team, and in my opinion you will think that the wait has been well worth it. We haven't forgotten you, our encouraging fans. Keep the faith, good things are coming soon!

You can find out more about the upcoming prologue chapter here.

Fiend On The Front Lines

Over the last few months, Forums member Plywood Fiend has been posting his Wing Commander fan fiction on the boards. Chapter 15 came out earlier this week.
A strategic withdrawal. That's what they always called them. Intentional surrender of nonessential systems, thereby causing the enemy to spread themselves too thinly, allowing for a greater chance of success in counter attacks. If it had ever worked out that way I didn't know. All I knew was that here in the Vega sector, all we seemed to do was carry out a 'strategic withdrawal', then spend a month or two trying to defend whichever system we fell back to before abandoning that to the Kilrathi as well.

Kilrathi Sketches Now In Color

Major Striker has begun to color the comic sketches that he tested out earlier this summer. The final designs could end up in reborn comic project someday. I always think physical Wing Commander arts and crafts are pretty interesting. You can read up on the potential story for the comic arc here.

Space Sim First Look: Darkstar One

German developers Ascaron Entertainment GmbH have announced that they are producing a new space sim, Darkstar One. There aren't many details at this point, but GBase has managed to grab a first look at the game. The developers hope the game will follow in the footsteps of Wing Commander, Freelancer and the X series. There will be a vast universe with many economics opportunities. Kayon Jarvis, the main character, is trying to find out who murdered his father and ultimately becomes the galaxy's last hope in an interstellar struggle. Although there will be other ships to buy, the Darkstar One craft is designed to be heavily upgraded with over two hundred different components. A possible early 2006 release in Europe is being considered. Until then, here are some screenshots which were taken from 3D Gamers.

Memories From Dragon: The Lost Edition

There's just one week left until the 2005 fan gathering at DragonCon. We're all super excited here. Hades has already crossed the Atlantic, and I'm about to join him on the East Coast tomorrow night to get things ready. Major Striker found a few bonus pictures of last year's parade at LostArt. We didn't have a spotter out in the crowd to photograph the event, so these shots are from a neat perspective.

Pioneer Status Report

We've got a fairly comprehensive status report from the WC Pioneer team. I'll let BradMick take it.
Just a quick note to let you know where things are right now. Work is progressing rather well. The design document for the game is one page away from being completed, and we have the last few ships and a base interior in the pipe right now. The engine is up and running and in a bug test mode. Joel's got to sort out some minor things yet before we can show anything. Hope you guys are as excited to see it as we are!

We're nearing the end of the line for comments/suggestions for the Landreich ship textures. So, if you have anything you want to suggest or think may look neat, please drop us a line. We're looking at having that all wrapped up by the end of the week, as we've got to begin shifting gears to the next area of the graphical development, the bases.

All of the feedback we've received to date has been great! We really appreciate all of it. I'm going to work on compiling an official feature list once the design document is finished. That way everyone will know for sure what exactly they'll be getting from the game when it is finally released, whenever that may be. No dates yet, we're just kind of relaxing and taking it one step at a time with this. We all have lives and aren't out to burn ourselves either.

Also, I'll look at posting up some snippets of the story to let you all get a taste of what's in store for you all, unless I'm overruled by the team. Then you'll just have to wait. Please keep the feedback coming, and remember, this will be the last week to get your say in on the Landreich textures, so please let us know!

You can help them out at Crius.net here.

Wing Commander 4 DVD Patch Updated

gulikoza's program to allow Wing Commander 4 DVD to run without the dxr hardware addon board has been updated. Parts of the patch have been completely rewritten with DirectShow fixes, support for specific system configurations and different compatibility levels. You can grab the 43 k pack here. Unzip the files to your WC4 DVD installation directory and run the configuration link if necessary. Don't forget to turn on Windows 98 compatibility mode in the Properties tab of the WC4 executable. If you have Windows 2000 or encounter other problems, additional optional patches may be necessary from gulikoza's website.
I'm really excited about the new dxmci version, I almost rewrote the whole thing. There's a new configuration dialog that allows you to set how DShow is treated in case you have problems. There are 5 levels - lower level means there will be a shorter delay when loading videos (but that of course will depend on your computer speed). The configuration is stored inside the dll itself, so there's no ini files or messing with the registry therefore no uninstall required. Configuration dialog can be found by clicking on the link file also in the archive or alternatively you can type 'rundll32 dxmci.dll,configuration' to get to it.

Lost Murmurs Of Prophecy DVD

Wing Commander 4 DVD was only originally sold as part of the Creative Labs Encore 2x/5x DVD-ROM bundles, and Prophecy DVD was also given the high quality DVD treatment and scheduled to be included in a later Creative Labs set. Unfortunately it was replaced by a non-upgraded version of Freespace on a DVD, but AD has found a few mentions of the final product when it was slated for release. The first is a hardware site in the Czech Republic that mentioned the possible inclusion of the game in the original 5x drive bundle. The FilmLook company also talked about their role in the high quality transfer of Prophecy's video sequences.
AUSTIN--Origin Systems, producers of the legendary Wing Commander series of CD-ROM games, has completed postproduction and authoring of "Wing Commander- -Prophecy" for the DVD-ROM platform, with live action sequences shot in digital betacam and processed in FILMLOOK.

This is the first time that FILMLOOK has been incorporated into the DVD-ROM format. The game includes feature film-style live action sequences, shot on digital betacam and given FILMLOOK processing and final color correction before DVD authoring and compression. The "Wing Commander--Prophecy" DVD-ROM is available at computer software retailers nationwide.

The last bit was premature. Prophecy DVD was never mass produced, but at least there's always our behind the scenes costume continuity polaroids.

Tactics Adds Two

WC Tactics has added the Venture to its roster of WC1 era capital ships. Since Tactics is based on Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, the Venture should play a critical role in the light capship position.

Twin-engined Venture-class corvettes remain the archetypical Terran Confederation corvette to this day. From the end of the Vega Campaign to the opening moves of Operation Backlash, Ventures have served in patrol, reconaissance, VIP transport and escort roles. When assigned to border patrol duties, a Venture may remain on station in space for two or three years without returning to base.

Notable Venture-class corvettes include the TCS John Bunyan and TCS Johnny Greene, which helped perform the initial reconaissance of Vukar Tag, and the TCS Marciano, which was one of the first responders to the Goddard disaster.

The Fralthi will be appearing next. Some preliminary shots have been released. Chevieblazer is looking for feedback on the designs here.

WC 2634 Anglicizes Its Website

The other Nexus mod, Wing Commander 2634, has upgraded its website with more English content. Progress reports, screenshots and downloads are now available, though the gallery section might load a bit slow. Prospective modders and modelers can make use of the model archive. You can visit the site here.

Shades Of Gray In WC Pioneer

To start off the week, we've got some pictures of the stealth camo gray designs for WC Pioneer. These are a test of some schemes mentioned for the Landreich. The Wildcat and Corsair are used to sample the paint below. Let them know what you think.

These are flat lit images - there's no directional light on these textures (except for the baked in ambient occlusion, of course), so the normal detail wouldn't be evident. Once the paint job is finalized I'll do more final lit renders.

Pioneers Map The Old Landreich

Apparently it's WC Pioneer Day, so we've got a preview of another aspect of the upcoming game. These maps represent a potential Landreich Republic around 2650. Although fewer systems will be represented than in Privateer, there will be a wide variety of locations to check out.

Brush Up On 3DO's Wing Commanders

We've had some questions about 3DO Wing Commander games recently, and Geebot helped us narrow down a Penny Arcade update as the source. The two titles for the 3DO were Super Wing Commander and Wing Commander 3. GameFan produced a comprehensive review of the SWC version here. We also have an article on the advancements in the 3DO WC3 here. One of the most notable things about the game was its inclusion of deleted scenes from the PC version.

Find Matching Tiles

We've added seven new games to the Forums Arcade. Compete against other Forum members for the title of Mahjong or Duck Hunt champion! Crazy Closet tests your reflexes while Plumber requires patience and insight. We hope to organize the first Forums tournament soon. Don't forget that you usually have to click a "Submit Score" button to add your name to the rankings when you reach a new high score.

Prepare To Cloak Your Desktop

Kilrah Moreira has modeled a new wallpaper in 3DS Max. What do you know? It features Kilrathi ships! A trio of Strakha dodge some rocks in a volatile region of space. You can find some of his other creations here.

Warren Spector On Hollywood's New Drive

Warren Spector, the friendly former Origin producer who's a popular grab for interviews, has just talked with Escapist Magazine. With declining theatrical revenues this year, Spector says Hollywood executives are calling him left and right for potential new ventures. There have been a fair number of mediocre video game recreations of popular movies, but Spector's forte lies in conveying the emotion and experience that most movie-to-game conversions lack.
"I hold up my own career as an example of the ability to do original work in someone else's sandbox." He observed that, apart from System Shock and Deus Ex, "every computer/videogame I've worked on has been a sequel or derivative. On every one of them, I had to negotiate to find my own creative space and on every one of them, I feel I succeeded."

Spector said, "I firmly believe that, if developer and licensor (and publisher) get on the same page about what people expect - a dialogue that clearly has to be driven primarily by the licensor, I admit - you can still do creative work in someone else's universe."

It's a pretty lengthy interview and a good read about the evolving state of the games industry. You can find where it begins here.

Wrap Your Video Card For Better Effects

Theo let us know about Zeckensack's Glide Wrapper. The file pack will allow Prophecy and Secret Ops players without a Voodoo card to upgrade from Direct3D to 3dfx mode. It seems to work pretty well. Although some effects have been patched into D3D mode, there are some nice little touches that it leaves out. The polished look of the HUD is probably where you'll notice the first improvement, and fogging will also gradually phase in ships at a distance. We've got some comparison pictures here, but you should notice a few little things here and there once the game is in motion too. Playing around with FSAA and HCl's high res patches for Prophecy and Secret Ops will get you an even better looking game. We've mirrored the wrapper files here. Install and run the configurator, then make sure to set 3dfx mode in the game Launcher. The left image is the software renderer, the middle shot is standard Direct3D and the picture on the right is Secret Ops and Prophecy with a Glide wrapper applied.

Note that this doesn't enable the 3dfx Test. We've tried several wrappers without success. Anyone who can get the test running on a non-Voodoo machine should let us know.

Edit: Information on running the 3dfx test can be found here.

Wing Commander Appears On G4

ZFGokuSSJ1 spotted scenes from Wing Commander 3 and 4 on the video game channel G4 yesterday. It was part of an episode of Cinematech. The episode will be reairing a couple times. The first chance will be on Friday, August 20 at 9:30pm Eastern or 6:30pm Pacific. Wing Commander shows up as part of a collection of various clips, so there isn't a specific introduction.

Insert Wing Commander Art Here

Chicken has prepared two Wing Commander 3 themed collages. They were originally intended as cover art for a standard DVD case, but they can work as wallpapers or anything of that sort. There's a bit of grain evident since they were originally printed, then rescanned back in at 200 dpi, but they should reprint okay too.

Make a poster out of it, wall paper, coaster, whatever the hell you please!

X3 Beta Opening Up

Egosoft has opened up a limited open beta for its upcoming space sim X3 Reunion. Members of their community that already have an NDA on file will be eligible. Others can sign up with their DevNet and begin the process, but they will probably have to wait. The game will also be on display at the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany beginning today, so space sim fans who are anticipating this title should be getting a better look at the game one way or another.

Flight Commander Ship Pack Available

eddieb has released several ship packs for Flight Commander. The stats included with the craft are wrong, but this adds a fresh bunch of meshes to apply and fly. The 7.5 meg combined zip includes a huge assortment of fighters, capships and bases from Wing Commander 1 through 4 and Armada. You can grab the pack here. A playable Flight Commander version is also required.

If you need assistance applying the packs, check out the Crius thread here.

Glass Art Looks Familiar

MysteryMustang spotted a neat piece of stained glass art that caused him to do a double-take. The design is a traditional eight point compass, but the coloring and proportions are not too different from the Confed logo.

Check Out The Expanded Secret Ops Guide

Shades2585 would very much like some feedback on the expanded Secret Ops Guide he recreated and released last week. The guide isn't just about thorough mission walkthroughs. This reference serves as a great collection of the various bits of fiction, press releases and interesting facts about the game as it developed. Ship specs from the Prophecy Gold documentation were added, and stats on weapons are included. Near the end, Shades also put in advertisements for the release and interviews with the developers. It's a neat package for the last original Wing Commander game and a good read even if you're not currently battling the Nephilim. You can grab the 8.5 meg zipped PDF here.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback you could provide me on this. The good, the bad, the ugly. What did you like? What didn’t you like? What could have been done better? What mistakes were there made? What did I forget?

I’m considering working on another upgrade and possibly adding the in-game script. But it will be a while before I do that. This one took up most of my free time, and a lot of work time, over the last four or five months. So I’m a little burned out on it, but I would like to get some feedback so I would know what other things might need to be worked on. Thank for all your input.

Ready For Link Up

It's Summer cleaning at the CIC -- Blonde has gotten rid of all the dead ends in our Links section. We now have solid connections to some two hundred Wing Commander related websites, but we know there's plenty more out there. Let me know if your website is not included or if its URL has changed. And although more will be coming soon, it's never a bad time to check our the Links section and visit other Wing Commander sites.

WC Pioneer Bulks Up

The WC Pioneer team has provided a little bit more information about the general structure of their upcoming game. The Corsair and Scimitar models have also been finalized. It appears the paint schemes will probably be changed around and updated to reflect various environments, but you can get a peek at the fighters with mounted guns now.

The game mechanics are going to be very similar to the original Privateer. One of the major differences is that we're actually going to allow you to become a full-fledged pirate, rather than the Privateer version, where nothing much changes besides the Faction standings. So - you'll have the ability to own an Pirate base of some sort and to get the benefits thereof.

The entire game is going to be from the first-person perspective. This means that you'll be walking around bases, talking to fully modeled people and things. If you need to get a new gun, you walk from your ship on down to the Ship dealer, purchase the gun, and have it delivered to your ship on the landing pad (You'll have to remember your pad number). This is not as hard to pull off as it sounds at first. We're basing the art and mechanics of the base system off a totally modular design. So people will be completely random, as will the various base layouts.

This also applies to walking around your ship - although this is a later feature than the ones we've got planned right now. You hire crew to man your turrets and to repair your ship. You can also hire a Co-pilot to fly the ship while you use the turrets. He also helps keep track of things happening around you. He's kinda similar to the narrator - he informs you of anything noteworthy that's happening. The Mechanic works the same as a Repair droid, except the initial cost is less - but you have to pay him a salary. Same with the rest of the crew. They'll have ratings - a level 1 turret gunner is not that great of a shot - but he's better than an empty chair. A level 5 would kick everyone's ass and auto-tractors goodies into your hold. We're kinda undecided how they'll divy up the cash - either a flat rate per time you take off, or a perchentage of the takings of the last mission you flew. Definately up for sugestions there.

The project now has a set of Forums as well, so additional topics and questions can go there.

Electronic Arts' Sequels Questioned

The New York Times has posted an interesting article about Electronic Arts' reliance on sequels. Part of the issue is that EA has acquird such a vast library of franchises that it could pump out a highly anticipated sequel for each week of the year and not go through them all. A few key series, and not just sports titles, have fallen into an annual cycle, and the article wonders if the company needs to focus a greater portion of its resources on more creative projects.
By year's end, Electronic Arts plans to release 26 new games, all but one of them a sequel, including the 16th version of N.H.L. Hockey, the 11th of the racing game Need for Speed and the 13th of the P.G.A. Tour golf game. The company also relies heavily on creating games based on movies like the James Bond and Lord of the Rings series, rather than developing original brands...

Lawrence F. Probst III, chairman and chief executive of Electronic Arts, dismisses that view. "The teams that work on the franchise properties have a great deal of pride in constantly looking to improve the product," Mr. Probst said. Besides, he said, sequels, because they have a steady following among consumers, appeal to Wall Street investors.

He added that the company had a goal of putting out at least one entirely new game every year, and had several major original games in its pipeline.

The eighteen iterations of Madden have accounted for more than 43 million copies sold. A team of 50 people is already working on Madden '07.

Bob McDob Learns To Fly

Last month we reported on Privateer themed wallpaper for The Reckoning. It turns out that the source for that scene is a neat video that Bob has arranged. Rather than take video from other sources, this is a new animation that combines various familiar Privateer aspects. It moves to the turn of "Learn to Fly" by the Foo Fighters. You can grab the 21 meg divx here.

Tom Wilson Keeps Busy

The official Tom Wilson Website has been updated with his latest adventures of the summer. He's performed at various live events and continued to work with Nickelodeon on Spongbob Squarepants. This month he begins filming Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector, and a new comedy CD is currently in production.

Since the new season of shows was recently completed, Nickelodeon Studios threw a party celebrating SpongeBob Squarepants. Since my solo show of paintings was still on the walls there, I got over my initial shyness just enough to wear a bright pink shirt, climb onto a fountain, and do yoyo tricks.

Party Logs Now Online

If you missed the party or want to relive it again, you can now check out the transcript logs. The time index on the left is in Pacific time, so the proper start time for the party was 16:00. Here's a couple screenshots that were taken during the party. Each link below unfolds into a triple monitor cap with bonus looks behind the scenes of the staff working to get everything together.

Not every submission intended for the birthday makes it up on August 10/11. Bob created an entertaining video that we'll be featuring here very soon.

Black Lance Joins The Fleet

The Black Lance HQ, one of the oldest role playing groups, has had some technical difficulties this past week and had to move to another webhost -- us! They have contributed much over the years by mirroring popular Wing Commander files for the community. We're glad to help them out for a change.

The dark past of the original Lance weighs heavily upon veterans that survived the purge and destruction of that original unit and it forever drives them forward to seek the new goal of the lance. Deeper still in the ultimate goals of the Black Lance is redemption...the drive and hunger to rectify and repent the sins of the past and one day again bring the Black Lance out into the open as the true elite warriors of humanity -- the protectors and defenders of the seed of man that spreads ever outward into unknown space.

Sessions are held on a message board and occasionally on IRC. You can find information on the story and how to join at the website.

Time To Claim Party Prizes

The party was a huge success and a lot of fun. We had to restart the server this morning, so if you were dropped from #Wingnut, it's now safe to come back. We held a variety of random drawings, trivia contests and scavenger hunts on Wednesday night. The winners are listed below. Each person should email us with your party name, prize won and complete mailing name/address. If you won a wearable item, include a size. In the past we've gotten a couple requests for items to be autographed by the CIC staff, so we can probably do that too if you want.
  • Game Boy & Prophecy Advance - TheFraix
  • CIC Polo Shirt - Quarto
  • CIC Eisen Shirt - CFF
  • CIC Hat - AdmiralHuang
  • CIC Glass - GokuZFH123, Shades, BrynS (->Popsicle Pete), MonsterFurby, Darkpetzi
  • CIC Playing Cards - LazyPanda
  • CIC Prophecy Style Flight Suit - PopsiclePete
  • WC4 DVD - Wedge (->Quarto)
  • WC Action Figures (one pair) - Vinco
  • WC Movie Poster - Fraix
  • WC Movie DVD - CasperXJ
  • WC Movie Press Kit - Fatcat
  • WC Movie Sound Track - MajorStriker
  • WC Novel (submit 1st & 2nd preference) - Fearlessleader, DMJC, Greywolf, Worf
  • $25 Prize donated by BLHQ - Climber (buying shirt)
  • Confed Patches donated by BLHQ - Vinman
If you had your heart set on a CIC item, most of them are still for sale in our Merchandise Store. Prize winners who wish to purchase something can reduce shipping costs as well.

There were a few prizes from last year that had no addresses submitted, were returned to sender or had some other issue. Email us now if you'd like to clear that up.

Big Event Registered

At around 7:00 pm Eastern Time, the server monitoring software registered what appeared to be every Wingnut hitting the refresh button and downloading Standoff. So far some 400 people have downloaded either Episode 2 or the package that combines Episodes 1 and 2 from our server. With over fifty images displayed, our front page will take a while to load if you are on dial-up. Please bear with us, and remember that things could always be worse. 1 We'll post the party log and get back to regular updates tomorrow.

1 Lancers Reactor does not load well using Opera, Firefox, Netscape or Internet Explorer.

Happy Birthday!

Thanks for celebrating our seventh anniversary with us! Take a look around, talk to other fans and enjoy being a Wing Commander fan.

Standoff Episode 2 Released!

The highly anticipated Standoff Episode 2 is now available! There are two download packages available. Players who don't yet have Episode 1 can download the combined 126 meg Standoff package here. The 67 meg Episode 2 addon can be downloaded here for people who already have Ep 1. Everyone also needs to have downloaded and installed Wing Commander Secret Ops. Questions and comments can go straight to the Standoff forums.

Have fun!

Announcing Wing Commander Pioneer

We have an exciting brand new fan project to announce today! Wing Commander Pioneer should be making lots of headlines in the coming months, and here is the first look. It's being created by a talented team of experienced Wing Commander fans. Howard Day, Brad McKinstry and Michael Ward are responsible for the art. Eric Blondin is the team's character artist and Joel VanEenwyk is working on programming.
It’s Privateer set in the WC1 timeframe. We’ve tried to use art references from the original WC when we created the look for the game. The game will be completely first-person (with a possibility of a few cutscenes here and there – launching, landing and the like). We’ve got the majority of the ships finished, and we need to still do environmental, base and object artwork (cargo and the like).

The Hunchback is your starter ship – it’s the WC Pioneer equivalent to a Tarsus. The Tarsus is also available to purchase, but it’s more of a high-range ship – equivalent to the demon from Priv. You can also take a look at the normal/spec/glow maps in action, and take a look around the Hunchback’s 360 real-time cockpit (shot 5 below).

Oh, and the reason none of those ships have guns/weapons is because all those objects are going to be interchangeable and individually destroyable. So you can blow the guns off a Jalthi. Nothing but little smoking stumps would remain.

CIC Forums Now Even Bigger Waste Of Time

We're making good on our promise to add a fun new feature to the Forums. The iBProArcade add-on for vBulletin Forums lets you play Flash games and transmit your score to the server. Compete against other Forum members for the High Score!

More games will be added soon. Since this is all experimental, please let us know if something goes wrong.

Refresh Your Memories In The Background Section

We have upgraded and expanded the CIC Background section with more in-depth introductions to more games and products in the Wing Commander series. This area is far from a comprehensive list of all the various Wing Commander items, but it should provide a great primer for people who need a basic history on the core products. Certain parts of the section will be upgraded with more screenshots, better scans and detailed information in the near future, but for now, check out the revamped section. Hopefully it inspires many of you to seek out new Wing Commander experiences with classic items.

Extreme Makeover For CIC Secret Ops Guide

Shades2585 brings us an updated and expanded version of the CIC Secret Ops Strategy Guide. He searched high and low for every bit of news and every press release that trickled out in 1998. The result is a big section on the history of Wing Commander Secret Ops. Gun charts, ship data and mission flowcharts and walkthroughs are all there and have been checked and rechecked. Hyperlinks connect you to the SO Fiction that we have online at the CIC. At 159 pages, this is the most thorough version of the Secret Ops game guide yet. Shades has even thought of front and back covers, so you can take it right to the printers.

Download CIC Secret Ops Strategy Guide Version 2.0 (8.5 Megs)

Fan Project Section Overhauled

There's a lot of exciting Fan Project activity going on these days and our projects section was showing its age. Information on Unknown Enemy, Standoff, Flight Commander and WC Saga has been updated. Abandoned projects have been shelved and we've added working download links for partially finished games.

Most important of all, new projects that have sprung up these last few months have been added. A quick rundown:

Wing Commander: Tactics for Nexus -- More information


Ranger's Glory for Flight Commander -- More information


Red Point for Secret Ops -- More information


Wing Commander 2634 for Nexus -- More information


Wing Commander Pioneer -- More information


Wing Commander: Battle Stations -- More information


Privateer Remake: Gemini Gold -- More information


Wing Commander: Universe -- More information

Holding The Line Chapter 204

Never one to miss a party, Raptor has sent in his own contribution to the celebrations on behalf of the HTL team. Don't forget to read on past the chapter description for the latest news on the new HTL site.

Hey all, Raptor here

Happy Birthday and many happy returns to the Wing Commander CIC, from me and all the HTL crew. You guys have done more than anyone to keep the Wing Commander community on the Internet thriving over these past few years. We're proud to have been associated with you in that time, and look forward to continuing the partnership in the future.

Our CIC birthday chapter is the first of a four-parter called "Check And Mate", written by myself and Joe "Wraith" Guida. This story signals the beginning of the end of the Nifelhiem battle, as the Yorktown and the Valeria begin closing in on the last of the Nephilim carriers. The sharp eyed among you will notice a gap between the last Valeria story (which had us preparing a strike against a Nephilim group codenamed Epsilon) and this one, which starts just after that strike. The chapter that slots in there is still being written, and will be published after "Check And Mate". Please send any and all comments to me at or to Joe at captpowell1@earthlink.net.

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

The second half of our birthday present is a promisary note. As you know, we've been working hard on Holding The Line Dot Net, and were hoping to debut it for the CIC's birthday. Unfortunately, the site isn't quite ready yet. When it is ready though, it will be unveiled to the public here at the CIC, even before it is released on the Aces Mailing List.

Best, Raptor

Meet Kevin And Jason

Raptor has prepared another two entries for the Encyclopedia. Not just any two; End Run's Kevin "Lone Wolf" Tolwyn and Jason "Bear" Bondarevsky! The On This Day feature has been restored and improved. You can again find out what happened around this day in Wing Commander history. We'd also like to thank all the members of the community who over the years have helped out with this undertaking. Wedge009, Shades, TC and Raptor together with the CIC staff have written up what is now almost 1,600 records.

The CIC Mail Bag Returns

The CIC Mail Bag has added another exciting update. You can check out today's new chapter here. In this issue the CIC staff takes a look at a case of mistaken identity, fans upset with technical issues, embarassing real life encounters that have come back to haunt us and more!

Freeze Frame!

A couple of years ago we had a regular WCPolaroid news feature. Pictures were taken during the filming of Prophecy to make sure that everything looked the same between shots. We've now put all of them on one page for easier browsing. Enjoy Article 51!

When Did You Joins Us?

It's been a few years since we did a poll about when CIC visitors began frequenting the site. There were quite a few new additions to the community back then, and we continue to grow. Some of our readers might even remember when ace, LOAF and I worked on the Wing Commander Home Sector for a couple years before the CIC opened.

It looks like most people thought that having a new game announcement would get them to come to a Wing Commander fan gathering. The next biggest factor was money. Hopefully the financial situation of our fellow fans will improve in the next few years and more people can get together at our annual meeting at DragonCon. A new game would be great, but playing Armada, Prophecy Advance and the Customizable Card Game with other fans is pretty neat too.

Thanks For Coming!

The biggest people we have to thank this year are all the Wing Commander fans who continue to join our community. 2005 is our busiest year yet, and it's amazing that everyone is so enthusiastic about what we're doing. There are a great many active fan projects and eager fans ready to make the future an exciting place to enjoy Wing Commander. We hope you enjoy some of the things we've updated with today, and we really appreciate all the people who contributed to this event. I won't close by saying, "See you next year," because we'll be here tomorrow, and hopefully you will be too!

You Are Cordially Invited...

To the Wing Commander Combat Information Center's Seventh Birthday Party! It takes place in just a few short hours at 7:00 pm Eastern US (4:00 pm Pacific and 11:00 pm GMT) in #Wingnut!

As usual, there will be lots of door prizes, new CIC features, trivia contests, exciting fan contributions and more. The party is always the biggest gathering of Wing Commander fans of the year, and it provides a great opportunity to network and renew our enthusiasm together.

You can learn more about connecting to IRC here or try the simplified interface. There have already been visitors to #Wingnut with an incorrect time in mind, so we strongly recommend showing up early to sync your clock to ours. Can't wait to see you there!

Classic Secret Ops Trailer Recovered

We've reuploaded an old Secret Ops trailer that dates back to just before the game's launch. It's about a minute long, includes bits from the intro and shows off the exciting Dust Cannon. The compression used isn't very advanced, so it comes in at 10 megs. Back in the day, ace described it as well worth the wait. You can grab the video here.

Standoff Announces Episode 2 Finalization

The Standoff progress meter for Episode 2 now indicates an all-blue complete status. They are now testing what is hopefully the final release candidate. Check back Wednesday evening for our Seventh Birthday festivities and the release of the next Standoff chapter.
There's not much else to say today, so just wait until Wednesday and check back here at our site... or, even better, at the CIC's birthday party, in their #Wingnut IRC channel, where you can watch Ep 2's release live, chat with other WC fans, and win neat WC prizes like the novel I won a couple years ago. :-)

Neat Things Are In Flight Commander 1.2

While discussing bug reports, eddieb has mentioned a few neat additions to the Flight Commander 1.2 test. When people are testing out the game, they can try out new features such as the Kilrathi HUD. It's a subtle but sharp change from the standard Prophecy style cockpit. Start up sim mission 2 and pick the Vaktoth to find it. In that same mission, try docking with the refueler to see the new refueling cutscene. You can get the 38 meg test for yourself here.

Back When Everything Was Wing Commander And Stuff

Dundradal caught a neat mention of the Wing Commander series buried in the historical articles at the Bungie website. Jason Jones reminisces about PC gaming and Wing Commander being popular at the time they founded Bungie.
Yeah, I grew up on the Apple II and then the Mac," says Jason, "I wrote all this C code for PCs though, before I even went to school. This was the heyday of PCs, with Wing Commander and stuff. The PC market was really cutthroat, but the Mac market was all friendly and lame. So it was easier to compete."
The company later went on to hire Wing Commander veteran Dan Orzulak to work on Halo.

The Warrior King Returns

The Warrior King saga is something that we have touched on before, but a few people recently mentioned that they never heard the story. Since it's such a fun story and people seem to have missed in in the madness of our last birthday, it's worth covering again. LOAF previously wrote a beautiful story describing the whole saga, but if you don't want to read that I'll sum it up briefly. Star Trek's Michael Dorn played a 'warrior king' who traveled between all four of USA's November 1996 Saturday morning cartoons... starting in Street Fighter, moving on to Savage Dragon, then Mortal Kombat, and ending in Wing Commander Academy. The crossover received no publicity at the time, and it seems that very few people who watched actually noticed.

Now you can follow the whole saga with all four episodes involved! All files are around 200MB.

Part One - Street Fighter ("The Warrior King") - here
Part Two - Savage Dragon ("Endgame") - here
Part Three - Mortal Kombat ("Resurrection") - here
Part Four - Wing Commander Academy ("Recreation") - here

Edit: The CIC no longer hosts the Academy episodes, but you can find the show on DVD here.

Forums Get An Upgrade

We've just upgraded our Forums to the latest software version. It's a relatively big upgrade and still in beta, so there may be a few minor problems. If you do come across anything that looks a little odd, please let us know. We're also working on implementing a fun new addition to the forums for the birthday. Feel free to guess at what it may be, but we're not telling yet. If anyone has any good ideas, we might just claim that's what we were thinking of and add that too. Otherwise you'll just have to check back on our birthday.

Arbogast Discusses Movie Career

EcranLarge has conducted an interview with Wing Commander movie cinematographer Thierry Arbogast. The conversation covers many aspects of his movie career. Arbogast was also cinematographer for Léon/The Professional, The Fifth Element, Catwoman and many other movies. The article is in French, so you might need the Babelfish. AD has translated the question about his thoughts on Wing Commander.
I had aquired rich knowledge regarding complex special effects while working on the Fifth Element, and I wanted to use this collection on another film. Chris Roberts had his directorial debut with Wing Commander, and I liked the idea of putting my experience at the service of a first film. Chris wanted Wing Commander look like a 1940's war movie. Visually, making a science fiction film look retro interested me. To that extent, I hope that it more or less succeeded.

Classic Gaming Expo 2K5 In Two Weeks

The eighth annual Classic Gaming Expo is now just two weeks away. The event will be held at the San Francisco Airport/Burlingame Hyatt Regency near the foundations of companies such as Apple, Atari and Electronic Arts. Although I don't see too many specifics posted for this year, in the past Wing Commander items have been on display and Team FAT has performed. There will be over a thousand classic gaming artifacts in their museum gallery and many developers will be discussing their industry experiences. At just $15 per day to enter, it should be a pretty fun event for people who are interested in gaming.

Share Your Armada Strategies

Work on PiArmada 0.9 is progressingly nicely, but ZOmegaZ would like some help on the strategic AI for the game. Wing Commander fans should have quite a few reliable methods for dominating a sector with their self-sufficient carrier. ZOmegaZ could use these strategies in order to improve how the enemy force operates. Players can also look forward to better quick combat and menu options in the next version. You can discuss your ideas at Crius.net here. Here's a couple new screenshots from the latest build.

So tell me: what do you do when you're playing Wing Commander Armada? When do you build, and what do you build? How do you determine what you move where? How do you determine what to attack with? Basically, I'd like your strategy, in as much detail as possible.

Austin Gaming Conferences Coming In October

The first annual Game Writers Conference will be held in Austin, Texas on October 26 & 26, 2005. Students and professionals aspiring to enter the game industry are welcome to attend, though registration starts at $95. Entry to the writing conference gets you bonus admission to the Women's Game Conference and Austin Game Conference as well. The convention organizers have begun to line up major industry speakers for the event, and it's a good bet that a few members of the former Origin Austin studio will be around in one form or another.

Flight Commander 1.2 Test Released

eddieb would like a little help smoothing out the 1.2 release of Flight Commander. The game has been steadily improving since its initial release last year. The latest upgrades include improved takeoffs and landings, more gameflow sounds, special in-flight comms, new explosions and blast waves, a simulator, customizable HUD options and more. You can download the 38 meg Flight Commander 1.2 alpha here. Feedback would be appreciated over at Crius.

Freddie Coming To ABC This Fall

Freddie Prinze Jr, who played the main character in the Wing Commander movie, will be getting his own television show this October. He has to learn to balance his love and family life after inviting four female relatives into his apartment. Video previews of the first episode are available here. FPJ will be leading the show as ABC's youngest executive producer in history. The pilot premieres Wednesday, October 5, 2005 at 8:30 pm on ABC.

Four women to every man are great odds when you're a single guy out on the town, but not ideal when it comes to your living situation. Freddie is a young, successful chef with his own restaurant and a stylish bachelor pad. The world should be his oyster at this stage in life, but bachelorhood isn't working out exactly as he envisioned.
Bet you can't wait to see how that turns out.

Party Count Down: One Week To Go

We're down to the last week before the CIC turns seven years old. We hope that many of you can join us online next Wednesday to celebrate. The release of Standoff Episode 2 has already been announced, and a few other contributors have been working hard to prepare other things to share with fellow fans. When we official begin the party at 7:00 pm Eastern US (4:00 pm Pacific US and 11:00 pm GMT) in #Wingnut, a 60 minute timer begins counting down to our actual anniversary. Although that focal point is where we update the CIC, prizes will be given out for an hour before and after that time. Each year a few people get time zones mixed up and come late, so we strongly recommend checking in early and matching up your time zones personally with us. Wednesday evening in the US works out to Thursday morning in Australia. Everyone will eventually be able to enjoy what we feature on the front page, but the online party is a particularly unique event that only comes once a year. It's the biggest simultaneous gathering of Wing Commander fans anywhere, and all kinds of fun stuff always develops because of that.

WCIV Spotted In Charleston

The Keenbean is back from vacation with a neat picture. He traveled to the region services by the WCIV ABC 4 television station in Charleston, SC. In the US, radio and television stations are assigned a three or four letter code with all East Coast broadcasts beginning in W. No doubt there's many CIC visitors who live in Southern Carolina who are well aware of this station, but Wing Commander fans seeing it for the first time might find it interesting.

Diverse Fleet Cruises Through WC 2634

The latest ships incorporated into the Wing Commander 2634 project come from diverse settings. The first shot released today includes a carrier from Wing Commander 3. A destroyer and corvette from Academy follow, and a starbase from Wing Commander 2 rounds out the bunch. It'll be pretty neat to see such an impressive fleet of assorted ships working together in the final mod. RAT says a bit more will be added to the Kilrathi fleet soon, and the beginnings of mission design are coming together.

More WTF From HoTT

Heart of the Tiger sent along his latest artwork. The first piece is fairly self explanatory. If you have any idea what's going on in the second picture, hit the Discuss link below and help the rest of us understand. Actually, it might be better if you just didn't click on that one.

Wing Commander Universe Alpha Test In Progress

SpiritPlumber has asked for help testing the first public build of the Vega Strike Wing Commander Universe mod.

It's a huge expansion of the Privateer Remake featuring most of the ships from WC1 to WC4 (and more), all the systems in the known WC galaxy, some fleet-control ability (buy a Drayman and turn it into a mini-carrier!) and new mission types such as escorting passenger ships or coordinated strikes.
If that sounds like your thing, you can grab the 184 meg starter pack here. This is a test release, so players not interested in encountering and reporting bugs should probably wait for a later build. SpiritPlumber would appreciate feedback.

Ultima Online: Mondain's Legacy Open Beta Begins

Ultima Online players who want to get an early preview of the next UO expansion now have a chance to get into the open beta test. The retail release is expected in October. A current active account is required, and you must get a limited access key from FilePlanet to participate. A special promotions page has been set up to explain the requirements.
Momentous events are shaking the world of Sosaria. The beta test for Mondain's Legacy expands, and its launch date grows nigh. The re-introduction of the Evil Decor Items has been successful, and the re-designed UO Game Code Store has new features and offerings.

If you listen close, you can hear hoof beats of the coming announcement of the Mondain's Legacy pre-sell gift. And as if all that wasn't enough, festivities are all ready being planned to commemorate the 8th Anniversary of Ultima Online, the founding father of modern day MMORPGs.

The reaction to the beta has been awesome. The new dungeons in particular seem to be popular, just ask any of the hundreds of ghosts wandering the countryside. The new dungeons are tough, fun, but not exactly a stroll through the Britannian Gardens.

The next UO fan Town Hall event will be in London on August 13.

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