Behind the Scenes: Selling Privateer Online

Before Origin could develop Privateer Online in the late 1990s, they had to sell it to Electronic Arts. Alert readers are already familiar with the Privateer Online Design Layout (available in our Document Archive) submitted to the corporate office to explain how the game would work. To go alongside this document, the team also created a multimedia website to help sell the game. Thanks to an anonymous donor, you can now find that site here. The best part? The site features several never-seen-before preliminary ship renderings from the lost game!

The first couple shots appear to be a modular Vaktoth. The Crusader and Aurora, heavy fighters in the Border Worlds and Confed arsenal, are pictured next, and if you look closely, the last shot even has a swarm of Piranhas and Devastators.

Origin has an extreme edge over the competition with its strong properties like Wing Commander and Ultima. While most companies are struggling to create these properties AND communities from the ground up, Origin has several properties that fit perfectly in a persistent world environment. Each of these properties has an established loyal fan base and history that has been adored by fans for years. The next Origin property to go online? Wing Commander: Privateer.

With all that said Privateer with the strong universe backing and proven Wing Commander history proves to be the most extensive, entertaining and encompassing space based Online community in gaming history. PERIOD.

There's a ton of detailed information buried in the Privateer Online site, so make sure you check out all the various sections and links. Don't miss the areas describing how the game might control in flight, how players could interact and how ship components would combine to create over half a million different combinations. Potential sectors and systems are also diagrammed in detail. You can find a brief article describing the circumstances around Privateer Online's cancellation here.

Wing Commander Online Was Another Attempt

Privateer Online wasn't the only online Wing Commander game that met an unfortunate end. We've previously reported on concept art from Wing Commander Online. These images were on the drawing board in 1998, a year or so before the game was cancelled and the Privateer Online project was begun. There are some similarities between the POL and WCO concept shots, but they were made by different artists. You can find more here. Although it's sad that these games were never produced, it's really exciting to get an inside look at what would have been.


Wing Commander CIC - Visit the front page

Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans.

New Version Of Wing Blender Accesses Exotic Files
2016-05-25 -- Kevin Caccamo has finalized and released the latest version of Wing Blender. Version 1.6.

Cerberus Gets A New Coat Of Paint
2016-05-24 -- DefianceIndustries has started texturing the Cerberus, and so far it's coming along nicely. A couple different hull plating variants are pictured below with the later shots being the likely final candidate. The material has kind of a retro marbled pattern combined with a bit of futuristic gloss and red accents.

Sweep Around WC Capship Sim's Starships
2016-05-23 -- Arraen has pulled together a neat video that shows off the remodeled fleet of his strategy game, WC Spaceship Universe. Each of his four workhorses are encircled so that fans can see them cruising through space in his Unity engine. The project has gone through a few evolutionary upgrades that have stretched out the development timeline, but the results evident now look pretty good!

It Helps To Get A Running Start
2016-05-22 -- Klavs has posted a new angle on his developing Concordia model, and this time it comes with a piece of accompanying fiction. When asked whether the ship's familiar hangar opening runways will make a return, he let a member of the crew answer with a pretty interesting response! After clicking the thumbnail below to get a better look, also don't forget to hit "download" and then zoom in on the detail.

Get Your Wing Commander Film Posters From... Sears?
2016-05-21 -- AD noticed that some unusual Wing Commander search results appear at the websites of some major big box retailers. It's not hard to find copies of Wing Commander on Blu-ray or DVD in stock all around the web, but both Sears and Walmart list Wing Commander Movie posters that have been out of print for some seventeen years. Unfortunately, this does not signal any particular release, but rather, these retailers allow private "marketplace" type sellers to list a wide variety of goods.

LOAF Interviewed in Major Print Publication
2016-05-20 -- The May issue of German PC gaming magazine GameStar contains a big Wing Commander retrospective, including an interview with Star Citizen community manager and CIC founder Ben Lesnick. Brian Chambers of Star Citizen's Frankfurt branch shared a teaser on Twitter. Pick up a copy if you can!

WC1 Live Viewer Reveals Programming Details In Real Time
2016-05-19 -- UnnammedCharacter has made a neat little app that provides enhanced visibility of each WC1 object in space. It shows ships and their speed, of course, but the really cool aspect is that it reveals exactly what each of the enemies pilots/ships is "thinking." By tapping into the game's AI routines, you can see exactly which ships are patrolling a nav point, holding formation, wandering, chasing our hero and more!

Vintage Videos Visit WC3 & P2 Film Shoots
2016-05-18 -- FMVStory has posted a couple of really cool set visits for Wing Commander 3 and Privateer 2. The clips come from Bad Influence, a '90s show that covered tech items and video games. A lot of people are familiar with the WC3 Behind the Screens footage, but the first video below shows a few really neat and rarely seen glimpses of the Kilrathi animatronics in action.

Unused Cruiser Found In Prophecy Files
2016-05-17 -- Kevin Caccamo has made a cool discovery while digging through the guts of Wing Commander Prophecy. Using a modified version of Wing Blender, he was able to import an unusual ship file. The result is a preliminary version of a rarely seen Confed cruiser that did not appear in the final game.

Quick Strike Cruiser Zooms Into Secret Ops Upgrade
2016-05-16 -- DefianceIndustries has taken a break from player pilotable craft for a moment to work on the most iconic ship of Secret Ops, the TCS Cerberus. He's got the shape down pat, and now he's adding subcomponent details throughout the model. Compared to the Midway and other contemporary capships, the Hades class had a cool blue hull with neat red accents, so we're anxious to see how this one comes out with texturing on!

Amiga Article Takes Us Back Nearly 25 Years
2016-05-15 -- Janne Rautiainen tipped us off about a really cool July 1992 article on the development of Wing Commander for the Amiga platform. The piece was originally published in Britain's The One magazine and is saved at archive.org.

Hamill Talks Return To Space Sims
2016-05-14 -- There's a new PC World interview making the rounds that takes a moment to pull Mark Hamill away from Star Wars Episode VIII filming to talk about some of the other sci-fi ventures he's been involved with over the years. Major topics include working with Chris Roberts again as well as the shift from live FMV to motion-captured CGI video. He notes that the majority of his Squadron 42 work was a reunion with John Rhys-Davies.

WCDX Examining Cockpit Malfunction
2016-05-13 -- Stinger's WCDX patch streamlined and fixed a lot of minor annoyances with Kilrathi Saga WC1, and even improved the graphics rendering and compatibility with newer versions of Windows. There is an early, playable version of the patch that fixes some of the issues plaguing the Wing 2 port, but getting KS WC2 up to the same level of refinement is proving to be a major undertaking. In a forums post, Stinger provides some insight into one strange aspect of the Windows port, namely its framerate.

Brazilian Gaming Site Posts Arena Video
2016-05-12 -- The Video Game Database website posted an interesting video of Wing Commander Arena in action. Since the game was released in 2007, it came a bit before recording and streaming things like this became common. They start the game, briefly peek at the modes, pick a ship and launch into space combat.

Shrike Swoops Into Secret Ops Upgrade
2016-05-11 -- DefianceIndustries has added another ship to the Cerberus' roster with the completion of the Shrike "Class B" torpedo bomber. Despite its mass, the ship has some pretty sleek curves, and its turrets help convey how much punch this ship packs. It'll definitely do some damage to any bugs trying to invade!

Painted Over Concordia Looking Mighty Fine
2016-05-10 -- NinjaLA saw Klavs' recent Concordia update (pictured right) and was so inspired that he had to personalize it on his own. Many people have gone out and textured other artists' 3D models, but this might be a first for WC art. Ninja started with the complex render and then digitally painted in the colors, lights, details and his own visual flair.

WC RPG Refines Missions & Mocks Up Board Layouts
2016-05-09 -- We haven't mentioned his project in a few months, but capi has been relentlessly adding to his WC RPG the entire time. He's spent a lot of effort beefing up encounter scenarios as well as tweaking Kilrathi language sections to match the theme of his "Elegy of Sivar" expansion. There's also been a lot of work drafting the overarching storyline narrative of Bloodeye N'Ryllis.

Concordia Once Again Preparing For Next Mission
2016-05-08 -- Klavs' history with the Concordia goes way back, but his latest take suffered a serious mishap last year. Now he's starting the design over. Rebuilding something from scratch can be a frustrating affair, but a recent surge of inspiration has helped deliver this exciting update.

Billy Cain Talks WC2 SNES, WC3 PSX, Prophecy & More
2016-05-07 -- The Big Box PC Game Collectors group has conducted another nifty Origin-themed interview, and the star this time around is Billy Joe Cain. Mr. Cain is perhaps best known as the lead designer on Wing Commander Prophecy, but one of his first projects was actually the creation of the (sadly, unreleased) Wing Commander 2 for SNES as well as the Playstation port of WC3.

Korean Prophecy Article Explained
2016-05-06 -- Forums member YPersonified has kindly provided a brief summary of the Korean Prophecy spread we reported on last month. Thanks!Wow.

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