Happy New Year 2006!

The Standoff Team has created a super wallpaper to help us usher in the new year. It's available in resolutions up to 1600x1200, but it's not based around your typical high polygon model. The image features a stylish green Sabre shadowing a white background. Standoff Episode 3 will be kicking 2006 off with a bang on January 8.

The CIC staff would also like to thank the thousands and thousands of dedicated Wing Commander fans who made 2005 so fantastic. If you're not going out at midnight tonight, feel free to drop by #Wingnut.

Just dropping by to wish everyone a happy new year! The upcoming release of Ep 3 is surely a good start to the Wing Commander happenings of 2006, so let's welcome the year properly. I've added a wallpaper to the downloads section to celebrate the occasion... it's available in four different resolutions, ranging from the one that fits my desktop to a few others that fit monitors which I'll never be able to afford. :-P

I faked a cartoon shader by using some falloff maps in MAX and then adding a duplicate of the original model (with inverted normals, colored solid black, and made "fatter" by the Push modifier) to get the external outlines. Tried to bring back even more of that WC2 feeling than usual. This is the model which showed up in our Ep 3 release announcement a few days ago and which will be used in our splash screens and such.

This should make up for those low res graphics I've put out in the past. Go check it out, and again, have a happy new year!

Community Award Voting Ends Tonight

Tomorrow we'll be officially announcing the winners of our Fan Project & Web Site of the Year awards, so today is the last chance for people to vote. We'd also like to take this opportunity to to recognize the tremendous contribution each of these undertakings added to the community this year. All of these projects, plus many others not mentioned today, have helped to make 2005 our best year yet. Visit each of the two official threads at our Crius.net Forums to log in your vote.

    Fan Project of the Year Nominees
  • Armada Online - A major Wing Commander milestone was reached this year when HCl's breakthrough patches allowed Wing Commander fans to fly together online for the first time. A wide variety of arena, deathmatch, cooperative and strategic multiplayer modes can now be played online in Wing Commander Armada and Proving Grounds.
  • Flight Commander - The FC engine was created from scratch to allow a new generation of fans to create their own new adventures in the Wing Commander universe. It is regularly updated with more robust features, and developer eddieb is always on hand to walk new modders through the process.
  • Holding the Line - HTL is the Wing Commander Aces Club's (and the Wing Commander community at large) longest running fan fiction arc. It has endured for over 200 chapters written continuously for more than six years. The writers are also devoted to promoting and archiving stories written by other Aces authors dating back more than ten years.
  • PiArmada - This project utilizes the Pi4X strategy engine to recreate the look and feel of the original Armada. Announced on January 2, 2005, it is one of the year's promising new projects. Future versions may be expanded with integrated space flight for instellar clashes.
  • Privateer Gemini Gold - This spin off of the open-source Privateer Remake continues to polish its look and strive for greater symmetry with the original Privateer. Part of its popularity can be attributed to its new graphical effects and broad support for Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms.
  • Standoff - Secret Ops editing was taken to new heights with the release of the Standoff mod. Utilizing the team's many years of Wing Commander modding experience, the makers of Standoff have added numerous features to the authentic Wing Commander Vision Engine. While creating a rich new story in the WC2 era, the team attentively works to stay within the framework of the established universe.
  • Wing Commander 4 DVD Patch - gulikoza's impressive efforts to overcome the inherent hardware limitation of the WC4 DVD edition has allowed Wing Commander fans to experience Wing Commander's highest quality video productions for the first time. The game originally required a special Creative Labs decoder card, but anyone with Windows XP can now play the game with the WC4 DVD dxmci patch.
  • Wing Commander Pioneer - WC Pioneer was one of the most ambitious new projects announced in 2005. The game they are creating with use an all new engine with high quality graphics and game mechanics. It will play out in Privateer style during the WC1 timeframe in the Landreich territories.
  • Wing Commander Saga - Fans of the Freespace engine are in for a treat with the upcoming release of this project's Prologue Chapter. WC Saga takes advantage of new effects and abilities available in the Freespace 2 engine as it explores a gritty chapter near the end of the Kilrathi War.

    Web Site of the Year Nominees
  • Fleet Tactics - This influential site attracts many users because of its serious in-universe atmosphere and presentation. It's jam packed with the sort of technical information and propaganda that might be available at a major Confed installation in 2669.
  • Origin Museum - Many of the world's most exotic and one-of-a-kind Wing Commander, Ultima and miscellaneous Origin collectibles are housed at the Origin Museum. Curators Joe and Paula Garrity go to great lengths to network with former Origin personnel to acquire and preserve important parts of our history in a central location.
  • HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site - One of the undisputed masters at Wing Commander editing has a simple site that offers his vast collection of tools, tweaks and patches to the internet. The efforts represented there are used in a variety of other fan projects and can help enhance the experience of almost any Wing Commander fan.
  • Wedge's Wing Commander - Wedge's site has been a major information repository for many years. Fan projects of all kinds call on it to provide quick access to detailed story scripts and centralized resources for individual games in the Wing Commander series.
  • WingCenter - The "Center for all Wingmen" was one of the original community hubs that sprouted in the late 1990s. They now cater to the large German audience of Wing Commander fans and occasionally highlight other up and coming space combat sims.
  • Wing Commander 3D - WC3D has long been a resource for both new and experienced Wing Commander 3d artists, modelers and texturers. Many different people's works have been collected and are made available here for general fan use.
  • Wing Commander Against All Odds - AAO is another representative of the hip new 2005 breed of Wing Commander sites and projects. They have an active forum where players focus on fleet and capital ship role play. The group also supports other upstart RPG attempts.
  • Wing Commander RPG - The Edge of Chaos RPG has its earliest origins in the AOL chatrooms way back in 1994, and many of its members have been an active part of the Wing Commander community for an entire decade. It continues to host regular role play sessions on IRC and its message boards.
  • Wing Commander Saga - To coincide with renewed efforts to complete the Saga game, the new Saga website was unveiled with tons of information and a stylish new look. It's been an important portal for releasing the project's impressive CGI trailer and whetting fans' eager appetites.

And those are the nominees! Visit here to vote for the Web Site of the Year and here to vote for Fan Project of the Year. See you in 2006!

It's Arrow Against Arrow

We've got a pair of Arrow models for you today. The first one is courtesy of Kilrah Moreira who has been working on his model from a few months ago. At that point it was an untextured design, but now textures and bump mapping have been added, finishing the job nicely.

Meanwhile Lorddarthvik had been working on an Arrow of his own (first two pictures below), but has recently switched to making some tweaks to Kilrah Moreira's version. The second shot makes a fun wallpaper if you're into motion blur.

Have Fun With Scissors And Glue

Some of you may remember the paper models that were created by the French S.F. Models Annexe. The site features instructions for how to create your own models, but until very recently the archive containing details for building an Arrow was corrupt. Fortunately the site admins found the post about it and have fixed the file. Now you have no excuse for not making your own!

Relive The Kilrathi War's End

Le_Ionisateur_Fou has created a video tribute to the mission that ended with the destruction of Kilrah. "Lancelot Flight" was pieced together from video included in the various versions of Wing Commander 3, so the resolution isn't very high, but it's edited well to cover Blair's last mission of the war. It begins with the introduction of the Temblor Bomb and Blair's treacherous run through the firey canyons on Kilrah. Ultimately the planet is destroyed, the Treaty of Torgo is signed and Blair finally gets a chance at peace. The accompanying music is a remix of "Corneria" from Star Fox by The Wingless. You can grab the 18 meg .wmv here.
The video shows the history of the Lancelot Flight, the attack on Kilrah and its consequences. I used HCl's wc movie player to extract videos. Each time I listened to "Godspeed" from Starfox, I thought it would be a great one for WC, so there it is now.

Space Sim First Look: Space Cowboy

Isaac Alexander let us know about the new English language release of the Korean massively multiplayer space sim called Space Cowboy by Masang Soft. The game is built around ship customization and enhancement with minor RPG elements. Formations of ships can be coordinated and certain combinations create powerful effects. Space Cowboy has standard missions and support for large fleet engagements. A substantial portion of the game takes place in atmospheric combat. Controls are mouse driven like Freelancer, and different options for voice chat are also built in. The futuristic storyline is divided into phases. Episode II is currently unfolding with plans for the third under way. A small number of "main character" NPCs exist in the universe and interaction with them influences the story. Registration, downloading and playing the 600 meg game seem to be free. Korean readers can find a ton of information and additional screenshots at the Space Cowboy mgame community site.

Ranger's Glory Christmas Pack Released

Iceblade has spent his holiday preparing a special preview of Ranger's Glory. It took a couple extra days to finalize the release, but he's excited to be able to share a quick look at his Flight Commander mod with everyone. You can grab the 14 meg zip here. It adds new ships and comms for prospective FC modders and gives fans a look at the first Ranger's Glory simulator mission. Instructions for adding the ships to your existing Flight Commander installation are below. Feedback can also be left at the RG forums.
Like some WC projects around this time of year, Ranger's Glory is providing a Christmas gift. This package includes a number of the ships I have converted this year, most from UE. Also, you will find all the comm videos done for WCP, WCSO and WCUE. There are also a few edited FC files and an updated ship viewer.

This package is primarily for FC modders, but included in this package is the first simulator mission of Ranger's Glory. The package is broken up into a series of file folders to allow for selective additions to the engine. To add a ship, just open that ship's folder and copy and paste the files within to your main Flight Commander directory. Note that the ship viewer will not work unless all of the ship files have been pasted into the folder.

For those who just want to play the sim mission, just paste the contents of the following folders into your FC directory: "RGSim mission1," "Ranger," "Ferret," "Navbuoyobject" and the contents of the "UE-used-commvids" folder.

So enjoy the package and Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah or whatever holiday you keep at this time of year.

EA Receives First Official Postage Stamp

Electronic Arts has announced that The Sims is being recognized in the French Postal Service's "Heroes of Video Games" collection. Since February 2000, the Sims franchise has sold more than 58 million copies, including expansions. Other heroes being recognized include Link, Mario, Adibou, Pac-Man, the Prince of Persia, Rayman, Lara Croft, Spyro and Donkey Kong. The book of 10 stamps can be ordered from LaPoste.fr for 2.65 € here.

Despite continued success of the series and the recent launch of Sims 2 for consoles, Electronic Arts also recently announced that holiday sales will probably be lower than expected. This will be coupled with the dip in profitability generally associated with the costs of gearing up for a new console cycle.

"Holiday sales are not meeting expectations," said Larry Probst, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "For the December quarter, it is likely the industry will be down double digits on a percentage basis."
Fiscal third quarter results will be reported in about five weeks.

Howard Day's On Ice

When he's not singing, Howard Day is hard at work on the next preview of WC Pioneer. Clouds have been added to his planet prototypes, and an ice world has been added to the universe. The third image also shows off light maps to illustrate the effects of civilization on the dark side of a planet.

Pioneer's other artist, BradMick, heads off to Warrant Officer School tomorrow, so you might see a few less graphical updates over the next few months. Progress reports on the programming side are a bit harder to show off, but work on the project still continues.

The Murder Of Chris Todd

AD noticed that while we've worked with Origin veteran Chris Todd before, we never shared his website with everyone. www.7crows.com is a neat little place about his personal experiences and professional accomplishments. There is also an anecdote from his time programming Wing Commander 3. His accomplishments on such a tremendous game are impressive for a recent college grad on his first commercial project. Mr. Todd also worked on Freelancer and is currently writing a novel.
WING COMMANDER III
Origin (1993)

My first job out of college was working as one of the main programmers on Wing Commander III, a title widely credited with being the first "interactive movie" due to its extensive use of non-linear, live action cut scenes filmed by a professional crew in Hollywood. My job was to design a system that could integrate hours of movie footage with a 3D spaceflight engine and the user's input to create the illusion of a coherent story. The result was Scheherazade, a completely flexible multimedia scripting system. It was a hell of an introduction to the gaming industry -- like being handed a rifle and told that you're landing at Normandy -- but an achievment of which I'm still proud. WC3 was translated into several languages, ported to a number of other platforms, and went on to become one of the best-selling computer games of all time.

I graduated with a degree in computer science about the time I decided I'd like to do something different. But somehow something different led to programming computer games, and then starting a computer game company. I founded my company with a good friend and spent two years of my life on it, not all of it easy, but in the end I gained more than I lost in the form of many friends, old and new, who have become extremely important in my life. About the time the company went under, I decided to really do something different and I knew that meant becoming a writer -- and eventually a screenwriter.

Today I make things up and sometimes get paid for it. Not a bad way to make a living.

All of the previous could have been made up. But it's not. Really. You can trust me.

Saga's Task Force Graces Your Display

Lars from the WC Saga team has released another pretty wallpaper image to keep people happy going into the new year. In this 1280x scene, a Recon In Force task group hangs in space over a water planet. Saga is heavily inspired by Wing Commander 3, so elements such as these should look familiar for fans who've just played The Heart of the Tiger. If you're wondering what sort of trouble this task force might run into, check out their previous wallpaper.

Cyberion Has A Simple Message

Cyberion has helped turn this into a wallpaper day with a simple alternative to Wing Commander ships on your screen. It's not quite as fancy as some of his other scenes, but this straightforward image has already made it to a few fans' desktops for its clear and positive message.

Merry Christmas 2005!

Merry Christmas everyone! Wing Commander is a 365-day-a-year pastime, so we'd like to wish all our visitors another happy holiday today. More than one Wing Commander mod's development team is taking advantage of the day off to work on their projects, and that means there'll be plenty more to see in the days, weeks and months ahead. Klavs81 put together a creative scene mixed with a bit of his own Wing Commander poetry. The link below goes to a 1280x1280 image. You can find a medium size version here.

Happy Hanukkah!

Coincidentally, Hanukkah also begins this evening as well. eddieb whipped up this Shrike-based menorah so we could be a little more inclusive this year. It's not any weirder than Thrakhath driving a TCS Victory sleigh at least, and it was made with Flight Commander which is a plus.

Have a great holiday everyone. See you tomorrow!

WC Tactics Adds Scimitar And Waterloo

It's been a while since we've reported on the latest updates involving WC Tactics for Nexus. The mod has been going some internal shake ups, but the core gameplay still seems to be intact. The Scimitar Medium Fighter and Waterloo Cruiser have been added to the game engine. Nexus' interface is pretty slick, so it's neat to see more and more Wing Commander ships added in.

Flight Commander Fixes Now Available

Although a version 1.4 release of Flight Commander is still in the works, the game's creator eddieb has released an interim patch. The patch fixes a pair of problems which will really only be of interest to people who are modding the game.
  • Fix choice of formation, doesn't always use 0 any more.
  • Added a new script command Ship_setAIEnabled to disable the AI for a given ship. This is useful if a ship is flying in formation and you want it to stay put.
If this sounds like something you need, you can download the 600k patch here.

Standoff Episode 3 Coming January 8

To celebrate the one year anniversary of Standoff's Episode 1 release, the official release date for Standoff Episode 3 has been announced. The big wait will be over in two weeks. Although the internal team target was Christmas, Standoff's developers held off on speculating about a date until they could give everyone a firm time to look forward to. The January 8 release promises a polished product with even larger battles, new exciting missions and the continuation of Standoff's gripping story. Now would a great time to get the first two episodes and start practicing for the coming storm.
The splash screens are nearly finished, the voiceovers are nearly finished, the music is nearly finished... see a pattern here? :-P In addition to that, while the missions are theoretically finished... well, the last of them was finished yesterday, so you can imagine we haven't had much time to test it for bugs yet.

We probably could have released this episode for Christmas, had we decided to cut a few corners and not worry about checking missions for last-minute bugs... but we will never, ever do that. And hey, look on the bright side - this episode has taken us only 50% of the time the previous episode took. Even with this last-minute delay, we're still damned proud of that result.

So, check back here in two weeks to download Episode 3...

Catch Up On Your Voting

The end of the year always brings about many "[Something] of the Year" awards. Many are a chance for you to show your appreciation for various things. We're no exception - the CIC's community awards are designed to celebrate the Fan Project and Web Site of the Year. Meanwhile eddieb is holding a vote for the Flight Commander mod of the year award. All you need to vote is a forums account. Outside of the WC community, the Greatest 50 Games site lists Wing Commander as a nominee for their list. WC is currently only six votes away from beating World of Warcraft, a game with 5 million subscribers worldwide. All four polls close on December 31, with the results being announced on January 1.

Other sites have announced the results of their awards already. Gamespot are running their Best and Worst of 2005 awards. The only space sim up nominated was Nexus: The Jupiter Incident for their Best Game No One Played award, but it didn't win. Christopher Walken, known for playing David Hassan in Privateer 2, has the dubious honor of winning their Worst Use of Celebrity Voices award for his role in True Crime: New York City. The people at Spike TV may dispute this as they awarded Walken their Best Supporting Male Performance trophy for his performance in the game. Unfortunately such awards are always going to disappoint somebody.

Lorddarthvik Kicks Off Longbow Day

Lorddarthvik has completed his latest work - his own Longbow model based on one found at WC3D. He has even used it to create a 1024x768 resolution desktop wallpaper. Lorddarthvik is still hoping to tweak things a little bit, but what he has right now still looks good.

BradMick's Longbow Joins The Pack

BradMick has been continuing work on his WC3 model pack, with the Longbow being the latest addition. As with the previous models, the Longbow is designed to have a low polygon count so it is suitable for use in games. You can see the Longbow alongside the other ships below.
They're all scaled to a 6ft figure sitting in the cockpit. Based on that the scales are fairly accurate with said figure. In so far as the shapes go, they're all accurate. Referencing the in game meshes with the high res renders from the Warbirds deal, I've made sure I've got all the proportions and what not correct. Now, there are differences between the WC3 and 4 versions of these ships. Little things in the details, and some things in the proportions too. That may be why it's a bit off to some folks. It seems most are more familiar with the WC4 versions than the WC3.

Scout's Honor

Howard Day has finished work on the Tarsus-class Merchant Scout cockpit for the Wing Commander: Pioneer project... and it looks spectacular with all its VDUs activated! He has also designed an all new cockpit for the Hunchback, one of the new designs created specifically for the project (far right). Also available are newly rendered Quicktime VR movies of the two cockpits. You can get the Tarsus here and the Hunchback here.

Just the Specs, Ma'am

Ever wonder what kind of missiles Governoer Menesch arms his Centurion with? What kind of guns the Kilrathi upgraded their fighters with in 2670? Well, now you can find out - I've extracted all of the in-game ship specifications from Privateer and Righteous Fire. They're now available in stately CIC Article format with a few attractive illustrations. Read through it all here.

More War...birds

The Premiere Edition of Wing Commander III included a number of special items, from a copy of Fleet Action to a 1995 calendar. Most unique, however, may have been its full color version of the Warbirds fold-out poster. The regular Warbirds poster features greyscale images of high resolution "FMV" renderings of ten Wing Commander III fighters - this version ups the ante by reproducing those same images in full color. Now, we've scanned them all! The images can be accessed below... but fans interested in working on high resolution models of their own can find 600 DPI scans (roughly 5 megabytes per ship) here.

Brainstorming Flight Commander

eddieb is looking for a few good... ideas! Flight Commander 1.4 is in the works and he's hoping the Wing Commander community will have some good suggestions to make the game even better. Some of eddie's ideas so far include a terrain engine, a movie player, a more detailed damage model, AI improvement, turret AIs, a glow effect for weapons and thrusters, cutscene scripting and docking... and I know we had a fun discussion about space weather in #WingNut several days back! If you have an idea you can post it to this thread... and if you haven't tried Flight Commander yet, you can find it here.

You Maniacs! You Blew It Up!

Eder has sent along the latest teaser for Wing Commander: Standoff... Earth as it looked under bombardment from a pair of Kilrathi cruisers! It's certainly a lot more realistic than same scene as stylized on the cover of Fleet Action -- and it's also all the scarier!

If you'd like to learn more about the cities destroyed by Baron Jukaga's cruiser squadron during the 2668 Battle of Terra, you can find them all charted on this helpful Frappr! Map.

A Book Database Update? Let Me Czech

Are you a Wing Commander collector trying to track down the beautiful new Czech translations of the Wing Commander novels? Our book database has been updated to help you! You can find cover art alongside information like title, author and ISBN for the six novels here. We also have illustrated book lists available for English, German and other international releases.

Writing on the Walls

You stop by the Mercenaries Guild office to flirt with the scantily clad hostess and rifle through their stack of individual CDs containing bounties and patrol missions. On the wall, a projector flashes through a series of bizarre advertisements for sex, guns, missing children and... Saddam Hussein? Have you ever wondered exactly what those posters say? Of course -- you're a Wing Commander fan! Now, for the first time, you can see them in their original format. Marvel at the fact that that child has been missing for 43 years... or that in the futuristic world of Privateer, phone sex costs more than a 9,500 ESK missile. I know where I'd get my satisfaction!

Now, let's see one of the community's graphics geniuses get to work on a high resolution LOVE YOUR DAD poster we could have printed...

We're No Lanced.Babes, But We Get By...

When Secret Missions 2: Crusade came out it added a lot to the Wing Commander universe: imposing Snakeir carriers, deadly Hhriss experimental fighters, a race of improbably bird-like aliens... but to those of us who were young men in 1991 it added something we felt all the more important: the ability to look at the pinup next to your locker on the Tiger's Claw. In keeping with the spirit of today's Privateer posters update, we now enshrine that great screen to the internet. I wonder if that's Saranya Carr...

Goodbye, John Spencer

Actor John Spencer, best known for his starring role on The West Wing, passed away on Friday. He was 58 years old. Wing Commander fans knew him best for his role in Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom. Spencer played Captain Hugh Paulson, the Third Fleet bureaucrat/tool of the conspiracy who relieves Captain Eisen as commander of the TCS Lexington. Paulson gives Colonel Blair orders for several missions before meeting an unfortunate fate at the end of Seether's laser knife. Spencer played the unlikable character perfectly - fans to this day continue to despise the slimy, sycophantic Paulson.

Rest in peace, Mr. Spencer. Our sympathies go out to his fans, family and friends. He will be well remembered as one of cinematic Wing Commander's brightest stars, if not one of its favorite characters. Yahoo has published an obituary, available here.

Spencer is the second Wing Commander actor to pass away this year - Privateer 2's John Vernon died in February. He is also the second Wing Commander Captain to die: the TCS Lexington's previous commander, actor Jason Bernard (Captain William Eisen), died tragically in 1996.

The Way Life Should Have Been

There's an exciting new addition to the CIC's Document Archive: the Privateer 3: Retribution script. The script was donated by former Origin employee Mark Vittek, who was heavily involved in the project. The script follows yet another main character as the Privateer but also features a lot of Wing Commander continuity -- Black Lances, Doctor Severin, Nephilim Stingrays and the like. It was written in late 1997 for a post-Prophecy project that was developed and then cancelled in 1998. Interestingly, the script includes a full budget for a film shoot and 3D renderings of various 'base' locations which would appear in the game. You can download the script here (26 megs, PDF). Below are some examples of the set design images contained in the script's third part. The CIC is dedicated to archiving Wing Commander-related documents! If you're a former Origin or Digital Anvil employee with any scripts, notes, e-mails, design documents, advertising materials, company newsletters or the like then please contact us! We'll digitally archive them and return the documents to you.

Origin Museum Adds New Collectibles

The Origin Museum never stops adding to its collection by preserving rare and exotic memorabilia. Joe and Paula's newest items include a number of collectibles donated by Crusader lead designer Mark Vittek. The first item pictured below is a jacket worn by a WEC official in one of the Crusader games. Origin dogtags and an Ultima Martian Dreams development team shirt follow that. There's also collection of Origin company newsleters and then a Strike Commander promotional poster. The signed document is a completion certificate given to players who finished one of the Ultima Trilogies. Back in the 1980s, Richard Garriott would mail these autographed documents to people who contacted Origin about winning a game. An Ultima 8 concept map is drawn in pencil, and the final image was a similar map created to plan out regions in Ultima Online 2. It's all pretty neat stuff. You can find more shots and interesting collectibles from this lot at a temporary location at the Origin Museum here.

In Our Dreams

Germans have something very important that is lacking in many other cultures: a healthy continued respect for Wing Commander. Case in point, the latest issue of PC Games magazine features an editorial that asks 'what would we do as boss of Electronic Arts for one day?'. First on the agenda? Bring back Wing Commander! You can read the full article, in German, here. LeechMachine, who found the article, was also kind enough to translate the part about Wing Commander:
Top Priority No.1:
Start the development of Wing Commander 6

The sudden end of Prophecy makes clear that there's got to be a follow-up script to the story in the desk of some (former) employee. Although Origin is no more and there's no sign of evidence that there are plans to revive the Wing Commander series, it would be the perfect start of the day as the boss of EA to make this happen!

These Standoff Pictures Are Mine

The latest Standoff update reveals an exciting mission coming soon in the mod's next episode. Images released today show off the team's new mine design, and there's even an amazing picture of a Clydesdale fleet laying a field of explosives. Eder also detailed the status of various incomplete sections in Episode 3. You can find more information at the Standoff website.

Videos and graphics are now nearly complete. I just need to render a couple cutscenes and finish off one of the splash screens. Tempest has also made some good progress in the voiceover area, but we can't work miracles there since other parts of the game depend on other people as well. Apart from that, some missions still need to be debugged, and Michael still needs to finish all the cutscene music. So, Episode 3 is close, but not quite here yet...

Lend Your Voice

Maj. Striker has posted a request for help over on the forums. He currently has an undisclosed project in the works and is trying to recruit three voice actors who are willing to record up to six lines for use in the project.
I'm in need of a few (three to be exact) voice actors to record a few lines for me for a little project I'm trying to do. It's nothing major I think the most I need is about 6 lines from anyone. I know there's some great voice talent out there in the CIC community as great mods like Standoff has shown. If you're interested shoot me an email at: daniel.goodwin@mchsi.com. If you could please include a couple of sample files with generic pilot lines like "He's on my six!" "All clear etc." That would help. I would greatly appreciate it. I'd love to give more details but right now I simply don't have them.
He isn't giving away any clues, but if his project work is anything like his artistic talent, it should be something to look forward to.

New Krant Shots Intercepted

Maj. Striker has been showing off his new Krant model over the last few days:

Well, I lost my previous model of the Krant when a Hard drive failed a year or so ago. It wasn't that good anyway so it wasn't much of a loss. Anyway, I decided I would try to make a new one.
We have some renders of Striker's old Krant model in the archives. This new design is a huge leap forward! You can leave a comment by clicking the discuss link below.

Christopher Walken Wins Video Game Award

Christopher Walken was decorated this past weekend during the 2005 Spike TV Video Game Awards. Although largely seem as a sham by more avid gamers, the annual Spike competition is the most widely broadcast video game award show. Walken earned the "best supporting male performance" trophy for his act in True Crime: New York City. He first starred in a game as Detective Vincent Magnotta in 1996's Ripper, but we'll remember him for his much cooler role as CIS agent David Hassan in Privateer 2: The Darkening. You can find Spike TV's other nominees and winners here.
NAME: Hassan, Cdr. David
AGE: 36
PLACE OF BIRTH: Hades
PROFESSION: CIS employee
BACKGROUND: Beta++ clearance required

Tiger's Claw Moves In For Attack

Cyberion has been strangely quiet for the past few months, but luckily he is still around and has sent a new wallpaper for your enjoyment. The 1280x960 image entitled "Moving In" features the TCS Tiger's Claw surrounded by Raptor fighters. You can even see a few Raptors just launching. The Bengal and fighter models featured in the wallpaper were created by Maj. Striker. You can grab the full size image by clicking the thumbnail. The Raptors have their own scene here.

Don't Forget To Vote

Voting for our annual community awards is now well under way, but it's not too late for you to make a difference. All you need is an account on our forums. Just log in, click the circle next to your chosen nominee, then hit submit. There is a separate thread for each category: Fan Project of the Year and Web Site of the Year. If you don't already have a forums account and need to register, we are currently verifying each registration manually to prevent fraudulent voting, so please be patient until we can activate your account. You can find a few more details on the awards including a synopsis for each nominee here.

Klavs Crams Fighters In

Klavs81 has made further advancements on his attempt to set the scene for an Escort Carrier and its wing. Since we first highlighted his designs last month, Klavs has added the Sabre to his ship's roster and polished up the flight deck more. You can see the new fighters lined up with his folded wings idea in practice. Flight control is also coming together well.

Upgrade Your SETI@home Client!

The original form of the SETI@home project will shut down on December 15. If you want to continue participating in the search for intelligent life, you need a new version of the software, and your user account needs to be switched over. Don't worry, you get to keep most of your completed work units and the process itself is easy. It only took me a few minutes to get everything sorted out.
  1. Read SETI@home's rules and policies.
  2. Get a SETI@home account:
    • If you had an account in the original 'SETI@home Classic' project as of 15 March 2005:
      We've transferred your account, including profile and team information.
      You must now activate the account.
    • Otherwise: Create a new account
  3. Download, install, and run the BOINC software used by SETI@home.

When prompted for a project URL, enter http://setiathome.berkeley.edu. Up-to-date statistics for Team CIC can be found here. If you've not yet started, you can join the group here. Members of our team have donated approximately 200 years of computing time since 1999.

Pioneer's Tarsus Coming Together

Howard Day has released some new screenshots for WC Pioneer. The team is now in the process of beginning cockpit builds. In Pioneer's timeframe the Tarsus will be a newer ship, so they are sharpening it up slightly. So far it's coming together well and looks very much like the original. The second seat should actually see some use this time. Players will be able to hire a co-pilot for plotting courses, ensuring sufficient jump fuel and handling the controls when the pilot mans a turret. You can provide feedback and check out a ton of shots showing the progression of the design here.

Pioneer Planet Preview

In related news, the WC Pioneer team is also working on the look for their planets. The final designs will note cities, have dynamic clouds and tone down the reflection. These samples already look great though. You can offer further suggestions here.
Keep in mind that we've not even begun to touch clouds though. These planets will not have uniformly Californian weather when we're done. They're all procedurals mixed with satelite imagery, so they're infinitely randomizable.

Striker's Raptors Go On Patrol

While searching his hard drive, Maj. Striker came across an image featuring the Raptor model he made earlier this year. The 1024x768 render depicts a wing of Raptors out on a morning patrol and would make a nice wallpaper for your desktop. Striker says he may produce some new 3D work soon as we haven't seen anything new from him since March.

See WC On BBC Tonight

The Wing Commander movie will be aired tonight in the UK on BBC1 from 11:50pm until 1:25am. That's only an hour and a half from the time of writing this so you'll have to be quick to catch it. Unfortunately we didn't know earlier. Thanks to Starman for the heads up.

WC Saga Wants Your Desktop

Tolwyn has posted a new desktop wallpaper based on material from WC Saga. The wallpaper depicts a wing of Hellcat Vs supporting a Confederation destroyer in an attack on a Kilrathi carrier group. The actual image was created by gevatter Lars, but Tolwyn has written a little story to go with the wallpaper.
The cold vacuum of space has erupted into absolute chaos. Klaxons echo stridently across the flight deck, announcing the unexpected arrival of a Kilrathi strike force. The FORCAP fighters have already engaged the Kats and are taking losses, and enemy bombers have broken through the defensive line and are nearly within strike range. Time is of the essence. Footsteps ring against the deck, mingled with the urgent shouts of technicians making desperate final checks of the fighters.

The canopy of your Hellcat V slides into position and seals itself shut. Your VDU crackles, and the image of the comm officer clears you for takeoff. You jam your throttle forward and feel the acceleration slam you hard against your headrest. Your Hellcat streaks out of the fighter bay and you peel off towards the oncoming attackers.

You can read the full story in this thread, and you can get the 1280x1024 sized wallpaper by clicking the thumbnail above.

More Updates For Space Sim Fans

A pair of upcoming space combat sims have just released big updates. A whole bunch of new information has been released on DarkStar One since we reported on them a couple months ago. At the time, this German developed space sim did not have a website. Darkstar-one.com is now online to fill that void. It features forums and lots of information on game details. The team behind Darkstar is a big fan of the Wing Commander series.
I would really love to see the Wing Commander and Freelancer Community there, basically because I believe they can help bring ideas and suggestions to the game in order to recapture some of the "old" feeling most of us grew up with, something the team is really attempting to do and actually doing very well, especially when it comes to battle itself.

From the other side of the globe, StarCalibur, by Russian developer RevoltGames, has released a playable demo. It's a 130 megs download featuring both first and third person play modes. We covered the game last year when it was also known as Secret Sign. In addition to space fighter combat, the player occasionally controls planetary guns or carrier turrets. You can grab the demo here or here.

Selling the Movie Revisited

In 1997 we had our first hints that a Wing Commander movie was on the horizon. Chris Roberts had long spoken of his desire to develop a movie... and Wing Commander IV's release proved that he knew what he was doing.

First came the Phoenix Pictures Memo, a leaked document which included a description of the movie's script and of 1996 negotiations between Electronic Arts, Chris Roberts and a European film company. Was this an elaborate hoax? No one knew. Next came ten 'concept' screenshots, incorrectly published online by Origin, billed as Wing Commander Prophecy concept artwork. Insiders soon confirmed: these paintings were made to help sell the Wing Commander movie to a movie studio.

We're proud to return these unusual screenshots to our archive. Fans can now get an amazing view of how the movie might have looked with no budget or casting constraints. With the benefit of the recently discovered First Draft Script of the Wing Commander movie (available here, in PDF format, 33 megs), we can finally determine exactly what these are screenshots of.

From left to right: 1 - A Terran Confederation pilot. 2 - The Dilligent attacks the Kilrathi ComCon. 3 - Detail of the Kilrathi ComCon. 4 - 2nd Lt. Christopher Blair. 5 - The Merchant Marine ship Dilligent. 6 & 7 - Space Combat. 8 & 9 - Dralthi class Medium Fighters. 10 - Saber class Fighters.

Choose Your Own Commander

The CIC's Community Awards aren't the only prestigious contest in town! Wing Commander: Flight Commander fan project creator eddieb is holding a similar event to decide on the best Flight Commander mod of the year. There's three in the running right now: Ranger's Glory, the Wing Commander I Remake and A Shot in the Dark.

Hopefully the easy modability and general Wing Commander stylings of the Flight Commander engine means that that list will be even longer next year! You can cast your vote at the Flight Commander forum here.

Kilrah Slings Some Arrows

Kilrah Moreira has sent us two exciting new wallpapers. You may recall his awesome Arrow V model from a few months back... well, now you can see it in action! The Arrows are out in force in "Scouting the Void" (left)... and they're tangling with a group of Strakha in "Break Formation!" (right). They'd better watch out -- Warbirds says that "a lone Straakha has been known to eliminate four Hellcats in the space of ten minutes"... and those Arrows are outnumbered five to two!

I must say that this wouldn’t be possible without the help of Lorddarthvik and Zohrath. Thank you very much, guys. :)

A 1280x960 version of the Strakha/Arrow battle is also available here.

Music For The Rest of Us

We've had several requests for copies of the 'other' tracks from the ultra-rare Origin Soundtrack CD. They may not be Wing Commander... but they're still great, so we're happy to oblige. The CD has a single track for each game, which we've converted into mp3s below. Each track has multiple themes, listed below -- if Ultima and Bad Blood fans can figure out how to properly divide them up we'll be happy to host those as well. You can find their Wing Commander counterparts (alongside more Wing Commander music than you can shake a steak at) in our Albums Section.

Track 2 - Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2 - "Martian Dreams" (22.8 megs)

1 Main Theme / Tom Hollingshead
2 Daytime / The Fatman
3 Surface Combat / The Fatman
4 Victory / Dana Glover
5 Turn Back the Clock / Dana Glover
6 Dream Combat / Tom Hollingshead
7 Nighttime / The Fatman
8 Below Ground / Tom Hollingshead

Track 3 - Bad Blood (13.4 megs)

1 Tranquil Nature / Steve Morris
2 Main Theme - After The Holocaust / Steve Morris
3 Murmurings / Steve Morris
4 Choice For Hope / Steve Morris
5 The Decision / Steve Morris
6 The Send-Off / Steve Morris
7 Plains / Steve Morris
8 The City / Steve Morris

Track 4 - Ultima VI - The False Prophet (14.3 megs)

1 Can't Remove the Pain / Todd Porter
2 Rule Britannia / Herman Miller
3 I Hear You Crying / Todd Porter
4 The Wander / Todd Porter
5 Black Forest / Todd Porter
6 Fall Leaves / Todd Porter
7 Stones / David Watson 7 Kathleen Jones

Track 5 - Ultima Worlds of Adventure 1 - "The Savage Empire" (9.1 megs)

1 Main Theme - The Savage Empire / The Fatman
2 Jingle Of The Jungle / The Fatman
3 On The Surface / The Fatman

Privateer, Seen Here

Plywood Fiend has found a tiny trailer for the original Privateer at Archive.org. The narration reads:
Origin presents Privateer, a next generation space combat simulator for the IBM platform. You'll move through an intensely cinematic universe experiencing the two very different thrills of reaching a hard bargain and real time 3D space combat. Make your own alliances and choose the life of a pirate, a mercenary or a merchant. Customize your ship, modify your weapons, armament and systems. Explore a complete universe with more than fifty bases and planets in almost seventy systems!
This trailer must have been made fairly late in the game's development: many people forget that Privateer was originally promoted as Trade Commander, which is where the character name Grayson Burrows comes from. Early Origin catalogs also suggested that the game would have a 3D engine similar to Strike Commander rather than the 2D Wing Commander I/II/Academy variant found in the published version. Recent examination of some of Privateer's cockpit models suggests that the team was serious about implementing this at one point, creating "virtual cockpits" similar to those found in Strike Commander, Pacific Strike and Wings of Glory. You can find the small trailer (3.5 megs) in .asf format here.

Movie Blair Saves Television

TV.com is running an article about Freddie Prinze Jr.'s appropriately titled sitcom, Freddie. They report that, citing high ratings among key demographics, ABC has opted to renew the series for a full season of episodes -- suggesting that wide-ranging industry expectations regarding both the death of the sitcom and the end of Prinze's career may be unfounded. Freddie Prinze Jr. is best known to Wing Commander fans for playing Christopher Blair in the Wing Commander movie. Interested readers can find more information on the show in our previous update, or can catch the series in its regular timeslot, Wednesdays at 8:30 PM on ABC.

Standoff Stands Up

Eder has updated the Standoff website with a progress report and a whole host of exciting new screenshots! Their news update goes into more specifics than I could, but suffice it to say Episode 3 is coming along smoothly! They've also added Cougar's profile to their characters section.
Episode 3 is coming along - the missions are progressing nicely, we have implemented about 60% of the voiceovers, and both versions of the intro cutscene are done, except for the music... but that's because Michael's been busy working on the music for the video cutscenes, which is almost done! The fiction is not progressing because Quarto is doing other stuff, but he says the fiction will be done in a day or two when its turn arrives.

The World Says Goodbye to Digital Anvil

Digital Anvil's closure is a case study in the standard internet formula for gaming news. The secret equation is as follows: reworded press release + funny title = gold! We have here exactly what venture capitalists pay the Gamespots and the IGNs of this world millions of dollars for: eleven articles, all identical in content but featuring slightly different words and, here's the kicker, a variety of unique titles -- most of which are attempts to make a pun from Digital Anvil's name.
GameStop: Digital Anvil Melted Down
IGN: Hammer Falls on Digital Anvil
Joystiq: MS Brings Hammer Down On Digital Anvil
GameDaily: Microsoft Drops the Hammer on Digital Anvil
Voodoo Extreme: RIP Digital Anvil
XBox Circle: Digital Anvil Is No More
Pro-G: Digital Anvil Staff Redeployed
Playfuls: Microsoft Kills Digital Anvil
CVG: Microsoft Drops Digital Anvil
Gamasutra: Microsoft Confirms Closure Of Digital Anvil
1Up: Digital Anvil Shuts Down
What happens when you don't follow the script? Ferrago's article, Digital Anvil Disbanded, embellishes the press release by featuring such exciting non-facts as relocating Microsoft's headquarters to Washington DC, leaving Chris Roberts' in charge of overseeing the company to this day and crediting DA with having published "Loose Cannons."

Snips of Ships

Quarto recently extracted a set of unused specifications for the Copernicus-class Planetological Research Ship from Wing Commander Prophecy's game engine. It may not be canon, but it was enough to get /ships2 in gear! As a demo of what the updated ships section will someday be, we are proud to present entries on three 'weird' ships: the Copernicus-class Planetological Research Ship , its Drops and the Pegasus Naval Base. For these 'FMV only' ships, we've chosen to include a 'Visual References' collection -- so erstwhile fan project engineers can best render their own versions.

Pick Your Favorite Music Next

The results for our minimum system requirements poll are in. Most people believed that a modern 2.0 GHz system with half a gigabyte of RAM and a standard 128 meg video card could be the minimum specs for the next PC based Wing Commander game. This reflects our community's continued optimism that more games will be arriving sooner rather than later. Less than 10% of people polled thought the next WC game would require components beyond the current technological envelope, but even if their opinion turn out to be correct, we'll still be here to welcome the future titles when they arrive. A similar proportion of fans thought the next game would only be released for consoles and handheld gaming devices. Who knows? How many people expected the wonderful Prophecy Advance's arrival?

Our next poll asks which Wing Commander products had your favorite music. Your options include Team Fat's classic Wing Commander 1&2 tracks, George Oldziey's popular orchestral base for Wing Commander 3 through Prophecy, Cobalt-60's techno background for Secret Ops, the unique style of Privateer & Academy, or David Arnold and Kevin Kiner's distinct Wing Commander Movie score.

Time To Kick Off Annual Community Awards

It's time to start our annual contest to award some of the most exciting aspects of the Wing Commander community. We've broken down the event into two categories: Wing Commander Fan Projects of the Year and Web Sites of the Year. Each nominee was selected based on submissions from fans, activity over the last twelve months and prospects for future contributions to the community. We're trying something new this time. Voting will be conducted through the two official threads at our Crius.net Forums. Registered users can simply point and click to log in their choice. Only one vote in each category is allowed per Wing Commander fan.

    Fan Project of the Year Nominees
  • Armada Online - A major Wing Commander milestone was reached this year when HCl's breakthrough patches allowed Wing Commander fans to fly together online for the first time. A wide variety of arena, deathmatch, cooperative and strategic multiplayer modes can now be played online in Wing Commander Armada and Proving Grounds.
  • Flight Commander - The FC engine was created from scratch to allow a new generation of fans to create their own new adventures in the Wing Commander universe. It is regularly updated with more robust features, and developer eddieb is always on hand to walk new modders through the process.
  • Holding the Line - HTL is the Wing Commander Aces Club's (and the Wing Commander community at large) longest running fan fiction arc. It has endured for over 200 chapters written continuously for more than six years. The writers are also devoted to promoting and archiving stories written by other Aces authors dating back more than ten years.
  • PiArmada - This project utilizes the Pi4X strategy engine to recreate the look and feel of the original Armada. Announced on January 2, 2005, it is one of the year's promising new projects. Future versions may be expanded with integrated space flight for instellar clashes.
  • Privateer Gemini Gold - This spin off of the open-source Privateer Remake continues to polish its look and strive for greater symmetry with the original Privateer. Part of its popularity can be attributed to its new graphical effects and broad support for Windows, Macintosh and Linux platforms.
  • Standoff - Secret Ops editing was taken to new heights with the release of the Standoff mod. Utilizing the team's many years of Wing Commander modding experience, the makers of Standoff have added numerous features to the authentic Wing Commander Vision Engine. While creating a rich new story in the WC2 era, the team attentively works to stay within the framework of the established universe.
  • Wing Commander 4 DVD Patch - gulikoza's impressive efforts to overcome the inherent hardware limitation of the WC4 DVD edition has allowed Wing Commander fans to experience Wing Commander's highest quality video productions for the first time. The game originally required a special Creative Labs decoder card, but anyone with Windows XP can now play the game with the WC4 DVD dxmci patch.
  • Wing Commander Pioneer - WC Pioneer was one of the most ambitious new projects announced in 2005. The game they are creating with use an all new engine with high quality graphics and game mechanics. It will play out in Privateer style during the WC1 timeframe in the Landreich territories.
  • Wing Commander Saga - Fans of the Freespace engine are in for a treat with the upcoming release of this project's Prologue Chapter. WC Saga takes advantage of new effects and abilities available in the Freespace 2 engine as it explores a gritty chapter near the end of the Kilrathi War.

    Web Site of the Year Nominees
  • Fleet Tactics - This influential site attracts many users because of its serious in-universe atmosphere and presentation. It's jam packed with the sort of technical information and propaganda that might be available at a major Confed installation in 2669.
  • Origin Museum - Many of the world's most exotic and one-of-a-kind Wing Commander, Ultima and miscellaneous Origin collectibles are housed at the Origin Museum. Curators Joe and Paula Garrity go to great lengths to network with former Origin personnel to acquire and preserve important parts of our history in a central location.
  • HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site - One of the undisputed masters at Wing Commander editing has a simple site that offers his vast collection of tools, tweaks and patches to the internet. The efforts represented there are used in a variety of other fan projects and can help enhance the experience of almost any Wing Commander fan.
  • Wedge's Wing Commander - Wedge's site has been a major information repository for many years. Fan projects of all kinds call on it to provide quick access to detailed story scripts and centralized resources for individual games in the Wing Commander series.
  • WingCenter - The "Center for all Wingmen" was one of the original community hubs that sprouted in the late 1990s. They now cater to the large German audience of Wing Commander fans and occasionally highlight other up and coming space combat sims.
  • Wing Commander 3D - WC3D has long been a resource for both new and experienced Wing Commander 3d artists, modelers and texturers. Many different people's works have been collected and are made available here for general fan use.
  • Wing Commander Against All Odds - AAO is another representative of the hip new 2005 breed of Wing Commander sites and projects. They have an active forum where players focus on fleet and capital ship role play. The group also supports other upstart RPG attempts.
  • Wing Commander RPG - The Edge of Chaos RPG has its earliest origins in the AOL chatrooms way back in 1994, and many of its members have been an active part of the Wing Commander community for an entire decade. It continues to host regular role play sessions on IRC and its message boards.
  • Wing Commander Saga - To coincide with renewed efforts to complete the Saga game, the new Saga website was unveiled with tons of information and a stylish new look. It's been an important portal for releasing the project's impressive CGI trailer and whetting fans' eager appetites.

And those are the nominees! Visit here to vote for the Web Site of the Year and here to vote for Fan Project of the Year.

Improved Gemini Released For Linux Users

John Cordell has completed the trio of Gemini Gold 1.01 patches with the release of the Linux version. It's an essential download for anyone enjoying the game as the patch features a large list of improvements. The complete 1.01 download for new players weighs in at 190MB but players of the original release only need the 16MB patch. There are also versions for Windows and MacOS X. All are available from the Gemini Gold files page.

BREAKING NEWS: RIP, Digital Anvil 1996-2005

Gamespot has announced that Microsoft will close their Austin Digital Anvil studios in the next month.

The professional news sites will probably eulogize Digital Anvil as the proverbial little engine that couldn't, an attempt by Wing Commander's Chris Roberts' to fight the power and set up a small studio in an era when good development meant big money.

That's a disservice: Digital Anvil was never small. They launched with three announced titles in the works and a fourth under wraps... and at the same time developed some of the highest quality film work in the world, basically in their spare time. Others may complain that Digital Anvil shipped only four games - but well note that all four were truly amazing, fun experiences that harkened back to the glory days of computer gaming.

I had the opportunity to visit both Digital Anvil studios several times. Their original base, at Third and Congress in downtown Austin, was a beautiful homage to all things Wing Commander -- game posters on all the wall, movie props on every flat surface. Digital Anvil was a classy operation. The new offices, also downtown and soon to be empty, were clean and professional... and they reminded me more of Origin's old offices than anywhere else in the world.

What's more, their employees were consummate professionals. Many have moved on since, but men like Adam Foshko, Martin Galway, John Guentzel, Jorg Neumann, Eric Peterson, Chris and Erin Roberts and Phil Wattenberger are the best in the business; friendly to an old Wing Commander fan such as myself and at the same time responsible for world class game development.

The Wing Commander community owes Digital Anvil several times over:

Many know that the studio assisted in the production of the Wing Commander movie; in fact, Digital Anvil was chiefly responsible for the two aspects of the movie that were universally lauded - the beautiful introductory sequence and the amazing 3D effects.

Further, Digital Anvil employees have continued to support our community for many years with no benefit for themselves; much of the fascinating development material currently found in our Archives was provided by Digital Anvil employees. During the release of the movie they were always happy to listen to us. During the development of the Wing Commander movie they would occasionally contact us to ask about tiny little pointless facts -- the mechanics of jump points, the proper names for types of laser rifles and such. I especially remember finding a typo in their Wing Commander Movie website (it was dated '2564' instead of '2654')... I called them up, asked to speak to the webmaster and they had it fixed within minutes. That's true dedication to our strange cause.

First and foremost, however, Digital Anvil continued the Wing Commander series' legacy and spirit with StarLancer and FreeLancer, a pair of first class space combat games developed in an era when making such games was not necessarily commercially viable.

They not only believed that the genre could be re-ignited when no one else thought it was worth the risk, they convinced the largest corporation in the world to back their attempt. The company should never be forgotten by Wing Commander fans for this alone.

Our hearts go out to everyone who has to relocate and everyone who cannot. Digital Anvil deserves better. It is a cold comfort at this moment, but our community happily recognizes the 'Lancer games as being the equal of any title that legally bore the Wing Commander name.

Instructions To Play Armada Online Summarized

Although we've mentioned it in the news a few times, I've run across a number of people recently that didn't know about HCl's patch that allows fans to finally play Wing Commander Armada online with each other. Here's a summary of the different things you need to know to get started.

Armada can be installed and played in Windows XP with DOSBox. Instructions on how to install and configure Armada can be found here. To play Armada, expanded memory must be set to ems=false in the dosbox.conf file, and ipx=false must also be changed to ipx=true before playing online. Specific configuration methods depend on your system and the version of Armada you begin with. Once the game is running for you, follow these steps to upgrade your game to play online.

  1. Download the joystick/ipx patch for Armada and Proving Grounds and unzip it into your Armada directory. This will change the execution command from Armada to Armadadb (and pg to pgdb). You should test the game to see if it loads and you can play. DOSBox will probably need to be increased to around 6000 cycles (Control+F12) in order for the game to run smoothly. Calibrate the joystick by pressing ALT+O. This is the same patch that is required to use joysticks in single player Armada in DOSBox.
  2. Download the DOSBox netbios patch and unzip it to the DOSBox directory. Back up the old dosbox.exe file, and rename HCL's executable to dosbox.exe. You will use this new file when running DOSBox.
  3. If you have a router, you will probably need to forward port 213 to the computer you'll be playing on. Check the instruction manual or manufacturer's website if you've never done something like this before. The process varies depending on the router's brand. Make sure UDP data is being forwarded.
  4. Find someone else to play from the Forums or #Wingnut. One player will have to type "ipxnet startserver" in DOSBox. The player types "ipxnet connect IP" with the IP address of the other player in place of IP. Both players start Armadadb, go to Multiplayer and select Net Play. After inputting callsigns, the players should see each other in the username pane. Use the in-game buttons and commands to select your game type and play!
Visit the Tech Support Forum or #Wingnut if you get stuck or need to find an opponent.

WCU Hellcat Gets A Cockpit

For the past month or so the Wing Commander Universe mod team has been piecing together a new Hellcat model for their game. Of course no ship is complete without a cockpit, and a complete 3D reconstruction of WC3's Hellcat cockpit is in the works. It is still considered a work in progress, but the core layout is in place and matches up quite nicely as shown by the comparison shot below.

I wonder if the game will have an option to purchase some 3D furry dice.

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