Today is Holding The Line's seven year anniversary! The exciting HTL story weaves back and forth over more than two hundred chapters set in the Prophecy timeframe. To celebrate their birthday, the team behind the online novel is launching a new website at holdingtheline.net. The site isn't just an archive of HTL fiction however. Almost a hundred various WC Aces stories are now available there. Here's Coordinator Raptor with more.
This last year has been a quiet one for HTL chapters, both because the writers have been hard at work on the big finale, and because there's been a lot of work being done behind the scenes on Holding The Line Dot Net. As promised earlier, the site is being unveiled here at the CIC as a small
gesture of appreciation for everything the CIC has done for us over the years. We came very close to losing our online archives a few years ago, and if it hadn't been for the kind offer to host our
stories at Solsector, many HTL chapters might have been lost for good. In addition, being able to display new chapters at the CIC has allowed us to reach a much bigger audience than we could previously. It's been a great partnership, and one we look forward to continuing as we wrap up HTL.
Holding The Line Dot Net is first and foremost a fiction archive. In addition to all 207 published HTL chapters, the site contains approximately a hundred other Aces Club chapters, many of which have
not been online for several years or at all. We aim to expand both sections in the coming months and also add non-Aces fiction. The ultimate goal is to create the largest and most diverse WC fiction collection in our community. If you're a WC writer with a story you would like to see displayed on our site, we'd love to hear from you.
The site also contains an art gallery that showcases the ships and fighters that have taken part in the story, along with logos, banners, wallpapers and other artwork. This is another section that we plan to expand over the next few months, with the aim being to create a database that other WC fans can make use of in creating their own web pages and projects. If you are an artist who would like to contribute artwork to the gallery, please drop us a line.
The site also has its own forum, with boards for discussing HTL and the site, the Aces Club, and general WC matters. If you would like to chat, point out any teething troubles with the site, or swap links, then please stop by the forum. Registration is required for most sections of the forum, but it's a pretty painless process. Be warned that the CIC's own Death with be moderating, though. ;-)
Last, but most certainly not least, I would like say a huge thank you to Nikolay "Cyberion" Ivliev. Cyberion has created much of the original artwork on the site and has been a pleasure to work with. Keep an eye out for more of his great artwork and renderings to be featured on the site in the next few months.
Today is also the anniversary of the unfortunate Challenger accident in 1986. Along with the Apollo 1 disaster on January 27, 1967 and Columbia tragedy on February 1, 2003, it's a somber time of year for the NASA space program. They have created a Remembrance Site to recognize these events. On the bright side, many revolutionary things are currently unfolding as well. This month alone, the Stardust capsule returned cometary debris to Earth, the first mission to Pluto was launched and the Spirit & Opportunity rovers celebrated two years of exploring Mars. Additional craft are now on the way to Mercury, Venus and Mars. New opportunities to research the Moon, Asteroid Belt, Europa and Saturn may also present themselves very soon. Death supplied this article that discusses these missions and more. As science fiction fans, we all appreciated the sacrifices made to get us this far and remain especially excited about things to come.
Before the end of the next decade, NASA astronauts will again explore the surface of the moon. And this time, we're going to stay, building outposts and paving the way for eventual journeys to Mars and beyond. There are echoes of the iconic images of the past, but it won't be your grandfather's moon shot. Image [above]: NASA's new crew exploration vehicle in lunar orbit - artist's concept.
This morning LOAF went to the Texas History Museum to see the new Roving Mars IMAX movie. He brought back a few neat pictures to share with everyone.
It's the story of Spirit and Opportunity, from their initial development (with lots of cool footage of the rovers being put together and tested!) to their mission so far.
Most impressively, however, it was a fitting tribute to the engineers rather than some sort of attempt to classify the mission in historic or nationalistic terms. Instead of bringing in a second tier Hollywood celebrity the movie was narrated by Dr. Squyres, the genuinely excited mission lead everyone took note of during the televised landings.
Less than a week since announcing that work is due to resume, the Red Point mod for Secret Ops has already had a couple of big additions. First of these is a cockpit for the Stealth Black Panther that is due to feature in the mod. It's quite a huge change from the Panther cockpit you are used to.
The second addition is the TCS River Plate, one of the ships where you'll be assigned during the game. The actual ship and its ready room are pictured below. A second ship, the TCS Orpheus, has also been created. The Orpheus is identical to the TCS Cerberus from Secret Ops, only with its textures and ready room partially changed from blue to green. More pictures can be found on the mod's
ZOmegaZ has been working on the new 0.9 release of PiArmada since this Summer. He posted a quick overview of the improvements and additions that players can expect to see in the next version. The game can be downloaded from Sourceforge. You can discuss this project here or by clicking the Discuss link.
Oh yes, a LOT of enhancements have been done. We're waiting on a gauntlet mission right now, real life is interfering, as always. I don't think it'll be too much longer before we have .09 ready to roll. I'm not home right now, so I can't pull up the entire list, but we have improved strategic AI, a vastly improved flight engine, totally rewritten combat code, a menu system, some new graphics, and new keyboard shortcuts are the features that come to mind right now. Hopefully gauntlet will be there as well. Oh, and you can choose what ship you want to fly before battle now, or select auto-combat. Basically, .08 was .07 with a flight engine hacked in. This is much, much cleaner.
Warzog hopes to maintain momentum with the Wing Commander Freelancer conversion kit. The next version of the ship pack will add the Hades Class Cruiser, Panther and Dragon. Textures should be fixed on other craft as well. Here are a some preview shots of Hades. The ship looks great in the Freelancer engine, and the creepy Badlands area complements the design well.
Isaac Alexander let us know about a new little space sim called Acamar Rising. It's a straightforward space shooter created by an independent team in Arizona. A 1.4 GHz computer and 64 meg 3D card are required because of the game's advanced graphical effects, though some of the models and textures might seem pretty basic to some players. Flight is controlled with the mouse and keyboard. The story isn't too deep and revolves around protecting your home base from aliens of some sort. You can download the 23 megabyte starter pack and begin playing immediately. Registration is $19.99 and unlocks a variety of new features. More information and a preview video are also available at the Beteo Games website.
Acamar Campaign is a modern first person 3d space shooter. As the captain it is your job to clear the asteroids and protect the space station. Battle the alien fighters and watch out for the mothership!
Your last chance to catch the high definition version of the Wing Commander movie will be this Saturday. It airs at 6:15 PM on HBO HD East. Hopefully there will be another set of show times for this upgraded presentation soon, but fans will probably have to wait at least a few months. You can find the schedule for upcoming standard air dates here.
Sat 1/28 06:15 PM HBO - EAST
Sat 1/28 06:15 PM HBO LATINO - EAST
Sat 1/28 06:15 PM HBO High Definition - EAST
Sat 1/28 09:15 PM HBO LATINO - WEST
Another new cockpit design is in the works for WC Pioneer. Howard Day has released several variants of the Phalanx design. It's loosely based on the concept art posted last week. The colors are still up in the air, so check out the Phalanx WIP thread to talk about which you'd like better. QuickTime users can look around a 3D version of the cockpit here.
Our new poll asks what sort of role you'd choose if you appeared in the Wing Commander universe. The pilot option might seem to be an easy choice, but exciting things happened to many different types of Wing Commander people. Marines and Bartenders are currently in a fight for second place.
Our traditional New Years Poll stuck around longer than usual, which always skews the numbers towards the less enthusiastic options. Despite this, results continued to improve. Votes for the more optimistic choices have almost doubled in the last two years. 2006 will be the biggest year for the CIC since it was founded, so no matter which box you checked, we're glad you're here with us.
The Lego Dragon from last week has spawned two siblings. Staruss pointed out his second creation, a Razor Light Fighter. Pictures of it are a bit blurry, but you can find more here. He must have a lot of black and red parts.
st3lt3k found the second ship at Clan McLean. This one is supposed to be a Jalthi, but it might have more in common with a Drakhri. Six guns make the inspiration clear, but the wings would definitely need to shrink and move in more for it to match the intended fighter. The paint scheme isn't realistic, but there's a neat charm to the classic Lego space color.
Cyberion found a neat old review of Wing Commander 2 in German scanned by Retropoly.de. It was written by PC Joker in the summer of 1991. WC2 received an 86% score and a great looking double page spread. The game turns 15 years old this year, but the scenes depicted still look pretty appealing today. I can't tell if the magazine is still around, but in 1998 it carried Secret Ops on a cover disc.
Last month we posted the 240 page Privateer 3 Script to the Document Archive. The draft's story and background information detailed a new privateer's interactions with Kilrathi, Nephilim, Black Lance and other familiar elements in the 2680s. It's a must-read for fans curious about what might have been. The project was eventually canceled in favor of the online Wing Commander games, but we've now sorted out the various concept art shots from the proposal. Recognizable locations include a wide variety of bars, command centers, starports and more. Check out the document file for specific information on each place. You can find the rest of the Privateer 3 images here.
Soon, Kiranka will again assume its sovereign birthright and the Kilrathi Empire will be restored to its former glory. With the completion of this Battle Station, I will lead the Kilrathi forces to a final victory over the Terrans.
A sharp looking assortment of concept shots from Privateer and Wing Commander Online can also be found here.
RPG week continues today with the Battle for Enigma RPG. The game is one of the more established RPGs having first started in December 2001. The story is based around the 380th Fighter Squadron, also known as the Black Eagles, and takes place between 2667 and 2669. Their role playing forum attracts near daily posts, and they meet up every Sunday at 9:00 pm EST in an AIM-based chat room for live action simulation. If you're interested in joining, you can do so by either posting a message in the open chat section of their message board or by sending a private message to Mad Cow.
Characters take on the persona of the pilots of the Black Eagles, which is lead by Lt. Colonel Delphi "Rune" Mionas. The squadron is stationed aboard the Confed Dreadnought the TCS Retribution, part of the Confederacy's 26th Carrier Battle Fleet. Also aboard the TCS Retribution are three other fighter squadrons, the Angry Saints, the Space Huns, and the Copperheads.
We've got two more updates from WC Tactics today. The Kilrathi Dorkir Transport has been added to the Nexus engine and is ready to haul stuff around. The model comes in at around 1800 polygons, which puts it on the lighter side. I'm more of a Dorkathi man myself, but those twin tanks look neat from certain angles.
shipyard is also coming together. Smaller details have been tweaked to finish up the design. It seems that the Papenburg yard also has a small flight deck to launch a number of Hornets and Rapiers for defense.
If you haven't noticed yet, we're spending a week to highlight some of the active Wing Commander role playing games that populate our community. Most RPG groups tend to stay pretty quiet and keep to themselves, but they're surprisingly active under the circumstances. Another group looking for new recruits is also the oldest in nonstop operation. The Edge of Chaos WCRPG was founded on November 9, 1996 and recently celebrated their ninth anniversary. They also conduct character building exercises on their forums and hold almost weekly sessions on IRC. You can find them online many Saturday nights at 9:00 pm Eastern in #wcrpg on the starbase31.no-ip.com server. Follow the links on their front page to register and check out their new player guide.
Wing Commander: The Edge of Chaos is an interactive role-playing game focusing on the character and story development of pilot life post-Wing Commander IV. Beginning during the final bloody days of the Terran-Kilrathi War, The Edge of Chaos has continued into the year 2676. The Edge of Chaos deals with life after the Terran-Kilrathi War and new threats in the frontier regions of space.
Your second to last chance to catch HBO HD's showing of the Wing Commander movie in 1920x1080 resolution is coming Tuesday morning. After January there are no scheduled high def air dates for at least a few months. Anyone have any luck getting screencaps or recordings yet?
Tue 1/24 11:15 AM HBO - EAST
Tue 1/24 11:15 AM HBO LATINO - EAST
Tue 1/24 11:15 AM HBO High Definition - EAST
Tue 1/24 02:15 PM HBO - WEST
Tue 1/24 02:15 PM HBO High Definition - WEST
Tue 1/24 02:15 PM HBO LATINO - WEST
TanGO is back, so work on the Red Point Secret Ops mod will be resuming shortly. The team really needs a solid editor to translate the project's website from Spanish to English and clean up the grammar in the game's eight written chapters. Once the dialog has been polished, Red Point can begin looking for voice actors. Email Tango if you think you can help. Here's the game's Perry backdrop and Wraith and Vampire cockpits.
Standoff Episode 4 is still a ways off, but there will be a small update to Episode 3 soon. The patch will correct several minor issues that have been highlighted with the popular mod, and the Tarsus will be replaced in the simulator. Now's your chase to fly it before it's gone!
You will notice that the Tarsus scores now only appear on the Tarsus' ship profile page - they no longer appear on the index, the mission or the pilot profile pages.
Yes, we are up to something. It involves a bugfix patch, a ship, and a disappearing Tarsus. You will find out soon enough, when the patch is finished, tested, and released. Needless to say, no release date... it may take a day, a couple of days, maybe a week or two at the most.
In any case, when the patch is released, people who download it (or the whole episode, which will be updated at the same time) will no longer be able to get new Tarsus scores at all. The old scores, however, will not disappear. They will remain on the Tarsus ship profile page forever.
So, just think about it! Everlasting fame could be yours! If you get a high score in the universe's crappiest ship now, it may remain there forever!
If the fleet-centric Against All Odds, isn't quite your style, the TCS Saratoga RPG might be more appealing. Pilots from the Saratoga's squadrons engage in forum based role playing on a much more local scale. Most activity is conducted on their message boards with occasional IRC sessions. The action takes place about six months prior to Wing Commander 3. Many characters are currently engaged in support of the Battle Earth, so they need every pilot they can get. Space Operations are being conducted now.
The Saratoga is a Concordia Class Fleet Carrier and we are recuiting for 2 Squadrons, the Red Tails in Rapier IIs and the Unsung Heroes in Sabres. Contact
powell99 or MajorCamKollent for more information.
Don't forget that the
Black Lance RPG is meeting Saturday night.
The Lego Brickshelf has added another amazing Wing Commander design: the Black Lance Heavy Fighter by Staruss. This Dragon representation has a small cargo area and wings that fold down to engage a pair of Fission Cannons. A dark suited pilot takes the controls in front of the glowing red fuel intakes. The only thing missing is a tiny hatch to drop the mine. If you look closely, it seems like a few pieces have been cut to create a more accurate copy of the original design. That seems a bit like cheating, but I'm still very impressed. Don't forget to check out the Rapier I and Vampire too
The Wing Commander Against All Odds RPG is growing again. AAO puts players in the role of fictional capital ship and task force commanders in the middle of the Kilrathi War. You can see what the excitement's all about at their message boards. Here's Sylvester with more information on their latest expansion.
Greetings ladies and gentlemen. Wing Commander: Against All Odds is launching another recruiting drive. We've recorded ove 4600 posts in a span of little more than nine months. We are expanding our forums, launching new campaigns deep into Kilrathi space and introducing more complex storylines, including Kilrathi characters that will appear frequently (to the chagrin of our commanders).
The year is 2658 and Wing Commander history is in your hands. Currently we have operations taking place in Vega, Enigma, Gemini and the Epsilon sectors, including a few special ops missions. Choose your task force. Escort carrier driver or Dreadnought CO? Carrier division commander or cruiser squadron commander? It's your choice. We currently have six unassigned task forces waiting for a commander. Will that person be you? Come to
http://board.fleetaction.net to find out. See you on the front.
Major Striker is continuing to play around with various Wing Commander comic possibilities. The sample below is a neat example of where he might go with the concept in the future. Click the image to expand the full strip. Striker's kilrah'hra have some fairly muted fur textures, so there's a picture of a more brightly colored Kilrathi to balance. Comments on the art style and ideas about where to go next would be appreciated.
Thought I'd take a stab at a little Wing Commander humor. It was more difficult to do than I thought it would be. I know I'm not that great of a cartoonist but it sure was a lot of fun to make. I have some ideas for some other strips, but I'm still working on those. Should give me the opportunity to practice though!
The Black Lance Headquarters would like to invite everyone to a special role playing session taking place this Saturday. Set shortly after the initial Nephilim invasion, the story involves a covert group within the Confederation dedicated to seeking out and destroying threats to mankind. Old and new players are welcome. The game is conducted in #Black-Lance on irc2.beyondirc.net. Drop by #Wingnut if you need help figuring out how IRC works prior to the event. Saturday's RPG agenda hasn't been completely set yet. It could end up being a mix of structured space combat combined with more casual shipboard character interaction. They meet at 9:30 pm Eastern Time.
We're gearing up for a campaign that has the scope to be absolutely huge, but we need people to play marines, technicians, engineers, turret gunners, communications officers, medical staff, cooks and especially villains.
This game is largely about character to character interactions. Flying and Marine battles can take place over several weeks and make playing that much more fun. The RPG also has a reward system. Your persona get points toward their rank for attending sessions.
For fans who like forum posting, the BLHQ uses a chat board for character diaries and casual exposition in the days prior to a session. This allows players to extend the scope of the story or catch up on a missed meeting.
One of our newest Crius.net posters, Plasteel Skull, is already a big fan of WC Pioneer. He's got a talent for drawing, so he created a couple of concept art sketches for possible cockpit layouts. It's always neat when Wing Commander fans use their abilities to create physical works of art to celebrate the series. The differences between his Terran and Kilrathi designs should be obvious, and both are quite detailed. The Jalthi-inspired design has also been number coded to describe the different areas.
I tried to imagine how a predatory race could design the cockpit of its fighterz and this is the outcome. Numbers:
1. This could be something like autopilot or ready to eject indicator.
2. MFD (everything with a hatching means its a place for something to be displayed)
3,4. That's pretty clear - shields and radar. In case of radar I wonder whether it would be too difficult to make it from red-hued, transparent glass.
5,6. Those jewel-like set of lamps (one red and the other green) are fuel and power level indicators.
7. Rudder. I imagined it could take the shape of Sivar's blessed hand and hold a warrior's palm.
8. Kilrathi warrior code on engraved platinium plate - so they never forget to kill. :P
A lot of people are familiar with the Wing Commander paper models, but there have been numerous creative WC fans who've shared their impressive handiwork with us. Here's a small sample of the fancy things we've seen. Castle's case mod immediately comes to mind. He modified a PC case to feature Centurion and Confederation logos illuminated with blue cathode lights. His car is even decorated with a custom Confed Security decal.
DRAsvitt is famous for creating an armada of clay Wing Commander ships, and the folks at Brickshelf have faithfully recreated the Rapier I and Vampire fighters in Lego.
Wingnuts have even recorded songs about their favorite series.
Overmortal released three Wing Commander singles a while back. So don't worry if all the fancy 3D artwork and complex game mods seem out of your league. There are plenty of other ways to show off how big of a Wing Commander fan you are.
Not content to stick with the way things were in 1.01, John Cordell and team are working on continued improvements to Gemini Gold. Their Galaxy model has been retextured again for a future update. The shots below are tentative, and feedback will help polish the ship for the next version of the project. Game interfaces and base art are also on the list of upcoming improvements. You can help lend a hand over at Crius.net
Everything looks brownish because we have a "red sun" here. :)
I'll see what can be done for the final version. We would appreciate some feedback and suggestions to improve the final look.
You can see how the previous textures looked here.
Back in April last year, Zalmodegikos started work on an interactive flash-based map of the known WC universe. The project stalled six months ago, but Zal has returned and wants to judge interest in any further development. The map in its present state can be viewed here. It currently has ten sectors in place with complete scrolling, zooming, and searching abilities. If you think the project shows promise and should be continued, your feedback would be appreciated. Just click the discuss link below and voice your approval to ensure that work continues.
Don't forget that the Wing Commander Movie will be airing in high definition on Wednesday, January 18 on HBO HD. There will also be a handful of standard showings on several other HBO affiliates throughout the day. January seems to be Wing Commander month on the channel. Although there are a limited number of additional air dates over the next few months, the high definition presentations are currently all scheduled to occur in just the next couple weeks.
Wed 1/18 04:15 PM HBO - EAST
Wed 1/18 04:15 PM HBO LATINO - EAST
Wed 1/18 04:15 PM HBO High Definition - EAST
Wed 1/18 07:15 PM HBO - WEST
Wed 1/18 07:15 PM HBO High Definition - WEST
Wed 1/18 07:15 PM HBO LATINO - WEST
But we have an understanding with the people who did. A new mod for Freelancer has been released. It's a spinoff of The Reckoning that replaces the ships and equipment in Freelancer with Wing Commander equivalents. The game's original storyline and universe remain the same. Wing Commander FL adds familiar fighters such as the Hornet, Sabre, Morningstar, Centurion, Bearcat and many more. The Broadsword, Crossbow, Paradigm and Concordia Class Carrier also have roles as larger craft in the game. Freelancer players set up the conversion kit via the FL Mod Manager. After installing that program, run the pack's .flmod file and use the manager to activate it. Check out the project's temporary status site for more information. You can grab the 12 meg file here.
Development of this mod came about while working on the old "Privateer: The Reckoning." That project had several bugs in it that I've been wanting to fix, and I had a couple of new and improved models.
If ships appear to phase out occasionally during cinematics, it's a normal side-effect of Freelancer modification.
Unfortunately, I soon began getting bug reports that were almost identical to many of the ones from The Reckoning. I decided to eliminate the ship-related bugs before proceeding any further. With a crew of beta testers, we've managed to hunt down all of the glitches that we could find. This resulted in changing many of the ships' hardpoints, adding missing hardpoints, eliminating one of the new models, and the unfortunate removal of the TCS Vesuvius. Along the way, weapons and equipment were converted over to Wing Commander gear, some Wing Commander/Privateer music was added, a new AI was developed, the ship's explosions have been reworked, and the missions have been modified to work with the Wing Commander ships.
Currently, there are only two known issues with the mod, and they're both unavoidable:
1) Sometimes, when docking with the Carriers, your ship will bang about, forever. Simply fly past one end and try again.
2) On computers without a good graphics card, the top texture of the Bearcat will appear white.
Jonathon Carr has created a pair of Christopher Blair models for The Sims. They come in versions inspired by Wing Commanders 1 & 3. The Sims Studio also offers characters from games and science fiction series such as Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and Star Trek. Unzipping each pack to your Sims/gamedata/skins directory should add them to the game. None of the CIC staff currently has the original Sims installed, so feel free to send us fancier pictures if you try these out.
AD found this one.
Howard Day has released pictures of the inside of WC Pioneer's Camel fighter. The ship is a fancy craft suited for upscale pilots who like to carry out their business in style. It has a luxurious cockpit to match, although the combat capabilities available will be somewhat lacking. Howie has made some fancy Quicktime VR 3D files for fans to check out. The first one gives an unobstructed view of the rear of the craft. The second environment features an active HUD and displays. Use the mouse to turn your head.
Howard Day has been continuing work on some load screens for the WC Pioneer project. In addition to the original four, he has now added another screen to the collection, and also a modified version of a previous design. The brand new load screen (second image below) depicts an Orion and a Tarsus tractoring in cargo pods from amongst the wreckage of another ship. Once again, if you have any design suggestions you should visit this thread.
Plywood Fiend has created a montage of Wing Commander Academy scenes set to the song "Bullets" by Creed. I can't really stand the music, but many different situations are edited together well and follow a variety of secondary characters through tough times. If the response is positive, Plywood might take a shot at following some more characters in another video. You can grab the 32 meg wmv clip here. The thirteen Academy series episodes can be downloaded here.
The Standoff Sim Scoreboards are still evolving, and a new way has been added to view the results. Under the Pilots section on the left menu, players now have the option to view everyone alphabetically, by total score and by number of submitted scores. This makes it easy to see where you stand relative to other players. Only the top score for each ship counts, so this also gives everyone a big incentive to try the different craft available. Don't forget that typing "alswantsmoreships" and Z doubles the number of fighters you can fly. The top ten pilots as of this morning are listed below. Stay tuned for more enhancements in the future!
There's a new Bengal in the works. Lars is attempting to merge elements from different Tiger's Claw resources to create a unified interpretation of the famous strike carrier.
He began with the Wing Commander 1 version of the Claw and is now modifying it to reflect information gathered from the Wing Commander Movie and Academy. Since the initial rendering, the armor plating has been improved and windows have been added to the sides. Fighter launch ports and torpedo tubes have also been recently implemented.
I am mostly searching for some kind of examples for the armor plating and other details. I have made a simple render and done some rough sketches with Photoshop for some of the ideas I had... still very basic.
I like how from the perspective from the far side of the flight deck seems to be from WC1, but standing on the inside runway reminds me of a scene from the movie.
A key part of any Wing Commander mod is to get the designs right, and the way players interact outside the cockpit is just as important as how fighter craft handle in space. A WC mod with a Freespace scheme would detract from the atmosphere, but Tolwyn has addressed this by redesigning Freespace 2's interface for the WC Saga project. He's released an example shot to demonstrate this.
The overriding design goal for the new UI was to deliver an interface that makes it easier for people to believe that they are aboard a Confederation carrier. With this goal in mind, gevatter Lars developed several new concepts, of which we have been working hard to integrate into the new UI.
If you look closely at the list of ships, you can see that one of the names has been blanked out. Maybe there's a surprise in store later on.
Although channels like Cinemax and FOX have been showing the Wing Commander Movie more often lately, it's been a while since we've spotted the high definition version on tv. HBO, one of the original channels to premiere the HD WC Movie, will be showing it several times this month. This is an exciting opportunity for fans to view the film in much greater detail, since far more people have the hardware to do so than when the HD version originally premiered. Quite a few neat things should reveal themselves when the scenes are shown in 1920x1080 pixels. In addition to the times listed for HBO High Definition, regular HBO, HBO2, HBO Zone, HBO Family and HBO Latino (Freddie Prinze Sr was half Puerto Rican) all list numerous scheduled airings in the near future. The next regular showing will be on HBO Zone Sunday morning. Wingnuts have until Wednesday, January 18, to get their high definition setups ready.
Some of us are all set to watch the movie in high def, but archiving a copy or grabbing high resolution screencaps seems a bit tricky. If you'd like to help us out, click the
Discuss link below.
In the year 2564, a rookie fighter pilot and his pals hold the fate of the human race in their hands during an outer-space war between humans and a nasty race of aliens. Based on a popular video game. Also with Tcheky Karyo, Jurgen Prochnow (The Seventh Sign), David Suchet and David Warner (Titanic).
You can find many more show times
Sun 1/15 07:40 AM HBO ZONE - EAST
Sun 1/15 10:40 AM HBO ZONE - WEST
Wed 1/18 04:15 PM HBO - EAST
Wed 1/18 04:15 PM HBO LATINO - EAST
Wed 1/18 04:15 PM HBO High Definition - EAST
Wed 1/18 07:15 PM HBO High Definition - WEST
Tue 1/24 11:15 AM HBO High Definition - EAST
Tue 1/24 02:15 PM HBO High Definition - WEST
Sat 1/28 06:15 PM HBO High Definition - EAST
The Standoff Episode 3 Simulator Scoreboards have been a big hit. Dozens of fans have logged in their best marks, and the rankings change daily. However, on some configurations, the simulator has crashed, and the game's development team is urgently trying to resolve this issue. If you've had this happen, help isolate the bug by posting the details of your situation to the Forums.
We're trying to fix a couple of bugs in our simulator missions that could be very annoying when you're on your way to getting a high score... and we need your guys to help us with that.
If you haven't suited up yet, check out the
The first problem is that sometimes, on certain machines, the game crashes at the start of a new wave in the gauntlets. We haven't figured out a good way to reproduce that bug, so we don't know how to fix it. What we need from you guys is that anyone who experiences one of these crashes gives us a bit of information on under which conditions the crash has happened:
Your system specs (Processor, memory, video card, version of Windows)
Your Standoff launcher settings (Resolution, color bits, fighter/capship/asteroid viewing distances)
When did it crash (as in, at the start of which waves?)
That'll allow us to see if there's anything in common between the different systems which experience this crash, which is the first step in trying to fix it.
How To Guide.
Klavs81 has put together another neat image collection featuring his famous ships. "Kitten's Play" features a Rapier II swooping in on an unsuspecting Dralthi. Or if the title's any indication, maybe it's the other way around. The scene resurfaces again in a creative design inspired by the Hasegawa Model Kits. Image three might not be big enough to fill your desktop, but "Departure Angle Nine Zero" is a fun shot for all the Ferret fans out there.
As part of his efforts to create a 3D animation, lorddarthvik has been attempting to produce realistic looking grass. The problem is trying to avoid creating grass so complex that his computer takes too long to render the image. His system currently takes over four hours to produce the scene in the first picture when grass is included. At 30 frames per second, a one minute animation involving the base would take almost a year to render. It could well be worth it though - the second image shows how nice things can look with a bit of grass.
Major Striker has created a neat scene involving his Raptor and Krant. A trio of Confederation fighters are cruising through a desolate region of space when their routine patrol turns dangerous. It's probably not Khajja the Fang flying that Krant, since he never liked bad odds. You can grab the 11 meg .wmv and see the action for yourself here.
GameSpot has discovered that Electronic Arts recently trademarked the name "System Shock" for potential use in a new game. The popular and highly rated original was developed by Looking Glass and published under the Origin brand in 1994. It utilized the Ultima Underworld engine to tell a gripping story in an impressive 3D environment, but sales were average. EA hasn't touched the series since producing System Shock 2 in 1999. Although this may be a sign that the publisher is going back and revisiting this classic franchise, it may also be a preventative measure against BioShock, the series' upcoming "spiritual successor." The trademark filing does make a reference to some sort of new online game however, so we may yet be seeing another Origin property revived here.
Howard Day has released a handful of tentative load screens for WC Pioneer. The first picture is obviously inspired by the original Privateer splash image, and each one thereafter carries its distinctive border and style. These designs and more will be cycled randomly when players start up the game. They already look fantastic and make great wallpapers. Each picture is currently being reworked based on suggestions from Crius.net, so visit this thread to help out.
Here're a couple of loading screen art pieces. These will be displayed when first loading the game - before the user hits the main menu. They're likely to change, but for now they're more than adequate.
Any comments or suggestions would be welcome.
The WC Pioneer team has also been looking for suggestions on turret cockpit designs. A number of people have already submitted concept proposals based on required criteria. Some have even modeled possible exterior shots. Here's a few of the submissions.
These helped Howard come up with this impressive mock-up. You can grab a 750 kilobyte .mov of it in motion
Okay, ladies and gents - here's the first turret completed from the concepts you guys have made. This is the tail turret for the Camel - it's built after the concept presented by Maj Striker. The main reason I like it is its extreme range of movement - a normal ball turret only has about 60 degrees of movement in any given direction. This sucker has almost 85 degrees. The only thing that might be considered a downside is that it looks a bit like the head of an AT-AT from Star Wars. But eh... only a little bit.
The year's first video game to movie adaptation was released this past weekend. Bloodrayne premiered on January 6 in the US. Despite featuring a fairly all-star cast including Kristanna Loken, Michelle Rodriguez, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Udo Kier, Meat LOAF and others, the film only managed to make a paltry $1.2 million. To put this in perspective, the Wing Commander Movie and DooM did more than $5 and $15 million respectively. This caused Bloodrayne to debut in nineteenth place, and although it showed on fewer screens than expected, its per-screen average was also lower than every movies in the top eighteen.
The wait is over! The Standoff Team has delivered another exciting chapter of their Secret Ops mod. Fans with Standoff Episodes 1&2 already installed can grab the 80 megabyte Episode 3 here. New users or people with just Episode 1 should grab the 200 megabyte complete package here. Return to the TCS Firekka during one of the Confederation's greatest times of need. Whether players have a role in the historic Battle of Warsaw or instead get stuck behind enemy lines depends on their performance in Episode 2. You'll have to play through today's release more than once to see all of its fifteen missions. Visit the Standoff Forums to compare notes with fellow fans and ask any questions that come up. Have fun!
It's good to see projects like Standoff have inspired other fans to start their own projects and help keep Wing Commander alive. Our sincerest thanks to all of our fans - and this time, more than just thanks on a webpage, we hope you all find Episode 3 to be a worthy "thank you" message.
An all new feature has been added to Standoff with Episode 3. The TCS Firekka's Simulator is now connected to a global ranking system! Visit the Standoff Simulator Scoreboards to see how you stack up against everyone else as a Wing Commander pilot. The numbers are broken down by mission & fighter, mission & pilot and fighters overall. The board currently tracks data from sim missions one and two, the Confederation and Kilrathi Gauntlets. More missions will be phased in during future episodes. Players must have Episode 3 installed and be aboard Episode 2-5's TCS Firekka to access the sim. Users are identified by their unique Crius.net ID which is input into the Launcher setup menu. More details are available in the How To Play guide. We're excited to see how everyone will do!
Standoff's latest wallpaper last week was a big hit, but there's a pair of complementary scenes that haven't gotten a lot of attention. The first image was one of the original large Standoff wallpapers released a few years ago. It features a Confederation Dreadnought, Destroyer and Escort Carrier hanging beautifully in space. The second image is a foreboding look at what the future of Standoff holds as several Hakaga Supercarriers make their way through the Sol System. Both make great use of color to emphasize the tone of the fleets depicted. Each scene also includes a ship that was only revealed on the cover of a novel. End Run contributed the Escort Carrier and Fleet Action gave us a glimpse at the Hakaga. Which one best suits you?
With all the interest in Secret Ops this weekend, there's probably some people out there who can use Shades2585' Revised Secret Ops Guide. In addition to detailed mission walkthroughs, it features updated stats from the Prophecy Gold documentation. There's a chapter on history with FAQs from the original launch, a chronology of the release events and bits of fiction that many people originally missed. It completes the Secret Ops experience with codes for the game, interviews with Secret Ops development team members and a collection of official announcements published in 1998. The revised guide is a good read for people who've spent the week playing Standoff and SO and are now just counting down the hours till Episode 3 arrives. Check back Sunday!
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 are there make? What did I forget?
I’m considering working on another upgrade and possibly adding the in-game script. It will be a while before I do that. This one took up most of my free and work time over the last four or five months, so I’m a little burned out on it. 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.
Standoff's Episode 3 is now less than two days away! The project's progress indicator is completely blue, and their new chapter is now in release candidate status. As the Standoff Team hunts down any remaining bugs, fans have the first part of the weekend to get ready. The Episode 1&2 installer is a 126 meg package available here. If you already have Episode 1, you can get Episode 2 in this separate 67 meg file. Episode 3 should arrive at around 80 megabytes, including almost 500 new lines of spoken dialogue. If the exciting storyline, advanced Vision Engine graphics and popular WC2-Fleet Action setting aren't enough, there will also be an making its debut. In order to take advantage of the surprise as early as possible, try to play through at least Episode 1 prior to Sunday!
exciting special feature
Not much time left now. We're still busy as heck testing the game in search of last-minute bugs to kill, but overall, I'd say we're winning this fight. If you're waiting for this one and have some time to spare before the release, I'd suggest getting some practice in the sim. You might find it more useful than you can imagine.