XBox Live Experiencing Issues, Wingnuts Gain

Some people have had some issues with the XBox Live service over the last week, and this has raised a few questions. For those who can't establish a connection to the service, achievements are not in jeopardy. They are still recorded and uploaded for all to see the next time the console goes online - just without a timestamp. On the other hand, single player high scores in Arena's Melee, Meteor Storm or Gauntlet modes do require an active internet connection in order to appear on the scoreboard. The issues are intermittent and symptoms vary by person, but Microsoft is working on it. It seems like the sheer number of people playing new holiday games is likely to be the reason overloading the system, so I would expect the problems to resolve themselves naturally in a couple days.

While we're on the subject of XBox Live, here's some neato Wing Commande Arena advertisements that many people might have missed. They appeared in a variety of places throughout the XBox dashboard over the summer. The campaign highlighted the fact that Arena was Live Arcade's first 16-player game. The art is very similar, though not identical, to some of the renders featured online.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 46

The September 10, 1993 issue of Point of Origin suggests that a lot of energy is being put into selling Privateer... and getting ready for Ultima VIII! Given the newsletter's reaction to slightly negative reviews of Strike Commander, the press response to that game next year should prove fascinating. In other news, Chris Roberts has been promoted to Vice President!

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • Road Kills has a nice look at selling Privateer, Academy and other games:
Karl blew out to the West Coast and met with all of the accounts there, showing them Academy, Privateer, the Speech Pack and all the promotional opportunities coming up. 'We've had some good results with those accounts,' Karl said. Snorin' Lee Moore linked up with him so the two of them could blanket the Midwest accounts like Josha, Navarro and American.

They wrapped up the week with an Egghead show in Chicago, where 255 store managers from around the country got a good look at Privateer and Wing Academy. In fact, many of them ran to the phones to find that Academy had already hit the shelves back home and was moving well. Lee reported that most of the managers still regard ORIGIN as the leading edge of the industry, but with reservations. 'There's a little bit of distaste for our hardware requirements,' Lee said, 'Generally, they like the games but they say, 'My God, you guys take up a lot of disk space. My God, you guys are hard to configure for.'

Next on Lee's itinerary is the San Diego Computer Fair. He's taking his own technical support in the form of Ben 'Styg' Potter. More than 50,000 consumers will get a chance to fly Academy, Strike and Privateer.

  • Pulse Check ends with an interesting note: "On the horizon: Pacific Strike and SUper Wing/3DO."
  • Another Bump in the Org Chart is a short summary of Chris Roberts' career. Naturally, Wing Commander looms large: "But it was his next project that was to be his milestone. Wing Commander skyrocketed to the top of the charts and it's still there today. Chris's game design and advances in PC technology (386/486 processors, VGA graphics and sound cards) combined to make Wing Commander the new standard in PC games. It also created a second flagship product line for ORIGIN to complement the Ultima series. The Wing Commander line--including Wing Commander II, Secret Missions I & II, Special Operations I & II, and the Speech Accessory Pack--has garnered a host of awards and sold more than 800,000 units worldwide. It's been ported to other platforms, including SNES, and now is destined for 3DO as Super Wing Commander. Meanwhile, two Wing Commander spin-offs, Privateer and Wing Commander Academy, are hitting the shelves while work on Wing Commander III is well underway."
  • Reviews in Revue pulls a few interesting quotes from magazines: "If your jaw is off the ground, get this--the October issue of COMPUTE also has a glowing review fo Strike... A few pages later, ORIGIN FX (remember that product?) gets a nice write-up, too. 'If you want variety in your screen saver presentation,' Charles Idol writes, 'ORIGIN FX does an excellent job.' Wing Academy gets a full-fledged two-page preview in this month's Strategy Plus. Will Johnson says he'd like to have a little more control over mission design and the ability to fly more Kilrathi ships, but all in all, he really likes it. 'If you want to get your blood pumping, this'll do it,' he writes. 'Drag out the good joystick because the cheap one won't last very long with this game.'"
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 46 - September 10, 1993
Contents
Pulse Check
From the HR Files
Organizational Chart
Bumped Up
Reviews in Revue
Ticker
Former ORIGIN General Manager Possibly Spotted in Bedrock
Dear Point Man

Last Chance To Vote

We're down to the last hours of 2007, so this is everyone's last chance to vote for Fan Project & Web Site of the Year. If you haven't voted yet, check out the nominees and select your choices at the voting page. The winners will be announced soon. Good luck!

Also don't forget to vote for Flight Commander Mod of the Year contest as well.

Here's another look at the past CIC winners.

  Fan Projects of the Year Runners Up
2006 WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod Das Erwachen
2005 Standoff Privateer Gemini Gold
2004 Standoff WC Saga
2003 Standoff & WC Saga Holding the Line & Vega Strike
2002 Unknown Enemy Kilrathi Empire & WC Saga BS
2001 Unknown Enemy Holding the Line & Vega Strike
  Web Sites of the Year Runners Up
2006 HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site Wedge's Wing Commander
2005 WC Saga Fleet Tactics
2004 Fleet Tactics Wedge's Wing Commander
2003 Wing Commander in Russia WC3D & Wedge's Wing Commander
2002 Wing Commander in Russia BlackLance HQ & WingCenter
2001 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central
2000 Acenet Central Wing Commander in Russia
1999 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central & HCl's WC Editing Site

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty-Seven

Here's a closeup view of the unused black hole map concept's deadly maw. It's possible that this concept wouldn't have worked as well with the 'isometric'-style view that Wing Commander Arena adopted later in development.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Maniac Speaks!

McGruff caught one of Tom Wilson's many comedy club appearances recently, and he's got the goods to prove it. Besides getting a snazzy photo of the pair, McGruff also asked Maniac to sign his rare Hell's Archers shirt. You can see that the shirt is also signed by Margaret Weis, one of the co-designers of the Wing Commander Customizable Card Game on which the shirt was based. Mag Force 7 produced the shirt for employees who worked on the CCG.

He actually looked at it with a hint of recognition and said "Hey... is that a Wing Commander shirt?"

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 45

There's nothing too exciting in the August 27, 1993 issue of Point of Origin... several projects are continuing in development as planned, and there's no huge end-of-quarter rush like there was in the previous year. One thing I think we're starting to see here is an increased corporatization of Origin - check out the 'Dear Point Man' answers this time around to see what I mean... although these recent issues have insisted that Origin is independant from EA's normal setup, it looks like the partnership is starting to take its toll.

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • This issue's Pulse Check has a status update on Privateer: "In testing: Shadowcaster, which is 'tracking,' (is anyone else getting tired of that story yet?); Privateer, which is reportedly shaping up nicely; and Tactical Ops, which, according to playtesters, is great and should sign off Monday or Tuesday."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 45 - August 27, 1993
Contents
On the Run
Pulse Check
Dear Point Man
Top Product Support Calls
Revised ORIGIN Org Chart
Ticker
EOM: Karl Kabler
Firm Upgrades EA Stock
iNTEL Stock COuld Rise 50%
Rising Temps
Old Faces, New Places
New in the Library

A Different Kind of Modifier

NinjaLA has come up with another neat hand-drawn creation. He's spiced up one of his spare WC:CCG Vagabond cards with a pair of Hellcats and a Perry-style space station. He still needs to apply some black coating, but what he's got so far looks great. On the right is the original design from the Mag Force 7 card game.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty-Six

The Free For All Space Station map was originally a lot more complicated - just study this map! It includes a whole host of complex concepts cut for budget and time. Gas? Turrets? Generators? Cool stuff!

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Prophecy DVD Art Updated & Sized Up

Demonique has jazzed up an improved version of his recent Prophecy DVD cover, and he's released it in a high resolution printable format. Individual graphical elements have been reworked, the text is sharpened up and lighting was improved. He's also created a nice disc label and released the Prophecy logo as a standalone file. The logo was even done by "hand" in Photoshop instead of taking advantage of font text. Click the High Res links below for the original files, and visit Crius.net to provide feedback.
High Res High Res High Res
Wing Commander arrived in 1990 with the force of a supernova and each successive game in the series has outshone all other games. Now the brightest star yet, more vivid and intense than ever before, Wing Commander: Prophecy is the ultimate sci-fi combat simulation.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 44

This is a cool issue... it features the famous org chart that eventually lead to the Wing Commander Universe Map's 'Dallas' system! Check out page 2 for the 'Dallas-Everyone Else' graphic. The August 16th reminder is advice we should all keep in mind, too - don't forget to buy your burger!

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • Where Are They Now? features the first reference to Wing Commander 3! "First and foremost, kudos go out ot Tandy Tamer Karl Kabler... What's next? He's already working on the Tandy buyer for Wing Academy and Silver Seed.... Whatever happened to Silver Seed and Wing Academy? Well, Academy is ready, but we're waiting on EAUK to get its stuff together in order for a simultaneous worldwide release... Privateer is in alpha stage and new versions are constantly hitting QA. Early reports are that the testers love it... Things to watch for: the still-unnamed Interactive Movie #1 showed some unbelievable stuff recently at product review; the new look of U8 is breathtaking; and rumor has it that Frank Savage is creating the impossible working behind closed doors on Wing 3."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 44 - August 13, 1993
Contents
In Print
Nwe SKU Review
Where Are They Now?
ORIGIN Org Chart
Employee of the Month: Marie Williams
Dear Point Man
New Hires
Off the Clock: The Secret Life of Maty Martin
Ticker

Still Time To Claim Party Prizes

Most people have a different type of present on their mind this week, but there's still some CIC Birthday Presents that have gone unclaimed. All of the party prizes that we have addresses for should have gone out a month or two ago. If you didn't get your item, or if you haven't submitted your contact information, please send us an email. Here are the winners once again.
    Birthday Prizes
  • CIC Glass - Wedge, Sycrus
  • CIC Playing Cards - Ironduke, Wedge
  • CIC Polo Shirt (submit size) - TheFraix
  • TCS Eisen T-Shirt (submit size) - Justice, Paragon, Priest
  • TCS Eisen Hat - Taser, Wedge, Powell99
  • Confed Replica Patch - Blitz, ventsetti, HCl
  • WC2 Game - BobMcDob, Justice
  • WC4 DVD - LeHah, Vinman
  • WC CCG Pack - ZFGokuSSJ1
  • WC Novel (submit preferences) - Jetlag, matthew954
  • WC Movie DVD - Frogzilla
  • WC Movie Action Figures (submit preferences) - No Regret, Blonde
  • WC Movie Poster - Shades
  • WC Movie Longsleeve T - Jetlag
  • XBox Live 1 Year Subscription - Jetlag
  • XBox Live 1600 Point Cards - Justice, Jetlag
  • XBox Smack Talk Device - Dundradal
  • Nasa Sticker Set (donated by EddieB) - Dyret
  • Star*Soldier Print - Mekt-Hakkikt, Vinman, AD, Shades
    Arena Xbox Contest Prizes
  • XBox 360 Elite - NinjaLA
  • CIC Polo, Playing Card, Glass & Star*Soldier - IronDuke
  • TCS Eisen Hat & Star*Soldier - Blitz
  • WCM Soundtrack & Star*Soldier - Pedro
  • CIC Glass & Star*Soldier - SabreAce
  • Star*Soldier - Paragon
  • Star*Soldier - matthew954

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty-Five

A painting this nice should be in a gallery. This is a Free For All map concept which was not used in the finished game. In this map players would fight around a massive black hole, which would suck them towards death at its center.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Merry Christmas!

This year we have two very talented Wing Commander artists who are helping to spread their holiday cheer. On the left, Marc has rendered a nifty scene for everyone. He's put together a dressy New Constantinople style space station that's been visited by a Broadsword sleigh - complete with fancy rein-Ferrets! NinjaLA has also sketched out an awesome Christmas Mr. Kat. He got it just perfect. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all the Wingnuts out there!

Also check out a few of the neat holiday things that fans have put together in the past.

1999 2003 2004 2005 2006

One Week Left - Get Your Votes In

Since there's so many great choices in this year's annual Web Site & Fan Project of the Year award contest, some fans might have held back on their votes to contemplate the decision. With just one week left in the year, now's the time to start thinking about which nominees to settle on. If you haven't cast your ballot yet, head over to the voting page and help pick the winners!
    Fan Project of the Year Nominees
  • Das Erwachen grew in 2007 with the completion of its second fan novel. In addition to coming up with this exciting story, the team behind it has conducted parties to read selected passages and has had success with printing collectable copies of the books.
  • Flight Commander was upgraded to version 1.5 in 2007. New features continue to be added to this flexible Wing Commander modding engine, so it's more powerful than ever. The project has been so successful that it's spawned its own annual contest to recognize some of the best FC mods in work.
  • Privateer Ascii Sector is an innovative project that takes all the excitement of Privateer and translates it into two-dimensional ascii characters. The game capitalizes on its unique environment to add new features to the Privateer mix and quickly went from announcement to playable game in 2007.
  • Privateer Gemini Gold works hard to recreate the original Privateer experience as authentically as possible. A new version was released this year that adds upgraded ship models, graphical tweaks and many bug fixes.
  • Queeg's Wing IV Movie quickly went from idea to three-hour production in early 2007, thanks to Queeg's experience making the Wing Commander III version in 2006. Downloads of the film generated over a terabyte of traffic in just the first week!
  • Standoff is one of the most popular and long-running projects. It's a mod to 1998's Wing Commander Secret Ops and continues to impress fans with its attention to classic detail and continued expansion of the Vision Engine. Episode 4 was released this year.
  • WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod's graphics are top notch and AI is getting better. This project was a surprise hit in 2006 and won last year's award. The mod received continued tweaks and upgrades throughout 2007.
  • WC Saga's Prologue was released of New Year's Eve 2006 to kick off a year of activity. They have continued to release test material for their upcoming full game and have fostered the creation of fan-made missions as well.
  • Wing Commander TacOps is an exciting tabletop/board game ruleset that debuted in 2007. As the year's gone by, additional markers and aids have been made to help fans play on their own. The rules continue to be refined and Wingnuts are currently testing out ways to play the game online as well.
    Web Site of the Year Nominees
  • gulikoza's page is the home of the dxmci patch for the Wing Commander 4 DVD version. Not content to sit back after giving fans the ability to play WC4 DVD without its original hardware decoder board, gulikoza continues to tweak the patch and provide additional help to fans who might encounter unique problems. He's also experimenting with DOSBox tweaks.
  • HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site is the home to some of the most exotic and amazing patches, tweaks and tools for Wing Commander games. After ten years of unbelievable breakthroughs, HCl continues to dig deeper into his code and create new advancements.
  • Jetlag's WC CCG Site gives many fans a look at part of the series they might have missed. Even those lucky enough to pick up a few boxes of cards on eBay have a ways to go before they can complete their set. Jetlag's easy-to-navigate site lets everyone look up the stats or artwork that they need, and it even provides high resolution scans of each card.
  • Pericles' Paper Inside is the home on the web for an expert 3D paper artist. His physical sci-fi ship models are very impressive. Although he also builds ships for other franchises, most of his work revolves around Wing Commander.
  • WC Saga's website is frequently updated with news, sound samples, polls and concept art relating to the WC Saga game. It's also the main download portal for the Saga Prologue and test missions that have been released.
  • Wedge's Wing Commander is a huge reference site organized by Wing Commander game. It has a ton of original content and also links to other resources on the web. The site received a big overhaul in 2007 and moved to a new domain.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 43

The July 30, 1993 issue of Point of Origin marks the release of Wing Commander Academy... in a very low-key fashion. Will the mission editor sell as expected? We'll find out in the near future! In the meantime, awards and reviews continue to be very positive about Serpent Isle, Strike Commander and... the original Wing Commander?

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • In Print has some surprising award news:"talk about a blast from the past... The Readers' Choice Awards have been tallied at Multimedia World magazine. The winner for Best Arcade Game--Wing Commander II ((applause)). As runner-up--wing Commander ((gasp)). Moving on to Best Simulation, the winner is--Wing Commander ((thunderous applause)). Runner-up--Wing Commander II ((shock)). If you can keep all that straight (moreover, if you can believe it), then you won't be surprised to hear that Wing 2 was also a Finalist in teh Best Multimedia CD-ROM Title category. It just goes to show you that a quality title can keep 'em coming back for more and more. Congrats to everyone involved in both games as well as everyone who's sold and supported them. The honors will be published in Multimedia World's October issue."
  • Pulse Check is a great source for the status of various games: "Privateer also moved into Alpha. Perry Stokes is heading up this project. Toby Shelton, Dan Orzulak, Dee Starns, Bill LaCoste, Todd Wacchaus and Jerrold Harrington are the Aces on this one. So far they haven't been able to get a complete play through. Beth Loubet is writing clue books for both Shadowcaster and Privateer. She has recently relocated to the QA area to play both of these. We think it is great to have her here. We hope that being so close to QA and CS will help give her more customer input and make these two clue books the best ORIGIN has put out to date. WAY TO GO, BETH!!... The Silver Seed and Wing Commander Academy have signed off. They are both expected to ship in August. Guess we'll be oilin' up the phones."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 43 - July 30, 1993
Contents
In Print
Re-org!
"What's Next?"
Dear Point Man
Arrrg, Matie!
New Hires
Pulse Check
Ticker

Possible Deleted WC Movie Scenes Analyzed

AD has been doing some research on the Wing Commander Movie, and the result is an interesting article on the differences between the shooting script and theatrical cut of the film. He's carefully compared the final draft script to the movie's DVD in order to highlight scenes that were probably filmed but cut in editing. He's managed to uncover quite a few interesting deleted scenes and alterations. Head over to Crius.net to find the summary here. Don't hesitate to provide feedback. The more people talk about this stuff, the sooner some of these scenes might be released. You can download three different drafts of the WC Movie's script via the CIC Document Archive.
Deleted Scene: In the script Paladin has to eject after destroying the Capship and his pod is rescued from the moon's gravitational field by Blair's Rapier's tractor beam.

The script has Rosie remaining silent after crashing but alive for some reason so as to not attrack the Kilrathi.

During the Kilrathi "depth charge" scene, the script seems to include more damage scenes including ones where a Rapier breaks free from its moorings and crushes a few technicians and a scene where one of the torpedo tubes breaks and a hull breach kills all the crew that get sealed in the room.

Deleted Scene: After the hull breach on the the flight deck is sealed a scene with by Sansky in his quarters. Gerald and Paladin are there and Gerald talks about the Kilrathi knowing their moves. Gerald suggests Blair is a traitor. They also discuss the extent of the Tiger Claw's dammage.

Deleted Scene: This one follows directly after the previous deleted scene with Sansky. This one is on the Kilrathi ship. The traitor gets sent to the ConComm to prepare for the jump and transmit the navcom coordinates to the fleet.

Next up, the script has Blair confronting Angel about the "never existed" stuff on the flight deck instead of immediatly after the Maniac/Blair scene.

The script also has workers in spacesuits repairing the outer hull.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty-Four

This is the third of three 'environment' concepts which seem to draw on the background imagery of the classic games. This one offers a black hole capable of sucking in ships and a quasar-style anomaly which would have had an unknown effect.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Everything Ship Shape

Sean Murphy was kind enough to send some amazingly detailed pictures of Brian Smith's famous spaceship model. Just look at all the details -- it's incredible... and it really looks like the sort of thing that belongs in the Wing Commander universe. It would be pretty neat if one of our intrepid artists were to model this ship in Wing Commander Prophecy! You can read more about Brian and his artwork at our online memorial here.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 51

Goodbye, 1993 - you were a good year for Wing Commander. Issue 51 marks the last Point of Origin of the year, meaning that we're about to move on to Volume IV! Many consider 1993 to have been the greatest year of Origin's history... and it was certainly the most succesful we've seen to date.

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • Viva Las Comdex! reports on Origin's showing at that major trade show: "In any case, it was because we were at the monster COMDEX show in Las vegas showing the Strike Commander CD in the main convention hall, courtesy of the Toshiba Corporation, and showing Privateer in Yamaha's booth, also gratis... Over at the Yamaha booth, Lee 'Oh Why Did I Have Foot Surgery a Week Before COMDEX?' Moore was wooing the crowds with Privateer and Strike Commander utilizing the Yamaha speaker system. Yamaha was to provide us with its new General MIDI sound card, but it was still in development right up to the first day of the show (sound familiar?), so we just used our standard sound cards. Yamaha didn't mind, since Lee was being bombarded with people trying to see Privateer, which in turn drew larger crowds in the Yamaha booth."
  • Print and Prizes PC Entertainment has come out with its Ultimate PC Gaming Guide, an XMAS special. Three of our titles make the Editor's Picks List. Bernie Yee says Privateer has a 'state-of-the-art soundtrakc, and the graphics are up to ORIGIN's high standard.'... Mike Harrison's Wing Commander Strategy Guide shows up on a list of Top-10 hint books. Japan's Pop Com has an ORIGIN product update in which reviewer Toren Smith begins 'ORIGIN, in my opinion, has never produced a dud game.' He tells all Wing Commander fans that they must have Academy... Back home again, Privateer gets a good review (89%) in December's Computer Game Review. Editor Steve Honeywell takes to the high board to go off the deep end. 'Privateer is awesome,' he proclaims. 'It's one of those rare games you could see yourself playing years into the future and for twelve hours at a time. Truly cool!' In the same issue, though, Wing Academy gets a lukewarm review (80%). The writers basically say it's old technology and really best suited for already-hooked Wing fans. Academy fares a little better in the premier issue of Electronic Entertainment (formerly PC Games). 'The Wing Commander juggernaut rolls on,' Bernie Yee writes, but he laments the lack of storyline and new technology. Usually, Bernie is a good reviewer, but this time, he just doesn't get it. The former editor of the former PC Games, Greg Keizer, includes Academy on his Christmas buying list in the December issue of Penthouse, cementing his reputation as a quality reviewer and solidifying our need to renew our subscription."
  • 3DO News has, well, 3DO news: "Super Wing Commander figures to be a decent chunk of 3DO's CES plans. We're placing a SWC3DO press release in the 3DO press kit and providing an array of screen shots for reviewers who need them. Right now, there's still a dearth of titles for 3DO, so Super Wing could get a good bump in visibility."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 51 - December, 1993
Contents
Print and Prizes
Viva Las COMDEX!
EA Hollywood
3DO News
Leap of Faith
Dear Point Man
NEWS.TXT
Ticker
Employee of the Month: Michelle Caddel
New Hires
Most Popular CompuServe Cheat Programs
Changes in Store for Point of ORIGIN

EA Announces Tiberium

Electronic Arts has announced a new game in the Command & Conquer franchise - a first person spinoff called Tiberium. This new tactical shooter is set a decade after the events of Command & Conquer 3. Alien artifacts left behind in the last game lead to an invasion that the player must help repel now. In addition to action elements, the game will involve coordination between infantry teams, high tech vehicles and aerial/orbital elements. Of particular note is the length of the development process so far. Tiberium has been in the works since mid 2005, before even The First Decade was announced. There is no information on whether or not the game will feature a live actor film shoot, but the upcoming expansion to C&C3 will include a cast of celebrities in its FMV. Tiberium is expected to be released in the third quarter of 2008 for the XBox 360, PS3 and PC.
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 18, 2007--Tiberium is a mysterious extraterrestrial crystal that shatters the energy output of traditional fossil fuels. It has the power to save our civilization. It also has the power to destroy it. Over two-and-a-half years in development, Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today revealed Tiberium(TM), a new intellectual property that brings a rich, original fiction to life through intense tactical action and visceral first-person shooting. Set in a stunning sci-fi world with spectacular visual effects and dramatic environments, Tiberium takes players on an adventure through an environmentally-devastated world and places them in the heart of an epic battle for control this powerful energy source.

Thanks to KSarty for reporting.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty-Three

This is the third of three 'environment' concepts which seem to draw on the background imagery of the classic games. This one offers a massive star which arcs deadly fire onto the map.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

TacOps Time

IronDuke has posted a new version of the manual for his Wing Commander TacOps paper game project. This updated version, 0.14, has had several sections rewritten based on feedback from playtesters. Visit Crius.net to participate in future test games and provide feedback. Don't forget that TacOps is one of the many deserving nominees for this year's project of the year award, so if you're a fan, don't forget to place your vote! You can download the updated 26MB manual Zip here.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 42

This issue of Point of Origin (July 16, 1993) comes with a pretty gold seal - which means that the company has scored yet another prestigious award! Nothing earth-shattering in this issue - although there's an interesting reference to MetalMorph (here Cyber Morph) being "the Space Commander game for SNES." What could that mean?

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • Kudos and Columns has the results of the recent Origins Awards: "Wing Commander II posthumously took title for Best Fantasy/Science Fiction Game of 1991. (They didn't have the awards last year.) Underworld I snagged the same title for 1992. Belated congrats to everybody involved in both projects. Ain't it a shame when awards slip worse than ship dates?" It also reports on good news from CGW's Reader Poll: "What's after World Circuit at #4? None other than Wing 2... In the action game category, Wing 2 remains firmly entrenched in the #1 spot. (note: Wing I was moved over to the 'Hall of Fame.')" And, finally, positive comments on future games from Joystick: "Wing Academy: 'It is possible to play any side, therefore you can be a Kilrathi and waste the Confederation. This option by itself should bring a hell of a lot of joy to those who, on a regular basis, regret to only play the good guys, when, deep down, they feel bad & nasty.' Privateer: 'Another stone suited to make ORIGIN even more monumental.'"
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 42 - July 16, 1993
Contents
Security Council Update
Kudos and Columns
New Hires
Pulse Check
Clarifications
Farewells
Ticker
Richard's Birthday Bash
ORIGIN Company Picnic a Success
Bringing Things Into Focus
Take 5
Party Pics
Dear Point Man
NEWS.TXT

New Carrier Sneaks Online

NinjaLA is well known for his exciting Wing Commander sketches, but he's taking a crack at a rendering this time. The ship here is is an initial draft of the Kilrathi Hakaga carrier. It's based on the famous cover of Fleet Action. The design is not yet complete, but many of the ship's distinctive elements are already visible. He's off to a great start.

In eighty and forty days, four more carriers of the Hakaga class will be ready for their operational tests...

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty-Two

This is the first of three 'environment' concepts which seem to draw on the background imagery of the classic games. This one offers a ringed planet, a nebula and a supernova.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

DVD Covers From Hell

Forums member Demonique has come up with his own box cover for the Prophecy DVD edition, which was never commercially released. He tried to stay close to the original and used the NASA website and the CIC as a resource for high quality space backgrounds and screenshots. Demonique is also working on a jewel case cover for the Wing Commander IV DVD. Hit the discuss link to find out more.

Shades and THE_WUQKED have also put together some really awesome covers for everything from Wing 1 to Secret Ops.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 41

The July 2, 1993 issue of Point of Origin is fairly quiet - the biggest news is that good progress has been made on the Ultima 7 Part 2 'add in' (The Silver Seed). There's plenty of Origin culture to be found here, but not much mention of Wing Commander...

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • Pulse Check mentions that Academy is still being tested: "The QA side of the world has been busy, with 5, count 'em 5 games in test right now... We've gotcher U7 SNES, yer Runes of Virtue SNES, yer Wing Commander Academy, yer UW1 and 2 CD and the ever present and wondermuss Silver Seed add-on to Serpent Isle."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 41 - July 2, 1993
Contents
And the Winner Is...
Action Items
Pulse Check
Off-the-clock: And in the parking lot
Ticker
Strike Sizzles at Summer Show
Industry News
New Hires
Sawboy
Human Resources R Us
Librarian's Alcove

Perfect Plan Back On Plan

Kyran hasn't released an update to Perfect Plan in quite a while, but new things are in the works again. Core files for this Flight Commander mod were lost in a dead computer earlier this year, but they have now been restored. Kyran's currently working on getting cockpit chatter and story sequences recorded to go with custom communications videos. The goal was to get this stuff done in 2007, but a new release will likely slide into 2008. A codec bug has also been eliminated, which should allow future versions of this mod to work in Lunix. A new screenshot and preview of the menu interface are below.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty-One

You've played the Duel map, now see the painting which inspired it! This is actually pretty close to what Duel would look like from directly above... which, of course, was the original plan for the game.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Annual CIC Contest Kicks Off

There's just two weeks left in the year, so it's time again to conduct our annual Web Site and Fan Project of the Year Awards. Reading through the list of nominees really makes you realize how amazing 2007 was. It's easy to point to all the official franchise activity over the past year, but the fan activity has been just as impressive. Just look at all the great undertakings this time around. These weren't all the projects and sites that did something in 2007, but this is a good sampling of some of the most active and useful. All others have 2008 to aspire to! The CIC has set up a special voting page to conduct the vote. Each Wing Commander fan can select one option for Web Site of the Year and one for Fan Project of the Year. Good luck to all the nominees!
    Fan Project of the Year Nominees
  • Das Erwachen grew in 2007 with the completion of its second fan novel. In addition to coming up with this exciting story, the team behind it has conducted parties to read selected passages and has had success with printing collectable copies of the books.
  • Flight Commander was upgraded to version 1.5 in 2007. New features continue to be added to this flexible Wing Commander modding engine, so it's more powerful than ever. The project has been so successful that it's spawned its own annual contest to recognize some of the best FC mods in work.
  • Privateer Ascii Sector is an innovative project that takes all the excitement of Privateer and translates it into two-dimensional ascii characters. The game capitalizes on its unique environment to add new features to the Privateer mix and quickly went from announcement to playable game in 2007.
  • Privateer Gemini Gold works hard to recreate the original Privateer experience as authentically as possible. A new version was released this year that adds upgraded ship models, graphical tweaks and many bug fixes.
  • Queeg's Wing IV Movie quickly went from idea to three-hour production in early 2007, thanks to Queeg's experience making the Wing Commander III version in 2006. Downloads of the film generated over a terabyte of traffic in just the first week!
  • Standoff is one of the most popular and long-running projects. It's a mod to 1998's Wing Commander Secret Ops and continues to impress fans with its attention to classic detail and continued expansion of the Vision Engine. Episode 4 was released this year.
  • WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod's graphics are top notch and AI is getting better. This project was a surprise hit in 2006 and won last year's award. The mod received continued tweaks and upgrades throughout 2007.
  • WC Saga's Prologue was released of New Year's Eve 2006 to kick off a year of activity. They have continued to release test material for their upcoming full game and have fostered the creation of fan-made missions as well.
  • Wing Commander TacOps is an exciting tabletop/board game ruleset that debuted in 2007. As the year's gone by, additional markers and aids have been made to help fans play on their own. The rules continue to be refined and Wingnuts are currently testing out ways to play the game online as well.
    Web Site of the Year Nominees
  • gulikoza's page is the home of the dxmci patch for the Wing Commander 4 DVD version. Not content to sit back after giving fans the ability to play WC4 DVD without its original hardware decoder board, gulikoza continues to tweak the patch and provide additional help to fans who might encounter unique problems. He's also experimenting with DOSBox tweaks.
  • HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site is the home to some of the most exotic and amazing patches, tweaks and tools for Wing Commander games. After ten years of unbelievable breakthroughs, HCl continues to dig deeper into his code and create new advancements.
  • Jetlag's WC CCG Site gives many fans a look at part of the series they might have missed. Even those lucky enough to pick up a few boxes of cards on eBay have a ways to go before they can complete their set. Jetlag's easy-to-navigate site lets everyone look up the stats or artwork that they need, and it even provides high resolution scans of each card.
  • Pericles' Paper Inside is the home on the web for an expert 3D paper artist. His physical sci-fi ship models are very impressive. Although he also builds ships for other franchises, most of his work revolves around Wing Commander.
  • WC Saga's website is frequently updated with news, sound samples, polls and concept art relating to the WC Saga game. It's also the main download portal for the Saga Prologue and test missions that have been released.
  • Wedge's Wing Commander is a huge reference site organized by Wing Commander game. It has a ton of original content and also links to other resources on the web. The site received a big overhaul in 2007 and moved to a new domain.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 40

The June 18, 1993 issue of Point of Origin is all about the 1993 CES show, where Origin showed two Wing Commander products (Academy and Privateer)! Apparently the presentation didn't go as well as years past, with other companies showing games that were closer to Origin's lineup than ever before.

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • CES: The Gap Closes reports on the show's results: "Not to say we didn't have an impressive lineup: Pacific Strike, Shadowcaster, Privateer and Wing Commander Academy... Look for Wing Commander Academy to be compared to X-Wing's Rebel Assault, while Aces Over Europe will square off against Pacific Strike... The most anticipated game still seems to be Privateer. We made a conscious effort to position it between Wing Commander and Strike in terms of technology, but the press seemed a little leery of the fact that we were once again showing just the opening cinematics... But the surprise hit and what could be our biggest seller this year was Wing Commander Academy. To a person, everyone who saw it wanted a copy of it right then and there. And talk about positioning - WCA was pitched as a non-traditional ORIGIN game: 'Less than 5 megs on your hard drive and runs great on a 386.'
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 40 - June 18, 1993
Contents
CES: The Gap Closes
401K Changes
Dear Point Man
Ticker
New Hires
Security Update
Microspec
Employee of the MOnth: Jason "JEMM" Yenawine
ORIGIN U
Nuptial News

Playstation Video Extraction Tests Successful

HCl reports that he's making great progress on video extraction methods for the Playstation version of WC3/4. This is neat, because the PSX Wing Commander games included higher quality video than the DOS originals. This is particularly exciting with Wing Commander 3, which did not receive a special upgraded version on DVD. WC3 PSX also has full-color comm VDU videos, and HCl has already successfully extracted and viewed these clips.

The comm transmissions were lower resolution on the Playstation, but are colorized instead of green-tinted. Here's a size (and color) comparison with the PC version. Playstation is on the left, PC on the right.

Support for Playstation WC movies should be added to HCl's amazing movie player soon. The player and other exciting tools are available at HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty

This is an especially cool one: the concept art for Wing Commander Arena's Boneyard/asteroid map. Check out how early the 'Kilrathi Head' was planned... and some of the cool things that were cut (including turrets and a spiral)!

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Last Call For Nominees

The annual CIC year-end contests is about to begin, so now is the last chance for everyone to submit their nominations. Voting will begin soon for Wing Commander Fan Project & Web Site of the Year. Previous winners are listed below. In addition to all the official releases and that came in 2007, the year was full of fan activity, so there's plenty to recognize this time around.

After you email away your nominees, head over to Crius.net and also vote for Flight Commander Mod of the Year. Three colorful and exciting projects are in the running.

  Fan Projects of the Year Runners Up
2006 WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod Das Erwachen
2005 Standoff Privateer Gemini Gold
2004 Standoff WC Saga
2003 Standoff & WC Saga Holding the Line & Vega Strike
2002 Unknown Enemy Kilrathi Empire & WC Saga BS
2001 Unknown Enemy Holding the Line & Vega Strike
  Web Sites of the Year Runners Up
2006 HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site Wedge's Wing Commander
2005 WC Saga Fleet Tactics
2004 Fleet Tactics Wedge's Wing Commander
2003 Wing Commander in Russia WC3D & Wedge's Wing Commander
2002 Wing Commander in Russia BlackLance HQ & WingCenter
2001 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central
2000 Acenet Central Wing Commander in Russia
1999 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central & HCl's WC Editing Site

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 39

The funny subheader makes its return to the May 21st, 1993 issue of Point of Origin ("A Texas Tradition"). It's hard to exactly gauge what's going on at this point... sales for Strike are apparently disappointing, but they also seem to be higher than almost everything else on the market. Was Strike Commander similar to Wing Commander IV in that respect? Regardless, be sure and check out the New Hires page of this issue...

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • Sales Dogs has an interesting list: "Not coincidentally, the top ten EA (and affiliate) floppy titles are: Strike, Jordan in Flight, Strike Speech Pack, Ultrabots, Serpent, Tony LaRussa Baseball, Comanche, Comanche Mission Disk, Wing Commander and Great Naval Battles. Underworld 2 and Wing 2 check in at #22 and #23, respectively."
  • Global Press Roundup has some good news from Germany: "In the May issue [of PC Games], ORIGIN FX gets a nice write-up. 'If you think that good animation is not possible under Windows,' the editors write, 'you will be speechless after watching these little movies'... Strike still tops all the magazine's other flight sim ratings, including Comanche, Falcon, Strike Eagle and even Wing Commander."
  • Pulse Check reports that Quality Assurance is working on Academy: "Things have been going well - we've got new blood on the ph ones in C/S, and some of the C/S flying aces have been testing Wing Academy in QA and are helping to rid the world of pesky bugs every day."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 39 - May 21, 1993
Contents
Impressions of the Mother Ship
Sales Dogs
Point Man
Global Press Roundup
Top 10 Calls Off-the-clock: with Herman Miller
Pulse Check
Ticker
Awards and Honors

Dr. Loomis, Meet Dr. Loomis

Our own Admiral Tolwyn plays a major role in the 2007 remake of John Carpenter's horror classic Halloween. Malcolm McDowell appears as Samuel Loomis:
On Halloween 1963, Haddenfield, 10-year-old Michael Myers, estranged and mentally unstable, is imprisoned in Smith's Grove Sanitarium under the care of Dr. Sam Loomis for the murders of his mother's boyfriend, his older sister, and her boyfriend. Now, 16 years later, he escapes and goes in search of his sister Laurie. Dr. Loomis must warn the residents of Haddenfield and get to Laurie before Michael does.

Wingnuts will immediately recognize this name from Privateer 2. Lev Arris is treated by a Dr. Loomis when his pod arrives at the Crius hospital. Apart from their name and profession, the doctors also share an interest in strange eyewear. You can download the Privateer 2 segment with Dr. Loomis from the Holovids section.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Thirty-Nine

Hopefully, you've seen this one before - the asteroid texture used on Wing Commander Arena's 'boneyard' map. I bet you thought the purple tint was a lighting effect... that's exactly the kind of trick they need to play with the reduced resources available to an XBLA title.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Achieve 200 Points

Forums member MannPower is trying to organize an Arena game night. This is your chance if you still need to get the Tiger's Claw achievement. You need to compete in a 16-player capital ship mission to earn this one. Let everyone know when you'll be available!
Hey guys; please participate in the poll. It'll help me to gauge when the majority of people are the most available for a weekly Wing Commander Arena game night.

I'll be keeping a killboard for every game I happen to attend - a chore that a volunteer could pick up in the event I cannot make it one night. I'll post the board standings here on the forums.

But first thing's first - lemme know what days you're available!

The Forums, #WingNut on IRC and the CIC Xbox Live Gamertag list are all good places to look for Arena players.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 38

Bad news - Strike Commander isn't selling as well as expected. This issue of Point of Origin (May 7, 1993) advances several theories as to why... but lukewarm sales for a game that the company spent multiple years worth of development money on can't be good news. Another interesting point here is the first big news about 3DO - previous issues included speculation and rumors, but we hear for the first time now that both Chris Roberts and Richard Garriott have 3DO projects on the schedule.

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • The Public Eye mentions an article by Ellen Guon: "Former-ORIGIN-employee-and-now-EA-writer Ellen Guon is featured in an article in Writing magazine. She talks about writing for computer games and we even manage to get a Wing 2 screen shot in there. You take 'em where you can get 'em."
  • The Employee of the Month is Ana Moreno, whose name should be familiar to fans of Wing Commander IV. Her story mentions our favorite game: "I knew about Wing Commander from my brothers and thought this might be a fascinating place to work. I was right."
  • Misc. details a Privateer-related move - which is kind of strange, since everyone always assosciates Erin Roberts with the game: "Erin Roberts is making a jump to the Shadowcaster team. He'll be the ORIGIN poitn of contact for the project, freeing up Scott Russo to devote full time and talents to the much-anticipated Privateer."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 38 - May 7, 1993
Contents
Strike: In the Air
The Public Eye
From the Library
Game World
Pulse Check
Employee of the Month
3DO: Birth of a Notion
Immigration: The Huddled Masses
Misc.
Editor's Corner

Fare Thee Well, GameTap

It's official: GameTap will remove Wing Commander I, II and IV from their service at some point today. The CIC staff would like to formally apologize to anyone who paid for the service beyond today believing they would be able to play Wing Commander. We genuinely believed that GameTap would offer an exciting new way for both old fans and new players to experience Wing Commander. This is a sad cap for what has otherwise been a universally excellent year for Wing Commander fans. You can remember the good times with our memorial retrospective archive, available here. Here's to hoping that another service licenses Electronic Arts' game catalog in the near future - they'll have my dollars.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Thirty-Eight

This is the last of the 'miscellaneous' images. Next up, we'll be looking at environments! This painting is another attempt to understand Wing Commander. This time, it's a take on the 'cinematic' style of the games, with an in-flight scene similar to those in Wing Commander II.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Goodbye, Eagle One

A fan has died. Wayne Howard, aka Eagle One, operated #Wing-Commander on the DALnet (later BeyondIRC) for over ten years. It is no secret that Eagle and the CIC staff did not get along; what's less often remembered is that we were once contemporaries and friends. Eagle, ace, Bearcat, Skyfox and I ran #Wing-Commander together for several happy years in our youths.

It's hard to memorialize someone who didn't like you much. I felt bad about the situation and tried to contact him many times over the years, but was always ignored. I regret now not having done more. Nevertheless, Mr. Howard had a huge impact on my own life - and he helped create what we know as Wing Commander fandom today... including the friendships that I consider the most important in my life. I will endeavour to remember him as the kind gentleman who sent his friends candy at Christmas and who surprised me with a phone call when I was a scared boy preparing for dangerous surgery.

I don't know how many of the #Wing-Commander crew are still around, but please leave your memories at the forum - we'll collect them in the tributes section alongside those to the developers who created our universe. Eag deserves that much.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 37

April 23rd, 1993 - it's Strike Commander day! This issue of Point of Origin begins to deal with Strike Commander's long-delayed aftermath... and it also immediately jumps into the next frontier, interactive movies. 'Interactive Movie #1' is profiled, the project which will eventually become Bioforge - and you just thought they stuck the IM logo on all the boxes after Wing Commander III was such a hit!

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • This issue has only the briefest mention of Wing Commander, in a prediction included in In Print: "People are already drolling at the concept and promise of Privateer. In the middle of it all we're going to throw some unexpected gems like Shadowcaster, Interactive Movie #1 and Wing Commander Academy at them out of the blue."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 37 - April 23, 1993
Contents
Strike: The Campaign Begins
Pulse Check
Interactive Movie #1
Off the Clock: Fun with the Sun
Just a Reminder
Point Man
Special Operations
Ticker
New Faces: Alumni Reunite!
In the Library
NEWS.TXT
In Print
Corporate
Get Outta Here!

Official XBox Mag Still Loves Arena

AD saw some neat Wing Commander Arena mentions in the Holiday 2007/#78 issue of the Official XBox Magazine. Arena shows up in "The 360's Best Games" feature because of its high review score in the August 2007 issue. It also gets mentioned in the new review of the Battlestar Galactica XBLA game. The piece notes that BSG's single player portions are "ridiculously short" and marks the game down for its lack of maneuvers, power-ups, AI and unique modes. They mistakenly credit Battlestar's 16-person multiplayer, but such large battles are only available in two Arcade games so far - Wing Commander and Undertow. The review concludes with this:
At 800 Points, Battlestar is cheap, but in a sky already patrolled by the superior Wing Commander Arena, these toasters don't stand a chance.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Thirty-Seven

You've seen this image before, but there's a story behind it: it was developed very late at the behest of the Official Xbox Magazine. They wanted a cool splash image to include when they reviewed the game... and then they used it as an index background instead! You can find several different resolutions here.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Wing One, Take Two

Edx found something cool that we missed from quite a while back: a version of the Wing Commander I main theme updated by WC composer Dave Govett! The original 2003 thread where the piece was posted is available here. You can download the track here (1.4 mb, MP3). The artist says:
This is still a work in progress. I've done all I can on it until I get back from LA in a couple weeks. The march and the slow part are not hooked together yet so there is a small pause between them. I'm not done with it yet and that is only one mic position so the ambience will improve and I still have to work on some articulation. This is still in sketch and composition mode but I like the results with this kind of speed. Thomas helped me with a good techique to smooth out the brass and get the french horns to have more attack with out being so brutal. (right now I layered portato with staccato but instead I'll try portato and sustain.)
Unfortunately, Mr. Govett was unable to finish the project and The Fatman's Wing One album was recently released using the original versions (plus some awesome extras.) Maybe someday!

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 36

The moment everyone has waited many, many years for is here: Strike Commander has shipped! As you can tell from the font size of the front page alone, the guys at Origin are very, very relieved. The game is due out April 23rd. Now Chris Roberts can work on Wing Commander III...

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • As promised, this issue includes an article about Wing Commander Academy:
Face it: there's a little egomaniac in every pilot who's flown a Ferret. The 'brag factor' is what makes Wing Commander Academy (the current working name) look like it could be a big seller. Basically, WCA is a do-it-yourself mission builder in the Wing Commander universe. Programmed-turned-Producer Thomas Blom explains it this way: "There's no real story line, except what you design for yourself. Each mission can have an objective; maybe you have to retrieve a data pod or ejected pilot, or maybe you just want to do some dogfighting. In any case, you have total control over the design.

"WCA should really appeal to people who care about how good a pilot they are. After you design a mission, it will have a score based on its degree of difficulty. The files will be small enough so that you can dump the scnario onto a disk or post it online somplace like CompuServe. That way, you can challenge your friends or other players to try and beat you at your own mission. Players who whizzed through Wing Commander can actually create impossible missions, while other players may just want to use it as a way to play around with different kinds of spacecraft or study the way the Kilrathi fly."

WCA has another couple of big selling points. First of all, it's not as hardware-intensive, so there will be a lot of happy 386 owners out there. Second, it will be at a reduced price point (currently $49.95 as opposed to $79.95). WCA is planned as a fall project. Right now, it has a lean and mean team. Jeff Everett and Brent Thale are working on the programming and Whitney Ayres on the art. Thomas' goal is to have it in the box by the end of June (perfect for CES). In the next Point, we'l take a look behind the scenes of Interactive Movie #1.

  • Review Revue has some last words for the screensaver: "At the Chicago Tribune, Dennis Lynch named ORIGIN FX 'Best Screen Saver of the Year.' He wrote: 'FX gets the nod for its totally groovy psychedelic displays and stunning music.' We're not quite sure what he was smoking when he wrote that, but we hope he has plenty more."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 36 - April 9, 1993
Contents
Strike Signs Off!
Slick Serpent Sales Sizzle
Strike Ready to Roll
Wing Commander Academy
On the Clock
Pulse Check
Off the Clock
Employee of the Month: Jennifer Davis
Review Revue
Misc.
Check It Out (And Bring It Back)

Any Word from Angel?

None. Oh, wait, there is some - uk40 has tracked down Yolonda Jilot, the woman who played Angel in Wing Commander III! After a short career in films in the United States (which included Wing Commander III and JFK: Reckless Youth), she worked on interview and documentary projects. She's now part of an theatre group called Euro Theatre in Brussels... so start heading for Belgium! A short biography is available here (in French).

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Thirty-Six

This is an attempt to create different gun and missile trails for the game, to better show off which weapon is being used at any particular time. These specific styles may not have made it to the finished game, but the spirit certainly did!

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 35

March 26, 1993: Serpent Isle is out! This Point of Origin celebrates a release that has actually made it in under the wire. Initial reaction is positive... and we all know that Serpent Isle was an excellent game. The big question is: will the idea of a 'midquel' sell?

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • Serpent Isle Beats the Clock mentions some small irony in the importance of the release: "When U7 ran late, ORIGIN lived off the income from the Commander line. Now, an Ultima has come to the financial rescue while Strike makes its way through the final stages of testing."
  • Press On says that ORIGIN FX was on TV! "While only a few million people were looking, ORIGIN FX was featured on CNN's Future Bytes. Fortunately, one of the people was Alan Gardner, who slapped in a tape and even sacrificed part of his previously recorded 'Beauty on the Beach' contest from MTV. Now that's dedication! Future Bytes did a wrap-up of popular screen savers and showed FX modules three times, including Dicko's famous 'third-eye' man. The show said screen savers have become entertaining high-tech time-wasters worthy of a look (plus, they mentioned ORIGIN FX by name)." There's also some good press from France: "France's Generation 4 magazine is chock full of ORIGIN coverage this month, most of it as a result of CES. The editors write of ORIGIN FX: 'The Ultimate ScreenSaver. A must, even if it's just out of curiousity.' ... And of Privateer: 'Knowing how late ORIGIN is on this kind of product, let's not talk about it as a 1993 product.' Ouch!"
  • Joint Resolution tells the very interesting story of Shadowcaster... and it ends with an exciting promise: "Watch this space in the next issue for a look behind the scenes of Wing Commander Academy."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 35 - March 26, 1993
Contents
Serpent Isle Beats the Clock
Top Honors
Misc.
Dear Point Man
Press On
Ticker
Joint Resolution
On the Job

The Lonesome Death of FreeLancer 2

Pistol reports that a neat site called Such Things That Never Was has run an article about the long-cancelled FreeLancer 2 project. Development on FL2 went on for quite a while, and included several Wing Commander veterans. We actually get regular e-mails asking for information about this game, thanks to what we thought was an obvious April Fools joke update. They say:
At the time of Digital Anvil's closing, the company was working on two Xbox 360 titles, one of which was dubbed with the codename Project Lonestar (the other, Project Enwor, I'll go into at length at a later date) but also known by the name of Freelancer 2. I have not played much of the original, so forgive me that I cannot compare the sequel to the original. The player would have again been in the shoes of Edison Trent as he attempted to find out the truth about the mystery of the space station disaster that Trent survived whilst alluding some shadowy groups.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Thirty-Five

This was one of the earliest menu mock ups made for the game - it's very different from the finished product! Note the single player mission option and the fact that both the fighter and the space station seen in the image were not used in the finished game.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

It Sure Was Good While It Lasted

We've put together a quick tribute to those nine glorious months of Wing Commander on GameTap. It includes screenshots of all the 'bonus material' presented in the client along with copies of the games' manuals, the video trailer for Wing Commander I and other bits of GameTapicana. For those unfamiliar, the service will stop hosting Wing Commander I, II and IV on December 11th. The GameTap archive is available here.

We've also learned that the games are being removed because GameTap opted not to continue paying Electronic Arts' for their use. Their failure to report on the issue or to deal with the aftermath is at least as infuriating as the fact that we've been paying them for a service which doesn't work as promised. We urge anyone affected by this debacle to post to this thread at GameTap's website - let them know what you think!

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 34

This "Special SPA Issue" of Point of Origin is dated March 12, 1993... and, once again, Origin lost at the awards show. It's all treated very humerously, but you can be sure that this is exactly the kind of thing that would have driven Lord British crazy.

Also note that the ORIGIN Music CD has been added to the company's library in this issue. The CD was long-shrouded in mystery, but several appearances in recent articles have cleared up its history: it was apparently initially given away at trade shows in late 1992 and early 1993.

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • Misc has an interesting story about Wing Commander and Babylon 5 brushing elbows - a real meeting of the minds:
Charles Cafrelli blasted a message to Babylon 5 and its creator/director/writer, Michael Straczynski, via CompuServ. Charles told him how much a lot of people at ORIGIN enjoyed the television show (and also passed along some of our artists' suggestions concerning bumps in the bitmaps). Straczynski sent Charles an e-mail reply: 'Do you realize how many hours of my life I have wasted in front of Wing Commander, Wing Commander II and the various Secret Missions modules? I hate all of you! Feh! Seriously, though, I'm glad y'all approve. I'll definitely relay the comments back to our design people.' Neat guy.
  • The Week in Reviews has another honor for Wing Commander II and some kind words for Origin FX.: "Electronic Games, the newest of the bunch, held its first Readers' Choice Awards and the results are in the current (April) issue... In the same issue, Wing Commander II is named 1992 Computer game of the YEar. (If only our fiscal calendars worked the same way...) 'ORIGIN's high flyer shot down everything,' the editors write... ORIGIN FX gets a nice mention in the March issue of Computer Game Review: 'ORIGIN's already estabsliedh reputation for high-quality games has allowed them to produce a high-quality screen saver.'"
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 34 - March 12, 1993
Contents
Views from the Top
Always a Bridesmaid
NEWS.TXT
In the Library
And the Winners Are...
Dear Point Man
Misc.
The Week in Reviews
New Contest
Help Wanted
Still Counting

Fish Sim First Look: Fish Tycoon DS

How is a Centurion like a gourami? We're usually quick to point out when a gaming review pays homage to Wing Commander... which often happens when a new space sim or interactive movie is being discussed. Gaming Excellence, however, has managed to do it in a review of Fish Tycoon, a fish breeding simulator. The analogy is just too good not to quote at length. You want to buy a Neon Tetra? I'm telling you, you do!
My favorite game as a lad was a neat little spin-off called Privateer.

Taking place in the then-relevant Wing Commander universe, Privateer made you a freelance space-pilot in an aging ship, willing to take any mission for the right price. As you made money, you upgrade your ship, eventually buying a new one entirely. This was a great way to add role-playing elements into a game while it slowly let you work your way through a series of story-driven missions.

Technically, Fish Tycoon is very similar to Privateer.

You start off the game with a fish tank, fish food and some fish eggs. After a bit of waiting, your eggs hatch, and tiny fishies populate your tank. Once old enough, you can breed your fish and sell the resulting offspring for cash, which you use to buy a water pump to help maintain the health of your fish. Do it all again, then buy a snail to keep your aquarium clean. Wash, rinse and repeat, and you’re playing Fish Tycoon.

Ultimately, your goal is to cross-breed all your fish so as to re-discover the seven “magic breeds” of fish lost long ago in a plot device no one really cares about.

So, like Privateer, Fish Tycoon gives you plenty of toys and upgrades to buy as a result of your hard work. While quite repetitive, the game offers plenty of stuff to work towards. It even gives you an ultimate objective to keep the game from being entirely masturbatory.

This leads us to the main difference between Fish Tycoon and Privateer. While one game has you fighting pirates in a space ship, the other one has you taking care of fish. I can appreciate how “blowing stuff up” isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but please please please give me something cooler to do than literally watch fish grow.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Thirty-Four

This artwork was created to get 'inside the head' of a Terran. It's an attempt to express that life aboard space stations is gray, dreary and sweaty - while space itself is colorful and exciting. Such pilots paint their fighters in bright colors in order to try and capture the feeling they have while they're in space.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

Asteroids Rock!

Today's poll asks which Wing Commander games have your favorite asteroids. This might be because you prefer the challenge of dodging tightly packed rocks in one game, or you could vote based on the relative ease of cruising through a field in another game. There are quite a variety of asteroids featured in the Wing Commander series, so think hard and then hit the Discuss link to tell the world how you decided.

The last poll asked which official guide was your favorite. While a bit different from the other choices, the Wing Commander Movie's Confederation Handbook took first place. The handbook's always been quite impressive with its huge color section and detailed movie backstory. The combined guide for WCI&II was virtually tied for the top spot as well. It's written as an impressive narrative walkthrough of the earlier games. WC3 and Prophecy's guide also ended up with a strong 3rd and 4th place showing. In general, voters voted for the guides that added the most new fiction and information to the universe.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 33

The year seems to be starting out well, according to the February 26th, 1993 issue of Point of Origin. Both EA and the industry at large are interested in expanding the game development market in Austin, seemingly a direct result of Origin's past successes -- and we all know how that turned out!

A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!

  • "End-Quote" has a few words of praise for the screensaver: "ORIGIN FX gets a nice mention in France's Generation 4, which writes: 'ORIGIN FX is simply fabulous and easy to use. With all the options, even the new user can obtain impressive results.' Not quite how we'd say it, but okay."
  • Still Growing describes new employees: "Greg Gidel is working on Wing Commander for the FM Towns machine. Originally from Illinois, Greg's a long-time EA fan (Bard's Tale) as well as Ultima player."
  • One of the responses in Dear Point Man describes plans for personalizing the new office: "Not only do we want a place to show all our awards, we want to have a couple of other spots in the building that would make interesting tour stops--places like the Wall of Fame in Customer Service, a 'Rogue's Gallery' of bizarre art from our artists, and an ORIGIN history area with Akalabeth, Wing Commander design plans, pirate copies of Ultima... things like that."
  • Finally, the March, 1993 CGW Reader Poll lists Wing Commander II at #6.
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 33 - February 26, 1993
Contents
"End-Quote"
EA Holds World Art Conference
Misc.
Room to Talk
In the Library
Bio: Kay Stringer
Ticker
Dear Point Man
NEWS.TXT
Still Growing
CGW Reader Poll

Get Started Playing Prophecy Multiplayer

Dundradal's been encountering a lot of players eager to try out Prophecy Multiplayer lately. Some new players have been daunted by the setup options though, so he's put together a guide to help people get started. More detail will be added as frequently asked questions are identified. Head over to the Crius.net thread and reply if any part of the setup has you stumped. That's also a good place to set up game times and coordinate matches with other fans. As always, people can also drop by #Wingnut with questions or to see if other players are active. Start taking out pilots now to show up on the Scoreboard!

You are presented with a dialog box with 4 options.

Number of Players - (exactly what it means) - Set this to the *exact* number of players. It won't launch if you have more slots than players.

Rounds per Match - Number of rounds before 1 game is over. Typically we play each game with 3 rounds. The limit is 15.

Half-Damage - This option does exactly what it says. It reduces damage to half on all guns and missiles. The best use of this option is if all players are using the "alswantsmoreships" cheat to unlock Kilrathi and Nephilim ships. They are not balanced at all for MP like the Confed ships are, so the half-damage option can make it so they don't feel like you are wrapped in wrapping paper instead of armor.

Team Number - This is important if you are going for a free-for-all or team match. In a FFA situation every player must select a unique number. For teams each member of a team needs to pick the same number. Team members will be blue on your radar and enemies red, just how they would normally appear.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Thirty-Three

This small image is an early HUD created for Wing Commander Arena. The bars measure damage, gun power and afterbuners. It's interesting that the VDU image itself is much more detailed than those in the finished game, showing guns and internal systems in a manner similar to the original Wing Commander.

This is part of a series of beautiful Wing Commander Arena concept images graciously provided by Gaia Industries. You can find the original article here. You can thank the guys at Gaia by picking up Street Trace NYC on Xbox Live Arcade!

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