Saga is the 'Pits

Tolwyn has posted three preliminary images of a 3D cockpits (created by limdaelp) which will be used in the Wing Commander Saga FreeSpace 2 mod. Pictured belowis the cockpit for the F/A-76 Longbow bomber. As you can see, it's a close match for the version which appears in Wing Commander III!

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 61

This issue of The Point of Origin represents a time most of us remember fondly - the release of Wing Commander III! The rare Origin product that shipped on time, Wing Commander III completely changed the face of gaming -- with effects which last to this day. But how was the launch felt at Origin?

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!

  • Spotlight: Wing Commander III and beyond is the final in a series about the huge game's development:
by John McLean

After eighteen months of development, during which more than 140 people worked some 125,000 man-hours, Wing Commander III is finally heading out the door. And not a moment too soon. At a cost of $4 million, Origin & EA's biggest-ever Interactive Movie will need to kick ass and take names in retail outlets this Christmas in order to repay the company's investment.

Fortunately, advance orders and early public buzz are encouraging. In the inimitable words of Marten Davies, "We're going to blow the doors off worldwide!" The completion of this massive project also marks the beginning of a new era in the computer game business.

Although live-action video isn't suitable for every title, an increasing number of producers are discovering that real actors can add significantly to the impact of their projects. "Computer games will never be the same," says Chris Roberts. "And we're there to lead the charge."

Yet blending traditional art, programming and audio requirements with a live-action component complicates a project enormously. Alliances between computer game companies and Hollywood actors, agents, unions and crewmembers were unknown a year ago. Now they're becoming a regular part of the interactive landscape.

While landing Hollywood veterans for a production costs money, if Wing commander III is any indication, the results are worth it. An experienced crew and cast bring professionalism, name recognition and high-quality work to the dance. Though the film community doesn't even pretend to understand the technical nature of creating computer games, they're fascinated by our industry and, in the end, their goal's the same as ours--to entertain as many people as possible with each new project.

Producing a movie of any size is difficult under the best of circumstances. When you add to the equation the programming challenges of topping the popular Wing Commander game and the enormous art hurdles of generating hundreds of objects, sets and animations, the result is nothing short of a logistical nightmare.

"Damn, that was a lot of work," says Art Director Chris Douglas. "But we pulled through and hopefully managed to set a new standard for the rest of the artists in this industry."

Generating the tremendous amount of art, code and audio was one thing. Keeping track of it all to make sure everything fit together and nothing fell through the cracks was another. At the peak of production, four separate people were engaged full-time in tracking and routing the constantly increasing amount of material.

Right up to the end, the sheer size of a game packed onto 4 CD-ROMs created new challenges. "The hard part about this project is that we have essentially two gigs worth of data,' says Director Frank Savage. "The fact that we can even keep track of that two gigs of data and not have each version totally screwed up is something of a miracle."

Simultaneous with the final stages of development, Origin's marketing department has been banging the drum for the title at events in New York City, Austin, Los Angeles and numerous points in between. Meanwhile our sales department continues to pull out all the stops to make Wing Commander III the must-have hit of this Christmas season.

As to what's next for his development team, Chris Roberts will only say, "You haven't seen anything yet." Who knows, maybe there'll be yet another multi-CD Interactive Movie under Christmas trees around the world for next year?!

  • In Ink has the latest on Armada and WCIII:
Back in this country, Tom McDonald is jumping on the Wing Commander Armada bandwagon. In the December issue of PC Gamer, Tom listed Armada as one of his favorite modem games. "One of the best arcade titles I've ever played head-to-head," Tom writes. "Armada has it all."

And speaking of the December issue of PC Gamer, the cover has the Wing Commander III cover art on it. The guys at PC Gamer did an excellent job previewing the game. They even included the WC3 demo on the CD that comes bundled with the mag. Bill Trotter did a marvelous write-up inside. "Drop-dead gorgeous graphics," he wrote about Wing III. "The integration of digitized and computer-generated images was utterly smooth and convincing in every respect. The acting here is some of the best ever in a PC game." And that's not all, but space limitations prohibit me from going on.

It seems there are many others sitting up and taking notice of Wing III. Bernie Yee had an excellent article on the game in USA Today in the November 2 edition. That was a result of a Wing III press day in New York City last month put on by ORIGIN's Media Relations Dept. While Chris Roberts and Frank Savage demonstrated the game, cast members Mark Hamill, John Rhys-Davies and Ginger Lynn Allen talked to the media. Other media who stopped by to have a look included The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time, Billboard Magazine, Fortune, and Forbes.

Meanwhile, other gaming magazines are singing the praises of WC3. Bill Meyer of Electronic Entertainment writes, "Hold on to your joystick, because Wing Commander III is about to redefine the genre once again."

Bill Kunkel of Electronic Games, not to be outdone, writes, "The world of interactive entertainment has taken a quantum leap forward."

Charles Ardai, one of those who attended the NYC event, also appears to be in the WC3 fold. "ORIGIN's Wing Commander III heralds a new era in interactive cinema," he exclaims. "Chris Roberts has pulled off the impossible yet again; he's topped not only himself, but the entire industry of which he is a part." And Wing III apparently was music to Charles' ears. "You can hear the soundtrack loud and clear, and it's a beaut: a symphonic overture full of dread and mystery that would do John Williams proud."

Wing Commander III has also been featured on television quite a bit lately. This past weekend VH1 included a story about the game in its movie preview show "Flix." In recent weeks some of the WC3 cast have been plugging the game on national talk shows. Ginger Lynn Allen did just that while she was a guest on the Howard Stern show. And just last week, Malcolm McDowell did the same while he was on the Jon Stewart show. Last month, "The Computer Man," a nationally syndicated computer show, turned the spotlight on WC3.

And WC3 isn't the only Wing Commander drawing the headlines these days. In case you missed it, Computer Gaming World inducted Wing Commander II into its hall of fame. Calling it "one of the most popular games of all times," WC2 joins Wing Commander and three of the Ultimas in the CGW Hall of Honor.

Bill Trotter, who wrote the previously mentioned WC3 article in PC Gamer, was impressed with other games currently under development at ORIGIN... Meantime, the reviews keep coming in from several older ORIGIN titles. Trent Ward gave Privateer CD a four rating out of five in CD-ROM Today. "Stunning graphics, crisp digitized sound, and totally absorbing game play."

  • Another EOM with Wing Commander experience: "Randy Buck is ORIGIN's Employee of the Month for November. Randy has been at ORIGIN for three years and during that time has turned the company's audio department into one of the most respected in our industry. He currently serves as ORIGIN's Senior Audio Engineer... Another, who works on the Wing III team, wrote, 'He has to deal with supervising the details of more music and sound effects than are generally used in most feature length motion pictures. He has done all this with an ever vigilant eye for quality as well as keeping us all on a schedule that allows no room for error.'"
Point of Origin
Vol. IV, No. 61 - November 23, 1994
Contents
Spotlight: Wing Commander III and beyond
In Ink
Point Man
Haunted Memories
EOM
New Hires
The Future

Congratulations Arena Tournament Winners

Last Saturday's Arena Tournament was a blast! The Wing Commander community has some great players. A few photographs and score totals are below. Dundradal won a one-year XBox Live subscription for taking first place. SX Glory was second, FrankyDrake/MartySheen was third and LeHah was fourth to round out the finalists. They each won a 1600 MS marketplace point card. Mr Freight/Jacob, Goku, WCNohbody/Death and MeadHall01/Overmortal rounded out the rest of the top eight. They won a choice between a CIC Glass or Eisen Hat. Email us with your address to claim prizes. Thanks to all who participated, and hopefully we see you online again soon.

Your next chance to catch a familiar squadron online might come this Saturday. Crius.net member Zeriam is trying to organize a 16-player match around 8:00 pm Central (6:00 pm Pacific, 9:00 pm Eastern and 2:00 am GMT). This could be a great opportunity for anyone missing the TCS Tiger's Claw achievement. Keep an eye on this thread for details.

Semi-final score totals
(three rounds cumulative):
  1. KrisV 69
  2. Dundradal 63
  3. FrankyDrake 52
  4. SX Glory 51
  5. LeHah 43
  6. Mr Freight 34
  7. Goku 27
  8. Nobody 25
  9. MeadHall 14
  10. SnappishAmoeba 5
Final round score totals:
  1. Dundradal 25
  2. SX Glory 20
  3. FrankyDrake 13
  4. LeHah 12

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Sixty-Two

This shows early work on the '3D' aspect of the 3D avatars - in this case, a Kilrathi warrior. You actually saw him earlier in the rough 'lounge' artwork!

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!

Two Hats Are Better Than One

McGruff has a neat creation to show off today. He's ordered a custom crew cap for the TCS Princeton, a Concordia class carrier featured in Wing Commander 4. It was inspired by the TCS Eisen hats the CIC made a few years back. I think they turned out great. You can see both designs side-by-side below


High Res

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 60

Warning - the October 7th, 1994 issue of The Point of Origin contains a photograph of a man kissing Wing Commander Armada... so download it quick! The drought of Wing Commander references is ending -- nearly every article mentions the series in some way!

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!

  • Spotlight: Back on Top says Armada is a hit!:
It's been two weeks since Wing Commander Armada and System Shock shipped, however it's taken less time than that to realize we had two gigantic hits on our hands. Within hours after the games hit the store shelves, gamers from all over the country were talking about both products online.

'Gonna spend some time today and make some real raunchy taunts so I can finish this head to head game....My wife is gonna sue ORIGIN over this game,' wrote one Armada player. 'Wow, fantastic game!' wrote another. 'My brother and I love it! We've been kicking butt from dawn to dusk, and it's endless slaughter! The taunt files really add a lot to the game; a moment of hilarity is always added by an appropriately timed Clint Eastwood, 'Make my day,' or a Terminator, 'Hasta la vista!'

... We're back in a big way,' says ORIGIN sales vp Marten 'Bulldog' Davies. 'With Armada, we've listened to our customers and given them a sci-fi oriented, head-to-head, modem game that they can play at their leisure when they want to.'... Just look at what happened at local stores and you'll get an idea of the success for both of these games. 'Babbages was completely out of Armada on day one and they had something like 17 units in the store,' according to Marten. 'At Best Buy, they were already on their second order of System Shock on the day after the product shipped.' He said it was much the same story for Armada. Kind of a nice problem to have, eh Marten?

'It feels really good,' says Armada director Jeff Everett. 'I guess I'm kind of surprised that people were as excited about it as they are. I always liked it and the people in QA liked it, but you never know if a game is going to be perceived good or bad until it's out there on shelves. I just wasn't going to let myself get to the point where I thought everybody's going to love this game regardless of what happens. But now, everyone seems to like it.'

... 'Bottom line,' says Marten, 'more power to Jeff Everett and his team and Warren Spector and the guys at Looking Glass. Two great products.'

  • In Ink has lots to say about Wing Commander III:
The Wing Commander III juggernaut is starting to roll, folks. The latest issue of Strategy Plus is out and features WCIII on its cover. Steve Bauman, who made a trip to Austin in late August to get a first-hand look at the game, obviously came away impressed. Listen to these comments, 'Origin may have actually accomplished their goal of creating the first truly interactive cinematic experience, an action movie where you get to be the hero and one where the long-promised marriage of Hollywood and Silicon produces something that both can be proud of. Of the numerous current 'interactive movies' that use live actors with computer rendered backgrounds, none come even close to Wing Commander III's level of integration.' And what about that music, Steve. 'The sound of a space opera is like this is of utmost importance, and once again Wing Commander III delivers in spades.'

Plan on seeing at least one more cover story on WC 3 in the December issue of PC Gamer (on the stands in mid-November). Bill Trotter, a self-avowed Wing Commander addict, travelled to Austin last month to see if all the hype on the game is true. Let's just say Bill's addiction won't be cured anytime soon. In addition, PC Gamer and its sister publication, CD-ROM Today, will be including the just-finished WC III demo on a CD that will come packaged with the magazines.

But wait, there's more. WC III has popped up in other publications across the country. Axcess magazine, kind of a new wave/movie/entertainment publication, wrote, 'Wing Commander III takes the concept of the interactive movie to new limits. It's Hollywood's biggest interactive experiment to date.'

There also were nice previews in the new Cinescape magazine from Sendai Publications and in Sci-Fi Universe. Closer to the release date expect stories on the Today Show and on VH-1. Watch for dates and times on your e-mail.

It's a little too early to see what most reviewers are going to say about ORIGIN's latest releases, System Shock and Wing Commander Armada. Gamestar magazine in Australia, though, has gotten a bit of a head start... Armada came in with even more kudos. 'The graphics are just totally mind blowing with the best bitmap graphics I'd ever - and I mean ever - seen in my life. A totally awesome game.'

  • New Hires brings on a Wing Commander veteran: "Jeffrey 'JC' Combs is a new graphic designer. He comes to us from Italia/GAL Advertising and the Art Institute of Dallas. Jeffrey came to ORIGIN after doing some contract work on Wing Commander III. Obviously he impressed some folks here."
  • Quality Entertainment Dept. says Wing Commander will be on TV!: "Tonight watch for outtakes from Wing Commander III on 'The Return of TV's Censored Bloopers' 9:00, NBC, KXAN-TV Channel 36 (4 on cable)"
Point of Origin
Vol. IV, No. 60 - October 7, 1994
Contents
Spotlight: Back on Top
In Ink
Off the Wire
Point Man
Ticker
"It's Time for a Focus Group"
EOM
New Hires
Quality Entertainment Dept.
The Future

Time To Take Transport Tallies

Today we're asking what kind of transports you had the best time escorting. There's some great options out there. Some people might pick the giant Monolith with its heavy turret guns and massive shields (were you escorting it or was it escorting you?). Armada players might have vivid memories of protecting their resource-packed Belleau Woods from Kor-larhs and Gorans. Still other Wingnuts might go for the classic Drayman that they managed to save over and over from swarming Kilrathi raiders. Due to the number of choices, assume derivatives such as Mark II variants are grouped in with their original design. Which is your favorite?

Will we see our third Wing Commander release in three years in 2008? A plurality of WC fans had their doubts, but with all the excitement that EA Replay and Wing Commander Arena generated, don't forget that this could be a record year for community activity. Look no further than our recent fan project nominees for a reminder of the awesome Wing Commander things cooking right now. And keep an eye on the front page for news throughout the year. No matter which option you picked, there's sure to be tons of surprises in the year ahead.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Sixty-One

Wing Commander created the Firekkans with Secret Missions 2 and then promptly ignored them for fifteen years as being too hard to do 'seriously' in a modern graphics engine. Well, the guys at Gaia were up to the challenge - and they created this beautiful, elegant Firekkan character concept.

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!

BREAKING NEWS: Rumors of New Wing Commander

Surfer Girl Reviews Star Wars, a credible and industry-respected game rumor blog, is reporting something that we've all been waiting to hear: "That epic space game from EA [referring to an earlier rumor] is a new Wing Commander." This is only a rumor at this stage, so we do not want to overstate anything. It does match some other unofficial talk heard in recent days -- this could be the big one. Surfer Girl does seem to be the real deal - we can confirm that the information she posted on FreeLancer 2 several months ago is absolutely genuine. The original report is here. Thanks to Hexx for reporting this!

Edit: The wording on Surfer Girl's page has changed. It now reads "That epic space game from EA is not a new Wing Commander, but a new Wing Commander is in development." No change in intent on her part - just a suggestion that EA has another separate major space games in development. It seems to have been sparked by this exchange in the comments area:

Comment: Lastly, why are you contradicting yourself? In the first post mentioning the "epic space game," you said in the comments that it's NOT Wing Commander. You have little credibility as it is, so be mindful of consistency.

Surfer Girl: Oh...that game, yeah, that is not Wing Commander.

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 59

September 9, 1994 and the release of Wing Commander III is getting closer! We're also starting to see the first mentions of Crusader, another future-classic currently in development. In terms of actual WC mentions, though, it's the calm before the storm...

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!

  • Spotlight: A GENCON State of Mind describes Origin's first appearance at GENCON: "For four consecutive days, all day long, we were asked about Wing Armada, Wings of Glory, System Shock, BioForge and Wing III... So to round this off, we are by far the leader in providing the two most popular genres: fantasy roleplay and ST roleplay. We have Ultima, we have Wing Commander. We are the Creators of Worlds."
  • In Ink has the latest on WC3:"Last week the Statesman was out checking up on our QA area (specifically the Armada testers) and writing a story on the dreaded '24-hour crunch mode.' Nice job by the team telling reporter Lori Hawkings that testing isn't all the 'fun and games' some make it out to be'... Back in this country, looks like Wing Commander III will be benefiting from a lot of free advertising. As it stands now Wing III will be on the cover of three of the top gaming mags in the US. Strategy Plus and Computer game Review are planning covers for their November issues while PC Gamer is gearing up for a December issue cover. Gamer is already creating some mega-hype for the game with a WCIII contest in the October issue. The grand prize winner gets a Pentium dream machine and their very own copy of the WCIII premiere edition. Everyone should be so lucky!"
Point of Origin
Vol. IV, No. 59 - September 9, 1994
Contents
Spotlight: A GENCON State of Mind
In Ink
Noteworthy
Ticker
EOM
New Hires
The Future

Community Replay Begins This Weekend

Dundradal is leading a massive play-through of the entire Wing Commander series via the CIC Forums. Each week he'll be pacing out chunks of Wing Commander games and inviting fans to share their experiences online. The fun starts Sunday, January 27, with Wing Commander 1. Players should try to run through the first three systems - some combination of Enyo, McAuliffe, Gimle, Gateway and Cheng-du and discuss their experiences at Crius.net. As you progress through each game, head over to this thread, and post your mission results, comments and any questions that arise. Additional forum threads for individual games and specific event details will be announced as the replay continues. Have fun!
With all the new threads popping up, it got my mind going. We are discussing and analyzing all aspects of WC - why not refresh all of our memories?

What I'm proposing is that we have a weekly replay. We'll start with WC1 and play each week, then log onto the CZ to discuss those missions. Depending on what people think we could also extend it to a two week period or whatever works. I figure this way we could replay the main games in several months' time and all enjoy playing them in unison by sharing war stories and tactics.

Week 1 will cover 3 systems. What systems those are after Enyo are up to you. The direct winning path is Enyo, McAuliffe, Gimle. The direct losing path is Enyo, Gateway, Cheng-du. There are also multiple other paths which I won't outline here for brevity but you can check them out in the CIC Game Guides.

After you've completed three systems, come back here and make your posts. The format for the posts are completely left up to the individual, so feel free to express your experience in any way you like. I'm curious to see what you guys can cook up, as I'm still thinking about how I want to do my own.

So get your copies of Wing Commander, Kilrathi Saga or whatever format you have WC1 in. Make sure it's installed and ready to rock tomorrow!

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Sixty

This is the avatar concept artwork for a Terran pilot - note the Wing Commander III style uniform! They really must have done a lot of research before putting digital pen to screen on this project.

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!

Arena Tournament Approaches

Don't forget to stop by and join in Saturday's Wing Commander Arena tournament. To participate, visit the #Wingnut chat room just prior to 3:00 pm Eastern time (12:00 pm noon Pacific and 8:00 pm GMT). We'll be organizing rounds and giving specific instructions at that time. If you're a little late, don't hesitate to drop in and see where we're at. The main event is multiplayer free-for-all, but we might try a few alternate modes afterwards depending on the length of each round. Fans without Arena are more than welcome to join for the IRC party and read live play-by-plays. Good luck!

Don't forget to download Undertow while you're on Live.

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 58

This is a short one - the August 12, 1994 issue of The Point of Origin doesn't have much about Wing Commander... but it's chock full of company culture! Coming up with all of those funny sports team names sounds like a full time job in itself...

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 Ink has the only Wing Commander references this time around: "What's this? The Wing Commander Armada team still hard at work on a product that has yet to ship and already the honors are rolling in. That's right. The editors at PC Gamer were so impressed with an early version of the game, they gave it an Editor's Choice Award in the September edition. 'A satisfying mixture of conquest game and white-knuckled space-combat cation,' exclaimed Lee Buchanan. 'One that you'll be playing for a long, long time.' Buchanan went on, 'When you combine it (dogfighting) with entertaining strategic gameplay, convincing sound effects, and the best graphics we've seen in a Wing Commander game, you've got an unqualified winner.' Armada is getting good press from other pubs, too. Interactive Entertainment, the CD ROM magazine, featured Armada on its cover this month. Al Giovetti, who who writes for Electronic Entertainment, likes the multi-player feature in the game. He writes in this month's issue, 'It's the modem and network play feature that may make Armada a product to check out.'... But wait, there's more - more great previews of Wing Commander III. In a wonderful six-page spread in Computer Games Review, Steve Honeywell wrote, 'Gorgeous graphics in the cut scenes as well as the live video will help make Wing Commander III a gaming experience to remember.' And this from Edge, a UK gaming publication, 'For once, here's a game that really can claim to be an interactive movie. Even in VGA, the game still looks better than anything the PC has ever seen.'"
Point of Origin
Vol. IV, No. 58 - August 12, 1994
Contents
Spotlight: Threepeat In Ink
Ticker
Tech Shorts
New Hires
Point Man
Off the Clock
EOM
The Future

WC: Collateral Damage Enters The Arena

JasonRocz is working on a new fan project that aims to bridge the gap between Secret Ops and Arena. Wing Commander: Collateral Damage will feature a number of designs from the recent Xbox Live Arcade release as well as ships from the classic titles. The project is still in its early days, but Wingnuts should recognize the Rapier Vanguard fighter. The first couple of screenshots show the new Rapier design in the Vision engine. A Broadsword was also rendered separately and still needs hardpoints added. Let Jason know what you think!

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty-Nine

One of the most unfortunate 'time and budget' cuts from Arena was the game's avatar system. It would originally have had a character generator which made 3D avatars for individual players... which would then appear on comm screens, Wanted posters and in other places. A lot of concept art was done to create Terran, Kilrathi and even Firekkan characters! First up is a drawing of a typical Kilrathi 'talking head':

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 Commander Arena Tournament This Saturday

To celebrate the six month anniversary of Wing Commander Arena, the CIC is throwing a big tournament this Saturday! The event kicks off at 3:00 pm Eastern time (12:00 pm noon Pacific and 8:00 pm GMT) via XBox Live and #Wingnut. Participants will be playing in ranked free-for-all matches on the Space Station and/or Boneyard maps. Each session will have a CIC staff member to observe and tally the final scores. Top players will advance to successive rounds and compete to win fabulous prizes! Sign up and let us know you'll be there! Walk-up players will be welcome, but confirming now will help us plan. Now's your chance to hook up with some friends and start practicing. Feel free to stop by #Wingnut early and get set up. See you there!

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 57

The Point of Origin has an all-new look -- it's more professional, more fashionable and less home-spun. Is this the first sign of things to come? Let's see what's inside... (Actually, the honest reaction to Pacific Strike seems fairly interesting to me.)

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!

  • Spotlight Summer CES: Back to the Future has a report from CES, where Origin didn't show any games: "Had ORIGIN shown Wing Commander 3, it would have definitely stolen the spotlight... In any case, Rocket Science is working on a Wing 3-type of game called Loadstar, starring Ned Beatty. Like WC3, some of the scenes are shot against a green screen and composited with SGI graphics, although from the demo, the backgrounds did not look to be as high-caliber as ours... Phoenix Fighter was one of the prettier games from a company called Software Sorcery. Basically, you salvage pieces of wrecked ships and alien technologies to build a fighter fierce enough to penetrate a deep-space penal colony. Parts of the interface look very much like Privateer and the plot synopsis bullets challenge, treachery, piracy and adventure."
  • In Ink has press for WC3 and Armada: "In case you haven't noticed, Wing Commander III is starting to command more and more space in newspapers and magazines these days. The Austin American-Statesman began what's expected to be an avalanche of coverage on WCIII in coming months. In the June 20th edition, Lori Hawkins wrote, 'Origin Systems puts record $3 million into the creation of its new CD-ROM game, and breaks ground on the future of computing for the fun of it.' Hawkins quoted from several expects in the gaming industry. From Russell Sipe, publisher of Computer gaming World, 'They've emerged as a leader. Hollywood has got movie making down to a science and Origin is putting that level of expertise into this project.' And from the editor of Computer Game World, 'It's tremendous work. It's above and beyond anything that's been done.' In an early look at Wing III in PC Gamer, Neil West proclaimed, 'Origin raises the stakes. Again. The best just got a lot better.' Overseas, the early word on Wing III is much the same. In the UK publication PC Format, Richard Longburst writes, 'They're (Chris Roberts, Richard Garriott and Electronic Arts) pushing back the frontiers of PC gaming and raising the stakes to a level where only the best software houses can hope to compete. Origin is aiming to give us one hell of a game that's packed with well-known stars and awesome action graphics.' Let's not forget several other Origin games getting the media's attention these days. Strategy Plus' Geoff Keighley is highly impressed with Super Wing Commander 3DO. He writes, 'The graphics and cinematics are some of the most breathtaking I've seen on an electronic entertainment system.' ... Even Righteous Fire is getting in on the act. Al Giovetti writes in Electronic Entertainment, 'A fast-paced trading, combat, pirating space-opera game enhanced by an absorbing plot, involving music and captivating sound effects. The result: pure fun.' In the latest edition of PC Gamer, that mag's editorial staff chose the top 40 games of all time. Three Origin games made the grade: Serpent Isle was 13th, Wing Commander 23rd and Ultima Underworld II was 27th. And finally, it's not out yet, but the press is already beginning to realize that Wing Commander Armada may be the sleeper of the year. Already there have been nice previews in both Strategy Plus and Computer Game Review. Armada will be on the cover of the CD-ROM magazine, Interactive Entertainment, next month and there are reports that the game will get an editor's choice award from the staff of PC Gamer in that pub's next edition."
  • Three dates in The Future relate to Wing Commander III: "July 19-21, Christmas in July, EA San Mateo, Preview showing by ORIGIN marketing of Wing Commander III and BioForge to consumer press", "July 25-29, Key Accounts Meeting, EA San Mateo, Preview of Wing Commander III to Origin key sales accounts." and "August 22-24, Christmas in August, New York City, Preview showing of Wing Commander III and BioForge at EA/ORIGIN consumer press event."
Point of Origin
Vol. IV, No. 57 - July 15, 1994
Contents
Spotlight: Summer CES: Back to the Future
In Ink
New Hires
EOM
All Ashore!
Galen's Best & Worst of CES
Ticker
A Bad(ge) Story
Point Man
Off the Clock
Carnival!
The Future

BrickCommander Stacks Lego Capships

Exarch found a few more Lego model renders to add to all the cool designs posted lately. The scene features a highly detailed Tiger's Claw with Exeter escorts hanging majestically in space. Now Death Angel's fighters have a fleet to call home. These surprisingly authentic ships were created by Primus and posted to BrickCommander.com. Although that URL might hint at a Wing Commander slant, images from Star Wars, Mech Warrior and all sorts of science fiction series are available.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty-Eight

We saved the best for last when it comes to environments: this is concept art for a mode which would have impressed a lot of people... a Nephilim wormhole map! Nephilim ships (seen here) would have emerged from the wormhole to do battle with human players. It would have been pretty neat to team up with friends against alien AIs! Our last set, characters, starts next!

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!

Flight Commander Gets OpenGL Treatment

For Standoff Episode 4, Pedro and Popsicle Pete developed a new OpenGL starfield renderer -- with amazing results. eddieb, who's constantly working on improvements to the Flight Commander project, recently collaborated with the pair to implement something equally impressive in his engine. Check out the early results in these two preview shots:

The new starfields are only a small part of a brand new OpenGL renderer for the Vision engine. Major features include support for widescreen resolutions and visual effects that normally require a 3Dfx graphics card. Look here if you want to patch your copies of Prophecy and Secret Ops to use the new renderer.

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 56

The June 3, 1994 issue of 'The' Point of Origin has even more from the set of Wing Commander III -- and a few references to things happening behind the scenes, like the cancellation of Pacific Strike CD. The sad thing is that the voices were already recorded -- are they still out there somewhere? With the absence of an Origin flight sim community there's no one to fight for such things...

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 the first media reports on Wing Commander III: "There seemed to be a lot of ORIGIN mentions in the June issue of CGW. In the Read.me section, the editors gave readers an early glimpse of what to expect in Wing Commander III. 'Names like Mark Hamill, Tim Curry, John Rhys-Davies and Ginger Lynn Allen will fill the credits of what will surely be one of the hottest games of '94,' they said. Turn to the back of CGW in the same issue and you'll find a nice write-up on Wing Commander, which is one of only 32 games residing in that magazine's Hall of Fame. Editors wrote, 'Wing Commander was and is, in many ways, the ultimate action game. Chris Roberts' design combined the smooth performance of a polygon-filled flight simulator with convincing bit-mapped overplays that were artistically superior to the ordinary flight simulation.'... The good news doesn't stop there. Super Wing Commander for 3DO has rushed to the top of the class as the number one selling 3DO title to date. The game magazines are singing the game's praises. The latest edition of Gamefan magazine has a three page write-up on Super Wing. 'Super Wing Commander is a rare game that will have you completely engrossed in its story telling and its ability to keep you involved in its combat scenarios,' That's the word according to Talko, the writer of this review. Talko goes on to talk, 'Super Wing Commander for 3DO has arrived and you've never had a challenge like this.'"
  • EOM - Brandt is a Wing Commander veteran: "He was recently the Project Leader for the Pacific Strike CD, until that project was scrapped, and he's previously worked on Pacific Strike floppy, Super Wing Commander 3DO and the Strike Commander CD."
  • Extra, Extra! collects some odds and ends: "Check out the trophy case in the lobby and you'll see seven new plaques from the Software Publishers Association recognizing significant milestones for ORIGIN's sales department. They are Gold Sales Awards, which signify that ORIGIN has sold more than 100,000 units nationwide for each of the recognized games: Ultima III, Ultima IV, Ultima V, Ultima VI, Wing Commander, Wing Commander II and Strike Commander. Kudos to the sales team and the development teams responsible for creating such great games!"
  • ORIGIN GOES HOLLYWOOD is the latest from the set of Wing Commander III:
    (Ed note--John McLean has been in Los Angeles for the past five weeks, working on the studio production segment of Wing Commander III. He files this report on the goingson when the lights came on at the Wing III set.)

    (Los Angeles) Origin's most ambitious interactive title to date, Wing Commander III, has just completed principal photography at Hayvenburst Studio in Los Angeles.

    Under the direction of Chris Roberts this live action portion of the game promises to inaugurate a new era of cutting edge entertainment, both for ORIGIN and the entertainment industry as a whole.

    Some 60 hours of footage were recorded on two adjacent sound stages during the 25-day shoot. What's more, for the first time in cinematic history not a single 'real' set was used in the production. Instead, every angle of every background was created from scratch on ORIGIN's own computers. The WC3 art department under the guidance of Chris Douglas and with the assistance of Silicon Graphics workstations and Alias software generated the dozens of impressive sets in which the story takes place.

    The production involved more than 80 experienced film professionals who put in 12 to 18 hour days in order to realize Chris Roberts' vision of the final chapter of the Terran-Kilrathi struggle. The name talent includes the likes of Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davies, Tom Wilson, Jason Bernard, Courtney Gaines and the ever popular Ginger Lynn-Allen.

    Without exception, the actors were fascinated by the process of interactive moviemaking. After mastering the technical requirements of playing their roles while moving around an 'empty' stage, the talent began to take an active interest in the technology used to create Wing Commander III. This ranged from simple Hardware Envy of the formidable array of equipment the Origin team brought to LA (including an SGI Indigo, a Pentium, two Quadra 950s, two 486s and our ubiquitous lap-tops) all the way up to hands-on tinkering with our state-of-the-art AVID 1000 digital editing system.

    Although always intense and frequently frustrating, the shoot progressed without any major complications thanks in part to a close monitoring of contracts, budgets and schedules by resident 'suits' in both Austin and San Mateo.

    Taking advantage of a well-budgeted, live-action production is the free publicity the project attracts, and Wing Commander III was no exception. Due to the persistent effects of Origin's marketing department, the computer press turned out in force. Besides being dazzled by our technological feats of high-tech entertainment, they were visibly wowed by having the opportunity to sit down with household names such as Mark Hamill and fire off questions about the future of this new medium. But our press didn't stop there. Among other visitors to the set were representatives of the Today show, VH-1, the Los Angeles Times, Premiere, the Associated Press and USA Today. And if their reactions were any indication, the buzz on WC3 is that it's gonna be the hit software title of the year!

    Meanwhile back in Austin...

    Origin's programmers, led by director Frank Savage, have made rapid progress in building the backbone of the game itself. They've faced hurdles involving image compression, mission design and building a game that lives up to the hype--no mean feat.

    In the weeks ahead, the live-action footage will be edited down to a tight 90-110 minutes of dramatic material. Final compositing will take place at Electronic Arts' D-suite in San Mateo and then brought back to Austin to be married with the remaining components of the game.

    Look for Wing Commander III to hit retail outlets everywhere for Christmas of 1994.

    Point of Origin
    Vol. IV, No. 56 - June 3, 1994
    Contents
    ORIGIN GOES HOLLYWOOD
    In Print
    Focus Pocus
    Ticker
    New Hires
    EOM - Evan Brandt
    Extra! Extra!
    Dear Point Man

Lego Commander Gets Real

Before building a variety of cool Lego renders, Death Angel started with a physical model. He says insufficient bricks kept him from properly completing the design, but this looks super! The design of the physical Hornet fighter went on to form the basis of his first 3D model, and all three of his virtual ships should be buildable as long as the builder has the proper Lego pieces.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty-Seven

Here's a more detailed look at the 'lost station' map. It was replaced 'in game' with the TCS Port Broughton map... you can see how it would have worked here, complete with bordering shield emitters to contain the action.

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!

Undertow Free On XBox Live Arcade Next Week

Microsoft has announced that the aquatic shooter Undertow will be available for free download on XBox Live Arcade next week. This limited offer is being made as compensation for XBox Live's network troubles over the last month. The free window for Silver and Gold subscribers opens up at 2 AM PST Wednesday and remains open until midnight PST Sunday night, so don't forget to log on and grab it during that time. Undertow's claim to fame is that it's the only other sixteen-player title besides Wing Commander Arena on XBLA. The game also has a single player component and bigger cooperative multiplayer elements. It was originally released in November for 800 MS points ($10). Overall the game seems decent, and it's certainly worth a free download next week.

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 55

May 6, 1994: This isn't Point of Origin... it's The Point of Origin, now edited by David Swofford. What do these changes mean? A lot more Wing Commander, apparently!

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!

  • Cover to Cover has press reaction: "Wings of Glory and Wing Commander Armada also received praises in short previews in PC Gamer... As for Armada, both Bielby and Poole were obviously blown away by Origin's first head-to-head/modem-to-modem game.' Considering the popularity of the Wing Commander series, Armada may be one of the year's biggest hits.'... ORIGIN graphics are also getting hyped by another publication. White Wolf magazine is finally getting around to reviewing Privateer. Better late than never, they say. 'The graphics and sound match and sometimes even exceed anything done by Origin to this point,' exclaims the writer. 'Privateer is as close as you'll get to a true roleplaying experience.' And finally, not everyone who's writing about ORIGIN these days is on an editorial staff. We found these quotes from Joe Folley in Hanford, California who decided to take issue with the editor of Computer Game Review in a debate over 'the best' in computer games. In a previous issue, Editor Steve Honeywell apparently couldn't say enough good things about X-Wing to his readers. In a letter to the editor Folley countered with this, 'Wing Commander II is by far one of the best games EVER to be put out on the PC. A game that was the foundation of games today, the father of simulations, the mother of action, this was the game that had me itching for more. Thank you, Chris Roberts, for one hell of a game.' Thank you Joe Folley!'"
  • On the Road describes Origin's experience at SXSW: "The ORIGIN booth consisted of two tables with CES posters hung on the curtains separating the aisles, a VCR playing the 1994 Works in Progress Tape, a 3DO demo of Super Wing Commander and a PC loaded with the Strike CD, Pacific Strike, Pagan and the BioForge CES demo.... Super Wing Commander also attracted people to witness the 'best looking campaign of the Confed-Kilrah wars' as one player said."
  • Bulldog Bytes from Marten Davies includes some market-wide financial numbers. On the list of the Top 200 Games of 1993 by Dollars, Privateer placed 8th and Wing Commander placed 48th. On the Top 200 Games of 1993 by Units Wing Commander placed 8th and Privateer placed 22nd.
  • Pulse Check has even more sales data! "In fact, U8 came in at #2 on Software Etc's March sales charts, following SimCity 2000. On the same chart, Righteous Fire clocked in at #5... The Privateer CD is signing off and should be duping, too. Get this: Product Support says it plays pretty well on single-spin drives and on 386/33's. Plus, it only takes about 1.2 MB hard drive space. Could be another winner. Next up on the developmental fast food chain is Wing Armada, currently in Beta. 'Testers love it,' according to Kay Gilmore. It only has about 150 bugs and the modem/network stuff is running great. Marketing has produced a video demo of Armada that's being sent to worldwide offices and sales staff, but it could never do the game justice; it's really that much fun. Doom has met its match for lost productivity. Kudos to Jeff Everett and team. Current plans call for a June ship date... Finally, PC Data has compiled the top-sellers for 1993 based on units sold from 10 retail chains representing 1,300 stores. Strike Commander is there at #8, edged out for the #7 spot by... Wing Commander, the product that keeps on going."
  • The E.O.M. for May is Frank Savage, a true Wing Commander fan: "Frank Savage, Project Director for Wing Commander III, is our Employee of the Month for May. He has been at ORIGIN since September of 1991 and came here because of his love for Wing Commander I. (He even had vanity Illinois state license plates that read 'WNGCMD 1' to prove his devotion.)... He met Warren Spector at GenCon and was hired soon after to perform tasks on Strike Commander... These efforts paid off and he's devoted his time since then developing the Wing III Engine. Most recently, Frank traveled to the U.K. to help ex-ORIGIN-patriot Erin Roberts set up the Wing Commander III engine for Privateer II. In addition, something new for our games that Frank is working on, is code that allows the player to affect game morale by giving certain responses to other characters. For instance, a negative response in a conversation is more likely to elicit negative behavior and poor teamwork to destroy the enemy later on. This way, you don't have to actually lose missions to change how the AI reacts. Alas, Frank's major goal as director of Wing III, however, is not only to create a really great game, but to 'get it out on time.' Good luck, and congratulations!"
  • Last, but not least, there's Lights, Camera, Kilrathi...:
(Ed. note: Adam Foshko gives us his first hand account of how the Wing III shoot is faring after one week.)

(Los Angeles)-In an immense area of stone, there is something evil afoot; a single razor-sharp talon caresses the young woman in the battle-worn fatigues. It removes a single blonde hair from her face, and plays dangerously close to her blue eyes. She remains frozen. The Kilrathi prince peers at his captive like a hungry cat stalking a mouse. He salivates at the thought of blood. She remains defiant, spitting in his face. After a moment of surprise, he regards his prize with renewed lust... his eyes dilate in anticipation and with a great roar, he strikes...

"Cut..." is heard from the mass of people, huddled around the playback monitor. Chris Roberts removes his headset and has a word with his Director of Photography, Virgil Harper. After conferring for a moment, a light is refocused on the character of Angel, (Yolanda Jilot). She smiles and nods as Chris adds a few more comments for her character. With that, Chris returns to his monitor and the Assistant Director, Harry Jarvis, again calls to roll tape.

Elsewhere in the large soundstage in Los Angeles, there is more activity: Blair, played by Mark Hamill, is sitting under the shade of a large umbrella running lines with one of his costars, Ginger Lynn Allen, who plays Rachel. A call from wardrobe comes down to them; it's time for them to change into their costumes for the next scene. They retreat back inside the facility, joined by Jennifer MacDonald (Flint), who also must change for an upcoming scene.

The editing room (from where this account comes) is abustle with the cutting together of segments from the day's shooting. Roberts comes in for a moment to look at some newly assembled footage on the AVID. He likes it and makes a couple of suggestions for pacing. With that he is gone. He has to get back to the stage for a rehearsal. Donna Burkons, Line Producer, steps in to see how we are doing, followed by Pam Auer, the Production Manager. 'This footage looks great', says Phil Gessert (Editor), I have to agree. We stop for a moment to check a technical background question with Mark Vearrier (who, with Chris Douglas is supervising the SGI rendering for compositing on set). Richard Johnson, in the company of Mark Day from EA, also stop in on their way to the stage. We show another clip, during which another roll comes in fresh and hot from the set to be digitized and cut.

There is lots of action going on here, soon we are to expect other cast members: Tom Wilson (Maniac), John Rhys-Davies (Paladin), Malcolm McDowell (Tolwyn) and others to arrive. With 18 more shooting days planned and another stage for second unit work to address, we have a lot to do. However for now, as Michael Hood from Precision Effects (who built the Kilrathi creatures for the shoot) reminds me with one beclawed index finger, 'That's show business...'. Wrong, Michael, that's the interactive business.

Point of Origin
Vol. IV, No. 55 - May 6, 1994
Contents
Cover to Cover
On the Road
Bulldog Bytes from Marten Davies
A Note From Down Under (EA-Australia)
SEARCH and FIND, SHOW and TELL
E.O.M.
Pulse Check
New Hires
Sharon on Email Etiquette
Lights, Camera, Kilrathi...
Ticker
Dear Point Man

The Phantom Gets Its Day

Deacan has found a new paper model that wasn't featured in last week's paper round up. The fighter is a Confed Phantom, one of the ships that only appeared in Wing Commander Armada. It was overlooked earlier because it's featured at Péricles' personal online journal instead of his section at Paper Inside. The Phantom is certainly an interesting choice. Its performance is somewhat notoriously underwhelming, so it's nice to see the ship get some attention at last. You can download the paper ship blueprints here. In addition to the textured model, a blank white alternative is also included. You use the Pepakura viewer to examine the included .pdo files.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty-Six

Everyone has seen this splash image in-game, but now you can make it your desktop! It was originally a gameflow screen which would have presented information about ship upgrades, available missions, etc. It's a beautiful image, regardless of what it's doing.

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!

Perfect Plan 1.21 Patch Released

Kyran and eddieb have polished up the recent release of the Perfect Plan mod with a solid bugfix patch. The new version should take care of some quirks with the stats debriefing screen and eliminate an issue that prevented the game from properly letting gameflow decisions affect missions. You can grab the 2 meg update here. Here's a couple new screenshots that show off a cleaner interface as well (compare the second and third to the first).

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 54

The March, 1994 issue of Point of Origin is full of interesting Wing Commander references, including a mention of 'trial' versions of Academy and Origin FX that I had not heard of before. The most interesting thing, though, is another passing mention of 'Bounty Hunter' -- here called "our most futuristic product." What was it?

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!

  • Butt-Clenchin' reports bad news for SWC3DO: "And, as if the plot needed another twist, there's been a snag with SUper Wing. 'The joystick file didn't get encrypted at 3DO,' he says. 'We're getting a new ersion Friday. We hope to have it tested by Monday. It will go to duplication Monday, and I'm asking for a three-day minimum turnaround so we can ship it on Friday next week.'"
  • EOM Whitney Ayres celebrates another great Wing Commander veteran: "Whitney has had a more than a decent two year history at ORIGIN as a lead artist on Wing Commander Academy (the only artist actually) and as an artist for both Privateer and ORIGIN FX."
  • On the Clock welcomes aboard a man we all know and love: "As a new composer, George Oldziey will be working on the score for Wing Commander III. He's a faculty member at Southwestern University in Georgetown and has played trumpet in a few bands over the years. George's lit of credits include a New York salsa band called Ricardo Marrerro and Group which featured vocalist ngela Bolfil and jazz flutist David Valetin. This band also performed at Madison Square Garden in N.Y. George is currently playing with the Brazilian music band from Austin, Susanna Sharpe and Samba Police, which releaed a new CD in Dec. of '93."
  • Off to Market has some unique new ways to sell Origin games: "Wing Academy and ORIGIN FX will be our first forays into electronic distribution. That's where somebody gets a slew of titles on a single CD, tries a program for a limited time, and then calls an 800-number for the code to "unlock" the program and d rop it to the hard drive. The company we're uisng is CD Select. It's sending 200,000 CDs to customers who have purchased through electronic distribution before. Both FX and Academy will also be on a separate disc, primarily filled with business applications, that will go out to corporate customers (they need entertainment, too)... Since there's no real 3DO bandwagon yet, we're also finding unique ways to get out word about Super Wing. We started by making sure it was fully represented with info and screen shots in the 3DO press kit at CES. Now, we're supplyin copies of the game to go out with loaner players which 3DO is supplying to major press like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Next: direct cross-marketing with Panasonic itself to see what can be done to establish Super Wing as the premier 3DO title. We'll also see what we can do with CH Products to cross market with their 3DO joystick coming out this June."
  • In Print only has a few Wing Commander mentions: "In other news from around the globe, you might want to pick up the April edition of CD-ROM World when it hits the stands soon. You'll find a feature article on CD-ROM flight sims. A good portion of the report is devoted to ORIGIN's Wing Commander line. Christopher Forrest Grover calls Wing Commander, '...a runaway hit which includes plenty of flight sim comba fighting and a compelling story line.'... And two ORIGIN titles have been nominated in CGW's Game of the Year awards. Privateer and Shadowcaster are among five games nominated for Action Game of the Year."
Point of Origin
Vol. IV, No. 54 - March, 1994
Contents
Butt-Clenchin' Time
Off to Market
EOM Whitney Ayres
On the Clock
Dear Point Man
Ticker
In Print

Fatman's Award Video Appears Online

BrynS found a cool video from last year's Game Developers Choice Awards. As we reported in February, George The Fatman Sanger won the "Community Contribution Award." Now you can see the award ceremony for yourself here - complete with awesome Wing One music. Click "Community Contribution" for The Fatman's part. He tells a funny story, and if you let it continue onto the next clip, Richard Garriott comes out to give the Lifetime Achievement award away. Mr. Sanger is also wearing a creative jacket covered with the products he's composed for. Hit the Discuss link and let everyone know if you think you can find where Wing Commander is.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty-Five

This space station shows up in a lot of early concept art but was ultimately replaced with the Perry-style base seen in the game's intro. It survived well into a working build of the game, though - when Chris and I first saw Arena the original station was in place.

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!

Das Erwachen Stille Printing Soon

Deacan has firmed up the details for a printing of his second German Privateer 2-themed fan novel, Das Erwachen Stille. The book price is approximately 16 Euros, which is the break-even point for printing costs. Printing should begin in about a week, so the best time to order is within the next couple days. There's no need to hold off if you're missing the first title in the series either, since Deacan is trying hard to reprint Das Erwachen Sturm by this spring. You can find the first novel online (in German) at Crius.net here. A preview of the second novel has also been posted here.
If you like to get a printed copy of the 2nd novel from the "Erwachen" series of books, here is the way to do so:

Send an email to stb@sidiblume.de

Please include the following info:
- your (real) name
- a fully functional mailling address (!)
- ..including your town/land, state/province and country

The release is set for late January. We just want to see how many copies we should order overall. If you want more than one copy, please let us know! We can not yet tell you how much the print will cost. Our goal is anything under 16 € per book...

Stay tuned. More soon!

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 53

The promised 1994 'Valentines Day' issue of Point of Origin doesn't have much romance... but it does profile one past and one future Wing Commander developer. All in all, though, 1994 seems pretty quiet - with all the talk about Bioforge and Super Wing Commander, there's little to suggest the sheer size of currently-simmering 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!

  • Fiscal Fitness details the rush to ship games before the end of the Fiscal Year: "Righteous Fire, originally scheduled to ship this week, will have to hold until next Wednesday (2/23) due to a translation snag in the UK... Super Wing for 3DO will clock in as ORIGIN's biggest game ever. In fact, it's spilling over about 100 MB from the CD. The team plans to make some speech modifications in order to cram the entire product into the allotted 550 MB. Tick, tick, tick."
  • Off-the-clock: Adam Foshko talks about the man who would someday run the franchise: "He's putting together the live actor-action for Wing Commander III and he's got a lot of great ideas on how to make ORIGIN the new interactive Mecca that it ought to be."
  • EOM: Bruce Lemons profiles a Wing Commander veteran: "Bruce's expertise in 3DStudio can be found in m any ORIGIN products: Wing Commander II, Ultima VII and Strike Commander. And a lot of the graphics you'll be seeing in Super Wing 3DO and BioForge are the result of Bruce's hard work."
  • Press Here has the usual assortment of good news from the media:
The editors of PC Entertainment got together and selected their top games of 1993 and Ultima Underworld II was among four ORIGIN games that made the honor role.

...William R. Trotter put Wing commander Academy among the best of 1993. 'One intense battle after another,' he said. 'Every afternoon I take a 'Wing Commander break' instead of a coffee break--it's cleansing, cathartic, and better for your heart...' Do you think he liked it?

... And of course, what's a 'best of' list without Privateer? Once again Bernie Yee has the lowdown. 'General MIDI and Wave- Blaster support make for a state-of-the-art soudntrack, and the graphics are up to Origin's high standards.'

Speaking of Privateer, Compute magazine gave the award winning game a big thumbs up in its February issue. David Gerding proclaimed, 'On a fast 486 system, the animation can look downright gorgeous. A real accomplishment. ORIGIN has turned out a real winner.'

... In Japan, they like what they see of Wing Commander Academy. In Popcom, a Japanese gaming magazine, Toren Smith writes, 'Wing Commander Academy is like a dream come true for hardcore WC addicts.'

Point of Origin
Vol. IV, No. 53 - February 15, 1994
Contents
Fiscal Fitness
Press Here
NEWS.TXT
Off-the-clock: Adam Foshko
Ticker
EOM: Bruce Lemons
New Hires
Misc.
3DO to sharply cut Multiplayer prices in 94

Atomic Bricks To Power

Death Angel has created several more LDraw renders using the awesome ships he revealed last week. These new shots feature three Dralthi burning fuel, a trio of Hornets on patrol and a lonely Dralthi being chased by a pair of light fighters. The fourth image also shows off his new Salthi model. It's very impressive how these manage to look so authentic while being composed of Legos. You can find similar creations, both physical and virtual, in the News Archive.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty-Four

Another awe-inspiring space vista. The crystals are a dead give-away; it clearly became the 'Boneyard' map. Interesting side-note: the folks at Gaia confirmed that the 'sunken ship' located in that map is intentionally a Pelican transport.

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!

Original Paper Models Restored

The Sci-Fi Models Annexe recently went offline, and they took about half of the existing Wing Commander paper models down with them. With a little help from Criticalmass, we've restored all the missing files, so Wingnuts can get building again We've also mirrored Anthony Greenfield's SWACS to avoid any similar disruptions in the future. Along with all the designs by Péricles, we now have a total of twelve different paper models available (thirteen if you count the different Broadsword variants). Sci-Fi Models Annexe was also working on a TCS Victory, but that design may never have been finished. You can view and build these ships for yourself with the Pepakura Viewer program. The individual file links are below.
Arrow SWACS Dralthi
Hellcat Jalthi Sabre
Thunderbolt Rapier II Vampire
Piranha Jrathek Broadswords

Point of Origin: Vol. IV, No. 52

January 28, 1994 - the first Point of Origin of the year! This one includes a big story from CES, where both Super Wing Commander and the Interactive Movie line were officially launched. There's also an interesting note in the In Print section... about an appearance by Privateer in the TV show Viper. The episode was apparently called "Ghosts," in the show's first season -- anyone have a copy?

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 Revisited has the story from the trade show: "CES was the official launch of BioForge, Wings of Glory, System Shock and Super Wing... Super Wing Commander really wowed them at the 3DO booth. If you haven't seen some of the new flicks such as the funeral scene or the launch sequence,you really owe it to yourself to check it out. 3DO is nowgiving out SWC3DO screen shots to all of the press and it's being touted as a premiere title for the new platform. In fact, Panasonic will be using gaeplay video from SWC to launch its multiplayer in Japan... While we're on the subject, several ORIGINites at the show thaought that MeritSoftware deserved an award for Blatant Disregard for the Truth. Merit's new title, Harvester, is a gory hack-and-murder mystery with detailed, graphic graphics. The sign above the demo read: 'From the writer of Strike Commander and Privateer.' That's right--one of our own former writers, Gilbert Austin. EA Legal's looking into that one."
  • EOMs: The Marks of Excellence has a short biography of fan-favorite Wing Commander developer: "Mark's credits extend to Bad Blood (C-64), Wing Commander II, Martian Dreams, Ultima VII and Runes of Virtue."
  • In Print has great reviews for Privateer:
And the good reviews keep coming in for Privateer. In January's edition of PC Entertainment, Scott Wolfwrites,'Privateer pulls you in gently, then holds you with an iron grip.' Wolf gives Privateer a 4.5 rating out of 5.

Al Giovetti likes what he sees with Privateer. Giovetti writes for Electronic Games and gives Privateer a 90 percent rating. Giovetti says, 'Graphics, sound effects, music and speech are all entertaining. Privateer may be the best Wing Commander yet.'

Speaking of the best, the writers of Computer Game Review liked enough of what they heard on Privateer to rank it number one for Best Sound of the Year in the mag's rundown on the best games of 1993. CGR wrote, 'What makes the voices so great in Privateer is that they don't sound like they were done by the same people that show up in a lot of movies they show on late-night cable. In other words t hey were right on as far as acting ability and intensity.'

And in case you missed it, Priateer made it's network television debut on the NBC program 'Viper.' Several months ago, program producers asked ORIGIN for a Privateer box that could be used as a prop. It finally showed up in the January 14th episode. One of the characters even mentioned Privateer by name.

.. COMPUTE magazine starts off the new year with nothing but good things to say abotu ORIGIN products. Several titles were recognized in the magazine's special section, 'COPUTE's Getting Started.' Wing Commandergames were listed among the article'stop 10 arcade games.'Dynamic space combat wrapped around acinematicstoryline,' the author writes. 'Ferocious action scenes, featuring in-your-face 3-D dogfights.' Concerning Wing Commander Academy, the same author writes, 'Nothing but pure adrenaline-pumping action.'

... The same magazine [PC Games Plus], which is published in Australia and distributed in Asia, Canada and the UK, alsohad some good things to say about Privateer. Michael O'Brien proclaims, 'Privateer is one of the most addictive games that I have played in a long time.' O'Brien closes by saying, 'To all the players who want a space game above the ordinary, Privateer is an excellent choice.'

Point of Origin
Vol. IV, No. 52 - January 28, 1994
Contents
CES Revisited
In Print
EOMs: The Marks of Excellence
LOOK! NEW TRAINING CLASSES!
On the Clock
Ticker
Dear Point Man
The Top-10 Things I've Learned While Working at ORIGIN
A Word from Sharon

Spacetime Times Out

Spacetime Studios has announced that their publisher, NC Soft, has cancelled the sci-fi MMO game that they have been developing for the last two years. Spacetime, which was founded by former Wing Commander and Star Wars Galaxy developers, has laid off 12 people as a result. Blackstar was to feature space combat action with enemy ships and spaceborne ceatures. Individual player characters would also fight on planets, visit space stations and board enemy ships. These characters would have had the option to play as humans, space monsters, beautiful aliens or killer robots. The company continues to operate as the team tries to work out their future plans. Thanks to Jatarri for submitting.
The cancelled game was our primary project and we have a complete MMO engine w/ networking infrastructure, tools suite, and next-gen rendering engine. The company remains extremely committed to the IP and once all mutual obligations have been completed between the publisher and ourselves we intend to explore every possible avenue to see that our team’s collective vision come to fruition.

We want to stress that there are no bad feelings with NCSoft. There is a tremendous amount of mutual respect between our companies. They have conducted themselves with honor and integrity, and we would work with them again in an instant.

We are still here, stable and strong, and running a little bit lighter while we figure out our next move. What does not kill us makes us stronger said the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. That may be true, but it isn’t pleasant. Wish us luck and good fortune.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty-Three

Here's another gameflow concept. This would have been the where you bought upgrades and selected munitions for your fighter, similar to the Ships Dealers in Privateer.

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!

Video Game Epic to Boll Over US Audiences

After a limited European release late last year, the action fantasy film In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale has finally opened in the US. Originally intended to be a two-parter, the release date was pushed back a few times. Uwe Boll's latest spectacle stars Wing Commander duo Matthew Lillard and John Rhys-Davies. The impressive cast also includes Jason Statham, Burt Reynolds, Ray Liotta, Leelee Sobieski, Ron Perlman, Claire Forlani and Kristanna Loken. A 90 second trailer is available here in handy Flash Video format.

On a related note, the Lancer's Reactor, the premiere community hub for Starlancer, Freelancer and Dungeon Siege, is back after a recent meltdown and a couple of server moves. Forum topics and site content are not up yet, but gamers can download essential files and see the site's fresh new look. MentalChaos asks that anyone with experience migrating a database from MS SQL to MySQL give him a call.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 51

Issue 51 ("December") marks the end of 1993 for Point of Origin -- and marks the start of some changes. From this point on the newsletter will be published monthly... so there will be fewer issues a year from the point on. That's good news for those who are eager to see Wing Commander III and IV's releases. That said, this issue is interesting for a few reasons - including being the surprisingly early first appearance of the beautiful Wings of Glory box artwork. Who knew that incredible game was in development for so long?

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! has a report on Privateer's appearance at the COMDEX show: "You may have noticed that during the week of November 15-19, the Sales team and our Public Relations department were not in the office (and then again, you may not have noticed). 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 with its new General MIDI soudn card, but it was still in development right up to the first day of the show (sound familiar?0, so we just used our standard soudn cards. Yamaha didn't mind, since Lee was being bomarded with people trying to see Privateer, which in turn drew larger crowds in the Yamaha booth."
  • Print and Prizes has the usual selection of good reviews: "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 soundtrack, and the graphics are up to ORIGIN's high standards.'... 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 guide 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 Wing 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 premiere 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
Viva Las COMDEX!
Print and Prizes
EA Hollywood
3DO News
Dear Point Man
NEWS.TXT
Ticker
Employee of the Month
New Hires
Most Popular Compuserv Cheat Programs
Changes in Store for Point of Origin

Flight Commander Communications Patch Released

eddieb has released a small communications bug fix patch for the latest version of Flight Commander. Most players won't need it, but the update resolves a crash that can occur when comm transmissions are sent during low detail mode. This should help a subset Perfect Plan fans. Wingnuts with neither Flight Commander nor the Perfect Plan mod should check out Eddie's flexible Wing Commander engine. It's come a very long way since the first screenshots released more than seven years ago. The new Version 1.5 adds new features like player-controlled turrets, mouse support, fully customizable briefings and expanded gameflow options between missions. It's a great way for creative fans to play around and get started making WC mods.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty-Two

A bar, in Wing Commander? Actually, this made it into the finished game - as one of the background loading screens. It was originally going to be the 'medal room' - awards earned in the game would appear here. Check out the Kilrathi character models - amazing!

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!

Computer Assistance For Comics Under Consideration

NinjaLA is still trying to work out some of the basics of a Wing Commander comic. One of the issues is whether or not to complement frames drawn by hand with occasional renders. This would speed up art creation for strips with exterior ship scenes. Additionally, while it'd be easy to color the rendered portions, he would probably need assistance coloring the inked parts to match. He's put together a couple of cel-shaded test renders to gauge the reaction and decide what direction to pursue.

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 50

3DO! 3DO! It's funny to look back at all this positive press about the 3DO - because in retrospect it certainly feels like the initial pricepoint doomed the system before anyone even had a chance to try it out. Nevertheless, it gave us two excellent Wing Commander games... and this Point of Origin (November 8, 1993) raises the 3DO hype to a fever pitch!

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!

  • 3DO Does Dallas has reaction to the 3DO tour mentioned in the last issue: "In all, five free-standing kiosks showed 15 products (including Super Wing Commander) along with a flashy, looping videotape on a big-screen monitor... I asked one of them, Toby Schertzer, why the volume was turned down on the Super Wing demo. He didn't know I was from ORIGIN when he answered, 'All of the sound isn't in yet; the software is still in development. But this is supposed to be one of the best titles when it's released.' Later, after I introduced myself, I asked how the response had been to SWC3DO. 'Everybody really loves it,' he said. 'I just wish it would go ahead and ship.'... Even without sound, SWC3DO was one of the most popular games. 'The graphics are great,' one player said,''but I think I'm going to hold off on buying 3Do for a while.' The other obvious leader and SWC3DO's major competitor was Crystal Dynamics' Total Eclipse, a spaec-flight and combat game with some grabby ground terrain and really nice artwork."
  • In Print has another Academy review: "It's always great to start this article with a bang, so check out the Wing Academy review in PC Entertainment. 'ORIGIN seems to have taken every rational suggestion from the series' legion of fans and wrapped them into one gorgeous package,' Bill Trotter writes. And he ends with: 'Thank you ORIGIN; you have answered many prayers.' Youc an't top that." Tilt has a review of Privateer: "In a separate review, Privateer is called 'superior to any other game in its category.' They go on to say, 'No doubt that Privateer will quickly become a classic and we'll be talking about it in 10 years. Go buy it.' The reviewer's only objection to the game is that it not in SVGA. Still, it rates 91%... The Tilt gang is a little more lukewarm to Wing Academy, giving it only 71%. 'Great quality, but the lack of scenario makes it quickly boring.' We've noticed that most European reviewers really miss the flicks and storyline. Another French mag, JOystick, has a nice write-up on U8 from its European Computer Trade Show coverage... Privateer also gets three pages with a ton of screenshots and rates as a Joystick 'Megastar' with a 92% rating."
  • Pulse Check has more numbers on Privateer: "Privateer logged a whopping 809 calls; boot disks (21%), hints (20%) and IRQ conflicts (14%) topped the list... Finally, Wing Academy had 16 calls, with 31% of them dealing with IRQ conflicts and 19% of them having to do with bo ot disks."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 50 - November 8, 1993
Contents
3DO Does Dallas
In Print
Ticker
Pulse Check
NEWS.TXT
Hire and Hire
Just a reminder...
Raw Data

TNC Infoburst 2669.251 Edition Released

BrynS has been working some video magic with the TNC Infoburst videos that we have in our Holovids section. He's combined the existing WC3 news videos with quite a bit of his own creative CGI, various sound effects and additional WC scenes to make an authentic looking news broadcast. The final product shows what a futuristic channel surfing night might look like from Christopher Blair's point of view. It turned out very well. You can download the 97MB 9m:52s XviD here. If you have trouble viewing the video, we recommend VLC to play the file.

Well, this started off as just an experiment to tag a couple of the TNC Infoburst segments from WC3 together, yet as things progressed it took a bit of a detour. After trying to flesh out the Infoburst with some file footage, intro titles, stock tickers, etc I thought about temping out some snippets of other 'Holovid' programming that might fit in with the typical television/holovid environment circa 2669 -- assuming it actually exists in such a form -- using a bunch of Wing Commander related stuff.

Anyway, I had a blast doing it; perhaps too much fun, so don't take any of the items or references too seriously! I definitely plan to revisit this idea at some point, but not in the 2669 time frame and have already secured one 30-second spot for the next video, luckily not from the Galactic Frungy League!

Cheers,

Bryn

P.S. A word of warning to a sneaky cat whose name begins with T: you know what they say about curiosity!

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty-One

This is the second of four paintings which show potential map hazards. This one shows yet another view of the 'black hole' concept, which would have drawn unobservant players into death at its core.

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!

Brick and Attack!

Death Angel has put together some very impressive new artwork -- showing space combat of the LEGO variety! Hornets approach an asteroid field while Dralthi pose for beauty shots. These images were created using LDraw, a LEGO simulator... now who wants to build the real thing?

I spent some time over the last weeks combining 2 of my favourite occupations - one is Wing Commander, the other one is Lego. :)

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 49

Happy Halloween! This spooky issue of Point of Origin celebrates the release of Shadowcaster... will this unconventional 'not quite Origin' release live up to the company's past standards? In a word...

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!

  • Shadowcaster Signs Off While Privateer Keeps Flying should be self-explanatory: "This is an unusual situation for ORIGIN: one blockbuster product is blowing off the shelves, anot her string title is heading out the door, and it's all happening within the three months before Christmas... Meanwhile, Privateer shows no signs of slowing. THe Playtesters Guide has gone to the printer and should fan the flames even more. In fact, we're just about ready to apply for 'silver' certification from the Software Publishers Association (indicating domestic sales of 50K). The Bulldogs feel that this one could go 'gold' by the end of the fiscal year... It now looks as though Super Wing 3DO will blast off in January. Early indications are that this could be one of the strongest 3DO titles out there. We should have a better feel after this weekend. The big Panasonic 3DO Mall Tour stops in Dallas this weekend at Valley View Mall. Point of ORIGIN will be there and have a report in the next issue."
  • Pulse Check has some interesting support numbers for Privateer: "Taking a look at the period from 10/11 to 10/15, Privateer tops the list with 748 calls logged. The top categories for that game are: IRQ conflicts (26%), hints (24%), boot disk creation (17%) and joystick problems (12%)... PS Reps handled an assortment of other calls: U7 (126), Wing 2 (70), Underworld 2 (65), Wing 1 (60), Silver Seed (57), Underworld 1 (52) and Wing Academy (42)... Team lead testers are: Brian Wachhaus/Super Wing 3DO, Rik Packham/Pacific Strike, Don Derouen/Ultima 8 and Jerrold Harrington/Strike CD."
  • Big Bump in Profits has good news from EA corporate: "Top selling new releases during the quarter were 'Jungle Strike(TM),' 'NHL Hockey '94,' and 'Bill Walsh College Football(TM)' for the Genesis system and 'Privateer(R)' for the IBM PC. Other Electronic Arts products appearing on retailer Top 20 lists during the quarter included 'General Chaos(TM),' 'Mutant League(TM) Football,' 'Bulls vs Blazers and the NBA(R) Playoffs,' 'PGA TOUR (R) II,' and bundles of 'Bill Walsh College Football and 'General Chaos' with the 4 Way Play adapter for the Genesis system; 'Syndicate,' 'Space Hulk(TM),' 'Ultrabots(TM),' and 'Wing Commander(R) Academy' for the IBM PC, and 'Wing Commander Deluxe' for the IBM PC CD."
  • Press Roundup has some good reviews of Academy: "The November Computer gaming World is out and includes Strike strategy tips from Tom Basham. Later on, Paul Schuytema takes on Wing Academy. Let's put it this way, the review starts out with: 'First, the bottom line on ORIGIN's Wing commander Academy: if you enjoy space combat simulations, you must have this game. Period.' It just gets better in the two-page spread peppered with screen shots. His 'quibbles': no scoring for individual missions, no flight recorder and he wants more control in mission design... Hot off the presses, the November COMPUTE has a review of Wing Academy. Dave Gerding calls it a 'great, all-action playground where you can keep you battle skills honed.'"
  • Misc. has an odd note: "Starting tomorrow, the Marketing Department will become the first non-PD group to go on mandatory overtime. The reason: additional packaging and documentation tasks that go along with Wing 2/Sega heaped on top of an already full plate." The Sega port of Wing Commander 2 was cancelled early on - it's odd that it would need documentation developed in such an extreme manner...
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 49 - October 22, 1993
Contents
Shadowcaster Signs Off While Privateer Keeps Flying
Pulse Check
Logging In
Of Costumes, COoking & Christmas
Big Bump in Profits
Off the Clock - Trey Hermann
Humans & Resources
Press Roundup
Misc
Ticker

Perfect Plan 1.2 FC Mod Released

Kyran has released beta version 1.2 of his Perfect Plan Flight Commander mod. This is the first standalone release that does not require a separate FC install, although it does take advantage of new FC1.5 features. The Bearcat, Hellcat, Feret, Avenger and a transport have been added, along with two new missions. Existing missions also have new variations. Numerous bugs have been fixed, the interface has been improved and new audio/video files have replaced the older ones. You can download Perfect Plan 1.2 here (42 meg zip) or check out additional release notes at Crius.net.

This version features entirely new com and audio messages, a few new ships, two new missions and a new briefing that takes full advantage of Flight Commander 1.5.

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Fifty

This is the second of four paintings which show potential map hazards. This spaceborne lightning would randomly strike and cripple fighters during dogfights in a nebula-style maps - a real reversal of fortunes.

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. 48

Privateer has been released! At this time, October 13, 1993, it's too early to tell how it will sell or how it will be reviewed... but the early signs are positive!

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!

  • Dear Point Man explains why so many people are moving their offices: "As Privateer and TacOps signed off, their resources were sent packing to new projects."
  • Start the Presses eagerly awaits news on Privateer: "once again, it's the quiet before the storm. Reviews should start pouring in soon for TacOps and Privateer... Egghead puts out a regular newsletter called Cue to about a gazillion of its customers every month. In a wrap-up of flight sims, Cue says Wing Academy is 'as thrilling for flight jocks as fantasy game fans.' One of the most bizarre, back-handed complimentary reviews we've ever run across is in the current issue of PC Games. In his look at Wing Academy, Cameron Crotty laments the loss of 'waiting to see what your next mission is, no more battles against impossible odds, no more clicking endlessly through useless and occasionally ham fisted plot scenes. Heaven, right? Maybe, maybe not.' Crotty says Academy is a lot of fun, but he misses Hobbes and Angel and the rest of the Wing universe. He says games like Wing and Strike 'blend ad venture and action into an unbeatable combo.'... Strategy Plus has a nice preview of Privateer in the November issue. Bill Johnson gives a pretty straightforward description of the plot and options, punctuated by big, colorful screenshots. He wraps up with: 'Decisions, decisions. At least tims time, you're the one to make them.'"
  • On the Road says Privateer is selling well: "In addition, Privateer has vaulted out of the gates with the top five retailers sellings aroudn 6,000 units the first week. Reorders from Babbages are already in. We'll keep you up to date with everything happening on the road."
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 48 - October 13, 1993
Contents
More from the Road
NEWS.TXT
Pulse Check
HR Puff and Stuff
Dear Point Man
Start the Presses
Ticker
Bucks per Bodies
Employee of the Month: Prem Krishnan

DXMCI WC4 DVD Patch 1.5 Released

gulikoza has released one final update to the dxmci patch which allows Wing Commander fans to play WC4 DVD without the required hardware decoder board that the game originally shipped with. Now that the project has exceeded all of its original goals, regular future development will be discontinued. As part of this process, the source code has been released so that others may address any additional issues yet to be discovered. As a bonus, the new 1.5 patch also adds support for the DVD version of Starfleet Academy. gulikoza has steadily made improvements to the software to improve compatibility and remove bugs since its release four years ago. Allowing fans to play WC4 DVD on modern computers without a discontinued piece of auxiliary hardware was long considered one of the most ambitious goals of the WC community. A big thanks goes out to gulikoza for making the DXMCI patch a reality. In addition to our local mirrors, the patch, source code and addon helper files are available from the download section of gulikoza's page.
I've released one final version of DXMCI and the sources under GNU GPL. The latest version adds support for Starfleet Academy DVD (maybe not so interesting here) and an option in the configuration for forcing mpeg2dec (so dxmci can work alongside PowerDVD, forcing mpeg2dec to be used). I don't have time to work on it anymore (haven't had time in a while, but WC4 seems to have worked pretty well, mostly just DirectShow and codec problems), but this way somebody can improve it or fix it in the future (Vista and beyond...). I still enjoy reading the wcnews site and this board, so I'll still drop in occasionally. :)

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty-Nine

This is the second of four paintings which show potential map hazards. This one is a cloudy nebula which would obscure enemy fighters, weapons and other obstacles. Although nebulae show up in the background of the finished game, they do not act as hazards.

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!

Spanish Movie Distributor On Wing Commander

AD found some nifty things at the website of a Spanish distributor for the Wing Commander Movie. Lauren Films has a page includes background information, screenshots and a lengthy press dossier. This document includes a very thorough Spanish synopsis, stories about the production of the movie and cast/crew biographies. It was probably written in the first half of 1998, since it mentions fan sites such as the Wing Commander Home Sector at its last url before the CIC opened in August of that year. There are also a couple neat screenshots of the Spanish DVD, although they are unfortunately a bit blurry and low resolution. The impressive Spanish movie poster is present as well. You can find the site here.

Sin embargo, Roberts no concibió esta película sólo para los seguidores del juego de ordenador - que pueden debatir - y así lo harán - el aspecto y atmósfera de la cinta comparada con el juego en todos los numerosos canales de conversación (chats) de Internet - y más teniendo en cuenta el hallazgo verdaderamente apreciado de imágenes digitales referidas a los decorados y personajes que ya se hallan en circulación. "La película ofrece toda la acción, impactos visuales, y personajes provocativos que millones de seguidores de todo el mundo de Wing Commander esperan"- según promete Roberts. "Sin embargo, la película WING COMMANDER atraerá a las masas porque hemos elaborado una historia totalmente nueva; la gente que va al cine no necesita estar familiarizada con el juego para entender o disfrutar la película".

However, Roberts conceived this film not only for devotees of computer game - they can discuss, and do, the appearance and atmosphere of the film compared to the game in numerous channels on the Internet -- by taking into account the images relating to props and characters that are already in circulation. "Wing Commander offers all the action, visual impacts, and provocative characters that millions of followers around the world look forward to" - as promised Roberts. "However, the film WING COMMANDER appeals to the masses because we have developed a completely new story, the people who go to the movies need not be familiar with or understand the game to enjoy the movie."

Point of Origin: Vol. III, No. 47

This September 24, 1993 issue of Point of Origin is interesting because it includes a firsthand account of displaying Origin games at a tradeshow; you can find relevant portions quoted below. On a sad note, this is also the Point of Origin which includes an article on Brian Smith and his amazing spaceship model.

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!

  • Bueno: San Diego is a nice article about showing Privateer at a convention:
    First of all, I would like to thank Dallas and Jean-Marc for letting one of the Privateer team members go with me to the San Diego Computer Fair. I feel that it was a valuable tool to let someone from the PD group see what occurs at one of these shows.

    In my opinion, the show was extremely succesful. There were approximately 30,000 attendees from all walks of life. We took 1000 copies of sales fliers for Strike, WCA, Shadowcaster, Pacific Strike, and Privateer and they were gone the first day! We, of course, were the loudest group in the building and were requested several times to please turn down the volume (which we politely declined to do). While Ben Potter would demonstrate Tactical Ops, I would have another customer play WCA. For the younger crowd, I would lock-on missiles and destroy ships for them. For the older group, I would turn the guns down when an approaching shipg ot within range. This was the only way to ensure the line waiting to paly would move!

    When we would demo Privateer, the crowd would go nuts. They didn't really like the intro that much, but once they got into the game, they got mad when we wo uld change back to Strike. The sound effects were a real crowd pleaser... The two most asked questions at the show were: 'When is Privateer really goign to ship.' and 'when is Ultima 8 going to be available?'

  • In Print quotes several magazines on Wing Commander: " PC Games includes Strike in a six-sim write-up... An FX review shows up in the same issue. (Suddenly, it's making a comeback.) 'Like pretty much everything else this company does,' Peter Olafson writes, 'FX is spectacular.' He calls it 'required viewing.'... If you're an avid reader of Point of ORIGIN (and hey, who isn't?), you'll remember from issue #45 that Multimedia World magazine's Readers' Choic Awards were due this month. Contrary to earlier reports from the mag, Wing 2 did not beat out Wing 1 for Best Arcade Game--they tied! That makes this the second year Wing 2 has picked up that honor; the first year for Wing 1. Wing 1 gets its solo glory as Best Simulation, beating out... who else... Wing 2. Multimedia World's readers nominate and vote for their favorite outstanding title in the Choice Awards. Congrats (once again) to all involve in both projects. "
Point of Origin
Vol. III, No. 47 - September 24, 1993
Contents
In Print
"Bueno!" San Diego
New Hires, Departures
Off-the-clock: with Brian Smith Dear Point Man

Standoff Team Talks 2008

In his New Years message, Standoff's Eder reflects on past successes and the current state of episode five. It sounds like the final chapter should be finished before the end of the year. He's also released a new wallpaper for us. Their detailed Rapier model on a plain black background is available in many different sizes.
Happy new year!
Happy New Year to all wingnuts out there! Yes... yet another year has come and gone, and we are still around and working on Standoff. I remember when me and Quarto used to come up with work schedules that would let us be free of Standoff before 2005! And then in 2006! And then in 2007! Indeed, all of those were reasonable schedules... there was a time when the though of working on Standoff during all of 2005 seemed like a worst-case scenario. And here we are now, January 1st, 2008. The good news is that today we can finally assure ourselves and all of the fans out there that this is the last year of Standoff development. The game will finally be completed sometime during the next 365 days, then you'll all be able to play through it as a finished game! And we'll be able to do something else with our spare time, like, get lives! To celebrate our progress, the sucess of Ep 4's release, and the start of the last year of Standoff development, I've rendered yet another of them pretty WC2 ships as a wallpaper. Go to the downloads section and check out our Rapier, available in literally a dozen different resolutions. I've tried to render this one in a different style than the Sabre from two years ago in hopes that we now have different enough a wallpaper selection to please most wingnuts. Huzzah!
640x480
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1024x768
1280x960
1280x1024
1400x1050
1440x960
1600x1200
1080x720 (720p)
1920x1080 (1080p)
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1920x1200

What success?
The success of Ep 4's release, which I mentioned above, is not something I made up during my delusions of grandeur. No sir! It is evidenced by the fact that we've been voted best fan project of the year at the Wing Commander CIC's annual awards, once again! This year we tied with Wing Commander Saga, like in 2003! That's right, 2003 - this is also a sign that we've been taking too long to finish Standoff, but I'm rambling again already... here's our nifty award graphic: Thanks to everyone who voted! I should point out that the award for this year means more than ever for us, because Standoff went through a period in which it almost died off in 2006... and also because the number of amazing WC fan projects has been steadily growing over the years! Everyone should definitely head over to the CIC right now and check out all of the other contestants... you really don't want to miss out on the new life fans have been breathing into WC!

In other news...
Now for an actual Ep 5 progress report - I know we haven't updated the website in a long time, but this was one of the good silent periods, not one of the bad ones. We have done a fair amount of work on Episode 5, with more than half of our voiceover lines already processed, about a third of our talking head scenes already rendered and ready to be musicized, and three new scoreboard-enabled sim missions (out of a total of 6 which still weren't score enabled in Ep 4) undergoing testing and balancing. So even though we still have a long way to go for our final episode - specially considering it is our final episode, and we will want to perfect the game as much as possible - progress has been steady and at a good pace!

The Art of Wing Commander Arena - Part Forty-Eight

This is the first of four paintings which show potential map hazards. This one is a comet field which ultimately became the 'Meteor Storm' single player mode.

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!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! That 2008.001 sure looks strange up there. It is the new year, so it's time for a new year's poll! Our traditional January 1 question asks what your general prediction for 2008 is. Between Arena, Star*Soldier, Wing One, GameTap and many many great fan project releases, 2007 was an awesome year. Is the scene set for a repeat? I'd be thrilled with just a fraction of the cool stuff from the year past. Let people know how optimistic you are by voting above.

Our last poll asked what game had your favorite asteroids. Some people like a challenge and picked the toughest asteroids to navigate, while others can't stand them and picked games where rocks were fewer and far between. There seemed to be a similar split between the two camps, but the classic asteroids from WC1/2 finally won out over WC3/4. Privateer and Prophecy, which are similar to WC1/2 and WC3/4 respectively, also received a good number of votes, but the unique environments presented by Proving Grounds, Arena and the CCG came in last.

Congratulations Contest Winners!

We've got contest winners here today too, so let's jump to it.

There were a ton of votes this time around, but 2007's fan project numbers paralleled the results from 2003. Major new releases in the past year helped propel two projects in the rankings, so congratulations to both! With a virtual tie, Standoff and WC Saga again win as Fan Project of the Year! Click here and here for coverage on these projects in our News Archive.

And a creative newcomer came in second place. This project came together really well and very quickly since it was announced last January. The runner up is Privateer Ascii Sector! Check out all updates on this project here.

Our only repeat winner from 2006 is in the Web Site of the Year category. Congratulations to HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site! And thanks for continuing to pursue all your amazing enhancements. Click here for his most recent advancements.

Another newcomer wins as runner up in the website category. Congratulations to Péricles’ Paper Inside! Péricles has made a ton of truly amazing Wing Commander models over the last year, but don't miss out on some of his other very impressive designs as well.

Thanks again for all of our nominees for contributing significantly to the community throughout the year, and good luck on all your undertakings in 2008!

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