CSIS Close to First Alpha Test

|BoH_Havoc| and Germanunkol continue to make progress on their CSiS space sim. They are currently working on a feature that lets players put custom decals on their ship's hull. The team also reports that there will be a closed test this weekend and that gameplay footage will be made available.
No beautiful Screens atm, but this shows that file sending finally works. The "1", "2" and "3" are placeholders for logos that the players have created. If the server and the other clients allow file sending, the client's logo is sent to the server, and from there to all other clients. Later on, this logo will be displayed on the ship's hull, currently it's only displayed above the radar/scanner when you target the client it belongs to (shown here):

This saturday, CSiS will get it's first official closed Alpha test, hopefully we'll have lots of videos to show afterwards! A new game mode (Station Siege) is almost done as well.

Stiletto on The Forgotten

Iceblade noticed that Heather Stephens currently has a recurring role on the ABC TV series The Forgotten, a show about amateur homicide detectives. Although she has been away from games and movies for some time, Stephens has had several other television appearances on shows such as Desperate Housewives, CSI and Saved.

Wing 3 Transport Still in Service

Some time ago, JasonRocZ started working on a Kilrathi transport design based on the Sha'kar from Wing Commander 3. It still needs turrets and details, but it already has textures similar to those of his Ralaxath model. Our news archive has more coverage of the Collateral Damage project.

Download Full Length Movies

For the many new visitors to the site this year, Queeg's movie projects are a must-have. They run for a combined five hours and weigh in at nearly three gigabytes. Grab the XviD codec or VLC player if you can't view the files. We recommend a download manager like Free Download Manager to help these large files along. The Prophecy DVD upgrade and Academy animated TV series are also still up for grabs if you don't already have them.
Queeg has put together a third and final cut of his Heart of the Tiger movie project. He has combined highlights from the story and gameplay into an intense two hour film. Fans who downloaded previous versions might not need to grab this one, but there are a few significant changes (detailed below). You can download the movie here.

Barely three months after releasing his third and final version of his WC3 movie and two months after announcing the project, Queeg has released the first complete version of his WC4 movie project. The project aims to create a full movie experience by tying together high quality FMV scenes taken from WCIV DVD, along with in-game spaceflight scenes. You can download the 2.1 gigabyte, three hour long movie from our local HTTP mirror. The spaceflight scenes also feature new nebula graphics in the background. Don't forget to post your thoughts on the movie here.

Banshee and Pilot Being Meticulously Painted

Check out elend's screaming Banshee model with its first coat of gray primer. He still needs to get more colors for the ship, but he's also started detailing the pilot. Even the colors and patches of the flight suit are based on WC4's designs! The painting is a very time consuming process as he carefully sprays and cleans to keep the fine details clear. Check out Modellboard for more pics.

Message From Alpha Command!

Here's a cool shot of Lehah's personalized copy of the Wing Commander movie soundtrack! It's been autographed by David Arnold. If you don't have a copy of the soundtrack, go get it! And in the mean time, read about Chris Robert's take on the movie's music and download some sample track mp3s here.

Heres a picture of my WC Movie soundtrack, signed by David Arnold (Quantum Of Solace, ID4, Stargate). Drool away, boys.

Midway's Cousin Beefed Up

JasonRocZ is well on the way to incoporating a later version of the Midway class carrier into Wing Commander Collateral Damage. This Nephilim fighting machine shares some design elements with the TCS Port Broughton from WC Arena, most notably beefier structure and communications gear. Several side-by-side comparisons are included below. It looks a little strange without all the forward and rear extensions, but Jason was going for a stockier & sturdier look here.

Ares 1-X Test Lifts Off!

NASA successfully test launched the Ares 1-X rocket today. This is the very first in a series that will eventually replace the current Shuttle orbiter fleet. Today's launch was designed to measure flight characteristics, hardware performance and interaction with ground control. The craft was transported to the launch pad aboard the same crawlers that moved the original Apollo rockets and Space Shuttles.

Garriott Goes Green

It's been one year since Origin founder Richard Garriott has returned from his trip to the International Space Station. He recently conducted an interview with the Austin American-Statesman to continue to advance the cause of private spaceflight. His new interests also include exploring the concept of suborbital space/sky-diving and a variety of conservational measures. Check out the full article here.
Although Garriott says he's not in the gaming industry at the moment, he has a "cadre of companions in the gaming industry who are already reforming as we speak."

There's nothing official to discuss yet, he said, "but there's no question my name will be reassociated back into gaming in the not-terribly-distant future."

Mod to Mod Gets More Ships

Here's a couple more shots of Standoff with WC3 ships added in. The Gothri has been converted to the Vaktoth and the Rapier II with the Hellcat V. Note the differing VDU image and targeted craft. Those kinds of technical tweaks are what -danr- is currently improving.

Here's a Vaktoth, seconds before I got frustrated with the fact there's an armistice on and iced the furball. Unfortunately shooting him down seems to get Spoons on your case.

New Gratha Gets Its Feathers

Michelle D has taken another look at the heavy Gratha frame. This time the ship took certain cues from the Super Famicom Wing Commander box art, which has produced a particularly aggressive looking variant. The engines will probably be further modified to resemble this version even more.

I've been parting out bits here and there from the Red Gratha from the Japanese box art. I chose to go with the simpler gun barrels along with the open panels and intake ducting on the underside of the ship. I also added the feathery detail on the cockpit and painted it red, but I can't be too sure the design is correct because of the low quality of the image reference.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 7 Positive

"I’ve never taken down that many carriers in a single system before," says Casey. Although that's possibly true, verisimilitude goes out the window when you have the rookie character actually bragging about something like that (Jazz does something similar in Wing Commander II, talking about how he was finishing up his usual Fralthra and its Jalkehi escorts). This marks the end of the Secret Ops fiction updates -- we'll have some more WCSO background for you in the next few days!

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 7 Positive
Download (48 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 6

Ralaxath Rocking the Nephilim War

Wing Commander Collateral Damage has beefed up its destroyer contingent this month. The heavy Ralaxath destroyer has really come together this week and it just about ready to hunt. The first two shots below compare an early and later revision of the design, and the last image pairs it with the recently completed Southampton.

I've updated this one... Added the turrets, did new engine intakes and just really added some random details throughout... Also added a bridge up top and some type of communication equipment...

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 7 Negative

And we end Secret Ops' fiction with the odd death of the Clippy joke/plot. He's just... named Clippy. Over the years I've spoken to several of the developers for Secret Ops and they genuinely had no idea where this was supposed to go. It just is. Very philosophical.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 7 Negative
Download (36 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 9

Larry Latham on the Web

Larry Latham, Director of the Wing Commander Academy TV episodes, has a website. Mr. Latham might not be a name many Wing Commander fans are familiar with, but the site does a good job filling in readers about his background and even a little bit about how he got into WC Academy. Read about his varied experiences and background here.

I was born in the 50s, and grew up in Oklahoma, in the days when reading comic books was truly geeky and socially alienating. But I lucked into the first big wave of comic fandom, so I had friends anyway, many of whom I am still in contact with 40 years later. I liked to draw as a kid and wanted to be a cartoonist, but my dad, in a nice way, convinced me that it was a silly profession and that I’d never be able to make a living. End of art education. In high school I got into drama (talk about a silly profession!) then went to the University of Oklahoma, enrolling in their film department. That’s what they called it anyway. Though the school now boasts a state of the art film and television production facility, back in the day we had hand me down salvage equipment from World War 2. It was a great way to learn, though, because you had to be pretty creative to even get the cameras to work right.

After a year off doing an education project, I was asked to write a bible and do development art for a property Universal had purchased, Ranger Ralph. Shame it was never made, it’s still one of my favorite projects I’ve ever worked on. But it led to my directing Wing Commander Academy, based on the best selling game. Universal was the best working experience I ever had, due to all the great people, but especially to Ralph Sanchez and Suzi Peterson.

Wing Commander Academy led, somehow, to An American Tail 3: Treasure of Manhattan Island and An American Tail 4: Mystery of the Night Monster. Enjoyed the heck out of these two, though the script for the second one never quite jelled.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 7 Default

It's odd how, as in Wing Commander Prophecy, the narrative seems to shut off in these last episodes; here things like news reports are dropped entirely... possibly when the story could most benefit from them. I have to say it feels a lot more like a deadline issue than any especially planned event.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 7 Default
Download (48 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 8

Warren's Brush with Disney

Former Originite Warren Spector's Junction Point Studios has been working on a new dark and "epic" Disney themed adventure game for the Wii. Game Informer has a cover feature on the game in the November 2009 issue. You can check out some of the concept art below or images from this issue here. Of course you'll notice in the first page that they don't fail to mention Warren's Wing Commander past:
"The lives of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit may seem strange subject matter for one of the most lauded game developers in the world. Warrent Spector helped to shape the landscape of electronic gaming throughout the last two decades, from his involvement in franchises like Ultima, Wing Commander, System Shock, and Thief, to the groundbreaking Deus Ex. From those frequently edgy, experimental projects, it seems an odd shift in gears to tackle Mickey, a character identified with saccharine sweetness and innocuous simplicity. At least that's the way spector felt when Disney approached him about creating a new Mickey Mouse game."

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 7

Interestingly, the game seems to have dropped all attempts at incredibly variable fiction for Episode 7 -- it's all winning or losing, although the chart showing the many different options is still included in this document. Perhaps the feature was dropped between the writing of Episode 6 and 7, or perhaps the idea was that this late date was the equivalent of the 'you win or lose regardless of past performance' final series' from Wing Commander II.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 7
Download (51 kb)

Date: July 23, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 9

Peep These Totally Cool (2nd Layer) Multiplicative Texture Maps

What goes into all those amazing models like the Broadsword and Scimitar? Here's an example of the texture wizardry that goes into the final look. It takes an awesome model to set the right shape, but these skins deliver the finishing touch.

In light of the front page post on the CIC, I thought I'd share a little more behind-the scenes info on the process. In the original run-up, I gave a description of a 2nd layer multiplicative texture map that covers the whole ship and lets us do an AO bake and squadron markings. Well, here's three examples of what that looks like.

Looks confusing as all out, I know, but the important areas are the upper right, with the two big end-of-the-wing-panels, and the center left, with the area around the cockpit.

Enjoy!

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 6 Positive

Here's the thing about the lost fiction. In this episode, Zero e-mails us: "Hope everyone read the BLUE HORIZON incident report. If you haven’t, well, sleep tight." In spite of that, no one missed it -- because the fiction cried wolf so many times about material being available when it wasn't. Is it possible that there's a Blair memorial transcript or a document pack from Zero's dad out there that were never used? Or at least that these were planned and dropped?

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 6 Positive
Download (72 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 9

Southampton Upgraded to Fight Nephilim

Wing Commander Collateral Damage has updated its taken on the Southampton class destroyer. The latest shots show new details on the bridge and weapon systems. A couple fancier posed images are also included here, although they are from a slightly older build of the ship.

As you can see I've added (8) Mark IV Plasma Cannons... (which in the game engine will probably be some type of unguided projectile somehow). I changed the intakes and widened it a lil bit too (extra armor).

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 6 Negative

Speaking of negative, this episode has the largest, weirdest hints at the relationship between Casey and Stiletto (again, unresolved!). Some great writing on the subject, though - can't you just imagine lumpy Petrarca-Casey thinking "well I hope this flyboy hasn’t blown it"?

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 6 Negative
Download (55 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 9

Happy Sivar-Eshrad!

Today, October 20, is the annual Kilrathi Sivar-Eshrad ceremony. The event is the most sacred Kilrathi religious holiday. In preparation for the ceremony, all Sons of Kilrah who are able report to a site of Holy Dedication chosen by the Priestesses of Sivar in order to sing the praises of Lord Sivar by offering sacrifices in battle. The inhabitants of the dedication site must be forcibly converted to the Kilrathi religion. If the ceremony is performed properly the War God will favor the Warriors of Kilrah in battle for the next year. If not, they are doomed to be defeated by their enemies until they can atone for their failure. The Way of Lord Sivar may not be observed by non-believers.

The holy day first appeared in Secret Missions 2: Crusade and was also the basis for the two-part finale of Wing Commander Academy, Glory of Sivar. We know that Sivar ceremonies were held on Ghorah Khar in 2621, Dolos in 2654 and Firekka in 2655. The Emperor wanted to hold the ceremony on Earth in 2668 -- luckily, that didn't happen.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 6 Default

Mystery solved! There's a (large green) note telling the site publishers to include the Blue Horizon update on the first day of Episode 6: "The document entitled INCIDENT REPORT.DOC This should have been included with the Episode Documents. Should be delivered to the public in this section the first day." I suppose it fell through the cracks.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 6 Default
Download (84 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 7

Standoff Seasoned with WC3 Ships

-danr- wanted to try something new with Standoff, and his results are pretty neat. He's sprinkled in a mix of familiar ships from Wing Commander 3 to give the game a more varied look. Seeing some of these craft together at the same time might seem odd at first, but it's definitely interesting to think about how these ships coexisted and interacted with each other in the timeline. Somewhere there were flights of Thunderbolts and Rapiers taking on pairs of Ralathas and Kamranis, and the pictures below bring that to life. dan is still working to improve the look of this mod conversion, and your feedback is appreciated.
So, with absolutely no intention of insulting the brilliance of the project that is Standoff, I decided to throw in some WC3 ships in the spirit of making things feel a little more '2669'...

With a little education from reading old threads on this board, I've found its quite straight forward to use TREman, and then switch ship IFF, MESH and MAT files.

I made the following changes:

Gladius --> Now Thunderbolt (the mesh from SO)
Kamekh --> Now Kamrani
Stilletto --> Now WC3 Arrow (mesh downloaded from the CIC)
Drakhri --> Now Dralthi 3
Gothri --> Now Vaktoth
Pirate Talon --> Now Scimitar (Thanks to the UE model)

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 6

As predicted, the list of 'losing option' paragraphs is now as long as my arm. Another great Clippy line made the jump from optional 'you've lost everything' paragraph to linear 'lost' status: "Those dead want vengeance, and you have got to pick up that burning sword and deliver them some. Am I making myself clear?"

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 6
Download (61 kb)

Date: July 23, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 13

Howard Day Unveils Scimitar Model

For his next modeling project, Howard Day is taking on the Scimitar from the original Wing Commander. There is some work left to do on a few areas, such as the cockpit and underside, but Howard's latest model is already shaping up to be every bit as impressive as his stunning A-17 Broadsword rendition. Let him know what you think at Crius.net!
So here's the second Pioneer ship to get the new texturing method upgrade...the Scimitar! I still have a bit of work to do on the underside, and the missile racks are correct, nor final. Landing gear and cockpit details have yet to be worked out, as well.

The modelling on this one has been rather tricky - there's a lot of references for the cockpit area, but not all of them line up perfectly, so I kinda had to take the parts that did fit together and just use those. Anyhow, enjoy, and comments and changes are welcome.


Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 5 Positive

Does it feel to anyone else that there's just something slightly off to the Secret Ops fiction? It has so much setup and almost no payoff; there's no resolution to the nickname debate or the alien virus or the secret cargo plotline. Was this all planned setup for another installment, or is it a case of writers throwing whatever seemed interesting at the wall and just running into a hard deadline instead of plotting things out entirely?

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 5 Positive
Download (73 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 14

Action Packed 'Prelude to Darkness' Begins

lew82 has started a new animated series called Frontier - Prelude to Darkness. The episodes are full of drama and exciting space combat action. It's not a Wing Commander story, but lew was definitely inspired by the series. Although the ships are Confederation craft, they share some design elements that make them nice and familiar. Check out the first three parts at the links below, and help provide feedback for future installments over at Crius.net.

This is a science fiction movie I am making. It is not quite Wing Commander, BUT is totally inspired by it! I grew up on Wing Commander I, II, III, IV and Prophecy - best years of my life!

Part 4 is coming soon! I work on it as we speak! Hope you like it. :)

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 5 Negative

Episode 5's ISDN update includes the rare negative version -- a note that "the Ella system was nearly lost to an onslaught of Aliens that the Confederation was not prepared to confront." The designers seem pretty loathe to let the Nephilim blow up that cool starbase...

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 5 Negative
Download (83 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 12

Wing Commander Wallpaper Recap

Our Wallpapers section has been updated with the latest desktop backgrounds. Most creations are available for both widescreen and classic monitors. Check them out here. If you have artwork that you would like to submit, you can send it to our news@wcnews.com address or post it on the Forums.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 5 Default

Episode 5's fiction is home to Secret Ops' most famous line: EAT THE CORE. Also: the entire crew stops YELLING in their e-mails and decides to come up with fancy signatures instead. One of the Confederation's top killers signs her e-mails "*-*AmaZon*-*"?

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 5 Default
Download (73 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 13

Combat Scene Returns to Battle

gr1mre4per hasn't forgotten about the cool space fight animation he was building a while back, and he's been hard at work again trying to expand and recreate the scene. The pictures below compare the first draft with the current cut, but they don't compare to seeing a big space dogfight in motion. Check it out here (1.6 meg avi)!

It's been a pain in the backside trying to re-do what I've done so far, but it's *almost* done. Still need to re-add a few effects which had to be replaced because of the appauling way I made the scenes the first time.

It's been a while, life's been a tad rough the past year, but I'm still around and still working on this. Spending some time out the country soon and work has provided me a laptop at last so I can fill some of the boring nights up with some CGI making at last.

Hope you like :)

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 5

Check out the sheer volume of "possible negative comments" that are options in this document. None of them are especially interesting and it's all a good indicator of why such a complex feature was dropped (can you imagine how many passwords would be needed by the time the seventh episode game along?).

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 5
Download (77 kb)

Date: July 23, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 17

Invasion Explores New Base

WC Invasion has a new space station borrowed from Howard Day and Pioneer. The Star Wars Empire at War mod already uses some familiar WC bases, but this extra structure will help fill a gap in Major Payne's lineup. The first two shots are rendered for the EAW engine. Check out the game's latest beta build here.

This station won't allow construction of ships as such but will provide additional defensive capabilities and (I'm hoping) a combat bonus of some kind in skirmish. As noted in the description, it will be capturable but also armed. Although I won't get rid of the buildable turrets, this will be another defensive structure.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 4 Positive

Following up the WEC notes in the unappreciated in-joke category is the fact that the names in the General Assembly transcript included in Episode 4 are all taken from 'Treasure Island' -- from the characters (Cmdr. Silver, Israel Hands) to the ship itself (Hispaniola).

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 4 Positive
Download (67 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 11

Banshee Boxed & Based

Work has progressed on elend's fantastic Banshee to the point where he has considered several display and mounting options. The ship fits nicely on its new foam base inside a glass aquarium. The exact structures that will hold the fighter up are still to be determined. A couple prototype nameplates have also been built, and even those look cool. We're really looking forward to seeing this thing painted! Check out Modellboard for the latest updates.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 4 Negative

You know, first we have the long, amusing and ultimately undecided discussion about "Clippy" and then we have everyone making fun of Zero's nickname (Terry? What else do you shorten Terrance to?) -- I'm thinking one of the Secret Ops writers was having nickname issues.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 4 Negative
Download (59 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 11

Thresher Treasure

JasonRocZ has come up with a new Nephilim fighter design for Wing Commander Collateral Damage. The Thresher was inspired by the Devil Ray from Prophecy and Secret Ops. Jason also has a new wallpaper for us that features this new Thresher model alongside the classic Stingray and Devil Ray designs.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 4 Default

Episode 4 is where one of the most controversial aspects of the Secret Ops fiction shows up -- and I use that only somewhat sarcastically. I'm writing, of course, of the references to the "WEC", apparently the same Terran government seen in Origin's Crusader series of games. For some reason the reference to the WEC struck many people as an attempt to tie the game's together in a way that the Bloodfang in Ultima or SHODAN in Victory Streak were not. The game's designer noted, at the time, that the only significant obstacle preventing Crusader from being the 'prehistory' of Wing Commander was the fact that it includes teleporters.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 4 Default
Download (65 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 10

Minor Ascii Sector Update

Version 0.6.1.1 of Chris Knudsen's Privateer: Ascii Sector fixes a couple of minor gameplay issues. You can download this latest release from the official website. Changes in this version:
  • Fixed bug with escort missions.
  • The autopilot will now always disengage if an escortee is under attack, even if you have "Ignore new contacts" enabled.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 4

The (unused) fiction really gets variable here -- there's a list of interesting facts that hit the cutting room floor because of the abandonment of that feature in Episode 4: Ella is destroyed, Stiletto's uncle dies, "sect" is the proper slang term for the Nephilim (and they have larvae, according to Captain Clippy).

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 4
Download (69 kb)

Date: July 23, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 13

You Can Still Claim Party Prizes

As a follow up to the CIC's Birthday Party prize roundup, let us know if you have not yet received your item or a confirmation email. Only about half of the prizes have been claimed so far, but some emails may have been spammed out. Be sure to include your real name and IRC nick in the note. The same goes for any outstanding prizes from a previous CIC party or contest that were not claimed or fulfilled originally.
  • CIC Polo Shirt - Jason Ryock, Jetlag
  • CIC Glass - CFF, Jetlag, Music Guru
  • CIC Playing Cards - SerXan
  • Eisen T-Shirt - PopsiclePete, Iceheart
  • Eisen Hat - Coolhand, PopsiclePete
  • Confed Replica Patch - Wedge, Madman Legion, Imperator
  • WC2 Game - stone484201
  • WC4 DVD - Ed Filho, Powell99, MusicGuru
  • WC CCG Starter Deck Box - Madman Legion, HammerHead, Powell99
  • WC Novel - Wedge
  • WC Movie DVD - Branches
  • WC Movie Action Figures - Powell, TheFraix
  • WC Movie Poster - Powell99
  • Autographed WC Movie Soundtrack CD from LeHah - Wedge, Iceheart
  • Star*Soldier - Quarto
  • EddieB Nasa Stickers - Powell99

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 3 Positive

Oh dear, Zero's typing in all caps has had a negative effect on the whole crew: now everyone is yelling... including the fields in mail software itself, somehow.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 3 Positive
Download (63 kb)

Date: August 9, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 11

Psychedelic Stingray Struts its Stuff

Everyone's favorite fighter with a pickle strapped on top has been cleaned up once again and rendered for Wing Commander Collateral Damage. These latest screens also show the joined configuration when three Stingrays merge. The ship features JasonRocZ's new Nephilim texture that really emphasizes the exotic look here.

Let me know what ya think...

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 3 Negative

The general Episode 3 fiction includes what is usually cited as the games' favorite update -- the story on Blair's memorial (attended, naturally, by entertainers referenced in Claw Marks and Victory Streak!). That final promise that the full transcript would be available in the "ISDN Archives" was certainly a tease, though.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 3 Negative
Download (63 kb)

Date: August 9, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 11

Good Old Wing Commander

Good Old Games (gog.com) is a relatively new service that sells older PC titles via online distribution. The games are patched to run on modern operating systems or simply bundled with a pre-configured copy of DOSBox or ScummVM. Instead of a subscription-based service like the ill-fated Gametap, Good Old Games is shooting for downloadable game sales priced around $10 or less. You do not need a special client to download or play the games after you buy them. Last year, their VP of Marketing expressed an interest in licensing Wing Commander for distribution. Corsair reports that they have a Wishlist where users can vote for games that they would like to see made available from the service. Most Wing Commander titles have several hundred votes, well behind System Shock or Monkey Island, but far ahead of Descent: FreeSpace!

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 3 Default

Episode 3 starts with the previously mentioned update that left its picture request in at SecretOps.com: "Pictures Required: Various screen shots of fighting between Excaliburs, Thunderbolts, and aliens" -- wouldn't that have been cool? (I do remember specifically asking about this at the time and being told it was intentional... but given the fact that every other update seems to have such requests removed, I think I was lied to.)

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 3 Default
Download (75 kb)

Date: August 9, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 11

Vibroblade Strike More Likely Critical in Ascii Sector 0.61

A brand new version of Privateer Ascii Sector has been released, and you should play it! Version 0.6.1 packs in a load of bug fixes, and several features have been improved. Missile locking and launching is now especially more user friendly. Download the game for Windows, Mac and Lunix here

- Fixed autopilot bug after having disabled and/or boarded a ship.
- Fixed drunk autopilot.
- Fixed bug that resulted in zero attacks during escort missions.
- Fixed bugs with mission nav points not always marked correctly.
- Fixed bug with non-existent nav points for scout missions.
- Fixed crash when switching positions with an NPC.
- Fixed various issues with blindness.
- Fixed line-of-sight bug (NPCs could sometimes shoot at you while you couldn't shoot back).
- Removed smpeg library dependency.
- Vibroblades now do as much damage as a knife and carry a greater chance of doing critical damage.
- Pressing 'T' in space now always switches to the target display.
- You no longer receive fines for theft on pirate bases.
- If you are banned from a base, you cannot use computer terminals on that base, and shopkeepers, guild masters, bartenders and ship dealers won't have anything to do with you.
- You can now merge used ammo clips.
- When your wingman's time has expired, a message will now tell you that he's trying to hail you when autopilot is automatically disengaged.
- The game now checks that all passengers are on board before launching from a base.
- Brilliance Ampules and Refined Ultimate now disappear when used up.
- When you have dual missile launchers, only one missile is fired at a time now (hit enter twice to fire both missiles).
- Missile launcher indicators now blink while reloading.
- Added missile lock progress indicator.
- Added "Ignore friendly contacts" option to the autopilot.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 3

Here's where we start to see some cut material. As with the Captain and Casey documents, the overall fiction documents were written with variable paragraphs which were to display based on specific mission performance. Note that Captain Clippy's report's includes two such options -- and that one of his best lines, "Have you ever looked at our retirement plan? It assumes we survive this", was actually taken from one of these removed options and added to the overall losing comments.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 3
Download (76 kb)

Date: July 23, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 13

All Angles on the Gemini Sector

There's some Privateer love in the latest batch of Origin models posed by Red Baron. The first four are the Demon, Stiletto, Broadsword & Drayman. Any of these would have certainly shaken up the mix if they were flyable in the game. We also get cool looks at the Steltek Drone and Jolson Enforcer here!

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 2 Positive

These 'positive' updates bring us to the end of Episode 2. The game takes its first tentative steps at variable fiction here, with extra winning or losing paragraphs for Casey's diary, the Captain's report and Zero's e-mail (am I the only one who's bothered by the fact that he types IN ALL CAPS? ZERO IS YELLING AT YOU!).

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 2 Positive
Download (257 kb)

Date: August 9, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 16

Broadsword Builds on Backstory Bitmaps

Here are some bombers that may have flown alongside Howard Day's fancy concept Tiger's Claw Broadswords. These are decorated in a TCS Kyoto theme. Lots of the base metal is showing compared to his recent designs, and it's pretty nice what just a little bit of paint can do!

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 2 Negative

Here's an odd personal note: the one thing that bothered me the most about Secret Ops was being given 'Talos IV' as a password. For some reason, hearing the name of a Star Trek planet in my other favorite universe takes me out of the game like nothing else ever has.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 2 Negative
Download (168 kb)

Date: August 9, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 16

Rack 'Em

Ever wonder where WCNews.com (and Crius and SolSector) lives? Thanks to a cool promotion from ThePlanet, we were able to actually see our server for the first time! Wing Commander's whole consciousness is in that machine, folks...

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 2 Default

We tend to forget the 'default' fiction when we think back to Secret Ops; after all, we all went to the site with our hard earned winning passwords (or purposefully-sought losing ones!)... but there was also a set of "general" fiction for readers who didn't have time to play the game or who just couldn't be bothered to remember the game's secret words.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 2 Default
Download (183 kb)

Date: August 9, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 16

Download Day

We have plenty of entertaining files that you may have missed in the past. We recommend a download manager to help the large files along. Here are some of our favorites:

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 2

Here's where things get interesting: variable fiction. Here's how these updates work: four Word documents were developed for each episode. A general, color-coded collection of all the text (here) and then linear versions for each site: default (no password), negative and positive.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Episode 2
Download (55 kb)

Date: July 23, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 11

Collateral Damage Gets Some Support

Here's a look at some of the support craft to be featured in Wing Commander Collateral Damage. The blue ship is an enhanced version of the SAR-23 Condor. It sports extra fuel tanks, a pair of Ionic Pulse Cannons and a small turret. The other craft is a marine assault shuttle dubbed the "Charon" that's loosely modeled on the Hercules LC.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Episode 1

The fiction for Secret Ops' first episode is easy enough -- there's no branching, so it's not practically any different from the 'lead in' fiction. One interesting note: this version of the fiction includes parenthetical notes to add various images to many of the updates ("Images needed: “Jupiter 1” station shot (altered shot of existing starbase"). We knew this was intended, since one of these notes slipped through the editing process... but it's a shame to see how much concept was abandoned here. A select number of flashy screenshots would have improved the experience greatly -- the 'wall of text' was for hardcore fans only.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Lead In
Download (74 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 12

PSP Go Home

Today marks the launch of the latest iteration of Sony's handheld Playstation, the PSP Go. The device is a fancy update of the PSP hardware designed to compete--somehow--with the iPhone. However, the release comes with a major warning for American Wing Commander fans: because the PSP Go has dropped the ability to read UMDs, it can not play Wing Commander or The Secret Missions (included in EA Replay) at this time.

It is possible that EA Replay will be made available as a digital download in the future, although Electronic Arts has launched the majority of their PSP back-catalog through the PSN store today and did not include the Replay package. European fans are somewhat luckier in terms of Wing Commander on the PSP Go: EA Replay has been available digitally in their region since earlier this year.

Making the Game: Web Fiction - Lead In

Today we begin our run through the Secret Ops fiction in earnest, with the document containing the game's "lead in" fiction -- the material that was posted (as static images, of all things) to the site before the episode releases began. Note that the game's temporary title is 'Wing Commander: Mission Disk', which is either a cause or effect of various contemporary retailers listing a Prophecy mission disk as being forthcoming.

These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

Web Fiction - Lead In
Download (59 kb)

Date: July 26, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 8

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