Catching Up With Gemini Gold

Here is one you may have missed. The Privateer Gemini Gold team has a YouTube channel where they hope to put new cutscenes on display. They also have a brief status update up.

It has been some time. But here we are and you get something to look at - on YouTube!

Since YouTube is recently providing high definition movie playback and we are working on new cutscenes, we think YouTube is the platform for us to easily show you which scenes are still work in progress and which are already finished.

Now head over to the Privateer Gemini Gold Project channel on YouTube and check out what is already waiting there for you. One last thing: Not all updates to the channel will show up in the news here, so if you love our work on the cutscenes zap to the channel every now and then...


Some of you will probably ask, because our last release was back in June 2007. Well, firstly there is only a very small team of people that are constantly working on the project. Secondly most of them are currently in the process of graduation or try to manage life after that.

This means: Everyone is pretty busy and there is not much time left for Privateer...

Macintosh WC Demo Recovered

A lot of fans have never experienced Super Wing Commander, a Macintosh and 3DO revision of Wing Commander 1 and the Secret Missions, featuring improved graphics, full speech and an entirely new set of missions. Our copy of the Mac demo was lost or damaged in a server move, and the only known source was an old magazine coverdisc from Inside Mac Games. We never did find a copy of that disc, but the demo recently resurfaced over at the Macintosh Garden! We've mirrored the file here (34 MB). Even if you don't own a Mac, you may still want to check out its unique Claw Marks and Playguide in electronic format.

A Real Origin Hero

Sheri Graner Ray is a senior game designer with Schell Games as well as one of the founders of Women in Games International. Like many other game industry vets, she also got her start at Origin Systems. In a recent blog posting, she reminisced about her time at Origin including some amusing Wing Commander anecdotes. You can find the full entry here.
"My first office at Origin was a "fishbowl." It was on the second floor in an interior office with big windows into the hall. My desk was pushed up against one of those windows so it was a bit like sitting in the hallway. (Coincidentally the office directly across from me had a window into the hall too... and was occupied by Steve Beeman!) On about the third or fourth day at my new job, I heard the sound of Kazoos. Then down the hall came a HUGE bunch of helium balloons (obscuring the person carryingi them) and a parade of people all playing Taps on their kazoos. Of course I had to join the parade and see what in the world was up. We made our way through the building to the smokers' porch. There the person with the balloons stood up and gave a speech commemorating the valient work of G.I. Joe and his contribution (as the rotoscope subject) to the Wing Commander project. They went on to talk about how they were now sending him on to his next assignment. And sure enough there was a GI Joe tied to the bunch of balloons. He had a note tied to him, telling whoever found him to report his location back to Origin and we'd send them a copy of Wing Commander. Then with applause and laughter the balloons were released and GI Joe was lifted high in to the sky. And.. actually about six weeks later we did get a call. He'd been found in an oil field outside of Houston Texas!"

Fourth Batch of Kilrathi Concept Sketches

Here are some more of those concept sketches that Cybot078 has been working on. The Kilrathi ship designs from Wing Commander 3 were the inspiration for these, although some appear to have both WC2 and WC3 themes in mind. More can be found in our news archives and on the Forums.

Get Your Deals Here

Hopefully you were able to take advantage of some great deals on Black Friday. If not, or if your local store didn't have a big sale, here's some of the best deals on actively stocked Wing Commander products. For everything else, great prices abound on Half.com and eBay.
EA Replay
Amazon.com: from $2.67
Frys.com: $4.99 (store pickup)
Half.com: from $6.97
WC Movie
Amazon.com: from $4.36
Walmart: 7.86
Frys.com: $7.99
Prophecy Advance
Amazon.com: from $3.99

Download Highlights

Despite chewing through well over a terabyte of traffic so far, we have a lot of upload allowance to spare for the month of November. 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. Below are just a few of our favorites. More can be found in our Files and Music sections.

Mark Hamill For Best Voice

Everyone's favorite Blair is nominated for a Video Game Award in the category Best Voice. Mark Hamill earned the nomination for his part in Batman: Arkham Asylum. A prolific voice actor, Hamill has played the role of the Joker in most of the Batman cartoons and video games from the 1990s onward. The competition is made up primarily of Jack Black (Brütal Legend) and a few smaller names. Essentially a popularity contest, SpikeTV's award show is in its 7th year. In 2005, Christopher Walken (David Hassan, Privateer 2) won "best supporting male performance" for his work on True Crime: New York City.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day to all of our visitors in the US! If you didn't get the day off to celebrate Thanksgiving today, hopefully you had a great day and a nice weekend to look forward to. If you're enjoying a four-day weekend, then it's time to fire up some Wing Commander! Wingnuts in Europe are now in a four-day free period for XBox Live Gold, so why not get some Arena games going?

They're Boxy, but they're Good

Kevin Caccamo is still working on his Landreich Campaign addition to the WC Saga mod. He's added more detail to his Andrew Carnegie class factory ship, built new representations for shields and figured out squadron logos on fighters. I'd like to know what the place looks like that builds a factory ship like this. Let Kevin know what you think over at Crius.net.

Gellar, Prinze 'Liked Traditional Baby Name'

If you ever wondered where FPJ & SMG came up with the name for their new daughter, here's your answer. ZFGokuSSJ1, this one's for you.
The former Buffy The Vampire Slayer star and husband Prinze welcomed daughter Charlotte Grace in September.

Speaking to People, Gellar said: "We both wanted something that was traditional but that you didn't hear every day. I was one of four Sarahs in my class growing up.

"It was, for us, about looking for something that fit into that classical vein but was still special."

Prinze added: "It's almost weirder for her to be called Charlotte. She's going to be in school with a Magic Appleseed, or something, and it's going to be weird that she's Charlotte.

No Achievements for Wraith in Standoff

Here's some clarification on a previously undocumented detail. The Wraith does not earn awards in the Standoff Scoreboard Achievement System. As something of a medium superfighter, its scores are reduced by 25% and players do not earn the standard medals while flying it. There are twelve other ships that receive full credit however, and each one is a blast to fly. Check out the How To Guide to get started!
My apologies. It's something I added when putting the last touches to the sim missions and I think that at that point the updated scoreboard help page was already done; I totally forgot to write it down along with the medals explanation.

The Wraith being Standoff's "God-Mode" ship, I ruled it off the achievement charts, just as I had it's score handicapped by 25%.

I am really sorry for the frustration I may have caused for not making it clearer.

Forstchen Channels First US President

Wing Commander author and historian Dr. William Forstchen and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have published a book about the Revolutionary War. In To Try Men's Souls, the best-selling co-authors offer three personal perspectives on George Washington's fight for American freedom. The Washington Times has more on the story.
After transporting readers back in time with historical novels set during the Civil War and World War II, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and historian William R. Forstchen have released "To Try Men's Souls: A Novel of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom."

Mr. Gingrich, who, as reported last week in The Washington Times, plans to evaluate his prospects for a 2012 presidential bid, stressed that his story's protagonist, the country's first commander in chief, is an especially resonant profile in courage in these uncertain times.

Paper Gratha Coming Together

RapierDragon made great progress over the weekend on his paper recreation of Michelle D's Famicon Gratha. The wingspan is about 7.5 inches across and 2 inches tall, and many of the ship's fine details have turned out very nicely. RD will release the instructions and files for everyone to make their own when he's complete!

Yeah, I know the black lines are a bit of an eye-sore, but I tried to use dark-red and it made scoring the folds and trimming parts a lot harder. Still, other than edges of wings and such, the worst place it really sticks out is blocks just to either side of the gray. Only other option would be to find some kind of closely-matching enamal paint (glossy finger-nail paint maybe?) to touch over some of the more obvious and annoying black lines.

Maybe what I'll do is once the model is done I'll see if I can do a second layer on top with the parts having dark-red lines (instead of black) and the parts just ever so slightly bigger (to provide a smoother look). Not really sure if I'll do that, cause to keep the images sharp I have to use BMP (rather than jpg) and sticking in that kind of detailing will make the file-sizes ten-times larger.

The colors are just a flat one-tone color right now. As I said, details like varying shades/tints to suggest a paneled armor-tile with rivets effect (like your lovely 3d pics have) would boost the BMP size to a rediculous level.

This essentially leaves the tail-fin and twin-engine area, and the bulk for the intakes on the underside. I'm hoping it doesn't take me another week, especially since it's not quite the fancy curvature that the nose/cockpit has.

'Origin Systems' For Sale

A new computer store has opened with a familiar name. Origin PC is now taking orders on custom configurations of its high-end machines. In addition to including extremely high specs with its computers, the company also allows extensive customization of its exterior cases. Buyers can submit their own designs in addition to several premade models. Some of the company founders formerly worked for Alienware, and although there's no suggestion of a relationship to the former Wing Commander maker, the COO of Origin PC recently acknowledged his love of Wing Commander.

Hector Penton
Title: COO - Co-Founder
What are your favorite games?

"What a tough question. For me, the key to a good game is the memories it leaves you with. And there are so many games that have done that for me. Thinking back on the early days; Red Baron, Alone in the Dark, Doom and Wing Commander come to mind."

Saga Developer Branded

Firebrand Radio recently interviewed WC Saga's Keldor for their gaming podcast, Just Press Start. Episodes of the radio show can be downloaded here. The Saga segment comes up about 27 minutes into episode 2.
Just Press Start is a podcast about all things Video Game for Firebrand Radio. Tune in or Download and enjoy out reviews, previews, retro classics, and interviews with those that are currently in the video game field! From A to Z, Main stream to Indy, we have it covered!

Lillard Shows Off Softer Side

WeAreMovieGeeks has posted a review of the new Matthew Lillard movie, Spooner. The film has not yet had a wide release, but it's been featured in numerous film festivals this year. Maniac plays a character about to turn 30 and be evicted from his parents' house. As he nears the deadline, he finds a girl and the story goes from there. A trailer is available here. Preview reports have been generally positive so far. In real life, Lillard is actually 39 with another birthday coming in January.
"Facing eviction from his parent's home on his 30th birthday, a socially awkward guy meets the girl of his dreams and creates his own rules for growing up."

Matthew Lillard (SCREAM, THIR13EN GHOSTS) plays the lovable loser Herman Spooner, but everyone just calls him “Spooner”. Herman, I mean… Spooner, lives at home. He’s about to turn the big 3-0 and his parents have put their collective foot(s) down and set a deadline. HermanSpooner is to move out on his own by the time he turns 30. For Spooner, who is less than stellar at his job as a used car salesman, working under the oppressive regime of his prick boss Stan Manfretti (Shea Whigham) is anything but accommodating to his situation.

Facing unemployment and homelessness, Spooner happens to meet Rose Conlin (Nora Zehetner) stranded on the side of the road after her car breaks down. Being the good-natured person that he is, Spooner stops to help Rose with her car but ends up quickly smitten with her and embarks on a hopeless pursuit of what he believes to be true love. Despite all the crap that is thrown his way,Spooner still somehow manages to keep his cool and remain mostly positive.

More Kat Concepts

Here are some more of those concept sketches that Cybot078 has been working on. The Kilrathi ship designs from Wing Commander 3 were the inspiration for these, although some appear to have both WC2 and WC3 themes in mind. More can be found in our news archives and on the Forums.

Freddie Prinze, Jr. the Most Hated

There's some sad news for FPJ fans. By evaluating the popularity of various actors with a complex formula, research magazine Miller-McCune has determined that Elijah Wood is the "most critically acclaimed actor" and that Freddie Prinze, Jr. is the most hated today. Fortunately our hero Blair is in good company. Matthew Lillard is also holding up the rear with a #3 score.
Using scores from Metacritic, Miller-McCune weighted the critical scores of actors' movies with the relative size of their roles in those movies. The final list shows that everyone who was in Lord of the Rings is an awesome actor with great taste in projects, with Elijah Wood topping the list and Viggo Mortenson and Ian Holm (the British geezer who played Bilbo Baggins) making the top four, too. Philip Seymour Hoffman is as serious an actor as you think he is, and Jessica Alba is as big a hack. Bottoming out the list was Freddie Prinze, Jr., followed by someone named Eddie Griffin and a tragic Matthew Lillard who had so much potential, once.

Gratha Posed for Paper

RapierDragon makes intricate paper models, and he's ready to take on the Famicon Gratha. Michelle D has produced these poses in order to digitize a workable paper model. His work so far has been quite impressive.

I think the red Gratha you've done looks extremely beautiful.

Saved the pictures you posted. I'm thinking I'll do a paper-model of it. I'll post pics (and offer the zip of printable cut'n'fold paper parts) when it's done... work will probably be done after I finish my current paper ship project.

I promise it'll be some spectacular paper work. I'm pretty good at taking a few snaps (like your 3d pics) and converting them into actual 3d paper-models.

FYI: been doing paper ships from the web-game, Dark Pirates (a sci-fi trading/piracy game over at www.darkpirates.com). The game has 16 ships (ranged from the small starter ship, Meteor, to the larger ships (several look like they were kilrathi designed... especially the Djinn, Stardragon, and Behemoth. Behemoth looks like a cross between Confed's Behemoth super-gun and the huge 4-pronged Kilrathi dreadnoughts ('cept its sharper points).

Matthew Lillard Live Improv

Wing Commander actor Matthew Lillard was a recent special guest act on the Dr. God live improv show at iO West, on Hollywood Boulevard. MovieWeb talked to him about his improv gig, past movie appearances and future plans. Lillard produced and also stars in the comedy/drama Spooner.
I've watched a lot of these shows and I imagine one of the harder parts is to kind of know when to jump in. Is that one of the trickier parts?

Matthew Lillard: You can definitely feel a vibe, like 'I could go here.' You can feel it, but what's hard is when you go on and have an expectation and it immediately goes south. You want to come in with an idea, but there's other times when you come in and neither one of you has an idea. You're both on stage and... But watching five times now, half a dozen times, I know that they're smart. I know that they're funny and it takes the pressure off. You don't have to be funny and that's the thing. You know that you can just let it happen. But yeah, I'm on a high. There's just a rush where you're on the stage in front of a bunch of people. That's something that, in my career... you know, it's not like an accountant does that, it's not like a lawyer does that, well maybe a lawyer, but it's this thing, a visceral reaction. It's really fun, and exciting and terrifying.

Big Invasion on the Horizon

Major Payne posted a status update on Invasion today, and there's a new screenshot of bonus fighters. There are big changes in work for the 2.0 release. The Kilrathi will be strengthened, and starbases won't be as easy to destroy. New Confed ships will also include the Crossbow, Bearcat and Heretic.
Hi again all. MaP here with a well overdue news update. Firstly, things are going well. The final Confederation ships are ingame and work as expected. Thankfully so far no problems have been found and Confed side also has a special bonus unit - The Pelican Class repairal tender. This lightly armed ship, while not built for combat, will have an area effect which can repair damage suffered to all allied ships (although it won't repair destroyed hardpoints). Currently they are limited in build capacity (maximum of 3 on a map), but placed in strategic points. Also I've found in play testing that the starbases aren't overly well armed. Therefore these are being given a substantial overhaul. Expect an enemy starbase to not be so easy to destroy this time around. Finally it's been noted that the Kilrathi side starts off quite weak (one capital ship buildable plus two fighter classes), so with the additional Kilrathi ship selection the starting constructable units will include a light carrier of some design.

The v2.0 patch should hopefully be available around Christmas and will be available in two flavours. One will be a patch upgrade to v1.5 and the other will be a complete v2.0 download. Anyway, when the Klrathi ships are closer to the conversion I'll post initial renders and images.

New Prinze Role Preview

There's a new trailer for season eight of "24" on Fox, and it includes a quick shot of Freddie Prinze Jr. as Jack Bauer's new CTU counterpart. The new season has a four hour premiere spread out of two nights beginning Sunday, January 17, 2010.

Saga Kilrathi Carrier Concept

Here's another look at one of WC Saga's ships based off an Origin concept sketch. This class is a Kilrathi carrier that they have named Dubav, after a ship from False Colors. The textures have come a long way since they first unveiled the ship.
This week, the Saga team will like to show off another lost concept art that was found in the official "Making of Wing Commander 3" CD-ROM.

For simplicity's sake, we intend this to be the same class of Kilrathi light carriers mentioned in the Victory Streak manual and the escort carriers mentioned in the False Colors novel. Due to the fact that there is no official class name, the Saga team has decided (for the time being) to call it the Dubav-class (a reference after one of the carriers in the False Colors novel).

This Kilrathi light carrier is specifically designed to operate behind enemy lines for prolonged periods of time. This fast, sleek, self-sufficient escort carrier is equipped with a half wing of fighters and bombers to attack Terran convoys and a loadout of Marine shuttles and bombardment missiles to mount terror raids against Confederation homeworlds and colonies. Notoriously elusive, Dubav-class carriers form the core of many Kilrathi Recon-in-Force fleets, and are normally encountered away from the main front.

Free XBox Live Gold Weekends This Month

XBox Live will be completely free in most areas this weekend, so it's a great time for Wingnuts to get together for some Wing Commander Arena matches. The vast majority of Arena players already have subscriptions that let them play online, but the few who don't should not miss out! Europe's free trial will happen the following weekend, so hopefully there will be some sessions going both times. Post when you would be able to play here to set things up. You can also stop by #Wingnut or find friends in the CIC gamertag database.
Upcoming Free Xbox LIVE Weekends

With the latest batch of new LIVE Features now available, we’re kicking off a few FREE LIVE Weekends so that Silver members can get a free trial of all the Xbox LIVE features.

During the free LIVE Weekends, all Xbox LIVE Silver members can enjoy: online multiplayer, Facebook, Twitter, Last.FM, Netflix, Sky Player, Halo Waypoint and 1 v 100*

Here is the schedule of when the freeness starts for Silver Members:

For all Xbox LIVE regions except those in Europe, Xbox LIVE Silver members will have free access from November 20th from 12n ET /9a PT /17:00 GMT until November 23rd from 12n ET /9a PT /17:00 GMT

For All European Xbox LIVE regions, Xbox LIVE Silver member will have free access from November 25th from 17:00 GMT until November 30th at 17:00 GMT

If you don’t have a free Xbox LIVE Gamertag, sign up for one now so you are ready for the weekend.

Standoff Mod Brings in the Big Guns

-danr- has released a cool tweak to Wing Commander Standoff. He's modified the guns on the Hornet and Raptor to fire more centrally clustered rounds. The base configuration in Standoff positions the gun blasts far apart due to the physically wide space between gun mounts on these craft. dan's patch adjusts physics a little bit, but makes the weapons perform a little more similarly to how they did in Wing Commander 1. Download the patch here. Instructions are below (and included).
Modified Hornet and Raptor gun package is now available for download. Very easy to add to your existing Standoff install, it fixes standard wide gun spacing, to allow for a weapon spread similar to WC1 dimensions.

Notes:

  • Read INSTRUCTIONS.txt within the zip file for installation procedure.
  • Usage will cause your version of Standoff to stop submitting your simulator scores to the CIC scoreboard. The mod can however be easily removed to amend this.
  • This is a working prototype, I am happy to tweak the gun arrangements further in order to be as close as possible to the Wing Commander 1 dimensions. Please provide feedback as to your thoughts on the new gun layout and its effectiveness in combat.
For more background on this project, please see the original thread.

Spector Explains Recent Development History

Develop has posted another interview with Warren Spector. The primary topic is his involvement with Disney's Epic, but there's also some back story on how he got into computer gaming at Origin and how he eventually sold Junction Point to work with Mickey Mouse. Check out the full article here.
You’ve mentioned to us previously that you quite wanted to be an Imagineer [the division of Disney that designs rides for its theme parks].

I started out doing table top games doing Steve Jackson games in 1983, and in 1987 I went to TSR working on Dungeons and Dragons. There was a moment in 1988 when I was sat at my desk in TSR and we were starting to think about the next game system and the rules we were going to build, and I realised I had to do something else.

I knew it was going to be one of two things: either electronic games or an Imagineer. I talked to folks at Imagineering, I made it through two rounds of phone interviews, but Orgin made me an offer before the Imagineering guys could decide if they wanted me. Luckily Origin was a place where we created worlds, so it was almost like Imagineering in a way.

Heavy Bomber Detail Upgraded

Wing Commander Collateral Damage's Devastator bomber has come a long way over the last couple months. All the textures are much sharper and the various engine inlets and missile racks have been cleaned up. Glow from the engines is a nice cool blue, and the cockpit is clearly defined. I especially like the detailing on the main gun. Check out more pics and stats over at Crius.net.

Atlantis Blasts Off

The Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off today - loaded with spare parts for the ISS. STS-129 should be an eleven day mission to restock the station with major spare parts. These assemblies should keep things running smoothly after the shuttle fleet is retired next year. After today's launch, there are just five planned missions remaining. The last shot below is a very lucky picture snapped by ace's parents who happen to be on a cruise ship off Florida.

Ascii Sector 0.6.2.2 Released

Chris Knudsen has released a new update to Privateer Ascii Sector, fixing a number of bugs and gameplay issues. There is also a bit of a news on a cool feature that is coming in a future release: "I'm currently working on implementing the sector's casino on board a retrofitted Drayman floating around in an asteroid field. Already got video poker programmed in and making good progress with blackjack." Here is what's new in 0.6.2.2:
  • Fixed some bugs with crippled limbs and critical wounds.
  • Fixed bug with characters spawning on top of each other... oh, yeah!
  • Fixed bug with scooped hostiles disembarking ship when landing.
  • Fixed bug with ship kills not being registered.
  • Fixed bug with some ejected pilot kills not completing missions.
  • Bounty hunting capture alive missions now pay more.
  • If you try to capture a character but don't have any ElectroCuffs, the game will now tell you that you don't have any. Likewise, if you try to enslave a character but haven't got any free space in your cargo hold or the character is needed for a mission, the game will now tell you.

Why Don't You Have a Seat

Clive Owen is cast in a drama directed by David Schwimmer (Ross on Friends), on the dangers of internet predators. Owen is the star of blockbusters such as Children of Men, Elizabeth and Shoot 'Em Up, but is best known to Wing Commander fans for portraying Lev Arris in The Darkening.
“I play the father of a 14-year-old girl who establishes a relationship on the internet with someone she thinks is a young boy,” he explains.

“Eventually he comes to town and he’s a 45-year-old man,” says Clive, who is father to Hannah, 12, and 10-year-old Eve, “and he takes her to a hotel and it ruptures the family.”

Quasi-Review Considers WC3 Release Today

WarefareSims.com has written an article on Wing Commander, the Hand of God and Internet hecklers. It starts by explaining the general background of Wing Commander 3 and the fated destruction of the Behemoth. The article then digresses a bit into some discussion about internet modders and complainers. Apparently there is some stirring discontent lately concerning scripted events. The reviewer mostly brushes it off before reaching a final conclusion.
Chris Roberts’ third major iteration of the WC saga was a remarkable game for several reasons (hell, just teaming up Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davis *and* Ginger Lynn Allen together is worthy of eternal respect – but I digress), chief among them being the complex campaign storyline; one that actually branched at several decision points during the game. Most of the story branches re-united at times in order to accommodate some crucial “unavoidable” plot point or another, but it was a unique experience for its time nevertheless.

...

Turns out there was a purpose behind this frustrating experience; it was one of the unavoidable plot points, see, and you absolutely had to fail this mission so that you could then watch Prince Thrakath gloat about how he literally gutted your ex-lover, and Tolwyn/McDowell walk around furious because he lost his ubertoy. And then of course down the line you got some sweet payback by literally nuking Kilrah with an earthquake bomb, but that’s another tale.

...

In conclusion: Chris Roberts, you’re damn lucky that Wing Commander was released in the 1990s. Had you waited just a decade more to realize your epic vision, you would be dogged time after time in Internet forums and newsgroups by heckling members of the peanut gallery who, perhaps because they realize that they’ll never reach up to your level, try instead to bring you down to their own – and once there, beat you by experience.

I certainly agree that hecklers abound, and they'd have no trouble finding things to complain about. I wouldn't say that Chris Roberts was lucky though - great games are still great regardless of what the 'peanut gallery' harps on.

Warhammer Online Free Forever (Through Level 10)

Electronic Arts has announced an Endless Free Trial for Warhammer Online. Sound like an April Fools joke? It's not, and it actually sounds kind of clever. Mythic Entertainment is replacing the previous 10-day trial with a new preview of the game that lets users play as long as they want forever with a level 10 character cap. There are some limitations on where the players can go, but all 24 current careers are available. I would personally tend to avoid a time-limited demo, but the idea of an unlimited experience through a certain player level sounds pretty neat. You can download and try out the game here.

Flight Deck Damage Compared

AD took some screenshots of a very cool part of Wing Commander 3 that some Wingnuts might have overlooked. The shots below compare the look of Prince Thrakhath's Hvar'kann class dreadnought in the winning and losing endgames. Lights are off, the walls are burned, large pieces have fallen from the ceiling and there is debris everywhere on the flight deck when Melek surrenders. The same space is clean, dark and imposing in the version where Blair is captured. The setting is oddly mirrored in the two versions, so we've flipped it around for easier comparison. Exterior shots of the ship also show serious damage after the Kilrah shock wave impact. Thanks to Red Baron for grabbing one of those pictures.

Saga Seeking Voice Actors

The Wing Commander Saga project needs around 50 volunteers to voice record a set of 26 generic comm messages. The list of statements that they need recorded can be found here, but people are free to phrase them any way they want, as long as it gets the message across.
In an attempt to represent the scale and drama of the Terran Kilrathi conflict, Wing Commander Saga will feature a huge cast of characters.

For the sheer number of pilots you will interact with when you play Saga, we need to have at least 50 generic pilots, each of which will have a unique voice and personalized lines. We want these lines to be varied and individual, so we have decided to open up a way for us to tap into your many talents to help us create this part of Saga.

Each generic pilot has a set of lines they need to speak. The general theme of each line can be found here. We would invite all of you who wish to write up lines that fit each of these categories. You can submit as many sets of these generic lines as you can.

Feel free to write variations on the theme and to be creative, so long as you do not stray so far from the theme that it becomes confusing.

If we end up using your lines, you will be included in the credits for Wing Commander Saga. So, let the creative juices roll and send us your submissions!

Complete Your Collection With Wing Commander Academy

Wing Commander Academy is a must-have for all Wing Commander fans, and it helps us eat through our bandwidth allowance too! After all these years, it's amazing that hundreds of Wingnuts still find the CIC for the first time each year. The three-gigabyte series follows the Tiger's Claw through a very exciting year in Wing Commander history. Grab all thirteen episodes, plus some special features, below.

NOTE: Wing Commander Academy episodes are no longer available for download. Please support the franchise by buying the complete DVD set through the link above.

Ascii Sector Bumped to 0.6.2

There's two new updates to Privateer Ascii Sector out in the wild. Version 0.6.2 and tweak 0.6.2.1 fix numerous bugs with hand-to-hand combat. Players can now pick up more ejected pilots and have more options for stunning them. Warnings have also been added to let you know if time is running out in a mission. Grab the game and try it out here. Chris Knudsen has sumarized the latest patch:

- Fixed a bunch of crashing bugs with grenade throwing.
- Fixed bug with combat messages.
- Fixed bug with being able to throw grenades into the outer walls on board a spaceship.
- Fixed minor bug with fixer mission descriptions.
- Fixed bug with drugs not affecting the time used for throwing grenades.
- Fixed bug with reappearing stuff from a destroyed boarded ship.
- Fixed bug with missing fixer when returning for payment.
- Another attempt at fixing the music crash bug.
- Various code improvements and optimizations.
- Guild computers now warn you if there is less than 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 hours or 30, 20, 10 minutes left to complete the mission.
- You can now capture/kill bounty hunting targets on board their ship (the chance of a target ejecting when his/her ship is destroyed has also been decreased, so you will have to board to be 100% sure to capture him/her).
- You can now scoop up as many ejected pilots as can fit on your ship.
- Scooped hostile pilots are no longer automatically converted into 1 unit of Slaves.
- When walking into a stunned or captive character, you'll now get asked if you want to attack/talk to him or manage him (which lets you see his inventory, as well as capture, release, transfer and enslave him).
- When firing a gun/rifle at a target right next to you, the target will try to knock it out of your hand. You will likewise automatically try to knock a gun/rifle away from a character shooting at you.
- Hitting a character in the head (without using a melee weapon) will increase the character's stunned value.
- Fixed bug with managing/attacking a character.
- Fixed pathfinding bug that could crash the game.
- Made beds walkable again.

Fishing For Feedback

JasonRocZ is soliciting general input on the development of Wing Commander Collateral Damage. WCCD is a mod for Secret Ops that takes place between WCSO and Arena. You've seen a ton of ships modeled for the game, but now's your opportunity to help suggest key features that are important to you. You can post your feedback here.
I'm looking to put together a few ideas for this project. The mod is based on post Secret Ops information, including plenty of info from cancelled projects but also based much on S*S Arena info.

Now what I'm looking for here is information of what "YOU" the fans of WC would "LIKE" to see in the mod and what you would "NOT" like to see. I'm open to anything except truly ludicrous ideas. Think of projects like Standoff, Unknown Enemy - things you liked and didn't like. I'll elaborate as we go on what I'd also like in the project, and you can comment.

So fire away and we'll hit some tail together as fans of a great franchise !

Midway Mystery Finally Solved

We've all wondered at some point what exactly those two tail fins on the TCS Midway were for (right?), and now there's an answer! Origin's Midway designer, Sean Murphy, explains his reasoning like this:
To the fellow who was wondering what the purpose of the giant fins at the back of the ship were: in my original design for the Midway the large pod at the back of the ship was supposed to contain living quarters, mess halls, all the "people" related parts of the ship. There was even supposed to be a larger landing bay at the top of the pod that would be used for shuttles and supply ships and the like. It occurred to me that this was all sitting beside those big old engine exhausts and those would likely have a mess of radiation spilling out of them, so I added the fins - which are really nothing more than huge radiation shields - to keep everyone at the back of the ship from becoming sterile and having all their hair fall out!

More Kilrathi Concept Sketches

Here are some more of those concept sketches that Cybot078 has been putting out. The Kilrathi ship designs from Wing Commander 3 were the inspiration for these. More can be found in last week's news and on the Forums.

Devious WC3 Box Art Recreated

JimSam-X has remade the Wing Commander 3 box art in a fantastic new way. He's made cartoon caricatures of the game's Wing Commander 2 counterparts and translated them across. The Dralthi and Longbow remain about the same, and blonde Paladin and Tolwyn's white dress uniform are a particularly nice touch. DeviantArt members should leave Jim a comment here.

My attempt to recreate the box Art of one of the most epic games ever, Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger!

If you are a hardcore WC fan you'll probably notice that I didn't try to draw Mark Hamill and the rest of the stars of that FMV game! The character design is based more on their old 2D counterparts from the older games of the franchise (hence, Bluehair protagonist ). I also made a slight change and the hero, Blair, is not accompanied by the girls of Wing Commander 3, but from my own versions of Angel & Spirit

Hope you like it!

An Officer's Beginning Begins Again

One of the more prolific CIC Fan Fiction Forum writers has gone back and redone his first story. Dahan's second crack at 2629 - An Officer's Beginning adds a bit of flair inspired by Standoff and the Wing Commander novels. Check out the full piece here.
INTRODUCTION

There was the Pilgrim conflict, the first Kilrathi War, then the Border Worlds and Black Lance Crisis, then the Second Kilrathi War and the war with the Nephilim.

I take you back before it all began, before it all happen just before the first war occurred. Five years before the Battle of McAuliffe there was an internal threat which threatens to destabilise the Confederation from within.

The Mari-ad, formerly known as the Mari-gosa Party was a political party comprise of citizens from throughout over the entire Confederation and were part of the Great General Assembly. Since their inception, the Mari-gosa were describe as a political party with somewhat mix views and people often wondered if they were a left wing or a right wing political party. Some of their views and policy were consider bias towards certain systems in the known Confederation Space.

Some policies they tried into introduce was only allow certain citizens be allowed to enter military service or stand for public service. This was reminiscing the old caste system of the old Earth history in many countries, where people were

It was sometime in the early years of the 2600 when the entire Mari-gosa Party was put on trialwas held responsible for supplying arms and other munitions to criminal and terrorists organisations for endorsing some of the activites

A criminal syndicate known as the Mari-ad which has been causing much strife within the Confederation for many years. This has force several officers within the military to take drastic action against the criminal organization and formed a secret unit known as Blue Reign.

This is the story about a young officer who is dragged into the conflict just prior to the first Kilrathi war. This is the story about Anthony Alan.

That's Why They Call It Gratha, Not Guckduck

Michelle D's Gratha has an ominous new look. The brown durasteel has given way to a crimson red paint job designed to mimic the color scheme pictured on the box of Wing Commander for the Super Famicom. A few of the angles have also been sharpened and extended to give the ship a more predatory look. It certainly has a menacing effect.

I'm experimenting mostly, combining the original and the box art but heavily inspired by the bird motif I see in the details of the box art... so I'm going for a bird like appearance, which is why it might look a bit on the light side.

Catscratch No Longer 'Dancing'

Mark Dacascos ended his two-month run on Dancing with the Stars last week with another exciting performance. Although he is now out of the running, he'd like to share this thank you message with all his devoted fans. Mark also has a twitter feed where you can follow all of his many exploits.
Thank u all for your kind messages and support. I truly appreciate the time we shared on DWTS — one of the highlights in my career. We were scored so low on Monday, there was little chance of us not being in bottom 3. I’ll miss your messages :( Aloha

Prelude to Darkness Chapters 4 & 5 Released

The fourth and fifth chapters of the animated movie Frontier - Prelude to Darness are now complete. A lot of character development and plot build-up happens in these episodes, and they're made possible by a bunch of new ships and lots of voice work. If you haven't seen this before, don't miss out on the fun. Also check out lew82's website for frequent updates on the progress of chapter 6.

Cybot's Wing 3 Concept Sketches

Cybot078 has sketched out a few Kilrathi ships in the visual style of Wing Commander 3. These designs were made with Lightwave. You can see more of Cybot's work on the Forums. Let him know what you think!

Richard Garriott on Martha Stewart Show

Origin founder, Ultima creator and space man Richard Garriott was recently on the Martha Stewart Show, displaying parts of his huge collection of automata. Garriott owns one of the largest private collections of antique and modern self-operating machines. You can watch the Martha Stewart segment here.

Morays, Mo' Problems

Wing Commander Collateral Damage's new Moray has taken a psychedelic turn. Its bright purples are now more prominent and the textures seem to shimmer. It's a good bet that there will be quite a few of these in space alongside the Manta, which would be very a pretty sight.

Review of the Best Game of the Year

Here's a classic review of Wing Commander 1 from COMPUTE! magazine Issue 126 in February 1991. The lengthy article was originally written by Richard Sheffield and posted at Atari Magazines. The gushing praise and excitement make this a joy to read. Try to think back to how you felt when you first played a cutting edge Wing Commander game. It was probably something like this. Check out the full article here.
She was really in a heap of trouble by the time I got there - no shields, no guns, and two Kilrathi on the hunt. I caught the first one by surprise and splattered him with a missile, but the other was lining Spirit up for the kill. I fired my laser at him till it overheated. His shields were down, but I couldn't finish him. I was desperate and could only think of one thing to do. My shields were strong, and his were down; so I lined him up in my sights, hit the burners, and flew right through him. The crash knocked my shields totally out, but my ship held together. His didn't.

Spirit and I managed to beat feet back to the Tiger's Claw, but I was badly shaken. I had almost let my wingman get killed because I let a fight get personal. I vowed not to let that happen again.

Right there. That's when you know a game has got you. When you start to think about the game characters as real people. When you start to get an emotional attachment to them. Wing Commander's characters get to you better than those in any other game I've seen.

...

Interwoven with the cinematic sequences and the combat portion of the game are an absolutely superb musical soundtrack and sound effects. The soundtrack sets the tone for the sequences on board the ship, as well as in combat, where the mood of the music changes with the action on the screen. The sound is so important in this game that playing without a sound board greatly reduces the experience.

Which brings me to another point. Hardware. This all sounds like the perfect game, right? Give me two! But all this performance comes at a stiff price, and that price is hardware. To use the musical score throughout the game and to use all the great graphics features, you need a very high-end system. According to Origin, the optimal platform for playing Wing Commander is a 16+ MHz 386 with 1 + MB expanded memory; a hard drive with 6.5MB free; a Roland, Ad Lib, or Sound Blaster sound card; VGA graphics; and a joystick. Not your average home machine, at least not yet. Origin has chosen to program the best games it can, even if that means leaving those of us with less powerful systems behind.

...

If you really want to push your computer to limit, Wing Commander does it better than anything else on the market. So heat up your laser cannon and show those feline fleabags that the "hairless apes" of earth know more than one way to housebreak cat!

Broadsword Cockpit Sleuthing

Most of everyone who frequents the CIC knows how the Wing Commander movie production modified English Electric Lightning cockpits for the movie's Rapier fighters. Powell99 noticed something familiar about movie's Broadswords.

I've always wondered about the Movie's Broadswords. Were they made from scratch? Because they sure look like the cockpits of old English Electric/Martin Canberra Bombers.

Here are a few comparison shots... What do you think? Looks like a match to us.

New WC MUSH Almost Ready

There have been several successful Wing Commander MUSHes over the years, but they have been largely defunct for the last few years. Decius is almost ready to get one going again, and he'd like to get a few people into the loop early. Send him an email or join the work-in-progress version of the game to get started!
I know this has been kicked around a ton of times, with a ton of false-starts and half-comptled projects. For anyone who's still interested in a Wing Commander MUSH, I present the following:

Wing Commander: Gemini Sector is set in 2657 (twelve years before the end of the Terran-Kilrathi war), focusing on the crew of a single Confed carrier deployed as part of a fleet trying to stop a large-scale Kilrathi assault into Gemini (Coindidentally, fitting into a time period that hasn't gotten fleshed out much in the main WC products). Kilrathi in front, corruption behind... plenty of room for craziness all around.

Right now, the game itself is nearly complete (though the game website is not), and just in need of a few minor adjustments before I take things live and crazy. Since there are more than a few familiar faces I've seen in this thread, I figured I'd give the lot of you first crack at coming by and taking a peek. For those of you who want more detail, feel free to contact me by PM, by e-mail: bossman@geminisector.com or by just showing up on the game. I'm mostly around evenings EST (after 8pm) due to my work schedule, but I'll be around intermittently during daytime hours as well.

Login information for the game: agrajag.rpg-works.net port 2657

Cute port number!

All Angel Wanted

Inspired by recent efforts to extract video from the Playstation version of Wing Commander 3, the CIC's own AD set out to put together an interesting music video showcasing some of that effort. In his latest creation, AD explores the emotional consequences of Blair learning Angel's fate. Themes of love, loss, and revenge are paired with the tune All I Wanted, by Paramore.
Sometimes when I set out to make a music video, the end result is a sort of happy accident... a collision of cohesive elements that make up the whole. I actually set out to make a video of Flint and Blair with this one, maybe focusing on Blair turning to her in his loss. I didn't even think there was really enough of Angel in Heart of the Tiger to base a music video around.

The actual opening of the video with Blair drinking and getting into the fighter kind of remained the same throughout the process, but after I had pieced together a good minute or so, I realized that I really wanted to end up in a different place. Flint isn't really in this video much at all now. I think I did leave in a reaction shot of her during a funeral sequence, which I thought was nice.

Get the 50MB divx here.

Invasion Adds P2 Ships

The 2.0 release of Wing Commander Invasion will include a fleet of familiar new ships. Several new designs, including some from Privateer 2, have been added to fill gaps in the Empire at War lineup. Do you recognize them all? The first two bear a striking resemblance to the Monolith transport and Papogod cruiser...

Updated Manta Takes Cue From Kilrathi

There's an updated Manta for Wing Commander Collateral Damage now. The color combinations have been made more vibrant and the model has been sharpened up - literally! Menacing spiny points have been added on the edges. JasonRocZ's Secret Ops mod bridges the gap between Secret Ops and Arena, so expect to see quite a few of these out there.

In doing a lot of the Nephilim ships I've been doing textures and not really messing too much with the models themselves... But if I do mess with the models it's only to add a few lil details like updated gun styles, small details here and there.

Making the Game: Pilot List

This colorful list seems to have been put together to show the team which pilot comms would be carried over from Wing Commander Prophecy to Wing Commander Secret Ops -- note that massive numbers of the Midway's redshirts are grayed out. There seem to be two more Pelicans than appeared in the final game: the TCS Babylonia and the TCS Santa Ana.

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!

Pilot List
Download (59 kb)

Date: May 12, 1998
Project: Wing Commander Secret Ops
Donated By: John Guentzel
Pages: 2

Pioneer Gets WC1/2 Sound Guy

The stunning Scimitar model that Howard Day revealed last month got a good amount of feedback on the Forums. While he doesn't have any new renders for us at the moment, work is still progressing and Howard hopes to have the design wrapped up sometime next month. He also has a cool WC Pioneer update for us.

So I feel like I need to provide a quicky update here...And I have some interesting news! So on the Scimitar, I'm still working on it, but I'm neck deep in crunch time right now at work - with any luck, though, I should have pretty much the entire month of December off, and I should be able to easily wrap it up then. Not sure how much will get done between now and then, but I will try and get the landing gear started.

Now for the interesting news: I was out drinking with some guys from the office a week ago, and the subject of Wing Commander came up. I mentioned all the stuff Joel and I have been doing, and Marc Schaefgen (currently working with us here in Eugene, after flying up from Austin) expressed some interest in doing some sound work for the game...That's right, the original sound guy from WC1/2 and numerous other Origin games has an interest in this.

I was estatic. Now, obviously nothing's written in stone, and nothing has been agreed upon, but I thought this was cool enough to share. I showed him the Scimitar this morning, and he got all nostalgic.

Pretty cool.

And I'm sorta nerding out right now, you'll have to forgive me.

Anyhow, thanks for all the feedback guys, I'll try and do the old girl justice.

WCPedia Winter Schedule

Did you know that we have a WC Encyclopedia that every Wing Commander fan can contribute to? While the effort has so far been focused on a few specific areas, everyone is welcome to sign up and work on whatever they feel like. Article templates have been set up for common entry types like character biographies, ship classes and star systems. Example articles (linked from the front page) demonstrate how you can use the templates for adding information in the standardized WCPedia style. General rules and guidelines can be found here.

To prevent automated spam abuse, new CIC Wiki accounts need to be individually approved. When registering, be sure to put a line or two into the 'biography' box to prove you're not a robot. If you're in a hurry to have your account approved, you can contact us or Dundradal on IRC, via e-mail or on the Forums.

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