Shiny Midway Almost Complete

Challenger's polystyrene Midway is looking fabulous with a fresh coat of paint. A metallic texture has been applied to the main hull sections, and a Confederation blue glosses the front. The nose (feet) area will also be darkened a bit when some new blue paint arrives. And check out the snazzy star stand!

Admiral Tolwyn Squares Off Against Horatio Caine

Malcolm McDowell will appear on the Monday, March 1, 2010 episode of CSI Miami. He's cast as the devious Darren Vogel. The episode, "LA," is also directed by Rob Zombie and should air in the US at 10 pm (9 pm Central) on CBS. Check out the trailer here.

Longbow Locked & Loaded

Wing Commander Collateral Damage's Longbow is back, and the ship's come a long way since the last time it went on a bombing run. Textures have been greatly improved, and the craft is sporting some brand new engines and guns.

Here's some shots of the updated Longbow... I've tried to make it look semi like the Longbows we see in Arena but I'm still working on the rear of the ship... I have to set it up in a blue-ish scheme.

Trip to the Holovid Store

With February being a short month, we still have a lot of bandwidth to spare. You might have already downloaded Prophecy movies, Academy or Queeg's full length movies, but CIC Holovids is full of fancy clips for you to grab and add to our figures. One of the biggest collections of videos in the section is for Privateer 2. Most of the game's cinematics have been encoded in high quality and are available to grab now. There are also tons of behind-the-scenes clips, trailers, deleted scenes and music videos available too. You can check out the Holovids movie section here.

Wing Commander 4 Gets Screwed (in a Good Way)

GameTrailers has covered WC4 in ScrewAttack's latest Video Game Vault feature. The two-minute video gushes at the advanced flight engine, live action video and branching plot of The Price of Freedom. It really makes you want to go and play. As an extra bonus, they specifically highlight the Playstation version of WC4 and talk about how amazing all aspects of the game were for its time. The clip's been viewed over 100,000 times in the last ten days, so hopefully that jogs quite a few memories and gets some pilots back in the cockpit! Check the review out here.

I mean, suck it 1996 Hollywood. No, screw that: suck it 2010 Hollywood. Why would we ever go to a movie when we could have a way better experience on our couch?
Thanks to Delance and Kilrathikiller.

Celebrate Tiger's Claw Rembrance Day

On this day in the year 2656, the TCS Tiger's Claw was ambushed by Strakha stealth fighters while on approach to K'Tithrak Mang, the Kilrathi Enigma Sector HQ. Although the ship and most of her crew were lost, many of her pilots were able to rally and recover aboard the TCS Austin. Among them was Christopher Blair, who was convicted of negligence based on his missing mission recorder and claims of invisible fighters. Here's to one of the most courageous ships in the Confederation fleet!

Get Ready for the Wing Commander Book Club

Do you get lost whenever your Wing Commander friends start talking about Jason Bondarevsky, the Vorghath dreadnough or Free Republic of Landreich? That's not going to happen any more! Now's the time to get intimately familiar with Kirha hrai Hunter nar Aussie, the TCS Johnny Greene and the McDanielists' Holy Day of Acclivity. The Wing Commander Book Club is starting soon, and it's going to rock the trivia lobes of your brain like they've never been rocked before. Dig those paperbacks out of your attic or head down to your local used bookstore and stock up. The list of required reading material can be found here, starting with Wing Commander Freedom Flight. Half.com, eBay and Amazon are also great places to find WC novels starting at just a few cents. Place your order today so that you'll be ready when things begin. Stay tuned for more info.

Let Me Keep My Pewter Planet

Kilrathikiller and Final Save Point have written a mini-article on the Wing Commander timeline. They've recently been inspired to talk about it in their news and add it to their chronology page alongside other modern game series. Keep spreading the word!
Now Wing Commander, for those who don't know, is one of the most revolutionary video game series of all time. Many great people worked on those games, including Warren Spector, Richard Garriot, many members of teams from Bioware and other game companies that make cinematic games that we have come to be used to. This game was an interactive movie. Uncharted, Mass Effect, the presence of cinematics and storyline are all thanks to Wing Commander.

Weapons Fix Updates Invasion

A patch has been released to fix several bugs in the latest release of Wing Commander Invasion. Grab the small zip here and extract/copy its Data\XML folder over your 2.0 installation.
This patch represents several bug fixes to correct the following:

- Confederation starbase hardpoint was found to be indestructable. This was due to a hardpoint reference name error.
- Kilrathi Emperor Snakier would not fire any weapons during combat. This was bad reference name for projectile type which didn't exist.
- Kilrathi Dreadnought MKII would only fire main canons. This was due to damage value being in main hardpoint XML file.

These three bugs have been fixed and tested. My thanks to Gimpy (wcnews.com forum user) for reporting these.

Admire the Admiral's Autograph

Lehah's autograph from the Malcolm McDowell signing has finally arrived. Pretty snazzy!

My autographs came in the mail today! I waited an extra month to get the novelist/screenwriter of the movie to sign the DVD as well.

New App Helps Wing Commander Modders

Kevin Caccamo has created a new tool to make modding Wing Commander Prophecy & Secret Ops easier. Big projects like Standoff with experienced modding teams might be what come to mind when you think of Vision Engine editing, but there are many smaller groups and individuals poking around at the code. Look no further than Lt.Overload's Missions, danr's Standoff mods or WC Collateral Damage for some recent examples. Kevin's program takes .OBJ files and turns them into Pascal code which can be used by WCPPascal. Try it out here!
I've released a new tool for you aspiring modders out there... It's a converter that reads OBJ files and writes WCPPascal source code, which can then be compiled into an IFF using WCPPascal. The program is written in Java and the source code is included in the download.

It's still a beta version, so it may not work for some models. If you have any problems, post a description of the problem and a screenshot if necessary.

The converter is currently limited to 4096 polygons and 4096 vertices.

Richard Garriott Forms New Gaming Company

Origin founder Richard Garriot, along with Origin vets Dallas Snell and Fred Schmidt, have created a new company called Portalarium. Their mission is to bring higher production values, greater quality and higher technology to social gaming. They have created a player that integrates games into a web browser, and the first game will be Sweet @$! Poker to debut on Facebook. Find out more in the Stateman.
AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 17, 2010 – After a two-year hiatus to travel to the International Space Station, work on a film documentary, ignite a personal rapid transit initiative, and wrap up post-flight experiments and speaking engagements, veteran game designer, Richard Garriott, is returning to the video game industry where he has been a fixture for more than 30 years – this time with a broad-based new social media company called Portalarium™. Garriott is best known for his award-winning Ultima Series (ORIGIN/Electronic Arts) of fantasy role playing games and Ultima Online, the first commercially successful massively multiplayer online game released in 1997 and still operating today.

...

The inspiration for Portalarium comes from all four co-founders’ wide ranging personal and professional interests in entertainment, technology, learning, science, sociology, politics and community activism. As such, the company has been created on a core set of human principles and values that will not only make it a magnet for top talent to join in the fun, but also will see Portalarium building in a very purposeful social consciousness orientation to help reduce global suffering and make a difference in the world. Together with its player community, the company will be raising money and promoting real-world activities in support of enlightened social causes. More on that to come later in the year when details on its virtual world are released.

“The Portalarium mission is exactly what I want to be doing next in games,” says an invigorated and engaged Garriott. “This really takes me back to my roots in the game business – small development teams, low barriers to entry, affordable budgets for quality projects, and unlimited new interactive frontiers to explore together with our customers.”

WCPedia Request For Help

Encyclopedia SysOp Dundradal needs help reorganizing the Characters section by faction and type. If you've wanted to contribute but weren't sure how, then this is a simple project that requires no experience editing Wiki pages. The Ships category was recently reworked by Dund.
So the main ships page should only show faction names: Confederation, Kilrathi, Pirate, Civilian, Retro, Union of Border Worlds, Nephilim, Steltek, CIS

In those subcategories would be: Capital Ships and Fighters

Under Capital Ships: Type, Class Name, Individual Ships
Under Fighters: Type, Class Name

Under Capital Ship Type: Dreadnaught, Carrier, Cruiser, Destroyer, Corvette, Transport
Under Fighter Type: Light, Medium, Heavy, Bomber

Activity has really picked up recently. Visit Crius.net to help collect images, work small job assignments, tweak wiki template boxes and more.

New Song has a Sci-fi Twist

Obee has released another song. The track is available for free, although he is accepting donations. The subject is a particular seven-foot tall hairy alien, although we wish we could add "cat-like" to that list. Grab "Chewbacca" here. We're looking forward to a Wing Commander song from him next!
I have more news regarding my music. I just released my first single, called "Chewbacca" of the coming album "Anker", which is German for "anchor". Chewbacca is an English song about the well-known Star Wars-Character. Not quite Wing Commander, but almost there. (I promise, I WILL write a Wing Commander-Song, soon :)).

However, the single is available at http://evanfreyer.bandcamp.com and you can pay, what you want. You can either pay nothing or whatever you like. The single includes two Techno-Remixes as well (don't hurt me ;).

Since the sales will be reported to SoundScan, it is possible for me to claim the US-Charts. So let's get these fake pop-singers from number 1, won't we? ;)

Cheerio,
Evan (or well..Obee *g*)

Sha'kar Struts its Struts

Wing Commander Collateral Damage's Kilrathi Sha'kar class transport has been sharpened up. The textures are considerably more clear since the last time we saw the ship, and gun turret mounts are ready to be added. JasonRocZ is still having some issues adding capships to the mod, so there may yet be time for an even fancier version of the model to come together before everything is finished.

You can see where a few of the turrets will be. There's a total of 5: 2 on top, 2 on bottom, and 1 on the rear. I'm kinda waiting on implementing capships (I need some more info and time I guess to figure it our correctly) so I might as well take some time to improve on a few of the models I've done. I added a few details such as Kilrathi writing.

Finding a Freespace Feature Focus

The WC Saga team is running a poll to see which new feature people would like the most. The list includes animated autopilot, autoaim, better AI, code optimization, fiction viewer, high res cutscenes, HUD changes, shader support, new skyboxes, support for more cutscenes or widescreen support. Widescreen monitor support is currently in the lead, followed by higher resolution videos and improved AI. Cast your vote at the Saga website.

Prelude Chapter 8 Halfway Complete

There's an imposing cruiser profile posted to the Frontier - Prelude to Darkness website, along with many more news posts. The project's Facebook fan page also has frequent updates. Ground vehicles are now in work to spice up future planetside combat, and overall progress on the chapter is half done. Things are progressing quickly, despite lew82's recent move.
The San Diego-Class Cruisers are very powerful ships and are primarily used as fleet escorts to larger ships such as Battleships, Carriers or Dreadnoughts, however Cruisers themselves are often used as command ships of much smaller ship groups.

Midway Heading to Kilrah

Challenger has made great progress on his Midway model. New building material has allowed him to add more detail, and he's coated the ship with a layer of paint. Not all elements are complete, but the ship seems nearly ready for its shakedown cruise!

"Incoming Piranhas, this is the TCS Midway ^^"

After 3 weeks I finally got the stupid polystyrene and added a few greebles. This weekend I painted the carrier. Here the results. The blue part on the front isn't finished yet.

Hope you all like it. XD Best regards,

Challenger

Darkstar One Headed to XBox 360

Darkstar One has been announced for the XBox 360. This is potentially very exciting news for Wingnuts, as no company has taken the big space sim plunge on major consoles in a number of years. DSO is very often compared to Wing Commander, specifically Privateer, and was reviewed quite well when it was released for PCs in 2006. If the game can successfully splash down on modern consoles, it could spark the genre for a large new audience. Team XBox has posted a preview, and they are similarly interested in the prospects here. The enhanced console version of the game will be subtitled 'Broken Alliance'. It's expected for release in the third quarter of this year.

Well, that’s good news then for Xbox 360 gamers who will get to play the game for themselves this Summer. We could use a good old fashioned spacecraft-based shooter, one cut from the same fabric (of space and time?) as classic games like Wing Commander, Privateer or Freelancer. All of those games let you unleash your inner Han Solo, piloting your own personal space ship around the galaxy, engaging enemy craft like a World War II dog-fighter or transporting goods like an interstellar tramp steamer. It’s a well established genre, though one that’s been almost exclusive to PC’s. DarkStar One – Broken Alliance should bring that classic form of space-trading opera to Xbox 360 gamers for the first time.

...

With a 30 hour storyline, countless more hours of side missions and resource trading and 40 minutes of rendered cut scenes, DarkStar One – Broken Alliance looks like it will be a sufficiently meaty experience for gamers, with plenty of stuff to do. Despite the ship upgrades, exploration options and a reputation system that should add an extra layer to the experience, it’s probably not right to call DarkStar One – Broken Alliance an RPG. But it’s a lot more than a simple space-combat game where you’re shooting down one enemy ship after another. Whether or not the story and presentation of the game will truly grab a hold of Xbox 360 gamers remains to be seen, but if the promise of full 1080p graphics running at ultra-smooth 60 frames per second comes true, that could be a big selling point. The game is slated for release this Summer, and hopefully we’ll get to spend more time exploring the game’s missions and side-quests before then. As for now, all we know is that we can expect a solid space-shooter, a genre that’s more than welcome on the Xbox 360.

Evolved Kilrathi are a Little Shaggy

There's been a lot of Kilrathi made for Will Wright's Spore, and some of them have been kind of fugly. Shaggy's posted one that's not half bad though. They remind me a little bit of Kilrathi from the customizable card game. He's also got a Firekkan and some quasi-Wing Commander ships.

The tribal Kilrathi just a little bit before the civilization stage.

ISS Gets Cool Upgrades

The three spacewalks of mission STS-130 from the crew of the Shuttle Endeavour are now complete. The third major node of the station was installed with a variety of equipment & docking ports. Attached to one of the ports is a large seven-window observation & control room that provides the best views of planet Earth available anywhere. The first shot below shows the station before the new additions. It now sports some twelve pressurized modules between a variety of solar arrays and trusses.

Let's Get Blastin!

Lt.Overload has released the second mission in his mini campaign. The adventure puts you in the cockpit of an Excalibur during a strike to finish off the Kraken from the last mission. Unzip the mission pack into your Secret Ops directory after installing SO Sim, and have fun! More detailed instructions are included in the zip.
Okay guys, here it is, the final mission in this little campaign, "Blasting the Cap Blaster!" Included in the .zip is the mission, the new flyable ship, the new music, mission info, the sector (just in case), and a LOAD of screenshots (which hint at the ship you fly ;) )! As before, everything was made with MISB and MED. Instructions on what files do what and where to place them are in the zip!


Download "Blasting the Cap Blaster" Here! (8.5 meg zip)
Although we cannot gain assistence from the Kilrathi clan in the system near us, a nearby Comm Relay Station has sent forces to our position. Take the wings to the Kraken's location and finish this threat once and for all. Due to our low resources at the moment, your wing will be flying Excaliburs. By the time this breifing is over the loadouts for the Excaliburs should be complete. The fate of this system is in your hands now, send them all to hell.

Or Get Two for One!

Both of Lt.Overload's missions have also been grouped into a special double pack. His first sortie has been upgraded with new music. The update also includes a tweak to the simulator to make two flavors of the Thunderbolt flyable. This is the complete package with everything!


Download "Kraken Campaign Mission Pack" Here! (16.5 meg zip)

Also, I made a complete zip called the "Kraken Campaign Mission Pack", it includes all missions, text, sectors, screenshots, and new ships that replace the Tigershark and Wasp in the simulator! It also includes a new .mgi I made myself for the first mission! It's a must-have if you didn't get the first zip!

Enjoy!

Saga Builds a Scratching Post

WC Saga has added a Kilrathi outpost to their lineup of ships and stations. The design is patterned off of Melek's Kilrathi starbase in Wing Commander 4. It has three large spires and central hangar deck. See some shots of it serving transports below.

For this week's update we would like to showcase our rendition of the Kilrathi supply base. These bases are scattered throughout the war zone and serve as staging points for Kilrathi capital ships to conduct repairs, and rearm themselves, and replenish their supplies. They have docking facilities to accommodate a single capital ship and a hangar bay that accommodates a small squadron of fighters. While they are not as powerful as larger Kilrathi starbases, the logistical support and refuge they supply for Kilrathi forces make them both a threat and an important target in the Confederation's war efforts.

Tiberian Sun Released for Free

To promote the upcoming release of Command & Conquer 4, Electronic Arts has released C&C2 Tiberian Sun (and Firestorm) for free! C&C Tiberian Dawn and C&C Red Alert have previously been released as freeware, and a new website has been set up to serve all three games. How freakin' awesome would it be to have an official WC page someday with the tagline 'FREE DOWNLOADS, COMMANDER!'?

Today is a very special day for Command & Conquer fans world-wide, and for some of us, we can call it an early Valentines Day. We might swear the timing is coincidental! As of this moment, you can now officially relive the glory of Tiberian Sun & the expansion pack Firestorm on your PC with our new freeware offerings. And to add greatness to this measure, we've also included our original freeware releases of Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert 1 on one simple, nostalgic, CLASSIC page: www.commandandconquer.com/classic

If you're curious about the download sizes:

  • Tiberian Sun/Firestorm (1.2 GB)
  • Tiberian Dawn GDI/NOD ISO’s (600MB each)
  • Red Alert 1 Allied/Soviet ISO’s (520MB each)
Get set for Command & Conquer 4 by reliving the epic Tiberian saga where it all started. Enjoy Commander!

Happy Valentine's Day

You don't see a lot of animated gifs on the internet these days, but there's so few chances to pull out the Love Arrow. Here you go - Happy Valentine's Day!

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! We're frequently asked questions about the Wing Commander series that are answered by events in the television show. 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.

A Little Blue with the Green

JasonRocZ has completed his take on the Nephilim Tarpon revealed in Star*Soldier. Guns have been added that give the ship a much more aggressive look. Up next is creation of the "Earwig" based on its silhoutte. Both will appear in the Collateral Damage mod.

The "Tarpon" I think should be a new type of Bomber perhaps a lil slower than the Manta but heavily armored. I actually just did a Blue Cannon in the middle because I just thought it would be something diff (Little Plasma maybe?) instead of all green ... I haven't really thought about armament yet.

Prelude to the Weekend

There are plenty of new updates on Frontier - Prelude to Darkness this week. Rendering the individual scenes continues to eat up quite a bit of time, especially with a number of new atmospheric shots set to appear in chapter 8. A new ship and character of have also been profiled this week: the Roanoke and Norman Rummel. Visit lew82's site for more.

In Part 8 we are going to see the invasion of Toyr’diablo which of course involves the invasion force entering the atmosphere, and of course that means clouds…creating, animating and rendering clouds can be a pretty arduous task, not so much the creating and animating, but the rendering is astonishing depending how big your clouds get. One 200 frame (roughly 8 seconds long) shot took 16 hours to render – crazy huh?

Major Airborne Laser Test Successful

The US Air Force's Airborne Laser platform successfully destroyed a ballistic missile this morning. It's the first time that a high-energy laser weapon has destroyed a target in flight, and the first time that any defensive system has destroyed a ballistic missile during the boost phase of flight. The laser weapon was developed by Northrop Grumman, the beam & fire control system by Lockheed Martin and the aircraft & integrated system by Boeing. The beam is emitted from the world's largest turret assembly, which is mounted at the nose of a modified 747. Last night's test was conducted off the coast of California. Although initially designed as a defensive system, the ABL, Advanced Tactical Laser and Laser Avenger are proving the concept and effectiveness of directed energy weapons. Check out more pictures and video here.

"With this successful experiment, the Airborne Laser Testbed has blazed a path for a new generation of high-energy, ultra-precision weaponry. ALTB technology and future directed-energy platforms will transform how the United States defends itself and its friends and allies. Having the capability to precisely project force, in a measured way, at the speed of light, will save lives."

WCPedia Reaches 1 Million Pageviews!

The Wing Commander Encyclopedia hosted by the CIC has reached a major milestone. The Wiki-style WCPedia contains over 1,000 articles and has received over one million pageviews. Thank you to all the dedicated contributors who've helped so far! Encyclopedia SysOp Dundradal had the following status report:
Currently (2-8-10), Wing Commander Missions are 95% completed. I am concentrating on mission entries. Aeronautico is working on ship entries while Wedge has been recently editing existing entries. We are always looking for more people to help. If you wish to contribute to the project, sign up for an account and ask what you can do to help. I'm looking for people to people to help with Ultimate Strategy Text and entering WC1 script text. In the future I will also be looking for wingnuts to help with other games scripts.

We have also implemented a new ship infobox which has an increased selection of variables for more widespread use with fighters, capships and space stations. Ship articles are being updated and we are looking for people to help update existing pages.

Dundradal
8 February 2010

Origin's Standard Bearer Takes on Work

Electronic Arts announced today that Mythic Entertainment will be taking over the European operations of Dark Age of Camelot, which was previously outsourced. The company released DAoC prior to being acquired by Electronic Arts in 2006 and releasing the Warhammer Online MMO in 2008. More recently they have faced some staffing reductions and consolidation. Mythic currently "carries the torch" by running Ultima Online and maintaining the Origin Systems archives. A dedication page has been set up which briefly explains the company's background and acknowledges Origin's Ultima and Wing Commander roots.
From the first Ultima game, programmed in by Richard "Lord British" Garriott and Ken Arnold one of their parents' homes, to its legacy, Ultima Online - listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running MMORPG in history - Origin Systems Inc. always stayed true to the spirit of their motto, "We Create Worlds." Since its founding in the spring of 1983, by Richard Garriott, Robert Garriott, Owen Garriott (their father), and Chuck Bueche, their games, including the award-winning Ultima, Wing Commander, Crusader, and Privateer series, presented major innovations and broke new ground in their respective genres.

Origin Systems Inc. was founded after the relative success of Garriott's first three games: Akalabeth, Ultima, and Ultima II. Not long after the completion of Ultima III: Exodus in 1984, Origin Systems began distributing their games through Electronic Arts. Eight years later, Origin Systems was acquired by Electronic Arts, under which they continued to produce games for twelve more years. Before its closing in 2004, Origin Systems Inc. produced more than 60 highly acclaimed games including more than 25 titles in the Ultima series. This included their most popular title: Ultima Online, one of the earliest and most influential MMOGs, changed the way people viewed the genre. Even after a decade of continuous play, Electronic Arts continues to run Ultima Online, carrying on the legacy of Origin Systems.

Let's Get Kraken!

Lt.Overload has created another new simulator mission for Secret Ops. It even takes place in a cool blue star system that he has created. Unzip SO Sim into your Secret Ops directory, and then download and unzip Kilrathi Escort (287 k zip) on top of it. The first sim mission (s0.mis) will be replaced. The next mission, "Blasting the Cap Blaster," is already in development!
A Kilrathi fighter group should be coming through the Jump Point to us, where we will then launch an attack on the alien Kraken in this system. Bring the Kilrathi forces back to us, defend them at all costs. If you encounter too much trouble, more Kilrathi forces, bigger ones, will jump in.

Hi all, here's another fan-mission by yours truly! This one is for Secret Ops. The .zip includes two text files, one with mission info and the other with file info. It also includes the actual mission (s0.mis), and finally, a COMPLETELY FAN-MADE SECTOR FILE! That's right, included in this is a a.sec customized for this exact mission. It uses several beta objects never before seen in the game, and one planet from the first missions of Secret Ops! I hope you all enjoy this, and expect more to come soon! I'm also not ashamed to admit this mission were not made with WCPPascal, but with the very underused MISB! It was also tweaked with a bit of Origin MED. :) So enjoy! OH! Almost forgot, the .zip includes 3 screenshots from the mission, showing off the sexy new blue sector!

Download the Secret Ops Mission Simulator from the Files section. You may want to install upgrade a or b as well. Check the readme's for a detailed description of what they do.

To add the sector file, simply place "a.sec" in the mission folder. Whenever you play a mission that uses "a.sec" as the space (background), you will see my newly created version.

Shuttle Reaches ISS

The Space Shuttle Endeavor docked with the International Space Station today. It took off during a spectacular nighttime launch on Monday morning. The ship is carrying a third major node, Tranquility, for the station, as well as a windowed robotics control room. This is already the 32nd mission to the station for the shuttle fleet!

Huge Armada Assembled for Galactic Civilizations 2

Midnightrunner has performed an incredible feat with the Galactic Civilizations 2 ship editor. Without the use of any external mods, he's created nearly a hundred Confed and Kilrathi ships for the game. It's almost easier to start naming ships that he hasn't digitized. Some of them look a little closer to the originals than others, but the accuracy he's reached with the tools available is amazing. Unfortunately his download links are currently offline, but if anyone has a copy of his fleet packs, please let us know! You can provide feedback and check out all the designs at the GalCiv2 forums. Thanks to Marauder_IIc.

Thank you for the compliments on the Wing Commander ships.

I have to admit that I'm a bit proud of what I created. But don't ask me how many hours I needed for all of them - I didn't count them.

EA Reports Calendar Concluding Financials

Electronic Arts has announced its third quarter fiscal results, which include the holiday season ending on December 31, 2009. Revenue was $1.24 billion compared to $1.65 billion in the same time during 2008. The company's operating loss improved from $304 million to $107 million however. EA was the top publisher on the PS3, PC and PSP and came in second on the XBox 360 and Wii. They also cited the improved critical reception of their games with 19 titles receiving an 80 or higher via Metacritic. FIFA '10 is also very close to reaching 10 million sales worldwide and their mobile/cellular games division sported $57 million in revenue.
“EA is growing share in our packaged goods business and our digital businesses continue to grow rapidly,” said John Riccitiello, Chief Executive Officer. “Mass Effect 2 is the first blockbuster of 2010 and we are looking forward to the launch of Dante’s Inferno and Battlefield Bad Company 2.”

“We are expecting an increase in FY11 full year non-GAAP earnings per share on the basis of strong cost controls and growth in our digital businesses,” said Eric Brown, Chief Financial Officer.

"H'as aiy'hra n'hakh ri'kahri krikajj, nai korekh sha'yi"

"Beyond the eyes of my enemy, I shall prepare for the day of his destruction." Wing Commander Invasion's latest ship is the imposing but unassuming Kilrathi Comcon from the Movie. It's a support ship that fills an important surveillance role in the game. Players who deploy the sneaky craft will have a major sensory advantage over the Confederation. Download version 2.0 of this WC mod for Star Wars: Empire at War here!

As you already know, the Confeds have the Pelican repairal tender. The Comcon has a dual purpose. Firstly, it has the ability to use a "sensor ping" anywhere on the map. This sensor ping will last for about 30 seconds and reveals a limited sized area. Secondly, this ship also has a much larger "field of view" and will clear the Fog of War to a much better distance than ANY other ship in the game. It is also limited to being constructed 3 times in any game.

New 747 Takes Off

The new Boeing 747-8 flew for the first time this afternoon over Everett, Washington. This inaugural flight comes one day shy of the anniversary of the original 747's first flight way back in 1969. The iconic hump over the forward fuselage is still present, but the body has been extended and the plane has been outfitted with a brand new wing design. Engines, the flight deck, interiors and other systems have been patterned after new technology developed for the 787. Today's flight featured the freighter version of the plane. The passenger model with an enlarged upper deck will be ready next year.

Shots from the Shipyard

Here are some more shots of Challenger's amazing Midway model. Each of these different angles reveal how accurately detailed the ship is. Construction is being done with polystyrene and plastic. As soon as some thinner material comes in, even more intricate elements will be added. Some of the design blueprints are also visible in the background.

The ship is made off polystyrene and a plastic called Forex. I used 0.5 mm sheets for the main hull and 1 and 2 mm sheets for the frame. I started with the frame about two months ago. At the moment I am waiting for some thinner (0.1 - 0.3 mm) sheets for the plating and greebles.

Later I will color the ship (hope those damn sheets arrive soon! ^^). One of these pictures shows the Midway-model compared to the Galactica-model from federationmodels.

Best regards, Challenger

EA Scores Top XBLA Game of 2009

Forecasting and Analysing Digital Entertainment LLC is reporting that XBox Live Arcade brought in over US $100 million last year, and the top game was EA's Battlefield 1943, followed not too far behind by Castle Crashers. EA's Family Game Night came in fifth. Apparently Wing Commander Arena did not make the top ten, but I'm sure it was close. Microsoft doesn't release XBLA sales numbers, so there's a bit of a question as to how FADE comes up with its stats. EA did announce that B1943 sold some 600,000 copies across both Live Arcade and the Playstation Network in its first two weeks.

Ascii Casino Patch

Chris Knudsen has released a new version of Privateer: Ascii Sector. This newest version fixes some minor gameplay issues, including a few problems with the recently added casino ship. You can download 0.6.3.1 from the official website. Changes in this version:
  • Fixed incorrect numbering on the roulette.
  • Fixed bug that wouldn't allow you to buy an Orion.
  • Fixed bug that made it impossible to exit Combat Mode when engaged in combat on the Lucky Lady.
  • Fixed bug that messed up the game if a ship that you're docked with is destroyed (this will now also destroy your ship).
  • Added keypad support for entering bet amounts in the casino.

Black Prophecy Channels Wing Commander

Black Prophecy is an upcoming massively multiplayer space sim that hopes to break itself away from games like Eve Online or some of the slower paced fantasy MMOs. Massively has recently conducted an interview with the game's developers to discuss its dynamic Wing Commander-inspired missions. Find out more on the game here or check out the full Q&A here.

Massively: Can you tell me about Reakktor's approach towards the design of the Black Prophecy mission system?

Lorenz: From the beginning, the mission system for Black Prophecy was directly tied into the general gameplay design. We all are very much influenced by the early and mid '90s space action games like Wing Commander, Privateer or X-Wing and Tie-Fighter. While we also like the simulation aspects that can be found in a lot of space games, our design approach was to focus on the action aspect found in these games. Stuff like crazy dogfights, bursting lasers, maneuvering through asteroid fields with the enemy on your trail. Another thing which was clear from the start was that Black Prophecy was going to be an MMO. So our design approach is and was to really give the player an action feel in addition to the MMO experience. This means fast paced, FPS-like encounters with real collision and a physics system, coupled with the multiplayer feel of a persistent world.

So with our missions, we did not want to just give the player the classic delivery, collect and kill missions found in MMOs. With Black Prophecy we want to be able to tell stories with unpredictable events and streamlined dramatics. We want to give the player the feeling of not just completing tasks on a list, but to really be involved in what is going on in the mission. This includes new objectives given throughout the mission, mission objectives changing because of unexpected events or just simple things like radio chatter depending on what's going on around you.

Happy Birthday Sims!

EA's The Sims turns ten years old today! In its first decade, the series has sold more than 125 million copies and made more than US $2.5 billion. These span the original Sims and its seven expansions, Sims 2 and its eight expansions, Sims 3 and its single addon, plus spinoffs like The Sims Online and MySims. Its popularity even seems to be increasing. It's been less than two years since the series hit 100 million sold. Download some Sims 1 Christopher Blair skins to celebrate!
The EA Play Label of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) announces the celebration of the ten year anniversary of The Sims™, the groundbreaking game that allowed players to create and live a virtual, simulated life on a computer. Since the original The Sims debut on February 4, 2000, the unstoppable, award-winning franchise has produced three core games – The Sims, The Sims 2, and The Sims 3 – supported by dozens of expansion and stuff packs with lifetime unit sales eclipsing 125 million worldwide. As the best-selling PC game* in nearly every major video game market worldwide, The Sims has continuously reset the bar over the past decade delivering new content, gameplay elements, platform support, and partnerships that resonate with its global fan base in meaningful ways and take the play experience to new levels of fun and entertainment.

Model Giveaway Benefits Fan Projects

SolCommand has a big gift for budding modders. He has created dozens of space ship models for use in a Freelancer mod that fell through. Rather than see the ships go to waste, he's posted them online for other projects to incorporate. Some designs look inspired by WC craft, but they come from a mix of science fiction origins. He's continuing to make new designs as well, so hopefully some Wing Commander fans can put these to good use. Grab the files here.
A few years ago I was working on a mod that was supposed to be a complete overhaul for Freelancer but somehow after a while the project closed due to lack of enough people on the team. During that time I created a number of models that were supposed to get textured and imported in the game but unfortunately they never made it.

A couple of months ago I remembered about the game when I was browsing on a gaming site for new combat scifi games to play and realized I still have those models on a usb stick somewhere. I found it after a while searching all around the house and thought it would be cool if I give all these models to the community, maybe someone will find a use for some of them. Anyway I released my models for public download on another Freelancer community website (The Starport) and since then I've created some more, some even textured. I hope my gift for you and all the hard I put in these models will be appreciated. There are about 70 or more models available for download, most are WIPs and they're in 3DS and OBJ format. You can use them for any mod/game you wish.

Prelude to Darkness Meeting Milestones

It's been a busy week for the Frontier - Prelude to Darkness movie. There's a new profiled ship, the Asimov, and Executive Officer Paul Laski has a highlighted character biography. Two special wallpapers were even released yesterday. Footage for chapter 8 is about a quarter complete, and lew82 hopes to get the next release out late this month. Find more at the Ardament site here.
Part 8 is looking good so far, I’m very happy with it, there have been some really demanding renders, we’re talking 2 hours plus for a 150 frame shot which works out to only 6 seconds long at 24 fps, so you get an idea how there are times when you can do nothing except wait for the computer to get your shot complete for you.

... I have two wallpapers both taken from the Invasion of Toyr’diablo – during the landing operations involving the UC-78 Raven Carryalls – both wallpapers are 1152×864 please let me know if you would like different resolutions and I can provide and I’m sure there’ll be more to come.

Jason Throws a Tarp'on Collateral Damage

JasonRocZ has a pair of exotic Nephilim craft today. Both the "Puffer" and "Tarpon" were revealed in Star*Soldier via the plane spotting silhouette guide and will make an appearance in the Wing Commander Collateral Damage mod. He's still working to figure out what roles each ship will fill, and there's some structural and weapon enhancements that will be added to the latter ship.

I started on the Tarpon... Let me know what you think so far. It tips the scales at the moment at a whole 415 polys.

The guns haven't been added yet. I was thinking that also the Puffer needs some guns added. At the moment the Puffer is some kind of missile boat. The Tarpon I was thinking on being some kind of extremely fast fighter, heavily armed but not armed heavily in the weapons area. To be honest it's so much easier to make a crazy looking ship than something that is uniform for some reason. The textures will look similar to some other Nephilim fighters a little different but similar

Raptors to the Rescue

You might know February 2 as Groundhog's Day, but it's also the anniversary of the famous engagement that helped Confed draw a defensive line through the Vega Sector. On this day in 2639, the Kilrathi swept into the Enyo and McAuliffe Systems and captured a quarter of a million human colonists. Through the heroic efforts of Confed pilots, including Captain Geoffrey Tolwyn, the Terran fleet was able to succesfully rescue the hostages and drive back the Kilrathi!
2639.033 - Kilrathi forces occupy McAuliffe and take a quarter of a million humans hostage under orbital guns. The Confederation attempts an attack, made difficult by the presence of hostages. The Confederation deploys an attack force consisting mainly of Raptor class fighters equipped with Porcupine mines. The Raptors drop their mines in a region of space near a main jump point. This forces the Kilrathi to avoid the area. While the Kilrathi concentrate on destroying the Raptors, a radio signal detonates all of the mines allowing the Terran fleet to jump in-system. The Terran fleet smashes the orbital guns and enemy ships with minimal loss of life to the colonists. The Kilrathi are forced to retreat, however losses on both sides are about equal.

Marvelous Midway Model Made

Challenger sent in a photo of an incredible physical TCS Midway model he's working on. I can't quite tell if it's resin or wood, but the shape looks superb and the detailing already begins to bring the ship to life. We're anxious to see how this one turns out!

Heya, I thought this model that I'm building at the moment could be interesting for you at the WC CIC. If you are interested I could send you more pictures.

Best regards from Germany,
Challenger

Follow or Contact Us

Forums: Recent Posts

Current Poll

Where to Buy

WCPedia: Recent Contributions

Site Staff