Major Payne has unveiled Wing Commander Invasion's first Nephilim ship in the Empire at War game engine. The shot below shows a Tiamat firing its main plasma weapon. Right now he is testing a ten second refire delay. Each long range shot disables a hardpoint on a capship or structure, but the large Dreadnought has a weakness for coordinated fighter and bomber attacks. Here's some more information on the Nephilim faction being built into the game.
Hello again all. I finally decided to include the Nephillim as the third side (I'll go into the Border Worlds after). The reason for this is that I want to try to stay as close to the original mod as possible, and even though the Border Worlds were given consideration, I felt that the side was more of a mish-mash of Confederation ships.
With this choice I encountered one problem. All the Nephillim models from the original project were basically a pile of rubbish, so I had to find something for the new starbase model. Thank the lord for WCNews archive. Now I don't know if Nephillim ships are basically "living" entities but they sure seem to be, so the
starbase is more of a "mother"-ship than anything. It will, like the other starbases, grant access to ships and upgrades at the various levels and as such the current list of ships is:
- 2 Bombers: Raynode and Heavy Skate Cluster
- 7 Capitals: Ammonite (the construction ship from the original Invasion project), Hydra, Kraken, Leviathan, Baracuda, Orca and Tiamat
- 9 Fighters: Devilray, Lamprey, Manta, Manta (red), Skate, Skate Cluster, Squid, Stingray and Moray
- 1 Special: Triton (the freighter from the original Invasion Preject)
In other news I have begun to compile the v2.5 patch. This patch already has some tweaks and a couple of minor editings, but the long part begins now. Special weapons have not been decided on at this current time, but the Sensor Jammer and Corrupt abilities may be used.
Anyway, any questions from anyone please dont hesitate to ask.
A new contract was announced today for the US military's purchase of Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems for use on F-15 & F-16 aircraft. These futuristic systems allow a pilot to designate and lock enemy targets by simply looking in their direction. More than one pilot can wear their own specially enabled helmet in two-seater aircraft and independently targetly different opponents or attack sites. This ability can also extend to wingmates. It sounds like it'd be very effective in a Wing Commander game too!
First used in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the multirole JHMCS gives flight crew members the ability to rapidly acquire and designate a target simply by looking at it. By placing an aiming cross, projected on the helmet visor, over the desired target and pressing a button, pilots can quickly and easily aim weapons and sensors to designate and attack airborne or ground targets. The JHMCS visor also displays tactical information, aircraft altitude, airspeed, g-force and angle of attack to increase the user’s situational awareness.
Darkmage has successfully ripped the beautiful music from Super Wing Commander in MIDI format, and the files are very tiny. All 64 tracks and samples are only 141 kilobytes (download here, zip)! While sorting through the server, we also came across a Super Wing Commander Medley (download here, 5 meg mp3) that's absolutely delicious. The music from SWC is very similar to the classic tone of Wing Commander 1, but with a dazzle of flash added. It's based on the music by David Govett & George "Fatman" Sanger, with some enhancement by Joe Basquez, Britt Daniels & Stretch Williams for the port. Enjoy!
While you're all excited about classic Wing Commander music, now would be a great time to grab The Fatman's Wing Commander soundtrack, "Wing One", through the Amie Street music service. Twenty-six tracks were released throughout the Summer of 2007. Thirty second samples of each track are available to everyone, and once you've bought a song, you can listen to the full version online or download it outright. These are plain old MP3s, free of DRM. The Amie service is a little unusual in that songs start cheap and rise in price up to $0.98 as they become popular. At the time of writing, most Wing One tracks cost "full price" when purchased individually, but the entire album's 26 tracks can be had for just $8.98! Wing Commander fans who missed out on the original premiere of this album are in for a treat. The Fatman has six more albums in his Amie Street catalog, including the soundtrack to The 7th Guest. Check them out here.
This is the soundtrack to the first Wing Commander game by Origin Systems. I was asked by the game's producer, Chris Roberts, to write something that sounded something like Star Wars and Star Trek the Motion Picture. My Team Fat writing partner, Dave Govett, had this little tune (the fanfare/theme) in his head already. It took him about a day to get finished music to me--and with that one tune, game music took what is perhaps a bigger step than it had taken before or has taken since. If you don't believe me, do the research. Try to find a soundtrack with stronger musical sensibility, better composition, or better arrangements. This game supported the then-new MT-32 sound card--this was pre-General MIDI, and most games had just used the internal FM sound card--which was considered high-quality at the time! In addition, Chris Roberts insisted on making the soundtrack interactive. There have been other soundtracks before and since, but this one stood out. Wing Commander was the hit of the CES show that year. These days, game soundtracks that attempt to imitate John Williams are commonplace. I don't like to do it anymore. But to my knowledge, this is the first one, and compositionally remains one of the better ones. I believe that for several years after this, game composers were still not asked to imitate John Williams. They were asked to imitate David Govett and Wing Commander.
You will hear the authentic, original MIDI files, playing back on a Roland MT-32 sound module, as you would have heard if you were playing a Brand New Wing Commander game on The Best Game Sound-Equipped Computer Available At The Time. A touch of Roland Sound Canvass (in MT-32 emulation mode) was added just because it was easy to do and made the tones just a tad-bit richer. Other than that...Welcome To The State of the Art in PC Audio, circa 1990!!!!
The Ralaxath Heavy Destroyer has gotten a texture tweak for Wing Commander Collateral Damage. Turrets aren't modeled, but eventually this ship will carry more than a dozen guns. The large awkward bridge that was previously stuck on the crown of the ship has also been smoothed in lower down.
You can see I took away a little of that brownish color away and added a few details to the model. I also brought up the texture quality (sharpened, different placed items, etc...), and I changed up the metal between the parts of the ship too. To me it looks a little better, a little more uniform.
The Ralaxath has been a very popular ship in Wing Commander mods lately. It's pretty interesting to see how each fan project has a distinctly different take on this Kilrathi heavy destroyer. Here's the WC Saga version in the Freespace 2 engine and the Invasion version in Star Wars: Empire at War.
Wingnuts are reading chapter 3 of Wing Commander Freedom Flight this week. The discussion now includes everything through page 73. There's some very interesting stuff to learn about the Firekkans here, so share your thoughts at Crius.net.
* We may have our first nod to Blair--Colonel Halcyon is cut off just before we find out who's going to be Paladin's wingman.
* There's some contradiction vis a vis Jazz--the idea that he's an inexperienced new pilot (with two kills) doesn't jive with his Super Wing Commander/Wing Commander SegaCD bio.
* Green goop is an awfully odd way to cure a hangover. But I didn't know that in 1992!
* Spirit is flying a Raptor, although she was at the briefing with Hunter (in a Rapier II). Also, it lets loose a volley of "red" weapons!
* The Kilrathi ships aren't identified at all -- just 'heavy cruisers' and fighters.
Quite a few Wing Commander fans caught François Chau in a cute Bud Light ad during this year's Super Bowl. As the scientist with the most time in space, he predicts doom as an asteroid hurtles towards the Earth. Check out the rest of the commercial here to see what happens. Chau has been playing Dr. Pierre Chang on the television show Lost over the last few years, among many other TV appearances.
The old EA Arcade site has gone away, but it's been replaced by classy new pages at EA.com. What's more, the URL that used to send players to the home of Wing Commander Arena, Boom Boom Rocket and others now forwards directly to the new Arena page. The "sizzle" videos from the XBox Live Marketplace have been placed on the site, and fancy background images based on the game's concept art and renders have been added. They add a very nice touch!
Wing Commander is back with an all-new game for Xbox Live Arcade.
It's the year 2701. Head to the fringes of the former Frontier to join or destroy what's left of the Kilrathi Empire. Form a squad and destroy enemy armadas as you climb the leaderboards. Featuring four modes of gameplay, eight maps, and the first 16-player action on Xbox Live Arcade, Wing Commander Arena is the perfect mix of classic arcade fun and modern multiplayer chaos.
The first 16-player game on Xbox Live Arcade
Form your squad then hunt down and destroy enemy armadas
Four game modes: single player, plus multiplayer Team, Free for All, and Duel
Eight game maps set in the outer reaches of space
Track your progress as you climb single- and multiplayer leaderboards
Blast away and earn new Xbox Live achievements
Well, it's not even pie really, but cake is just as good and frostytheplebe's 'Farewell Concordia' Cake is pretty freakin' amazing. There's actually lots of cakes to choose from!
A lot of Wing Commander fans never saw the new intro to The Secret Missions on the SNES, although the rerelease in EA Replay increased the number by quite a bit. As an integral expansion to WC1, the game never had a proper intro on the PC, but it got a very fancy one on the Super Nintendo. Now the clip has been posted to YouTube so everyone can see! Keep watching and the clip also reveals the then-high-tech "mode 7" takeoff sequence. Check it out here.
Prelude to Darkness got you on an animation kick, don't stop there! Watch the Wing Commander Academy series and increase your WC knowledge at the same time! Check out the Viewers Guide for some helpful information on alternate orders to watch the episodes in. Happy weekend Academy marathon!
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.
The eighth chapter of Frontier - Prelude to Darkness has been released! Part 8 is about a massive planetary invasion, and it's jam packed with explosive action. Go watch it!
MAIN STORY - In the 23rd century humans have ventured into the stars. Two empires vie for power along the known sectors of the Milky Way - the Terran Imperial Union and the Dakota Republic.
The invasion begins, Devers and his platoon are launched down to the surface onboard a UC-78 Raven - however the ride will be far from a smooth one. Meanwhile the wormhole opens again spitting something out - Commodore Greene orders the U.S.S. Hammer to investigate.
The producer of Ultima Online, Calvin Crowner, recently wrote an open letter to the community and discussed "what the heck they were doing." At twelve and a half years old, there are occasional question about what kind of longevity remains in the game and where UO will go in the future. The developers are refreshingly upbeat and positive about their work, which is really nice to see. Check out the full letter here.
Final thing: What are we doing about the live story arc (see the reference to Magincia above)? We need to resolve the relationship between Dawn and Zah. How are we going to do that? Well I’m a believer that we seed you with some of the basics and let the community roleplay the outcome and transitions for the story. In short, as in Dungeons and Dragons, we’ll give you the nodes of the story, and allow you to fill in the blanks.
Finally, not sure if you’ve heard, but the team has been playing in Baja. The reason? Cause we laugh hysterically when we do, and two, we want to learn how to reduce the barrier to entry for those who want to play our game. We need to understand what the ‘X” is for UO and help others get into it and love it as much as the community and the team does. I’ll be opening a blog in the near future that will journal our exploits (in a journey sense, mind you … not a cheating sense).
I will tell you I recently played another game that had a barrier of entry not unlike UO’s. But there was one major difference … when I play on any shard invariably there is a person who will assist and take me aside and shake his or her head sadly saying …”No no no … This is what you do …” Recently someone has helped one of our artists make her way into the warm fold of Ultima Online, and now she’s working on buying a house, when she swore she’d never be able to get into the game. That is UO. Eventually, everyone will understand how magnificent and sublime it is. I believe it because I’ve seen it.
Oh ... one last note... thanks to the guy who put up the MacDonald’s on Baja … it looks great in presentations to execs about what makes UO … UO. And for the record … I am gearing up a mage. Yes, I played a tamer for a while, and got all kinds of grief … and why the heck do I have to have 100 LRC anyway? There has to be a way that I can reduce the cost of reagents without having to know a dozen imbuers to get what I need. I’m gonna have to see who is in charge around here!!
JasonRocZ has posted a whole bunch of screenshots of his Wing Commander Collateral Damage ships in the Vision Engine. Note how he's given some of the ships cool styling touches from WC Arena, such as the Arrow's angled vertical fin. These were shot in Direct3D mode, but would look even better with Secret Ops' OpenGL patch. It's definitely a nice change to see these flying in "real" space instead of posed on the rendering screen.
GameSpot has posted highlights of an interview with Electronic Arts Chief Operating Office John Schappert on digital distribution and social gaming. The exec feels very strongly that retail sales are complemented by the ability to download games directly and access additional content. EA's recent purchase of a major Facebook & browser game developer, Playfish, will also help spur both classic rereleases and new franchises in the near future. Check out the full article here.
Schappert said EA has seen consumers buying fewer games of late. Sales of the top 10 games are representing an increasing amount of the industry's total take. He added that if a publisher doesn't have a game in the top 30--and arguably, the top 20--then that company isn't making money. Hit games are bigger than ever, he said, and they're selling for longer thanks to downloadable map packs and other add-ons. While Schappert stood by the "shiny disc business," he emphasized that the model has changed, saying the days of "ship it and forget it" are behind the industry.
Kevin Caccamo continues to make progress on his Landreich Campaign addition to WC Saga. He's made the gun crosshairs resemble those in WC1/2 and added new graphics for missile locks, shields and other HUD elements. Gun blasts have a new muzzle flash and the Hornet can now 'Shelton Slide'. The project has even gotten a name, Wing Commander: Hostile Frontiers.
The next updates will give away some of the plot details about the main character and the beginning of the campaign, and possibly an interview. As a little preview of what's coming next, the main character's callsign is going to be Rider. Belated credit goes to Travis Baldree for the Hornet model.
Oh, and you know the reverse afterburn thing that Bondarevsky does in FC while escorting the Bonadventure on its kamikaze run? Although it's against just about every safety regulation, YOU CAN DO IT TOO! I added a reverse afterburner to the Raptor, thanks to a new feature in 3.6.12. To activate it in-game, press the decelerate key and the afterburner key at the same time.
Tech support questions continue to stream into the Crius.net, so we'd like to let newer visitors know about the CIC Tech Support Section. Detailed walkthroughs are available to help Wingnuts get every DOS and Windows Wing Commander game running on modern systems. There may be some new issues to work through with Windows 7 and 64-bit systems, and feedback from users of these platforms is much appreciated. If the walkthroughs still don't get your game going, head over to the CIC Tech Support Forum and ask for help!
Research & discovery continue this week with the second chapter of the group read-along of Wing Commander Freedom Flight. This week our bibliophiles are reading pages 23 to 48. It's really easy to catch up, and there's plenty of room for people who start late to contribute, so join in the discussion!
Are there any changes between the excerpt included in Wing Commander II and the finished book?
This chapter immediately seems different because we've "seen" these places before. What impact does that have on the narrative for you? Do the authors address that fact?
Start weaving this chapter in with specific conversations and missions in Secret Missions 2!
Who the heck is "Puma"? Why wasn't he in the Super Wing Commander manual?
Veteran Wing Commander developer Billy Cain has helped start a new game company in Austin, and they're looking for players of their first game! Sneaky Games has just launched Strife of Sevens, and it's now free to play on Facebook. In addition to the new title, the company is looking for people to try out new games before they're officially released. Join the Vanguard Program here.
Strife of Sevens is a free to play game set in the magical lands of Isdyle. Take part in story driven adventures and quests, explore new kingdoms, and fight epic monsters with your friends. In Strife of Sevens, many challenges and rewards await!
Sneaky Games' "Vanguard Alpha" Program
Hi! Thank you for visiting!
Have you ever wanted to play a game BEFORE anyone else could play it? Interested in telling the game developers what you think about it? Do you really want your opinion to be heard? If you do, you should be part of our Vanguard Alpha team!
Please read the rest of this, and if you wish to join, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page and press SUBMIT. Then we will email a code to you that allows you to enter the game as soon as we can!
The Sneaky Games Team
The British Sky television provider is offering Wingnuts another way to watch the Wing Commander Movie. Subscribers of the Sky TV Movies Pack & Sky Player TV Movies Pack can see the film over the network's website. And check out their wacky weird plot summary!
Freddie Prince Jr, Saffron Burrows and Jurgen Prochnow star in a splashy videogame spin-off. Six hundred years into the future and human exploration has reached beyond Earth's galaxy. But the future is not so bright. As more galaxies mean more chances of alien hostility, Earth's existence hangs in the balance. This is an adventurous and courageous film of a battle against the odds as the threat of human extinction is all too eminent.
Dahan has posted the first four chapters of his remake of 2629 - An Officer's Beginning. He began writing the story in 2005, and then returned to it last fall to refresh the text a bit. Check out the full story so far here and all the recent fan fiction in the CIC Fan Fiction Forum.
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.
Meanwhile somewhere else within Confederation space…
Of all the times he had been summoned to the Council, he never knews where exactly he was. Every time he is called before the Council, he follows a series of instructions to where the meeting is held. He flies to several different locations in an unmarked and unregistered craft. The ship he flies runs on some automated system which doesn’t give him much of an idea where he is going. Sometimes he wishes he knew where exactly he was...
The new poll asks what your favorite bomber is. There's plenty of fighters that can take out a massive warship and many ways to launch a torpedo, but what's the best ship to do it in? You have quite a few to choose from!
The last poll inquired about landing methods. Different ships we've flown off have markedly different touchdown routines. Although far less technically advanced than zooming through the Victory's flight deck (the 2nd place winner), the most popular option was lining up with the Tiger's Claw's nose.
Cinema Blend reports that John Rhys-Davies has ruled out playing a dwarf again in the upcoming Hobbit film, citing, among other things, the difficult working conditions for the part of Gimli in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
If you’ve watched any of the behind the scenes material from Lord of the Rings you know what a struggle it was for John just to make it through filming on the first trilogy. His makeup was brutal and caused an allergic reaction. He had trouble breathing inside his costume and let’s face it, he’s not getting younger. Just doing Lord of the Rings was a struggle for him, a struggle which he embraced and an experience which he loved, but now that he’s even older and presumably even more fragile it’s easy to understand why he might be unable to take the punishment of putting back on his dwarf costume.
Wing Commander Invasion is getting a third faction, and Major Payne has decided that it will be the Nephilim. He's repurposed the Bugs' Comm Relay as a creepy new starbase. The structure launches little monsters that seek out and pull back asteroids. The infected asteroids then act as detached weapon platforms. It's a very creative concept!
Just something quick to prove that work goes on. The third race has been decided as the Nephilim (I have something else planned for the Border Worlds). This starbase will provide access to the Nephilims ships and upgrades. Now before anyone mentioned it, yes I know this is the actual Nephilim Relay from Prophecy, but the other structures from the original Invasion mod were, to put it simply, rubbish. This has been scratch built using the references from WCNews as well as the texture I already had (which was also mapped onto the model). Poly count is under 7500 so its well within tollerances for a single usage model. The basic idea behind this structure is that it has the ability to launch "spore" like creatures who can latch onto asteroids. These are then held within a gravity type distance and would "orbit" the central structure. These spores are also capable of firing Nephillim style weapons so eash asteroid also acts as a heavy "turret". Upon the structure's destruction the spores will also detonate and destroy the asteroids they inhabit. The structure itself is also armed with smaller weapons than the spores so can defend itself directly.
Hopefully by now you've gotten your copy of Freedom Flight and are busily taking notes. As you read the first chapter, visit Crius.net and share your thoughts on Ghorah Khar, Ralga's mission and the adventure that awaits!
Freedom Flight is the first Wing Commander novel. It is often overlooked, as it has a distinctly different tone and connection to the Wing Commander games. In fact, it is probably more like a real Wing Commander game than any other book, since it is written by the same woman and in the same style as Wing Commander II itself.
It is also often written off as a novelization of Secret Missions 2. The two stories overlap, but I would argue this is a narrative device rather than the whole of the book. Freedom Flight ends up telling a very different story, which goes well beyond the bounds of Crusade.
It’s also an enormously important look at Kilrathi culture and general life in the Wing Commander universe. While few of you consider Freedom Flight your favorite, it probably impacted later stories in ways you don’t yet appreciate.
After many hours of work, RapierDragon has completed the design of his paper Firekkan fighter. The body was recently made more aerodynamic and a cockpit canopy was added in. The download package includes the ship as pictured below, plus two special editions. Bonus fighter #1 includes Firekkan concept art from WC Arena and the other lets Wingnuts draw in their own designs. Download the ship here (3.8 meg zip).
IMHO: it looks like it would dance around the Excalibur while blasting it to bits. Got to be one of the coolest designs ever. Got to be my most favorite paper design.
Alternate parts are included, so you can either build it with the red tattoo lines, without the red lines, or edit your own tattoo pattern in (via Windows paint) or print the no-lines version and then use a marker or whatever to design your own.
Suggested print instructions:
- open each bmp in windows paint
- page setup > have 0.5" margins... horz and vert centering off... if you have paint in XP or newer, also make sure you have it set to "adjust to 100% of size" (setting it smaller may result in parts too small to handle if not parts not printing at all)
- set print quality to BEST (the "good" setting may result in some uneven coloring)
Windows XP does some wierd funky thing for some printers where your monitor's display settings will alter the exact size/dimensions of printouts from windows paint. Make sure your screen setting is at 1:1.333 (1280x960 is good setting, as is 1024x768). A good way to test is to draw a vertical line 96 points long, and a horizontal line 96 points long and then print it and measure it with a ruler. If the vertical and horizontal lines aren't identical, then your monitor's display setting is causing windows to slightly "stretch" the print-job... the result being that many of the model's parts won't fit together nicely.
Crowley snapped a funny screenshot of a "notoriously buggy" cutscene in WC2: Special Operations 1. Major Edmond is pictured aboard the TCS Grimalkin without her uniform. Characters seem to have initially been created with their shoulders and neckline visible, and then clothing was added on top. Occasionally the body portion could disappear entirely, or the wrong body could even be attached. This is present in both the DOS and Kilrathi Saga versions of Special Ops.
The next episode of Frontier - Prelude to Darkness is now about three quarters complete, which puts Chapter 8 on track for a March release. lew82 has overcome some recent computer problems in order to forge ahead with some heavy duty rendering. The transition from space battles to a planetside assault requires quite a few processor cycles to encode, but the end result should be worth the wait!
An exciting adventure begins today! LOAF is leading a close-read and inquisitive conversation about each novel in the Wing Commander series, starting with Freedom Flight. The books are jam packed with fun facts and interesting interludes, and this group read will help all Wingnuts refine their Wing Commander expertise. This is also a great learning experience for more casual fans and an amazing way for new readers to get into the novels. The first week begins with just a single chapter, so there's plenty of time to order a copy without falling behind. Head over to Crius.net to participate in the discussion! Here's a brief snippet of LOAF's intro.
GOOD MORNING, GHORAH KHAR!
Welcome to the first-ever Wing Commander Combat Information Center Wing Commander novel read-along (try saying that three times fast)! We will be conducting a ‘group read’ of the entire Wing Commander series of books, starting with Freedom Flight. Anyone is welcome to join in, and there’s no requirement that you all read every book. Join in when you can and have fun!
I will provide an introduction, a reading assignment and some materials each week and will then join in the discussion myself. We’re going to start very slow in order to get the hang of the process—with a single chapter or two. As we get into the swing of things, we can choose to do longer portions of the books depending on how we feel it’s going.
This isn’t just fun and games, though! We’re also hoping to use the experience to ‘finish’ the portions of the Wingkipedia which relate to the novels as we move along.
Find any references to time. When does this chapter take place? What other events are mentioned? Even without a chapter heading specifying the date, we can construct a timeline using internal references to the amount of time that passes.
Where does the chapter take place and what does the text tell us about a particular ‘set’? For example, the first chapter of Freedom Flight includes a conversation between Ralgha and Kirha as they travel from the bridge to the flight deck of a Fralthi. What do we learn about the layout of the cruiser, as a result?
Can you find any references to real historical events? Is the story an allusion to something that actually happened in military history (this is common in Dr. Forstchen’s books)?
Are there any references to the events of Wing Commander games? Are there any ‘in jokes’, references to Origin or Baen?
Did you enjoy this chapter? Why or why not? Be honest!
When did you first read this book? Why was it important to you? Lets learn your ‘personal history’ in addition to that of the Wing Commander universe!
Can you find any portions of the book which are setting up for future stories, either in game or book form?
In a possible sign that things are improving, Electronic Arts is creating a new team at its Salt Lake City site. The company has had a mixed slate of strong titles and games that did not meet expectations recently, but multiple rounds of layoffs have trimmed expenses over the last two years. EA has pulled from its Sims developers in California to kick off the new group, and they've posted a variety of job openings. Gamespot has some additional info.
The creative director listing indicates that the game will be a new intellectual property and asks for experience with single-player and multiplayer online games. Meanwhile, the art director should have experience with "a mature, contemporary art style," and EA wants a senior online engineer with experience working with the online functions of the Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3.
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