Midway 'Sketched' Using Ortho Technique

saquist built a cool Sketchup model out of in-game Prophecy screenshots. It came out really well, and he'd love to do the Plunkett next. He could use a little tech support help to get started though! Who can help him out?

I just finished a Sketchup Model of the Midway by taking in game snapshots of the ship in Orthos and I think (with minor flaws) it came out pretty well.

Now I'm working on the Plunkett Class Battleship and I like to make both 2D and 3D plans for precision and for modification for version 2. However I can't get the Secret Ops to work on either of my VISTA Window systems. I could really use some help either with the installation of Secret Ops or with some ortho screen caps.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 209

Scene 209 is another fascinating 'CGI' bit--Blair and wingmen escort in Tolwyn's captured shuttle (I don't think this appeared in the game). Blair's flight seems to consist of Bearcats, too, which aren't available at this point in Wing Commander IV.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Kilrathi Fleet Painted for Battle

Astro Commander has finished painting an entire Kilrathi fleet worth of his 3d miniatures. There's some absolutely beautiful airbrush detail here. Check out the flood lights that have been painted on the Dreadnought! I really dig the reddish overtones as seen on the ace fighters from WC3. His first paint job, the Tiamat, can be seen here. A new Kraken model is also in work.

Thanks for the comments guys. I plan to use these for a fleet game at an upcoming con in Denver this February. Finally processed the kitty images.

One of my favorite attributes on the dreadnaught is how, if you're real careful you can paint the "windows." I have it 3d print on the inside of the support structures. I did this because there is no reasonable way to paint those windows without physical features helping you. Half the windows however are pure freehand as a close look at the unpainted dreadnaught reveals.

I have a Midway and Tallahassee nearly complete. I also just finished the rendering of a Kraken and hope to get it in a few weeks. I can't wait to paint that one.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 204

Scene 204, Blair "interrogates" a captured pilot, who ends up being the man he either did or did not help at the start of the game. Small world? Small universe! (The pilot's name is Bean, according to the novel; the Baen novel.)

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Saga Cruisin' Along

The WC Saga mod is still refining capships, and they've posted pictures of their "final" Tallahassee cruiser model. The forward gun and missile launchers are now well defined and the entire ship has gotten a texture makeover. Check out more pictures and background info on the ship here.

The Saga team is proud to show the final version of the Terran heavy cruiser. The Tallahassee-class is a vessel that has been a staple in the Wing Commander games and a fan favorite. We see one such vessel, the TCS Ajax, serve as an escort for the TCS Victory in Wing Commander 3. One of the staff’s favorite moments during WC3 was when the Ajax fought and destroyed a Kilrathi heavy cruiser in a ship-to-ship battle.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 178

Scene 178, Eisen leaves the Intrepid. These may be incredibly rough sketches but I will say this: Melek never looked better (which is to say that this sketch would have been a better Melek in the game itself).

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Name Noteworthy Nominees Now

It's almost December, so that means it's nearly time again to vote for the Wing Commander Fan Project & Web Site of the Year! First, we need your nominations. Send in who you think should be a contender in either category: as a web site or as a fan project that did great things in 2010. Voting will kick off next month! Here are the previous winners.
  Fan Projects of the Year Runners Up
2009 Standoff Gemini Gold
2008 Ascii Sector Flight Commander
2007 Standoff & WC Saga Ascii Sector
2006 WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod Das Erwachen
2005 Standoff Privateer Gemini Gold
2004 Standoff WC Saga
2003 Standoff & WC Saga Holding the Line & Vega Strike
2002 Unknown Enemy Kilrathi Empire & WC Saga BS
2001 Unknown Enemy Holding the Line & Vega Strike
  Web Sites of the Year Runners Up
2009 WC Saga Standoff & Paper Commander
2008 Paper Commander Standoff & WC Saga
2007 HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site Pericles' Paper Inside
2006 HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site Wedge's Wing Commander
2005 WC Saga Fleet Tactics
2004 Fleet Tactics Wedge's Wing Commander
2003 Wing Commander in Russia WC3D & Wedge's Wing Commander
2002 Wing Commander in Russia BlackLance HQ & WingCenter
2001 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central
2000 Acenet Central Wing Commander in Russia
1999 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central & HCl's WC Editing Site

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 152

Scene 152: Seether executes a captured Border Worlds pilot (who was, according to the novel, someone who briefly flew off the Victory at the end of the war).

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Rapier Mash-up Mixes Modules

AD has sketched out an interesting concept here. He's tried to imagine what you might get if you cross a Rapier I from the Wing Commander Movie and the Rapier II from Wing Commander 1. The two ships are not intended to be the same fighter in the continuity, but if they were, here's an idea of what fans might be dreaming about.

Notice that I've melded the front fins of the WC1 Rapier into the movie's short stubby and upturned wings. The larger gattling gun become two smaller gattling guns slung under the nose. The movie's engines and "rear" wings are essentially intact if not slightly upturned to mimic the fins on the WC1 Rapier. Also the main WC1 wings are mounted under here as well. The wingtips (turned down in the blueprints) are elongated somewhat for creative license since this is an moot excercise anyway.

The intention wasn't really to make a better Rapier for the movie. Again, as the Rapier is the only fighter in the movie that actually is a different space-frame altogether it's kind of a redundant excercise. But, the objective was kind of the same: Merge elements of the Movie Rapier with the WC1 Rapier II. I took the familiar elements from the WC1 Rapier blueprints and tried to mix them onto the movie ship frame.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 146

Scene 146 makes me a liar, as I promised no more visits to Eisen's cabin. In fact, Blair visits Seether there in the 'loyal' mission track, where he watches Seether crumple up Eisen's photo of his grandchild (which he didn't bring with him for some reason).

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 145

Scene 145 is another conversation between Blair and Catscratch on the Intrepid, noticing all the new pilots aboard. I'm not exactly sure what Tolwyn's plan for the genetically enhanced pilots was at this point. Were they flying Lances that no one on the ship noticed?

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Tiger's Claw Render is Super

Klavs has gone down a new path path with his models and has started looking at ships from Super Wing Commander. The first one he's put together is the TCS Tiger's Claw. Even if you didn't play SWC, it should still look familiar as a variant of the TCS Lexington in Armada. Klavs has merged some elements from the DOS version into the design, including the interior of the flight deck, which is pretty neat.
Unlike most of you, SWC on the Mac was the first exposure to Wing Commander I had, so I'm a bit partial to that version of the Tiger's Claw. That said, I respect a lot of the elements of the classic WC1 Claw, and I've tried to incorporate some of them.

The ship is scaled to 700 meters, per the ships database. That makes the hangar deck a mite cramped, but still larger than your average Escort Carrier. I'm not sure about adding an extra hangar deck, I like my ships to have lots of internal volume for fuel tanks, especially when you're talking about a carrier with lots of thirsty spacecraft!

I hope you guys enjoy. The Claw has many different variants, but it's always a welcome sight when you come limping home, trailing sparks with scorch marks all over your ship!

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 144

Scene 144 features a famous conversation between Blair and Paulson about eugenics. The thing I can't figure out is why the Border Worlds in particular are supposed to be genetically inferior in this Nazi analogy--they're just Confederation colonies that happened to be on the Kilrathi border.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

You Got Purple on My Retro

Version 0.7 of Ascii Sector has gotten another incremental update. In addition to bug fixes, it changes how some of the people show on screen, improves the store interface and adds a news filter to the Quine. The game download is available for Windows, Mac and Lunix!
- Fixed bug that caused the "division by zero" crash that was fixed in the last version (this fixes the cause of the crash, the previous fix just avoided the actual crash).
- Fixed bug with characters on a base also appearing on board your ship when you landed after having boarded a ship.
- Fixed bug with automatic destination nav point change if a fleet that you had previously selected as your destination leaves the system.
- Fixed pirate Talons that had cargo but no cargo hold.
- Retros spawned on board ships are now also purple instead of white.
- Added mouse scroll wheel support for selling stuff at the equipment shop.
- Added news filters to the Quine.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 140

Scene 140 features the first official meeting of Seether and Blair, as wingmen on the Lexington. Check out Seether's cartoon version--a cross between Elvis and Blair from Wing Commander I (which was, according to the novelization, how Seether was made).

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Wing Commander Arena Launches!

Wing Commander Arena has been officially released in nine new countries! This isn't strictly limited to Arena - XBox Live has expanded to cover Russia, Poland, South Africa, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, Brazil, Colombia and Chile. Some of the movie and television related features are still limited by specific agreements, but the Live Arcade game catalog and online multiplayer features are all there. Prior to this, Wingnuts who lived in these regions had to engage in a sometimes-complicated method of creating a Live Gamertag and buying subscription time from other countries. Now players can sign up accounts with their own adress and payment info (even over the web), and they'll receive localized tech support. There's even an account migration process for people who circumnavigated the system before and want to clean up their profiles today. Have fun!

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 139

Scene 139 is canonical-Catscratch's heartfelt conversation with Blair about whether or not they did the right thing refusing to defect (hint: they didn't).

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

German Broadcast Brings Intense Movie Trailer

The Wing Commander movie will be airing this week on the German TV channel Das Vierte 4. It's also possible that Austria, Switzerland or other nearby areas can catch this as well. There's even a real cool trailer to go along with it. We haven't seen this one before, so it's possible that the channel mocked this one up on their own. The film will broadcast Tuesday, November 23, at 8:15 PM with an encore showing several hours later, Wednesday at 3:25 AM. Here's the plot translation:
In the 27th Century, Earth is in an interstellar war with the Kilrathi Empire. The Kilrathi have stolen a navigation device that enables them to travel through worm holes and reappear behind the enemy lines. Only a specially trained squadron, led by Blair, a fighter pilot, his friend Todd Marshall and Jeanette Devereaux, stand in their way.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 138

Scene 138 is on the 'Confederation' path, showing Blair and Catscratch's debriefing by Captain Paulson.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Select a Satisfying Style

Wing Commander games all have great graphics that stand up to the test of time, but even more than that, they also have awesome art styles and character that keeps them looking fresh and fun even today. Which Wing Commander game had your favorite art style? There's a big difference between Wing Commander 2 and 3, but factor in the Privateers and Arena and it's a tough choice to make!

The last poll asked what the most was that you spend on Wing Commander in a single year. $50 and $100 grabbed the majority of the vote, but a sizable chunk of people can recall hitting $250 as well. I have a feeling the results are a little understated!

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 137

Scene 137 is another great jumping scene showing the Lexington's move to Silenos--I could look at these simplified drawings of Wing Commander carriers forever.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

The Admiral's New Clothes

Klavs has moved on from flight suits to somewhat more formal uniforms. He's rendered the popular blue version that's just a step up from the common duty suit. Admiral Tolwyn in WC4 is the ideal here. We won't see this model sitting the cockpit of a fighter, so here's looking forward to some more elaborate scenes aboard the carrier!
And here's my take on the Confed dress uniform. Having worn service dress most of my adult life (blouse, tie, uniform coat) a tunic seems a lot easier to deal with, both in everyday wear and maintenance. I've logged thousands of hours ironing uniform shirts that aren't even visible when I wear the service coat. Plus you've got the cutout in the turtleneck so you aren't choking on a tie all day long.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 136

Scene 136 is Vagabond's funeral. Here the space casket seems cribbed directly from Star Trek II (but perhaps there are only so many ways of having space caskets).

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Lifting the Veil

I knew I'd seen some of the Wing Commander IV storyboards before and as luck would have it, I came across the June, 1995 issue of E2lectronic Entertainment magazine while cleaning house last weekend. The article scanned below, written less than four months after Heart of the Tiger shipped, was the first preview of Wing Commander IV. The reveal was likely a major coup for the magazine whose memory has otherwise not survived the test of time--so much so that the two page piece offering very limited details became the month's cover story.

And that cover may be the most important part of the article! Note that the only artwork included are early storyboards, pictures from the Wing Commander III set and the special cover image. It was rendered by Origin specifically for this reveal and was not used in the finished game. This shot of Hellcats flying past the Lexington is the first piece of finished Wing Commander IV artwork and shows how early the game's artists had a handle on the game's art direction (and seemingly puts to rest the old rumor that the Lexington was originally to be a Confederation-class dreadnaught).

The text of the article is also very interesting. Some of Origin's claims were right on the money (more professional video sequences, better terrain in ground missions) while others failed to materialize. We know now that the improved textures were developed but ended up looking muddy and unimpressive when compressed for gameplay... but very little has ever been said about the fate of the strategic mission management gameplay spoken of here (it was likely reduced to the unplayable 'second wing' feature that appears in several missions).

Special thanks to elend, whose Photoshop skills restored a badly damaged magazine cover to its original glory.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 133

Scene 133, the death of Vagabond! (Sorry, it's not a spoiler if it happened 14 years ago... but it would have been if it appeared at Origin's WC4 sales site). Note another completely different character drawing for Sosa--with long hair similar to Panther's!

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Gratha Geometry Goes Gray

Michelle D has started a new iteration of the fearsome Gratha. It's more like the classic WC1 Gratha as opposed to the recently completed Super Famicon version. The aft fuselage has been redesigned and there are some engine differences this time around. If past designs are any indication, it'll look pretty slick with some textures added.

Made this one so that the octagon shape was not solid but more like a shell made from individual panels, which to my surprise allows for everything to fit the Clawmarks reference fairly well. Added in some teeny maneuvering thrusters as well.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 120

Scene 120 is the end of Captain Paulson! I wonder if there was a separate storyboard to show the 'disabled' version of the initial CGI or of that was something clever that was developed at Origin.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

First Mini Model Gets Astro Painted

Astro Commander has finished the paint job on his first model miniature, and it's pretty fantastic! The glowing green plasma in the upper right photo was added in later, but the rest was done by careful airbrush. The base is also painted, and everything is front of a starry background. Some of the fine detail is amazing here. We're anxious to see more!

I just got one of these painted.

This is the reason I made any of these. I love Wing Commander and wanted to paint my own touch to those ships. But sadly no one made them, so I had to if I wanted to paint them. I have a few Kilrathi ships about 50% done.

Obviously the lens flare and logo are CG'ed in. All else is painted with my baby airbrush.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 96

Scene 96 is another great action moment--defector Blair is captured by Confederation guards and brought before Captain Paulson (or Seether?)

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Origin Named Best PC Developer Ever

Kotaku recently asked, "Who is the greatest PC developer of all time?" The question was quickly answered, "Origin, of course!" The author credits the company with its success in multiple diverse genres. He gets most of the history straight, but is downbeat on the lack of Origin franchises that continue to this day. From Lord of Ultima to potential rereleases and beyond, I think we'll soon start to see more make a comeback. Check out the full article here.

Who Is The Greatest PC Developer Of All Time?

Ask that question 100 times and you'll get 100 different answers. Lucasarts. Sierra. Bethesda. Valve. Westwood. Ask me 100 times, though, and I'll give you the same answer 100 times running: Origin.

...

Based in Austin, Texas, Origin would over the next 21 years produce some of the most beloved and successful video games to ever grace the PC, like the famous Ultima series of role-playing games (including Ultima Online, the world's first "big time" massively-multiplayer online game), the Wing Commander franchise (including the excellent Privateer spin-offs), the "Strike" line of theatrical flight sims and the two Crusader games.

Across these games and more, Origin released critically-acclaimed first-person shooters, role-playing games, flight sims and space shooters, and at one stage or another was home to famed developers like Richard Garriott (Ultima), Chris Roberts (Wing Commander), Raph Koster (Star Wars Galaxies), John Romero (Doom) and Warren Spector (Deus Ex).

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 95

Scene 95 is another CGI sequence, showing Blair's capture by the Confederation. Check out his fighter--a cross between a Hellcat V and Privateer's Centurion.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Rapier Ready to Roar

Here's a gorgeous wallpaper-ready version of Klavs' fancy Rapier II model. It's titled "Alert 5" and sits appropriately in the shadows of tense flight deck. You can see lots of detail in this 1920x1080 image, and Klavs is still tweaking some of the markings and fine detail on the skin of the ship for future renders.
Here's a desktop for you guys. Enjoy!

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 90

Scene 90 - Blair and an impressively facial haired Captain Eisen discuss their decision to defect.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

WCTOO Upgrades UI

The online iteration of Wing Commander TacOps continues to get better and better. A number of testers are playing through a mock game now to work out bugs and implement new features. The most visible addition in the last month is a bright new starfield & nebula background, and there are also cool dropdown windows for player accounts, turn reports, navigation and communications. It's all looking pretty slick. You can see the test game and the latest interface here (works best in Firefox).

On a side note, what do you guys think of the improved turn navigation system of Phase 5? Is it working for anyone? It isn't 100% done. When I next have time to code 'new' features, I'll add an 'update' button which would be the same as refreshing the turn selection list (in that it would run the engines if all orders are in) as well as an auto-countdown to do such a refresh automatically.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 88

Scene 88 -- DEFECTION! Blair, Eisen, Maniac and Catscratch arrive on the Intrepid for the first time, where they meet Panther and Hawk. Check out Panther's awesome hair, the strange design for Blair's fighter wing and the accurate design for the Intrepid.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Time, Again

We've recovered another element of Origin's groundbreaking Wing Commander IV pre-release website: "The Story So Far..." is a timeline of previous Wing Commander games intended to quickly bring new players up to speed on the franchise. Half promotional, half in-universe, this interesting document actually adds a bit of continuity--like references to the 'Galactic War' or mention of the fact that Wing Commander III takes place "ten parsecs from home". You can access the recovered page here. We also have slightly larger versions of some of the screenshots included:


Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 78

Scene 78: what if Blair didn't spy on Seether at all and instead went to get that drink with Maniac? Well, now you know... Maniac would be sad. (Actually, sad Maniac is one of the most depressing things in the Wing Commander universe--this is a great scene to go back and watch again.)

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

A Proud, Brave New Ally of the Terran Confederation

On this day in the year 2655, Firekkan soldiers and human marines successfully disrupted the Sivar-Eshrad ceremony. The vastly outnumbered Confeds managed to force the Kilrathi from the system, but many were killed and the Kilrathi took numerous hostages as they retreated. The Firekkans remained grateful friends with the Confederation through most of the next decade. They ultimately seceeded based on their (well placed) mistrust of the Kilrathi during the false peace armistice of 2668, which formed the basis of the Firekkan Planetary Alliance in the Firekka and neighboring T'kirsa systems.

Sharrhi Settlement, Southern Hemisphere, Firekka. The Human and Firekkan soldiers launch their assault upon the warrior-priestesses of the Kilrathi religious ceremony. The assault team accomplishes their mission… but only at a terrible cost.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 75

Scene 75: secret agent Blair chooses to watch Seether arrive on the Lexington... because if there's one thing that can easily be done covertly it's landing a space shuttle.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

I've Got that Sinking Feeling

Here's one final mystery: a single still from Wing Commander III included in Origin's web materials that doesn't fit with the others... or the game itself! This brilliant picture of the Tiger's Claw is a great "what's wrong with this picture" exercize: it has Arrows instead of Hellcats, a different placement for the beach rocks and is missing the characters' shadows. Notice anything else? The file itself doesn't match the web department's other FMV captures--it's called "LSBD1170" instead of "STILL#" and is dated July 6, 1994, nearly two months before any of the others. The original scene from the game is displayed on the right.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 74

Scene 74-Depressed Maniac and Blair in flight control in the scene that taught millions of teenagers the word 'libation'.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

More Missiles Coming Up!

Marc has added another cool concept to the Tarawa flight deck. Based on a quote from the novel End Run, he's added munitions lockers that pop up from the deck. It's a cool idea. He's also built an awesome top-down silhouette image of what the bay might look like full of fighters.

"Except for the hot-loaded planes, all armament aboard Tarawa was stored in blast-proof lockers beneath the flight deck, only to be hoisted out and loaded on just before launch." End Run, p.167_

It's a little rough, but I've got an idea for that. A section of deck plate raises to reveal groups of blast-proof lockers. Each locker has its own set of missiles. Should a group of lockers become empty or not have the type of ordinance required, the user can lower the first group and raise another. The neat thing about this specific system is that when all is squared away, I just have to draw red and yellow lines on the deck.

I toyed with the notion of having dispersed lockers all around the flight deck, but after playing around with some fighter silouhettes, I got the impression that half the time some plane or other piece of hardware would be parked over the hatch.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 66

Scene 66 brings life back to usual on the Lexington--or does it? Paulson briefs Blair, ordering him to intercept a Border Worlds convoy that has 'strayed' into Confederation space. (I know we're supposed to think it's all very sinister--I'm sure the Union was using those two heavy cruisers to ship relief supplies or fuzzy pets or rainbows.)

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Good Old Full Motion Picture Show

Last, but not least, in our parade of Wing Commander III promotion screenshots is this fourteen image set of captures from the full motion video. This may seem entirely ordinary to you, but put yourself in your shoes sixteen years ago--the last time you saw a Wing Commander character was Admiral Terrel's cartoon head reading you the credits at the end of Righteous Fire. Then in August 1994 you open up a magazine or a pkzip file from Origin's BBS and find... real, live people? It was unprecedented!

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 73

Scene 73 returns us to... Eisein's cabin--for the last time, I promise. Here we have the final goodbye between Blair and Eisen, who knows he's about to defect with Maniac.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

More 3D Printed Ships Up Close

Astro Commander has taken more photos of the cool miniatures he's gotten made. Most fighters are about 30-40 millimeters long, and the Dreadnought clocks in at a whopping 90 mm. Wingnuts who think these are neat can buy their own at the Dream Foundry store. They're all fit for painting, and that's what Astro is working on next!

And yes, prices include shipping world wide. However there is a 25 dollar minimum. I've found when ordering through this site it takes 2-3 weeks to receive the models.

Wing Commander Community Recognized by 1UP

1UP.com (now a member of the UGO network after having been spun off from the Electronic Gaming Monthly print magazine) is running a cool feature about their 101 favorite gaming websites. They've narrowed down their "game specific" picks to ten choices, which includes the Wing Commander CIC! Check out their list here. Thanks to Branches for sending this in and 1UP for noticing our thriving community!
...we think you're ready for an amazing revelation: 1UP isn't the only gaming site on the Internet! Yes, it's true. We are but a single square in the vast quilt that is the videogame-obsessed Internet.

Wing Commander CIC: You probably didn't realize that the Wing Commander community is active enough to justify daily news updates, which is why WC CIC exists: to school you.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 72

Scene 72 seems to confirm the fact that Mark Drascos hadn't been cast as Catscratch yet--as the drawn version of the rookie here looks about as far from the finished Catscrach as possible.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Uniform Sketches, 2654 Style

Klavs is putting a lot of thought into the pilot of his flashy Rapier. Since his first draft (rendered below), he's sketched out a variety of character styles based on different sources. The image below shows the progression back towards the classic outfit from Wing Commander 1. Looks good to me!
Bomber jackets... in... space!

After playing with some other designs, I worked out this sketch to help me think about designing the pilot. After playing some WC1 again, I decided I really like the classic fighter pilot leather jacket look. It's also a callback to the WC3/4/academy brown flight suit

The justification?

The leather jacket is a protective garment that goes over the spacesuit proper (with holes for the suit hardware) to save wear and tear on the suit body (the suit itself is a two-piece soft system) and to provide some additional external pockets. It can also be worn off duty over a standard coverall or t-shirt to create esprit de corps among the pilots.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 71

Scene 71: Blair is lost and confused by the changes on the Lexington and the fate of his old friends... so he turns to confide in... Admiral Tolwyn? Bad choice, buddy.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Armada Never Looked Beta

This batch of Wing Commander Armada screenshot's was used by Origin's publications team for several years in advertisements, web sites and e-catalogs... but look closely, it's not the Armada we know!

The screenshots were taken from a very early build of the game. Because specially designed models for Armada's lower resolution engine weren't ready yet, the game used Wing Commander III's already-finished Dralthi. Then check out the instrumentation on the invisible cockpits...

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 65

Scene 65 - Blair visits Eisen's cabin (and gets in!) to say his goodbyes (and to once again take note of Eisen's stately giant laptop).

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

FANCY TITLE GOES HERE

This is our third, final and largest set of pre-release Wing Commander III screenshots. These were taken by an Origin employee several weeks after the last batch, on September 26, 1994. The game is still almost two months from shipping--and, in places, it shows: check out the VDU image for the Behemoth. There's a LOT more Arrow pictures that go along with this update. Check them (and all the previous early WC3 game engine shots) out here!

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 64

Scene 64 cuts back to the Lexington's lounge where Maniac, Blair and Vagabond are talking about Tolwyn's interview.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

These Are The Droids You Are Looking For

Wingnuts now have a way to play Wing Commander on their Android phones with an emulator that has just added compatibility for Wing Commanders 3 and 4. psx4droid is available on the Android Marketplace or on app sites accessible from regular internet browsers such as appbrain.com. There are currently two versions of the emulator - the full paid for version ($5.99) and the Lite (Free) version which allows you to play the games but not load or save your game.

Starman was kind enough to test out the emulator for us with his Playstation copies of WC3 and 4 and take a few screenshots. He found that the game overlays the controls on the bottom of the screen (an option that can be turned off), but that the program also supports bluetooth gamepads!

The titles were run on my Samsung Galaxy S I9000 (Running Android 2.1 Eclair) and I ripped the PSX CD's to .BIN files using IMGBurn and my original UK copies of WC3/4 which you just copy to your phone memory and then select the file within the application itself. Should be noted you require the PSX BIOS file for the emulator to function. -- Regards, Starman

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 63

Scene 63 continues immediately where the last group left off and switches to full screen footage of Barbara Miles interviewing Admiral Tolwyn (in a bubble!).

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

Ascii Sector Adds Fleets

A new version of Ascii Sector has been released! This is the first edition to drop the 'Privateer' off the name. So far only the title has changed, but eventually Chris Knudsen plans to branch the story off and differentiate the game from its Wing Commander roots. One big addition for version 0.7 is the creation of fleets that persist, control systems and rove the sector. Confed and Pirate factions exist now. Retro and Kilrathi will come in a future update. You can download the game here.

- Wingmen shouldn't get involved in dogfights with friendly ships because of accidental fire as often anymore.
- Improved friendly fire checks so that only weapons fire from a hostile ship will impact a target. This applies to the player's AI controlled turrets as well.
- Added persistent fleets that can move around, change control of systems, engage enemy fleets, head back for repairs and rebuilds, and so on (currently only the Confeds and Pirates have fleets, but the Retros and Kilrathi will also get fleets in future versions).
- Randomly generated ships are now based on the factions controlling the various systems as well as some other factors. The control of systems is displayed on the system maps in the Quine and nav computer.
- Swapped the faction colors of Militia and Retros: Retros are now purple and Militia are white. This is in preparation for Retros having fleets and taking control of systems and white not being a good color for showing system control on the maps.
- Changed game name from "Privateer: Ascii Sector" to just "Ascii Sector".
- New icons and logo.
- Updated the manual with the new name and logo.

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 62

Scene 62 - Blair meets Dr. Brody (cartoon Maniac is right, cartoon Dr. Brody is pretty!) and sits down to watch Admiral Tolwyn on the news. I think this is another slight flaw with Wing Commander IV's narrative--we're supposed to remember such a slight interaction as Brody brushing against Blair four or five CDs later when we meet her again at Axius.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

What? WING COMMANDER III is Evolving!

It is September 8, 1994. Two months have passed since we last saw Wing Commander III and the combat engine feels a lot more familiar now--the final transport appears and you get the sense that this is actually a familiar early mission (the Hellcats help).

Wing Commander IV Storyboards - Scene 59

Scene 59 is where Blair learns that Paulson has replaced Eisen as Captain of the Lexington. Again note the fact that Paulson looks nothing like John Spencer--and has a completely different character to him.

These storyboard images were recovered from a backup CD containing materials belonging to Origin's web development team. They were dated November 17, 1995 and were likely planned for a never-completed web feature.

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