The Wing Commander Year In Review

To celebrate the end of 2012, we've put together a "Year in Review" update highlighting a few of the notable events. 2012 started off pretty strong with rumors of a new Chris Roberts project, a potential springtime release of the Wing Commander Academy DVD set, and plenty of great fan projects!

    The Story of Karga the Hero
  • What Wingnut hasn't dreamed of creating the ultimate Wing Commander rig? Starting in late-2011, LOAF began work on a machine that the #wingnut regulars named "Karga". Karga has it all, from top-of-the-line Thrustmaster joysticks to five different sound cards! Read all about the assembling of Karga on the CIC front page and on the CIC Chatzone.
    Wing Commander Saga Released
  • After a decade in the making, the Wing Commander Saga fan mod hit the space lanes in March. Saga is a standalone product that utilizes the Descent: Freespace 2 engine with a variety of new features. The story of Saga is set in the same timeframe as Wing Commander III in 2669 at the end of the Terran-Kilrathi War. If you'd like to know more about the decade-long development cycle, Shotglass ran an interesting feature on it just before release.
    Wing Commander IV Released on GOG
  • Joining Privateer, Wing Commander, Wing Commander II and Wing Commander III, Wing Commander IV became the fifth Wing Commander game to be offered by GOG. When the game was posted to GOG in April, the CIC ran a full day of updates focused on Wing Commander IV. There was a ton of great stuff posted that day, so be sure to give it a look over.
    Wing Commander Academy DVD Released
  • The Academy TV series was a great show. For years, the only option for Wingnuts to watch the program was on VHS transfers hosted on the CIC made by LOAF more than 10 years ago. Rumblings of a DVD release started months before any official news was released and Wingnuts hopes were answered when the DVD set was released in May.
    The CIC Turns 14
  • The 14th birthday of the CIC will be remembered for years to come. Even before the party, Wingnuts got a special surprise in Ginger Lynn Allen posting to the Chatzone and answering fan questions. At the party itself we had a great turnout and when the time came to post the birthday updates, we crashed our own server! Through the use of the CIC social media accounts, party goers were able to meet on a backup IRC server while the CIC team brought the main server back online. This was very important because later in the evening Chris Roberts, the creator himself, stopped by #wingnut and talked with fans for several hours. You can read a log of his visit here. Despite the bumps, it was one of the best birthdays we've had.
    The Passing of Paul Steed
  • Only two days after the CIC's 14th birthday we received some devastating news. Paul Steed, a longtime game artist who got his start at Origin, had passed away. LOAF put together a nice tribute to his life and work that Wingnuts can read here.
    Roberts Space Industries Announces Star Citizen
  • Chris Roberts dropped some hints about a big announcement he had in store for a few weeks after the CIC birthday party. On October 10th, Roberts Space Industries introduced the world to Star Citizen and Squadron 42. Chris Roberts' was returning to gaming and he was going to do it in a big way. In order to raise money for Star Citizen, RSI was going to use the crowdfunding model. The initial goal was $2 million. When the campaign ended, $6.2 million had been raised! The current total now stands at over $7.2 million! While Star Citizen isn't a Wing Commander title (there's always hope!), there's clearly a lot of Wing Commander influence in the game design.
    CIC Gets A Facelift
  • After 14 years, the second CIC layout was starting to show its age. A major redesign was commissioned and went live at the same time as the Star Citizen announcement. It's been sitting pretty ever since.
    Expansion Packs Hit GOG
  • After a year of behind-the-scenes lobbying by the CIC, GOG added the expansion packs to Wing Commander, Wing Commander II and Privateer download packages. GOG users now could chase after the Sivar, quell a mutiny and find who took our Steltek gun! The games' DOSBox setups were also tweaked slightly to improve performance based on feedback from fans. If you haven't redownloaded the games to access the expansions, be sure to do so!

Wingnuts had a lot to be excited about in 2012. But what about 2013? Be sure to let us know when the new poll goes live tomorrow! Thanks for another great year! We look forward to another one in 2013!

A Bad Fur Day

Soooooo... Do the Kilrathi Eject? I think we know that they do considering all the ejection pods I toasted in Wing Commander 3! The Wing Commander movie's tie in - The Confederation Handbook - seems to suggest they don't. What does the movie itself have to say on this matter? Not much... or at least not much that we knew of until today! Here's a little scene from the movie that I've slowed down so you can be perfectly clear on this! Check it out here. (720p 48.5MB)

Download Service Update 2012

The old Origin website may be long gone, but EA still maintains an FTP server with patches and help files for everything from major franchises like Wing Commander and Ultima, to one-off titles like Wings of Glory and Bioforge. Point your web browser or FTP client here to view the directory listing.

The CIC retired its public FTP server a few years ago for a plain HTTP service, but our files and music directories can be traversed with any browser. The files directory takes up around 77 gigs and contains everything from official demos, patches and trailers to fan-made games and DVD "upgrade kits". Our music files take up less then 2 gigs, but it would still take quite a while to listen to every song that's on there. On average, our visitors generate about a terabyte of download traffic each month. If you come across an old FTP link somewhere on the internet and you want to get hold of that file, just replace ftp://ftp.wcnews.com with http://download.wcnews.com.

Prepare For Fleet Action!

Consummate Wingnut artist NinjaLA recently acquired some new art programs that he's been trying out. What better way to see what a program can do than by drawing some Wing Commander ships! For one of his first pieces, he's created the image below, a Bengal strike carrier battling against a Hakaga super carrier. He also sent along a "work-in-progress" image where you can see the battle scene start to take shape.

New Freelancer Mod Commemorates Privateer 2 Anniversary

To celebrate the 16th anniversary of Privateer 2 (Dec '96), Charlie Perkins has prepared a Freelancer mod that transports the player to a bare-bones version of the Tri-System. Eight planets and nine flyable ships are provided, and some of the commodities should look familiar! The splashscreen image was created by NinjaLA. A wallpaper sized version of the graphic can be found here.

You'll need the Freelancer Mod Manager found here: http://download.wcnews.com/files/mods/flmminstaller1.31.exe

and the mod itself can be found here: http://download.wcnews.com/files/mods/Privateer2Ever.flmod

Create a clean install of Freelancer. Do NOT install the 1.1 patch; this is provided with the mod and installing it may lead to undesirable effects.

Download and install version 1,31 of the Freelancer Mod Manager. Do NOT download newer versions; they are known to be buggy and may corrupt your install.

Double-clicking on the mod file will then automatically install it. To play, launch Freelancer Mod Manager and activate the mod, then launch the game.

If the game crashes on launch, go into the Tools menu and delete the autosave.

WARNING
64-bit Windows editions have a known bug where rundll32.exe will continue to run after the game is closed. This will lead to errors during mod deactivation. At worst, this will leave mod files in your game folder. This may not have adverse effects - but then again, it might. To be safe, it is recommended to either back up your original installation or run the game from a seperate install.

AD's HD Movie Trailer

AD has painstakingly recreated the 2 minute theatrical trailer for the Wing Commander feature film in HD. Using the title cards and audio from the digital version of the trailer and footage from the High Definition version of the movie that has only recently become readily available through services like iTunes and Vudu, AD matched every frame to showcase the film like you never seen it before. Download it here. (1080p, 240MB)

Merry Christmas!

We'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and happy holidays from the Wing Commander CIC! Hopefully all of you get a chance to rest, relax and catch up on some Wing Commander adventures during this season. Marc has once again put together a clever WC-themed Christmas tribute. The Concordia takes the place of a classic holiday train set this year, and he's even included a nod to Chris Roberts' new project. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to share your holidays with us, and thanks to Marc for putting together another Christmas treat!
The best gift we could ever hope to have is time with eachother. That's advice I intend to follow myself during the holidays.

...'course, a new game never hurts...

Revisiting Christmas Past

These are just too cool not to repost! Here's some of Marc's previous holiday creations.

You Can Still Claim Party Prizes

There's a bit of Christmas Eve housekeeping going on here at the CIC, and we'd like to get prizes out to fans who earned them at our birthday party in August (call it inspiration from Santa Claus). If you claimed your winnings at the time, you should either have received your item or gotten a recent email from us. If not, please resubmit your name, nickname, prize and address now. If you happen to have an outstanding item from a prior CIC event, you can also claim those too! Here's our most recent list of winners:
  • Wing Commander Academy on DVD - FekLeyrTarg, Pedro
  • CIC Polo Shirt - Powell
  • CIC Glass - Ninja, Sylvester
  • CIC Playing Cards - Eisengard
  • EA Replay PSP - Ilanin
  • Eisen Hat - Quarto
  • Confed Replica Patch - PopsiclePete, FekLeyrTarg
  • WC CCG Starter Deck Box - NomadTerror, Powell
  • WC Novel - Sylvester, Sylvester
  • WC2 Game OEM - HowardDay, Ilanin
  • WC4 DVD - Vinman
  • New Design WC Movie DVD - Pix, Music Guru, Quarto
  • WC Movie Lobby Cards - Pix
  • GOG WC Game - Wedge, Death, Pedro
  • Privateer 2 autographed by Erin Roberts, Paul Hughes, Phil Mellor and Nick Elms - Goku

Wing One: A Wingnut's Trip Down Audio Memory Lane

With the recent rerelease of the Wing Commander expansion packs on GOG, there's been a lot of people playing the early Wing Commander games. For those who've been hooked on those classic tunes, original composer Fat Man has made the soundtrack available to purchase and download here. Twenty-seven tracks are available for $9.98 in the "Wing One: Music from Wing Commander" album. The Vibedeck site lets you preview each track, and I dare you to listen to just one! If you're a fan of Fat, you can also pick up his highly rated ebook Tasty Morsels of Sonic Goodness: The Fat Man on Game Audio.
The Fat Man, George Alistair Sanger, has been creating music and other audio for games since 1983. He is internationally recognized for having contributed to the atmosphere of over 130 games, including such sound-barrier-breaking greats as Loom, Wing Commander I and II, The 7th Guest I and II, NASCAR Racing, Putt-Putt Saves the Zoo, and ATF. He wrote the first General MIDI soundtrack for a game, the first direct-to-MIDI live recording of musicians, the first redbook soundtrack included with the game as a separate disk, the first score for a game that was considered a "work of art," and the first soundtrack that was considered a selling point for the game.

Play Prophecy, Standoff on Mac or Linux

Forums member Magamo reported a few weeks ago that the Windows 95 editions of Wing Commander I through IV run well on current versions of WINE. WINE is a compatibility layer for running Windows applications on POSIX operating systems such as Linux and OSX. He's now also tested Prophecy and Secret Ops as well as fan games Unknown Enemy, Standoff and Saga. The investigation did encounter a few glitches or oddities, so his findings may be helpful if you want to give this a shot.

Since this has hit the front page, I suppose I should finally get around to reporting the status of the Vision Engine games, and Wing Commander Saga. These work just as well now as they did back in 2005 when I was originally talking about it, although I've noticed an interesting graphical oddity: Stars that are in the original engine's starfield will shine through models with my nVidia card under Wine, when using the OpenGL renderer, giving everything a very slight ghostly quality, which does not affect either stability, or playability. [Edit: The 'stars' I'm seeing are in fact the usual particles one sees during spaceflight.]

To install Prophecy and Secret Ops using their original installers (I do not use the new enhanced installers that have been released more recently, but they likely should not need this) you will have to have Wine running in Win98 mode or else the installers will erroneously report that you do not have enough free space. If you receive any other unexplained crashes (I've had Standoff crash when transitioning from engine or movie, to gameflow) switch Wine back to Win98 mode.

Prophecy, Secret Ops, and Standoff all work quite well. Unknown Enemy also works if one copies the OpenGL renderer's gl_00007.dll over the software renderer, gl_00006.dll, and selecting to use software in the launcher. Unlike back in 2005, the 1.2 version of the OpenGL renderer now lends its enhancements (including enhanced starfields) to UE as well.

Standoff and UE need an appropriate version of the VisualBasic runtimes installed (vbrun5 for UE, vbrun6 for Standoff) and MFC42.dll installed, all three can be installed using 'winetricks' or 'PlayOnLinux/PlayOnMac'. Otherwise they will crash. You will be able to see that its missing libraries on the terminal, but likely will get no explanation if attempting to launch these games via any form of GUI.

Wing Commander Saga just simply works under Wine with no modification, as I recall.

One last thing I failed to mention with the WC1-4 support. Due to the fact that these games will switch X's resolution to lower modes (640x480), they may load slightly off screen using widescreen monitors, and have the potential to lose focus, when moving the mouse, and having the game scroll off screen. If this happens, simply use your mouse to scroll back until the game is recentered, and tick the 'Automatically capture the mouse in full screen windows' checkbox under the graphics tab of winecfg. That should help to alleviate those issues.

Chris Roberts Talks Wing Commander

PCGamesN has conducted a new interview with Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts. It's a fairly extensive Q&A session that continues to discuss Mr. Roberts' thoughts on crowdfunding and his new game. Chris has been making the making the media rounds fairly regularly since announcing Star Citizen, and there have been quite a few similar interviews out there, but this one highlights his current thoughts in regards to the Wing Commander series.
...And on Wing Commander

PCGN: Theoretically, if you could, would you like to buy back the Wing Commander rights?

CR: Definitely. If I could get Wing Commander back, if it was mine to control and not EA saying “Here you are, have it for a game,” then I’d definitely be interested. Part of the thing that’s frustrating is that, when you create a world and you’ve overseen it for a while, and I had to sell it when Electronic Arts bought Origin, I can’t go back and visit that world without their say-so. But they don’t care about that world, I care about that world.

That’s one of the reasons I’m doing what I did with Star Citizen. This enables me to control my IP. To me, this is not just one game. This is a world I want to constantly update and add new cool stuff to and have a community. I’d be happy if, ten years after it comes out, people are still into it, still playing it, and it’s moved on and evolved. I want to be able to be in a position to guide it because I feel like I’m best suited to know what’s best for the franchise.

If I had the opportunity to get Wing Commander back in the same way, that’d be great, but EA has different priorities, so who knows if that can happen.

In their weekly update the team at Roberts Space Industries is kicking off a couple new options for fans. Monetary pledges towards the game can now be gifted to other people, and there will soon be a weekly web show devoted to development activities at Cloud Imperium Games. Here's a preview of "Wingman's Hangar."

Expansion Packs Released for EA Games on GOG!

If you've been waiting to track down the Sivar, put down a mutiny, and find your Steltek gun, your time has come! GOG has added the five missing expansion packs to their collection of Wing Commander games. The Secret Missions 1 & 2, for the original Wing Commander, Special Operations 1 & 2, for Wing Commander 2, and Righteous Fire, for Privateer are now available for download. Alien Crossfire has also been added to Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. The games have also incorporated a handful of minor performance enhancements, such as smoother gameplay performance and resolved UAC conflicts. Wingnuts who already purchased the games can download the expansions free of charge.


For those who have been waiting for the expansions to pick up these games, now is a great time. GOG is in the middle of a holiday sale running through January 3rd. They have 475 titles on sale, including Wing Commander! You can pick up each game for only $2.99 a piece!

A while back, we started to sell EA games--great classics such as Wing Commander, Privateer, and Alpha Centauri. A few people--just a few!--noted that we didn't have the expansions and that made them sad panda.

Well, panda, be sad no more! As a holiday gift from us to you, we're bringing everyone who bought (or buys in the future!) the expansions for Wing Commander 1 + 2, Wing Commander Privateer, and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri for you today! These expansions are free updates, so just download the new installers for each game from your account and start playing now! Note that these EA games will not be part of any Daily Deal bundle, so go ahead and pick them up now for only $2.99 each.

Wing Commander 1 + 2--Wing Commander: The Secret Missions, Wing Commander: The Secret Missions 2 Crusade, Wing Commander II: Special Operations 1, Wing Commander II: Special Operations 2. The Wing Commander expansions bring new missions, new ships, a new storyline, and an increase in difficulty in The Secret Missions, and in Secret Missions 2: Crusade, we see a whole new alien race, a new challenge, and a mysterious defection all raising the stakes of both the game's storytelling and its combat. In Wing Commander II: Special Operations 1 we see a layered web of deceit, lies, betrayal, and action all bringing that trademarked Wing Commander cinematic feel, while Special Operations 2 sees the player ambushed while escorting a traitor, and soon the player (as Col. Blair) will find himself undertaking one of his most dangerous missions of all: an undercover one infiltrating the very traitors he was escorting in the first place!

Wing Commander Privateer--Privateer Righteous Fire. Finally, in Righteous Fire the player squares off against a crazy fundamentalist sect called the Retros as the open-ended space sim world's story continues with more action, ships, and missions to keep player occupied for hours.

A special thanks goes out to Paul Barnett and Jeff Skalski at Mythic (@MythicNews) for their help getting these add-ons secured (finally!) and available to you. :)

LOAF also had no small part in hounding everyone involved until this became a reality!

Nomination Period Closing Soon

The year will soon be coming to an end, and our annual Fan Project & Web Site of the Year contests are about to kick off. Submit your nominations within the next few days to help pick who will be on the ballot! Although a couple sites have gone dark over the last decade, it's always invigorating to peruse this list and be reminded of all the great things Wingnuts are doing. These are far from the only endeavors that Wing Commander fans are engaged in though, and we're looking forward to highlighting more soon!
  Fan Projects of the Year Runners Up
2011 OpenGL Patch for WCP & Secret Ops TacOps Online & Standoff
2010 Astro Commander's Mini Models DirectDrawHack
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
2011 Shotglass' WC Saga
2010 Paper Commander Prelude to Darkness
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

PC Gamer Reinstalls Vengeance of the Kilrathi

PC Gamer has posted a new article in their Reinstall series about Wing Commander 2. It's a virtualization of a feature that appeared in physical issue 247 of PC Gamer UK. The author, Richard Cobbett, goes into great depth about how WC2 captured players and gripped them with its engrossing characters and story. He compliments the game's ability to delve into the dark aspects of the war and force the player to empathize with their crewmates. Difficulty getting into the game's aged combat engine is cited as the low point, but I think quite a few nostalgic Wingnuts (and a legion of new GOG fans!) might say that the gameplay holds up fairly well. Check out the full article here.
The human element remains effective though, and shows up just how sterile most games are. There’s something satisfying about landing after a mission and having the engineer, a girl called Sparks, shoot the breeze and tally your kills via a conversation instead of just having it added to a variable somewhere. Likewise, you don’t get to make any actual conversation decisions (until Wing Commander 3), but the amount of time you spend with everyone does so much to turn the war from a simple series of missions into something with actual impact and repercussions on a wider scale.

WC RPG Full of New Characters

capi3101 has made great progress on his Wing Commander RPG so far this month. Most of the work has centered on character profiles with some 40 new people added just in the last week. You can read up on all of these adventurers' backgrounds and in-game stats in the project's Who's Who in the WC Universe section or stay on top of the RPG's development at the CIC Forums.
When I mentioned that last week was the mid-point, I really didn't think it also meant everything would be downhill from that point. This week seems to have challenged that notion; it was an exceptionally productive week (one of the best I've had in the last couple of months), with a total of forty character profiles completed.

As of this morning, the trait set information is complete for all remaining incomplete characters with the exception of about two dozen characters in the Privateer 2 group (which have turned out to be pretty entertaining to do, on account of no-one in that game being exactly as they appear at first glance). I anticipate finishing up my efforts with trait sets next week, which would just leave the skill sets and derived stats as the only incomplete portion of each remaining profile.

The completion of trait sets in other character groups allowed me to finish up many unique characters in those groups; I was able to finish up the character set from False Colors on Friday, and a good chunk of the character set from WC3 was completed on Thursday. If this week goes like this last one did, I should be very close to finishing up work on 12.2 by next week's update. Even if I only work at my established twenty-character-a-week pace, I'm only looking at about another four weeks until work is finally done on the chapter (and that's assuming no work at all is done over the week of Christmas).

So, onto the crap I usually repeat every week at the end of these updates: The Grand Master Plan remains the same: finish 12.2, tie up any last minute lose ends and get to work on the Index. This next week should be pretty standard, but as I mentioned work is starting to wind down and there's not a great deal left to do on each individual character, so I'm hoping it will be productive. I hope to finish up the WC3 and WC4 character sets at a bare minimum this week but if things go particularly well I might try to knock out the Prophecy set as well, leaving the P2 set for after the new year.

I'm still accepting submissions for the game's non-canonical sections; just post your ideas to this thread. I will continue accepting submissions right up until work is completed on the Index.

'From the Jaws of Defeat' an Entertaining Success

Plywood Fiend has completed his Wing Commander audio adventure! The story begins with a TCN infoburst recapping the recent biological attack on Locanda, and then it follows a handful of pilots on an exciting mission.


I'm impressed with the quality of the finished product. It's surprisingly gripping and fun. Good pacing, tension and clever use of familiar Wing Commander sound effects make this radio show much more entertaining than just a group of Wingnut reading fan fiction aloud. It's also wonderful to see how a committed group of WC fans can bring something like this together relatively quickly - less than two months in this case. We're already looking forward to the next one!

Presenting 'Wing Commander: From the Jaws of Defeat', first of what will hopefully be plenty of Wing Commander audio productions.

A quick warning to headphone users, this can get very loud at times. Also, for anyone who dislikes such things, be warned of strong language.

I'd also like to take a moment to extend my appreciation to the quality team I had working with me on this project, specifically Malcolm Reynolds, Slim Jim and Fowl Firekkan. Their dedication, enthusiasm, initiative and suggestions have all been invaluable, and it was a privilege to work with them all. Thanks guys.

I suppose I'll need to get started on another script.

Physical Fleets Face Off

Here's a weekend treat for fans of Klavs81's physical models. He's lined up each 3D design below to see the opposing forces in all their glory. In addition to just being able to see them in one place, it's impressive to see how they scale against each other. The Jalthi is such a beast!
Wow. I hadn't realized I'd made so many ships until I stuck them in one image.

GOG Kicks Off Annual Holiday Sale

Good Old Games is running its annual holiday sale, and as usual, the deals are amazing! Virtually all games are 50% off, which means Wing Commander titles run just $3! Amazingly, it's possible to purchase WC1-4 and Privateer for under $12! Even if you've bought them already, the games make excellent virtual gifts. There are also tons of special bonuses such as the novel Fleet Action with WC3 and high quality DVD movies included with The Price of Freedom. Pick them up and help speed up the release of more WC games in the future. GOG also ran a poll earlier this month, and Wing Commander 3 won as the best game of the year 1994 - congrats HotT!
Hey GOG.com fans! You have selected your best game of the year 1994 and it's Wing Commander III

VUDU Provides Another Option for WC Movie Purchase

Many people have downloaded a copy of the Wing Commander Movie since its digital HD release earlier this year, and Amazon and iTunes are the most popular options. However, the lesser known VUDU version is actually available in 1080P resolution at a slightly lower price. We're betting that relatively few people have seen the WC Movie in the full VUDU interface, so here's a peek! VUDU is available as an app on the Playstation and XBox, but it's also built into a variety of televisions and set top boxes. There's even a way to get the movie for $5 in HD by taking your physical WC Movie DVD into Walmart. Although there are more pixels in this edition, the high bitrates and quality compression in the 720p Amazon/iTunes versions makes the visual winner somewhat of a toss up. VUDU does win on price, but it can't be downloaded (streaming only). It's available on a wide variety of devices however, so it could be the most readily available depending on your hardware.

Hornet Attempts to Flatten a Pancake

NinjaLA has sketched a new dogfight, and this time the roles are reversed compared to his Dralthi/Scimitar battle earlier in the year. In the new image, a Hornet is shown chasing a Dralthi down with guns blazing. Although the two images look somewhat similar, today's sketch was made with new drafting tools. It's a pretty great result for just a few hours' work!
a dralthi and a hornet duke it out in the blackness of space.. manga studio 5 drawing. 3 hours.

WC Saga Mac Port Back In Work

The WC Saga team has broken its eight month silence on the web with news that the Mac OS port of their game is now moving forward. They've added a new programmer to help with the task, although there is no release date yet.
Again, we are very sorry for the sparse updates lately, but we all have underestimated real life responsibilities. Rest assured things are finally moving along on several fronts and that includes a Mac port!
Aginor and Luke have also improved the Simulator Mission / TrainSim addon for WC Saga with an automated installer. You can download the update here (50 k zip).
Hello everybody! There were numerous requests for a simple simulator mission for Saga already, so I decided to create one.

You can choose between different ships, weapons, numbers of wingmen and enemies ingame. The mission briefing tells you everything you need to know about the mission.

Also the second version is already in the works. It will take some additional time until a release though.

Chris Roberts Meet-up in Montréal

Chris Roberts will be in Montréal Wednesday morning for a press conference to talk about Star Citizen and their partnership with Behaviour Interactive. Behaviour will be working on much of Star Citizen's online and network components.
What: Meeting with Behaviour and Chris Roberts, Founder of Cloud Imperium and Legendary Creator of the Wing Commander series

Why: Learn about the Star Citizen game (http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com/, which Behaviour will be working on in collaboration with Cloud Imperium in 2013

Behaviour previously worked on - among other things - Halo Waypoint, which is basically the social network for the Halo franchise through which they release all the trailers, blogs, news, and more. Waypoint is also integrated right into the games themselves and just might give an indication of the kind of connected experience we might be able to expect from Star Citizen.

The event will be held at Behaviour's offices at 10A.M. and is open to the business, tech, and gaming media. You can find more details about the event at Marketwire.

Terran and Kilrathi Production Lines Ramp Up

Klavs81 has been hard at work this week! The new designs he shared recently are already online to purchase at Shapeways. Fighter Pack 3 features the fearsome Jalthi and workhorse Scimitar. Fighter Pack 4 includes a heavy Gratha with Krant escort. Some of the ships are also available individually, and half a dozen other designs are also available. If you pick some up, be sure to send in pictures!
I had to limit it to 2 ships per pack to keep the prices similar to the other 2 packs because Kilrathi ships are BIG!

And the 1/300 scale versions of those ships were capping the $100 range, so I decided to discontinue the 1/300 scale line for now until I can get my own 3d printing system. Existing 1/300 models are still available, however.

Disclaimer: I won't have the funds to prototype these in the foreseeable future, but they passed Shapeways initial tests and should be produce able. If there are any problems, Shapeways will issue you a coupon code that amounts to a refund with store credit, and I'll get a note that something is wrong, and try to fix it so you can reorder and get the model.

WINE Improvements Clear Wingnut Pilots for Launch

Magamo has good news in regards to playing classic Wing Commanders on Linux platforms. Although DOSBox is the most popular method for getting old games running on modern computers, it's far from the only solution. Due to the different ways that each program emulates old environments, some methods may work better than others with different hardware/software combinations. It's been about six years since Prophecy and Secret Ops (and mods like Standoff) first became functional by using the WINE application, and compatibility has now been expanded to include most original Wing Commanders. Here's Magamo's report:
Five years on, and I can now quite happily confirm that Wing Commander III from Kilrathi Saga, and Wing Commander IV for Windows 95 now work quite well under WINE (I'm using the latest released build, 1.5.18). WC3's movies no longer stutter, nor does WC4's in flight background music. I still see Darkmage's bug listed on AppDB, but I responded to it today reporting my findings. Wing Commander I, II, III, and IV installed today worked fine and dandy so long as WINE was set to Windows 95 compatibilty. Unfortunately, I am sad to report that sol's ddhack which worked in 2010 to improve several aspects of these games graphically, no longer works. On my system, it loads the games, but centers the image so that the bottom half of the screen is completely cut off.

I will possibly report on the status of Prophecy and Secret Ops, with UE and Standoff at some point, but the Vision engine games have been running brilliantly under WINE due to Posicle_Pete's OpenGL wrappers for years (years ago, I even got UE working through it, albeit without pretty starfields).

Deviant WC Artists Pick Up Their Pencils & Pens

gavinfoxx recently brought to our attention the abundance of Wing Commander imagery that exists over at DeviantArt. Kilrathi are especially popular, and in particular, Prince Thrakhath shows up quite a bit. The sampling below comes from DuneTiger, Daennika, spoofe, ViciousLion, Zu86 and NinjaLA. It seems that Wing Commander 3 serves as the biggest inspiration for the classic Kilrathi look, and what do you know?! Today happens to be 18th anniversary of WC3's ship date on December 8, 1994. Happy Birthday to The Heart of the Tiger!
a quick drawing of a kilrathi pilot in the cockpit

Star Citizen Hits $7 Million Milestone

Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts' fundraising initiative hit new heights this week by crossing $7,000,000 in total contributions by just over 100,000 fans. Although the formal pledge campaign ended 2.5 weeks ago, late-comers have had the ability to purchase various packages at a higher dollar value. Regular updates on the new game continue to trickle out, and the Star Citizen FAQ has been updated. Front and center this week are new images and a video of one of the game's ships: the Freelancer. It was designed by Jim Martin, who also created the concept for the Kilrathi-style fighter frequently featured in promotional materials.
We are very sorry to report that Citizen Cards will not be ready in time for Christmas as initially hoped. On upside we have tens of thousands more of you in our awesome growing community than we ever imagined and have broken crowd funding records. As a result the Citizen Card fulfillment is a much bigger job. This combined with the merging of 34,397 Kickstarter pledges are the two reasons for the delay. Kickstarter allows people two weeks to correct any billing issues after the campaign closes so we have only recently been able to start working with the data. If we went into production now the people that backed Star Citizen on Kickstarter and the people who added tiers and upgrades on Kickstarter wouldn’t get the card level they deserved.

On a positive note we want you all to have something to gift your friends, family and fellow space sim fan lovers with Christmas around the corner. We will make digital holiday cards available later in the month so that those who’ve kindly decided to gift Star Citizen will be able to do so.

Kilrathi Presence Increases in Vega Sector

Klavs has further filled out his Kilrathi fleet with a new medium fighter. The Krant joins the Salthi, Dralthi, Jalthi and Gratha as 3D models in Klavs' extensive arsenal. The two lighter craft are already available as small resin ships, and we're anxious to see how the heavier birds turn out soon!
One more to finish then we can all have a Killer Kilrathi Krismas (with Krants!)

Getting Caught Up With GameStar

Thra`Khrom has another batch of scans from GameStar magazine. The first article is a very lengthy flashback piece that's dedicated to The Heart of the Tiger. It's amazing how well the game still holds up today! There is also a fun feature on Wing Commander Privateer. Finally, a preview of Star Citizen does a good job recapping all information surrounding Chris Roberts' new game with a detailed information roundup, Q&A and many comparisons to Wing Commander.
This mail includes more articles from German PC magazine Gamestar. This pack includes the preview for Star Citizen that ran in last months issue (numbered 12/2012) as well as their hall of fame entries for Wing Commander 3 (06/2012) and Privateer (11/2005).

WC Mod Developed for Sword of the Stars

Earl Somers tipped us off about a neat Wing Commander project that builds on the 4X genre Sword of the Stars. The game is billed as a Prophecy mod, but there are also elements from Secret Ops that have been incorporated, and the developer, R2dical, is even looking at WC Arena meshes. A preliminary test release is available here (79 meg rar). You can learn more about the project, help provide feedback and encourage development of the next update at the Kerberos Productions forums here.
This mod replaces the human faction with a new one inspired by the Wing Commander universe, mainly the Prophecy and Black Ops versions, but also includes ships from some other releases. It was the Prophecy game that inspired this mod, so hence the name.

The current version is very much a demo, with ships intended for the fission/DE era mainly. Refineries are on their way. Anticipated the cruiser vs carrier thing so I got a "heavy escort" ship coming designed to protect carriers. It will be heavily armed with beams/projectors but be very slow.

Right now I'm working on the next update, I want to put some more ships in to make the faction more competitive, hopefully: freighters, mining ships, biome colonizers, more satellites, and some "heavier" combat ships with projectors and beams.

Some feedback would be helpful and appreciated, like: the most irritating bugs/glitches, overall combat balance against the other races, handling of ships, and the cost of carriers and support ships.

Elaborate WCRPG Hits the Home Stretch

capi3101's Wing Commander RPG is nearly complete! According to the game's Grand Master Plan, only 1-2% of the total work remains to be done. However, as you can see from the project's massive table of contents, there is so much information involved that the remaining work could continue for a little while yet.


There's been quite a bit of work on non-canon vehicles and ships recently, and capi is taking submissions on what else might be worthwhile to include - think the RSI Constellation. The bulk of the remainining activity continues to revolve around the "Who's Who in the Wing Commander Universe section. About a hundred character profiles are in the queue.


Check out the project's thread at the CIC Forums for more information, or go straight to the project wiki. Aspiring modders, writers and other creative Wingnuts should also take note of how to run a successful fan project. capi started with a solid plan outline and has been devoted to regular updates for over a year. That's how you stay on track!

This last week saw continued work in Chapter 12.2. I'm thinking my pace is going to be twenty profiles a week; I've been trying to get back up to thirty but so far it hasn't happened. Either way I was still off pace this week owing to an all-day event on Thursday alongside with some crucial work being done in another project I'm working on.

A total of twelve profiles were completed this week, rounding out the P1 character set and beginning work with the End Run/Action Stations group. I did have some time to continue work on headers and I'm pleased to announce that I was able to get the entire character set from Prophecy completed. At this point I only have about two dozen headers left to finish up, though I did discover this week that I am going to have to compose a brand new header for Janet McCullogh's False Colors profile (her history on WCPedia ends after Action Stations).

It's Nomination Time Again

Another exciting year is blazing by, so it's time for us to start winding down 2012! This includes our annual Fan Project & Web Site of the Year contests! Wingnuts have a chance to nominate their favorites before the voting gets going. Please send in submissions here! There's a very rich history of past winners out there, and it's exciting to think about who will be added next. Check out the results from past years here:

  Fan Projects of the Year Runners Up
2011 OpenGL Patch for WCP & Secret Ops TacOps Online & Standoff
2010 Astro Commander's Mini Models DirectDrawHack
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
2011 Shotglass' WC Saga
2010 Paper Commander Prelude to Darkness
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

SolSector Secures Select Sites

Many of the fan projects and websites credited above are still online today thanks to SolSector.net - the CIC's internal hosting service. Although a few sites have chosen to close over the years, the majority are either active or preserved for future generations of Wingnuts. It can be a bit of a bummer to find a page that hasn't been touched in years, but this is a much better outcome than losing the content due to unpaid bills or providers going out of business. We'd like to continue saving WC sites of note, so if you have a Wing Commander destination that should be hosted at SolSector, please let us know!

DVD Case Cover Produced for The Price of Freedom

We posted several fan-made covers for Wing Commander releases at GOG this week, and it turns out that the GOG community has also made a new one for Wing Commander 4. The back page notes that this version of the game includes the special high quality DVD cutscenes, and it recaps WC4's story background and role in the history of space sims. Give the file a second to load after you click below - it's a hearty 1.9 megs to ensure a sharp print! You can find covers for the other WC rereleases here.

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