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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!