Happy New Year! (A Look Back at 2013)
Happy New Year Wingnuts! It's been another big year for Wing Commander fans, and 2014 should be even better. The biggest news stories often arrive out of nowhere, so it's exciting to think about what might happen next. But before we go charging forward, here's a brief look back at a few of the big stories from last year. If someone were to just look at a couple random days of WC news, it might not seem like a whole lot is happening - but skimming the weeks and months of news in our archives is amazing!
Star Citizen Development Gets Under Way
There you have it! This is only a sample of what happened in 2013. The real news is that fans continue to work tirelessly every single day to commemorate the Wing Commander series and strengthen the community. Keep it up in 2014! We'll be here to report what happens.
- The Austin office of Cloud Imperium Games was established around the beginning of the year, and developments poured out regularly thereafter. We're not a Star Citizen news site, but we do cover Roberts Space Industries events that are Wing Commander-related such as numerous ex-Originite hires, inclusion of a neat easter egg or the theatrical showing of the WC Movie at Citizen Con.
Wing Commander: A Defiant Few Launches
- Plywood Fiend's audio adventure in the Gemini Sector kicked off with scripting, casting and previews in January. Over the course of the year, several chapters were were released and the story is still going strong.
Wing Commander Highlighted in 3D Printing Breakthrough
- In early February a German company demonstrated a new form of micrometer-scale 3D printing that could be used to build incredibly tiny structures. Many major magazines and websites ran with the story, so it got a lot of press. What did they build to demonstrate the technology? A Hellcat V!
Hamill's WC3 Flight Suit Resurfaces
- Pix's Origin Adventures helped reconnect with the fan who won a 1995 contest for the screen-worn Blair flight suit in Wing Commander 3. The suit has been well cared for over the course of 18 years and the winner graciously provided some cool pictures. Later in the year, we got a peek at quite a few artifacts that also decorate Chris Roberts' office today.
Amateur 3D Printing Explodes
- Wingnuts have been 3D printing small miniature ships for years now, but the technology really took off in 2013! One of the biggest breakthroughs happened in March with Klavs' color 3D prints. For the first time, fans could go beyond hand-painting tiny figures and order large designs with relatively detailed color textures and decals. They have been extremely popular and dozens of sharp models were made in 2013.
GOG Rereleases Entire Wing Commander Series
- 2013 was huge for digital rereleases of Wing Commander games! The entire DOS/Windows saga was completed with the addition of Academy in August, P2: The Darkening in September, Prophecy & Secret Ops and Armada & Proving Grounds in November. Don't forget that Strike Commander was also added in March and Macintosh compatibility was expanded all year. As great as it is for a whole new generation to be able to buy Wing Commander cheap and easy, this also provided HCl an opportunity to flex his considerable programming muscle and add new features such as the deinterlace patch for Privateer 2 and DVD video upgrade for Prophecy. All of these enhancements even work for both the digital GOG releases and the old school disc-based versions!
Wing Commander In Concert
- In April it was revealed that famous Wing Commander composer George Oldziey's music would finally be performed live in concert by the Austin Symphony. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the WC portion was ultimately removed from the planned October concert, but all hope is not lost! Stay tuned for more on this subject in the future.
Wing Commander FPS Unearthed
- Origin veteran Binky Launius uncovered "lost footage" of a first person shooter set in the Wing Commander universe. The project didn't get very far, but in 1997 it was considered and pitched at Origin. There's even a very rudimentary concept video!
Flat Universe Shooter Project Kicked Off
- Flat Universe was one of several promising fan projects that were initiated in 2013. The Maslas Brothers worked with prominent Wingnut artists to import existing assets into their 2D engine. They also supplemented their project with a flashy website and electronic magazine.
EA Releases Ultima Forever
- Origin's other vaunted franchise received a boost this year with the release of Ultima Forever for iOS devices. Although we'd much rather see a new Wing Commander game, it's great to see a new title based on one of Origin's classic series. The game continues to receive updates and has a strong social media component. Supposedly it even includes an easter egg quest with a Kilrathi ship!
WC RPG Completed
- capi's well-planned and meticulous role playing game was finally completed and released this year. It's not the only RPG project that was active in 2013, but what is remarkable is that the project set out with a very specific set of goals, set specific targets and then provided status updates with progress details on a regular basis. It's a model that many people could learn from - and it works!
CIC Hits Ten Years of Constant News
- We proudly tooted our own horn in mid 2013 when the CIC reached ten years of constant daily updates. Around the time that Prophecy was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, the CIC Staff decided to kick things into overdrive and hunt something down to report every day. We now sit at about 3870 consecutive days of Wing Commander news on our front page! The material isn't always earth shattering breaking news, but this very roundup proves that quite a bit of exciting stuff does happen!
Fatman Cleans Up WC1 Album
- George The Fatman Sanger updated his commercial release of WC1 music mid year when discrepancies were found with two tracks. This was the kind of thing that could easily have been ignored and left to sit for eternity, but Mr. Fat graciously avoided leaving Wing Commander fans in the lurch.
Wing Commander on Blu-ray!
- On August 6, Wing Commander was finally released on Blu-ray! The long-awaited high definition physical media release did not include any extra features aside from higher resolution and detail, but seeing a brand new boxed Wing Commander product on regular store shelves with simply a joy to behold. Even the regular DVD was updated with an anamorphic aspect ratio, and the sound track was released digitally on iTunes/Amazon.
The CIC Turns 15 Years Old
- August 10 marked 15 years of WCNews.com! Our birthday party was a huge success and ton of fun. We released a new OEM demo of WC Prophecy, modernized our video section, reported on tons of fan projects and posted some very interesting archive material. Here's to the next 15 years!
Bandit (LOAF) Gets Married
- Wing Commander and LOAF go together like Shotglass and the Tiger's Claw Bar, but he made room for a second love in his life this year! His CIC friends were there to share pictures from the happy event. It'd been nine years since the last staff member got married, and it was fun to see how much we'd changed in between (and stayed the same!).
Classic WC1/2 Modding Back in Style
- It was also a great year for modification of the first couple Wing Commander games. Most modding over the last decade or so has focused on the later games in the series, but HCl and Howard's additions to Academy and delMar's WCWorkShop site have reinvigorated interest in the classic titles. We're anxious to see this trend continue!
Wing Commander CIC - Visit the front page
Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans. Recent updates:
- I Like This A Hole Lot
- 2017-11-17 -- LOAF was poking around in Wing Commander 2's background files and discovered a hilarious easter egg that would ordinarily never be seen by the player. The game frequently uses a red and green communications interface for dialogue sequences between a fighter and larger carrier or base. A small rectangle on the right features a graph intended to depict signal strength or something like that.
- Taste That Synthi Meat
- 2017-11-16 -- The Wing Commander series has had quite a few large and elaborate print advertisements over the years, but even by the franchise's often lofty standards, this one's a whopper. This ad is spread across six full pages and follows a "five senses" theme with a late '90s vibe. Sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch are all emphasized along with a smattering of FMV screenshots, gameplay scenes and a handful of commodities.
- A Localization Interrogation
- 2017-11-15 -- Most Wingnuts are familiar with all of the cool contents of a basic Wing Commander Prophecy box... but this one's a little different. Can you spot everything that makes this setup unique?
- Upgraded Corvette Ready For Vision Engine
- 2017-11-14 -- Version 0.32B of the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack was just released, but work continues at a rapid pace. The Kilrathi are the next focus, and they're led by the fearsome Corvette.
- Catch Up On Strike Commander's History
- 2017-11-13 -- The DOS Game Club is a really cool place dedicated to gaming highlights of the '80s and '90s. Their community selects a game each month, and then they jointly play it together and discuss in their regular podcast. A recently selection was Origin's Strike Commander, and our own Bandit (LOAF) was able to participate in their episode on it.
- Wing Commander Composer David Arnold Interviewed
- 2017-11-12 -- Modern Vinyl has posted an interesting interview with David Arnold, the composer behind the Wing Commander Movie's famous Overture theme. Much of the article focuses on the recent vinyl release of his work on Hot Fuzz, but it also notes his wide ranging involvement with films from James Bond to Stargate. Check out the full article here.
- Homeworld Mod Removes Bugs & Fixes AI
- 2017-11-11 -- There's another new update to the Homeworld Remastered mod, Flag Commander. L.I.
- OldiesGames Does Vengeance Of The Kilrathi
- 2017-11-10 -- We've been following the OldiesGamesTV series of Wing Commander reviews for a number of years, and now they've completed their three-part profile of Wing Commander 2. The videos are in French, but even if you can't speak the language, seeing all of the minor differences in the game are really cool if you originally played in another language. And where you understand their words or not, it's clear that they're big Wing Commander fans that we're happy to support!
- Wing Commander Album Track List Complete!
- 2017-11-09 -- George Oldziey is back with another update on the progress of the second Wing Commander album. He's been quiet for a little bit, but there has been tons of progress on the orchestration front. The basic track list is complete and PDF scores will even be sent out soon.
- Secret Ops Is All About Squashing Bugs!
- 2017-11-08 -- Fans have been running the new Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack through its paces hard since the latest version was released last week. As intended, the test managed to tease out a few bugs, and the team quickly responded. DefianceIndustries and PopsiclePete have already managed to put out a new version that resolves the issues identified so far.
- Three Cheers For WC2 Manuals
- 2017-11-07 -- Wing Commander games can come in all shapes and sizes, and today we have a look at the different colored manuals of Wing Commander 2. WC2 was one of the most ubiquitous titles of the early '90s thanks to several factors: the popularity of WC1 was key, but it also was a major showcase for in-game speech and eventually mass-produced for inclusion in a large number of different OEM and budget CD-ROM releases. The red manual below was quite common and the black lesser so.
- Shapely New Wing Commander 3D Prints Available
- 2017-11-06 -- Carter3D is a cool Shapeways outfit with a whole bunch of neat ships. There are quite a few Star Wars designs, but there are also about a dozen detailed Wing Commander models available to 3D print. Carter seems to be a Prophecy fan, but there are also a handful of ships from WC3&4 mixed in as well.
- Wing Commander 3 Play-Through Remade At Nightmare Difficulty!
- 2017-11-05 -- It's been more than ten years since the legendary Queeg released his consolidated Wing Commander 3 movie. The original film set download records at the CIC and garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Now he's back with a brand new take on The Heart of the Tiger - this time he's completed the entire game on Nightmare difficulty!
- GalCiv 3 Mod Continues To Expand
- 2017-11-04 -- Hellakazoo has posted some additional screenshots of his Galactic Civilizations 3 WC mod that highlight some of his latest additions, such as the Tarsus and Clarkson jammer. There's also a neat screenshot of one of the game's menus that feature the character portraits. Some of the recent CIC Forums discussion has been about what to add next.
- Wing Commander Scores Lucky #7
- 2017-11-03 -- Here's a throwback to a twenty-one year old issue of Computer Gaming World. Back in November 1996, when we all were just getting into the Wingnut scene online, CGW posted a comprehensive "best 150" games feature. Wing Commander came in as the 7th best title of all time, just behind other famous contemporaries like Sid Meier's Civilization, Ultima IV, Doom & Sim City.
- New Prophecy, Secret Ops Update Adds Ships & More!
- 2017-11-02 -- The newest version of the Prophecy and Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack has been released! It includes a whole pile of exciting ships that have been gracing the news over the last few months. There are additional bug fixes as well as some new features to smooth in-game graphical loading.
- Kilrathi Invade #GamingHaikus
- 2017-11-01 -- We may have missed International Haiku Poetry Day by quite a bit, but idspispopz is there to make sure we're still covered with this simple yet elegant Wing Commander poem. Feel free to hit the comment link and add your own!
- Arena Concept Art Inspires New Models
- 2017-10-31 -- After recently refining his slick Excalibur model, DefianceIndustries took a crack at turning it into the futuristic variant proposed in the Wing Commander Arena concept art. Its main vertical stabilizers have been moved inwards over the engine housings, and extended downswept winglets have also been added. The redesign really makes you think what new missions it might be called upon that would warrant these tweaks.
- Waterloo Once Again
- 2017-10-30 -- Here's a new look at Klavs' groovy Waterloo class cruiser. Some of the most obvious detail is the addition of new windows and lighting, but there are also hull improvements throughout that give the ship a much more realistic facade. Additional gun emplacements are also present throughout that both fill in some of the blank spaces and give the ship some teeth.
- GalCiv 3 Mod Adds Tons Of WC Ships
- 2017-10-29 -- Hellakazoo has been working on a neat ship expansion to Galactic Civilizations 3. He's already added dozens of fighters and larger capships, and he's nowhere near stopping. WC1/2 are where he began, but work is moving into the later games with plans to even include designs from Privateer, Armada and the Movie.