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!
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!
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
Update published on . View all news from that day.
2017-02-18 -- Anatoly Shashkin of DOSNostalgic shared this awesome advertisement for System Commander. Although it shares no relation to the Wing Commander series, it still has a pretty cool name, and this ad includes a shout out to WC4. "Win 95 is cool, but sucks with DOS games!
2017-02-16 -- In 1994, Electronic Arts hit on a sales trick that has since become commonplace: re-release your recent back catalog as budget 'classic' titles using simple packaging and digitized manuals to lower printing costs. The original cost of producing these games could be further amortized, ultimately helping further support the ever-growing game development budgets needed for new titles to stand up. You could call it GOG's great, great grandson!
2017-02-15 -- We have the happiest possible news to report today: congratulations to Chris and Lacey Reid on the birth of their daughter, Julianna Ella Reid! Julianna was born on February 9th, a brand new baby girl. Chris, Lacey and daughter are home and recuperating well.
2017-02-14 -- We all know Blair and Angel, Maniac and Rosie, Catscratch and Sosa... but the conventional wisdom says that Wing Commander is, by its very nature, not the platform for stories about complex romantic relationships. In honor of Valentine's Day 2017, I would like to respong by remembering two relationships from the Wing Commander canon that are a little more nuanced.
2017-02-13 -- Here's a nickel's worth of free marketing advice: if it's 1991 and you are trying to sell a PC game it does not hurt to make sure it has the word 'Commander' in the name. The degree to which Wing Commander was a success means that an incomplete list from those years includes Air Commander, Flight Commander, Tank Commander, Air Force Commander, Robot Commander and many more. And the tie-ins didn't stop there: there were even a host of hardware peripherals that tried to ride Wing Commander's coattails.
2017-02-12 -- Don't drink and fly! The 1995 Wing Commander Customizable Card Game (CCG) includes a pair of 'LUCK!' cards which discuss this exact scenario: the Confederation "TOO MUCH VAK'QU" and the Kilrathi "TOO MUCH FIRE LIQUOR" cards allow the player to return an individual opposing pilot to the Ready Area, effectively disabling them for the turn.
2017-02-11 -- Could there have been new Wing Commander music in 2015? The answer may surprise you: a strong 'sorta!'Back in 1997, Wing Commander Prophecy's abortive flirtation with a Cobalt 60-supplied industrial music soundtrack resulted in one of the stranger additions to Wing Commanderâs musical canon: a "Wing Commander Prophecy Original Soundtrackâ that seems to be more industrial variety sampler than anything connected to the Terran Confederation.
2017-02-10 -- The gang from the Big Box PC Game Collectors group have a great new video of interest to Wing Commander fans: an hour-long hangout with Origin artist Denis Loubet! Denis is the man responsible for the original Wing Commander box art (and countless other pieces of early WC art) and hearing him talk about his storied career if fascinating. Wing Commander fans should pay special attention around the 50 minute mark, where talks about creating the first game's explosions and debris in Deluxe Paint and even designing the game's radar screen!
2017-02-09 -- Multimedia! The year was 1992 and the buzzword was inescapable. The meteoric rise in home microcomputer power (alongside the massive success of multimedia games like Wing Commander) created an audience hungry for high resolution graphics, ultra-complex game controllers...
2017-02-08 -- The crew of Spoiler Filled have done a conversational podcast review of the Wing Commander feature film. Being unfamiliar with the Wing Commander franchise beyond the film's reputation, the podcast covers their expectations and then contrasts them with their impressions after watching the film. Their overall impression is not necessarily positive, but they do say the reputation is undeserved and give props to the movie's special effects scenes as being quite good for 1999.
2017-02-07 -- Today we're happy to share the latest version of Klavs' masterpiece Concordia model. The faraway poses are jaw-dropping on their own, but there's so much detail here that you're going to want to zoom in and take a closer look. A big draw this time out is all of the enhanced texturing that adds additional color and character to the design.
2017-02-06 -- DefianceIndustries is well known for taking classic Wing Commander art and jazzing it up to modern standards. It turns out this also applies to his own creations, and the wallpaper below is the result. He's taken the scene from last year and added 100% more explosions and 200% more laser blasts.
2017-02-05 -- FekLeyrTarg put together this brief clip to flex his video editing muscles while taking advantage of a variety of WC2 assets. He's looking for feedback at the CIC Forums and hopefully chooses to take on some longer and more elaborate scenes in the future. We definitely encourage people to take on new kinds of creative projects like this and especially with lesser used elements of the series!
2017-02-04 -- We've got a new poll today that asks about all the shady and interesting people of Wing Commander Privateer. If you haven't visited Gemini in a while, there might be more than you remember! With so much of the series focused on the military side of the war, seeing such a slice of civilian life is especially cool.
2017-02-03 -- Electronic Arts has recently asked Australia's Department of Communications and the Arts to provide a rating for Wing Commander, Wing Commander 2 and Privateer. Evidently, the three oldest games in the franchise (published before Origin was acquired by EA) had never been rated for the Australian market. With several Wing Commander games showing up on Origin Access, a digital delivery/subscription service, it's possible that EA had to quickly get that straightened out.
2017-02-01 -- Jim Leonard has done a bit of digital alchemy and produced an upgraded version of the Making Of documentary included with the Premiere Edition of Wing Commander 3. He's used special filter and conversion techniques to remove a lot of the grainy noise and choppiness associated with the VHS format. So if you haven't seen this in a while, or especially if you've never watched it through at all, this looks like the best way to experience the footage.
2017-01-31 -- Today we have a mixed bag with a variety of nifty improvements to the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack. These are largely refinements where DefianceIndustries went back to apply newer graphical techniques to some of his earlier models as well as tightening up the Panther's geometry a bit to make it more true to the original. Additionally, there are also some test textures to try out some methods of coloring in the Nephilim ships with something exotic.
2017-01-30 -- Wing Commander Standoff is a masterpiece fan creation that closely follows the events of Wing Commander Fleet Action that led up to the Battle of Earth. It's the recipient of six Fan Project of the Year awards and is renowned for its captivating cutscenes, extensive voiceovers, branching gameplay and exciting action. One thing that hasn't gotten a ton of attention is its music, and its little-known simulator tracks are even more obscure.