Klavs' 3D Hangars Open For Business

Wing Commander modeler Klavs continues to break out of 2D with his latest effort. He has uploaded his WC1/2 fighter designs to p3d.in, a service for sharing 3D models through the browser. Users can easily zoom and rotate the models without the need for external plugins. You can find Confederation ships in Hangar B and Kilrathi models in Hangar C. Free accounts have a fairly low limit on texture resolution, but Klavs' work still looks really sharp. Earlier this year, HCl had also put together a browser-based viewer for RealSpace engine (WC3/4/Armada) objects.

The TCS Victory Museum is proud to announce the opening of Hangar C, housing a unique and unmatched collection of Kilrathi wartime artifacts. Also on display in the Kilrathi hangar is Lancelot 300, the famous F-103 Excalibur that dropped the Temblor Bomb which destroyed Kilrah and ended the Kilrathi war.

Please bear with us as we reorganize the information displays.

Hangar B has been reorganized to contain exclusively Terran spacecraft. And opening soon, the orbital display portion of the museum will provide EVA sled tours of some of the Kilrathi War's most famous capital ships, from Fralthi cruisers to the Bengal Class Carrier TCS Wolfhound!

Play The Flat Universe Alpha Now!

The first playable edition of top-down shooter Wing Commander Flat Universe has been released! The Maslas Brothers still consider this a 0.5 alpha version, but it already looks like a lot of fun. Today's download is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, so fans can test out the game on the platform of their choice. Key commands are available in a helpful reference card, and a larger quick start guide should be available soon. The download files and installation instructions are available here.
We are happy to announce that we have just released the first playable version of the game! Yes it is still in alpha but we think it is already lots of fun.

We have also prepared some manuals which include both keyboard and gamepad / joystick reference cards and blueprints ala Wing Commander 1. All the manuals are located at the "Destiny's Way" section of the site. So and without any further delay head to http://flatuniverse.solsector.net and grab your copy!

P.S. Don't forget to check the updates in our website where you can find some of the ships that we are preparing (you can thank Klavs for his hard work of course!) at the "Flight Deck" section.

Crusader: No Remorse Goes Free On Origin!

Electronic Arts' Origin service has announced its newest On The House game, Crusader: No Remorse! Crusader is an Origin Systems isometric shooter renowned for its rich setting, interactive environments and exciting action. After two games were released in the series, its lead designer, Tony Zurovec, left Origin to found Digital Anvil with Chris Roberts and now works on Star Citizen at Cloud Imperium Games Austin. The team that was left behind at OSI actually went on to develop Privateer 3, which was unfortunately cancelled before release.


There were quite a few Crusader crossovers and easter eggs in Wing Commander over the years. The series' World Economic Consortium appears in Secret Ops fiction, Star*Soldier included a movie poster for the canceled Crusader: No Mercy project and even more complex tie-ins were sprinkled around various Origin franchises. This makes the second Origin Systems classic to show up in the Origin service's high profile giveaway spot out of just eight titles that have appeared to date. It's great to see our favorites so well represented! If you want to learn more about Crusader, check out the Echo Sector fan site.

Catch up on a classic. Crusader: No Remorse is yours, On the House. The unforgettable tale of revenge in the future of 2196 is a favorite of PC gamers, and it's available right now, for free.

No pity. No mercy. No Remorse.

As a Silencer, one of the elite enforcers of the World Economic Consortium, you're supposed to be incorruptible. But if the system you serve is utterly corrupt, where does that leave you? You go over to the Resistance, the same pack you used to hunt down. Now, your former employers better watch their backs because you're coming after them with all the firepower at your command.

Antares Rocket Fails At Launch

Yesterday's departure of an unmanned Orbital Sciences resupply module resulted in a large explosion shortly after liftoff. After half a dozen routine private resupply missions to the ISS and a lengthy stretch of diverse and successful exploratory ventures over the last several years, the mishap came as a bit of a shock. But it serves as a reminder of the difficulty and complexity associated with all space travel. In addition to cargo, the lost rocket also carried numerous smaller satellites and science experiments. While it can be disheartening to think about all the lost effort that went into these projects, Planetary Resources tweeted this after losing their asteroid hunting satellite: "Cheer up everybody - A3 was just a robot! We are making more. #LiveToFlyAnotherDay"

X-Wing & Tie Fighter Released on GOG!

Classic '90s space sims X-Wing and Tie Fighter were released this morning via Good Old Games. In both cases, these are the special CD-ROM editions that come with all expansions and enhanced graphics & sound. Official strategy guides are also an extra bonus. These are a good deal at $10 each, but the premium over the typical $6 price point reflects their popularity and the allure of the Star Wars brand. Today's release has created quite a bit of internet buzz, which will also have the positive side effect of exposing more gamers to the Wing Commander franchise also for sale at GOG. A series bundle is in effect that includes virtually all DOS & Windows WC games for $34.96. This is also the start of a streak of Lucas Arts titles. Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, The Secret of Monkey Island and Sam & Max Hit the Road were also released.
Note that numerous Lucas titles, including 3 from the launch lineup (Star Wars: X-Wing Special Edition, Star Wars: TIE Fighter Special Edition, Sam & Max Hit the Road), are available digitally for the first time ever, ready to play with no fuss on modern operating systems.

Alternate 3D Printing Resource Allows Resizing

Klavs' latest 3D printing experiments have put his slick new Rapier front and center. The ship is now available to order from Sculpteo in unpainted plastic or resin and a fancy prepainted color variant. One major difference between this vendor and Terran Fleet Supply at Shapeways is the scalability. Fans can select designs anywhere from 31 mm in length to about ten times that size depending on casting material. Note that since the technology is still experimental, sizes larger than a few inches can quickly become quite expensive, although it's kind of fun to see how hard you can get the price calculator to work. This is still a great option for anyone looking to fill out a miniature tabletop fleet or just generate a neat desk ornament. Klavs' Hellcat is also available at Sculpteo here.
Model uploaded to Sculpteo, so you can size her to your heart's content.

Video Puts A Positive Spin On Kilrathi Concept Ship

Howard Day has posted a slick animation of his Drak'thli. The ship was originally designed by Feng Zhu, who was commissioned to create concept art for an unreleased Wing Commander game that would have occurred after Secret Ops. Although it's not exactly like any other Kilrathi vessel that appears in the game, it fits into the WC3-era design scheme extremely well. Star Citizen's Vanduul fighter also plays off the large asymmetrical wing motif - the idea certainly had lots of promise. If you're working a project that could use a fresh new Kilrathi craft, Howard's 3DS model is availablt here.

Latest Renders Bring New Armor Textures To Bear

ScoobyDoo's interpretation of the cult favorite Bearcat fighter has been further refined in a new update. Enhanced techniques have allowed him to give the metal hull a better finish. The typical Confed markings are missing, but below Scooby explains how they can be modularly added in the FS2 engine - where most of his designs take flight. A pair of small dorsal stabilizers has been added, and they complement the design quite nicely.
The texturing has gotten slightly better and a lot easier to create and if necessary adjust. Smaller easier scripts while using simple bevels and extrudes in photoshop. Plus it gives off a nicer metallic shine.

There are no color stripings with these. The FS2 engine now has a "-misc" map which let's anyone creating painted designs without touching the base texture and also use different colors for different factions. Sorta like blue for confed, red for border in WC4 and team colors in Homeworld.

Orchestra Warming Up For Wing Commander Album

Lots of exciting news from George Oldziey today. Production of the Wing Commander live album (orchestra and choir) starts at the end of next week, and George has hired a professional film crew to document the process. And one dedicated fan with a talent for music has managed to score himself a seat in the orchestra...
Hey guys. Just checking in before our big trip to record the music next week. We leave Austin on Tuesday and arrive in Bratislava Wednesday morning. The sessions are scheduled for Friday; orchestra sessions from 9-12, 1-4 and choir from 6 to 9 PM Slovakia time. I've hired a professional film crew to document it, including interviews with key personnel. Matt Hiltner, the biggest donor, and his fiance will be joining me in the booth. Interestingly, another WC fan and fine cellist, Bronislaw Madziar, who lives in Germany, requested to play in the cello section, so he'll be there too.

'Exploring Believability' Explores Wing Commander

The quirky Exploring Believability blog has posted an analysis of Wing Commander. Topics include typical subjects such as the setting and game mechanics, but they also briefly touch on morality and conceptual balance. Although elements of the later games continue to pop up in the discussion, the primary focus seems to be on the first game in the series - his issue with never "commanding wings" is resolved after a couple games. A 24-year old game seems like an odd vehicle to drive through post-modern philosophy, but it's cool if this brings the series to more readers. Check out the full article here.

YF-44 Fans In Good Company Here

SabreAce was inspired by Klavs' recent Rapier renders to build a couple of stylish accompanying pieces. The first is a silhouette logo that would fit anything from Confed letterheads to decals affixed to a fighter itself. There's also a patch design that could be used for development team jackets/jumpsuits. Both are pretty slick!

Wing Commander Easter Egg Discovered In The Stygian Abyss

Andi Green spotted a little known secret tucked away in Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. A set of runes includes a defiant Kilrathi message from the future! "Thou canst not defeat the Drakhri!" The old-timey English was obviously reworded slightly, but Drakhai (Kilrathi Imperial Guards) ended up becoming Drakhri (medium fighter). Both emerged about the same time (the Drakhai in SM2, Drakhri a few months later in WC2), but they're definitely not the same thing!

There's the pessimistic reference to Wing Commander II deep in the Stygian Abyss.

While Origin was working hard on Wing Commander 2, a separate team was developing the original Ultima Underworld title to be "the first continuous-movement, 3D-dungeon, action fantasy." Both games were actually rereleased on a special combo disc to cross-promote the series in the early days of CD-ROM. The Stygian Abyss managed to make it out the door before first person competitor Wolfenstein 3D, and the group behind it would later go on to produce System Shock.

Always Hungary For More Wing Commander News

One of the missions of the CIC is to research obscure Wing Commander information and share it with the community. AD is particularly good at digging up bits and pieces relating to the Wing Commander Movie, and he's recently started tracking yet another lead. We know some things about the film in Brazil, France, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Central Europe and many other places, but there's still a big world out there! It's fascinating just to see how many different promotional posters there are. AD's latest investigation takes us to Hungary...
The WC movie was released in Hungary under the title 'Wing Commander - Az űrkommandó' in September of 1999... Beyond that we really didn't know much about that release. We've previously come across some minor tidbits on the film. A WCNews reader once sent us pictures of his theater ticket stub, and LOAF once ordered a promo booklet for the film that was released in Hungarian... and that's about it.

So I decided to do a little more hunting. I had previously found the website of the company that released the movie in Hungary but no success in finding any info on their site. I can't even tell if the movie officially had a DVD release in the country. I came across this DVD cover a while back. It looks kinda official but the font feels like something homemade, so I assumed at the time it was a fanmade cover, but now I'm not so sure. It appears there was at the very least a VHS release of the film in Hungary and it looks like the Hungarian version was dubbed as well.

Here is the Hungarian voiceover cast:

Blair - Dévai Balázs
Angel - Kéri Kitty
Maniac - Kálloy Malnár Péter
Paladin - Vass Gabor
Gerald - Csernák János
Tolwyn - Barbinek Péter
Forbes - Liptai Claudia
Obutu - Hankó Attila
Wilson - Áron Laszlo
Falk - Szokol Péter
Sansky - Szersén Gyula

Finally, it does look like the movie airs periodically on TV in Hungary.

If you can help us out with more info on any of the many different language releases of the WC movie, not just Hungarian, let us know.

If you have anything else to add, please stop by the CIC Forums!

"I'm Poppin' The Pod! Make Sure I Get Picked Up..."

Today's new poll asks about your philosophy on ejection. Are you a pilot that always goes down with their ship? Or is Control+E a legitimate strategy for tough situations? Speaking of key combos, did you know that the Playstation requires six buttons to punch out? It takes the L1, L2, R1 & R2 triggers plus Select & Start to make sure you really want to go for it!

Our annual birthday poll asked how long fans have been visiting the CIC. A significant number of people have been following us since wcnews.com opened in 1998, and even more people have been around since our early precursor websites in 1996. But the winning option centers on the turn of the millennium 1999-2001. It's also great to see from the results that new fans keep showing up!

Ace Ferrara Launches on Android

Philipp Seifried reports that his Wing Commander-inspired space sim Ace Ferrara and The Dino Menace is now available on Android. It was released for iOS devices earlier this summer. The price has been temporarily marked down from approximately $4 to about $2 on both platoforms to celebrate the release. In our initial posting, we noted some fun similarities between this game and both WC2 & Arena. It feels like a charming homage to classic space sims, and positive player reviews starting to roll in seem to agree!

Workhorse Fighters Rebuilt Closer To Original Specs

ScoobyDoo is well known for tweaking familiar Wing Commander designs to come up with interesting concept models, but some situations ask for fewer liberties to be taken. He's answered that call and put together these shots of his Scimitar and prototype Thunderbolt with a bit more familiar profiles. The designs still contain his trademark flair such as hefty hull plating, refueling markers, stylized engine inlets and a nifty transparent radome on the TBolt. Since this updated Scimitar was actually modeled a while ago, you can also compare it to the heavier fighter to see how Scooby's artistic techniques have evolved over time.
A more standard view, albeit more boring view of the Scimitar

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There... tore the wings off...

Amiga Retro Games Reviews Classic WC Port

Mind Wipe has posted a video overview of the Amiga version of WC1. The Super Nintendo and Amiga both got ports in 1992, so many players who didn't have access to high end PCs in the early '90s fondly remember these as their first interaction with the franchise - and often 3D space sims in general. Since this was a less common way to play, however, we like to take opportunities like these to share alternate WC experiences. The first visible difference in the Amiga edition is its smaller color palette. Although most things look very similar, the colors look just different enough to cause a double take. Although slightly less advanced than the classic DOS edition overall, there are also a few curious improvements such as rotating fighter images (rather than simple VDU line drawings) in the TrainSim. The music is also a bit different, and you can hear its altered tone throughout the video here.

Rapier Render Revisits Powerful Prototype

Klavs has posted the latest iteration of one os his most popular fighters, the Rapier II. Many of his takes on the craft draw from Super Wing Commander or WC2 elements, but this version gets its cue from the original Wing Commander and famous Dean McCall render. This gives the design some nice hard angles on the leading edges, engine inlets and stabilizers. There's also a very satisfying blue engine glow. On top of the familiar Vega Sector fleet greens and grays, Klavs has also put together a snappy red YF-44 that makes a nice contrast. If you think this, or other ships in Klavs' fleet, would make good kit models, also be sure to check out this post for information on how to provide feedback for his latest project.

Fantastic Foundry Figures Featured For Fun

Mwikan of The Redoubt has painted some pretty nifty Kilrathi fighters and is preparing them for battle at this year's Millennium Con (updated link). The gathering is dedicated to tabletop miniature gaming, and these ships look like they'll fit right in! He'll be using the 5150 Fighter Commander game as a backdrop for the action. The ship designs might look familiar to you - they're the same base models popularized by AAN and Astro Commander a couple years back, and they're available as 3D prints via the Dream Foundry if you're one of the many talented Wingnuts who'd like to paint their own!
4x Dralthi IV, a Vaktoth, and a Kilrathi Torpedo Boat for 5150 FC. Primed with cheap Wal-Mart flat black spray paint, base coated with Reaper Gray from the core set and then painted with Vallejo and Army Painter acrylics with a wash of Army painter Soft Tone ink wash.

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I am doing some prep work for this year's Millennium Con and am planning on running two sessions of 5150 Fighter Command with a "Wing Commander" setting... I'll have Dralthi II, Dralthi IV, Vaktoth and a Custom ComCon ship (Frigate) for the Kilrathi and the Confederation will have (at least) Hornets, Rapier II, and some Longbow Bombers.

Should be a blast!

Trip Report: Citizen Con 2014

The CIC Staff is all back home after nearly a week in Southern California. While KrisV, AD & Dundradal held the fort online, LOAF, Frosty, ace and I kept busy in Los Angeles. We got a chance to check out the latest on Star Citizen at Citizen Con 2014 last Friday. Chris Roberts presented a status update on what Cloud Imperium Games and its affiliate studios have been up to, revealed new ships, gave a planetside demo and set forth the roadmap for the next year. The collage image pictured below includes the logos from thousands of different player organizations, including the CIC's group. On Sunday, there was also an open house at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. We saw functional mockups of the Mars rovers as well as the actual SMAP satellite in final testing before it launches in a couple months. The team was also happy to meet up with a couple of long time CIC visitors/contributors, Mark Thornton and Eddie Benowitz. We love meeting other diehard Wingnuts like us!

Starship Comparison Errata

We've reported more than once on Dirk Loechel's awesome starship comparison graphic, which includes designs from dozens of games, books, movies and tv shows. The collage has been updated several times to include additional ships or make minor corrections, but LOAF has spotted a few remaining issues. These nuggets of information might even come in handy at the next CIC birthday trivia, so read on...

I'm sure everyone has seen this going around, and it's really, really cool! That said, here are some corrections for the Wing Commander portion of the chart. Most of them are formatting, but several of the ships have significantly incorrect lengths (especially: the Hvar'kann dreadnaught, which should be 22 km long, and the Behemoth which lacks an official length... but should be longer.)

  • Length Issues
    • Midway-Class Fleet Carrier - should be 1,830 meters
    • Gettysburg-Class Cruiser - has no canonical length
    • "Experimental Dreadnaught Behemoth" - has no canonical length
    • Murphy-Class Destroyer - should be 589 meters
    • Durango-Class Heavy Destroyer - has no canonical length
    • Hvar'kann-Class Dreadnought - should be 22,000 meters
    • Sivar-Class Dreadnought - should be 550 meters (or: the picture is wrong and it should be the movie Sivar)
    • Snakeir-Class Superdreadnought - should be 650 meters (or: the picture is wrong and it should be the movie Snakeir)
    • Fralthra-Class Cruiser - should be 612 meters
    • Shiraak-Class Carrier - should be 715 meters
    • Concordia-Class Escort Carrier - has no canonical length
  • Class Issues
    • Bengal-Class Escort Carrier - should be "Strike Carrier"
    • "Experimental Dreadnaught Behemoth" - class is conjecture
    • Snakeir-Class Superdreadnought - should be Snakeir-class Carrier (or: the picture is wrong and it should be the movie Snakeir)
    • Concordia-Class Escort Carrier - should be "Carrier" or "Fleet Carrier"
    • Plunkett-Class Cruiser - should be Plunkett-Class Heavy Artillery Cruiser
    • Tallahassee-Class Cruiser - should be Tallahassee-Class Heavy Cruiser
    • Bhantkara-Class Carrier - should be Bhantkara-Class Heavy Carrier
  • Spelling/Formatting
    • Southamton-Class Destroyer - should read "Southampton-Class"
    • Bengal-class - should read "Bengal-Class"
    • Ralari-class - should read "Ralari-Class"
    • Fralthra-Class cruiser - should read "Fralthra-Class Cruiser"
    • On the Bengal, ‘confederation’ is lower case.
    • Fralthi-II Class - should read "Fralthi II-Class"
    • Note that it's spelled 'Dreadnought' everywhere but the Behemoth, which the chart lists as 'Dreadnaught.'

Chris Roberts to Discuss WC History at PAX Australia

Important heads-up for fans near Melbourne. The Australian edition of the Penny Arcade Expo includes a panel discussion with Chris Roberts. The session is at 3:30pm on Friday, October 31. Check out the full PAX Australia schedule here.

A Chat with Chris Roberts: The Original Wing Commander': A round table chat with Chris about everything from the early Mark Hamill days all the way through to the most successful crowd funded game of all time.

Wing Commander. Freelancer. Star Citizen. Chris Roberts is no stranger to the infinite blackness of space. But what is it that keeps drawing Roberts back? What is it like working with Mark Hamill to shoot full-motion video cutscenes? And just how did Star Citizen make $50 million without even being released? Find out as we join the veteran game designer to look to the stars.

Prophecy Fan Movie Released

Forums member Beckmen has wrapped production on his cinematic cut of Wing Commander: Prophecy. Recorded gameplay footage and movie clips from the DVD version combine into a feature-length movie presentation that runs over two hours. Beckmen notes that splitting the movie in half has caused some minor sync issues with part 2. A glitch-free direct download of the complete movie is forthcoming, but for now you can check it out on his YouTube channel.
Years after Colonel Christopher Blair (Mark Hamill; Star Wars, Batman: The Animated Series) single-handedly ended the deadly war with the Kilrathi, a new enemy emerges from far cross the stars. Now, it is the duty of the TCS Midway and her crew to stop these deadly aliens before it's too late. This space combat adventure focuses on 2nd Lieutenant Lance Casey; the son of a legendary ace pilot and new recruit into the Confederation Space Force. Alongside veteran pilots Maniac (Thomas F. Wilson; Back to the Future) and Hawk (Chris Mulkey, Rambo: First Blood, The Purge) and his fellow new recruits, Casey will face a terrifying new enemy with ancient origins. Co-starring Peter Jason (They Live, HBO's Deadwood), Jeremy Roberts (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) and adult actress Ginger Lynn Allen.

From Our New Base At Shangri-La

Here's a cool image that turned up the other day. It's a list of the plane markings for the 28 American aircraft carriers serving in the Pacific during 1945. Every carrier had a unique set of markings painted onto its aircraft so they could be quickly and easily identified during operations. Eagle-eyed wingnuts may notice something familiar about the markings for the USS Shangri-La (CV-38).

The lightning bolt is very similar to the one found on the Rapier II and Sabre flying off the TCS Concordia in Wing Commander II. Although, not every fighter that flies off the Concordia carries the lightning bolt. Ferrets bear a red Confed star. Epees bear no logo save their paint scheme which is similar to a rising sun. Broadswords and Crossbows have a gold star on their wings and the Morningstar has a red stripe running down the leading edge of its wings and vertical stabilizers.

While we can't report that the Shangri-La's markings were the inspiration for the ones found in Wing Commander II, a number of years ago we ran a story about an old World War II film that looked very similar to the original Wing Commander launch sequence. We now know that it did serve as the inspiration for the famous launch sequence. You can watch the World War II video here (6 meg xvid) and compare it to the Wing Commander sequence here.

WC3, WC4 Movie Cuts Revisited

As we reported earlier this week, forums member Beckmen is putting the final touches on his 'movie treatment' of Wing Commander: Prophecy. While we wait for that project to be encoded and uploaded, you might want to (re-)visit Queeg's WC3 and WC4 movie cuts from several years ago. Queeg managed to assemble FMV scenes and recorded gameplay footage into two feature-length stories, and Beckmen is using the same approach for his Prophecy cut. Check out Queeg's efforts here (WC3) and here (WC4).

Historic Experiment Remembered with Secret Ops Anniversary

Today marks 16 years since the end of Wing Commander Secret Ops' episodic run. The game's first chapter was released on August 27, 1998, which kicked off an exciting seven-week adventure. New fiction was released on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays while pilots geared up for a mission pack each Thursday until October 8. There were 56 total missions that branched depending on success or failure, and each episode even generated a password that would change the tone of the web-based story to match. At 112 megabytes for the first week's starter pack, the initial chapter was an all-night download for the majority of players still on dial-up modems, which was a memorable spectacle in itself. The few broadband users out there got the game quick, but some of them actually got copies that were infected with the CIH virus!


Since its 10th anniversary, the CIC has been able to share the game files directly with fans prepared to battle the Nephilim. It's also available bundled with Prophecy over at GOG. The starter pack linked below also comes with an enhanced installer that fixes a number of incompatibilities with modern computers and includes OpenGL/high resolution graphical upgrades. Fans have also figured out how to get the game running on Mac OS X.


Main starter package (119MB)
Episode 2 - Episode 3 - Episode 4
Episode 5 - Episode 6 - Episode 7
Story Fiction Files - Serial Key (not needed with enhancement pack)

If you get stuck, check out Shades' Secret Ops Guide. When you're done replaying the game, be sure to check out some of the fantastic mods that fans have created. Standoff and Unknown Enemy set a high bar that all other mods have strived for. There's also a nifty ship viewer to analyze the game's space ships more closely. Good luck pushing back the alien menace!

Eternal Allegiance Shows Agonizing Side of WC4

Beckmen is working on a full length cinematic presentation of Wing Commander Prophecy, but while that is being finalized, he's released a cool 20-minute short of the WC4 path where Blair doesn't side with the Border Worlders. Most players - and recorded playthroughs - have Blair defect with Captain Eisen, so while this footage and these missions were included with The Price of Freedom, they didn't get nearly as much screen time. Now's your chance to once again appreciate all the material filmed for this plot branch. Regardless of your choices in WC4, it's a fun (and chilling) watch!
Blair refuses to defect to the Borderworlds... and undergoes a long and troubling campaign against his one-time allies.

Sketchy Stock Image Site Sells WC Art

Ever wonder where stock art come from? You might think it's aspiring photographers and artists generate images from scratch, but sometimes the source isn't that creative. Fotolia is a company that offers pictures for commercial use for just a few dollars each, and it has thousands to choose from. Their library includes a number of distinctly Wing Commander designs, including the Dralthi, Hvar'kann and Arrow below. Their "author" also includes ships from Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and others for sale in their portfolio. Boo to that.

Feedback Sought For Physical Fan Model Kit Project

Klavs is still looking into crafting model kits for fellow fans, and now he'd like to hear what people would be interested in. As CIC visitors are well aware, he's made quite a few different designs over the years, and Wingnut feedback will help him select which one(s) might be good candidates to move forward with. The vast majority of Klavs' 3D prints have been designed fully constructed and even painted, but the goal for this project will be to create something with some assembly required for all the tinkerers out there. If this sounds interesting to you, visit the CIC Forums to help give your feedback!
Okay Wingnuts, put me to work. Which one of Klavs' ships would you most like to see in a 1/72 scale kit? We're talking cockpit, pilots, decals, landing gear, missile bays, ordnance. You pick it, I'll do a full remodel of it as a dedicated kit and we'll see about getting it done either as a 3d printed design optimized for kit building (as thin of walls as I can make, little modeling connector nubbins, etc.)

Choices are:

WC1: Hornet, Rapier, Raptor, Scimitar - Salthi, Dralthi, Jalthi, Krant, Gratha, Hhriss.

WC2: Ferret, Epee, Sabre, Broadsword, Morningstar, Super Rapier (SWC Version) - Sartha, Drakhri, Grikath, Jalkhei,

WC3: Arrow IV (Armada Version with 2 lasers), Arrow V, Hellcat, Excalibur - Dralthi IV

Wing Commander Meets '80s Cartoon in iOS Sim

Here's something a little different... but not that much different? Philipp Seifried has created a new game for iOS devices called Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace. Lots and lots of "serious" space sims claim Wing Commander or X-Wing as their inspiration, but - despite the wacky logo image - this cartoonish adventure appears to have a lot in common with certain WC titles. The ship designs and animations especially feel like they'd fit in with Vengeance of the Kilrathi. Players even take off out of a familiar carrier launch tube. Actual gameplay appears very similar to Wing Commander Arena, right down to the roll maneuvers and satellite defense. The aspects that differ, including dinosaur-based aliens, actually look pretty amusing too. You can find more information here.
My game "Ace Ferrara And The Dino Menace" came out on iOS yesterday! It marries "Wing Commander"-style space combat with a quirky storyline set in an 80s cartoon universe: Spacefaring dinosaurs have declared war on mankind and only the Proton Riders - an oddball group of superpilots - can save us from certain defeat! ... This has been a one-man-effort - I've created all graphics, music, code and writing myself, over the course of two years.

Wing Commander Orchestration Wraps, Track List Announced

Wing Commander composer George Oldziey has published another status update regarding his crowd-funded live album project. The actual orchestration work has wrapped, and he's busy preparing the final materials for performance in Bratislava at the end of this month. This latest update also includes the track list for the 30-minute orchestra and choir session. His selection includes music from Wing 3, Wing 4 and Prophecy, all of which were scored for Origin by George. Check it out! And in case you missed it, the Austin Civic Orchestra did a live performance of the Wing Commander Suite last week.

Greetings all! Just wanted to give you a quick update. I've finished all the orchestrations and am in the process of preparing the scores, parts and session files for the recording in Bratislava at the end of this month. All is going very smoothly!

I also wanted to give you a final list of all the cues (30 minutes) that will be recorded with the orchestra and choir. We will have the Wing Commander Suite, which has already been performed live and features music from the intros of both Wing Commander 3 AND 4. From WC 4 we have the Winning Endgame, Borderworlds mission, Mission 4 (not sure what that's from but you'll recognize the music) and a battle medley. From WC3 we have the Strike and Behemoth mission music. From WC Prophecy will be Mission to Alien Space and Intense Combat.

I think this features a nice cross section from all three games on which I worked. Plus, this does not include the additional 15 minutes of music that I'll be re-arranging using my orchestral samples in my studio. Those are yet to be determined, but I've already created a great template to get started with those.

I'm REALLY excited that this is actually going to happen, and am so thrilled to have such dedicated WC fans out there supporting this wonderful endeavor. Without you it would not be happening.

All the best,

George

Saturn Preview Provides Glimpse At Canceled Product

Andi Green posted this neat French preview for Wing Commander 3 on the Sega Saturn. The Heart of the Tiger was rereleased for 3DO, Playstation, Macintosh and Windows, but the Saturn port never saw the light of day! Nevertheless, it did make it into some magazine previews and advertising. The color comm VDUs (also present on the other console ports) are an especially nice touch! WC4 was also proposed for the system, but never released.
The Sega Saturn provides an exciting platform for bringing Origin Systems’ groundbreaking _Wing Commander III_ to the advanced entertainment system market. The Sega Saturn’s built-in texture mapping and impressive 640 x 480 high-resolution graphics provide exceptional video quality and realistic gameplay. In true interactive style, the player controls the intriguing twists and turns of the plot by engaging face-to-face with such legendary actors as Mark Hamill (_Star Wars_ trilogy), Malcolm McDowell (_A Clockwork Orange, Star Trek_) and John Rhys-Davies (_Raiders of the Lost Ark_).

Writer Writing About Writing Writes About Wing Commander's Writing

Former Bioware game story author Alexander Freed has written an in-depth five-part series on branching dialogue in video games. Discussion topics include potential pitfalls, text vs speech, conversation trees and the art of maintaining a meaningful narrative. The writer doesn't overly focus on any particular series, but Wing Commander does get credit for implementing this practice better than most games. Even prior to the cutscene choices that arrived with Wing Commander 3, the WC series has had branching missions since the very first game, so this subject is one that many Wingnuts consider a defining element of the franchise. It's also pretty interesting to read about how many other games tried to pull this off over the years. Check out the full article here.
The colorful characters of the Wing Commander series brought emotional weight to a straightforward war story. (Wing Commander 3, pictured, was the first to use branching dialogue.)

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