We made it over the $12,000 mark for the Wing Commander Orchestral Music campaign volume 2! Yay! Thank you all SO much for your support. I really think we can do this!
I've had some people ask me what music will be on volume 2. I actually haven't fully decided yet. So far I've orchestrated 3 pieces, which include the winning endgame from Wing Commander 3, another piece which I think is the second mission from WC 4, and a piece which I think was originally intended as mission music for Prophecy called "Blair's Abduction" (it's slow and creepy!). I'm actually open to take requests, although I reserve the right for the final decisions :)
What are your favorites from WC 3, WC4, and WC Prophecy that haven't already been recorded?
By popular demand, for the $40 pledge of volume 1 CD and digital downloads, I will include the digital downloads of volume 2 as well! And anyone pledging $40 and above will be eligible to receive the digital downloads of Volume 1 at no extra cost!
Spread the word!
OK, you remember when I said I was going to take a look into texturing? Well, it seems that using czacen's old models and adding them a dozen or more hours of work recombining his textures and the Saga team's with 3DS Max can give interesting results. No change whatsoever to the 3D file, just some rough and pretty inefficient texturing work. Enjoy!
This week John explores one of the most important developers in PC gaming history - Origin Systems. From Ultima to Wing Commander, Origin produced a wide variety throughout its existence but today we're going to focus on the Crusader series. Created by Tony Zurovec, Crusader is an advanced isometric shooter which delivered striking SVGA graphics in a time when most PC games were still 320x200. We also explore its semi-sequel, No Regret, along with the console iterations of the original game.
For this week we have something special to show off. This is the place that you, guys, are going to get your mission objectives. Hope you like it. :)
Zero: Behold; the briefing room. Take a look around you Casey my man! Billions of Confed credits at work.
McAuliffe System - TCS Tiger's Claw - Briefing Room
Peter Halcyon: Just fly to the Nav Points, and make sure they're clear. Long-range scanners indicate some sort of debris near Nav 3. We have reason to believe this might be a Kilrathi mine field so be especially careful in that area.
As I write this, at 4 AM on a Tuesday, I can’t quite hit upon the words to thank you all. The list of donors is incredible, and I want to hug each and everyone one of you… I see co-workers, old friends, complete strangers… a community. Thank you for supporting my passion.
I love you all, and am so excited to get started on the FUN part of this adventure. Which we will, of course, also be sharing with you! I have learned that there is nothing more satisfying than being known for what you love; thank you all for letting me do something I love that I could never have made happen otherwise.
I’ve started the arrangements for the great box pickup, which currently looks to be scheduled for the weekend of November 5th. We are going to either rent a small truck or head out convoy style… and we’ll Periscope through that process when it happens! I’ll update with more details once times and locations are locked down, in case anyone in the area wants to come along.
Lately I haven't published anything new because I am depurating errors. It can take some of time. I leave you with some screenshots from the mod.
I've been blessed with great teachers and continue to be blessed with great colleagues, students, family and friends. Sometimes I'm asked what I'm going to do when I retire. My response is always, "why should I retire? I LOVE what I do! Thanks to all you wonderful fans for helping to make my life so happy and rich!
I just added a new reward tier for those who didn't have a chance to participate in the first campaign, as well as those who perhaps would like an additional CD from that project. A limited offer of a pledge $40 (plus shipping) will enable the donor to receive an autographed copy of the CD as well as all the digital downloads from that project. These are collector's items and there are only 50 left so spread the word! And since these are already finished I can guarantee shipment by the beginning of December, just in time to be used as gifts for the holidays!
All the best,
In "Heart of the Tiger" the Kilrathi empire was eradicated through the bravery of a few flying aces. Now, Captain Blair and his wing are fighting a more familiar menace—their fellow humans. Blair had settled down to the quiet life of a farmer, but he's been called back into action to fight rebels from the Border Worlds. And Captain Blair finds that dog-fighting with people is a whole different kettle of kittens than fighting an alien cat species. Those humans are tricky in ways the Kilrathi never dreamed of!
How rad is this? The two transports following the 'Claw have WC-appropriate names! (Shire & Percheron) Who knows what else we'll learn?
WHAT A DAY yesterday! We cleared NINE boxes and as of this morning are just a few dollars from hitting #10 and being a third of the way through this. Ali and I recorded a Periscope to thank everyone last night, and it does include the promised dancing. All of your donations are so greatly appreciated; every bit helps. Just think: for every dollar, roughly 30 pieces of Wing Commander art will be saved and preserved!
We’re going to get the word out however we can. The folks at INN were kind enough to invite me to do episode commentary this coming Saturday. I’ll let you know the details as it approaches, but we’ll be watching through the entire series, talking about all the crazy details and why it’s so important… and hopefully raising some funding for this campaign, too!
As mentioned in the video, I’ve added some addition rewards, most of which are kind suggestions from supporters.
Well, that’s it for today’s update! If we hit $3,000 today, Ali and I will Periscope again tonight and share some more art. And if we hit $3300, I’ll draw three of my favorite spaceships live!
- For $25 I will send you one of my awful drawings (possibly with a terrible pun). I will draw the spaceship of your choice in Sharpie. It will be terrible. Will she online if desired!
- $50 30 Minute Skype Call with Me – I had two requests for this. I promise, I am not very exciting! But if you want to chat with me on Skype and also help preserve some artwork, I’m not going to say no. Calls will need to evenings and weekends Pacific time.
- For $200 my brother has volunteered to put everything we scan on a bluray for you!
- $300 Academy DVD with Updated Soundtracks – The folks at VEI were kind enough to provide a case of Wing Commander Academy DVDs, and our own Aaron Dunbar is working to update the audio tracks on the first several episodes to fix the sound volume issues! We’ll include the updated episodes on a DVD-R alongside the commercial discs.
- $500 STAR SOLDIER – The rarest Wing Commander manual! I have four copies left from E3 in 2007, where Electronic Arts printed them to promote Wing Commander Arena. This full-color manual is one of the last pieces of Wing Commander canon produced and it’s really, really cool.
- $2500 Lend a Paw! – A real live (not live) Kilrathi paw, used in the production of Wing Commander III! This prop is one of my prized possessions, and I’m hoping someone out there will give it a good home in the service of preserving this artwork.
- I am also thinking about offering my Wing Commander III/IV flight suit, which is my single favorite piece of Wing Commander memorabilia. I would offer that at the $5000 level if it makes sure this happens. Please let me know if you’re interested; it’d be a hard call, but I’d rather see this artwork saved!
October 20, happens to be an important one for Wing Commander Academy: it’s the annual Kilrathi Sivar-Eshrad ceremony! If you’re familiar with Wing Commander lore, it’s the yearly ceremony in which the Kilrathi convert an entire planet to their religion in the name of their war goddess, Sivar… it was the basis for Secret Missions 2 AND the series finale of Academy, which took place at the 2654 Sivar-Eshrad ceremony on Dolos. I’ll post some more about the lore and the history of that event tomorrow! Glory to Sivar!
Here is a short video describing my process of taking the original music files and creating scores and parts for orchestra. Please forgive the edit with the top of my head cut off at the end! Enjoy!
The Nephilim space units, without count the fighters are finished. In the video, you can watch most of the units from the Nephilim. Now I will continue adding the fighters and structures from all factions.
What do you want?! Confederation spies have located a massive cache of Wing Commander Academy production artwork deep in the wilds of Southern California! There are 30 large boxes of artwork, each containing roughly 1,000 cels and several thousand sketches for a total of (we estimate) about 50,000 distinct pieces of Wing Commander artwork ranging from the cels used to make the show to the sketches and other drawings used to plan out scenes. My objective is to purchase this artwork and produce high resolution scans of ALL of it which will be made freely available to the Wing Commander community!
Where does all that money go? All of the money will go to the purchase of the artwork. For every $300 donated, we can buy an additional box, up to 30! (The remaining $800 covers GoFundMe’s fee and credit card processing.)
Will you do any other cool things? That depends on how you define cool! To help promote the crowd funding project (and because I really, really want to) I’ll be streaming live commentary of all thirteen Academy episodes. Once the artwork has been purchased, I’ll stream the initial exploration of each box so that everyone else in the world can see how goofy excited finding a drawing of Admiral Tolwyn’s arm makes me.
LOAF recently completed a very cool archiving project. Over a hundred tapes full of production material from the Wing Commander Movie have been digitized! They include a variety of things such as content for computer displays and background recording of the sets. One cool reveal is the stand-in doll for 'Merlin', Blair's holographic AI companion voiced by Mark Hamill in an uncredited cameo. The actual CGI that would have portrayed the character, as well as most of their interactions, were cut from the movie, so this is as close to seeing him as we can currently get! Twitter identified it as an Action Man figurine. And there's a few on eBay if you need your own personal assistant...
WOO HOO! 106 production VHS tapes from the Wing Commander movie digitized! That's a lot of bits.
Greetings you wonderful Wing Commander music fans! First of all, I'd like to most heartily thank those of you that took part in the historic creation of the first orchestral recordings of music from my Wing Commander scores. The results were magnificent!
I've been asked many times since then when Volume 2 would be done. This new campaign is being launched to do just that! The goal this time is to have even more of my Wing Commander music recorded with a large orchestra and choir, and released by the middle of 2017. I'm once again humbly asking for your generous support to make history again! I have a minimum target of $35,000, the same as for volume 1. However my goal is to try to raise enough funds to have the ENTIRE project recorded with orchestra and choir!
Your cherished support for volume 1 will forever be in my heart. It was truly one of the greatest moments of my entire career. Should we reach our goal, I promise to bring you a recording that matches, and even surpasses the musical success of the first project.
So, please spread the word! I'll keep you updated along the way, as well as give you live commentary from my studio of the work in progress!
I got Klavs81's massive texture for his Snakier to work in the first of my editing softwares, which allowed me, with some work, to get these screenshots. Looks pretty nifty if I may say so, and if I can manage to get it through the final conversion software (right now, it's making it crash for some unknown reason), it could make a nice appearance in the campaign.
About that, some good news is that a map editor for HWRM has finally been released (screenshot of it being configured to work with my files and allow Wing Commander ships to be set up in the maps themselves). This is beyond "nifty", as it will allow scenario creation to proceed much, much more smoothly. I've posted the link on the bottom of the post, for those interested (keep in mind it still requires medium-advanced knowledge of the engine to make playable stuff, but, heh...). So, right now, the whole thing is about getting the correct tools to work for the job. Plus, I'm learning the basics of texturing to get the job done. It's still going to take some time, but things are pushing forward.
The UBW gets another fighter! Here is the finished "J" variant of the venerable F-44 Rapier II. We originally intended it to fit in the gap between the Banshee and the Vindicator since the UBW doesn't have a true medium fighter, and it's cannon insofar as the WC4 novelization depicts the UBW as using Rapiers and Ferrets as opposed to Banshees and Vindicators. Not sure if we still intend on using it but I hate leaving things in a half-finished state.
Excerpted from Joan's Fighting Spacecraft 2673
The F-44 J Rapier is a bit of an oddity in the Union Militia. Not only is it visually distinct in a naval air arm that favors functionality and ease of maintenance over technical wizardry; but due to its design as a dedicated space superiority fighter, its home in a force that relishes multi-role fighters for pretty much every front-line deployment leaves the Rapier as an odd-ship-out. Though largely relegated to a second line status within the Union Militia, the Rapier J still fills out an important role as a fleet interceptor, convoy escort, and advanced trainer.
The J model is an export variant of the venerable F-44 G built under license by Galatea Aerospace LLC in the Union of Border Worlds. The contract was originally issued during the height of the Kilrathi war to assist the Union Militias in helping shore up their defenses against a resurgent Kilrathi Navy. Over the years the basic J model has undergone some unique revisions including the removal of the original greenhouse canopy and replacing it with a bubble canopy for better visibility, replacing many of the stock engine parts with parts of local manufacture which necessitated lengthening the nacelles, the addition of a non-standard centerline hardpoint, and the enterprising technicians of the Union Militia have even designed a detachable gun pod for their much-loved Stormfire cannon. These changes as well as several other lesser modifications on the assembly line have become a matter of some legal entanglements between Galatea and Origin. The original contract between the two specified that the fighters were to be built to spec (thus guaranteeing an additional avenue for Origin to sell surplus parts and technical assistance) however the New Union Government is citing a subclause in the original license agreement between the Confederation Navy and the Union Militias which allows for the modification of any surplus equipment purchased by the Union as legal during a time of war or crisis. The lawyers will doubtless continue to wrangle of this for some time. In the meantime, there is little Origin can do to stop the production of the J variant.
Like all Rapier IIs, the J model follows the traditional heavy shields, light armor philosophy with an emphasis on speed and maneuverability over raw firepower. The standard armament of two laser cannons and two particle guns are standard and vary little over their Confed counterparts, the missile hardpoints and targeting and tracking computers have been upgraded to accommodate a wide variety of ordinance, allowing the Rapier J to mount 2 light missiles such as Darts or Rocket Pods, and four medium hard points which allow an assortment of Heat Seeking, Friend or Foe, or IMREC missiles mounted in pairs and defined by mission parameters and pilot preference. The other major departure is the gun pod, a self-contained Stormfire cannon with 200 rounds of caseless ammunition mounted on an auxiliary hardpoint added down the centerline. The pod can be removed by a technician or jettisoned along with the rest of the fighter’s external stores if needs be, and the centerline hardpoint has been plumbed for fuel so the fighter can carry a “drop tank” of extra afterburner fuel for a fast courier or far scout configuration.
Laser turrets can now fire each barrel separately (WC3 style). The order the barrels fire depends on the loading order of the hardpoints on the barrel mesh.
Removed cumulative refire delay for full fighter guns. Eats energy but makes previously useless alien fighters a little more deadly. (Skate clusters, Squids...)
- Single barrel fires at a normal refire delay
- Dual barrel fires alternate barrels every half refire delay
- Triple barrel fires alternate barrels every third of a refire delay
- And so on...
This the first official screenshots from the Daedalus Station's refited CIC. Have fun!
Eisen: Let's get down to business, shall we?
Blair: Yes, Sir.
The Black Lance Jammer ship is behind one of the most memorable missions sequence of the series. In the Legacy version of the mod, it offered the possibility for a player to cloak all friendly ships around itself for sneak attacks or logistics protection. In the current gameplay concept, it will be much more devious, creating a large bubble in which all enemy sensors and weapons will be severely degraded in effectiveness, with the idea being that an unwary player might not even realize a task force is being jammed before it is far too deep to run away when the trap is sprung. At which point the qualitative superiority of the Black Lance equipment would become even more lopsided. Expect very restrictive cap limits such as one or two such ships for a player, on the same level as the Vesuvius.
Hey guys we are back after a small break and continue with our regular updates. For this week we want to show off a little bit! We have made several improvements on the graphics department:
- Full level of detail system so we could use high res models without sacrificing performance
- A new lighting, reflection and material/texturing system
- A new procedural system for damaging and aging spacecraft
- A redesigned game system that uses the same models both for gameplay and cutscenes