Happy Halloween!

It's the creepiest day of the year, so here's the creepiest fighter in the known universe! The Skull is ostensibly the Jincilla Pirate Clan's lightest fighter, but it's way scarier than the Veldor or Tacon. It's not just feared because of its looks either - the highly maneuverable craft easily evades nearly everything but a well-aimed proximity missile! SUPER BONUS: Check out this awesome Kilrathi Skull faction concept art from the unreleased Privateer 3!

Wing Commander Album Reaches Midpoint, Volume 1&2 Reward Added!

The Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Project, Volume 2, has passed the halfway point on its crowdfunding campaign, and now just two weeks remain. A respectable $12,500 has come in, but that's only a third of the target necessary to green light the project. Many similar endeavors experience a surge towards the end, however, so composer George Oldziey remains optimistic and has been talking to fans about what tracks they'd like to see. Additionally, pledges at the $40 and above level will now include digital downloads of both Volumes 1 and 2 so nobody misses out on any of the audio goodness! If you'd like to see what all goes into creating an album like this, check out the nifty documentary that followed the production of Volume 1, and help the project meet become a reality here.
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!

George

Big Bases For Everybody

L.I.F. has provided a very significant boost to the Border Worlds garrison in the Homeworld Remastered Mod. Most fans will quickly recognize this as a Confed Superbase, but it's in UBW colors! He's taken czacen's original model in the first image and spruced it up to match the more polished look of the current mod. While it's a bit smaller the Confed HQ in the picture below, it completely dwarfs the carriers and transports circling around it. They're so small in comparison that you might even miss them at first!
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!

Origin Systems and Crusader Retrospective

DigitalFoundry has put together a video that looks back at Origin's isometric action adventure Crusader. The video opens with an overview of some key Origin people and major titles from the early 90s, including Wing Commander II and III. The focus then shifts to the Crusader series, providing some back story on the developers and technical aspects, before comparing the original PC release to the console ports. The video concludes with a glimpse of an ill-fated PlayStation Portable sequel. No Remorse and No Regret are both available through Good Old Games. If you'd like to find out more about the Crusader series, the Echo Sector website provides an extensive online archive and community.
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.

Sit Back & Relax Before You Hit The Porcupines

Up today we have two different Flat Universe settings to share. Up first is the briefing room where players will get their missions. It's a rather large and ornate setup with plush chairs and stadium seating. There's even some nifty squadron banners in the back. The final image is something very different - a blanket of terrible space mines. Look closely and you can see there are two different variants. Both the Kilrathi and Confed have mined this nav point!
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.

Academy Preservation Project Is Go!

After barely ten days of campaigning, the community has strongly backed the initiative to save the lost production materials of Wing Commander Academy! The $9800 raised will go to acquire 30 boxes of art and other resources created during production that were recently uncovered after years in storage. As a wonderful bonus at the end, the dealer that owns the material has found a 31st box that they will include in the lot for free! Check out an excited thank you video from LOAF and Ali here. Upon crossing the finish line, the campaign was locked so that no funds will go to anything but this specific project. If you missed out, but still want to contribute to a worthy cause, the second Wing Commander album still needs help! Looking forward to the future, plans are now being firmed up to go and transport the shipment to LOAF's place so it can be fully digitized, organized and posted online. If you'd like a taste now, check out the nifty 240-page storyboard of the episode 'Recreation' (258 megabyte PDF, so download rather than click!) and get ready for much, much more!
Of course the big news is…. WE DID IT! The campaign has passed $9,000, which means that we will preserve all thirty boxes! The remaining $800 covers GoFundMe’s fees and the credit card processing [now achieved!]. Once we hit that, I will lock the whole thing to stop folks from sending money that wouldn’t go to the animation sale. No surprise stretch goals here! :)

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.

Confed Fighters To The Solar Empire Rescue

After several rounds of exotic Nephilim fighters and capships, it's time to jump back to Confed fighters that have been recently added to the Wing Commander mod for Sins of a Solar Empire. There's some nice lookers in this bunch! We don't see the Crossbow a whole lot, so when we do it's usually a treat. We also see the Devastator bomber as well as the Arrow and Hellcat. For good measure, we included a big explosion in the engine too!
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.

Wing Commander Album 25% Funded, New CD Option Added

George Oldziey has added a new tier to his campaign to create a second live Wing Commander album. Fans who missed the first orchestra recording can acquire a CD and digital download of that album for $40. The ongoing campaign has crossed $9,000 with three weeks to go. There's still a gap to close in order to hit the minimum $35,000 threshold, so please consider donating to help make this a reality!
I was just reflecting, on this quiet weekend afternoon, how fortunate and blessed I've been to have sustained a career in music, from my first trumpet gig at age 16 to today, when I get to sit in a scoring stage booth and hear wonderful large orchestras play my music. During the journey I've either been or still am a professional trumpet player and pianist, a teacher, a recording engineer, an arranger and a composer.

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,

George

The Price Of Freedom Ebook Announced!

There's more great news for Wing Commander fans out of Baen! ^Death_ spotted that their January (3, 2017) Bundle will include Wing Commander: The Price of Freedom as an ebook. This is the novelization of Wing Commander 4 and will be their fourth electronic release after Freedom Flight, Fleet Action and Heart of the Tiger. Speaking of which, the last two, although slated for a December 6 release, are now 3/4ths available now if you preorder directly on the Baen site, and TPoF is half available now per the company's tradition of gradually releasing titles ahead of their official release. Once December and January roll around, all of these novels should also be available at every major electronic book retailer for $6.99.
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!

Published: 1/3/2017

Watch Academy Live Stream Today!

The Imperial News Network will be hosting LOAF today for a special live commentary of Wing Commander Academy! A Star Citizen themed chat will kick off at 11:30 AM Pacific US time (2:30 PM Eastern US, 10:30 PM BST London) on their Twitch channel. The Wing Commander event should begin around 1 PM Pacific (4 PM Eastern US, Midnight BST) and the series takes about four hours to stream in its entirety! If you can't make the live portion, the video should also be archived on Twitch. They'll be talking a lot about Academy trivia and behind-the-scenes information. If you'd like to help uncover even more lost history about the show, you can help contribute to the campaign to save its production materials. Twelve of the thirty boxes have been funded so far!
How rad is this? The two transports following the 'Claw have WC-appropriate names! (Shire & Percheron) Who knows what else we'll learn?

Space Sim First Look: Everspace

Today we take a look at Everspace, an upcoming space sim from the creator of Galaxy On Fire. Everspace promises a non-linear storyline, upgradable ships and a pick-up-and-play experience. The player can scour a vast universe for resources or take on one of the hostile factions. A trailer and a half hour of gameplay footage are available for viewing.
Besides Windows 10, the German developer is also targeting XBox One for the initial release, where it will join Elite Dangerous, No Man's Sky and Strike Suit Zero. The game is scheduled to come out in the first quarter of next year, but an early access version is already available through Steam and Good Old Games as a digital release at reduced cost.

Help Save Academy, Get Rewards, Watch LOAF Dance!

The campaign to archive and digitize the lost art of Wing Commander Academy has reached a major milestone! Ten of the thirty boxes available have now been funded. LOAF has posted a cool video thanking everyone for their support and sharing some of the interesting discoveries that this project has already uncovered such as ship names and confirmation of suspected universe lore information. Also, by popular demand, several reward tiers have been added that have some cool bonuses for Wing Commander and LOAF fans! If you think you can help, check out the project page and join in!
Hello everyone!

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.

  • 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!
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!

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!

Watch WC Album's Reorchestration Process

George Oldziey has posted the first update to his campaign to make a second symphonic Wing Commander album. It's a video that goes into great detail about the process he uses to recreate his classic WC music for a live orchestra. There's some very interesting technical challenges as well as clever techniques that he employs to bring everything together - a lot of work goes into it! There's even a preview of one of his new tracks from The Price of Freedom. The project is nearly at $7,000 of its $35,000 goal. Check out the video and consider helping him make the album a reality here!
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!

All Talented Hands To Action Stations

We're past the half way point of Inktober, and NinjaLA has kept up the daily sketching! He's got two new Wing Commander drawings that are pretty nifty. The first features a well-accomplished Confed pilot stepping away from her fighter after a mission. Today's second picture actually has quite a bit of story behind it! It's an interpretation of the German novelization of Wing Commander Action Stations, which actually borrowed its cover art from a totally unrelated sci-fi book. Ninja's gone back in and filled in some of the odd bits with more Wing Commander appropriate background art! You can find more cool sketches all more long at his Tumblr here.

Nephilim Fleet Invades Solar Empire

Last week we saw a variety of smaller Nephilim ships added to the Wing Commander mod for Sins of a Solar Empire. Now we can see Nomada_Firefox's larger mainline craft: the Orca destroyer, Hydra cruiser, Leviathan carrier and Kraken shipkiller. It's a pretty well-outfitted bug fleet! There's even a video that shows some of the ships in action as a player navigates around space, and the ships look just as creepy as they did in Prophecy.
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.

Help Preserve Wing Commander Academy!

Archiving Wing Commander material is a subject that's very near and dear to us here at the CIC. From the University of Texas to EA Mythic and dozens of other projects, we've been on a mission to preserve Wing Commander history for nearly two decades. The next great adventure kicks off today as we attempt to save thousands of pieces of artwork created during the production of Wing Commander Academy. A huge trove of animation cels and design sketches have been uncovered in California. We've made arrangements to purchase the lot, but the total costs for everything work out to nearly $10,000. You can help us save this material by donating at a new GoFundMe page here. Once we can secure the load, it will then be gradually scanned and made available online. As an example of what may be available, check out this fabulous 240-page storyboard of the episode 'Recreation' (258 megabyte PDF, so download rather than click!). As you know, the CIC runs no advertisement and accepts no monetary donations or compensation whatsoever to run the site, so the campaign is strictly capped at the amount it will take to purchase the Academy art. Some have asked how they can help over the years, and now's your chance! We hope the attention brought to this effort also helps get the word out about George Oldziey's plans to get a second Wing Commander album recorded as there are two exciting WC crowdfunding campaigns running in parallel now. Asking for money is a little awkward, but we would only do so for causes we are incredibly passionate about. The process should also be very fun, and we can't wait to enjoy it with you! Read up more on the background and consider donating if you can - thanks!
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.

WCM Tape Conversion Complete!

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.

Second Wing Commander Album Kickstarter Launched!

The campaign to create a second album of fully orchestrated Wing Commander music is now live! Origin composer George Oldziey has kicked things off with a recap of the fantastic efforts Wing Commander fans undertook in 2014. Last time, more than $46,000 was raised to enable the live recording of fantastic WC music with a full symphony. The results were well worth it, so we hope Wingnuts can pull together again to make the sequel possible! A minimum threshold of $35,000 is needed to green light the project. We will be closely following the project here and expect some cool updates to emerge as the campaign unfolds. Visit the Kickstarter here and help us make it happen!
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!

Musically yours,

George

Homeworld Mod Gets New Rapier & Maybe Snakeir Next

You've seen DefianceIndustries' high res beauty shots, and here's the pictures of the new Border Worlds Rapier in L.I.F.'s Homeworld Remastered mod. They still look top notch, and great little details like the ship logo and stormfire gun are very much intact. On a larger scale, L.I.F.'s all pulled the curtain back a bit so you can see what it looks like when he's working on importing a big capship. In this case it's Klavs' glorious Snakeir design that's up on the drawing board next!
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.

Well Armed Rapier Patrols The Frontier

The venerable Rapier has been outfitted for the Border Worlds in DefianceIndustries' latest design. It's a derivative of the variant seen in Wing Commander 2 with some nice streamlining improvements to the cockpit and airframe, plus a badass stormfire gun mounted underneath. There's also a light coat of rusty UBW paint applied here and there. Also check out the cool wallpaper after examining all of the gorgeous posed shots!
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.

Capabilities:

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.

Solar Empire Mod Branches Out With More Nephilim Designs

Nomada_Firefox's Nephilim fighters were a big hit, so he's moved on to even more designs. The first shots below reveal the Triton transport and Lamprey utility ship, but he's actually evolved beyond that to several new designs that will fill critical roles in his Wing Commander mod for Sins of a Solar Empire. Lots of people have made new human and Kilrathi craft over the years, but original Nephilim designs are pretty rare. It's really neat to see the linkage that maintains a consistent design style to the existing ships we are familiar with. On another front, there have been discussions about voice acting for the project, and several experienced fans have thrown their names in the hat for that.

Prophecy Unlimited Removes Ship Limit & Enhances Gun Mechanics

gr1mre4per has taken the Vision Engine to new heights yet again for his Prophecy Unlimited project. Now that many of the constraints on individual ships have been lifted, he's moved on to hacking the engine to allow for vast numerous of objects at one time. The screenshot below shows off hundreds of dogfighting fighters - check out that radar display! Work has also been done on customization of how weapons fire. He's been able to modify the gun performance so that they can fire out-of-sync like they sometimes do in previous WC games. It's great that even more options are now being offered to aspiring modders!
Right, once again I've been held up, but this time by one of my previous fixes in wcpunl needing extra work. I was hitting a crash every time I reached a certain number of ships, about 200, and I couldn't track it down. Luckily I have finally nailed it down and along the way have found other limits that needed increasing to get to where I am now and learned a lot more about how the game initializes and runs. I finally feel satisfied I can show it off. I've added 800 ships so far without a crash, although beyond 500 starts causing high load and low frame-rates. I might see if I can add more efficiency later. Here is a sneak peek with some debug I added using the games own message system.

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.

  • 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...
Removed cumulative refire delay for full fighter guns. Eats energy but makes previously useless alien fighters a little more deadly. (Skate clusters, Squids...)

Heads Up! New Poll Inbound

There's a new poll today that asks what your favorite heads up display is. Is it one of the early optional virtual HUDs that just dropped away the physical dashboard? Or did you prefer one of the later purpose-built displays designed for maximum visibility? We asked which game had the best actual cockpits before, and WC3 came out on top then. With this new take on the question, what would you pick?
Our annual birthday poll shows a whopping 50% of you have been with us since 2000 or earlier! About one in five have been following us since even before the CIC's formal opening in 1998. That's some crazy dedication! On the opposite end, one in ten are new arrivals, so fresh faces continue to join the ranks.

Privateer 2.39: The Cheapening

GOG.com has an unusual sale going through Monday where a mixed bag of EA games are on sale. Each title is 60% off individually, and the whole lot is 85% off. Most are $5.99 and work out to $2.39. From the Wing Commander series, only Privateer 2 made the cut. From the P2 page, the rest of the WC games can be bought as a bundle for $32.98, a 31% discount. A handful of Ultima games, Crusader and Strike Commander are also on the list. If you happen to need these specific Origin games, check out the sale here.

Visit The Argent Sector's Slickest CIC

Flat Universe's latest picture update features the CIC! Not the CIC here at WCNews.com, but rather, the combat information center for Daedalus Station. It's pretty fantastic for fans of glowing lights like me! Each of the computer displays is intricately laid out. It looks like a really fun place to poke around.
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.

Late Night Dub Fight: Wing Commander 3

Improv troupe Late Night Dub Fight puts a new twist on classic cartoons, videogames and movies by redubbing the voices as show host Ian Horner picks the video material and assigns a character to each panelist. At PAX East in Boston, the group turned their attention to part of the Wing Commander 3 introduction. about Wing 3. Check it out below. Other segments from the event, including Episode VII and an MS-DOS 5 commercial, can be found on the LNDF website.

Solar Empire Mod Adds Nephilim Fighters

Now that the Wing Commander mod for Sins of a Solar Empire has a good mix of Confed and Kilrathi fighters, Nomada_Firefox has turned to some very interesting Nephilim additions. They have the ability to conduct the bugs' trademark combination/separation modes depending on whether heavy firepower or swarm tactics are preferred. Up first is the Stingray. Despite looking like it's wearing a pickle on its head, the medium interceptor can be deadly when clustered. Skates and Skate Clusters also make an appearance, as does the Ray Node and Ramora conflagration. Although I'm not sure it's the first fan project to implement the unique abilities of the Nephilim ships, it's definitely an unusual - and very cool - feature to simulate!

Wing Commander Drawings Highlight Inktober Campaign

NinjaLA is celebrating Inktober with a new sketch every day. Several of his first week's drawings have featured some pretty slick Wing Commander material. His kickoff art included another take on his elliptical angle Dralthi, and it was followed up by Hornet seen from a capship's viewport. Then he shifts to a snarling Kilrathi subject. You can keep up with all his sketches throughout the month at his Tumblr blog here.

Jammin' Out With the Homeworld Mod

The Black Lance is about to have another powerful tool added to its arsenal when the new Clarkson based Jammer comes online. Similar to its effects in the Peleus System, the ship will project a field that seriously disrupts electronic signals. For a player able to leverage their enhanced technology, the Black Lance sound like a pretty powerful faction in the game. Fortunately, L.I.F. is taking steps to make sure each fleet stays balanced as the project evolves.
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.

Still Haven't Heard Enough Of Khasra!

David Lanzafame got a great response to his WC2 Thrakhath/Emperor voiceover recreation, so he's gone ahead and rerecorded the entire intro. He voices a pretty compelling Blair, and his Khasra effect is an interesting choice. When they originally made Wing Commander 2, could they have possibly imagined people would be doing their own impersonations of Thrakhath's cousin more than twenty-five years later?!

Flat Universe Shows Off Wear & Tear

The MaslasBrothers are back at it again with another preview of Wing Commander Flat Universe. Today's update shows off the enhanced level of detail that they've added to their ships. This time there's a special emphasis on weathering effects. Each shot below shows different levels of deterioration present on a new Raptor compared with a version that's been heavily used versus one that's incurred major damage. These are still in work, and the final (battle damage) model is still being tweaked to differentiate it a bit from just poor maintenance.
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

A French Perspective on Prophecy GBA

YouTuber Docteur J, an avid fan of Wing Commander: Prophecy for PC, has posted a brief playthrough and commentary on the 2003 port for Gameboy Advance. The video and game dialog is in French, but it's worth checking out if you skipped over the GBA version. We also put together an extensive ten year retrospective if you need to get up to speed. Did you know that it features 4-way multiplayer, and that you can play it with a joystick on a Gamecube?

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