Welcome to another CIC Birthday Party! Counting our grand opening event in 1998, this is the 20th time we've gathered to celebrate how the Wing Commander series has brought together this amazing community. It's always a great opportunity to re-energize with our fellow fans and perform some important site refreshes. A number of talented Wingnuts have also contributed towards the exciting posts below to make sure today's extra special. We hope you enjoy what we have to share today!
Origin composer George Oldziey recorded this extra special video message to help celebrate the CIC's 19th! Sing along at home with everyone else and join the fun! His campaign to make a second Wing Commander album had a successful matching drive this past week and is now up to $12,500! The project still needs another $2,500 this week, so please help support this Wing Commander endeavor!
DefianceIndustries kindly sent along these cool graphics to commemorate the CIC's 19th Birthday. But wait, there's more! People have been asking us about CIC gear for a while, and it's been a long time since we've had anything new. The circular shape of the graphics below is designed to print to a custom drink coaster. We didn't get a chance to find a good place to make these before the party, but we'll set something up in the future so community members can get their drink on and protect their tabletops at the same time!
Here's an exciting look at the next iteration of Wing Commander Flat Universe! For starters, there's a peek at the depth of the game's navigation system. The MaslasBrothers have created an entire database out of the Prophecy universe map for pilots to explore. Check out this cool zoom animation (8 MB gif) to see it in action. There's also a brand new batch of screenshots from around the game from the latest build. Enjoy!
What we've done is that we have taken the whole map from Wing Commander Prophecy and we have digitized it in QGIS. This way we have the whole Wing Commander universe not just visually but also in database format which we are implementing in game. As you can see in the animated .gif we can zoom from galaxy view down to system view seamlessly. The information for each system include all the information expected from a Wing Commander game: Jump points, Undiscovered jump points, Nav points, Bases/planets, Hidden bases/planets (e.g pirate bases, retro planets), Asteroid fields, Mine fields, Anomalies (e.g. Scylla), & Many others...
The systems for which we have information (e.g. the ones in Privateer, Sol, Vukar Tag etc.) we will try to recreate them as they were. For all the rest we are preparing a procedural mechanism that will "fill the gaps" based on various parameters like number of jump points, type of Sun, proximity to the sector capital, proximity to military bases and others. We already have one of our friends (and Wing Commander fan) here in Greece implementing a dynamic trade route system that will make the whole thing look alive.
Finally the whole system allows for dynamic changes in game like change of ownership for a system, base or planet and for condition variables like if there is a battle and/or blockade in the system, affecting the world around it. Soon one could make (or attempt at least) a travel from Venture in Argent across the galaxy to Jugara in Vukar Tag or recreate many historical battles in various known locations.
And you can now register for the open Flat Universe multiplayer alpha! The game will be playable on both 32 & 64 bit versions of Windows, Linux and MacOS! It incorporates numerous improvements from smaller scale tests and is the coolest version yet! The Maslas Brothers are targeting next Saturday, August 26, to go live with the multiplayer server. Sign up and get ready to play!
Get access to the first open multiplayer alpha version of the game!
This early access version includes:
Room based online multiplayer game
Improvements suggested during the closed alpha period:
HUD improvements for better situation awareness
Better balancing for the heavies (esp. the Broadsword) plus their turrets now get damaged
Black-out and tunnel vision effects due to high g maneuvers (which gets worse if your acceleration absorbers are damaged)
Highly improved explosions (the old ones where boring)
A couple new soundtrack pieces by Cory Fujimori
Updated graphics effects (better anti-aliasing, bloom etc.). The poster image is not a mock-up. It was render through the game engine!
Several bug fixes and improvements
And most importantly: A brand new launcher/patching system that will allow us to make incremental updates to the game without the need to download/reinstall the whole thing.
DefianceIndustries also has a new release ready to go for the slick Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack. This new build revamps several major cap ships and implements the joinable Skate clusters. Grab it here (65 MB exe) and have fun!
It's now available for you to download and test. Go forth, check it out, shoot some skates!
In our daily updates, we sometimes share fascinating background information related to the development of a Wing Commander product. This could be never before seen storyboards, pictures from the film set, early draft scripts that differ wildly from the final version, or high resolution source files used in the creation of the box art. In 2004, we launched the Document Archive with the purpose of collecting and categorizing these materials so our visitors can more easily research the development history of their favorite titles. For our 19th birthday, we've greatly expanded the collection of documents related to Privateer 2: The Darkening. Below is just a small selection from dozens of new additions. We've also brought the layout in line with CIC Red and Yellow. We hope it's a little easier on the eyes.
It's an exciting day for the Holovids section - all of Prophecy's cinematics have been converted and made available for streaming. This means that every single cinematic from the FMV games are now online! Continuing his work from previous years with WC3, WC4, and Privateer 2, AD has taken the DVD-quality cinematics and added them to Holovids for your viewing pleasure. Each clip has been paired with the text from Prophecy's shooting script providing an interesting insight in to the cuts, changes, and ad-libs made during the course of production. You can find the index of Prophecy videos here.
A little under a month ago we were all celebrating the 10th anniversary of Wing Commander Arena's release, so this seemed an appropriate time to revisit our coverage of the game. In doing so, our Background section has now been given a dedicated Arena page, and our original Arena mini-site has been brought in line with the rest of the site. Our dedicated Background page can be found here, and if you missed it don't forget to check out Chris' amazing 10th anniversary coverage!
Over the years, the CIC has gathered a huge number of files in our archives from all types of places. We've been working on organizing many of those files, 116 gigabytes of them to be exact, in our Downloads section. It's been given a birthday update to cover the things we've posted the last few years.
Wingnuts will find game trailers, official patches, manuals and other documentation, as well as tons of great fan made patches and projects. Be sure to take a look!
Here at the CIC, we get asked a lot of questions. Sometimes they are even about Wing Commander. But when we noticed that we were no longer getting so many questions about running Prophecy on a 3Dfx card in Windows 95, we decided that it was time to act! As a result, our Contact Us page has been given a bit of a spruce up, and the Frequently Asked Questions are now a little more relevant in 2017. Have we missed any important questions? Contact us and let us know! We'll add the most frequently asked questions to the list. As long as they are about Wing Commander.
The traditional birthday poll is now up with another year added to it. How long have you been coming to the CIC? We get a steady stream of newcomers, but we know a lot of Wingnuts have been with us since even before the very beginning!
The old poll asked about your favorite fixer from Privateer. The ladies of Gemini Sector clearly won with Tayla in first, Taryn Cross a close second and Sandra Goodin in third. Even Lynn Murphy almost beat Admiral Terrell for fourth. Dr. Monkhouse seriously got robbed with just 0.59% of the vote... less than half the tally of the unnamed informant from Righteous Fire!
And that's another year down! The community came through again with some really cool releases, and hopefully you enjoy the updates we've made at the CIC as well. A big thanks to George Oldziey, the Maslas Brothers and DefianceIndustries for their contributions to the event. I'd also like to personally thank the rest of the CIC Staff for pulling together to do a big refresh - much of which was important behind-the-scenes cleanup that really helps the site but isn't as visible. They've gone above and beyond so that LOAF can recover from his recent operation. Next year will be the big 20th Birthday milestone. We're very much looking forward to that, and we hope you join us for the ride!