The year 2017 is on the way out as I write this, so it's time to review what a wonderful year it's been. We got a taste of the action in yesterday's Fan Project of the Year roundup. There were lots projects that released some great things for the community over the past twelve months, including many playable adventures and multiplayer games. Since we just highlighted all those, this post will focus mostly on other news items, so be sure to go back and check out those if you missed them.
We started January on a high note with the digital release of The Price of Freedom. It was followed by False Colors and Action Stations (whose cover we also learned more about). This rounded out the Baen novels, except for End Run which we hope to see in 2018. EA also added the Wing Commander games to its Origin Access Vault, meaning subscribers to their service can all play WC for free now. This helped add even more new fans to the mix. Although many German fans were already aware of this, few people in other regions had ever seen the version of WC4 with a nifty metal dog tag. These quickly became a hot commodity for collectors around the globe! And although it's been more than eight years since the final chapter release, we're still enjoying the fruits of the Wing Commander Standoff mod in the form of an alternate soundtrack that was shared with fans.
February began with a cool treatment to the WC3 Behind the Screens documentary. It got some visual enhancements that removed a lot of the old graininess and compression noise and made it look good as new. We also learned about yet a new variant of a WC game. An exciting third type of WC4 DVD was discovered. This was an exciting month for me as we welcomed a new future Wingnut when my daughter was born. A big thanks to all of the rest of the CIC Staff that helped cover and kept the flow of news coming out seamlessly as always.
Starting in the spring, the team at Cloud Imperium Games began producing some very cool historical livestreams on a variety of subjects. These included Pre-Christory, Privateer, Academy, Armada & Arena, WC3 and WC4. These were mostly anchored by LOAF and are a must-watch for in-depth commentary and insightful trivia. Fatman's Wing One soundtrack also hit the mainstream by appearing in both the iTunes and the Amazon music digital storefronts. WC artist Mike Winterbauer also successfully launched a kickstarter to get his classic video game art book printed. The Prophecy Demo also got some love via a graphical improvement patch and we found a new screenshot of the elusive WC2 for SNES! There were also some pretty cool April Fools gags, including a neat Privateer teaser by the folks behind Rebel Galaxy. And we found and released the shooting script for Privateer 2.
The summer was amazing for crafty Wingnuts! djfx built a kick butt joystick rig and Alfred Wong made one of the best looking physical Arrow models ever made. It was a good time for music with Wing Commander also appearing in concert again, and George Oldziey's kickstarter relaunched. It was successfully funded, and a WC bar music recording session has been tentatively set for February. Some new prerelease WC2 footage was found, we ran across new Prophecy promotional art, Academy in Arabic was uncovered, and there was even a proposed Privateer in-browser game discovered circa 2013!
In the later months of the year, Arena celebrated its 10th birthday, UO reached its 20th milestone in September and Prophecy also hit 20 in December. The Wing Commander Movie was also included in the Movies Anywhere initiative so it became easier to share your digital copy between different platforms. Movie fans also got a rare treat in the form of Wojo releasing his Pilgrim Legacy assets. Origin artist Denis Loubet also penned a pretty swanky Bluehair poster to go along with a slick Avatar sketch as an early holiday gift to the fans. Whew! Another great year in the Wing Commander community. We can't wait to see what 2018 brings next! We know one thing to look forward to - the CIC will turn 20 years old! We can't wait to celebrate with all of you!
Mark Hamill To Receive Hollywood Star
Thanks in part to his recent success resuming the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, actor Mark Hamill will soon be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony is set for March 8, 2018 at 11:30 am. I'd encourage Wing Commander fans nearby to go check it out, but the crowd will likely be substantial. (2018-02-22)
Banshee Kicks Off Flat Universe's Border Worlds Faction
The first Border Worlds ship for Wing Commander Flat Universe has been announced! The Banshee now joins the battle alongside four Confed and four Kilrathi craft. It's designed to be particularly effective against slower bombers such as the Broadsword or Grikath. (2018-02-21)
New 3D Prints Highlight Gemini Sector Hotness
Sonnich Johannesen has shown off some large scale and beautifully detailed 3D prints from Wing Commander Privateer. The Centurion and (not pictured) Galaxy are from Astrofossil and the Tarsus model was designed by DJFX, who posted some gorgeous pics of his own a while back. The size of each of these is impressive, and Sonnich has posted some neat pictures of these ships coming together on the printer. (2018-02-20)
Paper Cruiser Returns Stronger & Better Armed
Adm_Maverick's Tallahassee papercraft cruiser is back again in a whole new way. This second major iteration improves on the first in a number of ways, including how the main hull fits together. It also has interior components that form the bow-mounted capship missile launcher. (2018-02-19)
Live Wing Commander Jazz Recording A Huge Success!
Origin composer George Oldziey has completed his live recording of Wing Commander jazz music. The event was conducted last week at George's studio in Austin, and pictures from the day make it look like they had a lot of fun! Initial results also sound fantastic, and we're anxious to hear how everything comes together in the finished album. (2018-02-18)