A Look Back At 2017

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!
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New Unboxing Series Kicks Off With Wing Commander Amiga
2018-01-19 -- Unboxing Hands has a massive collection of classic PC and other video games, and they're starting to go through and unbox them all. Wing Commander Amiga was lucky enough to be one of the first titles up. Most Wingnuts are pretty familiar with Claw Marks, the blueprints and so forth, but there are minor and major differences between editions that are really cool for collectors and diehard fans to see.

TCS Wolfhound Gets Tag Teamed
2018-01-18 -- Deathsnake has a new video showing a Confed vs Kilrathi engagement in his Last Line of Defense project. It was announced last year that the endeavor was transitioning from a playable game to a more cinematic adventure using the mod's assets, and this video shows how that has progressed. It's certainly a pretty awesome battle captured here, and we're eager to see more!

Video Tutorial Shows Birth Of A WC Fan Project
2018-01-17 -- Longtime Wing Commander fan centaurianmudpig has posted something a little different. Lots of talented Wingnuts upload videos of the works in progress, but CMP recently livestreamed the entire creative process. He goes through bit-by-bit looking up tutorials, sampling graphics and writing Unity code.

Homeworld Mod Testing Fighter Visibility Updates
2018-01-16 -- L.I.F.

Vega Super Star Back In Action
2018-01-15 -- DefianceIndustries is back from a well deserved holiday break with a slick new wallpaper image. It features a cool new Rapier model first teased last October. This is the variant featured in Super Wing Commander and Arena, so it's a bit more flat and round than DOS or GOG players might be familiar with.

Rapier Research Leads To New Sighting
2018-01-14 -- Lilja saw our post a while back about one of the Lightning fighters that became a Wing Commander Movie Rapier at Pinewood Studios and decided to do some digging of his own. Finding where they've all ended up over the years has been an interesting endeavor, and through some clever investigation, he managed to track down some new information on the afterlife of these exotics birds. Immediately after the film's debut in 1999, fans spotted one Rapier at a Planet Hollywood in Ohio, and then a couple showed up for auction/rental/sale in the early 2000s.

Lego Darket Built Out Of Digital Bricks
2018-01-13 -- Lego Digital Designers Club has posted a neat virtual Darket made with Lego brand activity bricks. The color could probably go a bit more brown, but otherwise it's a pretty good design. All of the crazy Star Wars Legos out there sure make me wish we got these for real!

Annual Awards Voting In Full Swing
2018-01-12 -- Our annual community voting is now in progress, and Wingnuts like you are helping choose the Wing Commander Fan Project of the Year for 2017! Here are the nominees one more time. It's hard to choose because there's so many great projects going on, but vote below and help pick the winner!

Star Wars Excitement Spills Over Into Wing Commander
2018-01-11 -- Mark Hamill's return to the Star Wars series and starring role in The Last Jedi has also sparked a wave of interest in his work between epic film projects. The gaming press has largely already done this thanks to Mr. Hamill's role in Star Citizen, but now it's spreading to a more mainstream audience.

Catch Up On Everything Wing Commander Amiga
2018-01-10 -- Shot97 has put together an absolutely massive review of Wing Commander for Amiga systems. He covers every inch from top to bottom. Shot goes over what the game meant to him and then proceeds to cover the backstory, the impact of the characters, the depth of the manual, the significance of the Kilrathi, and that's just getting started.

Casper Van Dien On Wing Commander 4, Starship Troopers & Much More
2018-01-09 -- GeekScape has posted a podcast episode with Starship Troopers star Casper Van Dien. The actor is well known for his sci-fi acting, but he's also a director with a diverse variety of projects under his belt. He also had a brief cameo in Wing Commander 4, which is mentioned in the show.

Privateer Model Exploration Continues
2018-01-08 -- A lot of people have done some pretty nifty things with the Privateer 3D model archive over the years, but it can still be a slightly daunting task to dig into if you're an artistic novice. This is where fans come into play, and Wingnuts have continued to help their fellow Wingnuts learn how to navigate these waters. bai recently got some assistance unpacking some of the texture files and finding out how to convert and read them.

WC1&2 Audio Sound Comparison Presented In Easy Playlist Form
2018-01-07 -- pcuser1541 has put together a number of videos that showcase the wide variety of audio setups supported by the original Wing Commander games. SoundBlaster was the most common card of the day, but the Roland MT-32 was highly sought after early on and new variants continued to be released through numerous ports over nearly half a dozen years. There are examples from the Microsoft GS, FM Towns, Amiga, Macintosh, Super Nintendo and Sega CD.

GPD Win Is Latest Handheld To Showcase Wing Commander Emulation
2018-01-06 -- Alien Gray has posted a nifty video of the GPD Win playing the 3DO version of Super Wing Commander. This device actually runs Windows 10, but it's using the Project Phoenix emulator to get the game running. This is just the latest in a fascinating string of modern handheld devices that have managed to get various WC games running.

IMDB Takes Video Games To The Movies
2018-01-05 -- The Internet Movie Database has posted a photo gallery collage to highlight the history of video games crossing over to movies. There are 96 examples highlighted (a significant fraction of which are Resident Evil films), which is surprising in itself. Even more so, Wing Commander is chronologically listed in the first fifteen movies, so the genre has really exploded in recent years.

Childhood Adventures Explored On YouTube
2018-01-04 -- Claude Blair has put together an interesting video that reviews a large pile of Wing Commander documentation. After some initial introduction, he spends more than a half hour lovingly detailing the material on every page of Claw Marks. Obviously most of you are quite familiar with what's in the WC1 manual, but it's always fun to hear the perspective of someone who's so excited about it.

Happy New Year From George Oldziey
2018-01-03 -- George Oldziey is back with a New Year's message and Wing Commander album status update. He's anxiously preparing for the Wing Commander bar music recording happening next month as well as planning out the next steps for the orchestral portions of the album. He's also dug up a vintage interview that was published in the January 1999 edition of Film Score Monthly.

Kick Off 2018 With Some Slick Sketches
2018-01-02 -- Arne from Android Arts is currently putting together some awesome Wing Commander sketches. He started with an Exeter and has drawn a contemporary flotilla around it. There's also a gun mockup and fighter concept art, plus a really cute 'Dralthi Commander' diskette.

Happy New Year!
2018-01-01 -- The confetti is starting to settle, and those of us who had time off for the holidays are getting ready to go back to work now. We're all inspired by the last two days' worth of 2017 recaps. When it's all summed up like that, it's really astounding, and these are just the condensed highlights.

A Look Back At 2017
2017-12-31 -- 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.

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