"Your profile is clear to sector's edge..."

As if on cue, DefianceIndustries is back with another very cool ship to share. This one isn't directly related to the Secret Ops MUP, but it's a beauty nonetheless. It's a Broadsword in Privateer colors, which is an interesting route to go. The bomber is so often associated with its WC2 green - even the Arena variants are all green hued - but it's nice to see a changeup once in a while. And it's the prettiest Broadsword I've seen in nearly ten years!

And The Winner Is...

...the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack! Wingnuts from around the world have weighed in, and they've chosen DefianceIndustries' beautiful upgrade to WCSO as the Fan Project of the Year for 2017. The project released multiple playable tests this year on top of regular updates to show off the graphical enhancements in development. Even more is in store for 2018!



The MUP is definitely a team effort, from Dark Sentinel's amazing Nephilim models to Gr1m's Unlimited wizardry (I swear he's actually some kind of coding alchemist) and Popsicle Pete's tireless work building the MUP into the installer and needling us right brain types to keep up a release schedule. Not to mention all you wing nuts who test our work and report back the bugs!

Well deserved kudos to all the projects listed this year. Cheers to all of you! Here's to a great 2018!

We had two runners up that were neck and neck in the race this year, and our first is the Homeworld Remastered Mod! L.I.F. has been on top of a steady stream of updates to the game, both large and small, all year long. The other runner up is Wing Commander Flat Universe, which released their highly anticipated multiplayer update in 2017!



Congrats to all! And onwards now to another great year of fans doing great things with Wing Commander!

Last Chance To Rock The Vote!

The annual community voting ends tomorrow, so now is the last chance for Wingnuts like you to help choose the Wing Commander Fan Project of the Year for 2017! Here are the nominees one last time. It's hard to choose because there's so many great projects going on, but vote below and help pick the winner!
  • Dark Sentinel had a fantastic year with some of his most exquisite and creepy Nephilim designs ever. He added a variety of capships and fighters to his fleet, including some of the less common and more exotic variants. He capped the year off with one of the most detailed WC wallpaper images ever made.
  • Flat Universe had their long-awaited public multiplayer alpha launch this year. This was on top of a variety of other improvements to their base game, which is coming along very nicely.
  • The Homeworld Remastered Mod had another huge year. This year they added new gameplay mechanics, ships from WC1/2, a player guide and plenty of ships. All of this was incorporated into the playable game in frequent updates all year long.
  • Klavs' Fleet of Ships continued to see widespread usage with new inclusion in the Homeworld Mod as well as Crazycanuck's WC Saga spinoff. His famous Concordia is looking better than ever and he's got a new Waterloo in the works.
  • Ninja's Sketches are looking better than ever. This year he perfected layer mask techniques & gradient coloring and did new experimentation with painting 2D representations of 3D ship models.
  • Pix's Origin Adventures continued his streak of extremely cool WC projects. This year he delved into the Japanese FM Towns, the Japanese Mega CD and even got a Creative DXR Kit going for old school WC4 DVD.
  • The Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack had a tremendous year with more gorgeous models and playable releases. Kilrathi ships got more love in 2017, but their Confed and Nephilim counterparts weren't far behind. And it's not just about graphical upgrades, engine enhancements have reduced texture delay and capships have even gotten new features.
  • The Sins of a Solar Empire mod is a really cool fleet battle game that's recently gotten a new playable test. The Confed and Kilrathi have been fleshed out quite a bit this year, and both the Border Worlds and Nephilim are in work and planned for 2018 updates.
  • The Star Trek Armada 2 mod is a fun one to see back from hiatus. Work has picked right back up from where it left off a couple years ago and a playable Confed demo is already available.
  • WC Saga Plus / Deutsch Conversion got its first service pack to help simplify the installation of all the various patches and enhancements to the original game. There are new GUI enhancements, better tools for modders and help pages included now.
  • The WC Toolbox editor added preliminary support for WC2 and Academy this year. And it's just one piece of a suite of tools that includes things like the WC1 Live Viewer and French WC2 Conversion Patch. It's great to see all the tweaking still going on for the earliest games in the series!

New Unboxing Series Kicks Off With Wing Commander Amiga

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. The look of the diskettes will be one of the most obvious things that jumps out here, plus there is Amiga-specific text in the other documentation. Check it out below!
Wing Commander AMiGA UNBOXING a ORIGIN space combat simulator

TCS Wolfhound Gets Tag Teamed

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!
A little test with cinema bars and camera movement. Not using the Saga Release Version anymore and instead the Knossus Download Portal. So I can put in many more ships and use all the features of the later Freespace Open Builds.

TCS Wolfhound take out a frigate and heavy cruiser.

Video Tutorial Shows Birth Of A WC Fan Project

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. And in the end, he has a tiny mobile Hornet! He's got some work to do to reach his goal of developing a rudimentary top-down WC clone, but it's a very interesting look at how the sausage is made.
Making a (very basic) 2D (top down) demake of Wing Commander PC game from the 1990's. Made in Unity 3D, we import a sprite for our spaceship and add some basic controls and get our ship to move and turn.

Goals:
Fly a Hornet (Rotate, Translate/Move)
Shoot Lasers
Fire Dumbfire Missiles
Blow something up (An Asteroid!?)

Homeworld Mod Testing Fighter Visibility Updates

L.I.F. has posted a teaser for the next upgrade to the Wing Commander Homeworld Remastered Mod. Can you spot the change? It might look like a wing of Confed Arrows circling HQ, but there are some unique changes that fans of the project should notice. As a hint, the upgrade involves making fighter combat a bit engaging for fleet commanders out there. You can find all the details at the CIC Forums.
Try to guess what I am currently working on at the moment. Something in the following picture is different.

Vega Super Star Back In Action

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. It's great to see some of the lesser known ships pop up now and then! Could the Straith or Danrik be next?!

Rapier Research Leads To New Sighting

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. More recently, one appeared at a paintball facility in the UK, and now there appears to have been another (or possibly the same one?) at a nearby outdoor laser tag venue. Lilja also did some research into the crafts' original registry numbers, and this suggests that the paintball place's Rapier may have moved to the Bruntingthorpe Aircraft Museum. Any fans nearby want to check it out and let us know?
Apparently there were five lightning cockpits that were rescued by Pinewood studios from Marine Salvage in Portsmouth.

The registrations ZF577, ZF585, ZF586, ZF589 and ZF590 have been mentioned, firstly here in the comments section and then tweeted here. Here are some links to the aircrafts, Wing Command pops up several times as does Pinewood: ZF577, ZF586 & ZF590

A website called demobbed lists all of the aircraft and some history. It is difficult to link to this information, however if you move your curser over the i on the right hand side you get an information box. But long story short all these five registrations state the Wing Commander movie. Looks like ZF590 was at the paintball place, and is now at Bruntingthorpe, with ZF585 in a museum in Hermeskeil, Germany. The others are unknown.

Annual Awards Voting In Full Swing

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!
  • Dark Sentinel had a fantastic year with some of his most exquisite and creepy Nephilim designs ever. He added a variety of capships and fighters to his fleet, including some of the less common and more exotic variants. He capped the year off with one of the most detailed WC wallpaper images ever made.
  • Flat Universe had their long-awaited public multiplayer alpha launch this year. This was on top of a variety of other improvements to their base game, which is coming along very nicely.
  • The Homeworld Remastered Mod had another huge year. This year they added new gameplay mechanics, ships from WC1/2, a player guide and plenty of ships. All of this was incorporated into the playable game in frequent updates all year long.
  • Klavs' Fleet of Ships continued to see widespread usage with new inclusion in the Homeworld Mod as well as Crazycanuck's WC Saga spinoff. His famous Concordia is looking better than ever and he's got a new Waterloo in the works.
  • Ninja's Sketches are looking better than ever. This year he perfected layer mask techniques & gradient coloring and did new experimentation with painting 2D representations of 3D ship models.
  • Pix's Origin Adventures continued his streak of extremely cool WC projects. This year he delved into the Japanese FM Towns, the Japanese Mega CD and even got a Creative DXR Kit going for old school WC4 DVD.
  • The Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack had a tremendous year with more gorgeous models and playable releases. Kilrathi ships got more love in 2017, but their Confed and Nephilim counterparts weren't far behind. And it's not just about graphical upgrades, engine enhancements have reduced texture delay and capships have even gotten new features.
  • The Sins of a Solar Empire mod is a really cool fleet battle game that's recently gotten a new playable test. The Confed and Kilrathi have been fleshed out quite a bit this year, and both the Border Worlds and Nephilim are in work and planned for 2018 updates.
  • The Star Trek Armada 2 mod is a fun one to see back from hiatus. Work has picked right back up from where it left off a couple years ago and a playable Confed demo is already available.
  • WC Saga Plus / Deutsch Conversion got its first service pack to help simplify the installation of all the various patches and enhancements to the original game. There are new GUI enhancements, better tools for modders and help pages included now.
  • The WC Toolbox editor added preliminary support for WC2 and Academy this year. And it's just one piece of a suite of tools that includes things like the WC1 Live Viewer and French WC2 Conversion Patch. It's great to see all the tweaking still going on for the earliest games in the series!

Star Wars Excitement Spills Over Into Wing Commander

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. A recent article at Pajiba highlights this. The hook is that the author has fond memories from playing WC4 in the '90s, but isn't the type of person to figure out that the game is easily playable on modern computers (with higher resolution DVD movies) at places like GOG.com. Instead, he's found someone who's uploaded all of the movies to YouTube and caught up that way. Despite playing to the stereotypes of early video game FMV, it's hard for the author not to also be swayed by some of the nostalgia that comes rushing back after all these years. Clearly he's not alone, and there's likely more than a few former pilots out there looking to relive some of the fun. If you know people in this boat, let them know that all the WC games are available at GOG! And you can find the full article referenced today here.
I’m not sure I can fully convey just how entertained I was watching this, but what struck me the most was that these cutscenes somehow simultaneously represent the pinnacle of what could be accomplished twenty years ago, while also providing a clear example of just how far we’ve come (both in terms of technological advancement, as well as developing narrative in video games) since then.

Catch Up On Everything Wing Commander Amiga

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. Everything is accompanied by relevant video/screenshots and commentary. He's typed up the core experience here, but you can watch the full story in an hourlong YouTube video below.
Wing Commander came out in 1992 for the Amiga, a couple years after the original DOS version, yet it blew me away just as much as it did anyone playing it in DOS. I adore this game, and I adore this version in particular.

Casper Van Dien On Wing Commander 4, Starship Troopers & Much More

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. Mr. Van Dien has highlighted the role via social media with the image to the right and caption, "The time I took a job just to get an autograph from @hamillhimself #wingcommander4 #usetheforceluke." That's not a bad reason to accept a gig!

After making his surprise appearance on Geekscape 400, Casper Van Dien is back… and this time it’s official! Casper talks about working on the Sci-Fi classic ‘Starship Troopers’ and working with directing geniuses like Tim Burton and Paul Verhoeven! We also talk a bit about his own directing work and how he approaches it as an actor! And of course I’ve got to mention Casper’s appearances in two of my favorites: ‘Beast Master III’ and ‘Wing Commander IV’! The man has a ton of awesome sci-fi stories so sit back and enjoy!

Privateer Model Exploration Continues

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. The output speaks for itself and just shows how good the assets were to begin with. They also show what's possible when WC fans work together! Learn more at the CIC Forums.
Wow, the results are night and day... so much better than I expected! Got some more models converted, starting to do some more test renders. Turning out better than expected. Amazing how good these models are, for being 25 years old. More to come :D

WC1&2 Audio Sound Comparison Presented In Easy Playlist Form

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. The 'Audio CD' portion comes from the Origin Audio Volumes rather than the wav music included with Kilrathi Saga. Different fans have posted similar comparisons over the years, but I'm not sure anyone has posted quite so many variants of a dozen different tracks all in one set of videos like this. You can find many of these audio samples in the CIC Music section, but check them out below for easy convenient listening. After clicking play on the segments embedded below, click the icon in the top left of each window for a playlist dropdown to allow you to jump to six different WC1 and six different WC2 sound files. If that doesn't work for some reason, find all of the clips here.

GPD Win Is Latest Handheld To Showcase Wing Commander Emulation

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. Back in the day, you needed a relatively powerful PC just to get DOSBox to run some of the original games, so we've come quite a ways to be able to play some of the more exotic WC variants on relatively cheap portable hardware. Other examples include games running on the nVidia Shield, LattePanda, Raspberry Pi, Open Pandora and Android phones.

IMDB Takes Video Games To The Movies

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. The ones preceding WC do include quite a few turds, so it's no wonder that video game movies had such a strong stigma in the '90s. Although the article is titled "From Console to Big Screen," a number of the base games here weren't on consoles, and a number of the movies were direct-to-video releases. They also chose an odd photo for Wing Commander. It's a still of 'Marine Blair' from their landing party on the Kilrathi ConCom. Check out the full spread here.

Childhood Adventures Explored On YouTube

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. The later third of the video is all about less well known items, and this may be where some people see a few things that are new to them. He covers some of the supplemental WC1-related documents as well as a 1995 draft of the Wing Commander Bible (45 MB zip). You can find copies of these files and more for yourself in the CIC Development Archive.
Wing Commander 1 .. uhh the memories!

Happy New Year From George Oldziey

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. CIC visitors that were following us 19 years ago might remember this one, but it's still a great look at how George become wrapped up in such an iconic series!
Happy New Year! And a blast from the past!

Greetings to you, the best music fans in the world! I truly hope that you and yours had a wonderful and blessed holiday season.

I'm very much looking forward to recording the Wing Commander bar music next month, as well as planning phase 2 to make Volume 2 of orchestral music possible. I'll keep you updated as we progress.

I've been going through old files to do some New Year's "house cleaning" and came upon this "interview" that was done approximately 20 years ago. I don't recall for whom I wrote this, but I was asked to submit, in my own words, my experiences upon being hired at Origin/EA as well as the subsequent composition of all that WC music. It's a bit long, but if you grab a cup of coffee or hot toddy just put your feet up and have a good read! (apologies that copying and pasting eliminated all the paragraph formatting).

All the best to all of you in 2018!

This is just a tiny snippet, check the full interview out at Kickstarter or the archive here.
I was living the quiet life of an Austin, Texas freelance musician during the Spring of 1994 when a friend told be about a job opening for a composer at Origin Systems, a leading producer of interactive entertainment software. Since I've always been one to seek new musical challenges I quickly sketched a piece in the best tradition of action films (and slightly reminiscent of that "galaxy far, far away"), sequenced it with a borrowed computer and synthesizer module (with a lot of help from a friend more computer savvy than I) and recorded the piece to a cassette tape which I delivered a few days later. Two days after I submitted the tape I was hired. Unbeknownst to me I would be composing the music for the cutting-edge CD ROM title: Wing Commander 3. The next 6 months turned out to be one of the most exciting and rewarding periods of my life.

Kick Off 2018 With Some Slick Sketches

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. All of the little fine details are really endearing. These are still works in progress, and you can find the latest on Twitter.
#WingCommander 1 ship redesigns. I used to really enjoy this on the Amiga, but it was also frustrating to replay missions after an enemy ace slipped away (or asteroid field collisions) (or failed escort duty).

Happy New Year!

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. This also means it's time for our traditional New Year's poll that asks what you all think of the year ahead. The CIC turns 20 this year, and we can't wait to see all the exciting WC news that 2018 has in store!

We've also concluded the previous poll, which asked about everyone's favorite galactic sectors. The Gemini Sector beat out Vega by just one vote! Both took about a third of the total and highlight the popularity of both Privateer and Wing Commander 1 (WC3&4 both largely take place in Vega, although the sector isn't as prominently called out there). WC2's Enigma Sector came in third. I was surprised that very few voted for Vukar Tag. When the End Run novel was new, it was a hopping place!

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