Graphical Novel Project Elements in Motion Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

EmuMusicFan has gotten a little bit fancier with his graphical novel project. Although you can't see the animation in these screenshots, they depict some of the latest motion that accompanies his various set pieces. For example, the moon in the background of the first shot is a dynamic object that will cycle to give a sense of time. Likewise, the dark shadow over the character in the third image isn't just a blacked out version of the final shot: it's a silhouette effect that's been applied. All of this combines to create more elaborate presentation in his stories to come!

Absolute Territory On Sale: Adds Loadout Tools & Drops New Trailer Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

centaurianmudpig's Wing Commander style shooter Absolute Territory is now 25% off on Steam. That makes it a bit over $11 and a budget-friendly way to expand your space sim diet. The game has been getting steady updated since its release earlier this year, and the game now has enhanced ship and weapon selection. There's also a flashy new trailer that shows the game off nicely. Achievements and other interface improvements were incorporated last month as the game continues to get more polished. It's been a good year for WC fans going on to publish their own professional space games, and Absolute Territory gives Wingnuts another solid option to choose from!
Update 1.3.0 brings ship and weapon choices throughout the Absolute Territory campaign. Ships and weapons are restricted at first, and as you go through the campaign more will be made available to you. Choose wisely. Players can make use of this added functionality in custom missions, from within the Level Editor, under the Player ship selection tab.

Squadron 42 Shifts Into Indefinite Pre-Beta Phase Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's been more than fifteen months since we last reported on the progress of Star Citizen and Squadron 42, so as 2020 winds down I thought it'd be nice to check in and see how they're doing. It was just last week that Roberts Space Industries posted a new roadmap on the future of the games' development. We previously reported that the team was projecting the storyline campaign to enter beta late this year, but that will not come to pass. Chris Roberts has just announced that it's "too early to discuss release or finish dates on Squadron 42." The new roadmap shows elements like art and level design will continue as far as the projection goes into 2021. Chris has drawn parallels between Star Citizen and Cyberpunk 2077, which was in development for about 9 years before being released to a mixed reception, so there is clearly no rush to the finish line imminent. And with that being said, it'd been a record-setting year for Cloud Imperium revenue. At the project's seventh birthday, they were just shy of $237 million in total crowdfunding. That number has now jumped past $339 million, which represents a $100 million take in little over a year. Note that it took more than three years for them to collect their first $100 million. This is on top of 2019 being a record year unto itself, and the pace appears to have picked up 50+% in 2020. We'll find out soon enough what the next year will bring!
The new Roadmap is not meant to give people an early estimate on when Squadron 42 will be completed. We made a conscious decision to only show the Squadron 42 work concurrently with the Star Citizen work over the Roadmap’s four-quarter window. This is because it is too early to discuss release or finish dates on Squadron 42.

As I said earlier this year, Squadron 42 will be done when it is done, and will not be released just to make a date, but instead only when all the technology and content is finished, the game is polished, and it plays great. I am not willing to compromise the development of a game I believe in with all my heart and soul, and I feel it would be a huge disservice to all the team members that have poured so much love and hard work into Squadron 42 if we rushed it out or cut corners to put it in the hands of everyone who is clamoring for it.

George Oldziey Orchestrates String of High Profile Films Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Veteran composer George Oldziey of Wing Commander fame recently shared that he was tapped to lead orchestration of the new Netflix movie We Can Be Heroes. He once again teamed up with noted director Robert Rodriguez for this one. The two have worked together on numerous films from Spy Kids 3-D to Grindhouse. The new movie looks like it'll be a popular action film for families, so it's definitely on my watch list. Bits and pieces of George's Wing Commander vibe tend to shine through, so that's always fun to listen for as well. Check out the trailer below!
Greetings all! I just wanted to let you know that a new family film by Robert Rodriguez, We Can Be Heroes, will be premiering on Netflix this Christmas Day. I had the joy of being the lead orchestrator on the project as well as scoring several cues. The bulk of the score features the music of Robert's son Rebel whom I had the privilege of guiding through his very first film score. It sounds amazing! So, if you happen to be looking for something to put a smile on your face and you happen to have Netflix give it a look on Christmas Day. It will certainly lighten your mood during these dark times!
George has been busy this year. On top of completing a move from Austin to Los Angeles, he's also contributed to the music for other movies like the new disaster film Greenland and the upcoming animated Jackie Chan adventure, Wish Dragon.

Morningstar 3D Print Demonstrates Expert Craftsmanship Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

LYP Studios has provided an update on the 3D printable Morningstar posted on Thingiverse earlier this year. He's spent quite a bit of time carefully building his own, inscribing it with panel marks and then applying a gorgeous paint job. I don't think I've ever seen a prettier Morningstar - the results speak for themselves below! Lee made this one at a slightly smaller 10 inches length, although the design can scale up to 15 nicely. This iteration was also originally based on Klavs' model, so it's also very well equipped with tons of heavy ordnance. It'll take a little bit of talent and skill to get yours looking like Lee's, but you can get started here. Here's some extra bonus shots of the fighter under construction. You can find even more shots in his Facebook gallery here.

Raptor Launches From the 'Claw... Er, Gladius From the Lexington Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

FekLeyrTarg has provided an update on the Armada-centric teaser project that he showed off at the 22nd Birthday. He's got the scene built where a Gladius launches from the Lexington's bay and is getting ready for it to tangle with a Shok'lar. As a huge Armada lover myself, I can't wait to see this play out!
Worked on the next two scenes. "Launch from Lexington" is pretty much done and "Dogfight" still needs effects.
Of course, for someone who never played Armada, but DID play Super Wing Commander, the fighter is clearly a Raptor while the carrier is decidedly Bengal class. And that's a Snakeir disgorging a Salthi from the similarly limited context.

Merry Christmas! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all out there today! We've made it this far, so there's just a week left to go in 2020. Whatever and however you're celebrating, I hope you're all staying safe to make sure you and your loved ones are around to celebrate many more holiday seasons to come. It's been a long exhausting year, but the support from Wingnuts everywhere has made it a little bit more bearable. Here's looking forward to our annual recap next week for a reminder of all the things we were able to accomplish this year despite our challenges.

The Twelve Days of CIC Christmas Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Boy, what a year. Hopefully you all are safe and able to start settling into the holiday spirit. To help get everyone in the mood, here's a classic that we haven't pulled out of the archive in a very long time. Enjoy the Twelve Days of CIC Christmas below! I suppose it's rather dated today. We wrote this in 1998, so "episodes" refer to the then-newly released chapters of Secret Ops, and "updates" are what we would now consider a "news post." We were furiously writing them at a much more voluminous pace back then! Things like new novels and movie merchandise were also looming large on the horizon. Privateer 3 had only just been put on hold, and we were still holding out hope that it would be released in the near future. Everything made sense at the time. Johnny is, of course, Captain Johnny of Origin fame. He made us a little audio message that year too. All this makes for an interesting time capsule, if nothing else...

Anyhow, we know that many of you are trying to be as responsible as possible and missing out on time with family this year. If you're in that boat, you're more than welcome to spend the holiday with us in #Wingnut on Discord!

On the first day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. rumors of Privateer three..

On the second day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the third day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the fourth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the fifth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the sixth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the seventh day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the eighth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the nineth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. a brand new poll, eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the tenth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. ten thousand hits, a brand new poll, eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. the Wing Commander card game, ten thousand hits, a brand new poll, eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Johnny gave to me.. Thrakhath's severed head, the Wing Commander card game, ten thousand hits, a brand new poll, eight amazing updates, seven new episodes, movie merchandise, five.. Prophecies.., four new books, the price freedom, two Dralthi IV's.. and rumors of Privateer three..

Hermes Assault Shuttle Finalized for Remake Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

DefianceIndustries has completed another slick little ship that is destined for the WC4 Fan Remake. We got a little peek last month, but the assault shuttle has since been fancied up with a battle worn Border Worlds texture. Little details like the doors and turrets look much sharper now, which makes the whole package nicer to look at. You can read more about how the Hermes was developed and what it will be used for in the months to come here. As a bonus, there's also an enhanced clip of the ship in action below. This sequence of the Telamon landing was used as a high quality reference for Defiance's design.
Evening all from the art department. Another asset for the demo is now ready.

The Hermes shuttle is one of those fun little guys that never really got enough screen time. Read all about it here.

It Came From 2016: Wing Commander-mojis Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ShinyMan0 has created a set of cute little Wing Commander caricature portraits. They remind me a lot of Bitmoji style creations, but for the cast of Wing Commanders 1 and 2. It's impressive that they're pretty in line with the Bitmoji style while simultaneously being accurate to the original WC art. He even nails the uniforms. A while back, he made some impressive similar scenes out of Lego under the name MrLee. You can find more, including for franchises like Space Quest, over at his DeviantArt page.

New Techniques Significantly Boost Quality of Oldest FMV Footage Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's a new revision to the tools that ODVS uses to create his magic video enhancements (the Artemis AI), so Owen ran the games through their paces to see the results. Prophecy isn't quite conducive to the upgrade, but WC4 might look a bit better. On the other hand, the potential improvement to WC3 is stunning. This new iteration of the Topaz Video Enhancer seems to be particularly good at improving the looks of the blockier low res footage, so don't miss that clip below. There's also a new article over at WCRespace focused on the DAINApp improvements to create smooth 60 fps video. Lots of good stuff!
V 1.8.0 of Topaz Video Enhance AI just dropped, so I thought I'd run one of my experiments again. The new Theia Detail model is exceptionally good at rendering fine edges from low-quality source material. Keep a keen eye on edges like shoulders and cheeks to see it really shine.

Also, I FINALLY figured out a way to use the DVD source footage while maintaining its original resolution, interlacing etc. to get a proper quality comparison. In previous examples, After Effects and Premier Pro actually improved the source footage by applying scalers and de-interlacing filters.

Since both DAINApp and Topaz Video Enhance AI recently received major updates, I thought I'd revisit my Wing Commander III workflow and see what improvements we could reap.

On the DAINApp side, I'm now able to increase the frame rate fourfold (from the original 15fps to a nice, modern 60fps). DAINapp does an impressive job and the scene change detection function is now far more accurate - so there are no longer any noticeable fluid transitions between jump cuts.

The new Artemis AI model in Topaz Video Enhance is also much improved. This model is especially good at cleaning up blocking and other compression artefacts in low quality footage - perfect for the CD-ROM FMV from WC3 on the Playstation.

Pacific Strike Retrospective Leads to Tantalizing Spinoff Connection Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Wing Commander and Ultima are Origin's two big name franchises, but the company made quite a few games in its heyday. Pacific Strike is a WW2 flight sim with heavy similarities to Wing Commander, but its fate was sealed by a common Origin issue involving PC requirements greater than what were commonly available at launch. Since there's no Pacific Strike CIC out there, LOAF recently took some time to examine a few parallels between that game's early days and the recent release of Cyberpunk 2077. But wait, there's more! In response to this analysis, ComChia430 stumbled upon a little known spinoff of Pacific Strike released only in Japan. It's a legit successor with an Origin credit on the back of the box and everything! And it turns out it's only little known in our circles. The game received several sequels in Japan and even got a toy line. To make sure this exciting story is shared and preserved, below is LOAF's accounting of the fascinating tale.


The Cyberpunk 2077 headlines have me thinking about a similar story from the Origin days that I think the entire world has forgotten about: the Pacific Strike launch. Pacific Strike was a World War 2 game built on the Strike Commander “RealSpace” engine, to be the first of a historical flying game series. It had lavish 90s 3D work and a Wing Commander-style branching story.

It was scheduled for release for Christmas ‘93 but was delayed and missed the holidays. The optional speech pack, which was just data, somehow shipped on time and wound up in stores months ahead of the game. When it finally shipped in May it was still not in great shape. Many PCs struggled to run it and it had unfinished parts visible. As a result, Origin published this incredibly open letter from the game’s producer which promises fixes and a refund for early speech pack buyers. Unfortunately, that was not the end of the story. Six weeks later, Origin published a second letter of apology saying that the patch would take too long to develop and instead they would offer refunds to any players who wanted them. In 1994! Crazy! So that got me thinking: what were the long term impacts? The obvious things didn’t happen: Origin’s reputation didn’t sustain any permanent damage and the company didn’t suffer greatly financially either. The biggest loser was the game itself: a talkie CD-ROM version in development was killed and Pacific Strike has never been reissued since the initial 3.5” floppy version. It is not available digitally at all today. And the big winner was Wings of Glory, a World War I followup that had been intended to ship immediately after Pacific Strike. It got more time and some incredible attention that resulted in what I’m willing to say was Origin’s single best (if somewhat unknown) game. Ironically, Pacific Strike runs amazingly well in DOSBox today and is probably now Origin’s most accessible flight sim. (The big issue was always optimization... faster PCs were fine, so much so that EA used Pacific Strike in a print campaign for the Pentium.). It also features a truly genius mission system that tracks the status of every capital ship and alters following missions accordingly. So if Soryu sinks at Coral Sea you face fewer bombers at Midway! It’s brilliant and works so seamlessly you never see the complexity. (One element does make it hard to recommend today: the ‘period appropriate’ dialogue comes off as surprisingly racist today. And the cast of all 20 year old white men is, while accurate, incredibly dull compared to Wing Commander.) THIS IS INSANE! ComChia430 points out there is an 1998 Japanese sequel to Pacific Strike for the original Playstation?! The box even lists Origin in the credits! My mind is blown! Apparently they made four sequels for the PS2 and PSP through to 2008?! This is like finding out your dad had a secret family. THEY MADE TOY PLANES?!?!?!?
This was a Japanese aerial combat game released for the PS1, set in World War II. One of the few titles where you can play as the Japanese, you incarnate a pilot who must engage in dogfights and bombing missions using a variety of japanese aircrafts including the Kyuushuu J7W Shinden. You also get to interact with NPCs between missions, and play a free VS mode. An interesting fact about this game is that it's based on an American game for DOS called Pacific Strike, but in that title you controlled the Americans.

I played the hell out of this game when I was 8 years old or so, I didn't even understand English back then, let alone Japanese, but the game it's so intuitive that you don't need any sort of instructions.

GOG Marks Down Wing Commander for Winter Sale Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter has kicked off their big winter sale, so we've once again entered a prime window for discounted Wing Commander. At 75% off, the entire DOS and Windows lineup can be yours for under $12. We've mentioned this deal every time it's come up, and it's just such a steal that we'll continue to do so in the future. Don't forget that these include plenty of bonuses like expansion packs, official guides and more. There are lots of other deals on the service as well: Star Wars games are similarly about 75% off, including WC contemporaries like X-Wing.

Goodbye Peter Lamont Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

If you've been part of the Wing Commander community long enough then you've surely heard every possible complaint about the 1999 movie: the casting, the writing, the lore, the acting, the editing, the CG ship design and so on are alternately blamed for its box office failure in take after take. But there's one thing you've never heard anyone complain about, regardless of their feelings on the film: the sets. That's because from the moment the camera pans into the control room of Pegasus Naval Base you are THERE in the 27th Century fighting the evil Kilrathi. There's not a painted plywood wall or a loose nail to be seen aboard the Diligent, Tiger Claw, Concordia or ConCom. From the first shot, each set and its dressing expertly sells the cramped, naval-inspired look of a space battleship on the front lines of a desperate war.

Those sets were the work of brilliant production designer Peter Lamont, who passed away today at the age of 91. Mr. Lamont's storied career saw him working as an art director, set dresser and production designer on dozens of classic films ranging from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to Aliens. He was best loved for his contribution to the world of 007, where he influenced the look of every James Bond film from Goldfinger (1964) to Casino Royale (2006). In 1997, Mr. Lamont won the Academy Award for art direction for James Cameron's behemoth Titanic. The next year, in a shocking testament to Chris Roberts' seemingly natural ability to attract top talent to his projects, he agreed to serve as production designer for Wing Commander. There, he led a team of artists and craftsmen to turn a warehouse in Luxembourg into alien corridors, spacecraft bridges, cabins, rec rooms and a full length, half width flight deck complete with a full squadron of homemade space fighter craft. He absolutely nailed the claustrophobia of naval warships and created props and signage that sold the viewer on the setting without question. From propaganda posters to warning signs to exposed pipes and rounded doorway hatches, the Tiger Claw and others are absolutely believable throughout.

From the start of the game series, Wing Commander has always proved that the difference between a game and a universe you want to live in is an incredible attention to detail, making sure to add the textures and little touches that make the thing whole. We'd like to thank Mr. Lamont for so-well adding that texture to the universe seen in the film, helping to give it an enduring legacy and to create a wider continuity that we've all enjoyed inhabiting over the years. Here is just a small sample gallery of shots from Wing Commander which display his team's awesome work:

Finally, here is a short interview with Peter Lamont from Wing Commander EPK. It certainly warms the heart to hear him refer to "our Rapiers"!

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We Have the Kilrathi Theme in Our Heads Too Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Guybrush_SF posted some fun scans magazine reviews for Wing Commander 2. These appear to be from the French magazine Tilt circa December 1991 or so. They're at least partly written by Jean-Loup Javanovic, who's still a big fan of the game all these years later! I don't speak French, but I love seeing the colorful vintage spread. If anyone can explain the scoring to me though, I'd appreciate it. The game appears to have gotten 6 out of 6 stars in graphics, cutscenes and sound for a total score of 19.
j'ai encore le thème Kilrathi dans la tête. Comment ça vous marque à vie... :D :P

I still have the Kilrathi theme in my head. How does it mark you for life ... :D :P

Mid '90s Print Ads Were Weird Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's an interesting German language ad that was spotted on eBay recently. It's for the 3DO system, but one of the less common Goldstar variants. WC3 for the 3DO was a really cool version with a handful of redesigned missions and miscellaneous enhancements. I'm not sure that this particular ad would have really sold it though. All of the screenshots are tiny postage stamps on this full page spread, and Wing Commander 3's image is a close crop of the Concordia on Vespus with Paladin's back to the camera. I'm not sure how you figure out what type of game this is or that it even has FMV from this shot. Surprisingly, the system did not fare well commercially (but you should still play the 3DO version of WC3 if you ever get a chance!).

Lost and Found: WC4 Ships Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

LOST SHIPS! While Wing Commander 3 is chock full of completed-but-unused assets, Wing Commander 4 has very few. And here they are! First up, this Black Lance carrier is pretty sleek: Here's a Confederation carrier under construction; it's NOT the TCS Princeton (CV-48) which appears in the Speradon series so it's not clear at all where this would've been used. And the last one I've found so far, a unique Border Worlds starbase.
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P2 Development Profiled in Vintage Multimedia Guide Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Privateer 2 programmer Paul Hughes posted a neat spread from "The Complete Guide to Multimedia" published by Dorland Kingsley. It's a feature on how "modern" video games like The Darkening were made in the late '90s. The book explains how everything starts with a comprehensive pitch: design docs, concept art, financials and the like. Then a story is developed and gameplay designed. The movie production gets its own two pages with some fun shots of the sets under construction. It's a good read - we're also glad he didn't chuck it!
Trying to organise the home office a little to get some more room and came across this Dorland Kingsley book on Multimedia with a four page feature in Privateer 2 I’d completely forgotten about. Was just about to Chuck it away.

Don't Say This Beauty Lands With a Thud Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

DefianceIndustries has another wonderful take on the Thunderbolt, and this one's destined for the WC4 Fan Remake. The game had a placeholder TBolt imported from the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack, but this one takes the fighter to the next level. You can see the new design in the first image below and compare it to Sean Murphy's render for WC4 promotional materials after that. The third pic is the original in-game model compared to today's version. Defiance details the process that went into upgrading the ship at a new article over at WCRespace. You can also provide feedback (and see a bonus render of the pirate version!) at the CIC Forums.
Art department here. We've closed out the new and improved HF-66 Thunderbolt and updated the turntable animations in the media section accordingly.
The original Tbolt (below) was a reskin from the Secret Ops Model Upgrade pack. The model was a fine workhorse and helped us refine the workflow for import/export in Usagi as well as turret animation and code but she just wasn’t as polished as the game demanded – and in case anyone disagrees, I’m just going to leave this here (with a special thanks to ODVS)…

A Little Wing Commander 3 Factoid Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

bsmith1702 was recently going over the killboard in Wing Commander 3 and noted that while it called out ace kills specifically, capital ship destructions were not included. It's just a fighter killboard. Then he had a truly "eureka!" moment. Most pilot rosters like this are sorted either by displayed name or number of kills. The WC3 board isn't ordered either way though, so it's easy to dismiss the question and assume they're more or less randomly assigned. But actually, the pilots are listed by each character's last name, not callsign! That's a pretty cool realization. Jace Dillon comes after Wingston Chang who comes after Laurel Buckley and so on. And now you're an even smarter Wing Commander fan because you know!
Another random thing I noticed was how the names are listed in the kill board. At first it didn't make much sense to me (and I liked how in WC1 the names were ranked by number of kills). Then I noticed that the callsigns are listed, but they are ordered alphabetically by last name (Buckley, Chang, Dillon, etc.) Blair is listed last (probably for the benefit of the player) and I guess they alphabetize Hobbes either by his callsign or using "Hhallas".

Programming Advancements Help WC1 Voiceover Mod Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Destro dropped in to provide another update on his project to add Sega CD speech to Wing Commander 1. He's made huge technical strides which help make the mod cue the correct speech files to play alongside the game's native storyline text. He's even spliced in the awesome intro movie from the Super Nintendo version of the game to the Secret Missions! We've quoted the highlights of his update below, but head on over to the CIC Forums for a complete technical breakdown.
Hello everyone. With the holidays right around the corner I wanted to say for starters, Happy Holidays to everyone and I hope you are all doing well and have a Merry Christmas. I'm going to start with a few (small amount of) fun details as I've done a ton of under the hood work lately. I always like to include the technical details in case anyone is interested and to let you all know what I've been up in regards this program.

Fun Details:

  • Now working with latest version of WCDX. So go and update that if you haven't already given it a try. It's a great program and fixes a ton of stuff. Glad to see you back Stinger! Great work!
  • Updated my tree system to limit the amount of string compares and makes it a bit more manageable and readable.
  • As my end goal for this is to create the most definitive and complete version of the games as possible so I created a little video player to run before the start of Secret Missions 1 and add the SNES intro to the PC version. Now you can be treated to the SNES intro when launching that Campaign. It is skippable so you can jump right into the game if you want. :) I plan to make make some edits to the intro to make it a bit quicker and cleaner with better audio in the future but for now a placeholder version had been created for testing and Proof of Concept and it works perfectly. ;P
  • A lot of under the hood fixes and enhancements to make things smoother and more efficient. Might not be exciting for everyone but rest assured it's much better now and resolves some problems I foresee going forward.

-------Tech Info here-------------------


That's about it. I know it's a lot of programming stuff in this update but I want you all know that I'm still working on this on my free time and wish to make it the best it can. Stay safe, Happy Holidays and see you in the New Year.


RGO Comes to GOG Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The space sim Rebel Galaxy Outlaw was released on GOG this week. It was first released on the Epic store a year ago and made its way to Steam and consoles just a few months back. Some of the game's prime developers are huge Wingnuts, and the game is absolutely chock full of Wing Commander easter eggs and familiar references. It's also been one of the most popular non-WC space sims in recent years since it's just a lot of fun. The core experience is pretty similar to Privateer, but it has the fit and finish of a modern game. We know a few folks who were holding out for a release on Good Old Games who are having a blast now. It's also launching at an introductory price of $20, which is 33% off. Grab it quick if you want a deal!
The PC version also supports customization options, and fans have made some pretty awesome designs!

"Security to the booth, security to the booth!" Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

A new addition to the collection! These are “Vidpro” cards for Wing Commander III and IV Playstation, part of the point of purchase security system used by big box stores like Toys R Us. You’d bring the card to a lockup counter to buy the desired game. You can also see what the Super Nintendo version looked like here.
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"Dork Here" (Get It?) Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

LOAF was looking for a project the other night, and what better than an exploration of the history of the Dorkir transport?! There's probably more to it than you think! Read on for a full rundown:
It's your 1 AM meandering thread about the Kilrathi freighter with the absolute best name: the DORKIR! Dorkir appear throughout Wing Commander I configured as transports, tankers, command staff ships and troopships. Concept art:
A rare element cut (for space) from Wing Commander I is that there were originally separate 'sport and tanker versions of the Dorkir (which is why the briefings always clarify which is expected). The boxier 'freighter' version was reused for Secret Missions as the Lumbari. The Drayman and the Diligent are the same story, reversed. Comparing the sprite sheets and you can see it's a common cab with a modular container that would change depending on role. So things get a little weird when the Dorkir is redesigned for Super Wing Commander (1994). It's... well, in a word: balls. What happened is that they retextured the Kilrathi listening post base model from Wing Commander II to be the new Dorkir. And... it's hard to tell which end is the front! Here are the sprite sheets for SWC and WC2: A closer look at the source model preserved from an Origin hard drive just raises further questions. It's flanked by Christmas ornaments and says 'NC 4' on the side. Why?! By the way, the Lumbari also appears in Super Wing Commander but there's no longer any similarity in the designs. Super Wing Commander's Lumbari is actually a retextured asset created for Wing Commander II but cut from the game for space: the Lumbakh-class transport. VDU images for both of the game appearances: But that wasn't the end of the Dorkir story! Fans were delighted when Wing Commander Academy premiered in 1996 and it included this shot in the intro. The classic Dorkir design! And Dorkir fans didn't have to wait long for the big appearance. The Kilrathi use a Dorkir as bait for pirates in the second episode, The Last One Left. Straight out of Claw Marks: There's also a spectacular (by Wing Commander Academy standards) sequence where an Epee flies down the Dorkir's framework. And I made it into a cool GIF just for you! But wait, there's more: the Dorkir has a blink-and-you-miss-it appearance in the movie! Baker Wing is sent to attack the ConCom but Paladin knows they're being tricked. If you look at his VDU you can see what the ships really are (also confirms the plural is Dorkirs!) Meanwhile: when Peter Telep was writing the movie novel he wanted to be sure and explain why Angel appears with the marines boarding the concom. He wasn't even sure it would be visible in the film but knew she would appear in the armor in some of the promo photos. He asked if I could suggest lore and I recalled the Dorkir staff ship in the Kurasawa series. We came up with some backstory that Angel had spent two months at the Academy flying a captured Dorkir and so was uniquely sorted to lead the marines aboard a similarly laid-out ship. Of course, that was before we saw the finished concom design (later identified as Thrakhra-class): Several different concept takes on the Thrakhra-class from different stages of the movie's development: Finally, the legacy of the Dorkir's hilarious name was carried on with the Kilrathi transport that did wind up in Wing Commander II: the DORKATHI. Taking things full pretzel, the Dorkathi model was then reused in Super Wing Commander as... the Confederation Diligent-class?! I hope you enjoyed this excuse to look at some lumpy spaceships. If there's one lesson in all of this Dorkir talk it is that truly great world buildng also lets you get away with giving things the stupidest names.

More Tests Show Potential of 60 FPS Video Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ODVS is back with another exciting video update. With the continued advancement of various AI/neural net tools, Owen has found new potential in high framerate 60 hertz encodes. It's unlikely that the original game can be simply made to play footage like this, but the WC4 Fan Remake certainly could. The team is considering incorporating it as an option for players who want to switch between 30 and 60 frames. When done right, this style of video can look pretty slick, especially when seamlessly embedded with companion 60 FPS gameplay. I know I record all my own home movies in 60p these days too, so I've certainly gotten more used to it lately. Check out these two new impressive samples below to see what's possible. You can also download the latest full releases for WC3, WC4 and Prophecy here.
Hello all, minor update to share - has it really been two months?

DainApp recently reached V1.0 alpha status and entered open source development, so I started tinkering with the new version to see how much more stable it is - and the answer is "much more stable".

So I started playing around with the WCIV video and produced some stable, glitch-free and totally smooth 60fps videos.

I think this is a massive improvement over the previous 60fps experiment (from waaaaaay back in May) - so much so that I think we're going to make them an option in Wing Commander IV Remastered.

Don't worry for those of you who hate the dreaded "Soap Opera Effect" - I had a word with @Pedro and he said we can make 60fps video optional in the game settings. If you don't like it, you can turn it off and every other frame of video will be skipped, dropping playback back to 30fps.

I probably won't be releasing this as stand-alone HD Video Pack for the GOG/Origin releases as I have for previous versions, mainly because I don't think it they'll handle 60fps footage very well. Also, the download size will be enormous if I try to encode using h.264. For the Remastered project, we can look into using a more efficient video codec to keep those file sizes down.

One of the main goals for the remaster project is to make the transition between FMV and gameplay as seamless as possible - and I think this would go a long way to helping with that goal - going from 60+fps in-engine to 30fps in the FMV is ok, but if we can keep everything buttery smooth, I think that would be a better overall experience.

So, here are some samples :^)

Mark Knight Talks Wing Commander & Game Audio Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD happened to run across a pair of new (to us) interviews with composer Mark Knight. Mr. Knight has had a long and extensive career in game audio, but the Amiga port of Wing Commander was basically his first entry. The unique Amiga tracks have a popular following among Wingnuts, so it's an interesting story to hear about how he got started in the industry. From Talkin' Games:
Talkin' Games: Let’s move back deeper into history again. 1992 was an important milestone for you as a musician. You were hired by a big and successful studio that developed games across many platforms. You are also known to arrange music for the Amiga port of Wing Commander, which had an excellent original soundtrack that I can easily backtrack in my memories. Perhaps even because of the fact I gave the game another complete playthrough not long ago. Was this the very first game you worked on?

Mark Knight: It was the first full game I worked on. I wrote one track for a game before that: Guy Spy and the Crystals of Armageddon. Wing Commander was my first proper gig, I suppose, and it saved me in some ways because I had left college. I’d been turned down to do music technology at university because, and I quote, “Classical musicians can’t deal with music technology.” So, I didn’t really have anywhere to go. I was 18 or 19 years old, not going to university. I ended up filling out a form to do management training at one of the national supermarkets when Mindscape phoned and asked me if I was interested in working on Wing Commander. I think I really got the gig because Richard Joseph was the composer that normally worked for Mindscape, but from what I understand, I undercut him by about 50 percent. So I got the gig by being cheap [laughing].

But it was a way in. It was only a freelance job, a contract job. But very, very close to the end, the development manager at Mindscape – a guy called Richard Leinfellner, who was a successful Commodore 64 programmer that worked for Palace Software and did games like Barbarian and Barbarian 2 – called offering me a job. And Mindscape was only based around about ten miles away from where I lived in Brighton, so it was extremely lucky really. I’d send disks to as many games developers as I could find the addresses for back in those days, and luckily the one that was closest to me offered me a job.

Sonic Fuel has a similar interview that starts out with his beginnings and then follows his career.
Chris: Could you share your experiences designing sound effects and arranging music on such titles?

Mark Knight: Wing Commander was the most fun to do because of the challenge within the tracker environment that I was already familiar with. I was supplied with the PC MIDI files, which were basically 24 track arrangements for orchestral instruments, and I needed to get that sounding good on the Amiga in less than 200k per tune. I basically had the MIDI files running on my Atari ST computer, using Cubase, and then created a set of samples to make best use of the 4 Amiga sound channels. Major and minor string and brass chords samples were used to fill out the arrangements (not unlike the multiplexed chords used on the C64) and I then re-arranged everything in to 4 channels using Protracker. The music was also interactive in that it switched to different tunes, with no delay, based on the gameplay. We did it, and it got a lot of praise. I listen to it now, and pull my face quite badly when I hear some of the samples, but actually because of the massive constraints I’m proud to have managed to achieve what we did. We also had to take into account the SFX, and the requirement for those to take one of the four sound channels, so the music was arranged in that it was always the least important channel musically which played the SFX.

Give the Amiga version a listen in this Back to the Roots longplay:

Annual Call For Award Nominations Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Woah, it's December, and that means 2020 is quickly coming to an end. And while this year has been objectively dreadful is so many ways, dedicated Wingnuts have continued to create great things. It's a positive creative outlet for them, but it also helps spread Wing Commander cheer across the community. Each year we do a poll to help recognize a small handful of the fan projects that had some of the biggest impact. If you have some thoughts on which endeavors those might be, send them in to and let us know! And check out the list below for some of the fantastic projects that took top honors in years past.
  Fan Projects of the Year Runners Up
2019 Prophecy & Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack WC4 Fan Remake / Wing Leader
2018 Flat Universe Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack / WC1 Sprite Refresh
2017 Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack Homeworld Remastered / Flat Universe
2016 Flat Universe Homeworld Remastered / Secret Ops MUP / Enhanced Soundtracks
2015 Homeworld Remastered Mod Flat Universe / Secret Ops MUP / Klavs' Model Archive
2014 Flat Universe Klavs' Models / Prophecy Fan Movie
2013 Collected Works of HCl / Klavs' Models Defiant Few
2012 WC Saga Klavs' Models
2011 OpenGL Patch for WCP & Secret Ops TacOps Online & Standoff
2010 Astro Commander's Mini Models DirectDrawHack
2009 Standoff Gemini Gold
2008 Ascii Sector Flight Commander
2007 Standoff & WC Saga Ascii Sector
2006 WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod Das Erwachen
2005 Standoff Privateer Gemini Gold
2004 Standoff WC Saga
2003 Standoff & WC Saga Holding the Line & Vega Strike
2002 Unknown Enemy Kilrathi Empire & WC Saga BS
2001 Unknown Enemy Holding the Line & Vega Strike

  Web Sites of the Year Runners Up
2016 Daedalus Station
2015 Daedalus Station
2014 Daedalus Station Wing Commander RPG Wiki
2013 Concordia Hangar Daedalus Station
2012 Pix's Origin Adventures Wing Commander RPG Wiki
2011 Shotglass' WC Saga
2010 Paper Commander Prelude to Darkness
2009 WC Saga Standoff & Paper Commander
2008 Paper Commander Standoff & WC Saga
2007 HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site Pericles' Paper Inside
2006 HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site Wedge's Wing Commander
2005 WC Saga Fleet Tactics
2004 Fleet Tactics Wedge's Wing Commander
2003 Wing Commander in Russia WC3D & Wedge's Wing Commander
2002 Wing Commander in Russia BlackLance HQ & WingCenter
2001 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central
2000 Acenet Central Wing Commander in Russia
1999 Wing Commander in Russia Acenet Central & HCl's WC Editing Site

False Armistice Explored Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Mac from Mac's Lore has created a new YouTube channel dedicated to explaining the deep backstory behind less famous sci-fi franchises. This style of exposition has gotten popular for series like Star Wars, Halo, Destiny and other AAA titles, so it's great to see it trickle down a little bit further to our neck of the woods lately. Mac's prior videos have been about the Starsiege universe, but he's kicked off the first in a lineup of videos about Wing Commander. Part 1 is all about the False Armistice as presented in Fleet Action. He's done a good job digging up an appropriate collage of images to fit the narrative as he retells the story, which makes it a fun watch as well as a good listen. We're looking forward to part 2!
The events of The False Armistice are a key point in the Terran-Kilrathi War depicted in the Wing Commander series. Humanity is lulled into a false sense of security by an unexpected peace proposal from the Kilrathi Empire. The aftermath of these events set in motion the dire state of the war for the Terrans by the time of Wing Commander 3.

I'm sure someone will correct me on how to say Firekka/n.

Haga Kaligara Gets the Last Laugh Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's another look at EmuMusicFan's Kilrathi sketches. This update tries to convey a variety of emotions via new headshots. His WC graphical novel project would use these portraits to convey the feelings of each character in an anime-style talking head slide conversation. Emu's also thinking about little mini scenarios and plot interactions to prototype out. He's mocked up one below that you can provide feedback on at the CIC Forums.
"Hahahahahaha... Bugs Bunny the Great War Hero! Those fools in the psychological warfare department!"

I thought of a plot:

Haga Kaligara comes to Earth for the premiere of the Documentary and meets a young boy who is being bullied. The boy is coerced by a classmate into coming to Haga Kaligara with a rusty Confederation flight helmet to get his autograph.

Haga Kaligara is very angry and criticizes the boy for his weakness.

Is this reasonable? Thanks!

Boxy WC4 Ad Hits the Highlights Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a nifty advertisement courtesy of Game Magazine Print Ads and RetroMags. It comes from the January 1996 edition of Next Generation, which was prime time for getting everyone hyped about Wing Commander 4. A lot of the ads at the time doubled down on Mark Hamill and/or Malcolm McDowell, but this one is based on the game's prime box art. It's got a handful of nice screenshots and key bullets listed on the side. With such incredible production values to look forward to in the next game, these were very exciting to see in print as a WC fan! You can find other ads for The Price of Freedom in our document archive here.
Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom
Source: Next Generation 13 (January 1996)
Scan source: RetroMags
Also, check out that URL! was a very short lived site. By mid 1997 everything had transitioned over to

Updated wcdx Plans Provide Peek at the Future Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Stinger has provided a hypothetical roadmap for the future of wcdx. The program is a massive compatibility patch for Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga, but it doesn't just make the game playable on modern iterations of Windows. The patch fixes a variety of bugs and goes back and adds in features that were present in the original DOS version but broken in Windows 95. While GOG and DOSBox emulation have allowed a new generation of fans easy access to the classic WC games, wcdx is gradually shaping Kilrathi Saga into a definitive way to play. Fans of the program have asked what's next, and Stinger's response is below. Note that he's only one man, so some of the ideas below have a very long time horizon. If something on the list sounds like something you might be able to help with, let him know that you can lend a hand! You can grab the current version 2.2 here. It was recently updated to help improve play in everything from WC1 through Special Operations 2.
Well, there are a few options here:
  • I really would like to get cockpit damage fixed, as that's really the final missing feature for WC1.
  • I also need to go back through this thread looking for any reported unaddressed bugs (I really should be tracking this in GitHub).
  • WC2 has some input issues (clicking during cutscenes sometimes counts as two clicks, for instance), and also appears to stall whenever entering autopilot. It also doesn't play well with non-QWERTY keyboard layouts (I use Dvorak).
Those I think are the most immediate issues to deal with. Looking farther ahead to larger projects:
  • I would like to spend some time investigating cutscene timing in WC2.
  • People have asked for graphics filters such as pixel smoothing, and I agree that would be a neat feature. This is something simple that others could reasonably handle if they were inclined to contribute to the project.
  • Throttle support in WC1 and WC2 would be awesome.
  • I could start work on WC3, with the specific goal of supporting ODVS's work on enhanced cutscenes.
There's certainly plenty of work here to stay busy, but time is certainly at a premium and I can't promise that any of these things will happen soon. If there's anyone out there who would like to collaborate, please let me know!

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