New Animated Ferret Ready to Rock Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

DefianceIndustries has a fun new update for his animated Academy-style project. He's built a new fighter based around the enigmatic Ferret introduced in Invisible Enemy. It's the second time in a week we've gotten a new fan take on this potent patrol fighter. It looks like a great ship, and we can't wait to see it in action!
Happy New Year Wingnuts! It's been a while since I've posted anything to this thread, mostly because I've been heads down on the remaster work mainly. But all Thunderbolts and no Ferrets makes Jack a dull boy. So I went back to the animated series and made a WCA Ferret. It was a self-set 2 hour modelling challenge (I made it), and then the textures were done later. You only see it in one or two episodes, but it kind of looks like a cross between an F-5 and an F-18. It's a strangely handsome spacecraft.
Here's how it's depicted in Academy versus its Wing Commander 2 incarnation.

Enhanced Video Also Incorporating Missing Lines of Speech Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ODVS has another awesome sample of the great work he's doing to enhance Wing Commander 4's video footage and make complimentary tweaks for the WC4 Fan Remake. In this case, he's found a snippet of audio that was present on the original CD but missing from the official DVD release carried by places like GOG.com. He's managed to splice the two together so the missing verbiage will be heard in future releases in HD or 4K. The team is still on the lookout for other similar improvements to be made in the future. There's also a new tool to improve the frame rate, which is on display in the sample below as well. Check it out!
A couple of new things to mention is this one. Firstly, as part of our efforts to improve on the base game in Wing Commander IV Remastered, I'll be fixing up any audio errors I come across - including missing dialogue. For reasons unknown, Catscratch's line "Oh my God, you're him!" (which was present in the CD-ROM release) was missing from the DVD edition of Wing Commander IV. I managed to extract it from the stereo audio of the CD-ROM release and seamlessly integrate it into the remastered version, maintaining the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound audio format. You'll have to take my word on that, given that I can only upload to YouTube in stereo - but you'll see come the final release. :)

So here's the remastered version, AI upscaled to 4K UHD, 60fps HFR. I also used a new method to increase the frame rate for this video: RIFE AI. I previously used DAIN AI (Depth-Aware video frame INterpolation), but RIFE (Real-time Intermediate Flow Estimation) is new, exciting, produces fewer artefacts and most importantly (from my perspective) takes 66% less time to process.

Fan Project Vote Under Way Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The annual CIC Fan Project of the Year voting is now in full swing! There's a wonderful lineup of nominees this year, so we know it can be hard to just pick one to vote for. The contest phase will end in a week or two, so now's your chance to help select the winner for 2020. Good luck to all the nominees!
  • The AI/Neural Net Enhanced Wing Commander Video Packs made a big splash this year by surprising fans with the quality of its upscaled movies. The new footage can even be easily dropped into WC4 and Prophecy.
  • The Animated Academy-style Video Project is a relatively new endeavor by prolific modeler DefianceIndustries. He's managed to create some gorgeous cartoon style models that look wonderful in action.
  • Flight Commander 2 was another newcomer this year. There's already a playable demo to interact with, and it even runs in a web browser!
  • The Gemini Sector RPG has had an especially busy year. The team has been hard at work to keep evolving and spice up the game with cool artwork to accompany their Discord sessions.
  • The Graphical Novel Project draws inspiration from WC4 and Action Stations as it seeks to develop a flexible interface for animated storytelling. Some very cool previews help set the stage for what to expect going forward.
  • Klavs' Models made a return in 2020. On top of the being some of the most beautiful WC imagery around, they also serve as the backbone for a number of fan projects, such as LYP Studios' awesome Morningstar 3D print.
  • The WC Toolbox expanded this year to support Armada and Wing Commander 3. Even the console ports of WC3 got in on the action. The tools helped lead to some new discoveries, including some never-before-seen background sets from Wing Commander 3!
  • The WC4 Fan Remake kicked things into high gear this year with the ramp up of key programming, artwork and video enhancement. They even debuted a new website at wcrespace.com to keep tabs on it all and share the latest advancements!
  • wcdx 2.2 is the latest and greatest patch for the Kilrathi Saga. It fixes compatibility on modern systems, but it also goes back and unbreaks things that the original conversion for Windows 95 didn't incorporate correctly from the DOS originals. It now supports everything from WC1 through both Special Operations.
  • Wing Commander Loader is a project people have been asking for for decades, and Destro is finally making it happen as he steadily works to incorporate the voiceovers from the Sega CD port of WC1 back into the original DOS game.

Frank Savage Talks Strike Commander, Wing Commander 3 and More Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Fabien Sanglard has posted a great podcast interview with former Origin programmer Frank Savage. The main purpose of the conversation was to learn more about Strike Commander, but there's also wonderful information about Origin as a company, the technology of Wing Commander 3 and Mr. Savage's later work on Xbox. The whole recording close in at more than 70 minutes, but there's also a transcript you can skim to get the gist of it. Check it out here!
Frank Savage: So at that time I was a hobbyist game developer. I taught myself C and C++. My education was in Electrical Engineering. So I knew the mathematics behind 3D stuff, but I had never applied it. I never tried to do anything with it except for a couple of courses in college. I was a huge fan of the Wing Commander series. I had Wing Commander license plates on my car in Illinois where I was living in Chicago at the time. I would go to GenCon every year. GenCon was a game convention used to be held in Lake Geneva and Wisconsin and then eventually moved to downtown. Milwaukee, and that was where I first saw Wing Commander at GenCon the year before. I went and played Wing Commander every day literally every day when it released. Went to Gen Con the next year and they had this demo for this game that that I had never seen before called Strike Commander and watch the demo and saw like unbelievable graphics for that time. There was another person watching it with me a GenCon and we were laughing. Think about how like how if you can do this on a personal computer imagine what the simulators that we terrain people must must look like.

And I talk to Warren Spector who is who is there recruiting for origin at the time told him the story of how I played Wing Commander every day how I knew some of the mathematics behind this and taught myself C and C++ and he said, "Wow, you sound like someone we should hire because Strike Commander needs people to come work on it." And I said, well, okay like "I would love to get in the game is like this would be a dream job of mine." So I wrote a letter accompanying Warren back to Origin that had like my my experiences and you know the stuff that I've been doing with games and Warren told me he's like look, we're in the throes of shipping Wing Commander 2 right now. It probably won't won't come out we won't talk to you for some amount of time because the game is still about a month away and we're not sure. So I said okay, that's fine. Like I've got you know, I have a regular job that time.

I was working the IT department at a home improvement chain so you can see like how steeped in gaming I was at that point. I was a huge gamer, but I hadn't really done a lot of stuff professionally. Origin actually reached out to me that week and they were going to fly me down to Austin, Texas. I've never been to Austin in my life. And the last second they said well, here's what we're going to do. We're going to actually have you be interviewed by by one of the people on the team and over the phone. And then if that goes well then we'll think about what the next steps will be and there's probably gonna be three people talking to you that Friday night and I said, "Alright, that sounds great."

Drakhri Encounters Furious Ferret Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a fabulous digital painting to share. This depiction of a Ferret taking on a Drakhri was created by artist Mike Riendeau. He's currently making a series of video game-inspired art, which you can find on Twitter here. The scene was suggested by More_Boom_Boom, and it's a really great one. I love the stylization that takes the relatively sterile gray Ferret cockpit and gives it the green-and-blue glow of a Sabre. Very cool!

A Close Look at Privateer 2's Ending Ships Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's an excerpt from the end of Privateer 2 where we see the player (and others) escape Kronos' doomed flagship. Unfortunately only the published 320x200 version survives so it can be hard to see some of the neat details. Let's try and identify the ships!

Since the player can choose from 18 different ships there was no way to know which they'd actually fly the last mission in. To hedge bets, the escaping fleet includes four of the most likely options. First out is a Drakkar! Then we've got a Danrik in an all-grey livery. (And that's a good choice because you were probably flying a Danrik here!) Then there's a Shaman... And out in front but not identifiable until you get to the second shot is the game's signature Heretic! Cinematics not knowing what ship to use wasn't a problem exclusive to Privateer 2, either. Wing Commander Prophecy gives the final hero flyby shot to the Devastator instead of the Vampire because the cutscenes had to be rendered before the mission design was locked down. But even more exciting than ships you know is ships you don't! Neither of these Kindred shuttles (?) appears anywhere else in the game. They're similar designs but one seems to have two hull segments to the other's one. I wish we could see more detail! Of course, one more ship in the video: Kronos' flagship! (It's also the source of the superstructure and debris in the first shot.) You can find the rest of Privateer 2's fantastic cinematic in the CIC Holovids section.
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Centurion Also Ready for Production Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

LYP Studios got a lot of attention last month for their amazing Morningstar model, but that wasn't actually the first ship in their collection. Their archives also include a slick Centurion design that can be 3D printed and assembled at home. The applicable files are available here. If you put one together, be sure to send us pics! I missed this originally, but LYP's Morningstar even glows in the dark! Check out the photoluminescent decals! Super cool!

Secret Ops Trailers Converted from Flash & Upscaled to 4K Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a treat! People tend to think of Wing Commander Secret Ops as a game without FMV and a story told via text, but there were actually wonderful flashes of "video" throughout. Every chapter had some nifty in-engine cutscenes, and there were also a couple of really cool teaser trailers posted to the web. The first teaser revs up Prophecy's ICIS interface. It includes a terrifying distress signal that indicates the bugs are back! The second trailer builds on this but adds communication from the TCS Mistral Sea, which the Prophecy documentation mentioned would be the second Midway class megacarrier off the line. The third clip is a gameplay trailer that shows off the first mission and new dust cannon in action!

Both of the ICIS trailers were originally presented as Shockwave Flash files. While these have been in our archive for more than two decades, with the recent deprecation of Flash on the web, we thought it'd be a good idea to get these into a more accessible format. There are alternative methods to still play Flash videos, but we've provided modern 4K video download links below so you can save and view at your leisure. Note the third video's low 240x180 resolution was pretty standard for internet video at the time. At ten megabytes, it would have clocked in at nearly a tenth of the actual game's enormous download size.

  • Teaser 4K .mov, 31 megs, AAC & H.264 codecs
There were also two versions of this video. We've put the later "H" iteration on YouTube. The original "G" revision has a loud Alien chirp at the beginning. It also incorrectly referred to the Orsini Sector, which was later corrected to the Orsini System.
If all this has bitten you with the Secret Ops bug, you can grab the game and find links to the associated fiction here!

Popular French YouTuber Shares WC Memories Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Bazar du Grenier's YouTube channel has posted a gushing retrospective on Wing Commander 3. Rmax2 helps put this in perspective: The streamer has almost 2 million followers and this video has been seen more than 150,000 times in just a few hours. It's a popular channel for young French gamers, so this clip serves to inform a new generation about how fantastic the WC games are.

If you weren't aware, YouTube provides automatic language translation captions, so it's accessible to anyone. Click the CC logo at the bottom of the clip and the gear icon to select a language. Although the translation isn't perfect, you can tell how excited the author is to share his memories of the series. He also goes on to explain how great examples of mid '90s FMV games like this helped lead us to to rich stories in modern games today. Check it out for yourself below!

Hello everyone! A little video on a series that I'll do from time to time to talk to you quietly about games that I liked. No analysis, or jokes, just the feeling of games that marked me. And I start with Wing Commander!

Baka Mitai Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a slightly ridiculous video to help break up the doom scrolling. We found it on the cutting room floor after EmuMusicFan's first round of Dame Da Ne memes. It's oddly hypnotic, and I'm slightly embarrassed by how many times I've watched it. Although this might not be the most revelatory update, we are working on a very cool news post that I'm looking forward to sharing later this weekend!
Anyway... I think, well, machine learning can certainly do some amazing things, but then again, it can also be used for "silly" and interesting experiments, like this one.

New Generation of AI Enhancers Tested at 4K Resolution Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

By now you've probably seen ODVS' amazing enhanced video footage, but you haven't seen it quite like this! Due to previous limitations in what the AI/neural net tools could do, the best quality material he was able to generate in 2020 worked out to 1080p resolution. Aside from a few limited upscaling tests early on, he hasn't gone for Ultra HD until now. This is still a first cut at the new resolution, but even this preliminary 4K experiment is very impressive! Check it out here:
With recent improvements to Topaz Video Enhance AI's models, I thought it was finally time to attempt an upscale directly to 2160p 4K - and I have to say I'm pleased with the results.

While my previous videos have been available as 4K streams on YouTube, I rendered the actual fooage at 1080p Full HD, then used traditional bilinear scaling to double up to 4K - because YouTube uses a higher quality codec for 1440p and 2160p streams than 1080p (VP9 vs. h.264).

In this example, the footage is upscaled to native 4K (an increase of 600% in scale!) - and I think it's finally time to move to this model for the development of Wing Commander IV: Remastered.

As in previous recent uploads, I also used DAINApp to increase the frame rate to 60fps.

The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It seems like we've said it a lot this past year, but these are trying times. I know quite a few Wingnuts live in the DC area, including multiple members of the CIC Staff. We hope you're all staying safe out there tonight. It's never our intent to trivialize serious or stressful events, but hopefully you can find some much-needed distraction and comfort in our posts. Of course, there's always a Wing Commander angle to real life events, and the Terran Confederation is no stranger to assaults on Washington DC. The district is still the seat of power for humanity in the 27th Century, centered on the Hall of the Great Assembly adjacent to the old US Capitol building. You can learn more about civics in the WC universe in LOAF's wonderful article here.
The Legislative Branch

The Terran Confederation’s legislative branch is a unicameral body known as the Confederation Senate, the Congress, the General Assembly, the Council or the Great Assembly (commonly, the Assembly.) Members of the Assembly are called Senators. The Assembly Master is the presiding officer of the Great Assembly and is elected from the overall body annually. The Master's traditional seat at the head of the Senate is referred to as the Master's Chair. The Assembly Master wears a cloak of office and has a gavel with which he may direct debate in the Great Hall. Cloaks are traditional garb for anyone presiding over or testifying to the General Assembly. The legislature consists of approximately 1200 Senators who represent different geographic districts which range from individual nations like Earth's North American States to to planets like Altair to primary star systems with multiple colony worlds. After the conclusion of the Pilgrim War, Pilgrim enclaves were granted representation in the Assembly. Districts may have multiple representatives; for instance, Senator Jamison More was one of the representatives from Primus III. Members of the Assembly are immune from arrest and prosecution while serving.

The Assembly traditionally meets at the Hall of the Great Assembly in Washington DC just east of the site of United States capitol building. In 2654, the Assembly was bombed and the original building destroyed. In the aftermath of the attack, interim senators were appointed to replace those lost and the Assembly reconvened in a Washington DC zero gravity sports complex. For a period, the capital was moved to Terra Station, an Earth-orbit arcology. By 2669, the capitol building had been rebuilt and the assembly again met there. The floor of the Assembly is open to the roughly twelve hundred senators plus representatives from news services, lobbyists and other politicians. The Assembly Master and six other presiding officers sit at the head of the body abreast of the speaker. The Assembly has the right to pass a declaration of war. Such a declaration was issued against the Pilgrim Alliance in 2632, the Empire of Kilrah in 2634 in response to serious acts of piracy and then again in 2668 following the ‘false peace’ when four carriers crossed the border. Unusually, the Senate issued other war declarations against the Kilrathi in response to specific attacks.

Goodbye, Bill Pearson Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here is some bad news that I totally missed at the time: the great prop maker Bill Pearson passed away back in March. Here's a quick summary of material covering his work on Wing Commander by ways of a tribute. First of all, a lot of this history is possible because Mr. Pearson maintained a wonderful online archive of his work. You can find hundreds and hundreds of pictures plus a two hour lecture covering the entirety of his career at his website here.
The Spaceshipper: Model maker Bill Pearson: Alien, Moon, Space Precinct, Wing Commander, Flash Gordon, Outland, Red Dwarf...
Production Designer Peter Lamont hired Bill Pearson to develop model spacecraft and a number of hero props based on his team's concept art for Wing Commander in 1998. Bill did the work in his UK studio and shipped it over to Luxembourg for the shoot. Let's look at some items!

He built this magnificent (and enormous) physical model of Paladin's Diligent free trader ship. The models weren't to be used in the film but they really were good enough to be. Chris Roberts doesn't do things in half measures!

Here's the initial concept art of the Diligent that the model was developed from. After principal photography, the physical models were shipped to Austin for reference for the 3D artists creating the ships for the final film. Here's the finished 3D model in the movie... it's extremely close to Mr. Pearson's study model! Another reason for the models: squaring practical sets with the CG work, especially for comp shots like the pan into the Diligent's bridge or any of the flight operations on the Tiger Claw. Bonus: a different 3D Diligent done early on for the on-set displays. And here's a little lore on the Diligent, courtesy of the Confederation Handbook! Note that it's an Errant-class merchantman and not actually the Diligent-class transport from Secret Missions that it's named after. Five detailed ship models were constructed in all: the Diligent, Tiger Claw, Concordia, Snakeir and Sivar. The ConCom, Ralari and Fralthi were concepted later in CG. These ships, including Pearson's Diligent, are still on display at Cloud Imperium Games' LA office today! Simpler foam models were constructed of the two hero fighter types, Rapier and Dralthi, which also needed to match physcal cockpit sets with to-be-constructed CG models. Here's Mr. Pearson's Dralthi model: Here's the six-wing Dralthi concept art, loosely based on the original 'flying pancake' from Wing Commander I. Bill Pearson added an intentional nod to the Xenomorph from Alien to the design's nose with his model! Here's the finished model which is actually quite a bit simpler, dropping several of the wings from the concept. All physical shots of the Dralthi cockpit were cut from the final movie so there was no need to match with the set. Some lore on the movie Dralthi from Joan's: Now let's look at some of his props! These are hero props which were specially built with the expectation that they might appear prominently on screen and/or be used by an actor. First of all, peep this cool medical kit. The tool on the left was a beard trimmer and the little pills in ths dispenser were breathmints. It's such a neat presentation... ... but where do you even see it? Angel hits her head during the pulsar jump and then Blair retrieves part of the kit to treat her wound. The workprint version makes it much more visible (blurry shots) but in the finished cut it's visible only momentarily from a distance! This cool scanner prop is used by Angel as she performs maintenance on her fighter later in the film (when Blair goes to talk to her about Maniac). Some kind of neutron degausser? And here's an easy one! The red Confederation pilot's helmet seen throughout the film, complete with electronic oculus that closes remotely. Confederation pilot concept art that was the basis for the prop: And here's the final appearance (nametags were added by the art department in Luxembourg). PLUS! A page of lore... C-512 Combat Helmet! Love this stuff. Another one you surely know: the iconic helmet and backpack for the Confederation marines! These costumes were used all over the marketing, though a lot of footage of them in use was cut from the final film. Concept art plus some stills from the boarding sequence: And both the suit and the backpack each get a page of lore! These costumes pop up again in 2004 in the Dolph Lundgren direct-to-video film Retrograde, too! It shot scenes in the same hangar in Luxembourg and apparently just took the abandoned marine armor suits. Finally, a strange one! This concept art appeared in the movie's licensing book labeled as a Confederation pistol. But nothing like it seems to appear in the movie... though a completely different sidearm does show up (modeled here by Angel). Then, these showed up in Bill Pearson's archive! He did indeed build a pair of working, rotary pistols for the movie but they don't appear anywhere in the finished film. Unexpected given a certain director's passion for gatling-style guns! It's not clear if these were intended for the marines or perhaps Pegasus security whose shots were cut... or if they just decided to go another way. To close, here's a segment clipped from Mr. Pearson's two hour lecture that covers Wing Commander and some of these same props. Well worth the four minutes (and the full thing is worth watching, too!).
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RPG Set for Streaming Event Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've got a really cool crossover to share today. Tomorrow, Bonkus_Maximus' Twitch stream will be broadcasting a retro playthrough of Wing Commander Privateer. But it's not just any Priv livestream! He'll be playing the game as an in-universe tie-in to the events that have recently occurred in the Gemini Sector RPG. That's some awesome collaboration and sounds like a lot of fun! You can watch the action starting at 5pm US Pacific / 8 PM Eastern time on Tuesday evening, January 5, over on Twitch. You can also read up on some of the recent RPG logs that set the stage for tomorrow's event.
Hey all! The ever entertaining Bonkus Maximus will be hosting the greatest crossover in the history of mankind. Mark your calendars, January 5th, assuming we survive this year, will feature Bonkus in Palan, avenging the losses that the team of the TCS Majestic took 10 years earlier in the Gemini Sector RPG. Let's salute the magnificent individual and cheer him on on his Twitch stream.

Fan Project Vote Kicks Off Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Another annual tradition that we're happy to kick off is our Fan Project of the Year vote. This gives us a small opportunity to recognize a few of the projects that had a positive impact on the community in the past year. The nominees below stood out either by magnitude of their release, significance of their innovation or sustained duration of their project's output across a good chunk of the year. You're probably familiar with most all of them, but here's a quick rundown. Scroll a bit further to cast your vote!

  • The AI/Neural Net Enhanced Wing Commander Video Packs made a big splash this year by surprising fans with the quality of its upscaled movies. The new footage can even be easily dropped into WC4 and Prophecy.
  • The Animated Academy-style Video Project is a relatively new endeavor by prolific modeler DefianceIndustries. He's managed to create some gorgeous cartoon style models that look wonderful in action.
  • Flight Commander 2 was another newcomer this year. There's already a playable demo to interact with, and it even runs in a web browser!
  • The Gemini Sector RPG has had an especially busy year. The team has been hard at work to keep evolving and spice up the game with cool artwork to accompany their Discord sessions.
  • The Graphical Novel Project draws inspiration from WC4 and Action Stations as it seeks to develop a flexible interface for animated storytelling. Some very cool previews help set the stage for what to expect going forward.
  • Klavs' Models made a return in 2020. On top of the being some of the most beautiful WC imagery around, they also serve as the backbone for a number of fan projects, such as LYP Studios' awesome Morningstar 3D print.
  • The WC Toolbox expanded this year to support Armada and Wing Commander 3. Even the console ports of WC3 got in on the action. The tools helped lead to some new discoveries, including some never-before-seen background sets from Wing Commander 3!
  • The WC4 Fan Remake kicked things into high gear this year with the ramp up of key programming, artwork and video enhancement. They even debuted a new website at wcrespace.com to keep tabs on it all and share the latest advancements!
  • wcdx 2.2 is the latest and greatest patch for the Kilrathi Saga. It fixes compatibility on modern systems, but it also goes back and unbreaks things that the original conversion for Windows 95 didn't incorporate correctly from the DOS originals. It now supports everything from WC1 through both Special Operations.
  • Wing Commander Loader is a project people have been asking for for decades, and Destro is finally making it happen as he steadily works to incorporate the voiceovers from the Sega CD port of WC1 back into the original DOS game.

And those are our nominees for 2020. Please vote below!

Happy New Poll! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's that time of the year again! Having see what all we managed to accomplish in 2020, what do you think 2021 will look like? Although more people will hopefully be able to spend more time outside this summer, we are blessed with a large group of folks who are pretty content to just be indoors. In either case, it's hard to not imagine this year will be better than 2020 in almost every way! What do you expect?

The old poll asked which non-PC platform was your preferred system for a new Wing Commander game. Xbox Series X edged out ahead of the Playstation 5, but by a lesser margin than the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. The results were flipped compared to the original Xbox One and PS4 match up back in 2013. With all of this new generation's cross compatibility, you can't go wrong with either one!

Happy New Year! A Look Back at 2020 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We made it! Most of us, at least. I know some of you lost loved ones in 2020, and you have our deepest sympathies. A lot has been written about a year that words don't really do justice. Usually we take this time to look back and come away inspired by the vast efforts of the Wing Commander community to reach new heights celebrating our favorite fandom. It still feels weird to celebrate this time though, because although 2020 may be over, the worst may be yet to come in the next few weeks and months. But there is still hope that help is on the way, and we will turn a corner in a matter of months. Until then, please continue to be vigilant and stay safe. We will do the same. And we'll be here every day to provide the latest Wing Commander news. If nothing else, it's a fun distraction in a difficult time. So our annual recap may be somewhat low key this year, but here we go!

The year started with high hopes about the new roaring twenties and all. We got some pretty ships from Defiance Industries and Klavs and saw progress on the Through the Moongate goodies. And although the project may seem semi-dormant, there was even a new Flat Universe Destiny's Way released in January - the first in four years! All Wings Considered was also still pumping out weekly episodes.

It was an excellent year for fan made tools and patches. UnnamedCharacter's WC Toolbox got upgrades to work with both Armada and WC3.. The work on WC3 even revealed never-before-seen background art that give us a greater look at the inside of the Victory. wcdx also got a big update to smooth Kilrathi Saga compatibility with WC2 and the Special Operations. And no summary of 2020 would be complete without mentioning ODVS' enhanced Wing Commander videos. I still can't believe how they actually manage to create new pixels where none exist, and it's relatively painless to drop them into WC4 and Prophecy!

Some entirely new and promising fan projects were revealed. Destro started work on a project to add Sega CD speech to DOS WC1, which delivers on something Wingnuts have been asking for for years. EddieB unexpectedly took the wraps off Flight Commander 2. Defiance also unveiled a gorgeous animated WC project done in the style of Academy. Mike Winterbauer had another successful WC art Kickstarter, so some of us got some great new wall art. Although not a new project, the WC4 Fan Remake really kicked things into high gear and even launched a dedicated website to chronicle the game's progress. The Gemini Sector RPG was also quite active. They also maintain a project website, which is something we're happy to see going further into the '20s.


In May we had our first BREAKING NEWS headline in a few years when it wasn't announced that Wing Commander Academy would be coming to Peacock. And we followed it up with another just a couple weeks later when Privateer 2 director Steve Hilliker released an awesome 25th anniversary trove of Privateer 2 footage. That was followed up by some fun additional commentary by developer Paul Hughes.

This year we learned a little bit more about the origins of our favorite games. An early version of the famous Wing Commander comic in Nintendo Power was unearth, and LOAF found the clip art that used to create the WC Movie nose art. We posted a little known high quality version of a classic WC4 trailer and also unearthed a nifty prerelease mockup trailer for the Wing Commander Movie. Perhaps the most high visibility video of the year though was when Spacedock made an overview of the Midway, which got some 100,000 views!


It was also a good year for our physical collections. I reorganized my WC goodies, and LOAF added a film reel copy of the WC Movie to his collection. On the virtual side of things, the WCPedia got a little bit of love, including a Hugh overhaul of the CCG materials.

Legos were surprisingly big in 2020. Bricks with Wings made some great stuff, and Malcav did too. Then we managed to end the year with a bang in the form of LYP Studios' gorgeous Morningstar model.

This was a fun overview of the highlights, but there were plenty more day-to-day updates for these projects and others. I'm already hearing about some good stuff bubbling up that we'll be able to post in the days and weeks ahead, so I'm very confident that 2021 will continue with more of the same! We're looking forward to going through it all with you!

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