Behind the Scenes: Selling Privateer Online

Before Origin could develop Privateer Online in the late 1990s, they had to sell it to Electronic Arts. Alert readers are already familiar with the Privateer Online Design Layout (available in our Document Archive) submitted to the corporate office to explain how the game would work. To go alongside this document, the team also created a multimedia website to help sell the game. Thanks to an anonymous donor, you can now find that site here. The best part? The site features several never-seen-before preliminary ship renderings from the lost game!

The first couple shots appear to be a modular Vaktoth. The Crusader and Aurora, heavy fighters in the Border Worlds and Confed arsenal, are pictured next, and if you look closely, the last shot even has a swarm of Piranhas and Devastators.

Origin has an extreme edge over the competition with its strong properties like Wing Commander and Ultima. While most companies are struggling to create these properties AND communities from the ground up, Origin has several properties that fit perfectly in a persistent world environment. Each of these properties has an established loyal fan base and history that has been adored by fans for years. The next Origin property to go online? Wing Commander: Privateer.

With all that said Privateer with the strong universe backing and proven Wing Commander history proves to be the most extensive, entertaining and encompassing space based Online community in gaming history. PERIOD.

There's a ton of detailed information buried in the Privateer Online site, so make sure you check out all the various sections and links. Don't miss the areas describing how the game might control in flight, how players could interact and how ship components would combine to create over half a million different combinations. Potential sectors and systems are also diagrammed in detail. You can find a brief article describing the circumstances around Privateer Online's cancellation here.

Wing Commander Online Was Another Attempt

Privateer Online wasn't the only online Wing Commander game that met an unfortunate end. We've previously reported on concept art from Wing Commander Online. These images were on the drawing board in 1998, a year or so before the game was cancelled and the Privateer Online project was begun. There are some similarities between the POL and WCO concept shots, but they were made by different artists. You can find more here. Although it's sad that these games were never produced, it's really exciting to get an inside look at what would have been.


Wing Commander CIC - Visit the front page

Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans.

WCSO Upgrade Adds Illuminated Features
2016-05-05 -- DefianceIndustries has made another cool tweak to the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Project. Kevin Caccamo's Wing Blender application was able to help effectively add glowing elements to the updated ships. The main engines and their associated intakes now light up, as do the green guns on the Nephilim ships.

Magic DOSBox Streamlines Android Wing Commander Experience
2016-05-04 -- DOSBox Turbo has long been a popular option for getting classic PC games to run on modern Android devices, but it's not the only choice out there. Magic DOSBox is a relatively new entrant that takes game emulation in a different direction. Rather than focus on speed optimization or branching out to Windows compatibility, Magic DOSBox focuses on playability in the tablet or smartphone form factor.

Fan Film Follows Fearless Freddie
2016-05-03 -- Andromeda Briggs has put together a thoughtful Wing Commander tribute video. His focus is, of course, on Freddie Prinze Jr's role in the WC Movie. A lot of work has clearly gone into this project to tease out more than four minutes of young Blair looking alternately pensive and emotional.

Fans Take On Prototype Midway Model
2016-05-02 -- DefianceIndustries has recently decided to take a stab at rendering an odd prototype in the CIC archives. The ship depicted in these black & white photos and blurry images is commonly seen as the precursor to the TCS Midway. It has many of the megacarrier's design elements built in, although the final version smooths out some of the hard lines, centralizes the bridge tower and separates/stretches out the left and right hull sections.

Wing Blender Works With Even More WC Ships
2016-05-01 -- Kevin Caccamo has released a new version of Wing Blender. The program is a helpful tool for exporting and importing models to or from the Vision Engine into the open source Blender 3D modeling suite. This potentially makes manipulation of the Prophecy and Secret Ops ships much easier.

How Will You Make It Through?
2016-04-30 -- There's a new poll out today that challenges you to think about what Wing Commander product fans would most like to have by their side if they were stranded on an island. Is the goal entertainment or survival? There's lots of great choices, but you can only pick one!

Two Retro Reviews For The Price Of One
2016-04-29 -- The aptly named Emotional Multimedia Ride blog has posted classic reviews of both WC1 and WC2. It helps that both games are bundled together in a very affordable GOG bundle! The articles are written in a way that highlights their strong points and enduring charm after two and a half decades.

Model Upgrade Project Invites New Vampire In
2016-04-28
Tweak Guides Help Maximize The Wing Commander Experience
2016-04-27 -- In addition to his guide to Wing Commander 3, PhilsComputerLab has published helpful "tweak guides" for Wing Commanders 1 and 2 as well as Privateer. GOG does a good job of preconfiguring their games to automatically run on most people's systems, but there are a small percentage of folks who encounter compatibility or speed issues. It's not difficult to optimize a setup to run on a specific computer, but people who buy the game at GOG for the convenience factor may not be familiar how to do this.

Wing Commander Crossover Appears In Popular Mass Effect Fan Project
2016-04-26 -- Klavs spotted a Wing Commander reference in a bit of an unusual place. The Mass Effect-based web comic Marauder Shields is a fan made alternate ending to Mass Effect 3. The authors are apparently Wing Commander fans, and they've created a Christopher Blair character to fit into their story.

Outdoors Rapier Photo Shines New Light On Design
2016-04-25 -- Lightning Picture of the Day recently posted this nifty photo of what appears to be the Wing Commander Movie's Rapiers after construction. The caption references Pinewood, and if it's the same historic Pinewood Studios, then that would be where Privateer 2: The Darkening was filmed. This somewhat contradicts the info we have for the canopy photos which were believed to have been shot in Luxembourg.

Capship Combat Mod Has New Ships & A New Name
2016-04-24 -- Arraen has posted some new images from his starship combat tribute mod. He's retextured two of Klavs' destroyers to act as workhorses of the Confed and Kilrathi fleets, and both of these are quite solid. In order to create a counter to the Venture, he's also beefed up the Jalkehi to act as a type of light corvette.

Diverse Designs Incorporated Into Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack
2016-04-23 -- It hasn't been very long since we first saw the upgraded Moray and Wasp models, but DefianceIndustries has already got both running smoothly in the Vision Engine. The Nephilim medium fighter is a very common sight in contested space, so it's nice to see how good looking it is out there. And of course, they'll look even better as they're being shot down!

Huge Prophecy Spread in Old Korean Mag
2016-04-22 -- AD has come across a Korean blog that posts scans from old domestic gaming magazines. One post showcases a massive 18-page spread on Wing Commander: Prophecy from around April 1998. At first glance it appears to be a brief game guide or walkthrough, but the article concludes with a rating of 95%, so it could also be a review with a lot of background information thrown in.

Gamers Nexus Interviews Origin Super Stars
2016-04-21 -- Warren Spector has been away from making games directly for a few years, but he's hopping back into it with the development of System Shock 3. Gamers Nexus recently caught up with him and asked some questions about the gaming industry. Discussion quickly turned to the classic Origin days and company history.

Classic Rapiers Spotted In Initial Movie Sketch
2016-04-20 -- If anyone in the world were to get Wing Commander presents on their birthday in 2016, it'd be LOAF. He's celebrating his 35th this week, and he got a super cool snippet of WC art as a present. We know from the beautiful Dean McCall concept renders that a more familiar looking F-44 Rapier II was used in some of the very early work.

Confed Interceptor Upgraded For Secret Ops
2016-04-19 -- DefianceIndustries has completed his Wasp model with the addition of its massive booster pod. It's now being integrated into the Vision Engine as part of the Secret Ops Model Upgrade pack. In the grand scheme of things, we almost always launch and immediate fire our booster to intercept incoming attackers.

Crusade Livestream Now Available Online
2016-04-18 -- The 25th anniversary playthrough of The Secret Missions 2 has finally been posted to YouTube! Fans who missed the live streaming event can now find the archived video below. It's not just full of slick flying against Hhriss and Snakeirs - the nonstop commentary includes lots of great trivia and Wing Commander stories.

LOAF Gets A Wicked Kilrathi Tattoo!
2016-04-17 -- LOAF has further increased his Wingnut devotion with an awesome Wing Commander tattoo! He recently had a section of Kilrathi characters permanently inscribed on his collar. It's the same text that Paladin hid under his jacket in the Wing Commander Movie.

Freedom Flight "Half" Ebook Released!
2016-04-16 -- Baen has partially released Wing Commander Freedom Flight has an ebook! The company is known for putting out draft half-manuscripts for its upcoming novels, so even though the book is already long complete in this case, they've issues the first portion as a preview ahead of its full July 5 debut. Fans can grab it now for $6.

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