Happy New Year Wingnuts! It's been another big year for Wing Commander fans, and 2014 should be even better. The biggest news stories often arrive out of nowhere, so it's exciting to think about what might happen next. But before we go charging forward, here's a brief look back at a few of the big stories from last year. If someone were to just look at a couple random days of WC news, it might not seem like a whole lot is happening - but skimming the weeks and months of news in our archives is amazing!
Star Citizen Development Gets Under Way
There you have it! This is only a sample of what happened in 2013. The real news is that fans continue to work tirelessly every single day to commemorate the Wing Commander series and strengthen the community. Keep it up in 2014! We'll be here to report what happens.
- The Austin office of Cloud Imperium Games was established around the beginning of the year, and developments poured out regularly thereafter. We're not a Star Citizen news site, but we do cover Roberts Space Industries events that are Wing Commander-related such as numerous ex-Originite hires, inclusion of a neat easter egg or the theatrical showing of the WC Movie at Citizen Con.
Wing Commander: A Defiant Few Launches
- Plywood Fiend's audio adventure in the Gemini Sector kicked off with scripting, casting and previews in January. Over the course of the year, several chapters were were released and the story is still going strong.
Wing Commander Highlighted in 3D Printing Breakthrough
- In early February a German company demonstrated a new form of micrometer-scale 3D printing that could be used to build incredibly tiny structures. Many major magazines and websites ran with the story, so it got a lot of press. What did they build to demonstrate the technology? A Hellcat V!
Hamill's WC3 Flight Suit Resurfaces
- Pix's Origin Adventures helped reconnect with the fan who won a 1995 contest for the screen-worn Blair flight suit in Wing Commander 3. The suit has been well cared for over the course of 18 years and the winner graciously provided some cool pictures. Later in the year, we got a peek at quite a few artifacts that also decorate Chris Roberts' office today.
Amateur 3D Printing Explodes
- Wingnuts have been 3D printing small miniature ships for years now, but the technology really took off in 2013! One of the biggest breakthroughs happened in March with Klavs' color 3D prints. For the first time, fans could go beyond hand-painting tiny figures and order large designs with relatively detailed color textures and decals. They have been extremely popular and dozens of sharp models were made in 2013.
GOG Rereleases Entire Wing Commander Series
- 2013 was huge for digital rereleases of Wing Commander games! The entire DOS/Windows saga was completed with the addition of Academy in August, P2: The Darkening in September, Prophecy & Secret Ops and Armada & Proving Grounds in November. Don't forget that Strike Commander was also added in March and Macintosh compatibility was expanded all year. As great as it is for a whole new generation to be able to buy Wing Commander cheap and easy, this also provided HCl an opportunity to flex his considerable programming muscle and add new features such as the deinterlace patch for Privateer 2 and DVD video upgrade for Prophecy. All of these enhancements even work for both the digital GOG releases and the old school disc-based versions!
Wing Commander In Concert
- In April it was revealed that famous Wing Commander composer George Oldziey's music would finally be performed live in concert by the Austin Symphony. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the WC portion was ultimately removed from the planned October concert, but all hope is not lost! Stay tuned for more on this subject in the future.
Wing Commander FPS Unearthed
- Origin veteran Binky Launius uncovered "lost footage" of a first person shooter set in the Wing Commander universe. The project didn't get very far, but in 1997 it was considered and pitched at Origin. There's even a very rudimentary concept video!
Flat Universe Shooter Project Kicked Off
- Flat Universe was one of several promising fan projects that were initiated in 2013. The Maslas Brothers worked with prominent Wingnut artists to import existing assets into their 2D engine. They also supplemented their project with a flashy website and electronic magazine.
EA Releases Ultima Forever
- Origin's other vaunted franchise received a boost this year with the release of Ultima Forever for iOS devices. Although we'd much rather see a new Wing Commander game, it's great to see a new title based on one of Origin's classic series. The game continues to receive updates and has a strong social media component. Supposedly it even includes an easter egg quest with a Kilrathi ship!
WC RPG Completed
- capi's well-planned and meticulous role playing game was finally completed and released this year. It's not the only RPG project that was active in 2013, but what is remarkable is that the project set out with a very specific set of goals, set specific targets and then provided status updates with progress details on a regular basis. It's a model that many people could learn from - and it works!
CIC Hits Ten Years of Constant News
- We proudly tooted our own horn in mid 2013 when the CIC reached ten years of constant daily updates. Around the time that Prophecy was released for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, the CIC Staff decided to kick things into overdrive and hunt something down to report every day. We now sit at about 3870 consecutive days of Wing Commander news on our front page! The material isn't always earth shattering breaking news, but this very roundup proves that quite a bit of exciting stuff does happen!
Fatman Cleans Up WC1 Album
- George The Fatman Sanger updated his commercial release of WC1 music mid year when discrepancies were found with two tracks. This was the kind of thing that could easily have been ignored and left to sit for eternity, but Mr. Fat graciously avoided leaving Wing Commander fans in the lurch.
Wing Commander on Blu-ray!
- On August 6, Wing Commander was finally released on Blu-ray! The long-awaited high definition physical media release did not include any extra features aside from higher resolution and detail, but seeing a brand new boxed Wing Commander product on regular store shelves with simply a joy to behold. Even the regular DVD was updated with an anamorphic aspect ratio, and the sound track was released digitally on iTunes/Amazon.
The CIC Turns 15 Years Old
- August 10 marked 15 years of WCNews.com! Our birthday party was a huge success and ton of fun. We released a new OEM demo of WC Prophecy, modernized our video section, reported on tons of fan projects and posted some very interesting archive material. Here's to the next 15 years!
Bandit (LOAF) Gets Married
- Wing Commander and LOAF go together like Shotglass and the Tiger's Claw Bar, but he made room for a second love in his life this year! His CIC friends were there to share pictures from the happy event. It'd been nine years since the last staff member got married, and it was fun to see how much we'd changed in between (and stayed the same!).
Classic WC1/2 Modding Back in Style
- It was also a great year for modification of the first couple Wing Commander games. Most modding over the last decade or so has focused on the later games in the series, but HCl and Howard's additions to Academy and delMar's WCWorkShop site have reinvigorated interest in the classic titles. We're anxious to see this trend continue!
Black Lance Transport Certified For Covert Cargo
After leading the charge with a pair of exotic Black Lance designs earlier this year, DefianceIndustries has circled back around and completed the Evansville class transport that we see in Wing Commander 4. It has a fairly sleek profile for a transport as well as oversized engines, which form a pretty effective combo. There's no better way to sneak clandestine cargo to out-of-the-way places! (2018-03-18)
Happy St. Patrick's Day From The Green Salthi
Confederation hull plating is well known for its green texture, and terran soldiers even occasionally sport a green tinted outfit, but it's a far less common color on the Kilrathi (aside from the kats that actually have green skin). We know the common brown color of Kilrathi ships comes from the hue of their local durasteel, but there's one major exception to this: the green Salthi - or Jalthi, rather. The Secret Missions for the Super Nintendo had to squeeze to fit everything on the cartridge, and one noteworthy cut was the elimination of the six-shooter Jalthi model. (2018-03-17)
Explore Wing Commander History as Prelude to Star Citizen
Magnets & Miracles Gaming has put together a historical overview video series going through some of Chris Roberts' older games and how they formed the genesis of what we see being planned for Star Citizen. It's similar to what the Cloud Imperium crew put together in their series of RSI Museum videos. Part 1 focuses on basic back story, Wing Commander and Wing Commander II. (2018-03-16)
Un Juego de Chris Roberts
Christian Klein, the Pixel Engineer, has dug up another awesome European localization. It's a second Spanish DROsoft box that includes a combination of both Secret Missions in the same package! The reverse side of each has been translated and combined into one, but the included paper inserts appear to still be in English. (2018-03-15)
Goodbye, Stephen Hawking
The extraordinary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has passed away and tributes are pouring in from across the internet. As a genius thinker and pioneer in space, he made his mark on the whole genre of science-fiction, including Wing Commander. On the universe map, star systems are often named after developers, authors and even fans. (2018-03-14)