It's almost 2018, so that means it's time for our annual contest tradition! One tweak this year is that we're combining the Fan Project and Web Site of the Year categories into one. While there were some great Wing Commander updates on the web, we didn't get enough nominations to make that standalone grouping competitive. If that changes next year, we'll break things out again - or even potentially add a new contest next year based on what types of things Wingnuts are most engaged in. On the other hand, it was another huge year for fan projects. All of the game-related items below had playable releases this year, which is great. Without further delay, here are the nominees!
Dark Sentinel had a fantastic year with some of his most exquisite and creepy Nephilim designs ever. He added a variety of capships and fighters to his fleet, including some of the less common and more exotic variants. He capped the year off with one of the most detailed WC wallpaper images ever made.
Flat Universe had their long-awaited public multiplayer alpha launch this year. This was on top of a variety of other improvements to their base game, which is coming along very nicely.
The Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack had a tremendous year with more gorgeous models and playable releases. Kilrathi ships got more love in 2017, but their Confed and Nephilim counterparts weren't far behind. And it's not just about graphical upgrades, engine enhancements have reduced texture delay and capships have even gotten new features.
The Sins of a Solar Empire mod is a really cool fleet battle game that's recently gotten a new playable test. The Confed and Kilrathi have been fleshed out quite a bit this year, and both the Border Worlds and Nephilim are in work and planned for 2018 updates.
WC Saga Plus / Deutsch Conversion got its first service pack to help simplify the installation of all the various patches and enhancements to the original game. There are new GUI enhancements, better tools for modders and help pages included now.
The WC Toolbox editor added preliminary support for WC2 and Academy this year. And it's just one piece of a suite of tools that includes things like the WC1 Live Viewer and French WC2 Conversion Patch. It's great to see all the tweaking still going on for the earliest games in the series!
2018-01-21 -- ...the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack! Wingnuts from around the world have weighed in, and they've chosen DefianceIndustries' beautiful upgrade to WCSO as the Fan Project of the Year for 2017.
2018-01-20 -- The annual community voting ends tomorrow, so now is the last chance for Wingnuts like you to help choose the Wing Commander Fan Project of the Year for 2017! Here are the nominees one last time. It's hard to choose because there's so many great projects going on, but vote below and help pick the winner!
2018-01-19 -- Unboxing Hands has a massive collection of classic PC and other video games, and they're starting to go through and unbox them all. Wing Commander Amiga was lucky enough to be one of the first titles up. Most Wingnuts are pretty familiar with Claw Marks, the blueprints and so forth, but there are minor and major differences between editions that are really cool for collectors and diehard fans to see.
2018-01-18 -- Deathsnake has a new video showing a Confed vs Kilrathi engagement in his Last Line of Defense project. It was announced last year that the endeavor was transitioning from a playable game to a more cinematic adventure using the mod's assets, and this video shows how that has progressed. It's certainly a pretty awesome battle captured here, and we're eager to see more!
2018-01-17 -- Longtime Wing Commander fan centaurianmudpig has posted something a little different. Lots of talented Wingnuts upload videos of the works in progress, but CMP recently livestreamed the entire creative process. He goes through bit-by-bit looking up tutorials, sampling graphics and writing Unity code.
2018-01-15 -- DefianceIndustries is back from a well deserved holiday break with a slick new wallpaper image. It features a cool new Rapier model first teased last October. This is the variant featured in Super Wing Commander and Arena, so it's a bit more flat and round than DOS or GOG players might be familiar with.
2018-01-14 -- Lilja saw our post a while back about one of the Lightning fighters that became a Wing Commander Movie Rapier at Pinewood Studios and decided to do some digging of his own. Finding where they've all ended up over the years has been an interesting endeavor, and through some clever investigation, he managed to track down some new information on the afterlife of these exotics birds. Immediately after the film's debut in 1999, fans spotted one Rapier at a Planet Hollywood in Ohio, and then a couple showed up for auction/rental/sale in the early 2000s.
2018-01-13 -- Lego Digital Designers Club has posted a neat virtual Darket made with Lego brand activity bricks. The color could probably go a bit more brown, but otherwise it's a pretty good design. All of the crazy Star Wars Legos out there sure make me wish we got these for real!
2018-01-12 -- Our annual community voting is now in progress, and Wingnuts like you are helping choose the Wing Commander Fan Project of the Year for 2017! Here are the nominees one more time. It's hard to choose because there's so many great projects going on, but vote below and help pick the winner!
2018-01-11 -- Mark Hamill's return to the Star Wars series and starring role in The Last Jedi has also sparked a wave of interest in his work between epic film projects. The gaming press has largely already done this thanks to Mr. Hamill's role in Star Citizen, but now it's spreading to a more mainstream audience.
2018-01-10 -- Shot97 has put together an absolutely massive review of Wing Commander for Amiga systems. He covers every inch from top to bottom. Shot goes over what the game meant to him and then proceeds to cover the backstory, the impact of the characters, the depth of the manual, the significance of the Kilrathi, and that's just getting started.
2018-01-09 -- GeekScape has posted a podcast episode with Starship Troopers star Casper Van Dien. The actor is well known for his sci-fi acting, but he's also a director with a diverse variety of projects under his belt. He also had a brief cameo in Wing Commander 4, which is mentioned in the show.
2018-01-08 -- A lot of people have done some pretty nifty things with the Privateer 3D model archive over the years, but it can still be a slightly daunting task to dig into if you're an artistic novice. This is where fans come into play, and Wingnuts have continued to help their fellow Wingnuts learn how to navigate these waters. bai recently got some assistance unpacking some of the texture files and finding out how to convert and read them.
2018-01-07 -- pcuser1541 has put together a number of videos that showcase the wide variety of audio setups supported by the original Wing Commander games. SoundBlaster was the most common card of the day, but the Roland MT-32 was highly sought after early on and new variants continued to be released through numerous ports over nearly half a dozen years. There are examples from the Microsoft GS, FM Towns, Amiga, Macintosh, Super Nintendo and Sega CD.
2018-01-06 -- Alien Gray has posted a nifty video of the GPD Win playing the 3DO version of Super Wing Commander. This device actually runs Windows 10, but it's using the Project Phoenix emulator to get the game running. This is just the latest in a fascinating string of modern handheld devices that have managed to get various WC games running.
2018-01-05 -- The Internet Movie Database has posted a photo gallery collage to highlight the history of video games crossing over to movies. There are 96 examples highlighted (a significant fraction of which are Resident Evil films), which is surprising in itself. Even more so, Wing Commander is chronologically listed in the first fifteen movies, so the genre has really exploded in recent years.
2018-01-04 -- Claude Blair has put together an interesting video that reviews a large pile of Wing Commander documentation. After some initial introduction, he spends more than a half hour lovingly detailing the material on every page of Claw Marks. Obviously most of you are quite familiar with what's in the WC1 manual, but it's always fun to hear the perspective of someone who's so excited about it.
2018-01-03 -- George Oldziey is back with a New Year's message and Wing Commander album status update. He's anxiously preparing for the Wing Commander bar music recording happening next month as well as planning out the next steps for the orchestral portions of the album. He's also dug up a vintage interview that was published in the January 1999 edition of Film Score Monthly.
2018-01-02 -- Arne from Android Arts is currently putting together some awesome Wing Commander sketches. He started with an Exeter and has drawn a contemporary flotilla around it. There's also a gun mockup and fighter concept art, plus a really cute 'Dralthi Commander' diskette.