Instructions To Play Armada Online Summarized

Although we've mentioned it in the news a few times, I've run across a number of people recently that didn't know about HCl's patch that allows fans to finally play Wing Commander Armada online with each other. Here's a summary of the different things you need to know to get started.

Armada can be installed and played in Windows XP with DOSBox. Instructions on how to install and configure Armada can be found here. To play Armada, expanded memory must be set to ems=false in the dosbox.conf file, and ipx=false must also be changed to ipx=true before playing online. Specific configuration methods depend on your system and the version of Armada you begin with. Once the game is running for you, follow these steps to upgrade your game to play online.

  1. Download the joystick/ipx patch for Armada and Proving Grounds and unzip it into your Armada directory. This will change the execution command from Armada to Armadadb (and pg to pgdb). You should test the game to see if it loads and you can play. DOSBox will probably need to be increased to around 6000 cycles (Control+F12) in order for the game to run smoothly. Calibrate the joystick by pressing ALT+O. This is the same patch that is required to use joysticks in single player Armada in DOSBox.
  2. Download the DOSBox netbios patch and unzip it to the DOSBox directory. Back up the old dosbox.exe file, and rename HCL's executable to dosbox.exe. You will use this new file when running DOSBox.
  3. If you have a router, you will probably need to forward port 213 to the computer you'll be playing on. Check the instruction manual or manufacturer's website if you've never done something like this before. The process varies depending on the router's brand. Make sure UDP data is being forwarded.
  4. Find someone else to play from the Forums or #Wingnut. One player will have to type "ipxnet startserver" in DOSBox. The player types "ipxnet connect IP" with the IP address of the other player in place of IP. Both players start Armadadb, go to Multiplayer and select Net Play. After inputting callsigns, the players should see each other in the username pane. Use the in-game buttons and commands to select your game type and play!
Visit the Tech Support Forum or #Wingnut if you get stuck or need to find an opponent.
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Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans.

Writer Writing About Writing Writes About Wing Commander's Writing
2014-10-01 -- Former Bioware game story author Alexander Freed has written an in-depth five-part series on branching dialogue in video games. Discussion topics include potential pitfalls, text vs speech, conversation trees and the art of maintaining a meaningful narrative. The writer doesn't overly focus on any particular series, but Wing Commander does get credit for implementing this practice better than most games.

The Darkening's Enhancement Patch Gets Even Better
2014-09-30 -- HCl has released an update to his major Privateer 2 Patch. The initial version fixed crashes, smoothed out audio, improved mouse control, stabilized game speed, added no-cd ability and deinterlaced the cutscene videos. [take a breath] It was even compatible with all version of P2 from DOS to Windows to GOG.

This Thud Is Slightly Sleeker
2014-09-29 -- ScoobyDoo has mocked up a new Thunderbolt VII variant based on the concept art for Wing Commander 3. The Heart of the Tiger's famous development wall featured a host of Confed ships that generally appeared more squat with certain rounded features similar to the ships of WC2. Scooby's design builds on that idea and adds some forward stabilizers/pylons as well as his nifty transparent radome assembly.

Full Afterburners, Go, Go, Go!
2014-09-28 -- Klavs has helped amp up the VK Day festivities with a glorious new Excalibur render. He's taken the famous FLEE image and recreated it from a new perspective. His version has a few additional details that are really nice - you can clearly see the WC3 style flight suit in the cockpit, and a "300" is prominent on the fighter's nose.

Local Newspaper Highlights Wing Commander's Musical History
2014-09-27 -- The Austin Chronicle has printed a preview of tomorrow's Austin Civic Orchestra concert featuring Wing Commander. The article notes that the music was originally created locally by George Oldziey at Origin, and this year's successful Kickstarter campaign gets a nod too. It also points to this really fun writeup from 1995 that talks about WC3's soundtrack and the burgeoning field of video game music.

Chris Roberts' Crowdfunding Success Officially Recognized
2014-09-26 -- Roberts Space Industries has chalked up another achievement. They've been included in the 2015 Guinness Book as the most crowd funded project in history. They earned the spot with $40 million, but the latest tally is actually $54 million with no end in sight!

Wing Commander in Concert This Weekend!
2014-09-25 -- Here's a reminder that George Oldziey's Wing Commander suite will be performed this weekend by the Austin Civic Orchestra. The show will be Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 3:00 PM at the Anderson High School Performing Arts Center. Austinites are really lucky to be so close to this!

Happy VK Day!
2014-09-24 -- On September 24, 2669, Colonel Christopher Blair launched his successful Temblor Bomb strike on Kilrah. Its resulting blast wave took out the Emperor and Prince Thrakhath's enormous invasion fleet massing in orbit. The crown prince himself was also bested in combat just prior to Blair's descent to the planet's surface.

Fans Continue to Push 3D Printing Envelope
2014-09-23 -- The Arrow kit build we showed off last week isn't the only new 3D printing project in the works. poopnoodle got these miniature Hellcats printed from Sculpteo based on Klavs' designs. Although the color models are really popular, artistic fans get a kick out of the blank canvas versions.

Playstation TV to Support Wing Commander IV
2014-09-22 -- There'll soon be a new way to play Wing Commander in your living room! Sony has announced that nearly 700 games will be available for the Playstation TV device when it launches in North America on October 14, 2014. The $99 set top box will be similar to the Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV.

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