Video Interview Transcript

If you don't have the bandwidth to download the 230-megabyte Wing Commander Arena video interview from GameSpot, don't worry -- we've put together a text transcript. All the dialogue is from Electronic Arts Line Producer Sean Penney:
Xbox Live Arcade, it's a great platform, it is very innovative, and we wanted to do a space shooter and we wanted to get on to Arcade. Everyone loves Wing Commander, I certainly do, and we were excited about the thought of putting Wing Commander IP with a 16-player action space shooter. So we've got a single player experience and a multiplayer experience. In the single player experience you can unlock ships by playing through a variety of modes. We have training modes, melees, a couple special modes where you're just blowing up asteroids, others that are just total mayhem, and those go on to leaderboards that go online, but I think where the real meat of it is is the, the online play. We've got sixteen player gameplay, which includes 8 on 8 team play or sixteen player free for all play. We also have one on one duels. And we have a specialized arena called the Bearpit where you can have two people go into the pit while the other fourteen wait outside and they can do all sorts of things like shoot at each other or play minigames or shoot inside the Bearpit. We've got capital ship versus capital ship, and there's going to be a lot of strategy there. We've got a capture the flag mode called satellite and then in the free for alls it's, you know, pick your favorite ship and take on the world and we've got specialized environments for them all.

So what we've got in the capital ship versus capital ship is you, you choose a side. You choose to be either Kilrathi or you choose to be human, and that's something you couldn't actually ever do in any of the previous Wing Commander titles. You couldn't play the Kilrathi, and we have nine Kilrathi ships that you can choose from and nine Terran ships that you can choose from. So you choose a side, and each side has their own capital ship, and each capital ship has three levels. On each level there are a series of turrets and missile launches which will be firing at you as you try to destroy them. If you destroy all of the devices and weapons on one level of the capital ship the capital ship actually drops down a level allowing you to then destroy all of the devices and all of the weapons and laser turrets that are on the second level of the ship. If you accomplish that the ship drops down to the final level which is the bridge. Once you destroy the bridge, the ship will break into three pieces and blow up, and you have won the game. So, so your goal in the game is to either attack the capital ship or defend your own capital ship.

So there's eighteen ships total. Each race has three base ships: a light fighter, a heavy fighter and a bomber. Each of the base types has three variations. So, one of the things that the original Wing Commander did was it allowed you to upgrade your ship, and when you upgraded your ships armor, for example, you would get better armor. You wouldn't get more of it, it would be a different alloy. It would be supersteel or duralloy or plasteel or these types of things, but in an arcade game, it's hard to communicate that visually, because arcade games are very visual games, it's not a first person shooter. So what we wanted to do was change the silhouette of the ship, so when you get an armor upgrade for your Arrow it takes on a different silhouette. It gets more armor. So there's three variations of the Arrow, three variations of the Rapier and there's three variations of the bomber, the Broadsword, and on the Kilrathi side it's the same thing. We've got the light fighter, the Darket, the heavy fighter, the Dralthi, and the heavy bomber, the Paktahn, and there's three variations on each one. It's a bit rock paper scissors. You can destroy a heavy bomber with your light Arrow, but you're going to have to play pretty carefully.

Three different types of pickups. There's regenerative pickups which will heal you or it will refill your missiles. Pickups that will enhance you, things like Hammer Shot or Cheap Shot which means it increases the damage you do or it increases your speed or it allows you to fire more often and then a third type of pickup we have is special pickup. These are quite rare, but these are things like energy absorption or supershields or wingmen, which gives you a clone of yourself. One to two would fly beside you and mirror all your actions. So if you fire weapons, they'll fire weapons so you can essentially triple your firepower with these guys.

It's an arcade game, so you want people to be able to just pick it up and play it, but it is a Wing Commander title, it is a space combat game, so you want to add some depth to it. So it's pick up and play, but there's layers of depth. It's the old adage that it takes a moment to learn but a lifetime to master, and I don't know if it would take you a lifetime, but there's a whole series of advance maneuvers, there's extra devices, so with the right stick you can do barrel rolls, you can do flips, you can do immelman turns, you can do 180s and different ships have different special maneuvers that they can do. So Wing Commander Arena should be out early summer.

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

Another Arrow Achieves Assembled Appearance
2014-09-18 -- Mlourenco has taken the first steps towards building one of the large 1/72 scale kit Arrows designed by Klavs. In order to keep the cost of 3D printing down, this design is manufactured in pieces and assembled as a kit. Putting it all together is the easy part - the real artistry comes during the paint process!

Huge Starship Comparison Upgrades Wing Commander Ships
2014-09-17 -- Death noticed that Dirk Loechel's massive sci-fi size comparison graphic has received a "final" update. Although it's possible that the project will never really be complete, the creator believes he's done his last major update for at least a long while. Compared with the last big revision, a number of the Wing Commander ships have been cleaned up with new art.

New Chris Roberts Bio Covers Decades of Creativity
2014-09-16 -- US Gamer has posted a lengthy profile on Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts. It begins by covering his early years learning to program and then details the growth of his expertise and fame at Origin. There's also a candid conversation about his decade in the movie business, including his thoughts on the development of the Wing Commander Movie.

Kilrathi Islands Location Pinpointed in Britannia
2014-09-15 -- The Ultima Codex has done some further investigation into Ultima Forever's Kilrathi Islands that we shared last month. Using clues from the images, they've located the specific area where this exists on the mega sized world map for the game. They have also provided some interesting back story about what that region was intended for and how there may not have been a way to visit directly.

Alternate 'Heart of the Tiger' Credits Revealed
2014-09-14 -- AD was spending some leisure time perusing the data tre files from Wing Commander 3 when he stumbled upon an interesting easter egg! His hacking revealed a set of alternate spoof credits for the game, and there's more in-jokes in there than you can shake a stick at. One famous example is the callsign of Prem "Wipeout" Krishnan who earned his name after inadvertently deleting Strike Commander's source code in progress!

Let's Play Wing Commander III and Standoff
2014-09-13 -- Some time ago Ilanin finished documenting his playthrough of Wing Commander 3 and Standoff, and the entire, massive thing has now been included in the Let's Play Archive for posterity. Each elaborate entry includes story commentary, screenshots, gameplay footage and background information on ships, characters and events. Check them out here!

EA Checks Up On WC3 Cast
2014-09-12 -- Electronic Arts has published a Where Are They Now? feature on the actors of Wing Commander 3. It doesn't actually give you as much information as simply browsing all of the actors' pages from IMDB would, but it's a little bit amazing that EA's Origin is publishing articles on The Heart of the Tiger in 2014.

Transverse Saga Continues To Unfold; Game Evolved From WC Online Pitch
2014-09-11 -- The launch of Piranha's Transverse space sim has been interesting, to say the least! There had been rumors for some months that the developer's next game would be a licensed Wing Commander title, so their countdown was being closely watched by some Wingnuts. When the game was revealed as a brand new property, it appeared that the speculation had been unfounded.

Kilrathi Invaders Gain Advanced Superiority Fighter
2014-09-10 -- Klavs has another Kilrathi ship up his sleeve, and this one's a fierce fighter! The Hhriss, as it appeared in The Secret Missions 2 alongside the Snakeir, is a very predatory design shaped around agile wings and powerful guns. Klavs has done a great job accenting the design with color and stitching together armor plates to give the ship an especially tough look.

Keep Your Nose Art Clean
2014-09-09 -- LOAF was doing some archeological digging the other day and found some nifty pieces of Wing Commander Movie history. The first is a large nose art decal for Knight's ship. Perhaps as a Broadsword pilot, he never needed his Rapier customized?

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