Wing Commander Influencing Starcraft 2 Design

Shacknews has published an interview with Starcraft 2's lead designer, Dustin Browder, on the subject of story integration in the upcoming real-time strategy title. The game will feature AI NPC characters that are leveraged for plot elements while being used as a gameplay component. They'll even be sitting in the bar and hanging around the ship as the main character walks the halls between mission. This style of optional storytelling was heavily influenced by classic Wing Commanders. Check out the full interview here. Thanks to NCC1701.
Dustin Browder: And our theme in this one, it's like, look, everyone has a different tolerance for story. Some people want more, some people want less. We don't want to force it down their throat, but we don't want it not in there. So we create an environment where it's much more of an optional experience. If you're really interested in these characters--and we kind of hope that at some point everyone is interested in at least some of them--then you can sort of customize your story experience and get as much of it as you want.

Shack: It sort of reminds me of flight sim games.

Dustin Browder: It's very Wing Commander.

Shack: Yeah, Wing Commander, any of those games.

Dustin Browder: Tie Fighter, yeah. Wing Commander is one of our obvious favorite games. We all played it back in the day and loved it, and it's something that definitely spoke to us. I know we're going back years now to pull some of these things out, but we kind of feel like hey, what if it works? Other folks sort of feel like there's sort of an evolution, you can't go back. We're like, hey, if it works, we can go anywhere.

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

From The Set of Wing Commander 4
2016-05-27 -- The DosGamesBlog YouTube channel has posted a compilation video of behind the scenes footage from Wing Commander 4. The video doesn't specify a source for their material, but we know that a 1996 issue of CD-Rom magazine MultiMedia World Live! contained seven brief videos in which interviews with the cast and Chris Roberts are interspersed with scenes from the set.

Listen To (And Watch!) The Wing Commander Roland MT-32 Difference
2016-05-26 -- Space Game Junkie recently managed to score one of the legendary Roland MT-32 sound modules, and he's put together a new video to provide a comparison and show off how he got it working. While it's possible to emulate and tweak your way to some pretty great sounding music in Wing Commander games, this is the real deal. An especially cool feature here is that Brian points an embedded camera at the device while firing up some classic space games.

New Version Of Wing Blender Accesses Exotic Files
2016-05-25 -- Kevin Caccamo has finalized and released the latest version of Wing Blender. Version 1.6.

Cerberus Gets A New Coat Of Paint
2016-05-24 -- DefianceIndustries has started texturing the Cerberus, and so far it's coming along nicely. A couple different hull plating variants are pictured below with the later shots being the likely final candidate. The material has kind of a retro marbled pattern combined with a bit of futuristic gloss and red accents.

Sweep Around WC Capship Sim's Starships
2016-05-23 -- Arraen has pulled together a neat video that shows off the remodeled fleet of his strategy game, WC Spaceship Universe. Each of his four workhorses are encircled so that fans can see them cruising through space in his Unity engine. The project has gone through a few evolutionary upgrades that have stretched out the development timeline, but the results evident now look pretty good!

It Helps To Get A Running Start
2016-05-22 -- Klavs has posted a new angle on his developing Concordia model, and this time it comes with a piece of accompanying fiction. When asked whether the ship's familiar hangar opening runways will make a return, he let a member of the crew answer with a pretty interesting response! After clicking the thumbnail below to get a better look, also don't forget to hit "download" and then zoom in on the detail.

Get Your Wing Commander Film Posters From... Sears?
2016-05-21 -- AD noticed that some unusual Wing Commander search results appear at the websites of some major big box retailers. It's not hard to find copies of Wing Commander on Blu-ray or DVD in stock all around the web, but both Sears and Walmart list Wing Commander Movie posters that have been out of print for some seventeen years. Unfortunately, this does not signal any particular release, but rather, these retailers allow private "marketplace" type sellers to list a wide variety of goods.

LOAF Interviewed in Major Print Publication
2016-05-20 -- The May issue of German PC gaming magazine GameStar contains a big Wing Commander retrospective, including an interview with Star Citizen community manager and CIC founder Ben Lesnick. Brian Chambers of Star Citizen's Frankfurt branch shared a teaser on Twitter. Pick up a copy if you can!

WC1 Live Viewer Reveals Programming Details In Real Time
2016-05-19 -- UnnammedCharacter has made a neat little app that provides enhanced visibility of each WC1 object in space. It shows ships and their speed, of course, but the really cool aspect is that it reveals exactly what each of the enemies pilots/ships is "thinking." By tapping into the game's AI routines, you can see exactly which ships are patrolling a nav point, holding formation, wandering, chasing our hero and more!

Vintage Videos Visit WC3 & P2 Film Shoots
2016-05-18 -- FMVStory has posted a couple of really cool set visits for Wing Commander 3 and Privateer 2. The clips come from Bad Influence, a '90s show that covered tech items and video games. A lot of people are familiar with the WC3 Behind the Screens footage, but the first video below shows a few really neat and rarely seen glimpses of the Kilrathi animatronics in action.

Unused Cruiser Found In Prophecy Files
2016-05-17 -- Kevin Caccamo has made a cool discovery while digging through the guts of Wing Commander Prophecy. Using a modified version of Wing Blender, he was able to import an unusual ship file. The result is a preliminary version of a rarely seen Confed cruiser that did not appear in the final game.

Quick Strike Cruiser Zooms Into Secret Ops Upgrade
2016-05-16 -- DefianceIndustries has taken a break from player pilotable craft for a moment to work on the most iconic ship of Secret Ops, the TCS Cerberus. He's got the shape down pat, and now he's adding subcomponent details throughout the model. Compared to the Midway and other contemporary capships, the Hades class had a cool blue hull with neat red accents, so we're anxious to see how this one comes out with texturing on!

Amiga Article Takes Us Back Nearly 25 Years
2016-05-15 -- Janne Rautiainen tipped us off about a really cool July 1992 article on the development of Wing Commander for the Amiga platform. The piece was originally published in Britain's The One magazine and is saved at archive.org.

Hamill Talks Return To Space Sims
2016-05-14 -- There's a new PC World interview making the rounds that takes a moment to pull Mark Hamill away from Star Wars Episode VIII filming to talk about some of the other sci-fi ventures he's been involved with over the years. Major topics include working with Chris Roberts again as well as the shift from live FMV to motion-captured CGI video. He notes that the majority of his Squadron 42 work was a reunion with John Rhys-Davies.

WCDX Examining Cockpit Malfunction
2016-05-13 -- Stinger's WCDX patch streamlined and fixed a lot of minor annoyances with Kilrathi Saga WC1, and even improved the graphics rendering and compatibility with newer versions of Windows. There is an early, playable version of the patch that fixes some of the issues plaguing the Wing 2 port, but getting KS WC2 up to the same level of refinement is proving to be a major undertaking. In a forums post, Stinger provides some insight into one strange aspect of the Windows port, namely its framerate.

Brazilian Gaming Site Posts Arena Video
2016-05-12 -- The Video Game Database website posted an interesting video of Wing Commander Arena in action. Since the game was released in 2007, it came a bit before recording and streaming things like this became common. They start the game, briefly peek at the modes, pick a ship and launch into space combat.

Shrike Swoops Into Secret Ops Upgrade
2016-05-11 -- DefianceIndustries has added another ship to the Cerberus' roster with the completion of the Shrike "Class B" torpedo bomber. Despite its mass, the ship has some pretty sleek curves, and its turrets help convey how much punch this ship packs. It'll definitely do some damage to any bugs trying to invade!

Painted Over Concordia Looking Mighty Fine
2016-05-10 -- NinjaLA saw Klavs' recent Concordia update (pictured right) and was so inspired that he had to personalize it on his own. Many people have gone out and textured other artists' 3D models, but this might be a first for WC art. Ninja started with the complex render and then digitally painted in the colors, lights, details and his own visual flair.

WC RPG Refines Missions & Mocks Up Board Layouts
2016-05-09 -- We haven't mentioned his project in a few months, but capi has been relentlessly adding to his WC RPG the entire time. He's spent a lot of effort beefing up encounter scenarios as well as tweaking Kilrathi language sections to match the theme of his "Elegy of Sivar" expansion. There's also been a lot of work drafting the overarching storyline narrative of Bloodeye N'Ryllis.

Concordia Once Again Preparing For Next Mission
2016-05-08 -- Klavs' history with the Concordia goes way back, but his latest take suffered a serious mishap last year. Now he's starting the design over. Rebuilding something from scratch can be a frustrating affair, but a recent surge of inspiration has helped deliver this exciting update.

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