New Process Speeds Up WC1 Shipyard Update ID

There continues to be progress in the exciting WC1 Sprite Refresh project. In order to import high quality ships into the original game engine, modern renders must first be converted into dozens of snapshot angles to simulate 3D. This can be a very tedious process to align and get right, so Goliath is developing a technique to automate the image creation. An example with a slick new Dralthi is pictured below! It's wonderful to see how Wingnuts continue to innovate in their quest to enhance the series.
Hooray, it's time for an update! As many of you know, we've been fortunate to have Howard Day around to create some beautiful sprite renders for us to enjoy and experiment with. In doing so, he tackled the first two major steps in the sprite creation process by designing a 3D model and then rendering it with all necessary viewpoints. Based on work done by UnnamedCharacter, we know that Wing Commander utilizes 37 images to represent symmetrical ships but could potentially be modified to support 62 images for asymmetrical ships.

Creating that many renders could potentially be a chore and may even be discouraging to people new to 3D modeling. As part of making a tutorial on creating sprites for Wing Commander, I feel this process should be easier and more accessible. Thus, I've recently been fiddling around with Blender with the goal of creating a script to help both novice and experienced modelers create the necessary renders. Thus far I can report that I have successfully created a prototype script and it is working quite well. In fact, I've been in communication with DefianceIndustries and we've worked together to create the following sprite sheet based on his Dralthi using the script.

The Dralthi sprites have been laid out to match the orientation of the Tiger's Claw sprite sheet above. I think the results look great so far and many thanks to DefianceIndustries for his assistance! At this point I am refining the script further and plan to make it available sometime in the near future.

Original Rapier Ready for Duty Update ID

If you've been closely following DefianceIndustries' fleet of WC1-era ships and thought something was missing, you're right! The Confed lineup now has its star medium fighter, the Rapier. Klavs' Rapier has some serious competition now! Now we wait to see where these beauties pop up...
And last but certainly not least in our 2655 Confed fighter lineup - the F-44A Rapier II. Fast, nimble, and equipped with God's own shields, it pretty much typifies fighter combat in the WC universe. Is it any wonder we still seem them popping up in the Nephilim war? Though it begs the question, what was the Rapier I?

Roberts Space Industries Passes Go, Collects $200 Million Update ID

Chris Roberts announced today that proceeds towards Star Citizen and Squadron 42 have now surpassed $200 million. This incredible milestone comes a bit over six years since the project launched and comes from 2.1 million different gamers in 171 countries. For those who haven't tried the current playable version, a free play event will be held from November 23-30 with various options each day. For those holding out for the Squadron 42 story game, the team plans to release an updated roadmap to completion next month. That will be interesting to see!
This week marks the start of our 2948 Anniversary Event, which celebrates the end of the original crowdfunding campaign back in November 2012. This year we are particularly excited by our Free Fly event where we are opening the opportunity to try out the 80 flyable ships and vehicles in game. Star Citizen Alpha 3.3.5, which brings a lot more content, including the planet of Hurston, it’s moons and the major landing zone Lorville, is currently in PTU and should be Live in the next few days.

We are getting closer all the time to having a living, breathing persistent universe and as we close out this year, I look at the technology we must complete to achieve the vision and realize we are nearer to the end than the start. This knowledge, aided by the continued support and excitement we feel from all of you propels us forward with enthusiasm and a thirst for seeing the universe of Star Citizen become a home for gamers everywhere.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for believing in the vision, supporting its development with unwavering commitment and making gaming history. See you in the ‘Verse!

— Chris Roberts

Watch the French Resistance Achieve Victory Against the Kilrathi Update ID

DocteurJ is back with another extensive stream and commentary on the Wing Commander series. In this episode, he's flying the final mission of Wing Commander 3 to cap off his summertime playthrough of the game. As you're already aware if you skipped ahead and pressed play, DocteurJ is helping make sure Wing Commander fandom lives on in the French gaming community. Along with his work with OldiesGamesTV, he's covered everything from the first few WC games all the way through Prophecy for Game Boy Advance. It's great to see fans doing their thing around the world. Merci!
Enfin ! Le combat final contre l'empire Kilrah commence ! Va-t-on réussir à remporter la victoire ?

Finally ! The final fight against Kilrah's empire begins! Will we succeed in winning?

Japanese Advertisements Highlight Intriguing Ports Update ID

Here's a couple of really cool Japanese advertisements that LOAF recently came across. As is common in the country, they're chock full of text and liberal with the exclamation marks. The first is a small embedded ad for the Mega CD port of Wing Commander 1, which was the only version that got full speech as it was transferred to the disc-based format. We also get to see a sell sheet for the Japanese Armada, which was ported to a surprising number of platforms: PC-98, FM Towns and DOS/V. I love that Armada color tone filling the Japanese block text!

Little find this morning: an ad for the Mega-CD port of Wing Commander I from a Sega flyer. I'd love to find the advertising ASCII did for Wing Commander SFC in Japan!

Art Portfolio One Step Closer to Production Update ID

Mike Winterbauer reports that he's finished putting together the dedication page in his Wing Commander Art Portfolio with all of the project backers who pledged at the appropriate $25+ Book threshold. For a limited time between now and when the material soon goes to print, he's put out a call for anyone who missed the end of the campaign and wanted to upgrade to be included. If so, send Mike a message. There were at one point quite a few folks who hadn't input their addresses for the rest of the project rewards, so if you missed that cutoff, be sure to send a quick message regarding that too!
The exciting news is I have added the book pledge backers names to the second page of Wing Commander Art Portfolio!

If you want to get your name in the book, you can still upgrade your pledge, send me a note and I will work with you, but time is running out.

Thank you all cool backers for making Wing Commander Art Portfolio a reality!

Sincerely,

Mike

Flying Pancake Complements Two-for-One Salthi Update ID

DefianceIndustries has moved over to Kilrathi ships as he fills out his WC1 fleet, and the first two fliers are the Dralthi and Salthi. We've seen a hundred Dralthi variants over the years, and they just never get old. This one is as gorgeous as we've ever seen, so it's just a treat. The Salthi is also a lot of fun, and I especially love the light shining on its side. This greenish hue gives it a soft throwback to the Jalthi from SNES Secret Missions, which was essentially a green Salthi. Very cool!
You fly like the apes that you are...
Or my all time favorite: "Hmm, that ape squealed when it popped!"

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