Background Data for Shadow Force

"TCIS Eyes Only" Shadow Force Proposal

In the news: Then What Didn't Happen? (2008/08/11)
View: PDF (58 mb)
Project: Shadow Force
Donated by: Mythic
Pages: 71

After the Maverick Team finished with Secret Ops, several projects were considered and even worked on - Strike Team, Privateer Online... Privateer Online again. Thanks to the Mythic project, we've learned about another one: Shadow Force, a followup to Secret Ops which would have put the player in charge of a team of mercenaries charged with impossible missions. Sound interesting? Then you'll want to read the entire original design document, available for download.


Rogue Ops Design Document

In the news: Making the Game: Rogue-Shadow Document (2008/11/25)
View: Microsoft Word (5.4 mb)
Project: Shadow Force
Donated by: John Guentzel
Pages: 66

The "Rogue Ops Design Document" (internal references have all been changed to 'Shadow Force') provides a fairly specific overview of the concept. Fan developers could even take these mission concepts to heart when building their own games! It also includes the same character sketches seen earlier. Thanks to research on the part of Sean Murphy, we now know that these were done by Origin artist Dave Plunkett (designer of, among other things, the Plunkett-class Heavy Artillery Cruiser in Wing Commander Secret Ops).


Design Document - Chapter 2

In the news: Making the Games: Shadow Force Design Document - Chapter 2 (2008/11/26)
View: Microsoft Word (42 kb)
Project: Shadow Force
Donated by: John Guentzel
Pages: 14

This is the first of three 'chapters' of separate Shadow Force Design documents. It seems to have been written to explain the game to people above the development team - exactly how it would be played, why it would be fun... and, in this particular case, what kind of online interaction would be formed around it. The "Gas Giants" faux-dialogue is kind of corny, but - well, it's a nice dream, Vaquero.


Design Document - Chapter 3

In the news: Making the Games: Shadow Force Design Document - Chapter 3 (2008/11/27)
View: Microsoft Word (46 kb)
Project: Shadow Force
Donated by: John Guentzel
Pages: 11

This is the second of three 'chapters' of separate Shadow Force Design documents. This document describes how the game 'looks' to a player and how a lot of the in-game mechanics work. This one is particularly fascinating because it tells us that the game actually had a lot in common with Wing Commander Arena - including the types of multiplayer modes and the existence of powerups. That said, the 'align with capship' concept described here is an absolutely unique gameplay element.


Design Document - Chapter 4

In the news: Making the Games: Shadow Force Design Document - Chapter 4 (2008/11/28)
View: Microsoft Word (86 kb)
Project: Shadow Force
Donated by: John Guentzel
Pages: 11

This is the final of three 'chapters' of separate Shadow Force Design documents. This one describes improvements the team wants to make to the Secret Ops concept - in particular, to the 'mission movie' feature (telling the story in-engine). It also features a good rundown of the proposed Shadow Force plot... and some insight as to plans for the Nephilim (or, "Junior").


Shadow Force Source Code

In the news: Making the Games: Source Code? (2008/12/06)
View: Directory Tree
Project: WCSO, WCP, Shadow Force
Date: 1995-1998
Source: Origin
Donated by: John Guentzel

Fragments of Wing Commander Shadow Force 'source code', which is likely taken from various elements of Wing Commander Prophecy and Secret Ops. There are several hundred tiny files .h and .cpp, most of which are completely incomprehensible to non-technical sorts -- but we imagine that many in the community will be interested in seeing exactly how the bits and pieces of the games fit together.


Design Document Review

In the news: More Emerges from the Shadows (2011/08/20)
View: PDF (6.2 mb)
Project: Shadow Force
Date: 1998
Source: Origin
Donated by: Billy Cain
Pages: 12

This is the Shadow Force teams' analysis of the now-famous "TCIS Eyes Only" Shadow Force proposal. The most amazing thing here is how much like Arena this game could have been--it would have included both Arena's hated powerups and a more arcade-style "chase camera" gameplay mode, with an automatic targeting feature!


Document Archive

Wing Commander 1

Wing Commander 2

Wing Commander 3

Wing Commander 4

Wing Commander Prophecy

Wing Commander SecretOps

Wing Commander Privateer

Privateer 2: The Darkening

Other Titles

Canceled Projects