A Look Back at 2018 (January 3, 2019)


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
As the calendar crosses over into another new year, we took a look back and were once again amazed at all of the happenings in the world of Wing Commander. You guys were busy! And so were we - here's a look back at some of the highlights of 2018.

One of the more surprising things to me was how much happened with WC1/2. UnnammedCharacter's WC Toolbox opened the door to some pretty fun stuff. In conjunction with Goliath and Howard Day, they're working on amazing model upgrade tests. Sheppard developed Wing Hard to adjust game difficulty. Rehsin is adding characters and creating campaigns. Some of this is bleeding into WC2 and Privateer 2, and it was pretty neat to see a WC2 arcade cabinet at Britizencon. We continue to learn a lot about these games even after 28+ years, including the recent discovery of multiple easter eggs buried in WC1. And it's neat to still see WC easter eggs pop up elsewhere in modern games today.

On the new products front, it was wonderful to finally get End Run in digital ebook format. We're proud to have been able to help push this to become a reality. George Oldziey was finally able to record his live WC jazz album, which produced some fabulous tunes. WC also appeared in concert again in Europe. And Mike Winterbauer's art portfolio project netted a bunch of fans some very cool artwork. Raph Koster also published his book, Postmortems, which discussed the interesting development of the (canceled) Privateer Online game.

This was a great year for prerelease, prototype and behind the scenes material. All of the alternate WC Movie time slice sequences were really cool - not to mention the interesting take on Kilrathi POV. Sleuthy Wingnuts managed to track down more sightings of the film's Rapiers. We got to see a prototype WC1, a prototype WC4 box, concept Fralthi art, early SWC cockpits, a mockup New Constantinople hangar and original P2 booth computer screens. The CD32 also contributed some new artwork via its WC bundle box.

A handful of fan projects featured prominently throughout the year. The Homeworld Remastered Mod significantly boosted the prominence of fighters, smartened up the AI, implemented advanced fuel & ammunition monitoring and added new ships like the Wasp. Adm_Maverick's papercraft adventures ranged big and small with his work on a cruiser scale ship as well as small fighters. The fighters then took center stage in his new miniature game. The WCP/SO Model Upgrade Pack had a huge year with several major releases. On top of many new models, the project added various engine enhancements as well. DefianceIndustries contributed numerous gorgeous models for both the upgrade pack and other projects, and Dark Sentinel created everything from the tiny Nephilim capship missile to massive warships. Flat Universe had a similarly successful year with new ships and a big tournament for players to look participate in. Even Last Line of Defense saw half a dozen or so updates with some cool previews of the ship models and animation in work for the project.

It wasn't just the large scale projects in the limelight either. Lots of smaller undertakings made important progress as well. CentaurianMudpig got his shooter project off the ground, the SNES speed run record was broken twice, Wing Blender got much faster, a WC4 remake/model upgrade was teased, Shaggy got us flying in Simple Planes, the Sins of a Solar Empire Mod got an important compatibility update and WCDX for Kilrathi Saga was further refined.

The rise of 3D printed models is not new, but fans definitely took this art to new heights. Hendrik's Hornet was killer. In some cases with some inspiration from the source, there were beautiful ships recreated from Privateer and beyond. A large Arrow kit became available, and someone finally made an authentic set of WC medals even!

The gaming industry at large continued to take notice of the WC community. The creation process behind the WC Movie was profiled in Lights, Camera, Game Over. The CIC was mentioned in the video on [url="https://www.wcnews.com/news/2018/07/23/gog-helps-preserve-gaming-s-legacy"]GOG's anniversary, Rock Paper Shotgun talked about the fandom, Digital Antiquarian weighed in and TechRaptor did a piece of Originites' influence on the industry. Space Game Junkie and Upper Memory Block also began their trips down memory lane with extensive playthroughs. WC also hit it big with some of the prominent sci-fi YouTube channels, including the popular Spacedock which had videos on Intrepid, space combat and carriers. The Templin Institute similarly profiled the Terran Confederation. And it was super fun to see fans dressed up in WC cosplay at multiple conventions.

Lastly, the CIC celebrated its 20th year at wcnews.com! We launched out nifty Prop ID line of backstory articles, tested out the in-browser Game Cabinet, re-mirrored some of our old layouts, hosted more original art, and kicked off our infamous meme series. Sadly, we said goodbye to some very talented people such as Christopher Stasheff, Micael Priest and Stephen Hawking. But we organized our memorials so that it was easy to find our various tributes. Fortunately, on a positive note, we're still here and more excited than ever to kick off the new year. We can't wait to see what 2019 brings, and we're working on some of our own surprises to unveil soon!

Original update published on January 3, 2019