Poll - Still With Us? (August 11, 2012)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
We always start the next Wing Commander year (WCY) with a poll asking how long you've been with the community... and every year we're blown away by both the number of people who have been with us since WCHS in 1995 AND the fact that we still get new WingNuts today! So, keep the tradition going and vote!

Last time we asked which Kilrathi had the coolest sounding name and the winner by a long shot was Dakhath "Deathstroke" nar Sihkag with almost half the total votes. It just goes to show you, being the candidate people have heard of before is a valuable thing!



Who has the coolest sounding name?


Baktosh "Redclaw" nar Kiranka
32.76%
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Canth "Apeshredder" nar Kur'u'tak
6.36%
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Dakhath "Deathstroke" nar Sihkag
46.21%
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Hexagh "Hidden Dagger" ko Cephid 17
3.91%
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Largka Cakg dai Nokhtak
1.71%
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Slorth "Dark Inquisitor" laq Anchorage
3.42%
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Ukar dai Ragark lak Haka
4.40%
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Xilerks "Nikodaemus" Ki'ra
1.22%
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Ended on August 10, 2012 | 409 votes

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Original update published on August 11, 2012
 
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Silverain

Rear Admiral
I remember hearing about WCNews not long after I got internet (go 56k modem dialup). That came about because I read (on work internet...) that Prophecy had a downloadable addon! I just had to get! Many overnight DLs later (DL restarts on lost connections... and I hadn't heard of managers...) I was up and running.

I was also hooked on WCNews.

Since then, my visits (both as lurker since 1998 and occasional poster) have outlasted a runthru of the series, Vega Strike, Freelancer, 4 yrs WOW, Dwarf Fortress. Yet even now one of the first rituals of my evening relaxation is checking the latest wcnews. Heh, with a 4yo & 1yo, its often my only computer related entertainment these days.

To that, thank you to the staff for keeping the site running - and interesting!

<lurking cloak enabled>
 

Steve Muchow

Space Marshal
I am new to this board. After my friend Paul's passing, I started looking around for information on him and found this site. Wow... so many memories flooding back from those days. It is humbling to see the influence this franchise has had on a generation...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I'm very sorry about your friend. It was a big shock to us as well, we had actually just posted an upate about his Cyclone Alley game concept the night before we got the news. He did some amazing work building our universe and I'd like to help people remember that.

But welcome! It's exciting to see someone who worked on the first two games. If you have the time I'd certainly love to hear about those days. (And obviously we're big fans... what wingnut hasn't wondered exactly what Muchowvision is at some point in their life?)
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I am new to this board. After my friend Paul's passing, I started looking around for information on him and found this site. Wow... so many memories flooding back from those days. It is humbling to see the influence this franchise has had on a generation...

Its a horrible way/reason to find us but we're happy to see you here, Steve. We've been here all this time because of you and others like you.
 

Steve Muchow

Space Marshal
Muchowvision... wow! That was Chris Roberts giving me some credit for the animation system for all the cut-scenes and in-game comm feeds. For the geeky techno-types, it was a keyframe system with run-length encoded change frames custom designed to maximize drawing during a horizontal blanking interrupt. This was in the days before DirectX, so everything was interrupt-driven. Not only that, but we had to handle Hercules, CGA, EGA and VGA drivers! Crazy stuff.
The roots of it were started in Bad Blood and Chris needed a story engine that could be slotted in quickly. For a brief time, I was working on both games at the same time and then went straight to WC after I finalized Bad Blood. As soon as Wing Thing (as we called it) shipped, I created a writer-friendly script system for the 'Secret Missions' writers. A language was designed that fed into Muchowvision to select the next videos to play based on in-game progress. It allowed for testing without actually completing the missions so the flow and outcomes were all tested before the missions themselves were finalized. That was a HUGE change in how games were tested. Before that, most testing was built with coded cheats and recompiled. Now changes could be made in real-time.
I am grateful to Chris for giving me the rope... uhhh... autonomy to build something new and I am thankful it worked so well :)
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Fascinating. All of us who played the original DOS WCs knew how fiddly it was to get the drivers, etc, working together to maximise the WC experience, so we do remember a time before Windows (9x) and DirectX and other API niceties. RL encoding and screen drawing interrupts sounds like the sorts of things that interest me from a technical/intellectual perspective, but I certainly wouldn't want to have coded it. Thanks for sharing the story about MuchowVision and likewise, welcome (back) to the community.
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
HI! I'm more of an art guy than a software guy but I truly love these glimpses into the code side of software development! It's totally awesome you'd stop on in. please don't be a stranger.
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
Hi ! As a guy whose main hobby in his early teenage years was to hex-edit all the WC2 files (I think I still have a binder full of notes !) I really appreciate that kind of stories/explanations/anectodes on the Wing Commander programming ! I'd be very happy to hear more, if you feel like sharing !

Anyway, welcome on these forums !
 

HCl

WC EXE archaeologist
Hi and welcome to the forums! It's always great to hear from Origin veterans. As someone who has been researching and tweaking WC games since 1996, i really appreciate these stories of WC development, so thanks for that!

I've been wondering about the background of the "Muchow Virtual Vision" system since I finished playing Special Operations 1 so long ago (i was probably around 15-16 at the time). I remember there was this cut-scene at the end of the Special Operations 1 credits ("Cinematic scenes filmed entirely in... Muchow Virtual Vision"), i thought that was really cool so this remained in my mind even after all these years. It's great to finally know the story behind it :)
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I am new to this board. After my friend Paul's passing, I started looking around for information on him and found this site. Wow... so many memories flooding back from those days. It is humbling to see the influence this franchise has had on a generation...

Welcome to the Chatzone Steve!

Always good to see a friendly ship! Especially one with cool behind-the-scenes stories!
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Hey here's a question... I see that you worked on Metal Morph for the SNES... did you by any chance work on the SNES port of Wing Commander 2 with that same group? I ask because it's one of the great lost Origin games... it was signed off, sent to Japan for duplication but then never published! Magazines even had review copies... but no one can locate it today.
 

Steve Muchow

Space Marshal
Hey here's a question... I see that you worked on Metal Morph for the SNES... did you by any chance work on the SNES port of Wing Commander 2 with that same group? I ask because it's one of the great lost Origin games... it was signed off, sent to Japan for duplication but then never published! Magazines even had review copies... but no one can locate it today.

Sadly, I did not work with the WC2-SNES crew. My participation in those projects was more support and critique rather than coding. By then, I was working with Andy Hollis' team on a 3DO title that would later morph into Longbow.

If my one remaining neuron can think of a few stories relating to WC and the early years, I'll start laying them out. Our development cauldron was one of great highs and frustrating lows peppered with practical jokes and fun times. At one point we had bunk beds in one office near our break room for 'crunch time'. I was one of the few married guys in the early days and my wife often commented that visiting me at work was more like a 'conjugal visit' since I never seemed to be home :) (This was BEFORE the EA years). It wasn't all bad though, we played hard after we worked hard and we set the bar in technology more often than not. And most importantly - more than any other achievement, the friendships built in those days are precious even now!

Now back to my regular work (not gaming stuff - real rocket science now)!

Regards,
Steve 'amp' Muchow
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
Hi! Great to see a member of the original WC team, though the reasons for it happening are sad.

I wondered if you know the answer to something I've been tying to puzzle out for a while.
I've got a wing commander campaign editor I've been working on for some time. I've had to mine data from three files (camp.000 briefing.000 and module.000) but one thing I've been unable to find, is how these files designate an important ship. One critical for the mission to be a success.

I realise it's been ears for you, you might not have been involved in that prart of it and you've probably got more important things to do, but if you can remember and can give me an idea of how it was done, I'd be most grateful.
It's one of the major obstacles to being able to produce new campaigns for the classic game.
 
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