Swiat Gier Komputerowych (Computer Games World) article


The polish magazine Swiat Gier Komputerowych were not only kind enough to send me a copy of the issue that covered Unknown Enemy they also very graciously provided a translation, I thought some of you might be intrested?

"Unknown Enemy

For long ten years the Wing Commander series has been ruling in the space simulations domain. Every time player could have been sure to gain enormous amount of the emotions from the game. It is no surprise then that the whole story has many fans throughout the world. Their devotion to the Wing Commander universe is still strong. What can they do if the main developer, that is Origin Systems, abandons the project and doesn’t intend to continue it? For such game lovers there are no boundaries. Only one solution emerged: a well-organized group of dreamers for nearly two years has been preparing their own campaign based on the engine of the last Origin’s Wing Commander game: Secret Operations. It has just been released and it’s name is Unknown Enemy.

The campaign consists of the eleven missions. It is worth mentioning that these are relatively long and complicated (and simultaneously non-linear). The first thing every pilot will notice is a very high level of difficulty. Even the veterans can have some problems with finishing even the first mission. It appears that the first fan-made project connected to the Wing Commander universe is for those, who know all the WC episodes very well and yearn for more. It doesn’t mean that the complete newbies can’t try their skills in the cockpit of a confederate star fighter. Their task would be, however, even greater defiance.

It should be stated here that Unknown Enemy is some sort of a recapitulation of the whole saga. We can find here many starship models, which played their role in all the episodes of the saga. Although the engine of the program is over four years old, it still remains attractive, especially when showing its all abilities. We have then a wide choice of resolutions (even up to 1024x768, while original Wing Commander: Prophecy offered only 640x480). There are many different ships from all episodes (imported by the authors from previous games or created from scratch). The greatest amount of work was, however, the mission creating process. As I mentioned before, they are quite complex and difficult, requiring outstanding flying skills and reflex. The player’s tasks are escorting convoys, defending the bases or capital ships, and last but not least, attacking enemy installations. What’s more sometimes all these activities have to be performed simultaneously.

To sum up, no matter if one is a WC-lover or only a prudent advocate, Unknown Enemy is a must-see campaign. After a few days of playing, I can only say: Wing Commander is not dead. It lives and is perfectly healthy. How could things be different, if the devotion of fans is so intense? The campaign can be downloaded from its official web site: http://unknownenemy.solsector.net

The main problem was communication – with Jakub Majewski, co-creator of the Unknown Enemy campaign speaks Piotr Bilski

P.B. Firstly, obligatory congratulations. This is a first and a very good unofficial add-on to the Wing Commander Prophecy. I have to ask you compulsory question for such a situation. Why Wing Commander?
J.M. All who worked on this project were doing it most of all because they love the saga and a world (or, more precisely, universe) of Wing Commander. The campaign was created on the basis of Secret Ops, which was offered in the internet for free.
P.B. The second case is the difficulty level, number of enemies and so on. After a few days of playing I feel frightened by the complication of the missions. Did it really have to be so tough?
J.M. The high level of difficulty and complexity of the missions was deliberate ??. When Secret Ops was released, many players complained about the easiness of the missions. They were, according to their opinion, very monotonous: fly there, destroy enemies and so on. Therefore we intended to create the campaign, which would be really hard to finish, even for those, who didn’t have problems with Secret Ops. When we were creating the missions, one of our aims was “uncommonness” of each of them. In every should happen something extraordinary or surprising.
P.B. How did the cooperation of such a large team of creators look like?
J.M. Not easily. The main problem was communication. We are spread on four continents, so the time zones caused serious troubles. On the other hand, there were difficulties with exchanging results of work, new versions of modified files and so on.
P.B. As far as I know, making of the project took you two years, but in fact it is older. Say something about its history.
J.M. That is true. The original project was started in 1999. Finally it was abandoned a few months later. Some team members disappeared, others just didn’t have time. In the half of the same year Alex Barnfield, who led the project from the very beginning, decided to try again with simpler storyline and lesser number of missions. I joined his team to work with the plot and help to design missions (on the paper, I mean – I didn’t expected then that I would have to program them myself). Since then, the work didn’t stop until the October of 2002.
P.B. Who are the creators of the Unknown Enemy? What do you do for living? And the most important, when are you going to release the second part of UE?
J.M. Most of us are students, though there are also working persons, but not in the computer games industry. Some have the ambitions to create games professionally after graduating from the universities. However, currently it’s only a hobby. There are among us Brazilians, Canadians, Germans, British people, Americans and one from Portugal, Austria, Australia and Poland. I believe it is a really fantastic team. Currently we are not working on the second part of the Unknown Enemy. After two and a half years of the hard work we all need some rest. I think that within next two, maybe three months, we are going to start working with the continuation. How long will it take to finish, we’ll see… "


Victory, you say?
Congratulations. Net is fun and all, but it's still good to get recognition by some paper media.


Unknown Enemy
Originally posted by 15th Rampage
he forgot to Mention ppl from El Salvado :(
No, I didn't... it's just that if I had mentioned everyone who contributed something to UE, the list would have been much longer - so unfortunately I had to limit myself to describing the core team. Sorry :(.


That's great (it's the first time I saw itin a language I could understand). Lots of praise for the whole game. No mention of the music... but I know that's not everyone's priority (although it is mine :p). Still - well written, and lots of praise. Makes me feel even better about being able to call myself part of the UE Team.


WC EXE archaeologist
Agreed, imho it's very gratifying to see such positive reviews after all the work putting UE together. :) I would also be interested in seeing a scanned version of the article btw, if you can get us one.



Well I've got my copy of the magazine now, but unfortunatley I don't have a scanner, still I believe theres one in the computer centre so I'll try, else I'll scan it in at home in 2 months.