Technical Talk Leads to Funny Finding (July 30, 2019)


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator

While discussing the latest and greatest Wing Leader build, developer Howard Day and former Origin director Siobhan Beeman got into a conversation about how the WC1 VDUs were coded. It turns out there was a typographical error in the way "component" was spelled, but it became so widely entrenched that it propagated into Wing Commander 2! LOAF dug up a screenshot of some of this code and there it is! So next time you see a flash on your dashboard, it means a componeant is being triggered!

Siobhan: Speaking of the VDUs, fun story: The base class in the WC1 codebase for all those UI elements like missile icons and shield health bars is named Componeant. Yes, just like that. Drove me NUTS having to misspell it all the time, but changing it for WC2 was too much work. (facepalm)

Howard: We're pretty spoilt nowadays - Visual Studio just lets you rename entire classes and everything...just works. And if you've got the right Git plugin, the source control updates painlessly. Wonderful story. :D

Siobahn: So spoiled! And yet we had the best tools available—Borland C++ was a great product for its time!

Original update published on July 30, 2019


I keep getting it into my head that WC1 / 2 was mostly ASM (I remember reading a making of which talked about the "slow" C++ prototype Chris had knocked up). That code looks surprisingly modern (although the indentation would drive me crazy).

I'm going to be honest even in those days it was probably a simple textual replacement. I tend to find it more reliable than Visual Studios rename (one of the few reasons I still use Visual Assist despite all the improvements to Visual Studio is it's superior renaming functionallity).
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