WC Game Downloads

DarkOne

Spaceman
Hi Everyone

I think I know the answer to this question but I thought I would ask any way. Are there any Wing Commander titles that are freeware/abandonware now?

Because I can find all of the older titles like WC, WC2, Privateer, WC Academy and WC Armada on various sites that deal in old DOS games and they are hosting downloads of them as abandoned.

Is there any merit to this? Because I wanted to either link to them or host them myself since I am building a space gaming knowledge base and the WC games are in there. I just wanted to make sure I was legal in posting/hosting a download link for these games.

And if these games have been released to download i'm sure WCCIC would know about it. :)


Thanks for the advise.

-D1-
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The only game that is a free, legal download is Secret Ops. Anything else you see is simple so~~~are piracy.
 

Prometheus

Spaceman
By the way, I guess the CIC does have an "archive" of sorts with all Wing Commander games from the first to the last, including add-ons and spin offs, copied from the original media to some more long-lasting type of data storage, to prevent the future loss of valuable history due to "bit rot" - it's just not available to the public (maybe not even on a machine connected to the Internet).

If such an archive should not exist, I would strongly suggest of creating it before it's too late. Don't take this light-heatedly. But I think it's unlikely such precautions have not been taken by the large players behind the CIC.


By the way, when will Wing Commander (the first game) officially become Public Domain? 2065? Or does Chris Roberts have to die first and its 75 years from then?
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
Actually I am not sure they have. I think some variant of the downloadable Secret Ops pack is already lost (either the complete German variant or the spit German variant). Could be wrong tho.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
In some countries(like mine, you are allowed to make a copy for safekeeping), I'm pretty sure some of us have backed up their (floppy) disk versions to images and stored them on a hard drive, that is lying in a closet somewhere, preserving the data, but take care that over the years you will have to restore the backup and place it on a new medium(imagine having to hook up a 30 year old MFM or RLL harddisk to a modern system!).

And ofcourse, there are copies floating around the internet, and if you look there you can find even the most stupidest 1980's games preserved on it.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Actually I am not sure they have. I think some variant of the downloadable Secret Ops pack is already lost (either the complete German variant or the spit German variant). Could be wrong tho.

Possibly it was bundled with a german games magazine, just like my "full version" was with a UK games magazine(it consisted of all seperate episodes built into the bonus cd's installer menu) . Just get the German wingnuts to dig through their attics and it just might turn up(Also was the german conversion not done by a german team in Germany?)
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
You talking about the directions how to almost convert the English Prophecy Gold into German?
That would have been written by a solo Austrian,
<= This one ;-)

Didn't say the game was lost, but only possibly a very specific version of it. Just like noone here seemed to have a German WC2 only a couple of years ago.
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
No, Prometheus, there is no such archive, save for personal collections, and the odds of there being such an archive are... rather low.

As for the copyright, it's owned by EA, not CR. While some parts of WC1 were done on a somewhat informal contractual basis, the copyright of the game as a whole was owned by Origin, and transferred to EA when they purchased Origin. Under US copyright law about public domain, corporate-owned copyrights expire 95 years after publication.

Mace, the laws that allow an archival copy (which includes the US, BTW, as much as some entities that won't be discussed here (there are a bunchaton other places for copyright law wanking) may wish otherwise) generally only do so for personal archives, not public ones.
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
This actually harks back to a thought I had the other day upon seeing this:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/3DO-VIDEO-GAME-DEMO-DISC-PROGRAM-GAMES-BOOKS-WOW-LQQK-/220589376850

which looks to contain a publicity version of the 3do swc

anyway, my thought was "someone at the origin museum or the like will get it" but this thread raises a good point, why aren't we doing more to preserve the WC history. Obviously Loaf and Chris Reid have large collections themselves, and most people here have at least a good sized collection. But shouldn't we band together to form a CIC collection? donating money to the CIC to acquire items of genuine value to the community?

Personally, I think it's a good idea, because as mentioned it's very easy to lose stuff like this. Equally, while the CIC has an excellent stock of old patches etc, if you go back far enough (and it's not that far) you start to find dead links, and soon those links spread to programs and editors people made for the community (bruckners WCP editors spring to mind), many of which are not duplicated on the CIC server.

opinions? (and yeah, sorry Loaf if i just signed you up as the chief librarian of such an archive!)
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I would guess that the Origin Museum is technically the type of archive of Wing Commander and Origin history/products/promotional materials that you are referring. I don't know to what extent Joe Garrity goes to preserving these materials...specifically the electronic media, but I would be surprised if he doesn't maintain backups for the games and videos.
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
Personally, I think it's a good idea, because as mentioned it's very easy to lose stuff like this. Equally, while the CIC has an excellent stock of old patches etc, if you go back far enough (and it's not that far) you start to find dead links, and soon those links spread to programs and editors people made for the community (bruckners WCP editors spring to mind), many of which are not duplicated on the CIC server.

May I suggest to post such dead links as a news update? There is a fairly high chance that some WingNut has the files still saved I hope. I know I have a pretty good archive of the files on this site, but I was never really interested in editors/cheats/hacks, so that one is probably not in my collection. If you tell me the filename I can check tho.
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
i can't remember off hand, last year while quite bored i was going back through the cic news archive downloading all the mods and patches etc (alright very bored) and found that increasingly the links were external. If i get round to starting again (i gave up around 2007 or 8) i'll make a list!
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
The only game that is a free, legal download is Secret Ops. Anything else you see is simple so~~~are piracy.

I was under the impression that the SM1+2 and SO1+2 add on packs to Kilrathi Saga were also free and legal downloads (since you need KS to play them, anyway). At least, when KS came out, they were freely available to download on the internet from Origin itself, and I've certainly found them kicking around elsewhere since then.

Of course, this is kind of an exception, since these weren't standalone games... But is this indeed the case? Somewhere on an archival external HD, I still have those expansion packs, and am curious if I'm allowed to share them with other KS owners who have lost theirs...

I'm not sure where one would find them now. If they're legal, does the CIC host them?
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Of course, it should be mentioned in this thread, that any of the fan-made mods/games hosted here at CIC are all free and legal to download, and several of them (e.g. Standoff) are of such high quality that they rival the "official" games as far as enjoyment to play. If one is really looking for free WC games, that's a good place to start. Plus, the programmers themselves really appreciate it when folks download and play their games.
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
harking back to my earlier point, an offhand search for something (wca speech converter) led to this https://www.wcnews.com/news/update/278
where the link to the converter is dead, and the program apparently not on HCL's server or in the CIC's file list.
 
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Wedge009

Rogue Leader
By WCA do you mean Academy or Armada? Either way, both have their speech unencoded, in raw binary data files.
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
academy - hcl made a program to combine 12 comm files into the voc file and added the header i believe? was wondering if it went the other way ;)
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Wait, which way? A program to extract the voice data or a program to convert your own recorded files into something the game can use?

The speech files are mono, 8-bit, 11 kHz.
 
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