What would you want from Wing Commander Remasters?

Kilrathikiller

Rear Admiral
If there is another thread on here like this I apologize in advance but I was thinking after playing around with Wing Commander 4. Wasn't it actually filmed? With this resurgence of old music videos and just old film in general being recaptured and digitized into 4K, wouldn't it be possible for EA to do the same thing for Wing Commander 4?

So basically I just thought well what else would we love to see from remasters/remakes of the Wing Commander games? Just a fun thread to express our dream scenarios.

I'll start with Wing 4. Of course the 4K conversions for the live action but then put the rest of the game in a new engine with reworked models. Maybe some quality of life improvements like putting the speech commands in a spin wheel type thing like Mass Effect for controller users.

BTW I have checked out @ODVS 's upscales and they are great.
 
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DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
@Pedro and I are already doing this for WC4. We're pushing it into a new engine, which lets us do fun things with real light sources updating the models, adding things like full cockpits and leveraging the old mission files along with updates to the movie files, pulling in some features from the PSX port, and basically giving the old girl a facelift.

But we do love suggestions.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Always good to have an excuse to show the trailer again?


To be honest development paused for a while, but I came back to it last night, did a few fixes; tested it with @ODVS AI upscale (looks good, don't worry we'll be incorporating the best possible video when the time comes).
I did make some progress on a particle editor, but Rear Admiral Tarsus is offering to help out with tools (which I am super grateful for). We have a potential volunteer for 2D work, we'll see how that works out.

We're also always discussing how to modernize it for gamepads etc. Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is a good source for inspiration there.

Apart from WCIV being one of my favourite titles I also chose to do it because it's standalone and the last game I can see EA remastering (and also without throwing the amazing footage away I'm not sure they could do that much more than a fan project could).

Right now I'd most like to see WC1/2 remakes because they would need to be done from the ground up with new voice acting; there's no way the fans can do them justice as well as EA could. Maybe a complete trilogy remake? I'd love live action but realistically the franchise is no longer big enough.
 
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Kilrathikiller

Rear Admiral
@Pedro and I are already doing this for WC4. We're pushing it into a new engine, which lets us do fun things with real light sources updating the models, adding things like full cockpits and leveraging the old mission files along with updates to the movie files, pulling in some features from the PSX port, and basically giving the old girl a facelift.

But we do love suggestions.
Yeah, looks good. I look forward to getting my hands on it. Out of curiousity, what engine you guys using?

As for WC1 and 2, I also agree they are the most likely to actually happen. I would love to see them do full in engine cutscenes, no FMV, and bring back Mark Hamill to voice for Blair.(Honestly I'd be fine with Freddie Prince Jr too.) I would also want to to add a conversation system to it as well. Make the tiger's claw fully explorable too for 1. I wouldn't want the exact game over again with a new coat of paint. As much as I love it, it would feel really dated. Now 2 on the other hand I think you could give it a new coat of paint and keep a lot of the same feel to it but if they do what I was talking about for 1 they would most likely put those kind of gameplay elements into it as well.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Yeah, looks good. I look forward to getting my hands on it. Out of curiousity, what engine you guys using?
An engine called Usagi which I designed and lead at my last company (and boss allowed me to open source). It'll look a lot better later on, we've not done a visual pass, and I haven't switched over to PBR yet. For this project it has the advantage of being low level enough that it's easy to bend it to match WCIVs original assets.

As for WC1 and 2, I also agree they are the most likely to actually happen. I would love to see them do full in engine cutscenes, no FMV, and bring back Mark Hamill to voice for Blair.(Honestly I'd be fine with Freddie Prince Jr too.) I would also want to to add a conversation system to it as well. Make the tiger's claw fully explorable too for 1. I wouldn't want the exact game over again with a new coat of paint. As much as I love it, it would feel really dated. Now 2 on the other hand I think you could give it a new coat of paint and keep a lot of the same feel to it but if they do what I was talking about for 1 they would most likely put those kind of gameplay elements into it as well.
I'd agree with most of that. I think WC2 would still need a pretty much complete do-over however.
Unfortunately as the complexity of games increases you'll see corners cut (we just got remakes of FFVII which has some obvious examples of asset flipping and Resident Evil 3 which cut out entire sections from the original). Getting all of the original games and their expansions is maybe a bit much to hope for, especially as WC isn't an active and proven modern series. I'd settle for a compressed re-imagining. As great as it would be to explore the full Tigers claw I could live without it.
 
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Mace

Vice Admiral
@ Pedro
Looks fantastic... Still unsure what it is, but from the cockpit view I do not have the idea of high-speed manouvering and taking fast turns.. Can't really put my finger on it

As for remaking WC1 and 2, they would be completely different games from the originals, and closer to SAGA then to Standoff, tbh I don't think it would even be consideren an update or upgrade, but a complete reboot. These games would be very expensive to make(even without live action or even voice actors), and sell to a limited audience(there is a reason you rarely to never see joysticks on the shelves, and a professional hotas is not the best experience in a space combat dogfight).. Unless star citizen will trigger more interest in the genre, I don't see a tripe A title happening.
 
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Pedro

Admiral
@ Pedro
Looks fantastic... Still unsure what it is, but from the cockpit view I do not have the idea of high-speed manouvering and taking fast turns.. Can't really put my finger on it
I wouldn’t worry too much, this video is from a year ago with just random speed stats. I think everything was slower than WCIV because it was easier to capture video that way.
Even now, whilst I’ve deciphered the stats for the ships I’ve not yet integrated them (I’m currently wrestling with the limits of 32bit floats not liking the world size, physx doesn’t support 64bit so it’s taking some fiddling). I won’t start tweaking that kind of thing until next year, but the correct speeds may just fix the issue anyway.
 

TheFraix

Vice Admiral
Just an idea... is it possible to integrate George Oldziey's WC4 reorchestration scores on this project? Is it by any chance permissible?
 

Pedro

Admiral
Just an idea... is it possible to integrate George Oldziey's WC4 reorchestration scores on this project? Is it by any chance permissible?
I already asked, and he very kindly gave us permission:

“I have no problems with using the music as long as it cannot be easily extracted. Thanks for asking.”

That said that’s only a fraction of the work. I asked our music guy from UE if he’d be willing to fill in the gaps, and he said yes but he is irritatingly successful and hence not overly responsive to communication.
 
Many cut scenes in WC4 were in space, and were beautiful for it's time. If your engine allows it, it may be interesting to see if you can recreate those space cut scenes with the in-game assets you are creating to keep with the consistancy of your game.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Oh, something I would definetely want to see in a remake, co-op multiplayer.. ofcourse with multiple players the game would need to be rebalanced, some missions would require editting to keep in line with the story, and some would be skipped alltogether.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
That's exactly the issue with shaking things up with significant new features like multiplayer. Once you've changed up the balancing, skipped parts of the story and redone missions, is it worth actually remaking the game? Is what you're left with a remake? Or at that point are you better off just creating something new?
 

Pedro

Admiral
Yeah we aren't touching the missions. Infact the reason you haven't seen much progress from my side lately is reverse engineering those formats takes time (not as much as re-creating and testing everything, but a lot). I'm making progress, but all I could show is a human readable (ish) decoding of the scripts.
We would like to do a multiplayer mode, but just a generic head to head. For that I'd want a networking programmer because that's it's own task. If anyone wanted to do co-op it'd need to be a playlist of missions where the player has an appropriate wingman or brand new missions, but we won't be editing missions for any reason.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I've seen games ruined by coop schemes that were too smart for their own good. Lots of games scale up the difficulty when additional players joined, which is logical, but it defeats the point if you were enlisting the help of a friend to get through a tough area.

One of the games with the most renowned coop of all time is the original Halo, and part of what made it so good was that it just made no sense. If you have a friend, suddenly there's just two Master Chiefs. It defeats the narrative of you being the last super soldier left, but it's way fun. And it makes the game a lot easier. Suddenly the AI is outmatched by you being able to outflank it, plus you can spawn off each other, so you are way more than twice as powerful, and the game doesn't care. It just lets you do it because it's fun that way.

So I think there's technical hurdles that probably make it impractical to do, but if you did do coop, I would just make it so there's literally two Christopher Blairs. Don't worry about replacing a wingman. Don't worry that you have two Flashpaks or that you're 2-on-1 fighting Maniac in the beginning. If you just threw another Blair in space, that'd be pretty fun. Maybe you never even thought about tackling Nightmare difficulty, but with a friend it becomes possible. I'm never going to make a video game, but if I did, that's what I'd do. :)
 

ShadowArm

2nd Lieutenant
PSA for those who didn't saw it, but EA will release the source port of C&C and Red alert 1 for the community so they can do mods from it.

also Jim is a nice dude.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Is what you're left with a remake?
In this case, the single player scenario would remain thesame, so you would still have a full remake. there would be just some added features, and I did not mention skipping part of the story, you would need to revert to animated cutscenes to fill in the gaps, and you will skip some missions(Defecting, the MIPS mission), where others would be modified(there is no reason a wingman could not accompany you on orbital missions, to the black lance base, or Seether who is then having one or two wingman on the final confrontation?).

Or at that point are you better off just creating something new?
That is an entire business plan on itself, creating something from scratch, working out completely new ideas, and reaching the audience, but yes in the end maybe you are better off creating something new, but something like this would give you experience and insight before taking on other projects.
 

Pedro

Admiral
In this case, the single player scenario would remain thesame, so you would still have a full remake. there would be just some added features, and I did not mention skipping part of the story, you would need to revert to animated cutscenes to fill in the gaps, and you will skip some missions(Defecting, the MIPS mission), where others would be modified(there is no reason a wingman could not accompany you on orbital missions, to the black lance base, or Seether who is then having one or two wingman on the final confrontation?).


That is an entire business plan on itself, creating something from scratch, working out completely new ideas, and reaching the audience, but yes in the end maybe you are better off creating something new, but something like this would give you experience and insight before taking on other projects.
I'm not really interested in a patchwork job like that; the aim here as much as possible is to make a game engine that matches the FMV as much of possible for a seamless replay experience. New games are the day job, restoring an old favourite like this is a hobby.
May not seem it but making an indie title from the ground up requires less expertise (but more time and people). This kind of project wouldn't be a good way to learn.
 
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EmuMusicFan

Petty Officer
I'm not really interested in a patchwork job like that; the aim here as much as possible is to make a game engine that matches the FMV as much of possible for a seamless replay experience. New games are the day job, restoring an old favourite like this is a hobby.
Excuse me, the current state is that the engine will load the original game resource files and run them with its modern presentation, right? That is great!
 

Pedro

Admiral
Excuse me, the current state is that the engine will load the original game resource files and run them with its modern presentation, right? That is great!
That's the aim, not there yet. Currently it can load the early gameflow, movie related files (inc subtitles), all of the audio and some basic mission stuff. But there is still a *lot* of work to go there.
Grim is looking into the video formats.
I'm looking forward to the day wctoolbox has proper WC4 support; that will *really* speed up development.

We will definitely have new models, backgrounds, AI upscaled room files, music and potentially SFX and PSX color comm videos.

Incidentally an FAQ is coming to answer these kind of common questions :)
 
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EmuMusicFan

Petty Officer
We will definitely have new models, backgrounds, AI upscaled room files, music and potentially SFX and PSX color comm videos.
Cool!
What about i18n? Wish there is an easy way to support certain kind of translation files.

Looking forward to the FAQ. :)
 
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