Wing Commander IV Fan Remake Trailer Released! (August 18, 2019)

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Pedro has released an exciting trailer for the WC4 Fan Remake! There's lots to unpack here. The team has been mostly focused on features rather than polish, and quite a few features have been implemented indeed! Many distinctive elements from the original WC4 gameplay mechanics appear to be in place to give the project a familiar feel. Check it out below!


I've been working with Defiance Industries to have a video ready for the CIC's birthday of early test footage.

A brief list of things added since the last videos:
  • Some early experimentation with updated sound effects (50/50 old vs new)
  • View based missile lock-on
  • Smoother external camera
  • Damage displays
  • Turrets (both on fighters and capships)
  • Subtle cockpit motion on the primary cockpit camera
  • A zoomed out camera (primarily for taking in the cockpit)
  • Afterburners, Decoys
  • Working cockpit (guns, fuel, damage, speed guns, decoys, targeting brackets)
  • Friendly wingmen
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Original update published on August 18, 2019
 

Rylex

Rear Admiral
This is how the game should have looked like. AWESOME - just AWESOME! Thank you guys... I can't wait to play it ... in the (hopefully not too) distant future ...
 
Glad you like what you see! Pedro and I are working on it as fast as schedules allow, I know that from an art perspective we have a ways to go. Pedro can talk about the engine status.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Glad you like what you see! Pedro and I are working on it as fast as schedules allow, I know that from an art perspective we have a ways to go. Pedro can talk about the engine status.
For what WCIV needs the engine is in pretty good shape (in fact one of the reasons you saw so little progress until now is that I was getting sidetracked by tasks unnecessary for this project). There's a few low level changes that won't be sexy enough to be update worthy. Improved lighting and particles are the main things you'll notice.
Apart from those two updates I'd like to go pretty dark on development; as we're supporting the old formats trying to get too much in early on could be counter productive long term, but I still hope to have the occasional update with changes to the visuals.

The bigger task is actually reverse engineering all the formats, specifically missions. We now know how to extract the compressed files without using the asm that HCls treman relies on (essential as it is 32bit and Usagi is 64), and grim has had some success working out the filenames from the 32bit ids but for individual formats all that is documented online is audio and video. HCl left no documentation that I can see about the mission formats; I haven’t started digging into those so I don’t know how difficult that is going to be.

Our first big goal is a playable version of mission 1, I'm not ready to put a timescale on that. It'll depend on if we use the original mission formats for that early demo, and I won't make that call until I've assessed how involved of a task that is.
 
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Oggy

Rear Admiral
Well, my Flabber is thoroughly ghasted three times today, with this and the WC1 remake as well. and then with the Rebel Galaxy Outlaw gameplay
What a time to be a WC fan! keep it up guys
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
Looks very good :) Optics are fine, now you need to capture the gameplay and feel.

Reign in the size of the shots/projectiles a little, they look to fat and meaty.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Looks very good :) Optics are fine, now you need to capture the gameplay and feel.

Reign in the size of the shots/projectiles a little, they look to fat and meaty.
The aim is to be loading in the original stats so any time spent balancing things like that is just wasted effort as our demo values will get thrown away.
The only balancing that will come in is if we decide to make an option mode which addresses some of the complaints about wciv (I must admit I’m dreading loading in the missile stats. For the temporary balancing I’ve opted for WCP style just because it’s more fun to test). But the aim of such a pass would not be to match the original.

I’m not actually confident about any of the scales atm, they come from the cic which I’m not sure if they are based on game stats or the manuals which I don’t believe match. Again not something I’m worrying much about until we are loading the game files.

The model and the trail are both totally place holder (all gun types just override the colour of a single model atm), as discussed nothing has had a second pass. That said if you check the external camera they aren’t chunky at all - the ribbon trail just keeps them close to the camera for an extended period, that’s probably what you’re seeing.

When we do a second pass our reference will likely be the FMV, not the gameplay (as we can’t replace the fmv we’ve been referencing it for all visual choices) where I think the lasers are similar is scale. But don’t hold me to that I haven’t taken the reference shots for the lasers yet.
 
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@Pedro scaling in WC 3/4 is a common issue. The ship meshes are currently scaled to the WC3 printed material (Victory Streak) where applicable (the Razor is actually my own scaling based on the hellcat). But that said, those fighters are huge. WCP cut them in half which aligns them better to the cockpit size, so the Tbot went from 34 to 16 meters for example. Honestly it doesn't matter much in-game as long as we are consistent.

A player can't tell the difference unless you have two identical models of different scale next to each other.
 

Pedro

Admiral
@Pedro scaling in WC 3/4 is a common issue. The ship meshes are currently scaled to the WC3 printed material (Victory Streak) where applicable (the Razor is actually my own scaling based on the hellcat). But that said, those fighters are huge. WCP cut them in half which aligns them better to the cockpit size, so the Tbot went from 34 to 16 meters for example. Honestly it doesn't matter much in-game as long as we are consistent.

A player can't tell the difference unless you have two identical models of different scale next to each other.
It'll matter in game when we start loading the internal files; speeds, sizes etc will need to be a consistent scale. All that can wait.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
If we can unpack the iffs it should be possible to get them into a 3d program
I did this once upon a time...https://www.wcnews.com/shipviewer/

It's how the wcnews ship viewer works. It reads the IFFs directly. The problem with unpacking WC4 Tre files is that you have to figure out what the internal name of the file is because the old extracting tools don't do it for you. The solution is simple but labor intensive because the object name is one of the first things in the actual IFF once you open it with something like VIFF from the prophecy dev CD. Having to open every file and then rename them is a bit of a pain.

Ships also have separate IFFs for different LODs IIRC. There's 600 individual IFFs in the objects.tre file alone though when we were working on the viewer there were probably 100-150 that didn't seem to display as normal objects. I probably have a list of what most of these are as the viewer let me pick a description to go with the files for the drop-down menus.

Here they are renamed with the internal names https://www.dropbox.com/s/oqfqpwcwuumoguk/objects.zip?dl=0
 

Pedro

Admiral
Somehow I'd missed that viewers existence, that's pretty awesome.
If you have any documentation/code lying around it would save me a lot of time.
Looking at that viewer it would also be really neat to have the option of displaying the original models as a toggle.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Ok we've been doing a little recruiting internally and taking stock of where we are short on skillsets.

What we could really do with is someone interested in doing 2D work (everything from HUD elements to menus to a website). Any volunteers?
 
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