On behalf of the entire Combat Information Staff we'd like to welcome you to the opening of our site. I could go through our splash screen talking about our new features, but you can look around and find those for yourself. What we listed on the Countdown to the CIC is only the beginning. We've been working literally dozens and dozens of hours in the past week alone and there is still a lot we wont have ready for today's opening. Anything and everything is possible, we'll be constantly updating with new stuff. This is a great time for Wing Commander and we're glad to be a part of that. We've put an unbelievable amount of time into this and we hope you enjoy the site!
This afternoon Gamecenter put up a new Secret Ops preview. Wolf Dog brought it to our attention as we were opening the CIC. There's some old stuff and a bit of new stuff as well. Check it out here.
It's the results to the recent Gamespot poll about Wing Commander! Check 'em out...
Which is your favorite Wing Commander game?
Wing Commander IV: 15%
Wing Commander III: 11%
Wing Commander II: 7%
Wing Commander: 6%
Shortly after making a much needed Sheridan-esque return from beyond death, Wing Commander editor guy supreme HCl has released a new version of his mission compiler. It includes a utility called SMB, which helps new users design simple one nav point missions with ease. Grab it here.
Interesting little article over at MSNBC about the recent rash of game designers leaving well known companies, and as expected Chris Roberts is talked about. Check it out here.
Yep, it's an update so worthy of your attention that it's not in the least bit witty or annoying. The beginning is near! The Secret Ops web site has finally been updated! It's not one of those sucky 2 bit updates, either, it's a full fledged more info than humanly possible update... go check it out, now! Screenshots and text quoted below...
Captions to the Screenshots (in order)
- The Cerberus' BFG provides your backup.
- Heavy artillery cruiser.
- Test the classified 'Cloud Burst' weapon.
- More defense for the cap ship strike missions.
- New 'Plunkett' Class cruiser.
- 3D accelerated graphics.
- New 'Murphy' Class destroyers.
- Game engine cinematic.
- The Cerberus - quick-strike cruiser.
- Alien scouts observe their prey.
- The Cerberus' BFG provides your backup.
What is Secret Ops?
Wing Commander: Secret Ops is an unprecedented episodic game release available exclusively over the internet.
Secret Ops is a stand alone space combat action game with 56 new single player missions split into seven downloadable episodes. A new Secret Ops episode, consisting of 6-8 missions, will be posted on the Wing Commander Secret Ops web site each week beginning later this summer. On the days leading up to each episode, new fictional experiences will be posted from the Secret Ops story which sets the stage for the upcoming downloadable episode. Over a 7 week period, a new episode of missions will be available for download on each Thursday.
The actual game incorporates a new story, new weapons and more intense battle scenarios than ever before. The Secret Ops story is a continuation of Wing Commander: Prophecy, released late last year. It introduces the Cerberus, a quick-strike cruiser and many other surprises. Players will be propelled through the story via all new cinematic scenes rendered on-the-fly in full 3D, plus gripping new in-flight coms. Game play will include new, enhanced weapons and multi-stage capital ship strike missions. The game universe is packed with unique environments including dense asteroids fields, new Confed star bases and remote stations to explore. There are even cameos from past Wing Commander ships.
And by the way, you can experience this unprecedented gaming event for FREE*.
* (except for standard Internet connection charges).
Wing Commander: Secret Ops is set in the aftermath of the alien war that took place in Wing Commander: Prophecy. The super-carrier Midway's very best pilots are assigned to escort the Confederation's first "quick strike" assault cruiser: Cerberus. The Terran Confederation Intelligence Service (TCIS) has slated Cerberus for 'deep cover' duty in foreign systems. Her specific capabilities remain TOP SECRET.
But, to the Ace pilots from Midway, it is no secret that unrest is brewing in Sol and Vega sectors, that Kilrathi space (now littered with Alien debris) is a hotbed of looting and that the real WAR has just begun.
- 56 pulse-pounding single player missions, divided into seven downloadable episodes.
- Exciting new in-flight cockpit comms will keep the story alive as you fight through each mission.
- Annihilate the aliens with never-before-seen weapons, including the "dust cannon" and "Mosquito missiles".
- Fly into combat along-side powerful new Confed starships, including the heavy artillery cruiser, quick strike cruiser and civilian cruise-liners.
- Fight to the death in five sleek Confed starfighters and bombers, each with their own weapons and performance characteristics.
- Join the war efforts of other Confed wings, including cameo appearances of past Wing Commander ships like the Excalibur, Thunderbolt and Confed Carrier.
- Immerse yourself in this rich story of Confed's cover operations through amazingly-detailed cinematic sequences rendered on-the-fly in crisp 3D graphics.
- Witness dazzling special effects like shockwave explosions, colored ambient and dynamic lighting, massive starships with moving gun turrets and crisp Dolby Surround sound.
- Experience larger, more intensified battles than any other spacecombat game.
- Discover new mission environments like secret Confed Star Bases and Remote Stations.
- Feel the heat of battle in multi-stage capital ship strike Missions.
With all the recent exciting news about Secret Operations, it's not surprising that the major gaming sites are putting up articles. Check out PCM&E's here, and CGS+'s here.
We promised 'em to you, and here they are... the missing Wing Commander III scenes! These were found originally only in the Playstation and 3DO versions of Wing Commander III, but can now be viewed as realmovies on your PC! This is all thanks to the incredibly talented WildFire-, who promises a few more in the days ahead.
In case you missed them here, at Dan's, or anywhere else, you can find the best of the best of the new official Wing Commander movie shots at OGR and at DarkHorizons.
Hurrah, it's a new (sort of) WCIV scene! Remember that little comm video of Admiral Wilford ordering you to disable a Black Lance transport? Now, thanks to the Nut-Boy, it's available as a full sized bit of FMV. Grab it here. Note that this requires XanMovie, which comes with a number of recent Origin products.
Probably attempting to prove that he is indeed cooler than a moose, Origin's front guy Boomer has made up this Secret Operations miniFAQ...
Will the missions be archived? (If we miss a Thursday are we s.o.l?)
Each of the 7 episodes will be presented as follows:
Monday - fiction elements 'A'
Tuesday - fiction elements 'B' (plus 'A')
Wednesday - fiction elements 'C' (plus 'A' and 'B')
Thursday - episode mission becomes available for download
So if you come in on (say) Thursday just to get the mission, you will have all the fiction available (just not delivered in any order). While there is no 'dependency' of one piece of fiction being important to read before another, for the 'purest' experience, I recommend reading the fiction as it's delivered (daily).
But to answer your question: When it starts, there will be 7 episode buttons. As each episode begins (on Monday) the appropriate button will be enabled. So (say) by week 3, episode buttons 1 thru 3 will be enabled (with 4 thru 7 still 'dark') and yes, you can go back and 'relive' earlier missions (remember, you already downloaded the mission so it's just the fiction you'll be needing). However, there is a cool 'twist' to this that I really don't want to disclose just yet (keeping it a surprise for now ;)
And how big a download are we looking at? (Would it be a good time to upgrade to cable?)
The size isn't finalized yet so I'd rather not try to 'predict' what it will finally be. Suffice to say (as everyone expects) it's going to be rather big (afterall, it is a whole game). But not really any bigger than some of the more popular demos out there. Still, we're working on ways to minimize the 'pain' of downloading. For example, current thinking (it could change) is to offer it as a 'base' file and an optional 'speech pack' (and a 'full download' that incorporates both). As noted, the optional speech pack isn't required to play Secret Ops.
It's the answer to all you're Wing Commander Movie Music questions, and is found below! This comes straight from Film Score Monthly... (Naturally, thanks to Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site.
SCORING ASSIGNMENT NEWS FLASH: The composer for Wing Commander, the new feature film based on the popular computer game, is Richard Gibbs. It's pretty far from Doctor Dolittle and in fact represents the first big action score - not to mention sci-fi score - for the composer. Should be interesting!
Everyone's favorite newswoman, Barbara Niven (who can't tell the difference between the letter X and the roman numeral for 10) is pictured in this week's TV Guide! Check out the blurb at the bottom of the page here, which talks about her addition to the cast of Pensacola: Wings of Gold. Stranger things have happened...
Excellent WC Movie guy Rocker informs us that we should keep watching the GMS WC Movie Site, because they're hoping to put up a copy of the movie's trailer very soon, as well as possibly some more of those exciting pictures... fingers crossed.
I know what you're thinking. Can Thomas Brucker possibly attach a booster to the Piranha with a feature he hopes to add to a future version of WCPEdit? The answer, is yes. But don't take it from me, try out the Boosted Piranha yourself.
Ever want to simulate Bablyon 5's White Star class ships in Wing Commander Prophecy? Of course not, it never crossed your mind, which is why we should all thank Sivar that Byydo's mind doesn't work like ours do. Why? Because he's made two cool stat updates for Prophecy. The first, Bugs of Steel, enhances all the Nephilim ships to make Prophecy harder (but, hey, you just KNOW he did it for the name...). The second, Legendary Spacecraft, modifies Prophecy's ships with statistics to emulate a whole load of 'classic' space ships: the USS Defiant, the Death Star II, the White Star, Thunderbolt and Aurora class Starfuries, as well as a pair of cult favorites (Ace's Happy Donut and Diamond class fighters). For use with WCPEdit.
Hey, it's more Secret Ops news from Boomer! He's so good to us... hey, am I the only one who keeps calling it 'Special Ops'?
The game code 'behind' Wing Commander: Secret Ops is this >||< close to 'going gold' (it's in QA for final testing now). The supporting fiction is all but finalized. We're still working out the details on the script for the 2nd trailer but the basic website is all but complete (just making some last minute refinements).
It looks like the Secret Ops 'experience' will be gaining speed with next weeks launch of the core website. From then, we'll be periodically adding some 'lead-in' fiction (to introduce new players to the Wing Commander universe). All this is going to 'kick off'' next week and will progress (e.g. new fiction added) throughout the month of August. We're still on track for the episodes to begin Aug 24 (and almost daily thereafter for 7 weeks).
Incredibly helpful WingNut Rocker has kindly provided us with three new Wing Commander Movie pictures! Check 'em out below...
Yay! A respectable news magazine (CGW, no less) has finally tackled (well, almost tackled) the big question: who would win in a fight, Chris Blair or Luke Skywalker? Check out page 34 of their September issue for a whole list of such match ups...
Even if you've been living under a rock for the last several months, you probably know about Origin's web based Secret Operations, coming soon (unless, of course, you're too busy yelling at the wall about the WC movie kats). You're probably also wondering how Origin is going to support the tremendous strain on their FTP sites, what with everyone downloading the estimated 50 meg startup program at the same time. While there's no definite explanation how, Origin's Boomer over at alt.games.wing-commander promises that "we're putting a *lot* of effort into ensuring there is ample capacity and tremendous simultaneous ftp capability." Yay!
Just when we thought it was safe to adopt a format which allows us to put little thumbnails of any new screenshots right here on the front page, what do they do? Release 108 new Wing Commander Movie pictures, that's what. All garnered from the Official WC Movie Site, they're pretty dashed cool looking. Check them out in our WC movie picture archive. The new movie site was also updated with the below summary of the film's plot.
Based on the famous computer game series. The future - the Terran Confederation is in an epic war against the 'Kilrathi', a race of 7-foot, cat-like creatures determined to wipe us out. Christopher Blair is one of the Confederation's finest upcoming pilots and he and his wingmen are on their way to a fierce battle against the 'Cats'. However enroute they pick up a distressing message, and following it to its source they discover the Kilrathi have built a massive vessel with the power to destroy all life across a star system. The fate of the Confederation rests in the hands of these young pilots who must destory this vessel before it strikes any nearby populated systems.
Finally, news that doesn't involve the Wing Commander Movie! At long last, it's Secret Ops info! And good Secret Ops info at that! Boomer posted a note to alt.games.wing-commander about the upcoming addon, of which you can find an excerpt below. Keep watching SecretOps.com...
Starting early next week, between then and August 24 expect to see some serious increase in activity on the secretops.com website. That's when things should begin begin to accelerate... Beginning with the web based episode 'interface', we'll be adding some 'lead-in' fiction to start setting the stage for the overall plot of Wing Commander: Secret Ops. The 1st installment of fiction is mainly designed to umm.. 'explain' the Wing Commander universe to those unfamiliar with the Wing Commander games (we're hoping to attract people to Wing Commander that has never played it before). That will lead in to fiction that is designed to set the stage & plot for Secret Ops (All you 'old hands' will probably have some good fodder to pick apart ;). By then it'll be time for the episodes to begin.
The amazing Thomas Bruckner has release version 1.45 of WCPEdit! The editor now includes ship switching options. Grab a copy here.
Those cool guys (well, guy) over at Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site have scored an exclusive Wing Commander Movie shot of everybody's favorite Belgian fighter pilot, Angel Devereaux. Take a look...
Never has there been a more noble cause, Wing Commander fanatic Lee Plumley has started a campaign to convince Origin to produce a Wing Commander Music CD! How can you help? Glad you asked, head on over to his site to find out more.
According to Cobalt 60's web site there's another Prophecy Single available (the first came with Wing Commander Prophecy Special Edition). The reported CD contains 4 tracks (Prophecy - TerminalMix, ÄläktrohmMix, BtkMix and Galactic Hives), but is only available to DJs. Any DJs out there?
Digital Anvil, that is. They're looking for someone to do 3D rendering for the Wing Commander Movie. Read all about the job requirements here. Of note, however, is the fact that the page notes that the job is expected to last until mid-October of this year.
I'm sure you'll all be shocked to learn that I'm (dramatic pause) out of domain jokes! That said, it may or may not be important to note that Electronic Arts has registered Privateer3.com. (Of course, they registered almost a year ago, but mentioning that would be 'objective' journalism).
Patrick Bryant reports that the following blurb about the Wing Commander Movie appears in the August issue of Playboy. No comment...
Get set for Wing Commander -- the movie. Freddie (I Know What You Did Last Summer) Prinze Jr. and Matthew (Scream) Lillard will star in the PC game-turned-$27 million Fox flick. Shooting started in February, but there's still no word on a release date.
Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site reports that the Wing Commander Movie will definitely not be out until at least Spring 1999, as opposed to Winter 1998 as previously reported.
The official Wing Commander Movie site from the Carousel Picture Company is up! Much of it is still 'coming soon', but it's great to see some movement on this particular front. The site boasts a few new pictures, including the logo and the two graphics below...
Wing Commander Movie PR Director Henry Eshelman posted a request for help at Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site. He's offering a small reward to anyone who can send him copies of the following WC Movie TV appearances:
- MTV USA--was supposed to air May 17
- E! Television--dates were supposed to be starting on April 27
- MTV Europe--aired sometime in May
The long awaited Wing Commander Movie article from SFX is finally on the newsstands! If you're in England, it should be available everywhere. For those of you who aren't so lucky, Skyfox has generously provided us with scans of the article! Unfortunately almost all of the pictures were old (see below), but the article itself is full of useful information. You can read it here.
It was recently reported that the Wing Commander Movie website would probably appear at Digital Anvil's wcmovie.com. This is, however, not necessarily correct, as that Universal Studios has registered both wing-commander and wingcommanderthemovie, which may also be the future locations of the movie's web site.
Amazon.com (like Barnes and Noble except not) now lists the Privateer 3 Official Guide! The guide is weighs in at 240 pages, was written by David Ladyman for Prima, and will in theory be available September, 1998. ISBN number 0-761-51586-0.