The age-old space-sim series makes this list again. This title was No.1 on last year's list, and it's still a great WING COMMANDER game. It features gameplay reminiscent of earlier WING COMMANDER games, has less annoying FMV, and sports some of the most beautiful graphics ever seen in a space sim. By the time you read this the GOLD EDITION, which includes both the original release and SECRET OPS (the stand-alone expansion pack that was released on the Internet), will be available in stores. This complete packages is a good pick for WING COMMANDER fans.
Subject: Wing Commander: Prophecy GOLD
From: Prophecy Gold Announcement (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To: Secret Ops Player (email@example.com)
ORIGIN is proud to announce the release of Wing Commander: Prophecy GOLD. Delivering all the space-action combat of both Wing Commander: Prophecy and Wing Commander: Secret Ops, in one box. This complete epic features the gripping story line that has made Wing Commander the top selling space combat series, more than 100 pulse-pounding missions of award-winning game play, new rapid-fire weapons and Confed's latest "quick-strike" carrier - The Cerberus!
Check out Wing Commander: Prophecy GOLD, now available at a retail store near you! Or point your browser to http://www.prophecygold.com for more information.
Alias|Wavefront today announced that entertainment company Digital Anvil is using the company's Maya(TM) 3D modeling and animation software for the upcoming movie, Wing Commander. The Maya technology is being used to create 260 computer-generated effects, equaling an entire outer-space environment. Digital Anvil chose Maya for the project because it was the best available software in terms of productivity and the quality of the final rendered images, according to facility producer, Eric Alba. Wing Commander is a live-action drama directed by Digital Anvil CEO and founder Chris Roberts, who created the highly popular Wing Commander computer game series. The movie, which combines state-of-the-art, sci-fi visual effects with elements of a classic World War II film, is based on story-lines, characters and other creative elements from the first four games in the Wing Commander series. Production designer Peter Lamont, who received an Academy Award for his art direction work on James Cameron's Titanic, has created a retro-future world for the Wing Commander movie that includes extraordinary spaceships, the hangar deck of an intergalactic spacecraft carrier, and a number of other immersive alien and confederate environments. Digital Anvil fully expects Lamont's work on Wing Commander to be of the same award-winning quality as what he did for Titanic. "Judging from the astounding visuals that he has created for Wing Commander, Lamont's Titanic Oscar may only be his first," said Marten Davies, president of Digital Anvil. Digital Anvil is using Maya to ensure that the world Lamont envisions is as stunning in the final product as it is in concept. "The images rendered in Maya are absolutely beautiful," said Alba. "They are the most realistic we have ever seen." Digital Anvil has hired a team of accomplished professionals, formerly of award-winning companies such as Boss Films, Rhythm & Hues and Digital Domain, to bring Lamont's vision to the screen, entirely in 3D and entirely using Maya. This esteemed team of sequence supervisors includes Chris Olivia, Steve Cummings, Eric Tablada, Mike McNeil, and Mark Lambert. Artists started building preproduction models last fall, when the company participated in Alias/Wavefront's extensive beta testing program for the new software. Alba said, "Committing to a 1.0 release of a program in any capacity can be a risk, and for a feature film, where time is money, it could be suicidal. But we had beta tested Maya and knew it was the best out there. We've had great support from Alias|Wavefront, and the first release of Maya has performed exceptionally well. There is no question that Maya is the best way to go for this movie." High Productivity Required Digital Anvil has a relatively small group of 20 artists working on this huge project, so maximizing productivity is vital. Maya was designed to boost productivity, through its user interface, the integration of its tools, and the ease with which it can be customized. Digital Anvil is taking advantage of all of these features to meet the release date for Wing Commander. The Maya user interface lets the artists work in whatever way they are most comfortable. Explained Chris Olivia, visual effects artist at Digital Anvil, "We have a lot of people who are working together for the first time, and everyone has his own way of doing things. Maya's interface is flexible enough for all of us." Artists who have used other modeling and animation programs appreciate the intuitive nature of the Maya interface, according to Olivia. "It takes fewer steps to produce something in Maya, and it's easier to move around in it quickly, thanks to things like user-configurable Marking Menus," he said. Maya's unmatched integration is another feature of the software that enhances productivity. All the tools the artists need are available within Maya-modeling, animation, lighting, and particle generation. No time is wasted moving data between programs. "Maya is built for people like us who are doing visual effects," said Olivia. "It has everything we need and everything is easily accessible." Digital Anvil has taken advantage of the ability to customize Maya to simplify recurrent tasks, such as having missiles fire from different space ships. Using the Maya scripting and command language, MEL (Maya Embedded Language), Digital Anvil created a script that causes a window to appear on the screen when an artist wants to launch a missile. After he enters a few parameters, Maya automatically creates the animation sequence that causes a missile to fire. Scripts such as this contribute to productivity by freeing artists from repetitive tasks.
The Internet episodic release of SecretOps will end on October 31st, 1998.
MORE WAR . . .
A desperate attack on the Kilrathi homeworld had succeeded in destroying the entire planet, including the Emperor and his warlords. The surviving Kilrathi, on warships and on their colony worlds were hopelessly demoralized and had sued for peace. The catlike warrior race was no longer a threat to Earth and its colonies. Thirty-five years of war had finally come to an end, bringing peace in our time. They thought....
The reality was more ominous. There were still plenty of independent Kilrathi warlords surviving, commanding a formidable array of warships and weaponry. Some wanted revenge on the apes who had destroyed the sacred homeworld, some wanted to set up their own new empires, and some were simply content to go pirate, raiding human colonies at will. But back on Earth, the war-weary people and their leaders turned a deaf ear to reports of Kilrathi belligerence, preferring to look forward to a peaceful and prosperous future.
But it was only the calm before a new storm....
Rod Nakamoto, formerly of Origin System's elite Maverick team (consisting of Wing Commander/Privateer designers and programmers), is said to be setting up a new development studio in Austin, Texas. GT Interactive is bankrolling the new studio, sources tell GameSpot News. The new company will see Nakamoto - who was the executive producer on Prophecy - and about five other former Maverick team members as the core of the new operation.
GT would not comment on the tip and said only that it is "continually seeking to build its internal studios."
Sources have told GameSpot News that as many as 15 Origin staffers have left the Maverick team, although Origin says that number is less - and that of the ten or so Origin staffers who have recently left Origin, only a portion of those have come from the Maverick team.
Origin says Origin-ite Andy Hollis has taken over as executive producer of Maverick, and the team is hard at work. Hollis will remain executive producer of Origin Skunk Works, Origin says.
Sorry I haven't been more... 'active'. I've been here (and on wcnews), just mostly lurking tho. Things just seemed to be going along fine without my meddling ;)
But thanks for the thanks. And thanks for allowing us some 'hiccups'. Being the 1st time anyone has done something like this I'm (personally) pretty pleased with the overall execution. And we learned a LOT about what "Internet distribution of episodic fiction/missions" means. The future bodes well ;)
And on the behalf of OSI and the Maverick/SO team I'd like to give Chris, Ben (and the rest of the CIC staff: Brandon, Barrie, Evan, Kevin, Edward... did I miss anyone?) a big round of applause for not only providing a super site dedicated to WC in general, but in 'keeping up with us' and providing timely news about Secret Ops as well. As anyone with their own website can tell you, it's a big (fulltime) job keeping info current. Well Done guys.. and again, Thanks!
Just because Andy is known for producing high fidelity flight sims for Janes doesn't mean that equates to WC suddenly turning into a high fidelity space sim.
This isn't to say future titles from the Maverick team won't have his 'mark' on them (superb quality, well designed, etc.). Just that WC will have certain (positive) attributes resulting from Andy's influence just as Janes does. Said another way, WC won't (necessarily) possess the same hallmarks of what makes a 'Janes flight simulation' what it is.
That said, given his track record & accomplishments wrt Janes, I'm 110% confident Andy's influence means only great things for the future of the WC universe ;)