If you have anything to add, contact us... we'd love to include it -- I'm sure there's a reference to a TCMC Lance Corporal somewhere!
There's also a lot of games from past years that I am still playing--the Karaoke Revolution games are a hit with my daughter, so I end up playing those with her a bunch. Donkey Konga too, and I just got Taiko Drum Master, which is similar but different. As you can tell, I do a lot of "offbeat gaming."Donkey Konga's really great. You can find the complete article here.
His favorite personal highlights from game development in 2004:
The inclusion of voice-over for non-player characters in Everquest 2 set, I think, a big new benchmark for MMORPGs. It really makes a difference. I think the [Star Wars Galaxies] Jump to Lightspeed expansion also set a new high watermark--I don't think any MMO has ever done such a massive addition to gameplay ever. It added a whole new way to play the game, and it melded twitch combat into an MMORPG.
Edit: GameSpot confirms the news with new quotes from former-Origin and current-EALA general manager Neil Young.
In related news, to counter EA's recent exclusivity deals with the NFL and other sports authorities, Take Two has succeeded in signing a seven year exclusivity agreement with the MLB players union. Although there are some exceptions, this could essentially shut down EA's MVP baseball franchise beginning in 2006. GameSpot is carrying a story where EA's response calls this a "stupid money" expense. The recent flurry of sports exclusivity agreements would seem to be bad for the consumers, though each company's announcements have said exactly the opposite. Sega has sold off its Visual Concepts developer to Take 2 now, as it seems they are exiting the primary sports game business. EA also announced this morning they have completed an acquisition of Digital Illusions of Battlefield fame.
One of the things that is probably quite evident, especially in Wing Commander III and IV, is the way they designed it. They wrote the fiction, shot the movies and then they built the game. We did it completely the other way around. We designed the game, and made sure we had a core game that was absolutely fun and appropriate to the Wing Commander universe. Then we built the fiction to wrap around that core, and we shot the live production element to support that core. So, it was the other way around. The first thing we did was to design the game.
"Hey Jim, what do you think about some kind of vacation?"The bad news is that it turns out that there are two more of these comics on the author's site that we don't have translations for. These look to be even more odd than the original and seem to feature a Vampire falling in love with a Panther. If you can shed any light on these strange developments, click the discuss link below and enlighten us!
"Nice idea, I know a beautiful beach."
2 hours later
"Well, this is cool!"
Choose Your Own Adventure is a subset of the fiction genre of books. CYOA reads like any ‘normal’ story, save for one extreme difference. At pivotal points throughout the book, readers are asked to choose amongst a set of decisions which will then impact how the rest of the story plays out. Due to the many different combinations of options, the books contain an enormous amount of longevity. The genre began as early as 1979, with the publication of “Choose Your Own Adventure #1 – The Cave of Time”. Skylark Publishers, now defunct, released over a decades worth of CYOA books, thus creating the blueprint for how the genre should be done. (http://www.gamebooks.org/cyoajr.htm) CYOA books continue to enjoy great success in today’s market.
There hasn't been much progress recently, but it's a very interesting read if you're into the CYOA scene.
His reasons for leaving Ion Storm Austin, the game development studio he founded, this year:You can find the rest of the interview here.
You know, it was just time to move on. I'm kind of driven by the "seven-year itch" and I'd done my seven years with Ion and Eidos. (Look at my resume--I spent seven years in grad school, six and a half in paper games with Steve Jackson Games and TSR, six and a half with Origin. It's a pattern!) I wanted to try new things, with new people, under different circumstances. And, frankly, Ion had gotten big enough that I was spending too much of my time running the studio and too little actually thinking about the games. Just time for a change.
How do I feel? Weird, a little sad, and a little scared. The sad is because of all the great friends I'm leaving behind. The weird and scared? Well, that's exactly what I wanted to feel again, so it's all good.
I pretty mutch agreed with most of the comments and followed their suggestions, minor stuff really.
The one thing I didn't really agree with was Edfilho's suggestion of putting wings on it. BUT I'm always willing to consider the other side of things... so I tried it and something strange happened :)
Our traditional New Years poll asks what kind of year you think it will be for Wing Commander. This year, more people than ever before voted Good or Great, beating Poor by a sizeable margin. 2004 saw Flight Commander and Standoff released, while WC Saga, Privateer Remake and The Reckoning continue to make progress. We thought now would be a good time to ask what setting you would prefer for any future project.
PiArmada is now a Sourceforge project, ready for open collaboration! It's written in Python, which is a very easy language to learn, whether you have programming experience or not. PiArmada is based on the Pi4x engine, and designed in part to test its capabilities. This engine is intended to be extremely flexible and extendable, meaning that we should eventually be able to extend the Armada concept in directions we could never take it before. Multiple empires, bigger universes, more capships, more ship classes, we'll only know the limits when we hit them. However, to do ANY of that, the project needs more help, specifically in the following areas:
Code: PiArmada will eventually implement a cleaner and more detailed interface, saved games, AI players, internet play, and integrated flight simulation with an existing open-source engine. Further extensions beyond the original Armada are definitely in mind, but not so clearly defined as yet. Ideas can be posted at Sourceforge. All the code is currently in Python. Anyone interested, say the word, sign up at the above site!
Graphics: New interface graphics are needed, as most of the ones we have now are made by me in about twelve seconds. Bob McDob made the sector level buttons and button backgrounds, which is why they look so much better than everything else! All graphics are in .PNG format, and exist in a separate, easily accessable folder included with the distribution download. If you want to redraw something, redraw it and send it in! It's that simple. More planet images would be especially nice, since I really don't know where I got the one I have, and the owner might well object for all I know.
Sound: PiArmada is now completely silent. Something as simple as button clicks would be wonderful, and any other interface sounds you think appropriate. Background music is also needed, so if you know of anything appropriate that is legally distributable, or can write anything, let us know.
"This relationship was created to benefit consumers who are passionate about sports games," said Larry Probst, Electronic Arts Chairman and CEO. "EA SPORTS recreates the real life experience fans enjoy while watching or playing their favorite sport; while ESPN programming captures the look, sound and excitement of the sports they follow. Together, we believe we can significantly grow the interactive sports category."
The design of the movie Kilrathi differs from the chunky rugby-player look of the computer game, but that's a deliberate move on the part of Animated Extras, who wanted to break new ground. There's more of a lithe, feral power to these guys, and the sheepish grin on Matt Lillard's face when two of them hug him says it all - they're large and they're scary. So large, in fact, that there are some worries that they'll even fit into the alien ship set...Incidentally, the update mentioning that this issue is on sale was one of our very first updates on the CIC's launch day. What a great day that was.
Hey all, Raptor here
I believe you should always start a new year the way you mean to carry it on. In that vein, the first chapter of HTL's sixth and final year is a brutal and blood soaked tale. This chapter is an interlude to our current story, and is set parallel to the fighting in Loki. It tells the story of the blood feud between the Tanfen Corporation and its arch rival Porhen Industries. This story is written by Kevin "Leeloo" Tan. Please send any and all comments to Kevin at email@example.com, not to me.
In other news, work on Holding The Line Dot Net is going along well. Cyberion is creating some beautifull works of art, including those images you've been seeing here at the CIC recently. I'm writing up the content of the pages, and the web designer is doing the technical work. In order to get everything perfect for the unveiling though, we're thinking of pushing the date the site goes live by a couple of months. Believe me though, it's gonna be worth it. ;-)
Like many of you, after playing WC for the first time I’d always wanted to know the rest of the script. There are so many paths and choices that it’s pretty much impossible. Then late in 2000 Tobias Fridell came out with one of the first scripts for the first Wing Commander game.Feel free to email Shades any feedback!
His only had the wining path but it got me thinking that maybe I could do the same thing and flow chart the alternate paths and scripts. After several months of repeated playing and writing down I gave up. Then two years ago I was talking to LOAF about my desire to flow chart the WC Scripts and he happily sent me the ripped code containing the script.
So what have I been doing over the past two years? Working on eight WC scripts at once. Thanks to Wedge009’s help in editing, donating pictures, and his extensive web site, the first script to be completed is WCII. I hope you all enjoy it. It's been a long time coming. SO1 and SO2 are about 90% done and WCI, SM1, and SM2 are about 80% with Privateer at 50% and Righteous Fire at 30%. If you have any suggestions or corrections I’d love to hear them. Thanks and Happy New Year!
With a little bit of help, running the original Wing Commander games in Windows can be easy. DOSBox speed limits Wing Commander 1, allows Priv/Armada to execute in Windows and adds support for USB joysticks to the older games, among other things.
- Download DOSBox 0.63
- When you load the program, you're presented with a Z drive dos interface. If you have Wing Commander games already copied to a hard drive directory, type "mount c: c:\wingcommander" where c:\wingcommander is the directory of your game.
- Typing in "c:" will now take you to a C prompt where you can type the name of the executable or install file for your game. You may need to go into the installation menu to setup sound and music. DOSBox defaults the sound card's IRQ to 7.
- Some games will run just from there. USB joystick support is automatic and EMS support is on by default. Some games, such as Privateer and Armada, need EMS to be disabled. DOSBox will install a dosbox.conf file. You can open this up and change "ems=true" to false to turn off EMS.
- Additionally, some games may need an additional entry to execute. Privateer and Armada run well with "loadfix -65" typed before the game's main executable (for example "loadfix -65 armada"). The -65 is optional and variable, but we've had best luck with that value. Wing Commander 2 will also probably require "loadfix -32 WC2" to avoid some freezing a couple missions into the game.
- Joystick and sound support may be glitchy depending on your hardware. In this case it can be difficult to get them to play smoothly. You can play with the CPU/frame rate options with Control+F7/F8 and Control+F11/F12. The game defaults to a 3000 cpu cycle speed. Games such as Armada will play best in the 6500 range (hit Control+F12 several times).
The above instructions will sound rather complicated if you've never used DOS before. Click the "discuss" link below or stop by #Wingnut and someone may be available to give you more specific instructions. No old Wing Commander games? One of the screenshots above look unfamiliar? Head to eBay and Half.com!
Edit: Eddie pointed out that D-Fend is a good graphical interface that lays on top of DOSBox for easier configuration.
Edit 2: Some people have had some difficulty installing games. The solution for this varies widely depending on the game and format. In some cases, simply copying over files from the CD will do the trick. In others, you may have to do a more complicated DOSBox mount to tell it where to find your installation discs. An easier way to do this is to copy discs to the hard drive and map your DOSBox prompt there. Edit 2.5: There's an easy way to trick WC2's installer. Just copy over all the files and create a WC2.cfg file in the WC2 folder. Then go into the installation program and the game will skip straight to the sound configuration settings.
01.13.05 - Mission managers for the European Space Agency's Huygens probe said the spacecraft is on course for its descent to Saturn's mysterious moon Titan on Friday, Jan. 14. The probe, which detached from NASA's Cassini orbiter last month, will be the first object to explore on-site the unique environment of Titan, whose chemistry is thought to be very similar to that of early Earth, before life formed. The data gathered during the probe's 2 1/2 hour descent through Titan's atmosphere will be transmitted from the probe to the Cassini orbiter and then back to Earth.
A lot of it is influenced by the Wing Commander music I've previously composed. Actually, I thought it might be fun for you all to try to guess which Wing Commander pieces influenced which Shaiya pieces. Check it out! BTW, the coolest thing is that it's all LIVE ORCHESTRA and CHOIR!!! Something I tried for years to get Origin to support. It was recorded at the Clint Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros. just a few week ago. Enjoy!It's great to hear that Mr. Oldziey is getting to do some cool things these days, and his suggestion for matching up Shaiya to Wing Commander tracks sounds like fun. To take a little load off some of his bandwidth, we've mirrored Battle Full Mix. This one should be quite easy to match up in Wing Commander. Hit the "Discuss" button below if you think you know where other tracks were inspired from. You can find his other samples here.
I’ve noticed there isn’t a huge amount of wing-commander fan-art out there which is a shame…So I thought I’d do my part and hopefully inspire other artists out there to do the same…site.
Put whatever story line to the image you’d like…It’s kinda ambiguous…I figure that the Hornets are out on a Search & Rescue mission but they could be on their way to a ski resort too…Who knows? J
I've decided to create a special corner for this company as my sign of sincere gratitude for the things and games they made.
Instead of doing just a simple animation doing the bare minimum, I wanted to do more. I wanted to a movie. About WING COMMANDER! But it was alot of work trying to draw and animate flight choreography. I just did what Chris Roberts did: do different view perspectives and change them to make a movement... I hope you like it.
Well, with the holiday season over and some money I picked up, this year, I decided that I would invest in a new sound set in order to try to improve the quality of the rendering that you hear. I've looked into a few programs and tried a demo or two, and I did a re-rendering of the Standoff Overture.The place for your feedback is right here.
The sample of this program didn't come with every sound (as it was a sample), so the pitched percussion (glockenspiel, chimes, and timpani) as well as two guitars (distorted electric and nylon acoustic) are still remaining from the old sound set. However, all other instruments have been replaced by instruments from the new sound set. I did not change any dynamics to accomidate the new sound set either, so some balance things are a little off too (especially the end... the drums are uncontrollable now... I'll fix that if I go with this sound set).
You can get this new version at the following link:
For all of you who are interested, please listen to this new version, and leave a note/vote and tell me what you think so I know whether or not you, as the listeners think this is a worthy investment.
I like almost everything about this one. It looks like a big toy. That's the same feeling I get from all the WC2 designs. I like everything EXCEPT those three damned red dots on the engine intakes, but I've tried many alternatives and those dots are the best of a bad lot. It actually looks right at home with the rest of the fleet... see for yourself.
ZFGokuSSJ1 put together a few shots of some interesting Crusader merchandise with Origin veteran Mark Vittek.front and back of the shirt are also up.
I'm enjoying the movie a lot more this time around, here in the UK we never got a cinema release, all I've seen before is a UK VHS squished in certain scenes and US DVD of unbelievably low quality, this was like an answer to my prayers having access to a home cinema whilst home from uni and such a high quality wing commander DVD... Anamorphic wide screen, single layer however there are no special features and only one audio track, the movie takes up the entire layer and this is clear from the very high quality picture. Audio quality is superb, especially the base, put the volume up to full and it really got my heart racing. True 5.1. Special effects are incredibly vivid.Sounds great. We was talking about surprises earlier this week, but we didn't expect one within a few days.
However, it would be a shame to see it go to waste so I have uploaded it here in case any of the other mods out there would like to use it. The CMP includes hard points for it to be a dockable base but no other hardpoints, so if you want weapons, lights etc... or even to turn it into a flyable ship, I am afraid you will need to add those yourselves. You will also need to build a SUR file for it as well as I never got around to building one for it.LancersReactor is hosting the CMP and MAT files here.
Crazy Joe has houses set up on every server in Ultima Online to accept the donations. You can take your character to the houses to donate your gold in-game. He's raised hundreds of millions of gold which in turn can be converted to thousands of dollars.That's an interesting way to do it. I'd naturally be suspicious, but Crazy Joe is a Stratics administrator and indications are that this is legit.
I love volunteering at Stratics, they will not doubt hang me if I was scamming. Electronic Arts/Origin Systems Inc. are very much aware of what I am doing, I personally spoke to Anthony "Sunsword" Castoro about it. I am positive if they caught wind this is a scam, all my accounts would be closed.Too bad we can't donate virtual credits earned hauling Brilliance or fluffy rodents to Troy.
No company has been more successful this year as painting itself as an evil gaming empire.Nevertheless, their 2004 financial data should be better than ever. It'll be interesting to see where they go in 2005. You can find the full write-up as well as the other 19 gaming lows here.
This isn't the first time The Fat Man has had his work featuring on OCReMix (the last one piece was from 7th Guest), but this is the first Wing Commander remix I've seen in the more popular game remixing communities. Well, the first proper one, anyway - the actual first one was a direct rip of the Kilrathi Saga re-orchestration. Even though the CIC's reported on the surf theme before, I think the extra exposure - however small - can't be anything but good for the WC community. :)It really is a fun preview track. You can find the latest update on the rest of the reorchestration project here.
For Tuesday we'll planning a special webcam feature for DragonCon 2004 with some funny new pictures. Have a nice day.
I've created a new wallpaper for the Wing Commander Universe. It's based on the WC Prophecy's Timeline and shows the Nephilim fleet's exodus.
Originally I was creating a battle scene for one of the Holding The Line's chapters. But it turned out that it could be a nice wallpaper. I'll create more battle renders for HTL community and website and if Raptor (the guy behind the HTL) allows me, than i'll make a wallpaper from every battle scene for your pleasure folks.More wallpapers inspired by Wing Commander, Freelancer and other game universes can be found in his gallery.
It's sort of tradition to ask people what kind of year it will be for Wing Commander. With so many fan projects either finished recently or just weeks and months away from release, things are looking up. Our population is growing and we're eagerly awaiting the surprises in store for the new year.Todd Marshall won our Sidekick poll by a wide margin. Previous polls can be found here.
And the winner of Wing Commander Web Site of the Year is.. Fleet Tactics!
One of the youngest nominees proved to be the most popular in 2004. Fleet Tactic's immersive atmosphere and sharp presentation won over the most votes.
The runner up for Wing Commander Web Site of the Year is.. Wedge's Wing Commander Site.
The resourceful depth of Wedge's site was useful to many WC fans once again.
And in the Fan Project of the Year category.. the winner is.. Standoff!
The Standoff team combined a popular era with the most advanced Wing Commander engine to create their project. This new experience received the most votes.
And the runner up should be no surprise.. WC Saga!
Saga's refinement of the Freespace engine was also very popular this year. We expect to be having fun with this one soon.
Honorable Mention: The Privateer Remake also came in a decent third in the Fan Projects category. Congratulations to all the Wing Commander web sites and fan projects for persisting and thriving in 2004!