AI: There is now a simple AI algorithm implemented. It builds mines where profitable, builds shipyards when needed, and moves the carrier around to the right places to do so, reloading on resources when necessary. All fighters explore. Shipyards build medium fighters unless your carrier has been seen, in which case they build bombers. All bombers are immediately sent to attack your carrier when spotted. Obviously this could stand some improvement, but it's definitely playable. PiArmada now qualifies as an actual game!The full list of changes can be found in the readme.txt file. There are also big changes for the future, with integration with the Vega Strike engine being a key feature. The objective is to bring Armada style battles to PiArmada when fighters clash at a nav point. Not bad for a project which first became known to us less than six weeks ago. You can download the new version from Sourceforge.
Zoom: Wasn't as hard as I expected. Icons all stay the same size, only their relative positions change. As a side effect, the center gridlines are now highlighted, giving you more of a reference point when scrolling.
Resolution Switching: The options screen now allows you to pick among three resolutions, and to switch between fullscreen and windowed mode. If you play at 1280x1024 zoomed all the way out, you can see the whole sector at once. Kinda nifty.
LOAF recently suggested a bunch of Wingnuts get together and role play a group of stranded Confederation pilots in the Ultima universe.
Watch the skies! Beware! These huge birds may be those that are called Kilrathi, a mysterious race that only the wisest of sages are privy to. Written about in the ancient tomes, and prophesied of in the most secret of scrolls, the Kilrathi are said to be a race from beyond the skies, from between the stars. Most of the educated scholars who have heard of them, believed them to be fairy stories, conjured to frighten the young ones. But by the virtues, today I believe, and I warrant by the end of today, so shall all of you.
That's where Origin's breakthroughs in presentation came in. What made advancing through Wing Commander worthwhile was the feeling of being there, achieved through a strong fictional background, plenty of visual detail, and a multitude of transitional cinemas to maintain the feeling of immersion. The game world had a distinct personality, and so did each of the characters, in their dialogue and their piloting style -- nearly everyone who played the game remembers flying next to the suicidal Maniac. ...The full article can be found here. It makes a pretty good read.
In their time, the Wing Commander games were supremely compelling flight combat sims, breakthroughs in presentation and the use of cutting-edge technology. Plenty of gamers bought a 386 and a Sound Blaster to play them, and even more gamers wished they had the money to do the same. The series also represented some of the brighter lights of the oft-derided "interactive movie" phenomenon.
Going strong since 1997, Wing Commander: The Edge of Chaos is an interactive role-playing game focusing on the character and story development of pilot life post-Wing Commander IV. Beginning during the final bloody days of the Terran-Kilrathi War, The Edge of Chaos has continued into the year 2676. The Edge of Chaos deals with life after the Terran-Kilrathi War and new threats in the frontier regions of space. Based on our own IRC server, the WCRPG is one of the oldest and most active role-playing games in the Wing Commander community. With weekly sessions, high quality story posts on our forums, and dozens of members, both new and old, The Edge of Chaos is here to stay. Those interested can easily join by going to the forums at http://www.wcrpg.com.You can visit the wcrpg.com forums directly to sign up and meet other members.
I've made a BG image with the concept Dralthis by Feng Zhu. Everything was modelled/textured in 3dsmax by me. The image was inspired by an earlier bg image titled "Return to base."
In related news, Jumper suggests people check out the free Orbiter Sim. It's supposed to be a bit more polished and fully featured with detail and objective goals. It's fairly pretty to look at and seems quite impressive for a free program.
A few key backgrounds were also changed. The shots on the left are from the demo. The right side is the actual WC2 intro. It's interesting that they made the decision to remove the guards and create a darker and more private mood in the final version.
I mentioned the recent success of WING COMMANDER, and Richard nodded vigorously. "It's a fantastic game, Chris [Roberts, the designer] has done an incredible job. However, I admit to some ambivalent feelings. Till now, the success of Origin depended to a large degree on my work with ULTIMA. Now that isn't true, which of course is an adjustment for my ego." He laughed a bit at this, and seemed obviously pleased with the new situation. He also gave credit to Chris for inspiring some of the new interface ideas used in ULTIMA VI through Chris's game, TIMES OF LORE.We've always known that Origin was a pioneer of new technology, this article also suggests that Wing Commander may have been the first game to break the 640K (conventional memory) barrier. The article also mentions that Secret Missions 1 was originally not going to be available through retail outlets. It's an interesting read for Wing Commander, Ultima and Origin fans alike. We've also mirrored the file here. There are some other interesting mentions within.
blair2.avi - Interview with Mark Hamill.
maniac1.avi - Interview with Tom Wilson 1.
maniac2.avi - Interview with Tom Wilson 2.
wing1.avi - Behind the scenes, interviews with Chris Roberts, Mark Hamill, Malcolm Macdowell, Tom Wilson, Jason Bernard.
wing3.avi - Wing Commander IV trailer.
wing4.avi - Briefing blooper.
wing5.avi - Those damn doors again.
My goal is to produce a unique WC4 experience. I know I have a lot of friends who would never sit down to watch the game much less play it. However they may like to see a movie... So I've been editing the clips into a logical path (omitting alternate choices etc.) As well, although not including gameplay all clips in any given path add up to around 2h50min, my goal is to also include necessary info from gameplay and yet keep the running time to around 2h 30min...You can download a three minute sample of the kind of thing AD is trying to achieve here (55MB), or a lower resolution video here (21MB, a different scene). AD would also appreciate some help and feedback on the project in this thread.
I have almost finished cutting together all the video I haven't dropped either for time or pacing... I may still drop more scenes in the future. Currently I just have the end sequence (the 3 or 4 part battle with the Vesuvius) that I need to work out. I've been trying to minimize the number of gameplay scenes, partly because of the effort needed, but also so that it's not too repetitive.
According to the new Wing Commander development team, who were showing Prophecy to selected members of the press in a private booth mocked up to look like a 27th Century locker room, the emphasis on the new game is on gameplay, gameplay, gameplay - to that effect, the cinematic side of things - which Roberts was accused of concentrating on at the expense of play mechanics in the last two instalments - have been considerably trimmed down, and the missions themselves are being much more carefully designed.There is also mention of the game's multiplayer support, and how that was being handled by a completely separate team. Unfortunately, as we all know the multiplayer was later cancelled.
Your next selection was Wing Commander. if you're a fan of the game or the series, drop 50-ish words here or in the private message receptacle of our friend The Reverend Dr. David F. Smith by Tuesday Feb. 22. Thanks!You'll need to register to send him a message here. I'm sure lots of you can think of interesting anecdotes to share. Feel free to also hit the Discuss link below and copy your responses to this news post, in case yours isn't included with the article next week.
Wing Commander: Battle for Enigma is a free-form RPG based on character development and telling stories. We don’t roll dice or use any other kind of system aside from the honor system. Our game has been active since December of 2001, and we meet every Sunday at 9pm EST. In between meetings, role-playing continues on our message boards (which have logged a little over 6,000 In-Character posts since ’01). We are one of the most active, if not the most active, Wing Commander RPG around and we take a lot of pride in that. People can join either by posting in the open chat section of the message board, using the form on our website, or PMing me directly.A lot of people enjoyed these games back in the day, and hopefully they can become a bit more popular again. If you are involved with a similar undertaking, feel free to contact us to help get the word out.
Corpnews: What emerging trend do you see as most affecting future MMOG designs?That, of course, applies more to fantasy games. Realistic physics can sometimes detract from sci fi games, but unfortunately the science fiction mmo is a much smaller genre.
Richard: Physics. MMOs try and create realistic worlds to explore and interact with. Thus, physics is a natural next step in crafting a real place. Plus, physics chips are now on the horizon, so we will be able to compute complex scenes quickly!
Origin and SOE's Raph Koster was also part of the interview.
Corpnews: What emerging trend do you see as most affecting future MMOG designs?You can find the full interview here.
Raph: Well, I very much think that the "play single-player games alongside multiple people" trend is going to continue. Bluntly, I don't like it--I don't like it from a gameplay point of view because I as a player like the feeling of being in a world; I don't like it from a business point of view because I don't think people stick very well to that sort of game, or don't feel it merits a subscription fee.
This one is again only done by a single screenshot-capture in the Freespace-engine using our mod-stuff. I only created the mission where I placed the ships and backgrounds for this shot. Also I did this one in 1280x1024x32, with 2xAA. Theoretically the game is playable in this, but it is currently unsupported, becauce the HUD-Stuff is misplaced in that resolution.
A bit of WC related news that will be of interest to Wingnuts in the UK, and possibly elsewhere in Europe, considering how easy travel is within the EU. John Rhys Davies will be at Collectormania 7 (Friday April 29 to Sunday May 1) in Milton Keynes. There will also be guest stars from Doctor Who, Stargate SG-1, Battlestar Galactica, Buffy and Angel. I've never been to Collectormania before, but it looks interesting.
I recently re-installed IBM's OS/2 Warp Version 3 on an old machine with a 486 motherboard, and I found out that this version of OS/2 Warp has some interesting support for the DOS versions of early Wing Commander games. OS/2 Warp Version 3 has a built-in DOS/Win3.1 application settings database what is installed as part of the OS. If an application is installed which is listed in the database, then the OS automatically uses the settings listed under that game for execution in a DOS session. Here is the excerpt from the settings database file C:\OS2\INSTALL\DATABASE.TXT for the Wing Commander games:Similar profiles exist for Wing Commander 1 through Academy. If you use OS/2 and need some help running older Wing Commander games, you might want to look into this. I suppose this would fall into the "Other" category in our current Poll.Wing Commander II Special Operations 1 Origin NAME SO1.EXE TITLE Wing Commander 2 TYPE DOS ASSOC_FILE WC2.CFG DEF_DIR \WING2 SESSION_MODE FULLSCREEN DOS_BACKGROUND_EXECUTION OFF DOS_HIGH ON IDLE_SECONDS 60 IDLE_SENSITIVITY 100 HW_ROM_TO_RAM ON HW_TIMER OFF INT_DURING_IO OFF VIDEO_RETRACE_EMULATION ON FOLDER GAMES
The original model was a Standoff prototype that looked like this.
It's the time of the year when we pull out the Love Arrow. I don't recall it being so small when we first used it. Happy Valentine's Day!
Our old Crossbow sucked, so I went and made a new one which I believe is pretty damn accurate. Thanks to LOAF and BradMick for the reference material. You might notice that its textures look cleaner than the average Standoff fighter's... that was intentional, since in our storyline Crossbows are hot rods just out of the prototype testing stage.
Last month we asked you what setting you would prefer for a new fan project. While each option received a fair share of the vote, most people would like something that takes place in the WC1-WC2 era or something that explores what happens after Secret Ops. Our new poll asks how you get DOS games like Privateer to run these days.
I was using the Wayback Machine over at the Internet Archive a couple of weeks back and noticed that amongst the Archive's various sections there is one dedicated to Computer Chronicles, which I'm sure that some or perhaps many of you will remember was a television programme (broadcast from 1983 to 2002) covering general purpose computing -- it's sister show was called Net Cafe'. I believe it was quite widely syndicated in the US and in many other countries.You'll need Xvid or Divx to view the movies. High and low res clips of each are available. They're identical except for the size. The asf files below require a fairly recent Windows Media Player or compatible.
So far, I've managed to locate three segments containing references (I think the episodes concerned were uploaded at various points during the past 10 months or so), namely an interview with George Sanger AKA The Fat Man, a gameplay overview of WC3 with Mark Day and a brief gameplay overview of WC2. I would think it fairly probable that additional Wing Commander related material may surface as the back library of Computer Chronicles episodes is uploaded to the archive, given the period covered by the show, i.e. 1983-2002. So, IMO it would be worth checking up on this portion of the Archive every few months!
I also noticed these Wing Commander game previews while searching through the Archive for other Wing Commander related materials. They are in the Videogame Previews section -- a collection of more than 2,200 custom-created videos from the period 1993-2004. The two major sources of content for this collection were the Video Pipeline website, which provided previews to retailers and distributers for promotional purposes and Kikizo.com, a UK-based games website that has been archiving games-related footage for a while.
If you think you can contribute to the mod, or have worked on it in the past, drop me a line at email@example.com, or at the team mail of firstname.lastname@example.org (they both go to the same place), or catch me on AIM (my screen name's mrmcdob). I've also set up a LiveJournal community here. This is not intended to replace either of our message boards, but rather act as a more organized form of the feedback threads where most of the action has occured in the past. It's still being set up, and is intended primarily as an interim stage until we get a website proper.The Reckoning is among the few special mods that actually have a decently playable game, so you may find this more attractive than joining a mod that is just starting out.
My absolute favorite ship from all of the WC series was without doubt the Raptor from WC1. That bad boy ate Jalthi and Gratha as a main course with Salthi and Dralthi as dessert. Anyway, once again, I went back, revisited it and remodelled it. It sticks very close to the diagrams, obviously there are some cosmetic details that I added as my own artistic flair to the design. (Yes, you get to see the cowling thing again). Once I built it I realized I didn't have a good environment so I quickly threw together a partial hangar.
Those who had to catch their breath concerning the rating of Half-Life 2 (reviewed in issue 12/04) should have a look back to the review of Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger. Here the rating of 96% gaming-fun was reached for the first time. The amazingly good space-action-simulator had everything on four full CDs that a game in that time could have had: first-class SVGA-graphics, glass-clear sound, more than 50 missions, an easy to learn handling and last but not least, plenty of long video-sequences.
Could the X-Wing really manuever like that? Need the Imperial Star Destroyers really be so LUMBERING? What would it be like to fly a Star Fury? How should a vessel of a given mass, size, and thruster power REALLY handle? Enter Space Combat, a space simulator where all of the laws of physics are accurately applied to your vehichle.It doesn't seem that there's any actual combat to be had, but if you liked Microsoft Space Simulator, then this should be fairly entertaining for a while. Since there isn't much objective work to do, in the words of this old Space Simulator review, after a while you'll need to just "go play Wing Commander." Space Combat is pretty neat for a free experience, and I'd like to try out the new X-Plane at some point as well.
Hey all, Raptor here
HTL continues with Part Thirteen of my Into The Inferno series, which follows Battlegroup Valkyrie during the final clash in the Nifelheim system. As you've seen in past chapters written by myself and Dan "Death" Poore, the corvettes and fighters from Taskforce Abbey had taken out the escorts of a Nephilim carrier group. In the battle however, Abbey's flagship escort carrier had been severely damaged. This chapter picks up from there. Please send any and all comments to me at email@example.com.
The story is at: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~theraj/archives/ch199.htm
Also, HTL marked its sixth anniversary on the 28th of January. This anniversary was definitely bitter-sweet, as it will be the last in our history as an active storyline. We're targetting a finish date in the second to third quarter of this year, and there are some huge battle chapters coming up which will wrap the storyline up. As always, I would to thank the writers who have put so much effort into the story. I would also like to thank the people, within the Aces Club and without, who have E-mailed in comments and encouragement. It's feedback like that which keeps writers on track through the ups and downs of a long campaign.
But with Wing Commander III, 26-year-old Chris Roberts, director and creator of the previous Wing Commander games, wanted to define interactivity in a new way, by creating an interactive movie that employs all the conentions of film to tell a story, and also allows the viewer/player to become part of the action by interacting at key points in the plot, thus advancing and changing the course of events throughout.Yeah, that whole paragraph is one sentence.
UPN and Paramount Network Television have jointly announced that this will be the final season of Star Trek: Enterprise on UPN. [Production will continue until the end of this season, which will finish shooting in March.] The series finale will air on Friday, May 13, 2005.TrekWeb has some additional comments from Rick Berman.
"I've always believed that you can take too many trips to the well. I'm not saying that Paramount has taken too many trips to the well, but they've probably taken enough for the time being. Since 'Next Generation' began, we have produced 624 hours. It's been 18 years with 'Next Generation,' 'Deep Space Nine,' 'Voyager' and 'Enterprise,' and seven of them we had two shows on simultaneously." Berman says the writing staff on ENTERPRISE planned for this eventuality and conceived this season's finale as a final capper for the series.As many have said, we've been watching new episodes of Star Trek for so long that it may have been taken for granted. There's quite a bit of discussion on the matter over at Crius.net. Although I haven't watched much Enterprise myself, it was always pretty comforting to know that it was on. Most of the rest of the staff is pretty disappointed at this turn of events. Alternatives and ideas for what to do next are being considered at SaveEnterprise.com.
I was on the sci fi channel's Battlestar Gallactica's Ron Moore's Blog page and about halfway through the article, the interviewer asks the creator/reviver of the series about the Cylon fighters that look exactly like Dralthis and was there an Wing Commander influence... which I had obviously picked up the similarity while watching the show. Apparently they have some ex-Wing Commander production team members on their set (maybe they subconsciously copped the design?).You can find the full interview under Ron Moore's January 30 entry here.
Separate fighter screen eliminated: It really was pointless to have a screen just for telling what fighters were in the system, when the carrier screen did that anyway. Now it's just a carrier screen with a few buttons missing.There is a readme.txt file included in the download package with more details. This definitely looks like a project to keep an eye on.
Sector level facility buttons added: There are now icons on the sector screen identifying what faciltiies are in a system and allowing access to their detail screens.
Most graphics replaced: Thanks to PeteyG doing some collecting for us, nearly all the graphics in the game have now been updated with things that actually look decent! We also now have ship portraits on the shipyard screen. Still looking for replacements for the last few temporary graphics.
Kilrathi-specifics: The Kilrathi now fly and build their own ships.