Here at the CIC we've looked forward to eventually making a number of significant announcements. One major goal was the ability to run virtually all original Wing Commander games on modern computers. Since the first 486 66 MHz systems were released, this has been a battle that we've fought with great success. With the release of myJEMM and DOSBox, many Wing Commander fans are going back and enjoying games they haven't played since the mid 1990s. Today we're happy to announce that yet another milestone is being reached. The famous HCl has achieved a breakthrough that allows Wing Commander Armada Proving Grounds to be played online. Proving Grounds was the free expansion for Armada owners that added six player battles, exciting ship upgrades, awesome asteroids and improved ipx network code. The program has been tested with four people so far. It's a blast, but Armada's DOSBox joystick support is unstable, and the internet connections must be very low latency for the game to be smooth. HCl has a list of issues he is currently trying to tackle to make the game more playable.
In the shots above you can see the game's lobby and ship select interfaces. Proving Grounds' asteroids are second to none in the Wing Commander universe. The larger ones show up on sensors, and you can duck behind them to hide in their radar shadow. Do you recognize each of the cockpits?
We are very excited about the prospect of hosting formal online Wing Commander matches. HCl's next goal is fixing the way Armada deals with joysticks and seeing if there is a way to reduce lag. We're going to see if some of those issues can be resolved before we publish detailed instructions on how to get the game running online. The core Armada game uses Netbios rather than ipx, so strategic Armada play is a bit further off. One of the coolest things about HCl's advancement is that all that is necessary to play is DOSBox and Armada. No Kali or tunneling intermediary software is required!