PiArmada 0.9 Released Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ZOmegaZ has finally released an upgraded version of PiArmada, his attempt to clone Wing Commander Armada. The flight engine which was hastily added to version 0.8 has been polished up for the new 0.9 release. Various graphics have been updated and individual game settings are now easier to edit. New keyboard shortcuts have also been added, and the game can be saved and resumed later. The next version will allow players to play as the Kilrathi or even create their own custom races. You can download the new 75 meg zip for the game here.
So it took me nearly a year, but I've finally released a new version of PiArmada! Sorry it took me so long, guys, I know I told some people it'd be done before now. Still, I think you'll find it worth the wait! .08 was effectively .07 with the flight engine hacked onto it. This is a much cleaner implementation, with quite a number of new features.
Owners of the original Armada can find out how to play it online with other Wing Commander fans here.

Problem 0: Game Movies Are Easy Targets Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Heart of the Tiger found a Wing Commander mention in the June 2006 issue of PSM. The magazine attempts to explain why "Hollywood hates us" by running down the typical list of complaints. The article makes claims such as "there hasn't been a big hit" and "game stories are weak" while ignoring a number of major exceptions. Oh well, you can't win them all. The shot below is a bit blurry, but you're not missing too much. A few of the movies on their list are pretty bad, but a few are really good too.

Gaze At The Stars And Hear Paladin's Music Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

After some careful searching, we've dug up the operatic Trio from Mozart's 'Cosi Fan Tutte' featured in the Wing Commander movie. It's available as a promotional stream from the Ole George Music website. CIC staff music analyst ace has converted it into a nice mp3 so Wing Commander fans can add it to their collections. The complete Trio Soave sia il vento comes in at 2.5 megabytes. criticalmass has translated the libretto below.
Just to add a bit to this, the text they're singing is very short:
Soave sia il vento,
Tranquilla sia l'onda,
Ed ogni elemento
Benigno risponda
Ai nostri/vostri desir.

Which translates into:
Gentle be the breeze,
Calm be the waves,
And every element
Smile in favour
On their wish.

A few fans have expressed interest in the entire opera. Keep an eye on Crius.net where Needaham is looking for the best way to help people get it.

Get Wing Commander Music In The Music Section Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

If today's Trio has you searching out more sounds, visit the CIC Music section. There you can find nostalgic background tracks from most of the Wing Commander games, familiar tunes such as the WC1 scramble and audio sound effects extracted from all over. There are also unique variations from Wing Commander ports and deleted scenes. Even amazing items such as Team Fat's Surf Theme take on the Wing Commander title song are available. Don't forget to also check out the Albums subsection for information on official Wing Commander music CDs and downloadable links to tracks that have been promotionally released. Help us use up the rest of this month's bandwidth and download a song today!

Prophecy Multiplayer Patch Work Moves To Hoster App Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Several rounds of testing were conducted over the weekend for HCl's multiplayer Prophecy patch. So that everyone knows progress is still being made, here's a few specifics on how things went. With the functional core of the project nearly complete, remaining work includes setting up a launcher application so that everyone can host games on their own.
Last night's tests went nearly without glitches. :-) There is still something strange with kill registering in some circumstances, which I'll have to check, but that seems to be the last gameplay issue left to handle. Work on the MP launcher is underway and integration of the server code on the main DLL is nearly complete. So all things considered, I'm hoping it won't take long to get a build good enough for release.

The number of players at each session may still be limited by the current network code. However, I will be introducing significant changes in the net code for Release 2 which should make things more manageable (at which point I'll be introducing new scenarios as well).

I really like the first picture above.

Happy Memorial Day! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Happy Memorial Day to our American readers! The holiday, which originally celebrated those who served in the Civil War, is specific to the United States - but the sentiment is international. The weekend has come to represent the unofficial start of summer and is generally considered a good time for cookouts and beach trips... but be sure to give thought to the men and women who have served our country so that we can continue playing Wing Commander.

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Pun Alert: The Lord Of The Wing Trailer Made Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Plywood Fiend has created another Wing Commander themed video clip for everyone. This time it's a bit more creative than a simple music video. He has synchronized the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King trailer to various scenes from Wing Commander 3. The harsh landscape of Kilrah mirrors that of Mordor, Aragorn's ancient sword is symbolized by the Behemoth and the good guys are portrayed by the crew of the TCS Victory - complete with Gimli being voiced by John Rhys-Davies. It's a fun clip that everyone should check out. You can grab the 32 meg wmv for yourself here.

Flight Commander Gets New Patch Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

While eddieb may have been spending a lot of time playing with robots recently, he has been able to patch a few new additions in to Flight Commander. The intended audience for the new version 1.3.3 patch is anyone involved in modding or creating new missions for the game.
I've released a tiny new patch adding the following:

Nav names appear if you press 'n'.
The mission editor allows you to name nav points.
New scripting functions (as requested) for giving ships more missiles/guns:

Ship_replenishMissiles(string shipid)
Ship_replenishGuns(string shipid)

You can download the patch from here. eddieb is also a programmer for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The JPL held an Open House event last weekend showcasing their various projects, and eddieb posted this photo of himself with a robot ballet dancer. I'm not sure what use ballet dancing robots are in space, but it looks very cool anyway.

PC Gamer Highlights Hit Home Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Goku found a neat spread in the latest issue of PC Gamer. The magazine is celebrating its 150th issue in July (Goku also has a time machine), and they've named the 150 greatest moments in PC gaming to match. Wing Commander received several mentions. Wing Commander 3 was one of PC Gamer's first big stories and graced the cover of the publication's seventh issue. The game's stellar 96% review still remains one of the highest in PC Gamer history. There were several other Wing Commander and Origin related covers in the years that followed. Privateer 2, one of the series' most underappreciated games, also received a nod for its all-star cast.
* Privateer 2: The Darkening's full motion video sequences boast a star-studded cast that includes Clive Owen, John Hurt, David Warner, Amanda Pays, Brian Blessed, Jurgen Prochnow, and Christopher Walken. (March 1997)

* December 1994 - First CD-ROM edition, with over 300MB of demos! 300MB provides space for 21 demos, including Wing Commander III, Dragon Lore, and Blackthorne.

Wing Commander Fans Are Everywhere Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Our readers who are also fans of the Discworld series have something in common with that series' author. Apparently Terry Pratchett is a fan of the Wing Commander series. That might not be big news, but he's apparently a big enough fan that the alt.fan.pratchett Newsgroup FAQ makes a special mention of it.

He also used to own an Amstrad, and is a fan of the classic isometric perspective games, Batman and Head Over Heels, as well as being a ZX-81 maniac. He is a declared fan of the Wing Commander series and also is quite fond of the game Doom. Future historians of computer science will probably look upon his extensive collection with awe.

According to dejanews the group which he posts to the 3rd most is alt.games.tombraider so he probably plays that as well.

Three's a Charm! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's time to pat ourselves on the back: today is our third anniversary of providing uninterrupted daily Wing Commander news updates! We're happy to be able to provide wingnuts around the world something new, however small, each day! The response we receive through the forums, via e-mail, on IRC and at conventions is what keeps the site going - you're a great community, and this is as much your accomplishment as it is ours. So, what were we talking about three years ago? The imminent release of Wing Commander Prophecy GBA! Let's hope we get to present news like that again soon...
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Rock Me, Commodore James "Paladin" Taggart Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Astute credit-watchers have found a difference between the Wing Commander movie's actual credits and the version published online. The finished version includes a fourth music credit:
Trio from 'Cosi Fan Tutte'
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Arranged by Lee Ashley
Courtesy of OGM/Ole George Music

Unlike the film's other three tracks of licensed music, pop songs from Cuba and Thievery Corporation, the Mozart is readily identifiable in the movie itself: it's the opera Paladin is listening to when Blair comes to talk to him about the Pilgrims.

The version of the song used in Wing Commander comes from a CD of production music from Ole George Music. These are CDs of stock music licensed to films for exactly this purpose. Unfortunately, we're at a loss for how to get a copy for ourselves. If anyone is familiar with either Mozart or movie production, please let us know if you can track down this music -- then we can all listen to the same music as Paladin!

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English Subs Added To German WC Dubs Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

A while back, the German magazine PC Player created several promotional videos for its cover discs. These took popular PC game cutscenes and dubbed them with dialogue about the staff of the magazine. It should be no surprise that several Wing Commander pieces were made. TomGaines has collected clips that were done for Wing Commander 3, 4 and Prophecy. He's even improved the video quality with his own source material and added English subtitles. I think the Prophecy one is the best. You can grab all three divx files in a zip here.

Get Behind Wing Commander Academy Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's a holiday weekend, so activity may be slow on the Wing Commander front... so what better way to keep the flame alive than to download and watch the Wing Commander Academy animated series? Use the links below to access high quality DivX versions of all thirteen episodes, plus the other three episodes in the 'Warrior King' crossover!

Interested in learning more about the series? We've collected some neat resources over the years! A HTML version of the series press kit is available online here. Scans of some of the series' background art pieces can be found in our archive here, compared next to screenshots from the finished show. You can read more about the Warrior King in this article... and about several different orders in which to watch the show here. You can also find entries about all the show's fighters and capital ships in our archive here. The Origin Museum also has an excellent collection of scanned Academy material, including the original series bible, an episode outline and an episode script which are available here.

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Convoy Escort Shot From WC Saga Intro Released Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Lars has shown off a test image from WC Saga's prerendered intro scene. Both the Hellcats and shuttles already have some nice details, and the glow from the lighting is pretty. The team is still working on specific visual effects, so the final videos will have a few finishing touches beyond what is visible below. WC Saga's website has also just moved to a new server accessible from wcsaga.com.

What Smells Like Blue? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

PRWeb has posted a press release announcing the creation of Blue Ray Game Technologies, Inc., a company which will be responsible for manufacturing high-definition Blue Ray discs for gaming purposes. Many people are worried that the Sony-supported format will end up in second place to HD DVD... but at least the man behind the scenes here has Wing Commander experience!
“Even many game business professionals don’t fully understand everything Blu-ray is about to do for their industry,” said Blue Ray Technologies founder and DVD pioneer Erick Hansen. “The graphics, processing power and video texturing, not to mention the storage capacity, will be a quantum leap in the technology that will absolutely engulf gamers.”

Hansen, who manufactured the first DVD-ROM game, “Wing Commander,” for Creative Labs, said his launch of a game development firm was to ensure gamers would get the full-blown possibilities of BD games that other developers may not provide. “The gamers will soon demand the full-scope of what BD can do,” Hansen said.

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Bridge Commander Project Adds More WC Ships Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

BES has been busy since we last reported on his Wing Commander mod for Bridge Commander. He's added several exciting capital ships that are famous for their large size.
If anyone has played Star Trek: Bridge Commander, it's easily moddable and has good graphics.

My goal is to make you command Wing Commander capital ships instead of flying fighters(you launch the fighters from your ship) and make a whole universe with planets, systems and some sort of storyline using ALL ships from Wing Commander 3-5. This will be a mod for Bridge Commander, all ships will have original weapon sounds and colors, and shield colors as well.

Check out the discussion on Crius.net for the list of ships that BES has already imported into Bridge Commander. Confederation, Kilrathi, Nephilim, Border Worlds and Black Lance ships all make an appearance. More screenshots can be found here.

Didn't We Already Cover This? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

IGN wasn't the only one to interview Origin's Bryan Walker at E3 this month. Planet Gamecube spoke with Retro Studios and Nintendo about Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Metroid is one of the highly anticipated launch titles for the Nintendo Wii.
PGC: Do you fly the ship, since there are multiple planets this time around? Do you have any kind of shooting stages or anything like that?

Pacini: Samus doesn't directly fly her ship. You do go to different planets with your ship, but you don't have direct flight control over it. However, we are using the ship for gameplay as a tool for Samus. She has a new visor called the Command Visor, which will allow Samus from the third-person to control her ship remotely. So you can call it in to do air strikes, you can have it come in and lift large things out of your way or move them around in the environment, as well as use it as a platform, things like that. It's another tool, a unique way to use the ship rather than just fly it around, diluting the gameplay.

Walker: We wanted to offer the ship in a format that was relevant to the Metroid experience, not as a tacked-on, watered-down Wing Commander.

The wording in their answer here is curiously similar to how the response was phrased in this interview. Whatever the reasoning behind that is, it means twice as much face-time for Wing Commander in the press. Thanks to Vance Bennett.

Gemini Gold Cleans Up The Showroom Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

John Cordell has provided another peek at the status of the Gemini Gold project. This image shows the original Privateer loadout screen and the updated shot in the new engine. The room has been recreated in 3D and polished object models have been integrated into the menu seamlessly. As previously mentioned, the team is trying to recreate a number of the interface locations that were not as sharp in some Privateer remakes. Other projects have simply stretched the original backgrounds and superimposed newer models. There's still a bit more work to be done on the scene, and the next published update to GG is probably a ways off, but the final interior shots should look great.
You will recognize for sure that the picture is missing some details, also the light needs a bit of tweaking - so it is a usual work in progress shot. As you can see, we try - even with the new rendered interiors - to make the game look like it did "in the good old days."

Austin Game Conference Features Local Developers Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Austin Game Conference has announced that former Privateer Online and Star Wars Galaxies designer/director Raph Koster will be speaking at this year's event. The convention has expanded to include three days of discussion focused on online PC and console games. Early registration starts at $250 for students interested in the entertainment software business, and acceptance to the main event also allows access to the concurrent Game Writers Conference, Casual Games Conference and Game Audio Conference. Representatives from EA, NCSoft and other local companies will also be presenting and in attendance. Organizers of the event include Origin veterans such as WC Prophecy lead designer Billy Joe Cain and Privateer Online producer Rich Vogel.
The Austin Game Conference (AGC) - now in its 4th year - is the definitive conference for online and networked game development, including massively multiplayer online games, casual games, online PC and console games. The event is marketed internationally and provides a venue where developers, technologists and business professionals can network with colleagues, learn from industry leaders, stay informed about the latest tools, technologies and techniques and get business done in a relaxed atmosphere.

Authentic WC2 Box Art Discovered Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

While searching through his new stash, Joe came across a floppy disk with one lone file. It turned out to be the primary art file for the box cover of Wing Commander II! At 650x700 pixels, the image leaves a bit of room for text on the top, and the colors are very crisp and vibrant. Whether this gets used as a nice desktop background or nostalgic memory trigger, it's a wonderful thing to see. You can find a scan of the actual box here and download the 1.3 meg original Targa format file here. If you like this scene, also check out the End Run cover art. st3lt3k reminds us that the box appears to have been created by Craig Miller.

Controlled Carrier Sinking Brings Back WC Memories Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

criticalmass was reading the news last week and caught a story about the sinking of the USS Oriskany. The aircraft carrier was sunk last Thursday as an alternative to being scrapped. It now sits on the ocean floor off the coast of Florida where divers will be able to visit. On the way to becoming the world's largest artificial reef, the ship sunk stern first. In some images, the ship resembles the crashed Concordia on Vespus. Neat-o.

Fighter Wallpaper Pack Also Available Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Sergio Leugi has also has a pack of wallpapers for everyone. Instead of one image, he's made fifteen Wing Commander shots to choose from. They each feature a popular ship from Wing Commander 4 or Prophecy. The source images for each fighter have been enlarged some, but the wallpapers should still look decent on medium resolution screens. Sergio created the images to match different desktop workstations when he was administrator of his university's computer lab. They were a big hit back in those days, and now he'd like to share them with fellow fans. You can grab the 3 meg zip with all 15 wallpapers here.
Since when I started my Computer Sciences graduation course and after working with computers, I have always been a fan of the WC universe. It was so present in my daily activities that when I became the system administrator of a small lab network, all workstations were named after WC universe fighters. It wasn't just the name. I did all the respective wallpapers for each one. Computer image editing is one of my hobbies. I made those using the Internet available renderings for each fighter and composited the wallpapers.
The pack includes images for the Wasp, Vindicator, Vampire, Tigershark, Thunderbolt, Shrike, Piranha, Panther, Excalibur, Dragon, Devastator, Bearcat, Banshee and Arrow.

Many Options Out There For Desktop Redecoration Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Our Wallpapers section has been updated to include all the great desktop images submitted to us in the last half year. You may have missed some of these new additions if you didn't visit the CIC every day. Most notable are the Stingray render by Sean Murphy and the new section for Pioneer wallpapers. Keep checking back for more fantastic wallpapers from Mr. Murphy and many other talented artists in our community.

Wing Commander's Still The Space Sim Standard Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Vance caught a neat little Wing Commander mention over at IGN. The article in question is an interview with the top developers at of Metroid Prime 3 for the Nintendo Wii. They discuss different abilities and features of the game, and at one point the interviewer asks about flying main character's ship.
IGN Wii: The E3 demo of Prime 3 features a pretty spectacular Ridley fight in which Samus and the boss fall down a corridor in a scene right out of a Star Fox game. Will there be other gameplay types in the title? For instance, can Samus fly her gunship?

Mark Pacini: You actually won't be able to fly the ship itself. You'll be able to use the ship to transport to other planets. But we're also using the ship as a tool - kind of like your Power Beam - so that with a visor you can call y our ship in and do certain things in a level, like blow stuff up, or lift huge obstacles, or use it as a platform. It's a natural extension of Samus' abilities.

Bryan Walker: We felt it was important to integrate the ship without making it feel like a watered-down Wing Commander. So the ship is there in a context that's faithful to the Prime experience.

Such comments aren't just made in a vacuum however. Digging a little deeper, you'll find that the Metroid Prime games are developed by Retro Studios, and Retro is based in Austin, Texas. It turns out that Bryan Walker was hired at Origin in 1998. He worked on a variety of games and was Senior Producer for Ultima Online (Live) at one point. It's always great to hear the Wing Commander series pop up in modern dialogue, and I think it's pretty neat to delve into the history behind those mentions too.

Larger Battles Tested In WCP Online Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Progress continues to be made with HCL's Prophecy Multiplayer Patch. The coding has improved to the point where standard rounds with a few players have been consistently stable. New tests with six players have recently identified an exponentially larger bandwidth requirement, but fortunately, even five players have gone pretty smoothly on dial-up connections. HCl and Pete also have several theories on how to make the data load much more manageable in the future. As we get closer to a release, other minor issues have been fixed too. The high resolution patch no longer displays a blue streak across the screen in 3dfx mode, and ships are properly scaled in the simulator's viewer. A bug in Prophecy where screenshots overwrite eachother each time the game boots up has also been resolved. HCl even improved the "death-cam." When players are out of action, they now have a better view of the surviving fighters battling it out.

On This Day... Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today is the 11th birthday for the alt.games.wing-commander newsgroup. Although it's been pretty quiet for several years now, throughout the later 1990s, it and Origin's Official WC CZ formed the core of online Wing Commander discussion and debate. Newsgroups predated the modern world wide web and operated successfully for two decades in a completely unmoderated format. They were much simpler than message boards of today, yet existed as powerful sources of news and information. The Wing Commander newsgroup is where I started to really become active in the online Wing Commander community way back in 1996. Many of the friends I made there ten years ago still manage to actively contribute to Crius.net. This date is also easy to remember because it's the anniversary of Mt. St. Helens' eruption in 1980, whose namesake carrier is very famous among Wing Commander fans. Finally, although he asked me not to say anything, today is KrisV's 25th birthday! You don't see him write a lot of news these days, but Kris takes care of all our absolutely vital server and technical maintenance. A lot of what you see here would not be possible without the behind-the-scenes improvements that he constantly makes to the site. Thanks Kris, and happy birthday!

But Wait, There's More Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Two days ago you read about Origin Museum curator Joe Garrity's exploration of Box 11... but there's even more to see! Joe has kindly added 64 more pictures from the unusual and amazing collection. You can see all the pictures, which include artifacts from a wide variety of Origin games ranging from Windwalker to Crusader, here. Below are some of the exciting Wing Commander related pictures and a short introduction.

These two sets of slides are box artwork to be used for marketing purposes. The first is noteworthy because it's the Windows 95 version of Wing Commander IV. This version, which included a blue-bordered box as shown, was released at the same time as Kilrathi Saga with the (freely available) Win9x pre-installed. The second set is Wing Commander II: Special Operations 1.

These two pictures are especially interesting. The slides are of the screenshots displayed on Wing Commander game boxes. These screenshots are fascinating because they often differ significantly from the finished game, as they are taken earlier in development so that boxes can be printed by the time the game itself is completed. These are the screenshots used to promote Wing Commander II: Deluxe Edition and Wing Commander: The Secret Missions. Especially noteworthy here are the 'cut scene' rendered Gothri and the 'young Blair in court' screenshots, both pieces of art which did not appear in Wing Commander II. Hopefully Joe will be able to provide full resolution scans of them soon! The larger picture is the box of Wing Commander II: Special Operations 2.

These are Wing Commander III 1995 calendars. They were included in the EA Direct Wing Commander III Premiere Edition tins. Don't throw these out -- you can actually use them again right now, since 2006 has the same set of days as 1995 did!

These are interesting promotional posters for Wing Commander III and Privateer 2. They seem to be in the same unusual style, with cast shots and names in small boxes at the bottom. The Privateer 2 poster uses the European 'eye' artwork rather than the American ship -- it's possible that these were British advertisements.

These are raw magazine ads for Origin games. Two are for Wing Commander III alone and two are for Origin games in general (look closely to find the Wing Commander titles). The fifth, with a dead fish, is extra cool - it's for Electronic Arts' 3DO lineup, and it includes a very strange early shot of Super Wing Commander!

Finally, these are elements used in various finished Wing Commander products! The front, back and manual cover artwork for the American Wing Commander IV release are in the first picture. The second is elements of advertising: for Origin's Official Guide to Wing Commander III (the finished version - an earlier shot was included in the insert with Wing Commander III itself) and an independent shot of 'standing Blair', who was integrated into the WC4 teaser artwork and a series of cardboard promotional standups. The last picture, of Origin's offices during the development of Wing Commander III, was used in the official guide's "making of" section!

Good work, Joe!

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Flights of Fancy Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Scooby Doo, author of the recent Wing Commander ship pack for FreeSpace 2, is continuing to use the Wing Commander universe of spacecraft to model new craft. He's posted quite a few samples at the forums - can you figure out what each ship is based on? The answers may surprise you, from a Thunderbolt to a Tembler! You can find explanations in this thread... and watch for these ships to join the fight for the FreeSpace engine in the near future!
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Preview Plastic Piranha Prototypes Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I love physical Wing Commander crafts, and Jacob Hudson is currently working on a neat project. He was inspired by the Pepakura paper models to create a similar design in plastic. With some sheets available at a local hobby shop, he was able to build the following Piranha model. The ship comes complete with a removable cockpit, but it is not finished yet. Below are some artsy preview shots in black and white (the color image is made out of paper). In the future, Jacob will provide instructions and details on how to build your own. You can provide feedback here.

Rushed Review Rates Right Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've listed millions of reviews for the Wing Commander Movie over the last seven years, but people still find ones we missed. AD found this quickie at HomeTheaterHiFi, which weights its reviews towards technical attributes. Wing Commander was a treat when it initially came out on DVD, because many special effects that were dimmed and obscured in theaters were much more visible and pronounced at home. Here's how they rated it.

Prinze Jr. and Lillard form a very good onscreen pairing with a relationship that just may remind you of your best friend. The special effects are very good at times, but some things looked like they were skimped on, most importantly the fighter ships. - Jared Baldwin -

Entertainment: 7/10
Video Quality: 9/10
Audio: 7/10
Photography: 8/10

The 11th Guest Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Origin Museum curator Joe Garrity has cataloged the 11th box of Origin archive material sent to him by EALA, and he's put them online for everyone in excellent archival-quality resolution! Box #11 includes some exciting Wing Commander materials, including master artwork for the covers to the first three games -- you can see the elements that made up the Wing Commander II box... or the original 'Wingleader' logo both as it would have appeared on the box and during the autopilot camera scenes! The box also contained a video master marked as a 1997 Wing Commander Prophecy Behind the Scenes shoot... hopefully Joe will be able to digitize that video for everyone someday! You can find all of the pictures here.
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Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Acclaimed fan fiction writer Deacon is looking for a new translator to help make his Privateer 2: The Darkening based epic available to English speaking audiences. Deacon's story, The Awakening, has drawn special attention because he went through the trouble to publish it himself in German - you can find details on that here! Here's his request:

Help wanted!

Since my translator still don't have the time to deal with my novel, I just asking you (!) for a helping hand...

If you think your English skills are quite good enough to translate my novel for the English speaking people here - please give me a sign! Or even better - simply start to translate... just use the parts I've post inside the German thread. But please - do not claim them as your own...

Interested parties can reply to him here.
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WC Ship Pack For FS2 Available Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Most of our Freespace news lately has related to the WC Saga mod, but Scooby Doo has also recently created a standalone model pack. It includes the Raptor, Excalibur, Ecantona, Kamekh, Goran, Vampire and Piranha. The files are available as .VPs. Scooby refers to these as "finished," but cautions that a few ships may have glitches that keep them from working properly. You can grab the pack here and find more information about how it works at the HLP Forums. Scooby's Piranha has been getting the most attention lately. Here it is in high detail and running in FS2 itself.

Stingrays Sting In Higher Res Than Ever Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

When some of the first Wing Commander desktop wallpapers were released with Origin FX in 1993, they were made available in 640x480 VGA resolution - more than twice the detail available in Wing Commander games at the time. In 1996 Origin released official wallpapers for Privateer 2 in enhanced 800x600 SVGA resolution. Ten years have passed now, and more and more people are running in UXGA and beyond. To meet this demand, Sean Murphy has provided his latest wallpaper in full 1600x1200 resolution. Sizes up to 1280x1024 were released last week. The newest version of the scene comes in at 2.5 megs. Enjoy!

First Third Of Das Erwachen Online Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Deacon has posted part 47 of his German fan fiction novel Das Erwachen (The Awakening). It may not seem like a special number, but this chapter marks the point where one-third of the book is online. The story, which centers on a character in Privateer 2's Tri-System, is also in the process of being translated in to English. The translation is coming along much more slowly however, so if you're really keen to read the rest soon, your best bet may be to use Babelfish to translate it from German. Deacon is looking for comments on the story as well as predictions for what may happen next. Go ahead and post your thoughts in this thread.

Tabula Rasa Shows Potential Again Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa was once again on display at E3 last week, and the general consensus seems to be that it's finally turning into a somewhat solid game. This is an improvement compared to a few years of awkward re-envisionings that sucked away much of the original enthusiam for the project. Although it now looks like a regular large-scale shooter, there are RPG elements that significantly affect how combat actually plays out. GameSpot has a decent preview of the latest build of the game. The article talks with Tabula Rasa Producer Starr Long, who began at Origin in 1992. He's a neat guy who worked on Wing Commander Academy, Armada and Privateer, a number of Ultima titles and was project director for Ultima Online. Note the TR logo in the first screenshot.
There are going to be dozens and dozens of weapons--including energy, incendiary, poison, and more--and enemies will be vulnerable to particular types of damage, so you'll need to make constant tactical decisions about what to use in battle. We got to play as a heavy-duty soldier type, armed with multiple rocket launchers as well as various magic-style special abilities, such as a particularly nasty chain lightning ability. The way in which the game combines both science fiction and fantasy conventions isn't entirely unfamiliar but seems unique all the same.
Tabula Rasa publisher NCSoft was also slapped with a $5000 fine for being too noisy at last week's show. The organization that runs the expo bumped up enforcement of rules for both exhibitors and attendees. Requirements to attend the show were more stringent, and models in swimsuits or lingerie were restricted.

Wing Commander High Def Showings Begin Again Next Week Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

HBO has snuck in several showings of the Wing Commander movie in high definition over the next couple weeks. This is in addition to a ton of regularly scheduled showings on the various standard HBO channels. Your main opportunities to catch it are Monday morning next week and Wednesday morning the following week.
Mon 5/15 08:00 AM HBO High Definition - EAST
Mon 5/15 11:00 AM HBO High Definition - WEST
Wed 5/24 07:30 AM HBO High Definition - EAST
Wed 5/24 10:30 AM HBO High Definition - WEST
If you've seen some of those new HD DVD players in advertisements lately, it's not likely that we'll see Wing Commander on that format any time soon. 20th Century Fox is developing movies for Sony's rival Blu-ray players due out later this year. Fox currently has no plans to support the Microsoft/Toshiba's format. Studio support should shift around as actual retail performance factors in down the line.

A Quick Peek at EA at E3 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo come to a close, and GameSpot has helped wrap up by posting quick summaries of each major booth. Electronic Arts has one of the very best locations at the front of the biggest exhibition hall, and they usually deck it out in an exciting way. A giant circular EA logo marked the entrance to a 360 degree theater projecting videos from their 2006-07 lineup. Spore, Superman, Battlefield 2142, Crysis, Battle for Middle-earth 2 and other major games were playable around the outside of this ring. A few of GameSpot's pictures are below, but none are quite as neat as my favorite shot. Last year they also had a neat box cover collage. EALA VP Neil Young has also conducted an interview with CNET about the new things going on at the show and with the company. Mr. Young was the general manager of Origin at one time, and the Origin properties have since followed him to Los Angeles.
CNET: EA has taken some criticism for focusing so much on franchises like Madden. So how important are the Spielberg games to combating that impression?

NY: We need to operate a balanced portfolio, and we're going to have new IP we've built, as well as long-term [franchises] and short-term [franchise titles] that might be one-off things. If you look at the portfolio as a whole, everybody would wish we would increase the original IP things we're building. But Army of Two and Spore are big, new, original products. And Black, I think, is important. So, I would absolutely not hang EA's new IP hopes on a single title. Also, the LA studio is only one end of the spectrum.

CNET: We've heard the EA LA studios have a lot of empty space. What's the plan for that empty space?

NY: The first thing is that with the acquisition of Jamdat, we'll probably be up to around 700 people, out of a capacity of around 1,100. Today, it's like 500 people. But in terms of growing the studio, what I'm really focused on right now is making sure Battle for Middle-earth II for Xbox 360 knocks it out of the park. Also, we want to bring the Command and Conquer franchise back in a big way. And so it seems to me that being successful at those things are going to be drivers of growth. So are we going to double the size of the studio? Absolutely not...I'd rather have eight teams of 40 and figure out new ways to develop the content and figure out the right way to develop efficiency.

Space Pickles Collide: A Wallpaper That Really Stings Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

As promised, Sean Murphy has rendered a new Wing Commander wallpaper -- and it's a beauty! Pictures speak better than words, so check it out below. Sean has kindly made the picture available in several different resolutions.

Not sure what you're looking at? The Nephilim Stingray-class Interceptor/Cap Ship Interdictor is one of Wing Commander Prophecy's signature fighters, representing one of the Vision Engine's unique abilities: ships that can connect and separate during combat. Stingray are unique in that they carry no missiles - an individual Stingray mounts two Light Plasma Guns... and when three are together they can lock via magnetic/capillary cohesion to form their weapons into a single ship with a devestating Heavy Plasma Gun. In this way, Stingray are a threat to both individual fighters and to large capital ships. Individual Stingrays are 24 meters long and mass in at 18 tonnes.

Here's Sean on the image:

I'm dropping them in right now. The wallpaper is a render of three Stingrays about to combine...I don't know if there's ever been a decent image of the Stingray available, at least none that I've seen! I did four different size versions so folks could download their preferred resolution.

Let me know what you think!

PS - Thank you guys one more time for the help with the fundraising; thanks to you guys our family raised over two thousand dollars for MS research and assistance. That's quite a feat, and certainly something for you - and the whole WC crowd - to be proud of!

And now, the scene you've all been waiting for!
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Standoff Turns Five Years Old Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's a neat birthday this week. If you dig through our News Archives, you'll run across a humble news bit from early May 2001. Buried in the middle of half a dozen other updates, we mentioned Eder's first preliminary Ferret model. His project didn't have a name yet, and he wasn't even sure which engine he was going to mod. But that effort would eventually grow into Wing Commander Standoff, the most popular fan project actively in the works today. Three of the game's five episodes has been released, and the game has branched out with online scoreboards and competitions. Someday it might even get a multiplayer component. And it all started with this update.
Eder checked in at the Chat Zone with word on his as-of-yet unnamed and un-engined Wing Commander mod... He's been working on Krant, Dralthi and Ferret models... and here's the Ferret! Expect a site soon...
Around the same time, WC Saga was also in transition between Conquest: Frontier Wars and Starshatter. It would finally merge with its sister project, Battlegroup Serpent, and begin focusing on Freespace 2 later in 2002.

Devastator Day Produced Helpful Results Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We usually space out update subjects a bit more than this, but many people have had questions about the Prophecy Multiplayer Patch and how this past weekend's round of testing went. Some new improvements worked out, and some unexpected bugs also cropped up. Each version of the program is better than the last, though there are still fixes that need to be made before the experience is consistently solid. HCl has more of the details, and there's a new batch of screenshots below. They all feature at least one Devastator, and at one point we had all Devastators dogfighting. The autotracking laser turrets do a really pretty job of lighting up the sky.
Things went fairly well. The patch is still not 100% bug free as I had hoped, as Hades still ran into an unexpected crash with the latest DLL version (deathcam related, probably). But I think it is getting close. Since then I've added 8 player support (the current code supported only 4 so far) and a few exit triggers for cases where you could be stuck in the game (if the server went down or all players disconnected), so we'll probably need another testing session in a day or so.

Once the main code is declared fairly stable, which I'm hoping will not that much longer, it's just a matter of creating a small launcher to make the process of connecting user friendly.

C&C3 To Feature Live Actor FMV Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Preview impressions of Command & Conquer 3 are pouring in now that the Electronic Entertainment Expo is under way. A small number of official screenshots have been released, and more will filter out over the course of the week. Goku has also provided a couple neat shots from the recent PC Gamer announcement article. The text of the piece also makes a reference to the game's upcoming video shoot. Apparently Electronic Arts is putting together another live action film component for this popular franchise. A little while ago I would have said it was a foregone conclusion that the next Wing Commander game would use computer generated characters, but EA still seems to have faith in classic concepts for classic games.

Some questions, such as how Kane has returned from the dead more times than Jason Voorhees, will be answered when the game ships sometime in 2007 (we'd guess later in the year rather than sooner). But other questions, such as whether Joseph Kucan will reprise his role as the villainouse Kane, can't be answered because casting for the live-action scenes hasn't yet begun.

The said, the team at EA LA knows quite a lot about what it wants the game to deliver. C&C3 will use a modestly updated version of the brawny SAGE engine that powered The Battle for Middle-earth II, with tweaked particle effects to "double down on making cool explosions, weasther effects, dust, and smoke."

DragonCon Ticket Prices Increase Next Week Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Each year time seems to move faster, and somehow we're less than four months away from our annual trip to DragonCon. People who are considering attending have until May 15 to get their event passes for $60. The price jumps to $70 after that. Tickets into the convention are one of the cheaper costs to consider after travel and hotel bills are worked in. If you have any questions about these logistics, feel free to ask at our DragonCon Forum. The CIC staff typically uses this Labor Day event to relax and hang out, but we will also be meeting together during the week prior to work on a few various projects. We'll probably just end up playing Armada, Prophecy multiplayer and the Wing Commander CCG, but either way it'll be time well spent. Below are a few memorable moments from last year. The first image shows a family dressed up as the Incredibles, the next is Halman and Blonde getting ready to show off the CIC banner, and the final shot pictures a few of us after a long day of hitting convention events. New names are being added to the list of guests for DragonCon '06 all the time. Over 100 famous people in the areas of fantasy and science fiction are already confirmed. You can check out last year's photo gallery here.

GameTap Bringing Back Old Series With New Episodic Release Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's only Tuesday, and there have already been tons of amazing announcements out of this week's annual Electronic Entertainment Expo. It's hard to sift through the deluge of information being presented, but there are a few hidden gems that might be relevant to our cause. There hasn't been a lot of news on Wing Commander Privateer's addition to the GameTap service since it was revealed a few months ago, although the site's actual website front page now features a screenshot of Privateer in action. On the bright side, the company has just announced that they will be co-publishing a new game in the Sam & Max series. This is partly because of the feedback from the series' dedicated online community and fan base. The new game will be released in an episodic format over the service later this year. GameTap will be uniquely positioned to gauge the popularity of the WC series when they finally add P1 to their lineup, and hopefully we'll show them just how popular Wing Commander really is. In other news, Sony has confirmed that the Playstation 3 will play original Playstation games such as Wing Commander 3 & 4, and EA has announced they will have a number of hit franchises ready to support the Nintendo Wii launch this fall. There's been no word on a Wing Commander yet.

Red Light's A Go For Hydra Cockpit Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Howard is just about done with WC Pioneer's Hydra cockpit. This one has been in work for quite a while, so he's anxious to wrap it up and move on to new exciting pieces of art. The biggest change since last week is the inclusion of submarine-style red lamps to give the ship a more aggressive tone. A temporary back wall has also been added, and a variety of textures have been sharpened up. Check it out in 3D here.
This redlight version is just too damn cool not to use. Good call, LOAF, good call. It's completely unique from the other cockpits, and very, very deadly looking. Who cares if I loose some detail in the process? You'll still see it when the sun hits it directly. Still to do: finalized controls, seats and completed back wall and textures.

Join The Discussion On Wing Commander Cockpits Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Speaking of cockpits, you can head over to Crius.net right now and let everyone know how you felt about them in the Wing Commander series. Stone48420 has started a discussion on the merits of detailed cockpit art versus drop-down invisible HUDs. The majority of Wing Commander fans seem to agree that they added a tremendous amount of realism and atmosphere to the games, yet many of those same people routinely disabled them in Wing Commander 3, Armada and Kilrathi Saga to free up more screen space. Before long, virtual heads-up displays were the only option Origin built into its games, and the space sim genre as a whole quickly adopted this model. Was the larger viewing area worth the loss of some distinctiveness and identity? You can share your feelings on this series of events at the CIC Forums here.

Secret Ops Paved The Way For Today's New Games Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD has written an article about the new wave of episodic games on the way. Several major companies are about to release products that take advantage of the internet to deliver new content in segmented chunks. These range from frequent 30-40 minute bursts to occasional packages that take 3-6 hours to complete. Even Electronic Arts is getting into it again with EA Downloader. And this all began with Wing Commander Secret Ops back when 28.8 modems were the norm. Since 1998 the online population has exploded, internet connections are faster than ever and now is the time that companies are seizing upon this new distribution model. To read more about these events, check out CIC Article 56 here.
With each new installment in their favorite series, Wing Commander fans waited to see how the next game would break the old PC gaming mold. Fans eagerly shelled out their hard earned money to hear Prince Thrakhath speak in the WC2 intro, which ushered in Creative Labs as the multimedia force it is today. They bought 386s for Wing Commander 1 and CD-ROMs for Wing Commander 3. Every game in the franchise pushed the technological envelope. Wing Commander Secret Ops was built on the same engine as Wing Commander Prophecy, but broke ground with its unprecedented free distribution online. Many people were shocked at the prospect of downloading a 100+ megabyte package when dialup modems were still used by the overwhelming majority of internet users. But Wing Commander fans were up to challenge and spent all night downloading that famous first starter package.

New Poll Highlights New SO Additions Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today's poll builds on the Secret Ops theme by asking which additions to the game were your favorite. Were you most excited by a returning ship such as the Excalibur, Thunderbolt or Vesuvius? Or did a fancy new ship like the Plunkett or Murphy make your day? You can help decide a winner by voting in the poll above.

Our last poll asked which Wing Commander holiday was your favorite. The most popular option had Wing Commander fans celebrating the founding of the Confederation. It was followed by VK Day, which was dedicated to the final end of the Kilrathi War.

Progress Continues With Prophecy Multiplayer Patch Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

April might have been a long month for fans awaiting the Prophecy Multiplayer Patch, but it probably seemed even longer for HCl. He has been tied up on a major work project lately, but some progress has been made on the Vision Engine upgrade. After another round of testing and analysis is finished this weekend, we'll hopefully have a better idea for an updated release window.
News is good however, since I did manage to finish the project I was involved with, and with that milestone out of the way I will have a couple of days off that I will be able to divert to MP patch development. Some fault tolerance mechanisms and improvements I had planned to introduce into the network code were actually finished today, and the network packets were optimized enough to allow modem players to participate in 8 player battles (in theory).

When will the first version be released? Well, there will be a testing session this weekend where the latest code will see some action. I will be able to tell more by then, either way.

Escapist Mag Details Gaming's Greatest Generation Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Escapist Magazine has written an article about the transitional era of games between Atari and the original Doom. They chose this period for a variety of reasons, but the core of the matter is that along with Mario, Tetris and Zelda, they consider Wing Commander one of the cornerstones that launched today's modern gaming genres. It gets right to the point, and WC1 is even followed by Origin's Ultima Underworld. You can find the full article here.
Here then, year by year, are the most influential games of that era:

1990: Wing Commander, designed by Chris Roberts and published by Origin Systems. Wing Commander combined space simulator action with cinematic storytelling, pioneering the use of cut scenes in games.

1991: Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, designed by Warren Spector and published by Origin Systems. UU revolutionized RPGs with its "simulation style" 3D graphics engine and free-roaming world environments. While not a financial hit, UU's breakthrough technology inspired John Carmack to create Wolfenstein 3D and thus indirectly birthed the 3D action shooter.

Holding The Line Chapter 209 Released Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Unfortunately real life has been getting in the way lately for PBM Coordinator Raptor, but now things are back on track. Here's a new chapter of Holding the Line to prove it. The action is picking up, and major events are taking place that will ultimately shape the story's conclusion. Raptor has more details:
Hey all, Raptor here

HTL continues with the second chapter of Battlegroup Auriga's epic battle against the Kraken. I know this is getting to be a familiar (and tiresome) refrain from me, but apologies for the delay in getting this chapter to you. I've gotten a few of the things that were keeping me away from HTL duties sorted out now though, so (fingers crossed) you'll be seeing at least a chapter a month from now on. Many thanks to everyone for their patience.

As you saw in the last chapter, the crews of Battlegroup Auriga had received orders to hunt down and wipe out a Nephilim ship killer, the single biggest danger to the Combined Fleet fighting the Nifelheim battle. The pilots and crews had been briefed, and the battlegroup had made its first contact with the enemy. This chapter picks up from there, and is jointly written by the Valley Forge team. Please send any and all comments to them, not to me.

The story is at: http://www.holdingtheline.net/ch209.htm

Best, Raptor

Electronic Arts Announces Fiscal Year Results Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Electronic Arts has announced its final financial results for the year that ended on March 31, 2006. Annual revenue declined slightly to $2.95 billion from $3.12 billion in the 2005 fiscal year. Just 27 of its games sold more than a million copies, down slightly from 31, though a quarter of those titles sold at least several million units. Actual profit declined to about a quarter billion dollars from half a billion the year before.

None of these figures were particularly surprising, since EA is heavily investing in development of games for next-generation systems. EA games have nearly one third of the XBox 360 market, and numerous Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii games are set to release this fall and in 2007. The costs associated with expanded research & development, combined with the lower install bases for the new systems, will probably continue to constrain revenues and profit for the next year. This should ultimately lead to a booming and revitalized software market by 2008. PC games, which are less impacted by hardware cycles, edged up slightly to account for about 15% of EA's total sales. The company continues to hold liquid assets in excess of $2 billion to fund future activities.

In other news, the company will unveil about a dozen high profile games next week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. They've also recently resolved the legal case involving software engineer overtime with a $15 million payout to the class which brought suit.

WC Ship Pack For Bridge Commander In Work Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

BES has been quietly working on a neat addition to Star Trek Bridge Commander. So far he's managed to import the Vesuvius class carrier and is currently working on integrating the Excalibur and Thunderbolt fighters. Bridge Commander is several years old now, but the game has an active modding community that develops new ships and artwork for the game. In order to eventually use the Wing Commander ships, players would need the game's official 1.1 patch, Foundation plug-in, newest shuttle launching framework and newest Quickbattle files. We'll let you know when everything is polished up and a download pack is released.

Flight Commander To Flying Robots - Eddie Does It All Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

A lot of people working on mods and fan projects have claimed to be "busy with work" lately, but Flight Commander developer eddieb is going to prove it! When he's not developing new ways for fans to create their own Wing Commander campaigns, Eddie Benowitz is a programmer for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The site will be hosting an Open House in two weeks to showcase the exciting high-tech projects being developed there. This is a great opportunity to simultaneously meet a fellow WC fanatic and check out the world's most advanced flying robots at the same time. Visit Crius.net and let him know if you plan to stop by.
I'll be giving demos of our robots at JPL's open house this year. You can visit on either Saturday or Sunday, May 20th and 21st. The lab is open to the public, so you'll get to see the sort of fun toys we get to play with. Please let me know if you plan to make it, I'll be demoing in the Formation Flying Lab.

Then What Happened? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

In 2000, Origin made a second attempt to develop Privateer Online. As part of that project, the development team produced an expansive timeline and updated setting for the game. Privateer Online was to be set in 2710, some 29 years after the end of Wing Commander Secret Ops. Now Justice has helped make available three original concept documents for the game! You can finally read about what becomes of the Confederation in those three decades... as well as the fate of Prophecy-era characters like Casey and Stiletto. It's quite a ride! The fact that they produced a 31 page universe history is simply amazing.
Privateer Online (Second Attempt) World Summary - here (.doc format)
Privateer Online (Second Attempt) Characters - here (.doc format)
Privateer Online (Second Attempt) Timeline - here (.doc format)
The source of the documents is anonymous, but we have confirmed their authenticity. You can find similar behind-the-scenes files in our exciting Document Archive.
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Only History Will Decide If I'm a Space Sim Or A Shooter Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

... and our history is written by the Kilrathi! Gamasutra has posted an editorial about the history of level design in 3D computer games. The article, appropriately titled "A History and Analysis of Level Design in 3D Computer Games," makes reference to Wing Commander as a notable pioneer. This is an interesting distinction to make, because people rarely take early space combat games into consideration when talking about the rise of the First Person Shooter. You can find the piece here.
Notable efforts include Lucasfilm Games, now LucasArts, 1986 title Rescue on Fractalus!, a first-person title that used fractal generation technology to render the game world. The title is notable both for the use of a simulated 3D world, as well as for the first-person perspective. The player took the role of a pilot looking out from a cockpit, tasked with rescuing other pilots stranded on the surface of the planet Fractalus (Langston). The concept of a spacecraft based FPS would later return in LucasArts’ 1993 title X-Wing and 1994’s Tie Fighter space combat simulators, as well as Origin’s 1990 release of Wing Commander.
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Ride, Sean Murphy, Ride Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Sean Murphy has posted a blog detailing the charity bike ride he and his family took part in! You can read his story, which includes pictures, here... if you're interested in donating money for the cause (there's still time!), you can read all the details here. Sean was also kind enough to send along some details on what he'll be working on in terms of wallpapers:
I messed around with the Shrike model yesterday a bit, and am now possessed of an urge to do something I've wanted to do for a while: namely, rebuild the sucker. The model I've got is the old NURBS model I built for the game, but there are things about it I've never liked - especially in the texture area. I'm considering rebuilding it in polygons (which would, incidentally, make it ideal for use in any 3d package, not just maya), and adding more detail and touching up the rushed-over areas. It's kind of an old itch I've never gotten around to scratching. I think it'd be neat, and would result in some super-spiff high quality models. Of course, that'd slow down delivery of wallpapers but I think it'd be worth it, and I'd of course provide updates on how it's going to prove that I'm not slacking off!
The render above features Sean's original Shrike for reference.
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Well, This Sukhois Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Phoenix has a correction to our Ghost Recon story.

Hey guys, just wanted to lend a little suggestion to the news about the junkyard contents. Those forward fuselages do not appear to be from MiG-21 aircraft. The cockpits are well too far forward, the canopies too bulbous, and the air inlets not tapering enough toward the forward opening. Also, the variable-position cone inserted in the intake is not the proper shape; it's too blunt and curvy, and doesn't fit the intake properly, to be from a standard MiG-21.

My guess, without pulling out references from my library, are that they may be from Su-22 Fitters attack aircraft.


The moral is simple: when you slice the front off of a Cold War-era jet to use as a prop, people will always get confused. From left to right: a striped SU-22 Trainer, the Ghost Recon junkyard fighters and the original Wing Commander movie Lightning cockpits when they arrived in Luxembourg.
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Hydra Interiors Almost Complete Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The latest high-detail build of WC Pioneer's Hydra cockpit has been released. Howard Day says there's more tweaking yet to do, but it already looks pretty sharp. It's come a huge way from previous builds and looks nearly done to me. Once again, a fancy QuickTime 3D view is available.
I've made some good progression, althought there is still quite a ways to go. I think it's at a good point for some showcasing. Any area of texture that looks messed up or stretched is simply an area that has not yet been specifically textured yet. Getting close... Thoughts?

Meet Tom Wilson, Get A Free Signed Poster! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

After a busy year of television shows and movies, Tom Wilson will be spending most of the year touring North America. He'll be hitting comedy clubs throughout California, Indiana, Florida, Nebraska, Texas, Virgina, Ohio and Alberta, Canada. You can find a complete list of when and where here. Tom is a super nice guy, and Wing Commander fans should get a big kick out of his shows. Mr. Wilson is universally recognized as a top notch stand-up comic, but he'll also be making an appearance at the Riley Arts Gallery in California to promote his extensive line of pop culture paintings. And for those who can't see him in person, autographed copies of his audio CD are now available in the Big Pop Fun Store.
Meet Tom Wilson - Saturday, May 13, 2006 6-8pm - Riley Arts Gallery, Manhattan Beach, CA

Meet this multi-talented actor, comedian and artist. Acquire a signed poster, limited edition print or one of his new original paintings. Tom Wilson has enjoyed a successful career in films and television–easily remembered for his award winning performance in the three classic “Back To The Future” movies, as well as “Reba,” “George Lopez,” “Cold Case,” “Sponge Bob,” and many more.

His paintings can best be described by the reactions they receive–a moment of joyful surprise–followed by a happy longing.

* Get a FREE signed poster *

Tom Wilson's artwork can also be found on display in galleries in Encino and Santa Monica.

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