The other project is one that just kind of burst on me a couple of years back. Actually the genesis is ten years back when I came up with an idea of aliens using EMP to shut down the global power grid, and then just drove away. No invasion, no machines stomping around, just let us stew in our own technological collapse and after twenty years or so, come back to finish us off. It went no where. And then I had a conversation with Newt, about the current real threat of a terrorist or rogue state EMP strike on the continental United States. All it would take is one weapon:
Thus "One Second After" will be published later this year by St. Martin's Press. The story is personal, very personal. Some years back a writer who was a real role model and mentor, Jean Shepherd, (who actually was my neighbor up in Maine) told me to "write what I know, write what I love." So I set the story of a post EMP world in my home town, a sort of alter ego of me, the main character, struggling to keep his family alive, while his small town and college up here in the mountains of western North Carolina, slowly disintegrates after the entire power grid and computer-based world we live in, is shut down. It was a very hard, grim tale to write and my intent is that it is a warning of a very real, and very present danger that needs to be addressed.
If you're wondering how long it might take to develop all the missions in this episode, here's something to put things into context - this episode has more missions (including the usual ship selection-based variants, mind you) than Episodes 2 and 3 combined. Don't worry, though, it definitely won't take as long to develop as those two episodes combined. We are still hoping to get both remaining episodes finished this year, after all...The screenshots below all show off new sim improvements. You can see the game awarding more points for killing a Corvette, noting a quick-kill and displaying information about the current gauntlet wave.
The other thing I should mention is some further simulator changes. When released, Ep 4 will add scoreboard-capabilities to a few more missions (we're not currently sure if that will include all of them, or if some will remain to be done in Ep 5, however)... but that's not all. Pierre has also been working on implementing more DLL hacks to improve the system overall. So, first up - you will never again have to use the 'alswantsmoreships' cheat. All fourteen ships will now be selectable in the sim at all times. The second, and even bigger, change is the addition of further explanatory captions during the battle. Every time you get a special bonus of any kind, the game will explain how many points you got, and why. This will be especially important in the non-gauntlet missions, which will feature a number of special bonuses other than the quick-kill bonus you're already familiar with.
Video game king Richard Garriott, film guru Chris Gore, and Tomb Raider movie scribe Gary Whitta will be joining us to discuss if Hollywood can pull their heads out of their trendy butts long enough to capture the magic of video games on the big screen or if we'll be subject to horrible adaptations until the sun swallows the Earth and ends humanity.
Edit: The segment with Garriott has aired. Despite being being an interesting talk with the founder of Origin, Wing Commander did not end up being a specific topic. Better luck next time!
Edit 2: Jetlag captured the interview. You can download the 25 meg xvid encoded clip here. The participants are hopeful about movies based on future games with more intricate plots and storytelling methods, but they seem somewhat oblivious to games that have already achieved that in the past.
AD created two fantastic videos since last summer. Both are emotional scenes that take a look at the romance between our characters during war. Get Away is a relatively upbeat piece about the relationship between Maniac and Rosie in the Wing Commander Movie. The second clip, In The Round, is a more somber story about Sosa's loss in Wing Commander 4. Both scenes are very high quality and edited together well.
TomGaines also put together a serious video, although this one is about the difficulties facing Admiral Tolwyn in Wing Commander 4. In contrast to the pop songs in AD's scenes, Tom uses the "Babylon 5 Season Three Theme."
Wing Commander 4's amazing FMV has made it a common source for music video material. Kilrah Moreira has also borrowed elements from it to create a tribute to the explosive nature of Wing Commander. He used a techno Rammstein background track and combined it with nonstop action to make this one.
Plywood Fiend is last, but not least, with three unique compositions. In The End of the World, both outcomes of Wing Commander 3 are mixed and matched to explore an armageddon theme, and End of All Hope is an action oriented clip with scenes from the Academy TV show, Wing Commander 3 and Super Wing Commander all in one! His final cut isn't exactly a music video, but Lord of the Wings carefully synchronizes the Return of the King trailer with highlights from WC3. It's pretty neat!
The first scene was from 1993's Super Mario Bros., starring Bob Hoskins as the titular jumping plumber. Then it was onto the Scott Wolf epic Double Dragon and then the 1994 Jean-Claude Van Damme opus Street Fighter. A clip of Anderson's own 1995 project, Mortal Kombat, was next, followed by its sequel. Next up was Wing Commander (1999), featuring Matthew Lillard in a stark-blond dye job.
Check out the full article here (high resolution). Edit: Check out this later update for more theories on the water world.
Interestingly enough, Origin hired Denis without knowing for sure whether they had enough work for a full-time artist. A couple of weeks later, however, they noticed that he seemed to be booked up until the year 2000. Now, the company boasts seven full-time artists and might need more...
Asked what technology would most change the way computer game artists did their work, Loubet had two observations. He would like to be able to do sketches on the computer via graphics tablets and wishes Disney's Animation Studio software was available for the IBM.
The third picture is for effect. It shows the blast from the destruction of a Concordia class at the hands of 5 wings of Thunderbolts and my Concordia.
GS: Will you be able to target certain systems on enemy ships, such as shields or engines? Can you cripple targets this way, or is combat more general in terms of damage? In other words, pummel their shields down to nothing and then unload on their hulls?
GC: You'll be paying attention to the strengths of your enemy's specific systems. It may be wise to knock out the engines of that pesky destroyer that is harassing your scouts. With their engines out, they'll easily fall prey to the big guns of your battleship.
The company's prepared comment sought to cast the layoffs as a response to vagaries all publishers in the online space are subject to. "The online games industry is one that is continually changing with the scaling up and down of business based on product launches and product development schedules," the statement read in part.
But it also points to a more localized reason behind the layoffs--a slowdown in upcoming NCsoft launches: "As the company continues to grow its live products and prepares its next set of major online game releases for later in 2006 and 2007, the company sees a slowdown in its launch pattern and the need to streamline its business."
"The addition of Mythic to the EA family reflects our deep commitment to the online gaming market worldwide. Mythic will bring one of the industry's most talented MMORPG teams to EA. Together, we will create games that will introduce MMO players to a whole new level of game play and excitement," said Paul Lee, President, EA Studios.
Sat 7/1 06:00 AM @MAX - EAST
9. Warren Spector: Wing Commander, Ultima, System Shock, Thief, Deus Ex. Produces consistently original and thoughtful games that blend genres into refreshing new creations.A famous issue of PC Gamer in 1999 also referred to Chris Roberts as a "Gaming God" for his contributions with the Wing Commander franchise. This might be a good time for a quote from the WC Movie.
Paladin: Some say they believed they were gods.
Blair: Do you believe they were gods?
Paladin: No. But I do believe they were touched by God.
For the most part, I can understand why FMV games have pretty much gone extinct. It must save tons of money and effort to simply animate a character instead of trying to actually direct a real person. Maybe it costs less to have an actor's voice in comparison to having the whole actor. Budgets soured for games like the Wing Commander series, which brought in talents like Mark Hammill (Star Wars) and Thomas Wilson (Back to the Future) to play the main roles. Still, I would prefer to watch those cut-scenes and play those games again than sit through ten minutes of the feature-length movie that was shot on a shoestring budget.You can read the full story here.
I found a few more things you guys may be interested in. Got a couple of Wing Commander 3 scans: a one page and a two page ad. The origin muesum fellows have the master copy, but I figured people may want to see these.
Western kids grew up on flight and space sim games - Microsoft Flight Simulator, Wing Commander, Star Wars series (X-Wing, Tie Fighter, etc). Chinese gamers started their gaming experience a little late. As I said in our game report, that doesn't mean Chinese gamers aren't as good - the average Chinese gamer is probably superior in RTS and FPS games to his Western counterpart. But one area where Chinese gamers are less mature in that they haven't experience as many genres of games, and space sim is one of them.They could have fooled us, though. As we recently reported, Wing Commander games have been available in China since the start of the series!
Rest assured that all weapons are just as they are in WC. Fighters use Pilum IFFs, Spiculum IRs and Javelin HSs, and the Longbows and Avengers are built for one thing and one thing only - torpedo delivery.
"Games either provide active content, in which the player reacts to artificial changes in the game universe, or they provide reactive content, in which the entire game universe reacts to the actions that players decide for themselves," said Magnus Bergsson, CMO of CCP Games. "CCP believes strongly that the players should be the center focus of the storyline and control the evolution of the game universe. The Path to Kali will lead EVE Online to great heights in reactive content and further establish EVE Online as the premium free-form MMOG on the market today."
I've been working on a WC type animation and last night a thought came to me to do a quick commercial. I work for Nationwide Insurance and if you've seen some of their recent commercials they have that tag line, "Life comes at you fast." I had the inspiration to make a quick commercial off of that. I went and quickly rendered this scene and threw some things together. I thought it was quite funny and since it is quasi WC related, I thought I would pass it along to you guys.
If Wing Commander IV were approached from a somewhat less reverent point of view, I wondered, what kind of humor could be extracted from it? My own answer to that question is found in the fanfic story "Wing Commander 4.123106: The Price of Entertainment," which debuts next week on alt.games.wing-commander.
While not exactly a comedy, this rewrite of the Wing Commander IV story tries to be considerably more lighthearted and uninhibited than the original. It follows the same general storyline, but I've rewritten every existing cut-scene and added many new ones. I've kept the same Wing 4 characters (although Pliers has a new job), added many new ones, and brought back a few more of the Wing 3 cast (guess who!). The story is told in the first person by none other than the Heart of the Tiger himself, which means of course that the story omits all cutscenes in which Blair is not present, e.g. the opening sequence of the attack on the transport Amadeus.
Miles driver for GUS for use in Wing Armada. Use -mu option when running armada. Be sure to have the ULTRAMID.EXE loaded.
I'm sorry to have to announce that Jim Baen suffered a stroke on Monday, and has been in the hospital ever since. His condition is serious, but it's too early for any prognosis as to how he'll fare from here on in.
His family has arrived in NC, and are with him in the hospital. I've been to see him, as have other members of Baen's staff and his friend David Drake. In the meantime, so far as Baen Books is concerned, our plans continue on schedule.
The business is fine, we're all simply very concerned about Jim.
Chief editor, Baen Books
We've put up the news update. Only one new screenshot this time, and the progress page doesn't seem to have changed too much, but believe me, the past two weeks things have been going much faster than the previous three-four months, and we intend to keep it that way. So, the gaps between news updates are going to be much smaller from now on.
I suppose my affection for space-based action adventure games started with Wing Commander, but WC was, at its core, a flight simulator. Being based in space allowed for some unique tactical options, but it wasn't reinventing any wheels. Then came the spinoff, Privateer. Now this was a cool game; a galaxy so big that you actually had to hunt down the beginning of the storyline. While not as ambitious as MegaTraveller 2, it had its own charms. You could be a mercenary, trader, or bounty hunter, or a combination thereof. Unfortunately, this type of action adventure game never really took off. Another Privateer came out, but it was an FMV adventure, and not particularly good... Then DarkStar One arrived in my mailbox...
Privateer had some tedious trade routes and some vicious spikes in difficulty. Freelancer felt repetitive and arcadey. MegaTraveller 2 was perhaps too big of a game for its own good. X2: The Threat too often devolved into being an energy cell merchant, and its story wasn't particularly well told, or its characters very interesting. While DS1 has its problems, it manages a balance between guiding the player through a complex story and giving them freedom to wander around.
Mark your calendars for Thursday, August 10, 2006. We officially begin gathering in our irc chat room at 7:00 pm Eastern US (4:00 pm Pacific and 11:00 pm GMT). Prizes are distributed and the suspense builds for an hour until we unveil the website updates and celebrate the exact anniversary moment. People usually continue to celebrate for several hours afterwards as they play games with other fans and check out the updates posted to the site. #Wingnut is also always open, so feel free to stop by any time between now and the party. Stay tuned for more details as we get closer. Hope to see you there!
Hey all, Raptor here
HTL continues with the third installment of Battlegroup Auriga's battle against a deadly Kraken Shipkiller. As you saw in previous chapters, the pilots and crews had found the Shipkiller, and begun trying to defang the beast. In spite of their best efforts however, the human capital ships had been forced to close with the Kraken, which in turn had begun charging its lethal plasma weapon.
The story is at:
The ‘Unused Ideas’ track is essentially three different tracks stitched together. None of these will feature in either the Prologue or the full campaign. I made them to try and get a feel for how I wanted the music to go. I felt the first section started sounding more Freelancer than Wing Commander, the second section was too ‘happy’ sounding to me, and more like WC4 than WC3 which is what I wanted, and I thought the last section sounded too much like a Star Trek score!
The Prologue originally was going to have original in-flight music, but I decided it was best to wait for the main release as it’s not just a big job to write all those different cues but you also have to make sure they all fit together musically and make sense in the game. The "in-flight" track is another example of me experimenting to see how I would approach this. While the main campaign’s music will likely sound quite different than it, it’s probably the most Wing Commander sounding! Anyway, I thought some of you might find the ‘outtakes’ interesting. So, thanks for listening!
- Saturday, June 10, 2:00 p.m.: Borders Books & Music (St. Louis). 10990 Sunset Hills Plaza, Sunset Hills, MO 63127.
- Saturday, June 17, 2:00 p.m.: Hastings Books Music & Video (Austin area). 2200 S. IH-35, Suite B1, Round Rock, TX 78681.
- Saturday, June 24, 2:00 p.m.: Borders Books & Music (Dallas). 1601 Preston Road, Suite J, Plano, TX 75093.
- Saturday, June 24, 7:00 p.m.: Borders Books & Music (Fort Worth). 4601 W. Freeway, Fort Worth, TX 76107.
Always got a good chuckle out of those posters in the Guild Hall. Here's an attempt at revamping one.
This ship is going to be the major firepower for the Confed so I'd like it to have some presence on the battlefield. Plus does anyone have any idea what that lovely head-light on the front of the cruiser is supposed to be? A sensor array or a weapon? If so I can add it to the in-game ship attributes.Ports like that on the nose are often launchers for torpedoes or large missiles.
I am working on a game MOD for Homeworld 2 that converts it to the Wing Commander 4 universe. Also I would require a small amount of assistance in some of the technical info about certain ships, some data is not available on your site such as the dimensions of the Durango class carriers, etc. I realise this info may not exist anywhere in writing, but for sake of the creation of this mod, it would really really help if I could correspond with someone from your site about info like this. I'll eventually need UI icons and some other material that I'm sure the community can help me out with this. I however would like to stress - NO DEADLINE [release date] - just in the case that people start asking when it will be done and stuff. I am doing it alone, getting it done and it will be great. That's my promise.You can find Wing Commander themed badge icons for Homeworld 2 here.
A special message from Richard Garriott:
Another E3 has come and gone and the Tabula Rasa team comes home satisfied, enthusiastic, determined, energized and exhausted all in one. We spent three days showing the game to colleagues, press, and buyers and we feel that we have a great game on our hands. Those of us who didn’t make it to Los Angeles were in Austin working hard on the game or escorting, in game, the players that were logging on at the E3 floor. Those of us who did make it to Los Angeles participated in one of the best booths at the show. I would like to thank Mutaytor and Chris Vrenna for making our booth experience one of the best at the show.
One of the great things about E3 is watching how people play our game. We were gratified that anyone could get in and play the game without lots of instruction time, and the people that did play said that it felt right. When we made the decision to create an RPG with shooter style controls, we knew that feel was going to be very, very important. So, now we just have to finish polishing the game by making sure it runs well on lots of hardware, getting in the rest of the content and opening up the servers for Friends and Family testing.
So that’s it for this year. My final impression of Tabula Rasa at E3 is this: those that saw the game thought it looked beautiful and intriguing. Those people that played it had lots of fun and often stayed for hours, and that’s all you can ask for.
The Best Reuse of a Prop Award goes to... Wing Commander. I'm not actually sure if these are from 'Lion King the Musical', but perhaps the muppets have fallen on harder times than Mark Hamill. Either way, in the world of video games, you can't do much better.
The Wing Commander series is often credited for its fantastic use of video, but we can break that down a little more and try to figure out which specific games had our favorite clips. Beyond the impressive results in the live-actor FMV titles, we've opened up the voting options to include their sibling titles. The animated sequences in WC1, WC2 and Privateer were extremely impressive for the early 1990s, and the Other exists for lesser-known, but quite exotic, cutscenes from games such as Super Wing Commander. Vote for your favorite now!
Our last poll asked about your favorite new ships in Secret Ops. We included the option for older ships that were available in the Vision Engine for the first time here, and those old favorites took the majority of the vote. The classic Excalibur fighter came away with almost 50% of the tally itself. I'd have put my bets on the Hades quick-strike cruiser. Nobody was thrown off by the Cerberus' class name, were they?
Das Licht war gleißend hell, es brannte sich regelrecht in die Augen.You can read the entire preview and give any feedback you may have in this thread.
Ser Larsen warf sich instinktiv zu Boden, seinen Kollegen riss es mit vom Stuhl. Teile der nur einer Sekunde zuvor explodierten Maine regneten jetzt gegen das Sicherheitsglas der Station, wie ein Bombardement aus scharfkantigen Metallsplittern fraßen sich die Überreste des Transporters in den gigantischen Rumpf der Superstation.
Ser Larsen hob vorsichtig den Kopf, er sah alles nur verschwommen, kleine helle Lichtblitze tanzten vor seinen Augen auf und ab.
Sein Kollege, der sich die Hände schützend vors Gesicht gehalten hatte und deshalb bereits wieder seinen Verpflichtungen voll und ganz nachgehen konnte, gab Antwort.
„Wir haben einen Riss, struktureller Kollaps steht bevor, Sektionen Vier und Fünf.“
„Arbeitet da jemand?“
Larsen zog sich an der Stuhllehne nach oben, noch immer nahm er die Umgebung nur schemenhaft wahr.
„Nein, Ser. Das sind Lagerräume. Versiegelung ist bereits aktiv.“
„Machen Sie alle Bereiche dicht. Sofort. Schadenkontrollteams benachrichtigen.“
„Verstanden. Sind Sie in Ordnung?“
„Ich kann nichts sehen, aber das wird langsam wieder besser. Was ist mit dem Schiffsverkehr draußen?“
Einige Sekunden lang herrschte Ruhe, dann aber gab es eine Antwort.
„Ser? Wir haben da ein Problem.“
In Wing Commander as the players ship took damage, specific systems would be damaged or destroyed, such as weapons, engines, communications, radar, etc. Damaged systems would begin to malfunction and destroyed systems could not be used at all. Thus if a weapon was damaged, it would fail to fire sometimes and if it was destroyed it would cease to function all together. If the communications system was damaged, it would malfunction sometimes and instead of the normal menu of command choices, only static would come up. If it was destroyed, commands could not be issued to your wing men at all. The level of damage controlled how often a system malfunctioned. If the engines were damaged, the player's speed and acceleration would begin to decrease. Wing Commander was perhaps the first game to use system specific damage that had real, in game effects.Because of the project's wiki-nature, it's difficult to automatically confirm whether or not each innovation was actually a first. But it's definitely true that Wing Commander was one of the first to do quite a number of things. Off the top of my head, the site could also use an article about Wing Commander's dynamic music that changed depending on combat status, its variable AI that fought with greater tenacity as the odds became more grim, and its expansion disk - The Secret Missions was a surprising success. You can read more about the GIDb project at the BBC.
Tolwyn and Lars are finishing the Intro, we have a new beta-test running and besides that we're doing some polishing work on boring stuff like creating a readme, faq, credit stuff, testing the install routine and so on.....
Besides that, some of us started doing work on the main campaign again, so that at least the time is not wasted. We hope to have some more interesting news soon.
Ten Years have passed since the first ace's Happy Month took the world by storm. Ten long and fulfilling years that have brought us joy and friendship beyond expectation. Although AHH hasn't been meaningfully updated in at least 3 years, ace's Happy Month continues to resonate deeply with all people young and old.