Hurleybird found an article over at Next-Gen that discusses the "40 greatest game design innovations." After a while it kind of reads like a list of normal gameplay mechanics, but they do go back and try to identify when each was first used. Wing Commander gets the nod for adaptive music that dynamically responds to changing situations. Each franchise seems to have gotten a single credit, or else other games in the series could be all over the article. You can find the full piece here. The Wing Commander bit is on page four.
Everyone recognizes the power of music to create a mood. In videogames, the trick is to change the music in response to game events, and of course the composer can’t know in advance when they might occur. One approach is simply to play a new track on demand, but the transition can be jarring if not done well. Another approach is layering—mixing harmonizing pieces of music together and changing their volumes in response to the needs of the game. Best-known early example: Wing Commander, 1990. Possible first use: Way Out for the Atari 800, 1982.
The end of the year is approaching, but there's no major news about Origin's major projects scheduled for Christmas - Privateer, Ultima VII Part 2 and Strike Commander. This issue of Point of Origin mentions some interesting possibilities that didn't work out... including talks held about a Wing Commander comic book and the abandoned Genesis port of the original game.
A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!
- All the News That Fits proves that you can't even review Ultima Underworld without praising Wing Commander: "Keep an eye peeled for the next issue of Dragon magazine. Word from the editors is that Underworld has garnered a six-star review (above and beyond the five-star limited of 'excellent'). That will make it only the fifth game ever to pick up that honor. Six-star reviews didn't even exist until the magazine came across a game it couldn't resist creating the new category for: Wing Commander."
- License to Travel talks about plans to license Wing Commander comics and shows what gaming conventions were like back then:
A different kind of road show this week: David Ladyman is in sunny San Diego at the Comic Book Expo. His mission is to try and find companies interested in licensing the Wing and Ultima lines for comic books. Early reports claim that Harris and Marvel have shown some interest.
Next week, David's off again, this time to the combination GEN CON/Origins show. Don't let the name fool you. We don't have anything to do with organizing the show, but we are sponsoring four seminars: ORIGIN's Wing Commander II + More, ORIGIN's Ultima VII and Beyond, An Audience With Lord British, and Careers in Computer Gaming.
- All Aboard welcomes a new employee who's experience includes... playing Wing Commander? It could have been me! "Jerrold Harrington starts next Monday. Jerrold also has three years of CS experience and reports having 'messed around' with Wing and having played Ultima III. All we need now is a Windwalker expert."
- Super Mario Bros. (and Sisters) says Wing Commander Genesis should be out before the end of time - we're still waiting! "Software Toolworks also wants to get a yuletime Wing Commander out on SNES (probably not). Look for Wing on Genesis sometime between Christmas and the end of time, converted by Sega."
Point of Origin
Vol. II, No. 23 - August 14, 1992
All the News That Fits
License to Travel
PC Research Top-Selling Software (May, 1992)
Super Mario Bros. (and Sisters)
Dear Point Man
Wing Commander Meme of the Day: Sexy Cat
Flat Universe Tournament Fast Approaching
The final countdown starts now for this weekend's big Wing Commander Flat Universe tournament. It happens at 16:00 UTC June 23-24, and interested players should register by Friday. There are some very cool multiplayer modes that will be deployed in the new version of the game and even a spectator mode. (2018-06-21)
Spanish Special Operations are Extra Special
After seeing the Spanish WC2 that Christian Klein recently acquired, the next natural question was whether DROSoft had also localized the Special Operations. The answer is yes, and it comes in an awesome double pack just like the Spanish Secret Missions! Both are in the same box with the game summaries translated side-by-side on the rear of the packaging. (2018-06-20)
Join The Terran Confederation Space Force!
FekLeyrTarg has released his mini Wing Commander fan film. It takes the form of a recruiting commercial that could be used during the Kilrathi War. There's a nice mix of assets here from a Privateer-style building to Sabre fighters to the hefty Rigakh class cruiser. (2018-06-19)
WCSO Model Upgrade Pack Adds Comm Relay Station
DefianceIndustries has completed the first large scale base for the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack. This is a cool design, and the tiny little flight deck is a nice touch. In addition to making it much more detailed and gorgeous to look at, he's also significantly amped up the destroyability. (2018-06-18)