WC Saga Development Focus Shifts To CGI Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

What's going on with Wing Commander Saga? According to a recent website update, mission programming is in the final stages and more effort will be allocated to cutscene creation. Today they're giving us a first look at the early CGI for a planet from the Vega System. Look here for our previous coverage of the FreeSpace 2 mod.
Exciting times are ahead for Saga. The mission programming is barreling towards the finish line and preproduction for CGI cutscenes is gearing up. Making CGI cutscenes is a time consuming endeavour. Each of our environments has to be painstakingly crafted, explosion and lighting effects take precise adjustments, and each frame must be scrutinized. All of our CGI scenes are in early stages, so they don't represent the quality of the final product yet, but feel free to take a look at a few screenshots of Vega Prime from one of our CGI cutscenes.

WC Scholars Take The Day Off Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

If you haven't been following the news on Crius, there is no WCPedia meeting in #Wingnut this Sunday. A lot of people will be out watching the Superbowl/Office special in the US, and everyone is welcome to drop by IRC for that however. Otherwise, team members are invited to keep working on the project and there should be another meeting next weekend.
I'm proposing the next meeting to be our biggest yet. We can talk about what we've worked on and also start assigning people work. If you've always wanted to contribute to the community but have had no idea how, now is the time. We'll put you to work on something that will be beneficial for the community and for the future of Wing Commander.

Outlander Reaches Wider Audience Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The American release of Chris Roberts' Outlander has expanded to more theaters. Additional screeens in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Michigan, Florida, Nevada, Maryland and California have been added. Find the complete list of locations here. There will also be a special screening in Seattle on February 17 followed by a live interview with the film's directory. More info on the event is available here
Don’t miss February’s Exposed: Inside Film featuring the new science-fiction/action adventure film OUTLANDER, followed by an in-depth conversation with writer/director Howard McCain. In OUTLANDER, it’s 509 AD, and a mysterious space ship crashes into majestic Fjords of ancient Norway. From the wreckage of this craft emerge two bitter enemies: an unstoppable, terrifying creature known as The Moorwen, and a man from another world, Kainan. As the deadly creature proceeds to lay waste to the Viking world, Kainan is forced to join forces with them in order to kill the Moorwen before it destroy them all.

EA Replay Hits European PlayStation Network Store Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Starman let us know that apparently EA Replay - a compilation of retro EA titles ported to the PSP - has been added to the European flavor of the Playstation network. The Threespeech Blog - a "semi official, an informal means of communication for PlayStation" - lists a number of new titles available for download for a small fee. Playstation Network users can download the compilation which includes both the original Wing Commander port for the SNES as well as the Secret Missions.

There's currently no info on when the games will be available on the North American version of the Playstation network and the title doesn't appear on their list of available games. The game does not appear on the US PSN update blog.

PSP content available to download via PS3 Store

Riff: Everyday Shooter™, £6.29/€7.99
EA Replay, £15.99/€19.99
Tom Clancys Endwar, £34.99/€49.99
The Little Mermaid II, £3.99/€4.99
Disney’s Action Game Feat. Hercules, £3.99/€4.99
Super Pocket Tennis, £7.99/€9.99

Paper Commander Downloads Restored Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Pericles recently had some issues with the file distribution for his amazing paper models, but the good news is that everything should now be back to normal. If you recently went to try and download one of his Paper Commander designs, head on back now and try again. The files should be properly hosted on Solsector. Don't get a paper cut!

Wing Commander Lego Minis On The Drawing Board Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a sneak preview of saf0775's Lego Confed force. He's built the original four fighters and the Tiger's Claw so far using the Lego Digital Designer. Instructions and larger images should eventually be available from the official Lego Factory site. It's pretty amazing how accurate these can be with the limited bricks and options available. To see all of Saf's creations, go to the Lego gallery, type saf0775 in the username field and click on the little triangle next to it.
Made with Lego Digital Designer. The instructions should be up on the Lego site shortly. I've made the four Terran fighters and the Tiger's Claw (which is just over a foot long when built) from WC1. I'll make some cats tomorrow night.

I've been a fan of WC since the early days of my 386, and who doesn't like Lego's? I may eventually make minfig scale fighters, but Lego Digital Desinger doesn't have a big selection of colored bricks....so it would make a large scale model difficult. I could probably design a 4 foot model of the Tiger's Claw that would be on scale with my mini fighters, but that will have to wait.

As it is, I'm trying to figure out how to make a good looking Dralthi without having access to orange bricks or plates. It may have to be done in light gray and then you would use the right colors if you have them in you Lego stash.

Need Collateral Damage Butterfly Stats Stat Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Everybody loves stats, so JasonRocZ has taken a crack at putting some numbers behind the WCCD Butterfly craft. After the physical design and reasonable fighter capabilities get worked out, the ship will be integrated into the Wing Commander Collateral Damage mod for Secret Ops.
  • Class: Medium - Multi-Role/Atmospheric and point defense
  • Manufactured By: Vearrier Industries / Douglas Aerospace
  • Length: 14 meters
  • Mass: 15.5 metric tonnes
  • Max Velocity: 440 k/s
  • Max Afterburner Velocity: 1200 k/s
  • Max Afterburner Acceleration: 400 k/s^2
  • Max Y/P/R: 80/75/80 deg/s
  • Guns: Chain Ion MkII (4)
  • Gun Energy: 300 nJ
  • Default Gun Regeneration: 48 nJ/s
  • Missile Hardpoints: 3x3 / 2x2 (3FF/3IR/3ELRIR) / (2LancerLT/2x14 Dumbfire RP)
  • Missile Decoys: 28
  • Front Shield: 240 cm
  • Rear Shield: 240 cm
  • Front Armor: 180 cm
  • Rear Armor: 180 cm
  • Right/Left Armor: 110 cm
  • Jump Capable: Yes

Malcolm McDowell Returns For EA's Next Film Shoot Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Electronic Arts has announced the new stars that will be featured in the upcoming movie sequences of C&C Red Alert 3: Uprising. Most prominent to CIC visitors will be the addition of Malcolm McDowell to the game's cast. EA's press release spends most of its time talking about how live-action movies are considered a critical component to the Command & Conquer franchise's storytelling. It then goes on to mention McDowell's previous acting role in the Wing Commander series. EA's C&C Battlecast Minute show also breaks the news with a brief shot of McDowell in action. Lucky C&C fans!
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) today announced the members of the live action movie cast for Command & Conquer™ Red Alert™ 3: Uprising, the upcoming campaign expansion to last fall’s award-winning Command & Conquer™ Red Alert™ 3. Picking up in the aftermath of the events in the original, Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising features an eclectic cast starring in the all new, live-action movie sequences the Command & Conquer franchise is known for. From sci- fi legends to rising starlets and masters of the squared-circle, the cast of Command & Conquer Red Alert 3: Uprising includes (in alphabetical order): Jamie Chung, (Dragonball Evolution), Ric Flair (16-time world heavyweight wrestling champion), Malcolm McDowell (Heroes, Clockwork Orange, Wing Commander), Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Prison Break), Holly Valance (Neighbours) along with returning fan-favorites Gemma Atkinson and Ivana Milicevic. ...

Malcolm McDowell, who plays Rupert Thornley, the president of the European Union, and had previously starred in the live-action movies for the Wing Commander franchise, added, “It’s great to be working with good actors and the more good actors you can get to do games, the better. In the past people might have thought you could get away with anything in games and that isn’t a good attitude. Kids are spending a lot of money and time on these games and they deserve first rate performers and I’m glad to say that this is what Uprising is.”

Face Time With Your Heroes Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a contribution from Blitz. He ran mug shots from the first four Wing Commander games through a program called FaceGen to create 3D models of the characters' heads. The free version of the program includes only two kinds of hair, but some of these renders come pretty close to the real thing. You can grab the resulting 3D files here. Blitz also included a cool extra:
Here are a few faces, some of them are from the first game, some from the second, and some use the real actors from the WC3/4 and the movie. I've also included 2 "bonus" faces and I'll leave it up to you to figure out who they are.

Cruising Into Cygnus Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Community Replay is about halfway through Secret Ops. This week, the pilots of the TCS Cerberus have to rescue a pair of luxury liners that have come under attack in the Cygnus System. DaveO has Photobucket and YouTube feeds with a host of screenshots and gameplay videos from all the games that have been covered so far. These are his notes from Cygnus:
Cygnus 2
Zero is in an SAR shuttle for this mission, and believes we will find the source of the distress call. Due to our previous sweep, there is no resistance at the first nav point. When we reach the second, my targeting computer identifies the battered and drifting ship we see as the Anna Maria Albergetti. There are Stingrays and Morays here, so there is a chance for survivors from the initial attack on the ship. I take care of one Stingray along with two Morays, and make an assisted kill on another Stingray. Taking out the last Moray is simple with my fighter and another blasting it to bits. Zero warns us to stay clear of the Albergetti’s jump drive since a breach of its core would destroy the ship as well as any ships too close to its destructive blast wave. Zero tells us that he can detect two life signs on the Albergetti, and has located a point on the ship stable enough to allow a landing. The Cerberus gives us new navigation data for a continued patrol that will prevent any more aliens from returning to the Albergetti. Maestro stays behind with Zero to make sure any potential stragglers are stopped. The next nav point has only more of the Stingrays to deal with. I get three of the Stingrays with my guns, and use a missile to get rid of a fourth. A fifth one is fried by the guns of my fighter, and we continue onwards. We spot a few Mantas, and make an attack. I’m able to get all four of the Mantas, but my Panther has taken some core and serious afterburner damage. I let the repair system work a bit, and we move on to the next nav point. There are more Mantas and Morays here, and I handle one Manta without troubles. I’m then forced to drop several decoys to ditch a missile sent my way. I return the present of a missile to a Manta in front of me, and use my guns to finish it off. Two more of the Mantas are destroyed, and I take out two of the Morays. The final Moray pilot just sits there to let Stiletto easily shoot him down. We return to the remains of the Albergetti, and Zero tells us that a doctor and a young man have been rescued. They are under the effects of a skin-thinning agent, and need quick medical assistance if they are to survive.

Cygnus 3
Our medical capabilities are not enough for the two survivors, so we’ll have to get them to a facility in the next twelve hours. Confed intelligence believes the alien activity is indicating a blockade of the Luyten and Krieger systems. We’ll use continued sweeps to pull the plug on the blockade. We launch in Panthers for this patrol, and the first nav point has light resistance from Morays and a Ray. I go after a Moray since the only threat from the Ray is its mines. Stiletto takes out the Ray while I’m pursuing a Moray. I easily handle the Moray, and then destroy two of those small Remoras released from the dead Ray. I take down another Moray, and one of our fighters eliminates a Remora that was attacking me from behind. I deal deadly damage to two more of the Morays, and we move on to the next nav point. Another of the civilian luxury liners is under attack from the aliens. A mix of Mantas and Stingrays will have to be handled. I take care of one Manta with my guns, and then use a missile and guns to make short work of a second Manta. I pound two more of the Mantas with my Panther, and there are only the Stingrays to deal with. I shatter two of the Stingrays, and the Captain of the Twilight Purchase thanks us for our assistance. At the next nav point, the bugs are bringing multiple bombers to bear. I break apart a Skate bomber cluster, and blast one of the smaller segments into shards. Stiletto punches out, and I see another of the Skate bomber clusters taken care of. I break apart another of the bomber clusters, and use a few Friend or Foe missiles to handle the segments. As I do the same shattering work on a third Skate bomber cluster, both Spyder and Maestro have to eject. I’m all alone against the remaining bugs, and look for the most dangerous threats. I spot a Manta and give it two missiles to trash it, and then use my guns to take out another Manta. There are only the Skate segments left, and one quickly falls to a frontal pass. I shoot down four of the Skate segments, and let a missile handle the fifth one. One Skate is shot down by my guns, and another feels the force of a missile. Another Skate is scuttled from a frontal pass, and I let my Panther pounce on the last two Skate segments with its guns. I return to the Cerberus with the Twilight Purchase, and the SAR shuttle is going to have extra work in recovering the three pilots who ejected. The Captain of the Cerberus says that the Twilight Purchase will take the two survivors from the Albergetti to a remote medical lab in this system.

Confed Ships Invade Empire At War Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The new Wing Commander Invasion mod now has all its Confed capital ships. The final design to round out the fleet was the Bengal Strike Carrier based off Howard's super render. Major Payne has also added the Plunkett and Vesuvius as well as the 'Hero' Midway complete with Nephilim plasma weapon.
While the Plunkett is heavily armed, it won't have fighter capabilities, but the Vesuvius is likely to have a full compliment of 400 fighters.

Puffer Invades Secret Ops Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's another unique shot from the Wing Commander Collateral Damage mod. Since the game is designed as a bridge between Secret Ops and Arena, JasonRocZ has begun a Nephilim Puffer model. It's likely to be revised shortly, but here's the first cut.

WCPedia IRC Conference Reminder Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a reminder about the IRC conference this weekend concerning the encyclopedia project. The event begins online in #Wingnut at 2 pm Eastern US time on Sunday, January 25, 2009. Hopefully the earlier scheduling will allow some European fans to attend. After action reports of the first two conferences can be found here and here. Newcomers can connect to the discussion easily via the Java Client. Here is WCPedia SysOp Dundradal with the meeting agenda:
January 25, 2pm EST, #wingnut



Status reports - What we've accomplished this week from our core contributors.

Help Pages - Some of the templates are done, but we need to also create a quickstart article that outlines the basics for article creation (like how to create a new one!) This should continue to be our main priority beyond article creation.

Schedule Deadlines - We need to motivate ourselves more for this project. Even doing one small thing a week is better than doing nothing at all. We should create a list of deadlines for certain areas. I propose that the Help section be completed within two weeks. With the information from this section complete we can more easily get new users into article creation and editing.

Image List - We have people willing to grab the necessary screenshots for WC1 articles. Let's get them working this week, even if we won't need them for some time to come, at least they will be ready.

Anything else please add to the thread.

Prophecy Upgrade Packs A Punch Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The CIC has too much bandwidth left over for January '09, and one of the best ways to help us get rid of it is to download the Prophecy DVD upgrade. With a few large files and some easy instructions, it's possible to upgrade your CD version of Prophecy to play high quality movies. The three packs linked below provide all the videos, and HCl's enhancement pack makes them work with the game. Specific instructions are available here. Even if you don't plan on upgrading, the video files can each be viewed separately with a program like VLC player.
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Examining Deserving Games Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Back when the CIC first opened, it seemed like there was a new "greatest games of all time" list being published every week, and Wing Commander was always to be found somewhere on the list. You don't see as many of those anymore, but there does appear to be an endlist supply of blogs and gaming sites telling everyone which games need to be remaded or sequelized. Manboy found another one. Not surprisingly, WC games show up here as well, and they're often alongside other prominent Origin titles. Today's comes from Games Examiner. WC1 and Ultima IV get the nod. Here's a sample.
Among the coolest things about Wing Commander was its replayability. Because the mission path was determined by how well you did in previous missions, playing back through the game could lead to new surprises. Also, being based on semi-realistic physics, it allowed cool maneuvers like afterburner slides that let you strafe past an enemy ship and light them up with weapon fire. (While it isn't the same as playing the old games, you can get a taste of the action with the Xbox Live Arcade game Wing Commander: Arena).

Wing One, Take Four Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Well over a year ago, The Fatman published his Wing Commander soundtrack, "Wing One", through the Amie Street music service. Twenty-six tracks were released throughout the Summer of 2007. Thirty second samples of each track are available to everyone, and once you've bought a song, you can listen to the full version online or download it outright. These are plain old MP3s, free of DRM. The Amie service is a little unusual in that songs start cheap and rise in price up to $0.98 as they become popular. At the time of writing, most Wing One tracks cost upwards of ninety cents when purchased individually, but the full album can be had for just $8.98. Wing Commander fans who missed out on the original premiere of this album are in for a treat. The Fatman has six more albums in his Amie Street catalog, including the soundtrack to The 7th Guest. Check them out here. Office fans can also find some of Creed Bratton's music on there.
This is the soundtrack to the first Wing Commander game by Origin Systems. I was asked by the game's producer, Chris Roberts, to write something that sounded something like Star Wars and Star Trek the Motion Picture. My Team Fat writing partner, Dave Govett, had this little tune (the fanfare/theme) in his head already. It took him about a day to get finished music to me--and with that one tune, game music took what is perhaps a bigger step than it had taken before or has taken since. If you don't believe me, do the research. Try to find a soundtrack with stronger musical sensibility, better composition, or better arrangements. This game supported the then-new MT-32 sound card--this was pre-General MIDI, and most games had just used the internal FM sound card--which was considered high-quality at the time! In addition, Chris Roberts insisted on making the soundtrack interactive. There have been other soundtracks before and since, but this one stood out. Wing Commander was the hit of the CES show that year. These days, game soundtracks that attempt to imitate John Williams are commonplace. I don't like to do it anymore. But to my knowledge, this is the first one, and compositionally remains one of the better ones. I believe that for several years after this, game composers were still not asked to imitate John Williams. They were asked to imitate David Govett and Wing Commander.

You will hear the authentic, original MIDI files, playing back on a Roland MT-32 sound module, as you would have heard if you were playing a Brand New Wing Commander game on The Best Game Sound-Equipped Computer Available At The Time. A touch of Roland Sound Canvass (in MT-32 emulation mode) was added just because it was easy to do and made the tones just a tad-bit richer. Other than that...Welcome To The State of the Art in PC Audio, circa 1990!!!!

Outlander Premiere Is Here! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's been a long wait for Outlander fans, but Chris Roberts' latest sci-fi film will finally premiere in the United States this weekend. Although it's still a limited release, some fifteen major markets will each be getting the film on a number of theaters. Check out the actual list of screens here! I'm fortunate enough to have a theater featuring the movie just two miles from me and hope to check it out soon. The list should continue to grow to more cities and countries in the coming months. Keep checking Outlander.Solsector.net for updates.
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Washington D.C.
  • Dallas, TX
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boston, MA
  • Houston, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • Miami, FL
  • San Diego, CA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Tampa, FL

Vengeance of the Classic Wallpapers Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Kilrathikiller has created a sequel to his popular high resolution WC1 wallpaper images. He's used the same methodology as the originals to create a WC2-themed background complete with characters, ships and scenes from the game. Like his first picture pair, a standalone logo has also been released. Each image is available in 1920x1080 resolution.

New Space Sim Community Online Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Right now, space simulation games are mostly the domain of smaller development houses. We reported on about a dozen titles for PC or consoles in the past two years. These games don't get as much attention as the latest first person shooter at mainstream gaming sites, and space sim portals like A Talent For War or Stargamer.net are no longer maintained. Now SpaceSimCentral.com is going to try to take over from them. They say:
SpaceSimCentral is a new website to the space/flight sim community. The main focus of SSC is to provide a source of information on all space and flight sim mods, community projects, currently released games and games under development. There is a discussion forum for everyone to discuss everything releated to space and flight sim games and a file database where games, patches, mods and tools will be available for download. SpaceSimCentral.com is free to use and enjoy and please have fun and post all your opinions on all space sims old, new and unreleased.

TacOps Ship Sheet Preview Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Ironduke is giving us a first look at the new ship sheets for the Wing Commander themed board/role-playing game he's been working on these past two years. TacOps has a dedicated forum on crius.net where you can discuss this ship sheet or suggest changes to the game rules. The most recent edition of the game's rule book (version 0.14) can be found here. More information is also available from the news archives.
No, I'm not dead - I'm actually working on those internal damage rules in my spare time. I think I finally found a quick, easy and "realistic" solution! And I've put together a sample ship sheet for the ever so popular Epee light fighter (see attached jpg).

Ships are now divided into front and rear arc when it comes to determining damage, which means that armor will also be divided into a front and rear portion. Once a ship's armor is gone, hits will damage internal systems - starting from the outermost components and working their way through to the critical parts. Hits can affect the first 3 rows of subsystems, until one of the first 3 rows is completely destroyed. (If you destroyed the subsystem in row 2, then damage could be done to row 1, 3 and 4 instead of 1, 2 and 3.) Which also means that it's possible to literally rip a ship apart from bow to stern - or vice versa. (I know it's not an exhaustive explanation of how internal damage will work, but I think you get the idea.)

Oh, and you might notice I've included a gun energy chart in that ship sheet... I guess the next manual will have to be version 0.2 instead of 0.15, since I'm probably going to change quite a bit of the game's mechanics... (For the better, I hope!)

WCPedia Progress Report Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The second WCPedia IRC conference was held in #Wingnut over the weekend. It was another productive discussion that helped the core team working the project to establish a baseline for moving forward. They will now be creating a set of tutorials geared towards helping new users get involved with editing and contributing. Another IRC meeting will be held this coming weekend. It will occur a bit earlier in the day at 2 PM Eastern time so that more people in other time zones can attend. More info can be found at Crius.net.
This week we took a step back a bit during the conference.

We realize that Wiki editing can be daunting at first glance and have set ourselves to creating a "how to" tutorial for articles. This way less savvy users can figure out how to code and create articles without having to jump from article to article to figure out the necessary code.

We'll work on creating templates, infoboxes and other aspects of articles so that you can easily plug in information and start creating articles. The example pages will still work as guidelines for layouts and code that you may need, but our priority is making the project more accessible. We need everyone's help to get this moving and completed.

Next week we plan to meet earlier so that some of our friends from around the world can attend. We will hold the weekly conference at 2pm EST next Sunday.

We again invite everyone to attend, even if you know nothing about wiki editing (and most of us are still learning) we need you to finish this project.

This is WCPedia, Long Live the Confederation :)

Watch Out For Talosians Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Pilots of the TCS Cerberus take on the Talos System in this week's Community Replay assignment. Here's a sample of Lorien's adventures in Ella.
Ella 3: Ella has reported that it's under attack. They're holding on but any more alien forces will tip the scales in this battle. We manage to intecept one group of reinforcements on their way, including a force of three bombers. I order my wingmen onto one target as our escort engages a second and I move on to the third, guns and rockets blazing. Our escorts and myself manage to take out our target but the last bomber is making a break for it. I launch a double shot of Artemis ELRIR and watch them finish the target off. Once the Moray escorts are scrap we move on to the Destroyer.

The aliens seem to be a lot smarter about escorts this time around, with a heavy fighter presence and two Corvettes guarding the Destroyer and its supply transports. The battle at Ella must be going well, as they've also sent along some Excaliburs and Thunderbolts to attack the Destroyer. I release my wingmen to attack and move in on the escorts harassing our bombers. With the Black Panthers backing up the Excaliburs it doesn't take long for the fighters to fold and our bombers beging making attack runs. I'm clearing out the last Corvette when Zero reports that the destroyer has been taken care of, leaving just the transports. It's almost a race between ships to clear off the rear turret and take them out, but part of that perception may have been because I won the race with both transports as my light torpedoes take them both out. With Ella starbase safe for a little while, we head home. Cerberus is going to drop by Ella for resupply before moving on to our next target.

Looking For Potential MUSHers Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

goat is once again trying to restart a viable Wing Commander MUSH online. There have been a few snags and delays along the way, but feedback and a general interest check would be helpful at this point. If you might be a player in an upcoming role playing environment like this, head over to Crius.net and let everyone know!

Comeback Commander Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Manboy spotted another article calling for a new Wing Commander game. They worry that EA has other concerns that could cause them to focus on sure bets, but we think it'd make more sense now than ever to launch a new game in the series.
In the 1990's it was one of the biggest PC game franchises ever but the series suffered after its creator at EA's Origin studio, Chris Roberts, left to form his own game studios (he has since left game development entirely). Yet the vast universe of the Wing Commander franchise would make it perfect for EA to launch anything from a space sim series to an RTS game to even an RPG.

Have Your Concordia Cake Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

frostytheplebe posted some shots of the most amazing cake today. It's very well done with runways, the hull number and small fires erupting. One shot below is the actual Concordia on Vespus - can you tell which? Thank his girlfriend Megan for this one.

Checking Up On Invasion: Day 5 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The last batch of Star Wars Empire at War mod screenshots takes place in a darker region of space. A Hades class quick strike cruiser features prominently in the first two, and the final image features the Confederation fleet in the game engine without the HUD displayed. Note the missing plasma gun attached the Midway that was shown earlier in the week.

IRC Conference - Part 2 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Did you miss last weekend's IRC conference to discuss matters concerning the WCpedia project? Never fear! The same folks that organized the previous meeting are planning a follow-up this Sunday at 7pm EST in #wingnut. On the agenda so far this time around are:
  • Progress made so far this week
  • Images needed for articles
  • What articles need worked on for Wing Commander
  • Committee creation/members
  • A to-do List of things more casual members can tackle so that everyone can have a meaningful contribution
  • Suggestions for example entries - how we want them to look

Other suggestions for topics of discussion are welcome and can be posted to this thread.

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Checking Up On Invasion: Day 4 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This batch of Invasion shots shows the various Wing Commander models in-game with the HUD and user interface visible. The arrangements in each image are pretty exciting with a large fleet in formation and firing Behemoth both pictured.

Visit Your Aunt Ella Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The pilots of the Cerberus have gotten away from the enemy forces in Courage, and they now find themselves under attack in the Ella System. This second week of the Secret Ops Community Replay brings a tough set of missions, as Wingnuts will have to keep both their carrier and the Ella Starbase in one piece. Read this update if you still need to download and install Secret Ops. The game recently became entirely free again. Here's a sample of DaveO's report from the Courage System.
Courage 4: There is no time to relax with another group of aliens attacking us. I launch in the ‘Black’ Vampire for this mission, and notice multiple alien Devil Rays right away. The Vampire has Plasma Particle guns along with its Tachyon guns to help handle the situation. I destroy four of the Devil Rays with guns and Artemis enhanced long-range image recognition missiles. I scuttle two Skate clusters with my Vampire and then notice more of the Devil Rays. I get two of the Devil Rays in the same fashion that I did with the other four, and make a mess of two Morays. I notice some Stingrays around, and head after them to prevent any clustering. I finish one off with my guns, and do an assist with a second. Our wing combines together for the final Moray fighter kill. Zero jokes with Maestro that ‘We’re gonna miss you bug’, and the captain of the Cerberus congratulates us on our performance. The Cerberus makes its jump into the Ella system, and we wonder about the future missions we will undertake.

Checking Up On Invasion: Day 3 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

These shots of Wing Commander Invasion each highlight a major capital ship that should look familair from earlier in the week. Each image is posed in the Star Wars Empire at War engine. A Confederation, Yorktown & Behemoth hang in space near some interesting background objects. You can read more on the mod's progress and post feedback over at Crius.net.

New Paper Venture On Horizon Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

You were already given a glimpse of Péricles' latest project just after New Year's. Here are some more pictures to tide you over until the final schematics are ready for printing. You can find more of Péricles' amazing creations at the Paper Commander website or in the news archives.
The first Wing Commander Paper Model in 2009 is a beautiful Venture model and textures created by Eder for Standoff mod... The model has a medium difficulty, but after construction is very nice. The scale is close to 1 / 100. I believe that in two weeks it will be available for download ...

Checking Up On Invasion: Day 2 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's another well done set of ship models for Major A Payne's Star Wars: Empire at War mod. This batch packs a punch. The Midway, Hades, Confederation and Behemoth class ships are pictured below. Each one is quite detailed, especially when you consider that each will appear relatively small on screen when seen from the RTS perspective. Wing Commander Invasion was originally a successful mod for Star Trek Armada that saw several major releases way back in 2001. Its reincarnation in the EaW engine looks very promising.

Checking Up On Invasion: Day 1 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Major A Payne is working on a Wing Commander conversion for the real-time strategy game Star Wars: Empire at War. The project has a new website and a lot of new renders and screenshots have been released. There are too many images to cover in one update, so we'll be looking at a few each day. We start off with the Vesuvius, Yorktown and Plunkett models.
Just a quick note. The mod is getting along a bit now. The Confed capital meshes have all been sorted out for conversion and there are, at the time of posting this, 4 of the 11 ships in game to beta stages (that is to say that they aren't the right size, fighters are non-existant and all use basic file entries so the stock weapons haven't been changed as yet). Also I have a MODDB profile page up and running with up to date ingame images of three of the four converted capitals. Once the confed capitals and fighters are in game I'll be removing all traces of the rebel alliance ships from game and rearranging the starbase/tech level for each of the ships. Capitals will then be altered to have fighter launch capability, but please can everyone be aware that because of the game engine restrictions, landing fighters is not possible. Anyway, more information can be found HERE.

A few other changes are the main loading splash screen and main menu screens. When this mod is loaded you'll see the familiar Confederation logo which can be used to see the game credits. Finally the music has been changed for the main menu and credit screens but I'm unsure of whether this will be kept in. Although Origin have disbanded I'm not sure if the music I'm using (from the original games) would be legally usable in this fashion even though I got it from this website.

Limited Outlander Release in the US Soon Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD has come up with a list of cities in the US that will be showing Chris Roberts' Outlander film starting January 23. The limited release includes these fifteen metro areas listed below, with more to come in the future. It's showing now in a handful of small regions in Europe and Asia, and spreads to broader markets over the next several months. The North American poster has also surfaced. You can find tons more information at Outlander.Solsector.net.
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Washington D.C.
  • Dallas, TX
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Boston, MA
  • Houston, TX
  • Seattle, WA
  • Miami, FL
  • San Diego, CA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Tampa, FL

WCPedia Project Moving Forward Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Sunday night's WCPedia conference was a huge success. The discussion helped clarify a variety of issues, and it also lined up a good deal of work that has to be done. A set of example entries are now being made to show off some of the new styles and systems that have been determined. Vinman posted a synopsis and uploaded a complete text log of the event. The team plans to gather again in #Wingnut this Sunday evening to review the example work and plan further. Read up on additional progress at Crius.net here.
Well, the WCPedia meeting came and went, and a good bit of progress was made. The last major effort on the WCPedia was based around the original Wing Commander. This time, it will be based around individual missions. From there, the encyclopedia will fill out.

We have decided to create example pages, paragons of our wiki-editing might that will inspire and set new editors straight on how pages are to be done. The timeline has been modified, with individual year pages redirecting to that day's entry on the main year page.

Updated And Raring To Go Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

You probably didn't even notice, but the CIC transitioned to a new and more powerful server over the last few weeks. Kris has worked hard to make the move pretty seamless, but if you notice anything out of place, be sure to contact us via one of the normal methods or the new Site Feedback Forum. The new system should allow us to bring you even more exciting Wing Commander news and material in the future.

Against All Odds, AAO Returns Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The fan RPG Wing Commander Against All Odds is kicking off a new round of play. They've been around a while and have a lineup of eager players, but they're also looking for fresh faces who'd like to get started for the first time. Players engage each other by building fiction posts at the AAO message board. The perspective of the game is at the fleet level, and individual task force commanders direct everything from capship movement to fighter combat.
Wing Commander Against All Odds is back, now with a familar setting for Wing Commander fans. It's early 2669, right after the Battle of Terra, and the Confederation must use its limited assets to keep the Kilrathi at bay. There's no fan made tech, no future timelines here. Just a good struggle for the survival of humanity. We're always looking for another good task force commander. If you're interested, head over to wcaao.com/board and register today. Post in the communications forum requesting a task force and in no time you'll be sending the Kilrathi to meet their ancestors! If you have questions, feel free to email myself (Sylvester) or David (Powell99). Thanks and good hunting!

IRC Conference Reminder Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a reminder about the IRC conference this weekend concerning the WCPedia Project. The event begins online in #Wingnut at 7 pm Eastern US time on Sunday, January 11, 2009. Newcomers can connect to the discussion easily via the Java Client. There should be a great conversation on organization, layout, writing styles, a working timeframe and much more. Any and all interested contributors are welcome, and fans who just want to sit back and watch are definitely invited as well.

To prevent automated spam abuse, new CIC Wiki accounts need to be individually approved. When registering, be sure to put a line or two into the 'biography' box to prove you're not a robot. It'd be a good idea to do this before the IRC meeting.

The short biography will help distinguish real requests from automated or fraudulous signups. You only need to enter a few words. A working e-mail address is also required. If it's taking us a long time to get to your request or if something went wrong in the process, you can contact us via e-mail, private message, or IRC.

We've also implemented a few junk filters in case some make it through the account confirmation process afterall. Be sure to report any unintended consequences (such as legitimate contributions being blocked!) as soon as possible.

And Play Armada Online! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

In addition to all the scholarly discussion, fans will also be taking advantage of the crowd in #Wingnut to set up some Wing Commander Armada games. wcnut helped put together these instructions for people who've never played Armada online. Details on how to get Armada running on modern computers are also available in the CIC's Tech Support section.
  1. Download and install DOSBox 0.72 (wcnut recommends the D-Fend front end to make configuration easier)
  2. Install Armada in a folder (wcnut recommends installing Joystick as Thrusmaster to minimize issues)
  3. To play on the internet, download netbios_binary.zip, and place NETBIOS.exe and dll files directly in your dosbox folder (Netbios is not necessary for Proving Grounds)
  4. If you want to host, you need to configure your router to forward port 213. It differs from router to router, so check your user's manual if you are unsure how to do this.
  5. In your dosbox.conf file, set: core=dynamic, cycles=10000, joysticktype=fcs (this actually enables Thrustmaster emulation in DOSbox), timed=false, ipx=true, and anything else you might desire.

    (timed=false is important, as your joystick gets a little wonky with it. Armada.exe and pg.exe don't like it if it is set true and cycles=max, which is what generally happens when cycles is set to auto) (HCl's wonderful but ancient patched EXE is no longer needed with Dosbox .72!)

  6. On the very bottom of the dosbox.conf file, (after [autoexe]) or in dosbox itself type... (* = only needed for armada.conf not pg.conf)
    mount c [Armada folder dir]
    mount b [Dosbox folder dir]*
    ipxnet startserver 213 (your forwarded port) OR ipxnet connect [IP address] (depending if you are client or host, and the host must be up first as it must connect BEFORE netbios is launched as netbios will change the ip otherwise!)
    armada.exe or pg.exe
    exit (not needed but is good to be put in conf files as it saves you the hassle of closing dosbox when quitting)
That's it, start dosbox!

Be sure to press alt-O to calibrate your joystick

Stop by #Wingnut if you have any questions or would like to find a competitor to play against!

Pirates Get a Facelift Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Gemini Gold team has produced a couple more headshots to go along with their attempt at a modern Grayson Burrows. Both are pirates this time. A third bonus image was also made for Christmas. The team plans to continue upgrading its art this year in anticipation of another updated release. Keep an eye on their news page for more frequent stories in 2009.

Wing Commander on the Radar Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

PC Gamer/Games Radar has gotten around to reviewing Jumpgate Evolution, and what review would be complete without a nod to Wing Commander. The article is pretty positive about the game, and it cites similarity to WC instead of competitor Eve Online as a major plus. Find the review here.
Aside from the mech genre, space combat is a gaping black hole in PC gaming we desperately want filled. Mixing real-time combat with MMO persistency hits a great note. It’s an MMO for folks (like me) who miss the charming barrel rolls and tense missile locks of Wing Commander, but it’s laden with enough persistency to let you fly cooperative missions and develop your character up to captaining capital ships.
Thanks to Starman for this one.

Goblin Wallpapers Rendered Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

After finalizing the model, designing a flight deck and posting a variety of videos featuring the Goblin fighter, Howard Day has released a pair of wallpaper resolution images. Each of these beauties clocks in at 1600x1200 and features the concept ship in static "ready to pounce" poses. Gorgeous.

EA Announces Red Alert 3 Expansion Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Electronic Arts has formally announced Uprising, a standalone expansion to Command & Conquer Red Alert 3. Like other recent games in C&C franchise, Uprising will once again feature a story told through high definition cutscenes with live actors. In an unusual twist, the game is being touted as a PC exclusive. Even more unusual, and possibly on a related note, the game will be available only as a digital download instead of a boxed retail release. Similar exclusives have been temporary before migrating to other platforms and distribution methods in the past however. The game is due for release this March, less than five months after RA3 made its debut.
”Uprising is a game that in many ways reflects the feedback we have gotten from the Command & Conquer community,” said Amer Ajami, Senior Producer at EA Los Angeles. “We’re giving gamers more of what they want – more of the fast, fluid and fun gameplay, more of the story we began to tell in Red Alert 3 and more cutscenes featuring top-notch Hollywood talent. At the same time, we’re excited we’re going to be able to bring new things to the mix, including new units and the Commander’s Challenge, which is a great way for players to hone their skills and get deeper into the combat.”

IGN on the 'Scene Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

IGN is running an article, The Cruelest Cutscene, running through the history and the future of the Full Motion Video cutscene. It picks out both Wing Commander and Command and Conquer as examples of excellent FMV platforms — for opposite reasons. On Wing Commander:
FMV tends to work best when it aids the game without being the game itself. Wing Commander III managed to pull this off adroitly, and is to be commended for both letting Mark put the ham back in Hamill, and preventing Malcolm McDowell from frightening small children on the streets, if only for a short while. The B-grade cutscenes depicted the story between levels of actual gameplay.
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Past Forward with Richard Garriott Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

BBC News’s gaming retrospective for 2008 includes an article interviewing gaming ‘luminaries’ about the future. Included are comments from Origin Founder Richard Garriott, who actually spent much of 2008 preparing for his spaceflight. As such, he doesn’t have much to look back on (beyond his unbelievable once-in-a-lifetime adventure)... but he does have a very interesting hint at the future:
After 25 years at Origin, the last thing I wanted to make was yet another medieval fantasy game. Now, after a very interesting break, I'm keen to get back into the fray and work on a new game. Probably medieval fantasy and probably online; there's something very powerful about getting people together."
Can we expect Richard Garriott Gaming Company 3? Yes is a sound bet - the day after his non-compete agreement with NCSoft expires.
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Wingnuts Restart The War Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Community Replay is back in full swing after a brief winter recess. After almost a full year of replaying the Wing Commander series, some of the most dedicated Wingnuts kick off 2009 with the final game in the main series. Secret Ops recently became completely free again, so now is still a great time to join the effort. In the meantime, here's Lorien reporting in from the Courage system:
The Midway is just pulling into the Sol system for some well deserved celebrations when the word comes down from on high, Stilletto, Spyder and myself have been assigned to the Confederation's newest ship, the Cerberus. Zero and Maestro will be joining us there once they've completed their escort mission. I barely have enough time to email my mother and tell her to freeze the remains of my welcome back celebration before I'm boarding a shuttle for my new home.

As we meet up after their landing I have to agree with what Zero reports to be Maestro's first reaction to the Cerberus. She does indeed look fast and that big plasma gun slung under the bow makes her look pretty dangerous as well. The captain, a blunt man covered with scars, gives us a bit more information when we land. The Cerberus has been assigned to the Courage system where we'll be putting her and some new Black Ops fighters through their paces. These new ships obviously comes with new toys. I hope I get used to them quickly.

Our first mission seems like the perfect opportunity to give the Black Panther a whirl, it's a simple patrol route to help the Cerberus calibrate her sensors. The extra speed with the Panther is good, though I'm not sure how convinced I am with the new guns. I really liked the normal Panther's layout. I certainly get a chance to try them out at the first nav point when we're jumped by some Morays. I order my wing to break and attack, we outnumber the bugs for once. I'm swiftly converted to the new guns as I open up on the first Moray from close behind, the guns tear it to bits very quickly. As the dogfight goes on, though, I discover that you really need to let them charge up enough to unleash both at the same time, otherwise the blasts just tend to bounce off. We quickly clear out these Morays and the small force to reinforce them as Zero informs the Cerberus of our situation.

We're ordered to continue on our patrol and encounter some slightly smarter Morays at Nav 2, who take off straight to the jump point while their Manta escorts move to engage. I order my wing to hold back the Mantas as I finish off the runners. Some gun blasts and a few ELRIR missiles later and the engagement is over. We head back to the Cerberus to the congratulations of the captain.

Hot Dog Fight Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's an interesting bit of news we picked up from the "blogosphere!" Only joking, we all know that never happens. But AD came across a strange story about a Star Wars themed hot dog roast... Apparently, roastmyweenie.com is selling an X-Wing shaped cooking aide. It looks like they got their sci-fi universes mixed up though:
Fight the battle against burnt, blackened weenie’s with the stainless steel Weenie Wing Commander. So if your force is running low these days try using the Weenie Wing Commander to fight of the evil dark side at your next cookout. $19.95

Xbox Live Arcade Sales Figures Compiled Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's an interesting chart over at vgchartz.com that claims sales statistics on Live Arcade titles to date, which includes Wing Commander Arena. The total units sold is listed at 22,970 with $228,152 in revenue. Although such numbers would be low for a modern retail release, if accurate, these figures would apparently put Arena well in the middle of the pack on Live Arcade. It also shows Arena doing twice the sales of Gaia Industries' other XBLA title, Street Trace NYC. Electronic Arts' other Arcade game, Boom Boom Rocket, seems to have been a stunning success with some 341,219 copies sold and nearly $3.5 million in revenue. That would put it roughly in the top twelve alongside hit games such as Uno, Worms HD & Geometry Wars.

Wing Commander Scene Seen on the Small Screen Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Jacob was one of many fans who caught a surprise showing of the Wing Commander movie on broadcast TV this past weekend. What makes this one particularly noteworthy was that it was also broadcast over-the-air as an unencrypted high definition transmission. There are no additional showings scheduled within the next couple weeks, but the MyTV listings would be one to watch for anyone looking to record a high def copy for themselves.
"Just for the record, Wing Commander was shown on My Network (a TV network similar to CW) on Saturday night at 8 PM EST. I looked on the My Network website (at least the one for WPHL-17 out of Philly) and there are no plans to air the movie again within the next two weeks."

"I was flipping through the channels before work and I was like "Whaaaaaat" and I got all giddy as they jumped the quasar in the beginning. It was kind of weird, there were some scratches on it that looked like they were showing a print of it, not like a DVD or VHS tape."

Several Wingnuts also noticed the showing and were watching the film together on IRC. If you've never tried it out before you can use the easy Java client to join in now. If you notice the Wing Commander movie is going to be showing on your local network, don't hesitate to let us know and we'll be sure to spread the word so other Wingnuts can tune in as well.

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Ascii Sector Bumped Up To 0.4.6 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's another neat upgrade to Privateer Ascii Sector. If you haven't played in a while, it's worth checking out the current version to see how the game's grown over the last year. Ascii Sector isn't just the most authentic ASCII Wing Commander adventure anymore, it's also now the most elaborate petty thievery simulator. In addition to a ton of bug fixes, Chris Knudsen has added these cool new features.
  • Added news feed to the front page of the Quine5000.
  • Added random events that change the supply/demand of a commodity on a base or planet for a short number of days.
  • Most people now carry a random amount of credits that you can take when you kill or stun them (if anybody sees you taking the credits, you risk getting fined).
  • Using a Stunrod or Pepperspray will now increase your Armed Fighting skill (very slowly, though).

New Feedback Forum Available Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've had a few questions about ways to submit site feedback and comments, so we're testing out a new Crius.net CIC Forum designed for this purpose. Hopefully the new Feedback Forum makes it easier to discuss ideas or ask questions related to operation of the CIC. This would be one avenue to report problems with the site (in addition to email or IRC), and we definitely welcome suggestions for 2009. We're still tweaking the permissions right now, but currently only the thread starter, administrators and posters with avatars can view/reply to threads. The thought is that the limited privacy might spur more open conversation, but we will continue to evaluate this as time goes on. Visit the Feedback Forum here.

Secret Ops All Over Again Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Dundradal's replay moves on to Wing Commander Secret Ops next week, so this is a good time to remind people that SO is once again available to legally download and play. After the free distribution ended in 1998, the first episode served as a demo for nearly ten years. That ended last August when permission to download the game was officially restored! Prophecy Gold is a great collectible, but it's no longer the only way to legitimately obtain Secret Ops. If you missed this one back in the day, get to downloading! Most of our older vets originally waited all night for the 112 meg starter pack to finish on 1990s dialup connections, but you're (probably) just a few minutes away from Wing Commander fun! Don't forget the serial key generator used during installation and the fiction files that go along with each episode. The fiction link also includes the awesome Secret Ops teaser and trailers.

Wingnuts would also do well to check out Shades' extensive Secret Ops Guide. It includes detailed mission walkthroughs, complete stats, game history and more!

Rock Out All Over Again Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Over the years, fans have composed a large number of music videos. These are all available from our Holovids section, but because we have plenty of traffic to spare this bandwidth cycle, we thought we'd revisit some of these clips. We're always looking for new fan creations to post, so hopefully this will inspire you to try your hand at some video editing and audio mixing. We have a lot of high quality source material in Holovids and Music (not to mention the Prophecy DVD vobs) that aspiring directors can put to use.

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!

Paper Venture Body Comes Together Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's one of the super new paper models that we mentioned were in work yesterday. Péricles is currently in the middle of the Venture corvette design. This one has a twist - it's based off the Standoff color scheme. There is still work yet that needs to be done, but expect a few new ships and a full Paper Commander update in a month or two.

Privateer 2 Journal Previews 2009 Replay Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Community Replay is on break this week as fans finish up Prophecy and prepare for Secret Ops. quaker2k8 has his own replay in progress though, and he's currently in the middle of an in-depth Privateer 2 replay. He's been posting very detailed journal entries from the point of view of Ser Lev Arris. Here's a sample of his recollections.
The trip to Hephaestus included a rather large Kindred encounter. I had somehow anticipated an ambush and brought a Nuke'em bomb along. I didn't need it though, my own Flux Beams combined with the heavy guns of the beer-carrying Ilia MkII I hired to earn a few extra creds took care of the situation well enough. I went out of the skirmish without a scratch, the freighter wasn't so lucky and took heavy damage. Luckily freighter repairs are to be paid for by the freighter captain and not by the customer. Auntie Marie on my backseat was quite thrilled by this encounter, must've been the biggest engagement in her lifetime. I must admit it was also one the biggest for me up to then. Ser Carmichael of course preferred to stay away from the battle, I hadn't expected anything else from the rich sucker.

Down on crowded Hephaestus, Auntie Marie thanked me for helping her escape. This lady must've had experienced a pretty traumatic time back on Bex, telling by the way she acted. I then went to the "premier address on Hephaestus," the Galactig Gourmet Hotel(TM) where I was supposed to meet Hugo Carmichael. On entering his room, I saw a professional assassin leaning over Carmichael's body. And a professional he definitely was, since he saw me coming. I had more luck than sense in dodging his gunshot and overcoming him. I would've liked trying to beat a name or something out of the bald killer, but since the place was already a mess I had to hurry and get out before any uniforms showed up. So I quickly finished the killer and took the shiny capsule he had obviously just retrieved from Carmichael with me. I wonder whether Hugo was going to give that capsule to me as a thankyou or if I should be thankful to the assailant in a strange way for uncovering this object for me.

I had no idea how what was in this capsule and how to open it. My best guess was to ask Joe on Hermes if he knew someone who's familiar with the thing. But instead of heading directly for Hermes, I made another brief visit to Petra. There, I sold the local miners the shipment of hephaestean hardware I had bought for 30'000 credits for a nice 44 thou. Big, big money. I also used my stay there to have another look at the public database's entry on Larn Regis a.k.a. Malakai. My memory was right, the man really had been described as "one of the richest men of the Tri-System." Boy, if such a high roller was only one of the subordinates of Kindred boss Kronos, then what might Kronos probably be? God himself? I started to understand why Hassan's folks were fighting an obviously losing battle against organzied crime: Saying that the Kindred controlled half of the Tri-System wasn't just emptry words but rather an under-estimation...

Congratulations Contest Winners! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've got some interesting results for this (last!) year's annual contest winners. Creative projects driven by a single main developer dominated the polls this season. At the same time, renewed attention to providing status updates helped propel some of the older/larger projects in the web site category rankings for the first time. Although we only award a few winners each year, every project nominated and every dedicated Wing Commander fan has our appreciation for keeping things exciting in 2008. Many of the nominees are on the verge of big releases or major updates in the coming year, so we're looking forward to what's to come in 2009!

We have a new first-time winner for Fan Project of the Year! Privateer Ascii Sector took the top spot in 2008! Frequent updates and tons of new features kept Wing Commander fans entertained all year long, and the solid gameplay wrapped in a unique package made this one appeal to a wide audience outside the CIC to bring new WC fans into the mix. Chris Knudsen's game was the runner up last year.
The 2008 runner up is Flight Commander! The new FC1.6 boasts tons of impressive new upgrades, the new engine updates look fantastic and the game's new mission editor makes it easier than ever for new modders to dig in. Thanks Eddie!
Our newest Solsector site, Paper Commander, took Web Site of the Year this time! This new addition was a spin-off of Paper Inside, which was the runner up last year. It's been a few months since Pericles' last release, but there are many new ship designs in progress.
Standoff & WC Saga have jumped from the Fan Project to the Web Site category this year! No strangers to ties, these two projects are both our runners up. Although neither project had a major release in 2008, both recommitted themselves to providing updates and communicating to their fans via their site news pages.

Thanks again to all of our nominees for contributing to the community throughout the year, and we wish them all good luck in 2009!

A New Poll, Finally Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Our old one was up a little longer than we'd normally prefer, but it's a new year and time for our traditional January 1 poll. What kind of year will 2009 be for Wing Commander? We'd like to hear your thoughts. With so many of the projects nominated above poised for big things, I can't wait to see how the next twelve months unfold. Hit the voting button to update the tally or the discuss link to comment. We'll be taking suggestions for new poll ideas in 2009 so these get rotated out more frequently.

Our last tally looked at how long fans have been visiting the site. Nearly a quarter have been here since the CIC opened and more than a third have been checking us our since the '90s. That's some crazy loyalty on your part! Thanks to all our long-time visitors, and welcome to all those who are just getting acquainted here. New members are welcome to head over to the Forums or #Wingnut and join in the conversation!

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