HCl and Howard Day have released a playable preview of their Hellcat in Wing Commander Academy. Just unzip this file (115 k zip) into your WCA data directory. It will overwrite the game's Wraith, so back those two files up if you'd like to restore everything afterwards. This is only a very preliminary test, and future updates should include more ships, more features and a smoother interface. Ship stats place the Hellcat roughly on par, if not a bit better, than the standard F-44G Rapier II. It's an amazing proof of concept, and we can't wait to see more! If you'd like to follow the latest news on this topic, there's a lively discussion on modding classic WC games at the CIC Forums. There's a lot of smart Wingnuts there!
That's actually a very interesting idea. :) If polygon-based 3D did not take off the way it did, I wonder if other approaches would have been considered. For example, imagine WC1 with terrain support. A hybrid sprite / voxel engine (essentially expanding the WC1 engine with a voxel component) could have been very interesting, with sprites being used for fighters / capships as usual and voxels being used for terrain (not unlike Commanche Maximum Overkill). I'm guessing of course, but I think it could have worked very well!
Anyway, research on the engine data is continuing. I think I managed to locate the exhaust coordinates in there, but there's still a lot of unknowns that I need to solve before I am able to generate a new chunk. I suspect it will still take me a few days to figure things out.
In the meantime, however, since the Hellcat already has stats, I thought it would be fun to upload what I have so far, so you could take the ship for a ride and see how it feels in WCA. Just keep in mind that the engine exhaust placement is not final, and still has to be adjusted. As for the VDU guns, I ended up changing the gun icons to the WC2 mass driver icon, for both the MD and Neutron guns. The Neutron gun icon of the Crossbow was just too wide. Plus, this helped "unclutter" the cockpit area a bit. I think the end result is good!
Hobbes Betrayal Crosses Over Language Barriers
Most people are familiar with the infamous video cuts that were made to fit all of the video on the Wing Commander 3 discs. Helpful sequences such as the TCN news bursts and Hobbes explanation were omitted due to space constraints. Fortunately, these are now available here at the CIC, but for a long time, the main way players could watch the Hobbes scene was to track down a copy of WC3 on the Playstation or 3DO. (2018-05-23)
Wing Commander Meme of the Day: Evil Kermit
Resist the temptation! (2018-05-23)
Check Out Spanish Wing Commander Armada
Christian Klein has found another rare and exotic Spanish Wing Commander translation by DROSoft. His last couple finds were for WC1 and the Secret Missions, but this jumps all the way forward to Armada. It would be a treat to see how they changed the Voices of War manual and how the English and Spanish versions would mesh over multiplayer. (2018-05-22)
Wing Commander Meme of the Day: Put It Somewhere Else Patrick
Trusty Tarsus Takes Shape
Now that the Talon's out in the wild, DefianceIndustries' focus shifts to the Gemini Sector's other workhorse, the Tarsus. It's kind of a shame you don't actually run into them out and about, because the design is just so darn charming. Perhaps some of the allure is simply because it's your own unique home away from home out in space for so much of the game. (2018-05-21)