Wing Blender has gotten its first update in more than a year. The program is a Blender importer/exporter for ship models that allows for easier manipulation of the items in Wing Commander Prophecy or Secret Ops. It's been a useful app for fan project modders, and the new version 2.2.1 can easily cut import time in half! You can grab the program here and get tips on its use at the CIC Forums.
Anyway, if you've tried to use the importer, you'll know that it is sluggish as hell. I've been trying to work on that. I made a few optimizations to the importer recently, which mostly involve using flat typed arrays instead of lists of lists, and it turned out to be MUCH faster than what I had. With my most recent optimizations, I was able to cut the import time in half! Well, at least for the more detailed meshes. AST_S_01.IFF hasn't shown much improvement in terms of import time, but that's because the other bottleneck is the MAT reader, and I have no idea how I could optimize the MAT reader any further.
- Allows you to do most of the work on the model in Blender and then export it without the need to use external utilities to set the collision sphere, radius, or hardpoints.
- If a texture's filename is numeric, you will be able to convert it straight to a MAT file without renaming it. For example, if you have a texture named 424242.jpg, your model will reference 00424242.mat
- Converts Blender "empty" objects to hardpoints and other VISION engine mesh metadata.
- Collision sphere position and radius is automatically calculated, but can be manually overridden.
- Child objects can now be exported along with the main object.
- LOD mesh support
We may never know
Differences a True Collector Would Love
Red-Jackal recently posted a neat 1993 Privateer advertisement from Computer magazine. We've shown it off before, or so I thought, so I almost passed it by. It is a little bit sharper than the one we have in the archive though, so I decided to take a second look. (2019-02-22)
All Wings Considered - Episode 1 - LIVE!
The first episode of ALL WINGS CONSIDERED is live now! All Wings Considered is the CIC's first ever streaming variety show which will feature news, conversation and gameplay relating to our favorite series. This week we're taking on ground missions in Wing Commander IV and talking about the first four chapters of the novel End Run with members of the community. (2019-02-21)
Streaming Live Thursday!
Our kickoff episode of ALL WINGS CONSIDERED is nearly here! Be sure to tune in on Thursday, February 21st, at 7 PM Eastern (4 PM Pacific) to watch our live streaming Wing Commander show. This works out to Midnight GMT, which we know is late on a school night, so the archived recording will be available later. (2019-02-20)
Wing Commander Enters the Retro Zone
Pix recently came across a pretty neat article in the UK magazine PC Zone. I really like it's graphical layout with the Dralthis overflying the slick text. The author is a big fan of the WC series and uses it as an example for awesome '90s games that were outside the realm of his usual fare. (2019-02-19)
Homeworld Mod's Prologue Campaign Released
There's an exciting update to the Homeworld Remastered Mod, Flag Commander, today. L.I. (2019-02-18)