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
Drunk Review is Surprisingly Coherent
It's been a good week for console ports! SNES Drunk has posted their review of Wing Commander for the Super Nintendo. There's a lot to like here, and the author enjoys the art style, background setting, branching missions and most aspects of the gameplay. (2019-03-17)
All Feedback Considered
Our weekly All Wings Considered show is off to a great start! LOAF and Dundradal have been coming up with tons of content to share each week, but they're also actively reaching out to viewers for what else they'd like to see. Feedback on what's been done so far is much appreciated, and they're also especially looking for questions to fit in the Ghorah Khar Talk segment. (2019-03-17)
32 Bits Never Looked So Good
8/16/32bit has put together a review of Wing Commander 3 for the 3DO. As you may have heard here a number of times before, the 3DO edition was more than a simple port. A number of aspects were streamlined & improved for consoles, including new missions, color comm VDUs and exotic weapons - as well as the inclusion of FMV missing from the PC release. (2019-03-16)
New Prophecy Unlimited Patch Points Futureward
gr1mre4per has released another update to his exciting Prophecy Unlimited tech kit. The project helps form part of the high tech backbone behind well known projects like the Prophecy & Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack. This iteration provides a variety of fixes, tests out some potential future features and builds in compatibility for further improvements by other modders. (2019-03-15)
All Wings Considered - Episode 4 - LIVE!
The fourth episode of ALL WINGS CONSIDERED is live now! All Wings Considered is the CIC's first ever streaming variety show which features news, conversation and gameplay relating to our favorite series. This week we're celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Wing Commander movie with a group watch commentary! (2019-03-14)