DefianceIndustries Breeds Raptors Update ID

DefianceIndustries is still doing what he does best: creating and updating high quality models of clasic Wing Commander ship designs! Today he shares his Vindicator and Raptor...

I started looking over some of my older stuff and found a few issues with my original Vindicator model. There were some scaling issues and a few misses from a modeling perspective (not tapering the fuselage into the cockpit section being the most egregious) So I set about making a new one. This version is closer to the FMV model, has a more accurate texture and paint scheme, and is alot lighter on the polygons.\
Next I started on a WC1 favorite of mine - the good ol' A-14 Raptor. Of all the WC1 ships this one gets the least love I suppose. but who doesn't love a X-wing/Gunstar hybrid? Besides, the combination of neutron and mass drivers makes it especially lethal in my book. I know most of you are Rapier fans, which is cool, but I love me some Raptor, of course, I also like the Scimitar, Iceman would be so disappointed in me.

Wing Commander Civics 101 Update ID

The Templin Institute is a YouTube presentation with a neat gimmick: they offer documentaries about different fictional realities! This week they've premiered a new show called 'Audio Log' that presents the history of a fictional institution with a dramatic audio recording. And for the pilot episode they've chosen to talk about Wing Commander's Terran Confederation! It's a neat ten-minute look at Wing Commander's fictional history which you can find here.

Get Ready, Get Net Update ID

The American release of Wing Commander IV for the Playstation included two manuals: a 'Battle Book' which includes detailed controls for the flying portion of the game and a 'New Officer's Handbook' which shows new players how to navigate the game and lists specifications for several flyable ships (the European releases of the game had a single combined manual.) For today's update, we're looking at the cover of the latter booklet which is a little more interesting than it might seem!

The single most fascinating aspect of the New Officer's Handbook is that it introduces a small amount of lore in the form of the 'login text' which shows a new officer (not Blair as they are apparently an Ensign) logging into a Terran Confederation computer system. What is ReadyNet? Who knows - the conceit isn't followed up again... but it gives a little bit of additional flavor to the Wing Commander universe.

You have entered
CONFED READYNET

Unauthorized access
strictly prohibited

Password: XXXXXXXX
Welcome ENSIGN
This is your 1st
visit to READYNET

The rest of the cover is interesting for a different reason: a careful study reveals that both the front and the back are a paste-up of existing Wing Commander IV artwork. The cover uses a set photograph of Blair sneaking around Axius (previously released through Origin's website to promote the PC CD release of the game) and then several ship concept sketches are hidden in the background! Included are the Avenger and the Intrepid on the front and the Bearcat and the Banshee on the back.

You can read both Playstation manuals here.

Wing Commander Sprite Refresh Looks Promising Update ID

The original Wing Commander has never looked better! The fantastic work that UnnamedCharacter has been doing on the WC Toolbox is paying off in a big way. Goliath has begun adapting his work to increase the resolution of ship sprites in the game and the results, which use Howard Day's beautiful models, are looking very promising! So far, Goliath has created patches that update the Bengal, Exeter and Hornet and also utilize the fan-designed Tolmacs cruiser. Check 'em out:

Bengal (download)

Exeter (download)

Tolmacs (download)

Hornet (download)

Awesome stuff! A full update to the game in this style would be amazing; lets cross our fingers and hope these fan modders have the bandwidth to do just that!

PC Games Previews Wing Commander IV Update ID

End your week with a nice blast from the past: a German PC Games magazine with an EXTENSIVE preview of Wing Commander IV! The cover features an awesome clear shot of the Kilrathi guard seen in the background of Wing Commander III and the exhaustive preview is full of rarely reproduced Wing Commander IV set photos and concept art.

Familiar Fighters Found Update ID

Eagle-eyed ship spotter Doug Lee has found a squadron of familiar Wing Commander designs in an unlikely place: a mobile game called Stellar Patrol: Galactic Conflict! The top-down space game features a host of familiar Wing Commander designs... and even uses a Rapier as its app icon! This is likely not a case of licensing the IP from Electronic Arts as Stellar Patrol also includes a number of other familiar science fiction ships like Battlestar Galactica's Viper, Star Wars' A-Wing and Firefly's... Firefly. It's a fun little phone shooter reminiscent of Subspace. If you'd like to check it out, you can download Stellar Patrol for free on Android or iOS. Better hurry and get to it before the lawyers!

Victory! Moongate Kickstarter Hits WC Goal Update ID

There's great news out of the Through the Moongate: the first stretch goal has been reached, which means that there will be an extra chapter looking at the developing of Wing Commander II! Here's the official word:

A million thank yous to all our backers who made another achievement possible! We will have the pleasure to work with Siobhan Beeman, Ellen Guon Beeman, and other Originites on the Wing Commander 2 chapter, which will be delivered as a digital download to all backers from Honesty tier and higher. We are excited to dig into and tell many yet unknown stories of another legendary game from Origin!

The project has added a second strech goal which would add a rare Ultima print for backers at the Sacrifice (50 euro) level or higher. There are three days left, so if you want a copy for yourself you can pledge here! There are three days left on this one, so get in quick!

Welcome Aboard Lillianna! Update ID

We'd like to congratulate Wing Commander CIC founder Chris Reid and his wife Lacey Reid on the birth of their second daughter Lillianna Jane. Since Wing Commander fans love specifications, Lillianna was born this morning at 5:07 am Seattle time, her length is 19.7 inches and her mass was 6 pounds 15 ounces. Her yaw, pitch and roll are 70, 75 and 70 degrees per second respectively and her matter/anti-matter engine is capable of converting spaceborne hydrogen into nearly unlimited afterburner fuel. Congratulations on number two, Chris and Lacey; everyone on the CIC team loves you both and is very happy to know you're raising our next generation of space heroes!

Roberts Space Industries Celebrates Six Years with Dazzling S42 Trailer Update ID

Can you believe it's been six years since Chris Roberts launched Star Citizen? The Cloud Imperium team returned to Austin today to hold an enormous Citizen Con bash for dedicated fans. A major highlight was a slick update to the current core game, but Wing Commander fans are also likely to have an interest in the story campaign game Squadron 42. The latest trailer for the game is heavy on the story and emphasizes the contributions of motion captured actors like Mark Hamill, John Rhys-Davies, Gillian Anderson and Gary Oldman. Looks pretty crazy! Check it out below.

Gotta Have it All! Update ID

We recently reported that Wing Commander SNES artist Mike Winterbauer had launched a Kickstarter to create a physical portfolio showing the creation and use of his cover painting. We're happy to report that the $500 funding goal has been reached... and then some! As of this writing, the project has already brought in pledges for over three times the original goal. Congratulations to Mr. Winterbauer and good work to the Wing Commander community.

One of the first questions about the campaign was: how can I get EVERYTHING? To that end, he has added a new "Ultimate Wing Commander" pledge level. For $230 you get the book, the metal sign, the magnet, the six prints, the art card, the canvas print and the giclee print! If you love the Wing Commander SNES painting as much as we do that's a heck of a deal. You can join the campaign or adjust your pledge here. There are still three weeks to go... so who knows, maybe we could hit that $6,000 stretch goal that gives an additional art card to every backer!

Explore Strange Old Worlds Update ID

Veteran Wing Commander artist Alan Gutierrez has updated his DeviantArt page with three of the astronomical paintings he created for the Wing Commander card game's nav points. One of them has even been repainted digitally for more detail! An in-depth look at Mr. Gutierrez's Wing Commander card paintings is available here. Check out his updated nav point paintings:

  • Alpha: From the card came Wing Commander, commissioned and published by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, 1995. One of the most striking cards of the 12 I did, it is one of the last astronomicals left in my archives. I had to recreate the art, as the scan brought up the printed pixels too much (very small image), so it is a digital version of the original trad. version. Part of a series that includes Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, and Epsilon.
  • Beta: From the card game Wing Commander, commissioned and published by Tracy Hickman & Margaret Weis, 1995. Part of a last offering of astronomical works in the archive, a simple rendering for mood in the game... Gouache on Masonite, photoshop finishing.
  • Gamma: From the card game Wing Commander, commissioned and published by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman, 1995. Part of the 12 illustrated works, and one of two more I mustered up for the last astronomicals in my archive, for mood... Gouache on Masonite w/photoshop finishing.

Through the Moongate Offers Wing Commander Stretch Goal Update ID

The Through the Moongate Kickstarter campaign is funded which means we'll be getting a thoroughly researched book that tells the history of the development of Origin Systems' Ultima series. There's even better news, though: the first stretch goal is in sight and it will add a chapter with new details about the making of Wing Commander II! Here's the official word:

Once we reach 25,000 Euros, which is currently only 3,000 Euros away, every backer at the “Honesty” tier or above will receive an ebook containing an extra chapter from Through the Moongate Part 2. This chapter covers the development of Wing Commander 2, and includes in-depth interviews with the Director and Assistant Director of the project, Siobhan Beeman and Ellen Guon Beeman. Siobhan and other team members are interested in sharing their viewpoints of the Wing Commander story, and presenting some new insights that haven’t been published previously.

As of this posting there are nine days left in the campaign and the Wing Commander II stretch goal is just 850 euros away! Let's show everyone how much interest there is in hearing the Wing Commander story... you can pledge for a copy of Through the Moongate here.

Flat Universe Tournament Reminder Update ID

The Maslas Brothers posted this reminder and tantalizing teaser for tomorrow's tournament. There's already lots of awesome ships to fly in Flat Universe, but there might just be one more tomorrow! Hop on at 16:00 UTC to find out!
Saturday, 6th of October, 16:00 UTC

Two days are only left from the FlatUniverse: Tournament. And ONLY the lucky ones who will JOIN US will fly this BABY...

A Prinze Among Men Update ID

The Internet Archive is an incredible tool providing access to countless terabytes of archived websites, scanned media, imaged disks, preserved video... and a whole bunch of printed biographies of Freddie Prinze Jr.! While exploring the Archive's collection I happened to find they had digitally preserved six biographies of Wing Commander star Freddie Prinze Jr.! Mr. Prinze was something of a teen heartthrob in the late 1990s and so was the subject of a stack of quick 'teen pop' biographies. These 'trashy' unauthorized books were put together quickly, mostly from published interviews and press photographs, and sold at newsstands and book fairs. They were aimed at teenage fans and usually padded out their very simple chapters with press photos and film credits. Naturally, we've pulled out the chapter on Wing Commander from each book and collated them here for your reading pleasure:

Freddie Prinze Jr.: He's All That: An Unauthorized Biography by Grace Catalano (May 1999)

Freddie Prinze Jr.: The Unofficial Biography by Marc Shapiro (September 1999)

Freddie Prinze Jr. by Alexandra E. Fischer (1999) - includes Wing Commander photos and a Freddie Prinze Jr. quiz!

Celebrity Bios: Freddie Prinze Jr. by Kristin McCracken (March 2001)

Freddie Prinze Jr.: A Biography by Victoria Jordan (February 2002) - with a color Wing Commander photo!

Freddie Prinze Jr.: From Shy Guy to Movie Star by Sally Lee (September 2008) - published surprisingly late... and with a citation for a 1999 CIC article!

In the interests of completeness, we've identified three additional fluff biographies of Freddie Prinze Jr. which are not yet available in the Internet Archive. We'll try and track down copies to make available here! (Unseen: Freddie Prinze, Jr. by Michael-Anne Johns (November, 1999), Real Lfe Reader Biography: Freddie Prinze, Jr. by Wayne Wilson (October 2000) and Freddie Prinze Jr. by Lea Abrams (December 2001))

Auction Alert: Billy Cain's Collection Update ID

Origin veteran Billy Cain produced both Wing Commander Prophecy and the long lost SNES port of Wing Commander II. He's been a good friend to our team and to the Wing Commander community for many years. Now he's selling some of the extremely rare Origin material he gathered while working for the company including team shirts and part of a screen used Wing Commander Prophecy costume! Team shirts are one of the rarest and most sought-after types of Origin ephemera. Internal development teams typically produced their own team 'shirt' that was distributed in honor of their hard work. Artists would design their own shirts and they often feature extremely cool designs not seen anywhere else. Development teams in the 1990s were extremely small and so runs of shirts were limited. Other internal shirts were also produced to celebrate major events and general camaraderie. Very few continue to survive today! If you're a hardcore Origin collector, this is both a rare opportunity and a way to give back to someone who has always given to our community. Wing Commander listings currently include:

TCS Midway: this one should be familiar to anyone! These TCS Midway tees were part of the on screen costumes in Wing Commander Prophecy. The label indicates this one belonged to Spyder, the Black Widows pilot who speaks to Casey after Hawk is killed (and who appears in the background throughout most of the game.)

Come Play With Us: This is a promotional shirt intended to be distributed at promotional events like E3 or Comdex. The image, which was designed by artist Micael Priest, shows characters from all of Origin's active projects at the time. Wing Commander is referenced by Ralgha "Hobbes" nar Hhallas and the group includes at least two games that were never released (Silverheart and Prowler.)

Wing Commander Prophecy Team: for Wing Commander Prophecy, the development team sported a Vampire space superiority fighter on a blue tie-tye shirt intended to resemble the game's jump point effect.

Other Origin-related highlights include an extremely cool Strike Commander team shirt (see if you can find the hidden message!), an Ultima VIII: Pagan team shirt, a Wings of Glory team shirt and a shirt given to volunteers at Richard Garriott's 1992 Britannia Manor haunted house. You can find all of Billy's auctions listed here.

Flat Universe Tournament This Saturday! Update ID

The Maslas Brothers has been hard at work all summer to fine tune the online code for Wing Commander Flat Universe, and now they're ready to share it with you! The team will hold a dogfighting tournament this Saturday to have some fun and run the new version through its paces. They've also put together a really awesome trailer. If you're on the fence, check it out - it'll make you want to hop in the cockpit! Download the game (in either Windows, Mac and Linux variants!) and sign up at Daedalus Station here.
Saturday, 6th of October, 16:00 UTC

To All Wing Commander Fans out there...

You have been recalled to active military service. Flat Universe: Tournament is Back!

Deserter or not you are going to be shot anyway. BE THERE!

WC Art Portfolio Campaign Launches! Update ID

Mike Winterbauer's Wing Commander Art Portfolio Kickstarter has officially launched! Mr. Winterbauer was the artist that painted the famous variant of the WC1 art that was used for the Super Nintendo box cover and various promotional materials. I spent a ton of time playing the SNES edition of WC1 during the early '90s, so this is very exciting to me! The campaign seeks to publish a book that catalogues the process that led to the creation of these items. For various supporter levels, there are some super cool rewards including art cards, magnets, canvas prints and even a metal portrait. Check out the details here.
This Kickstarter is all about celebrating Wing Commander and it's cool fans! In 1992, I said, "I can't believe I get to paint Wing Commander"

I have put together this campaign to get Wing Commander fans a super cool collectible signed art book and awesome signed print rewards. This is a wonderful opportunity to pick up some fantastic Wing Commander collectibles all signed from the artist Mike Winterbauer.

The Wing Commander Art Portfolio is a beautiful 30 page hardback book, 11 x 9 inches, featuring the process of painting Wing Commander and all the cool print ads that used the painting. I have personally created the book and all rewards to ensure they reproduce my classic Wing Commander painting and logo as beautiful as possible!

The book is loaded with Wing Commander art and nostalgia!

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