All Wings Considered - Episode 29 - LIVE! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The latest 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's Nav Points include:

  • SPOOKY special Halloween treats! Terrifying spaceships, bloody murders and more.
  • LOAF, Dundradal and Patterned take the Gauntlet Challenge!
  • Wing Commander 3 - Blackmane System - 3DO Version

Missed the stream? The replay will be available below once it has been processed by YouTube. You can subscribe to the AWC channel for future notifications here.

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Freelancer Port Getting Significant Rebalance Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

L.I.F. has continued to make great strides in his mission to rework the WC Freelancer port's economy to support a more balanced progression system. Ships will have different powerplants that will have to spread resources between engines, shields and weapon systems. The weapons have multiple levels of complexity based around their type, grade and quality. Development of this system is an interesting deep dive into game design that you can read about at the CIC Forums here. If all that sounds pretty complicated, and you'd rather wait for the team to smooth out all the details, you can upgrade your copy of Freelancer with Wing Commander ships now with the mod here (320 meg zip) or here.
You can see above the successful implementation of the new equipment ingame. Right now, I've only finished the process for the engines, the guns, shields and powerplants still having to be added over the next few days. On this screenshot, I'm pondering whether to add an antimatter drive designed for medium fighters. It's a civilian, AKA pretty bad, one, but it's still an improved version over the standard antimatter drive (AKA one made by Rheinland, which is specialized in M/AM systems). Note on the left side, the yellow area in Cargo Space: the engine takes some room, and some are bulkier than others, so balancing needs and wants will be an important thing as well.

In the above screenshot, you can see the gun store in New London. It's a civilian store, so it has the lowest grade of weapons available, of course, but since it's in Bretonia, its plasma guns are better than foreign equivalents, making it a good place to buy high power close combat weaponry.

Tablet Sketches Enhance RPG Atmosphere Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last month we posted about Rear Admiral Tarsus' new tablet and the impressionistic Wing Commander sketches he was teaching himself to create. Fast forward to today and he's been busy! He's continued to pump out stylized WC-inspired drawings to accompany the fan fiction associated with his role in Iceblade's WC RPG. There are even simple briefings and intermission videos using these elements. I've often said that fan project content doesn't need to be advanced if the creators are clever about what they're doing. This seems like a fun way to spice up an otherwise old school text RPG. You can read up on the role playing game at the CIC Forums.
I bought a graphics tablet a month ago, been drawing many #wingcommander drawing. I've been progressing well I think. This is after drawing for like 2 weeks. ;)

Take Your Fandom to Work Day Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Joe Garrity shared this awesome picture from Washington, D.C. today. Wing Commander fans don't really need a reason to dress up like they're about to take the fight to the Kilrathi, but in order to boost vigilance in his workplace's IT security, Joe donned his authentic WC4 flight suit. The extra attention helped promote two causes (info sec and WC fandom) at once!
"The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance."

To help promote IT Security in the Federal Government (where I work), I took advantage of the Origin Museum's collections. This is one of the actual uniforms from Wing Commander IV. Thanks to the staff at Origin Systems, the legacy of Wing Commander lives on.

Final Wing Commander Bookmark Art Revealed! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The final design for Origin veteran Denis Loubet's nifty Wing Commander bookmark has been revealed! Mr. Loubet explains how the Kilrathi is a blending of Thrakhath and the Emperor, which I think makes for a pretty provocative 'Young Emperor' look. The Confed pilot is similarly inspired by Bluehair. There were several different color combos cooked up, and the slightly sepia toned version is what was picked. If you missed the recently successful Kickstarter where this awesome goodie was offered, there's still another way to secure one for yourself. Although they're not making the bookmarks available later as a standalone (we asked!), it's still possible to pledge for the hard cover version of the book at a supplemental IndieGoGo page here.
The book is ostensibly about Richard Garriott, Origin, and Ultima, but if you're talking about Origin, you're talking about Wing Commander! :)

For this illustration I've mashed up visual elements of Prince Thrakath and the Emperor as the enemy looming over Bluehair. And the classic lines of the Dralthi just had to be at the top and in your face. The final bookmark will be 2x7 inches on a thick stock. I wanted a die-cut edge following the curve of the Dralthi wings, but that proposition was too expensive, alas.

We have some exciting news for you. Denis Loubet just sent us the final assets for the bookmark and we are not disappointed. Here is a preview of the bookmark. Please note that there is an extra 1/8" bleed along the border for trimming so the border on the actual bookmarks won't be that thick.

All backers who pledged for a tier with the hardcover copy of Part 2, will receive this beautiful bookmark. You made this happen, so again we say thank you.

Did you miss out and want to ensure you get this beautiful bookmark? If you are a backer of KS with the ebook or softcover edition, you still can upgrade your pledge and get the hardcover. If you missed KS completely, there are still a very few numbered and limited unsold rewards for sale in IndieGogo Indemand that include both this bookmark and Manda's artwork printed on cloth.

One Underdog Will Win! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Our new poll asks about some of the most underappreciated games in the series. The "A-games" are all considered secondary titles, but each one fills a significant niche. We pulled Privateer from the list since it routinely gets plenty of accolades, but Privateer 2 has its own pros and cons that affect its popularity. There are also quite a few much lesser known ports that are remarkable in their own way. Prophecy Advance took a modern 3D accelerated game and managed to fit it on a tiny 2003 vintage handheld cart. Sega CD's version of WC1 includes full speech, Super Wing Commander is a complete revamp of the original and the 3DO port of WC3 has a slew of new missions, weapons and gameplay dynamics to suit the console. We think every game on this list deserves more credit, but you can just pick one this time around!
The old birthday poll asked when fans first arrived at the CIC. Once again, the largest single chunk of Wingnuts arrived around 1999-2000 with good sized groups also coming just before and after that point. Nearly a fifth have been around since before the CIC's time in the mid '90s though, which is amazing!

The Story Behind the Crossbow 'Bomber' Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Wing Commander Academy displays a little spinning ship on the selection screen. But take a look at the Crossbow bomber! Well, it's... er... it’s green.

The actual bomber sprites in Special Operations 1 are blue and white which is also how it looks if you fly it in Academy. The game uses different sprites for the spinning ship in the menu! But where did the change come from? Turns out the mesh was originally built for Wing Commander II to be a human corvette also called the Crossbow. It was cut to save space and the Special Operations team retextured it to look smaller. Here are the specs from a work-in-progress Wing Commander II doc: Turns out the SO1 artists didn’t back up the new textures though... so when the Academy team went to render the turnaround a year later they had the corvette instead! Here’s what the source model looks like, you can see it’s intended to be much larger than a bomber:
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File in Style Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ZenOasis has put together a groovy folder icon based on the Wing Commander Movie promo art. I didn't even realize this was a thing! Hit the thumbnail below for a full size icon with transparency that you can use for any directory where you might need to keep Wing Commander film material. Here's instructions on how to set this up in both Mac OS or Windows. Folder icons are definitely ZenOasis' jam - you can find thousands more here.
Wing Commander movie folder icon based on the early 90s game Wing Commander by Chris Roberts

WC4 Remake Tackles Technical Challenges Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Pedro reports that work steadily continues on the WC4 Fan Remake project. Although he claims that all of the various technical hurdles they're facing aren't news, I would argue that this provides important context to just how complex managing a modern fan project can be. A great many projects hit a wall and fail to progress beyond this point when the excitement of a flashy launch fades and the technical foundation work grinds on, so it's wonderful to see that the team is facing these challenges head on. What they've already accomplished is pretty neat too! Check out the trailer below for a sample.
Wing IV is fighting a lot of unexciting battles on multiple fronts - loading gameplay scripts to in order to load FMVs you've already seen, which requires loading subtitles, and branching options - which you've already seen but need to be implemented anyway. And then there are tasks like updating the particle editor to make it more user friendly.

And after that I'll still have to update the effect/material editor. That's not even mentioning other boring stuff like task/bug boards, a new server to allow us to use more than the 1GB of assets we were limited to for the demo. We are trucking along; there is just a *huge* amount of boring groundwork to lay.

Side-by-side Comparison Begs Intriguing Question Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This 1990 Video Games & Computer Entertainment cover seems to be a variation of the Wing Commander I box art! Maybe there’s been a Hornet hiding under that cockpit frame all these years?

For comparison, here’s a slightly earlier version of the cover image which was provided to the press before release. It’s a famous example of a "bullshot" that was composed externally using game elements instead of a straight screen capture.
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Visual Novel Project Catalogs Entire Classic Storyline Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

SonataFanatica has finished his visual novel project for Wing Commanders 1 and 2. We previously reported on his videos for WC1, the SMs and SO1, and now he's added WC2 and SO2 to the mix. As a special bonus, he's also made an extra clip for the Sega CD edition of WC1, which adds full speech. That's a real treat for anyone who would like to relive the original Wing Commander story without going through all of the space combat! When you're ready to binge them all, check out SF's playlist here.
Here's the Sega CD version of the first Wing Commander game as a "Visual Novel" version. While this version has a different soundtrack and inferior graphics, it does have full voice acting. Enjoy! :)

Freelancer Mod Certifies Campaign & Makes Big Future Plans Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

L.I.F. has completed his campaign run Freelancer port with Wing Commander ships, which marks a big milestone for the project! As he went through one set piece to the next, he's been steadily stamping out miscellaneous bugs and glitches so that Wingnuts can play through the whole story now with a huge dose of WC immersion. The next stage of the project is massively ambitious and potentially changes the entire dynamic of the core game. Similar to Privateer, he's going to start working in a greater ability for ships to customize their weapons, engine power, cargo space and more. This should allow most all ships to stay relevant and be competitive as players move throughout the various factions' home regions. One of the biggest gripes about the original Freelancer was that it had an unrealistic progression of each fleet's relative strengths as the main character made progress. Rather than incrementally upgrade any ship, people were forced to upgrade into each faction that had innately better gear, which was an odd design choice. This is already a cool project, but phase two sounds fantastic for sure! If you have a copy of FL, download version 1.0 of the mod here (320 meg zip) or here.
Pictured above, part of the end-scene, meanint that my campaign test run is successful with the core features! The mod can be downloaded and played quite safely (the only outstanding one AFAIK is in setpiece battles involving battleships, some collisions can still trigger an amusing but FPS-breaking battleship spinning, though it doesn't happen every time). I'm also glad to announce that I've managed to get the game to separate the Osiris from the other Liberty battleships when it comes to deck scenes, so you'll have the Lexington for normal ships and the Intrepid for the Osiris. Enjoy! :)
Bit of an update on the second phase of the modding. First of all, I'm looking more closely on the texture part, to integrate better effects on the ships (glow and that stuff). Second part is the start of the rebalance work, which is intended to eventually make most fighters decent choices for the player to use all over the game, and one of the big points, particularly to make the game more Privateer-like, is to set up power plants and engines customization.

I think this way of balancing things would be a lot more comprehensive and could make various gameplay options valid, as well as keeping most fighters competitive all the way to the endgame. Of course, it also means some massive Excel spreadsheets on my way to plan the specifics of the balance, which is work that is going to take several weeks at the very least.

Is There a Mathematician Aboard? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Adm_Maverick's latest round of tabletop playtesting has produced some odd encounters. Players are running into situations where certain fighter/pilot combos are imbalanced, so he would like to develop a new economic model that is more equitable. Such a recode is easier said than done, however, so he's enlisting the help of clever fellow Wingnuts to make sure everything stacks up in a logical way. If you're up to the task or would just like to provide some input, head over to the CIC Forums and read up the details.
Okay, so I need some input from someone who is better at numerical analysis then I am. I'm working to develop a mathematical process that come up with a cost in point for the weapons. One of the biggest problems I ran into with my last round of playtesting was points balance. To be blunt, a player should not be able to take this fighter piloted by this pilot... a game of fewer than 1,000 points. And honestly, even at 1,000 points I really feel like this combo with full missile loadout should account for about 3/4s of the total.

Now, I know based on what I just said it should be a trivial matter to just take the total of [Bakhtosh] + [Vok'Toth] + [8* whatever the most expensive missile type is] = 750 and divide them as needed.

Well, the problem with that is that it's a largely arbitrary approach. Which is why I want to develop a mathematical approach to determining the cost of the ships and pilots so that way A- I can use that approach to ensure ships are more or less fairly priced compared to one another B- if I create rules for creating player-built ships, I can include a variant of the formula for figuring pricing of the ships there.

Silvery Snakeir Sneaks on Scene Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

DefianceIndustries has taken a break from his recent string of later-era ships to take a stab at the WC Movie's Snakeir. It's not the first take on the design ever, but the film's ships are very underrepresented in fan art, so this is a welcome addition to his fleet. In its untextured form, the render below also allows you to appreciate all the detail of ship. All those heavy turrets are pretty neat too!
Occasionally I take on a project to model things that I find odd, poorly designed, or just plain ugly. Why? I dunno, I think it's really more to explore the process behind it, sometimes working on a thing that I don't like sometimes leads to a better appreciation of it, or reinforces why I don't like it without being overly judgmental. (Probably a bit too philosophical for a thread entitled "eye candy").

Anyway I chose to tackle a ship in the category of "Things that get little to no love" in the Wing Commander Universe: The WCM Snakeir. After knocking around on this one for about a week I've come to appreciate it a bit more. The movie FX shots are so dark that you can't really get a good appreciation for the ship's aesthetic. It's still not my favorite, but I think it gets a bum wrap by-in-large. Anyway that's my thoughts on it, you're free to comment below if you feel otherwise. :)

All Wings Considered - Episode 28 - LIVE! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The latest 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's Nav Points include:

  • Wing Commander 3 - Blackmane System - let's save and/or take apart a starbase!
  • Book Club Mini - Heart of the Tiger Chapter 16 - Kevin Tolwyn comes to town
  • Learn how the Wing Commander Academy Gauntlet works!
  • McHale's Navy - cruise missiles throughout history

Missed the stream? The replay will be available below once it has been processed by YouTube. You can subscribe to the AWC channel for future notifications here.

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Captain Eisen Still Steering Our Ship Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today marks 23 years since the actor Jason Bernard passed away. Sadly, we've lost a number of friends and familiar faces over the years, but this one still looms large in my mind after more than two decades. 1996 was an intense year for Wing Commander fans. The year started with the launch of Wing Commander 4 and new ports of WC3 were still being released through the spring. The CCG came out in August, Academy television show in September and Kilrathi Saga launched October 15. As evidenced by the current CIC poll, a large number of Wingnuts were coming online for the first time in 1996... and then the news of Mr. Bernard's passing hit like a ton of bricks. Fortunately, this nascent community of mostly invincible-feeling teenagers and 20-somethings were able to come together and collectively share their grief as fans. One such gathering place was the Worlds of Origin memorial, which is archived here. Mark Hamill even recently remembered Mr. Bernard on Twitter with some kind words. While none of us may have known the man personally, by all accounts, he was a remarkable person who continues to be greatly missed.

Final Day for Second Book on Origin History Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's the final stretch for Andrea Contato's second book on the history of Origin, Through the Moongate, from Wing Commander and Ultima VII to Portalarium. The project is nearing its €40,000 stretch goal, which adds an appendix full of personal interviews and anecdotes. Jumping into the €50 (plus ~€25 for tracked shipping to North America) hardcover tier will also be the only way to get Denis Loubet's cool Wing Commander bookmark, so factor that into whether you would like to consider funding the book. It might be the most expensive piece of paper you buy this week, but that just makes it taste better.
1) We lowered shipping cost from Part 1 for many countries. Canada and the US benefited the most from this as we managed to lower the shipping cost by 25-45%. With the introduction of Love tier (i.e. untracked shipping), we have hit rock bottom for shipping prices without subsidizing shipping out of pocket.

2) The next closest stretch goal will add a "last words" section to every type of book (i.e. ebook, softcover, and hardcover). This is an important goal as it gives a voice to so many important members of the community. It's so tantalizingly close, we are 100% sure we cat get it, but only with your help!

3) The softcover and ebook versions were upgraded with photos and will have the pictures they were missing in Part 1.

4) Part 2 has a lot of interesting facts about the eventful period from the launch of Wing Commander, the acquisition of Origin by EA, and its demise. The author, with the help of many Originites, dug deeply into how Origin Systems, Inc. changed after the stellar success of WC. You won't want to miss this!

5) Denis Loubet's bookmark and Manda's artwork printed on cloth won't be available after this Kickstarter. Only enough for the backers will be made. This is your very last chance to get them while you still can!

Freelancer Port Goes on Bug Smashing Rampage Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

L.I.F. continues to run troubleshooting interference on the Freelancer port and zap any glitches that pop up along the way. He's grabbed some additional screenshots here while going through the campaign, and they look great. The Excalibur and Bearcat are especially awesome. It's still pretty wild to see familiar WC craft parked on the flight deck with Freelancer characters walking around. If you have a copy of FL, download version 1.0 of the mod here (320 meg zip) or here and let everyone know what you think!
The Sabre is a pretty reliable fighter for you right now as you're waiting for Junko to find information on Sinclair. You need to find a Concordia-class carrier, they're sold onboard and will last you all the way till Kusari, where the first planet in which you land sells the Thunderbolt. Also, I'll set things up so that you can buy the Bearcat in your first visit to Rheinland. Then you'll get the Lance on the Intrepid.
So, amusing bug notice: in the large setpiece battle at the beginning of Mission 10, the game seems to take some issue at the way I've configured the carriers, most likely in their collision meshes... cue spinning carriers that will kill your framerate and probably force you to reload from the last autosave a few minutes ago. Amusing, annoying but not entirely game-breaking, as I managed to get through that part. I'll revise the collision meshes to see if it solves the issue.

Good old times, isn't it?

Hong Kong Controversy Ensnares WC Vet Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's been a lot in the news lately about the Hong Kong protests and how various companies are reacting to those that support them, so it was only a matter of time until this story intersected with Wing Commander. Blizzard has been under fire this past week for their punishment of a Hearthstone player who spoke out in support of Hong Kong. The accusation is that they were overly harsh in their response in order to placate China. That whole discussion is far beyond where we're going to go, but the details surrounding Blizzard's response caught our eye. The president of Blizzard is none other than J. Allen Brack, of Wing Commander fame. He was hired in 1994 to help with quality assurance on Wing Commander 3 and continued on through WC4, Privateer 2, Prophecy and Secret Ops. The TCS Brack was one of the first Confed ships to encounter the Nephilim as told in the ICIS Manual. We've followed Mr. Brack's career as he went on to work on Star Wars Galaxies and then World of Warcraft (with plenty of WC-themed easter eggs making their way into the game). So it falls on him this weekend to lay out of the company's position and run damage control. I don't envy him one bit, but it's cool to see how far one Wing Commander vet has gone in the games industry! And it looks like his actions have been at least somewhat well received so far.
One day as I was driving home, I spotted a familiar logo: "We Create Worlds." On a whim I applied for a QA job, never thinking I'd be lucky enough to be employed in the game industry. Imagine my surprise when two weeks later I was an Origin employee! A gamer's dream come true - well, sort of.

Four grueling months later, working seven days a week without a break, sleeping at work, and playing more Doom then I could have ever imagined possible, I helped ship my first game, Wing Commander III. Starring none other than the great Mark Hamill himself!

Amazing Proposed WC1 Trinkets That Never Were Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I dug this up after seeing Limited Run Games' extremely cool System Shock re-release: a doc from Wing Commander I's development that lists possible trinkets! I would've loved to see any of these... but miniature ships would've been amazing. Of course the set of blueprints they decided to go with are hard to beat! And the Japanese FM Towns port of Wing Commander did include a map poster!
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Turkish VHS Adds to the Mix Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Turkish VHS has been added to our international cavalcade of Wing Commander home video releases!

Turkey also got the film on VCD!
It's always great to come across odd localizations of the Wing Commander film that we missed in the past. On display today we present 'Cesaret Kanatları', as the film is known in Turkey. Roughly this title translates to "Wings of Courage," which I think has a nice ring to it! The Turkish distributor of the Wing Commander movie was Ozen Film, which also distributed the Chris Roberts produced Outlander in that country.
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Happy Birthday Star Citizen! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Roberts Space Industries is celebrating the seventh anniversary of Star Citizen's launch today as Cloud Imperium continues to grind away on a number of difference fronts. A playable alpha is up to version 3.6 with a handful of playable first person, space combat and racing arenas. The SC community continues to stay highly engaged with frequent global 'bar citizen' get togethers and their annual Citizen Con, which will take place next month in Manchester, England. Their well known crowdfunding machine continues to take in surprisingly steady revenue. The project took 6 years and 1 month to amass its first $200 million in contributions, and they've managed to generate nearly $37 million more in just the past 11 months. That's a slight uptick compared to the average in prior years, which is kind of amazing. Last year they released a flashy Squadron 42 trailer, but the news there is slightly more technical lately. A mixed bag of engineering, graphical, AI and other progress reports fill weekly updates. A S42 roadmap shows things have slid slightly since our last report with a beta currently slated for sometime in the third quarter of 2020. Does this mean fans will finally get a chance to play before the development turns eight? We'll see!
Time to Celebrate

Seven years ago today Star Citizen was announced to the world, and together, over the subsequent years we have built the most engaged, creative, and fervent communities in gaming. That unbridled enthusiasm demonstrated again and again by Star Citizen players and fans has been front and center over the past month in the Ship Showdown celebration and tournament. From mind-bendingly creative nomination submissions, to spirited discourse and campaigning during the head-to-head rounds, your passion and dedication have sounded true.

Flashback to 2012: Look at these kids!

Freelancer Port 1.0 Released! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

As evidenced by the volume of updates in recent days, the Freelancer port has been zooming and is ready to release version 1.0 of the mod! L.I.F. actually soft launched to the CIC Forums last week, and he's been working with a handful of eager playtesters to already stamp out a handful of bugs and minor issues. The current iteration of the game replaces Freelancer's original fighters and capships with familiar counterparts from the Wing Commander universe. This even includes some of the interior areas. For example, check out the in-game movie sequence below on a Confed flight deck. It looks super cool! You can grab the package and try it out for yourself at the CIC mirror here (320 meg zip). For the very latest bug fix build, a live copy is also available here. As of this writing, the two are identical, so hit up the first link to minimize the hit to L.I.F.'s personal Dropbox.
And it's done! All combat ships of the game - except for Nomads - have been replaced. The player freighters have yet to be replaced as well, but when it comes to fighters and capital ships, we're good. I'm currently uploading the mod, which should be around 300 MB compressed and 825 MB uncompressed. Once again, this is going to be the first layer of the mod, the most visible but not complete. Beyond the remaining ships, the texts, names, weapons and turrets have not been modified.

The other caveat is that numerous mod features do not show right away in the game or in a single place, making comprehensive testing a bit hard, so if you stumble upon bad textures, invisible ships and the like, please tell me where you found the issue, which ships were bugged and what ship you were flying. Ideally, sending me a copy of the latest save would help me reproduce the issue and fix it in a further release. This post will be edited with the link to the 1.0 version of the mod once it's finished uploading.

CAUTION: the mod contains the modified. exe and .dll files in its folders. If you do not want to use them but would rather make them yourself, do not unpack the EXE folder and edit your own files following the instructions here. Or use the already modified files.

Visual Novel Project Highlights Story of Classic WC Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

SonataFanatica has started posting a series of "visual novels" that include just the story portions of the original Wing Commander games. So far he's completed Wing Commander 1, both Secret Missions 1&2 and Special Operations 1. This is an interesting concept and a surprising gap in fan-generated video content of this nature. There have been comparable story cuts of WC3, WC4 and Prophecy for many years, but WC1/2 are somewhat underserved. There certainly are plenty of playthrough streams, but these new videos condense down the gameplay into bite size <90 minute movies that just focus on the plot. Sounds like a great way to recap on the events of each game!
I didn't find any Wing Commander 1 story summary videos on YouTube, so I decided to cut and upload this video that has no combat in it. This way, you can read and experience the story of the first "Wing Commander" game (the entire Vega Campaign) without the space combat itself.
About a decade ago, SonataFanatica also made a neat clip of WC1 running on a Nintendo DS emulator, which is pretty cool too!

Freelancer Mod Adds Plenty of Rapiers Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Freelancer port is making excellent strides as the fighter fleet continues to fill up. In a handful of pictures below, L.I.F. shows off the different Rapier variants that the mod will showcase. In a nod to both Super Wing Commander and Arena, the top end 'Super Rapier' will be the F-44X variant seen in the Xbox Live Arcade game. Older versions will also appear as light fighters in the project. Numerous additional Border Worlds craft have been added over the past week, so the game's civilian/pirate faction has plenty of designs to choose from now. A list of fighter conversions and what Freelancer ship they're replacing is included below.
I am glad to present here the ultimate fighter of the Civilian branch, accessible only to top-level Freelancers: the F-44X Super Rapier. Pretty much an early model of the Nephilim War era Rapier variants, capable of mounting the best weaponry and shields of the game, which will conclude the Rapier tree, the Civilian fighters giving access to a F-44C and a F-44J before the Super Rapier.
  • F-44C Rapier II pictured above, a tough middle-range fighter suitable for many missions.
  • F-44J Rapier II pictured above, a modernized variant of the old gal, an end-of-campaign fighter for the player.
  • In addition, I have added the beloved Epee, Avenger, the Banshee and the Pirate Thunderbolt to the game.
FYI, the uncompressed mod is currently weighing 580 MB, and is a 200 MB download, with a GB expected for the full conversion uncompressed once it's done.
The release of the 1.0 version of the mod is coming very soon now. Here is the definitive list of ship replacement for playable fighters.

The Kusari capital ships will be replaced with Kilrathi ones, the Rheinland battleship will have an advanced Confed' carrier and the Osiris' Order battleship will be replaced with DefianceIndustries' Typhon stealth carrier to finish the whole thing, allowing you to play the campaign in full (replacement of Nephilim ships will come at a latter date, if they become available after the release of DI's own main project, the MUP). The names, guns and such will remain identical from vanilla Freelancer, and their modification - texts and appearance - will be the main feature of a planned 1.5 version. Further gameplay modification such as universal gun availability (no more limit to the gun mounts' level) or specific values of power generation, agility, etc., would make a 2.0 version.

Tarsus Deployed to Sirius Sector Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

DefianceIndustries has a pretty sweet Tarsus in his lineup, but its high res nature doesn't lend itself to certain fan projects very readily. So in order to help the Freelancer port along, DI put together this medium res cargo ship, which still looks pretty great! L.I.F. managed to process the design in short order, so you can already see how it looks in the Freelancer engine below. It seems to fit in very well!
Sorry boys I'm just a tourist with a fragged nav console...

Wing Commander Bookmark Draft Revealed Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

As the Through the Moongate, Part 2 Kickstarter continues to truck along, Andrea Contato has shared the first preview of the exclusive Wing Commander Bookmark that will be given to certain tier backers for the project. This design is being put together by Denis Loubet, the senior Origin artist responsible for art direction on the first few Wing Commanders. Initial elements highlight some of the arrowhead iconography from the WC1 logo as well as a dual Confed/Kilrathi headshots and perhaps even a Dralthi, which would be pretty awesome. The overall campaign is up to around €36,500. The bookmark giveaway will be rather limited, so hopefully everyone who wants one can get their pledge in within the next 10 days!
We are working non-stop to prepare the conclusion of this great project we started two years ago and pieces are already starting to come together. To that end, Denis Loubet has sent us a quick draft of his ideas for the Wing Commander bookmark with the appropriately named file "bookmarkrough.jpg” We already love it! Fans of the game will understand immediately who is pictured. There’s no need to say more...

...but we will! We're investigating several printing options at the moment but we assure that it will be cooler than just a picture on a rectangle. As soon as we decide on the final output, you'll be the first to know! So what are you waiting for? Get yours now! After this Kickstarter, the bookmark won’t be available anymore.

Lastly, we are only €1,450 short of the soft cover upgrade stretch goal, which will allow us to add black and white photographs to the soft cover edition. We are sure that we can reach this goal, but not without your help. Please take a moment to share this campaign and thank you so much for your support!

Armada Highlighted in German Promo Vid Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Deathsnake was recently trolling the archives of the German magazine PC Player and came across a neat video on Wing Commander Armada. The clip is brief and in German, but it represents what would have been super cutting edge at the time. There's a small handful of contemporary videos with WC3 info, but clips on Armada are especially rare.

Now we're used to getting fancy trailers and streaming gameplay previews months before release on any game imaginable, but the world was very different 25 years ago. PC Player was one of the first magazines to distribute a CD-ROM that had short multimedia clips such as this in an era where standard television broadcasts were the only time you'd see video content, and there was no gaming material to speak of. In special cases you may have been able to go to a software store and see one of these discs playing on repeat. You can use an app like Google Translate to figure out exactly what he's saying, but the gist comes across fairly well. As an extra bonus, Deathsnake also found a Chris Roberts clip from the late '90s.

Back in the days of 1994! PC Player was the first magazine with a CD-ROM and Reviews & Previews in video format. They had a database and here I upload an old review of Wing Commander Armada. This video was done in that month of release. ;)
Also upload from E3 1997: a short interview with Chris Roberts about Freelancer.

All Wings Considered - Episode 27 - LIVE! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The latest 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's Nav Points include:

  • Wing Commander 3 - Locanda System - 3DO Version
  • Book Club - Heart of the Tiger Chapters 9 through 15
  • How much does it cost to print a manual, anyway?
  • Demons, Banshees, Phantoms and Wraiths!

Missed the stream? The replay will be available below once it has been processed by YouTube. You can subscribe to the AWC channel for future notifications here.

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Another Freelancer Faction Bulks Up Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Freelancer port project is quickly filling out. L.I.F. has been adding to the Bretonian faction, including several spiffy capships. He's used older Confed designs for their ships and will be using newer models for the Rheinland fleet. Kusari vessels will be portrayed by the Kilrathi. Naturally, Border Worlds ships will play the misc vessels while Nephilim will be the Nomads. Sounds like a pretty good setup!
Here's the Bretonian corvette, the Venture. The Exeter will stand for the Bretonian mid-range capital ship.
And the Bretonian battleship is there, though not entirely integrated (missing most turrets and the various docking paths as well as definitive integration/replacement of the original ships). Still got two fighters, most likely Wing Commander I/II era for the lot of them so as to keep the look consistent. The plan is to have Rheinland field advanced Confederation units, Kusari use Kilrathi ships, the Nomad with Nephilim while the Border Worlds, Pirates and other Corsairs/Outcasts use UBW and other crafts of the kind.
Now, considering the small detail of each faction having thematically-selected ships and fighters, as well as one of them having Kilrathi equipment, I will leave as an exercise to the reader the possibilities offered by these in-game assets for anyone who feels enthusiastic and creative with code.

I'm not saying that people could recreate the original games and campaigns in Freelancer... but I'm not saying they could not. Let alone set up a proper multiplayer server to have a persistent battleground the server admins could reconfigure to show the progress of each side in the war. Bretonia's light fighter is now the Scimitar, while planet Cambridge offers some decent fighters (freighter not modified yet).

All Fighters Up! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Artist Alan Gutierrez has posted another one of his fabulous Wing Commander scenes commissioned for the Wing Commander Customizable Card Game. It was mirrored and used as the art for the Magnum Launch card. It's hard to tell if this was just due to image processing, but there are possibly some very slight differences between the two scenes: the ceiling structure is more pronounced in the recent posting while the light reflections on the deck appear slightly more distinct on the card. Mr. Gutierrez notes that this scene was likely the inspiration for a similar fighter launch scene he did a few years later for Steve Jackson Games titled X Wing Fighter Scramble. You can find links to some of his other Wing Commander items below and plenty of other nifty sci-fi scenes here.
From the card game "Wing Commander" commissioned and published by Tracy Hickman & Margaret Weis, 1995

A "Luck" card, it was the launching of the "Arrow" fighter, and used again for "X Wing Fighter Scramble"

Edit: This may have came before the "X Wing" art (presumably). But since I'm not sure when that commission happened, It could be Magnum Launch as the original...

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