This one was a lot of fun. I was working with NinjaLA on a fictional WCA-ized Hornet might look like. The excellent concept art he cooked up is attached along with model renders I did. It was a fun experiment and I like the results.
This one was a lot of fun. I was working with NinjaLA on a fictional WCA-ized Hornet might look like. The excellent concept art he cooked up is attached along with model renders I did. It was a fun experiment and I like the results.
Final home office canvases. Really chuffed how well they came out. Space games and I have a bit of a history. :D So many tales to tell... It was a fun project.
We were lucky; the cover art and manuals were done in house by a member of the Dev team - Mr Paul Chapman. The Elite one is a Photoshop retouch of the artwork that I did, the other two come from the original hires artwork and were all printed on Canvas by Photobox.
Loved Wing Commander (especially WC3) I was a tad star struck when I ended up working for Chris' brother at EA.
A first experimental effort at mixing George Oldziey's fantastic orchestral recording of his original Wing Commander IV score into my AI HD Remastered video.
It's slightly wonky in places. While I do have the 5.1 channel audio to work with, I can't remove the original synth music entirely, so it's still there in the background and doesn't QUITE line up with the orchestral recording. It's most noticeable when there's other audio in the left and right channels (comms dialogue, ship SFX etc) and I had to raise the original channels so they could still be heard.
Still, I thought you guys might like to see it. :) You can learn more about his wonderful work in bringing his Wing Commander scores in line with his original orchestral vision here.
The thrill of space combat with infinite replayability:
Absolute Territory takes inspiration from classic space combat simulation games from the '90s and '00s and adds features for modern gameplay and offers expanded replayability with Steam Workshop support.
Download and play to enjoy the first 3 missions from the Absolute Territory campaign (all 100% created with the in-game mission editor). Before jumping in, be sure to familiarise yourself with the basic controls of your ship by trying out the two tutorials and/or reviewing the reconfigurable keybindings. In the campaign demo, you will fly patrol, raid an enemy depot, and strike down enemy transport.
Space flight simulation a step above others:
As there is no drag in space your fighter wouldn't normally fly where you pointed it after a turn. The on-board Reaction Control System (RCS) will attempt to compensate for your direction changes and maintain manageable speeds using the ships' thrusters and main engines. Each ship in Absolute Territory has it's own mass and thrust power and won't handle the same.
Rotational thrusters will rotate your ship and attempt to compensate for any outside forces (collisions) which would turn you off course, and be mindful of oversteer as these fighters can turn fast. Hit the afterburners and perform huge drifts while keeping your guns on your nimble opponent, or disable RCS and slide past large and slow targets while you pummel them into scrap metal.
Another WCA ship for your amusement. The Achilles destroyer/transport/fighter carrier (CVE maybe?). It looks like a Durango and a Wake had a naughty, naughty evening; the kind where they both had a bit too much Vak'qu and in the morning the Wake quietly slipped out the back without leaving so much as a piece of dry toast for the poor Durango - and this happened a few months later. Since the carrier is kind of a different bird (but the artists just added another rectangle to the bottom) I kind of figured that the carrier configuration is a pre-fab pod of some kind, something that can be attached or detached from the destroyer with an appropriately supplied shipyard and a week or two.
Anyway enjoy - I was playing a bit with the shaders as well to add a bit more definition to the edges.
I recently had my website updated, and in so doing realized I hadn't blogged in three years! Not going to save the world, but I'm back on that horse again. :) Hope all are staying safe and healthy!
Thanks so much,
The more I play around with it, the more I realize that Academy is kind of an unappreciated field of endeavor. Today's entry into the catalog of "Defiance really needs a life outside of conference calls and Blender" is the WCA Fralthi. It only shows up in one episode and gets mis-categorized as a destroyer but it was fun to do nonetheless. It looks like the artists got ahold of Claw Marks and either by accident or design, omitted all the negative space in the original and we ended up with this oddly nautical version which in many ways resembles the Academy 'Claw - though without the random cat-paw extrusions on the sides. It's not ugly in my view - just well like everything else WCA - different. Comments and Criticism is always welcome.
Wing Commander 3 - Heart of The Tiger (1994) - Tribute Trailer. Squadron 42 is currently my most anticipated video game. The said game is planned to enter beta stage later this year, and probably scheduled for full release sometime next year. In its anticipation, I decided to go through previous games made by the same team. Wing Commander 3 is easily my most favorite of em all. Played the whole game again and recorded footage to create little tribute trailer that covers some aspects of the story. For full experience of this timeless classic and emotional roller coaster ride, find the game on GOG.com. While you're at it, try other games in the series too. They have aged really well, as Tolwyn says in the end "I'm very impressed you haven't lost your touch."
Mark Hamill, star of Origin’s Wing Commander - and that series some of you may have heard of “Star Wars”- will be sitting down with @JoeBiden to discuss Hope & Democracy. Please join us and RSVP here https://t.co/qmSpqU3h4G 🚀😉 pic.twitter.com/YB2cpY5fKE— Richard Garriott (@RichardGarriott) June 19, 2020
UPDATE! I found the missile: it's ASAT.BMF in the same Corel collection.
Serve your emperor! Get ready to beat back the Terran infestation with the Kilrathi fighter pack.
These are custom Lego instructions for the Kilrathi Empire space fighters as experienced in the hit 1990 PC game Wing Commander. Models are great for display, or could be used as war gaming miniatures. This set includes the instructions and the parts list for the following fighters:
113 parts total. Instructions are full color and in PDF format.
The parts lists are XML files, suitable for uploading into BrickLink.com so you can order what you need. Instructions for this are provided as well.
There are no physical parts included in this sale. This is a digital item only. A link to download the zipped file will be automatically generated during checkout.
WCP HD Video Pack V3.0 is readyThere's also a refreshed ODVS released version 3.0 of his WC4 comparison video!
The WCP DVD videos are a challenge to work with. The interlaced NTSC format combined with the choice to shoot on digital and the... budget-conscious lighting choices from the original production all conspire to make these videos far more difficult to remaster than the WCIV videos.
However, this time around I did a lot of remastering and cleanup work in AVIsynth prior to even running the AI Upscale routines and managed to clean up most of the major issues and pitfalls that were throwing the AI models off. They'll still never look as good as the WCIV remasters simply because the original production quality/budget wasn't as high - but this is a definite improvement over V2.0.
The jaggies are gone, the weird halo/ghosting images around illuminated characters in low-light environments (read: almost every environment in WCP) are gone, and the annoying dot effects over the credits and star system text overlays are mostly cleaned up.
On top of all that, I also applied all the processes I figured out for the WCIV remaster workflow in the production of this new pack. The best news of all is that the improved compression/optimisation techniques have knocked the file sizes down massively. So there's only a single, ~2GB file to download the entire pack!
The pack also includes the requested missing videos that have been remastered from the CD-ROM source (you'll notice them when you hit them. They're better than the CD-ROM videos that the game defaults to if they're not present, but they're noticeably lacking compared to the rest of the pack).
Buckle up, take full control of starfighters such as the X-wing and TIE fighter, and feel the adrenaline of strategic first-person 5v5 multiplayer dogfights alongside your squadron.
In a fateful campaign set near the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War, learn what it means to be a pilot in a thrilling STAR WARS™ single-player story. The New Republic fights for freedom. The Empire demands order. We need you to join the galaxy’s finest. STAR WARS™: Squadrons is available October 2, 2020 on PlayStation®4, Xbox One, Origin PC, Steam, Epic Games Store, and Virtual Reality (VR) on PlayStation 4 and PC with cross-play support.
Tune in to EA Play on June 18, 4PM PT to watch the gameplay world premiere of STAR WARS™: Squadrons.
About STAR WARS™: Squadrons:
ALL WINGS REPORT IN – Plan skirmishes with your squadron in the briefing room before taking off to the evolving battlefields across the galaxy. Compete in intense 5v5 multiplayer dogfights or unite with your squadron to tip the scales in monumental fleet battles. Together, you’re the galaxy’s finest.
MASTER LEGENDARY STARFIGHTERS – Take control of different classes of starfighters from both the New Republic and Imperial fleets – including the agile A-wing and the devastating TIE bomber. Modify your ship, divert the power between its systems, and destroy your opponents in strategic space dogfights.
GET IN THE COCKPIT – The cockpit is your home. Use its dashboards to your advantage and – with just a thin hull of metal and glass between you and the perils of space – feel the intensity of combat from a first-person perspective. Take off in thrilling multiplayer modes and a unique single-player Star Wars story, which covers a key campaign near the conclusion of the Galactic Civil War. Immerse yourself in the pilot’s seat completely with the option to play the entirety of Star Wars: Squadrons in Virtual Reality on PlayStation 4 and PC.
THE MISSION IS CLEAR – Star Wars: Squadrons is a fully self-contained experience from day one, where you earn rewards through play. Climb the ranks and unlock new components like weapons, hulls, engines, shields, and cosmetic items in a clear path for progression that keeps gameplay fresh and engaging.
Greetings all! I created this Latin Jazz arrangement of my iconic theme from Wing Commander 3 and recorded it with live musicians! If you buy me a "cup of coffee" you will automatically be rewarded with a download of the track!
I also added commissions option to my page where you can commission me to compose music for YOU to your very own specifications! I will compose music specifically for your personal use (casual listening, video game playing, etc. Each piece will be composed to your specifications regarding length, style and instrumentation and delivered as a high resolution audio file (48 kHz, 24bit wave file. All of the works will be created by computer generated samples. Commissions are $500 per minute with. Minimum length of 1 minute.
Those of you who know me know my history of music for video games as well as film. I'd love to compose music for your very own personal use that no one else will have!
Thanks for your support!
We've got a new poll up today that asks what ship you felt the best defended in. There's a lot of bombers on the list, although the options aren't exclusively limited as such. From time to time we might find ourselves in a heavy fighter or even merchant ship that feels extremely secure, and there are some good options for those tough craft! What's your favorite?Nephilim bio rash that might make you want to self quarantine. Signing on with the Exploratory Services to chart the frontier seemed to be the most popular option, and it was followed closely by being tucked away on a quiet ISS station for a few years. The Lexington's self-sufficient one-way trip got quite a few votes too, as did Angel's covert mission to the Kilrah asteroid belt. All potentially seem like better options than joining the crowds out there today!
Just a quick update - there's a minor bug in the WCIV HD Pack V3.0 release that might cause playback and performance issues on some CPUs and chipsets (so if anyone's been having playback issues with it, this might be why).
Trying to cut the long story as short as possible, I forgot that the aspect ratio of the FMV in WCIV is a little all over the place - some sequences are just a little wider than others, leading to very small letterbox bars appearing at the top and bottom. Unfortunately, when I bulk compressed/encoded all the remastered sequences to the final files, the routine I was using detected those black bars and clipped them out of the frame. So while most of the sequences are a standard 1920x1080 resolution, some have weird resolutions like 1920x1076 or 1890x1080. We're frankly stressing the VOB container to be holding an HD image in the first place (since it was the standard used for DVDs back in the day) - and these non-standard aspect ratios can cause issues with some hardware.
This wouldn't be a problem if the game used hardware acceleration for video playback but it actually routes it all through the CPU - hence the problem. You might not experience any issues (I don't on my system, which is why I didn't catch this bug straight away), but I've replaced the V3.0 pack anyway.
Part 1 of both the German and French packs also contain a .BAT file (wc4dvd_DE.bat and wc4dvd_FR.bat, respectively). If you copy these into the same location as your wc4dvd.exe file ("C:/Program Files/GOG Games/Wing Commander IV", for example) and use them to launch the game, they'll activate all the German/French text, interface etc. Thanks to @Pedro for providing the command line extensions that activate the language localisation :)
25 years since Privateer 2 - thanks to GOG.COM I can fire it up on my turbo nutter PC. Yeah, the movie compression hasn't quite held up as I imagined... The resolution and pixel doubling certainly helped hide a multitude of sins with bits of latex peeling and what have you. Be very proud! Given the hand we were dealt at the start, miracles were made!Last, but not least, here's a brief YouTube conversation between Mr. Hilliker and Hughes.
Privateer 2's movies were 320x132, blown up to 640 x 164 with 22KHz stereo sound. It was a VQ codec running with a 256 colour adaptive palette. Lossless Key and Delta frames made up of 4x4 VQ blocks, motion compensated and truncated colour blocks (like S3TC but years earlier!). Its killer feature was its decode speed it would happily decode a P2 movie on a 486-33 on an x2 CD-ROM although P2 needed a minimum of a Pentium 60 as we used the FPU extensively. The chaps at EA Canada really, really knew their stuff - TGV, for the time, was incredible.
EA had a great localisation team - the teams from France and Germany came to Manchester and worked in house with us for a week - super professional, totally knew the subject inside and out - it was a very smooth operation. It could’ve been so much more; alas they burned a whole year going through a couple of different programming teams. We essentially had a year to code up the whole thing from scratch. It was alright I guess. I loved the trading aspect (the UI design was lovely).
Paul: Cheers for this Steve - I was lead programmer on Privateer 2 in Manchester. It was a wild ride for sure. Gotta add (to defend my most learned colleagues in Manchester, Slough and Canada) that the video compression, for that time, was as bleeding edge as it got - as you say, before P2 everything was locked off shots with little to no movement - we had to come up with some pretty radical techniques at the time to deal with whip-pans, tracking shots, sudden lighting changes) I was pretty proud of it, but can totally understand for you and the crew it wasn't anything like the (at the time) state of the art Mpeg1 - which required custom PC hardware to decode. If memory serves it was running at 640x480 (320x240 under the hood) at 15 fps with stereo audio, with an adaptive 256 colour palette. I do remember all the outtakes from Brian Blessed - I wish we still had them - I laughed apoplectically for days watching those sweary takes back. Thanks for this - it brought some great memories back. - Paulie.Paul has been an absolute wealth of information on the development of Privateer 2 for nearly twenty-five years. Deep in our archives, you can find a January 1997 IRC chat on the game's release that LOAF saved. Additionally, he did a wonderful Q&A for us in 2006 to celebrate P2's ten year anniversary.
Steve: Hey Paul, brilliant to hear from you. I do remember you all working flat out in Manchester to get the game as good as possible. The enthusiasm was absolutely amazing. I had to learn so much in a short space of time about gaming and that magical word 'interactive!'
You were all so helpful to me. What surprised me was how small the crew was in Manchester. Incredible what you all achieved. Yes I laughed with Brian on the shoot through 'those takes'. It wasn't in the script to come out of character either - we just did it for a laugh! Still love that sequence today - it was great seeing it again. It was amazing we only had Brian for six hours on set. Mega regards to you Paul and all the team in Manchester 1995-1996.
Steve: OMG Paul - Yes I remember those Dodgems at the end of shoot party - were they 'super charged ?!" I heard that extra voltage may have juiced them up a bit or was it the alcohol! What I couldn't tell anyone at the time was it wasn't the end of shoot - we still had another day to do on Kronos! We never used all the explosives on that set - they were wired to go but we ran out of time. Yep, I sneaked onto the 007 set as well - they were shooting 'Mission Impossible' with Brian DePalma ( one of my heroes). So jealous- they were shooting only three setups a day!
Paul: It was a fantastic night. Man, that final Kronos sequence gave me nightmares for weeks trying to get it to compress without turning into a blocky mess of Ceefax like artefacts :o) Things like this gave way to better and better video playback to the point where just dropping in H.265 video is a walk in the park nowadays. You were a pioneer! I'm sure I have an article from Variety or something similar about the whole approach taken for Wing Commander and Privateer 2 - working with real directors and real movie companies. I'll have to see if I can dig it out.
Steve: Hi Paul, I can't imagine how tough it must have been to compress that Kronos sequence. Most of the sequence was shot on film - much higher dynamic range than tape. Thank goodness we lost loads of shots over the two days on set and didn't let off tons of explosives that were all wired to go. A blessing in hindsight! Mega regards!
Headshot Commission - CHARITY FANART
CHARITY COMMISSION - all proceeds from these commissions will go towards BLM related bail bond funds/charities. **For simplicity, please leave these commissions to generic fanart or character requests as opposed to original characters.**
Lineart - $10, Colored - $15
For more information of where these donations will be going and if you'd like to contribute more, see the following link. Thank you for supporting a great cause!!
On the gaming side, Solstice may be a few weeks away yet, but the GOG summer sale is in full swing. The Wing Commander series generally gets about a 75% discount, but there's a small bump to 80% if you buy three or more games at once. That's a whopping $10.24 for all of the original DOS and Windows Wing Commander games, including expansions and upgrades such as the WC4 DVD edition that will work with ODVS' enhanced video. Retro games are as hot as ever, and you definitely know someone who needs to play Wing Commander. Get them started with a WC gift for just a couple bucks!
Here you go, everyone - WCIV HD Pack V3.0
I've now worked out methods to automate every step of the remastering process - none of it is manual any more. I write code, I execute the code, and the various stages of the workflow handle themselves. No more messing around doing cleanup in After Effects and Premiere Pro!
I've improved the efficiency of compression considerably with this release, so there are only two Zip files at around 3.9GB each (even though video quality has been improved). Just to celebrate the launch and as a bit of a teaser and a bonus treat, I've recreated the Wing Commander IV Original Theatrical Trailer with the new HD footage! Enjoy :)
In our interview, Kevin discusses how he created the story for MORTAL KOMBAT, a game that didn’t really have a plot, and how he focused on the mythological aspects of the game’s background. He talks about how Linden Ashby kept adlibbing lines and confusing his fellow actors, and he also talks about how his love for the Bruce Lee movies influenced the script. Kevin also shares his memories of developing the WING COMMANDER script together with Chris Roberts and exploring his sci-fi universe, and he discusses how the script got rewritten without his involvement and why the finished film doesn’t really represent his original script. We also talked a little bit about another film that Kevin wrote, a drama starring Raul Julia and Laura Dern called DOWN CAME A BLACKBIRD, a captivating, serious story about a clinic for survivors of torture that shows Kevin’s versatility as a screenwriter.
“Odyssey is our most ambitious Elite Dangerous expansion to date,” said David Braben, Founder and CEO of Frontier. “Extending coverage to the super-fine scale that is needed for on-foot gameplay while maintaining the vast raw distances measured in light years, is a huge achievement by the team, and greatly extends the already rich Elite Dangerous experience. We hope you will join us to continue this journey of discovery and adventure when Elite Dangerous: Odyssey launches in early 2021.”
A few more animated ships for the collection - First up is the Kilrathi Omni-ship. Regardless of the role it's playing, I think it's one of the cooler Kilrathi designs. I had to arbitrarily derive a scale for it since the source material is all over the place on it, so I estimate it's slightly larger than an Exeter for a small destroyer/carrier hybrid - at least that's what I scaled the windows to (assuming an average Kilrathi is around 8 feet) First - The Universal Kilrathi Capship. It's a corvette, a destroyer, a carrier, and a battleship all in one! What can't it do? Stand up to a few Scimitars I guess... :p
Ok I got lazy and retextured my old Dralthi model. It's probably the most different from the WCA source, but it is still line-art accurate from Claw Marks so there's that. Besides I think it looked cooler.
Last but not least it's everybody's favorite WC2 fighter (yes the one you wish you had on all those Crossbow missions), the WCA take on the F-57 Sabre. As always Wingnuts feel free to comment :)
You guys, this bloke put together an amazing virtual collection of classic PC big box games where you can look at a full 3D representation of each box. It's astounding.
Ok so I spent some time devising a proper 90's style toon shader with some pencil lines. I'm oddly pleased with the results. I added an ultrawide render as well for those of you with more monitor than sense. ;)
I finished "Tooning" up my scimitars...get it? yuk! yuk!...Revel in the pure 90's cheese of it... I think the WCA Scim is probably the best version of it out there. The original is fun but the WCA streamlined it to make it look like less of a space potato. And of course - the WCA Bengal which is so odd. It looks a bit like a pre-dreadnought era battleship with some wings on it. Yet it kinda grows on you.
Speed modeling practice. I spend alot of time on conference calls...alot. Quarantine is good for sneaking in some multitasking. In honor of all the recent fun around finding Academy on Peacock, I figured I'd try a few WCA meshes for fun. I set timers for 4 hrs for each of these meshes (though I cheated on the 'Claw and rather than start completely from scratch when I borked it, I just reverted to a previous save and started from there). Naughty Defiance! Naughty! :)