Fiendish Playthrough Plows Through Secret Missions Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last year we mentioned Plywood Fiend's alternative take on a Wing Commander playthrough. Rather than just add typical commentary to the stream, he spices up the episodes with his own animations, supplemental dialogue and unique captions. After winning the Vega Campaign, he's moved on and is now well into the Secret Missions. You can find a few samples below or check out his full Wing Commander playlist on YouTube here.
Woe, calamity and me, for I have returned with more stuff. Specifically I've gone back to do a play through of Secret Missions 1 in my own peculiar fashion; the playlist can be found here (scroll down for the new material, I'm currently up to the Gwenhyvar mission.) Below are a few samples of the added extras I've twisted in, most notably is a pixel art animation I made showing a fateful distress call from the TCS Johann which, suffice it to say, was not the luckiest of vessels, as you may recall.

EA Announces Travel Health Benefits in Wake of Roe Decision Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today has been exhausting, and we know many of you are exhausted too. We'll be back with some more upbeat Wing Commander stories tomorrow, but for now, here's the topically relevant angle on current events: the owner of the WC franchise, Electronic Arts, has announced tepid support for abortion rights in the US. Although they didn't come out and use the word "abortion" in their public-facing statement, they have internally communicated to employees that they "will soon offer expanded travel health benefits" to employees seeking basic healthcare that they will only be able to access out of state. They join a number of other game developers and tech companies who have announced similar measures today. With the competitiveness of the industry at a fever pitch these days, these types of benefits will be critical incentives in the future.

Anyhow, take care of yourselves out there. Hit us up on Discord if you need someone to talk to.

As EA’s executive team, we want to reiterate our unwavering support for you, our employees. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade regarding abortion in the United States. We know this issue matters, generating a range of emotions for you and your loved ones, whether you’re based in the U.S. or abroad.

Your health and well-being are our top priority. We are working closely with our U.S. healthcare provider, Cigna, and will soon offer expanded travel health benefits, for eligible U.S. employees and their eligible dependents. Our aim is to provide the support and services that empower you and your eligible dependents to get the care needed to be the best, most authentic version of yourself at work and in other areas of your life.

Advanced Facial Upscaling Tested with WC3 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

CD1188 Entertainment has posted a neat video of the latest AI upscaling and image processing techniques. They're using a screenshot from the WC3 introduction to demonstrate how amazing the technology is. AD asked the Wing Commander community's resident neural net expert, ODVS, for his take and he provided some additional context:
They're using Gigapixel AI with its new Facial Recovery algo (which was just released). I'm already doing a deep-dive into experimenting with it for motion. It's impressive, but you hit the uncanny valley pretty hard. Sadly, they've currently only trained it for static images. I suspect it will be a while before it gets incorporated into their motion-friendly models, but I have no doubt that's coming. I am already doing experiments, though. :D
Even if this isn't quite ready to actually animate videos with, the technology remains incredibly impressive!

WC4 Fan Remake Developers Get Specific Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The war toils on for the crew making the WC4 Fan Remake. With a playable demo still in the works, the team has firmed up a potential set of minimum specs to get everything running smoothly. I haven't kept up with modern PC specs, but these seem quite reasonable for the level of graphical fidelity and performance we've seen from previews. With that being said, now is your chance to voice any concern if something else should be supported.
With the help of EmuMusicFan I believe we now have some minimum specs. He helped test with low GPU memory and movie playback optimizations to get 60fps 1080p h265 running at speed with only 2 cores.

Minimum specs: (No shadows, no post process)
2 Core CPU
2GB GPU (Probably 860M/750Ti)
8GB Memory

Recommended specs:
4 Core CPU
6GB GPU (Something like a 980Ti)
8GB Memory

Ideal specs:
4 Core CPU
8GB GPU (Something like a 1070Ti)
16GB Memory

If these specs seem too high for anyone give a shout out.

On a similar note, Pedro is also looking for some common flight stick setups that fans are using. More customizable options will be added later, but if you'd like your joystick to make the initial cut, post your specs and details at the CIC Forums!
I'm trying to add good default keybindings for different flight sticks/ HOTAS setups to the Wing IV Remake Demo.

Would people mind posting the string that appears in USB Game Controllers (*exactly* as it appears) here, including the name of seperate rudder/ throttle if you have them. Finally if you could take a photo of the stick and label the buttons as they show up in the properties (or ideally an online image someone has already done).

Long term we want to have customizable mappings but for now if you want good default mappings for your favourite stick this is the way :)

The First Neural Message Gets You Hooked Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Wing Commander Confederation Handbook is a book that's presented as a fake web browser... and since it's from 1999 it's full of absolutely garish banner ads. And here they are, collected from the book's layout files! I could sure go for a warsop egg.

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Chunky Avenger Ready to Kick Lego Butt Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

One of John Nelson's original Wing Commander designs a while back was the sturdy Border Worlds Avenger. Although it's super impressive what people can do with Lego bricks, there's always room for improvement, and he's taken a second run at tightening things up a bit. The results look really solid. Most of the hull plating is a bit darker and the major structural elements are bit thicker with more mass. Hit the comment link to let him know what you think!
The last of my Lego updates, the Avenger. I went ground up to give it a more game accurate boxy and thicker look and the front cockpit cover had to change and I found the parts to do it. Enjoy.

Happy Father's Day Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Happy Father's Day to Wingnut dads out there! If you're anything like Dia Dastardly, then you discovered a way to incorporate Wing Commander into your celebrations. She's 3D printed a slick little Excalibur to give as a gift. That sounds like an awesome present to me, but you don't have to be on the sending or receiving end to make your own fighter. This looks like it may be based on AstroFossil's model. Build your own with the file here!
I’ve been working on my dad’s Father’s Day gift. It’s a F-103 Excalibur from Wing Commander. He and I used to play it a lot so I hope he likes it.

Enjoy Life's Simple Wing Commander Pleasures Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The CIC was founded on the principle of "All Things Wing Commander," and we continue to try to live up to that every day! As such, LOAF has found a very obscure mention of Super Wing Commander in a 1995 documentary called Synthetic Pleasures. It features the "suit up" portion of the SWC launch sequence. And you don't have to hunt down the VHS like LOAF did - see it for yourself in the embed below!
Alexa: “Your order of SYNTHETIC PLEASURES has been delivered.”

The Super Wing Commander bit is just after the 44 minute mark (following footage of a robot labeled Robot Redford). It's the extremely-90s-cyber-stuff 'suit up' sequence from the takeoff cutscene.

French Prophecy Streaming Series Kicks Off Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Docteur J has hosted epic playthroughs of Wing Commander 3 and 4 over the last couple years, so in 2022 he's taking on Prophecy over at Oldies Games TV. He's been streaming Wing Commander for a long time, and his dedication is a fantastic example of how Wing Commander fandom transcends all languages and cultures. At first his content would have been geared towards French speakers, but with YouTube's auto translate feature, anyone can turn on captions in their native language and follow along with the fun! The first few new Prophecy chapters are available now:

Bandcamp Holds Juneteenth Fundraiser Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The music website Bandcamp is holding a special event on June 17 to donate their share of album sales to causes that promote racial justice efforts. This commemorates the Juneteenth national holiday in the United States, which celebrates a major milestone on the path to ending slavery. Wingnuts looking for a way to support this are in luck! Earlier this year, The Fat Man released an ultimate MT-32 Archival Edition of his legendary WC1 soundtrack. The album is available to listen to for free on YouTube, but it's only $10 to own a portable copy of your own via Bandcamp. It's a pretty cheap way to help a good cause and get your Wing Commander fix at the same time!
Way back in 2007, George put out a fantastic album of WC1 music known as Wing One, and it's been on our highly recommended list ever since. This new edition scrubs Fat's archives for a complete reckoning of all the music in the game. Today's release clocks in with 55 tracks and 85 minutes of audio - compared to 27 tracks and 34 minutes in the original release fifteen years ago.

Amazing Variation in WC Ports' TrainSims Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Why play ports? Let's take a quick walk through the TrainSim enemy selection screen in ports of the original Wing Commander! Here's the original from 1990 in EGA and VGA. The Amiga version swapped the line art for rotating ship sprites! Then the CD32 version made them a little smaller. Game Arts' Sega CD port brings back the ship diagrams but has them glow when highlighted. ... and Mindscape makes some big changes for the SNES version! Name plate at the top, extremely tiny soda can on the dashboard (seriously, compare it to the hand). Then Super Wing Commander for the Macintosh and 3DO has totally new ships and even has a second screen showing their stats! Then the PSP version, included in the EA Replay compilation, takes the SNES version and cruelly stretches it. Did you know the TrainSim has a name? If you leave it idle on the PC release you find out it's SQUADRON (which was the original name chosen for Wing Commander)! I believe Chris Roberts is working on the 41st sequel right now!
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It's the Rapier's Time to Shine Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The F-44 Rapier II is one of the most popular fighters in Wing Commander fan art, but the CF-117 Rapier has a lot of fans too! Whether they love the Electric Lightning core or the big rotary neutron gun, a few daring modelers have taken on the Wing Commander Movie's Rapier. This one was originally designed by Klavs and then arranged here by Mac. It's a moody scene with the lead fighter about to zoom by the camera while a couple wingmates spiral through the background. I like it!
I'm probably long overdue in tossing fans of the #wingcommander movie a bone after my recent adventures with the other Rapiers.

Lego Dragon Ready to Frame the Border Worlds Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

John Nelson has been hinting at this Lego model for a while, and he’s finally ready to reveal his Dragon fighter from Wing Commander 4. In order to contrast the primary airframe with some of the detailed elements, he’s colored the main hull black. There’s an imposing red cockpit canopy and a variety of dark gray highlights. It can be a challenge to perfectly mimic the in-game models, but I particularly like how the forward lower fuselage and fission guns turned out. The hot red intakes are also a nice touch!
I teased it awhile ago. Finally done and no not perfect but the most Barney badass Wing Commander fighter ever, the Dragon, is done. I needed more pieces and really wanted to scrutinize the wings and fuselage. No part of this super craft was an easy build. Please enjoy.

Space Sim First Look: Starfield Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today was Microsoft and Bethesda's big summer games showcase was this morning, and they had a big profile on one of the mostly highly anticipated space games of the next year: Starfield. It was first announced way back in 2018 and has been frequently described as "Skyrim in space." Today's reveal is the first time that people have gotten to take a look at the game's actual gameplay. There's plenty of action RPG excitement, but they finally confirmed that there will also be a major space combat element. Ships will be extremely customizable and players will be able to fly to over a hundred star systems and a thousand planets. There are some distinct similarities to No Man's Sky or Star Citizen, although this is purely a single player experience. We know quite a few Wingnuts out there are very excited for this, and we're happy to see more space sims coming out!

Space Sim Closer Look: Chorus Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Over the years we've done brief profiles on a number of non-Wing Commander space sims, but it's been quite a while since the last one. Impressive new space sims continue to be made, however, and an interesting new(ish) one is Chorus. It came out at the end of last year, and I'd say it's had a slow but growing burn since then. FredDude helped bring it to our attention earlier this week, and I'm surprised how many Wingnuts have actually played it and are quite familiar with the title already. The game looks good and seems to have an engaging story. There's an open world with lots of side quests in addition to the main campaign. Your ship has a neat upgrade system and there is a special action mechanic that seems fairly novel in the space sim genre. It's currently on sale for $30 at the Epic Game Store, but an even better deal is its recent addition to Xbox Game Pass. There is a free demo, but the Xbox version is free to Game Pass subscribers on PC or Xbox (or Mac or Tablet via Cloud). Here are a couple of comprehensive IGN overviews to give you a better overview of what to expect:
Chorus does an excellent job of cutting out the dull parts of space dogfighting, getting right to the flashy fun of blasting through enemy fighters and capital ships with superpowered abilities. Its large and pretty map is filled with fleshed-out side quests, and they're varied enough that it's easy to cruise around for a few dozen hours and really get the hang of the combat system. The story behind it all isn't half bad once you've waded through a flood of sci-fi mysticism, and Nara and Forsaken are interesting characters to spend all that time with - which is a relief, because they're the only ones we ever get to see.

WC3 Remixes Shake Things Up Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Symphonic Remakes is back with a new reorchestration of a classic Wing Commander track. Up to this point, their focus has been on WC1/2, but now they've jumped forward for a new take on one of George Oldziey's famous WC3 creations. Strike and Escort mission music is first up. Enjoy below!

GOG Summer Sale Kicks Off Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's almost summer time (in the north), so one of GOG's biggest sales of the year has begun again! Their Summer Sale has a wide range of special discounts, contests and giveaways, but the main event for Wingnuts is a broad 75% price cut for the Wing Commander series. Get in the door for just $1.49 or grab all the games for under $12! Other Origin classics like Bioforge and Space Rogue are also on sale.

Battle of the Brownhair Bundles Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Dennis Mull has some fun new Wing Commander additions. Both of these are Privateer bundles, but it's interesting to see how they're from opposite ends of the Privateer multipack spectrum. The first set is highlighted by the QEMM memory manager, which would hypothetically help you get the necessary memory freed up in order to run the game. It came with the floppy disk version of Priv as well as the Origin title ShadowCaster. The second box is a higher end collection with the CD versions of both P1 and Strike Commander - complete with full speech and expansions. I love how visually distinct both are from each other with the purple/rainbow star combo on one side versus the clean white lines on the other. They're two very different ways to add Privateer to your collection!
Today I received a box with some nice items: One of them is the Qemm & 2 hot games bundle including #WingCommander Privateer and Shadow Caster. Special thanks to Bandit LOAF.

How Many Ships Make up the Wing Commander Movie Fleet? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Star Wars guys always love doing this so I thought I'd give it a shot. As best I can tell there are four Concordias and two Bengals moored at Pegasus, plus the TCS Vanguard which is exiting before the attack happens. And then the fleet at the end consists of 16 visible Concordias. The Concordia model was finished, though Tolwyn's message from earlier in the movie does have wireframes of three other Confed capital ship types. As for the Kilrathi, we never get a full 'fleet' shot. We see the Confed fleet at the end sink two destroyers and a cruiser which are implied to be the first of many. But how many? At the start of the movie we're told that "forty Kilrathi capital ships" are attacking Pegasus. So maybe we can count them down! At the end of the opening; looks like four destroyers and a Sivar dreadnaught (not the Snakeir)! You can tell which is which by counting their rings, 11 on the Sivar and 15 on the Snakeir. During the first ambush of the Tiger Claw we sink two destroyers and a dreadnaught. The Tiger Claw defeats a destroyer and a cruiser just after the Skipper missile is stopped. So that's down to 35! And then Blair destroys the superdreadnaught (did you know there were four distinct Kilrathi warship models in the movie?!) which brings us to 34 as our upper bound for number of ships the Concordia and friends destroyed. The Tiger Claw is also hunted by ten destroyers during the depth charge sequence. But all survive this so this just tells us the fleet includes at least seven more destroyers at the end. Image Is 34 our final number? Maybe! We also capture the concom and the Kilrathi leave behind three depleted Dorkir tankers midway through the movie. It's not clear if any of those support ships count towards the total 40. So between 30 and 34 should be present at the end!
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Plenty of Rapier Goodness on Deck Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's still a lot of the workweek ahead, so enjoy this spiffy new wallpaper from Mac! It features a whole squadron of Rapiers ready to get into trouble. If you like this, you can find more of his F-44 handiwork here.
Brb, me and the boys are going to the store to buy milk. #wingcommander And by "Buy Milk," I mean we're going to hit a Kilrathi capital ship.

WC Themed Custom Pinball Machine Features 3D Printed Asteroids Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Speaking of pinball, today we have a peek at fantastic start to a custom Wing Commander pinball machine. The project was built by dotmos over at the FlipperMarkt Forums. It was designed with both Privateer and WC1/2 concept art influences in mind. There are traditional wood and electronics throughout, but he also fabricated 3D printed ramps and rocks to simulate navigating an asteroid field. Unfortunately he's been silent on the machine for a couple years, so we might not get to see the finished product, but this is so cool that we had to share what exists!
Ideas haunt my head from time to time to time, but I haven't really nailed it down yet. There are a few concrete ideas on some things... but this is not really recorded anywhere. I find it an interesting idea to choose the wingmen or anchor them in the game and have never really thought about it. Thank you for the mental impetus! So far, my ideas have always been more player-related (destroy a spaceship, escort a freighter, jump into a new system, change your ship, get a weapon upgrade, escape the Kilrathi), so more towards a Privateer than Wing Commander 2.

Vega Assault Revisits Enyo System Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Rabenrecht has a new tech demo in work to recreate some of the early WC1 missions in the Freespace engine using Klavs' ships. He's experimenting with the look, feel and narrative in order to create something new and fun. There are still some early kinks to work out, but you can engage with some of the development discussion here. There's also a Knossos installer if you want to give it a try. Leave your feedback at the CIC Forum! Here's a small preview video captured by Admiral Nelson:
A couple of weeks ago I decided to try my hand at Freespace Open modding. Well, I have something to show for: a short demo of the campaign I've currently named "Vega Assault" consiting of the first two missions Enyo 1 & 2.

What is Vega Assault?
Vega Assault is a reimagining of the first Wing Commander campaign. It aims to provide a cohesive narative of the Vega Campaign. The WC1 campaign tree will be the framework Vega Assault is built arround. The individual WC1 missions will be starting point and inspiration for the missions in Vega Assault.

What is Vega Assault NOT?
Some kind of WC 1 HD remake. This may sound strange considering the campaing will have the exact same structure as the WC 1 campaign. But the tone and gameplay goals will diverge greatly from the original.

Do you need a copy of Freespace 2?
Nope. This mod is built from a WC Saga base using Klav's WC 1 Ships.

Try it out! :)

Vintage German TV Clip Provides WC3 Insight Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD found a neat Wing Commander 3 television spot that aired in Germany in May of 1995. It was dug up by magermunson. Things like this were still pretty rare to see on TV in the early to mid '90s, but WC3 was definitely one of the most profiled games around. They cover the scope and technology with a heavy emphasis on the full motion video. A common Mark Hamill interview is interspersed in the middle, but the brief conversation with Chris Roberts at the end may be new to us. You can turn captions and auto-translate on to get an English translation to play along the bottom. Enjoy this tiny time capsule!
Interviews and behind the scenes with Mark Hamill and Chris Roberts from this very rare german TV report on May 1995. Enjoy!

Lego Bomber Nails the Broadsword Look Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

John Nelson is back with his biggest and best Lego creation to date! Here we see the iconic Broadsword bomber, which is pretty amazing. He really managed to pull off the arc of the fuselage connection to the cockpit, the missile launchers and the wing structures. Even the turrets are fantastic. I love it!
Hello! I got it done!

It took awhile but Confed's Flying Fortress, the Broadsword, was my next challenge. I pored over images constantly and did my best to match colors to get it down as close as I could and to its Concordia livery. The underside of the fuselage and turrets aren’t perfect but the port and starboard turrets move and mini figs ALL fit! I’m proud of this one.

Pliers (would) say, “The Broadsword is a big fat gunslinger that goes nowhere fast, but it’ll take forever to shoot down. Only the biggest Border Worlds installations can hold them and have the manpower to run them.”

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