We have an exciting new project to share today! AllTinker, the talented programmer and artist currently working on the Confederation project, has also been working on an intriguing tool that he's dubbed 'Originator'. The program seeks to dig into the guts of a wide range of Wing Commander and Origin games and extract art assets, sound files and videos. A program like this would make many of the CIC's internal projects much easier. It's also very valuable to modders, artists or just fans who are curious about what makes up the games. There's still a lot of debugging going on, but AllTinker has big plans for future enhancements to add in later. If you'd like to try out the first release and read more about the app, visit the CIC Forums!
Hey all, here's an offshoot project I've been working on for the past few months, which has turned into its own monster... It's still very early days, but perhaps some folks may find it useful or interesting as-is - and it's the sort of thing that will probably never be truly "finished"; so I might as well release it now.
As some of you may know, I've been going through the process of a major Confederation rewrite; and in the process, building a code library which can also be used by/in collaboration with other projects (e.g. WC4 Remastered). The majority of my project time has been sunk into that library (called libOriginData), and I'll go into more detail about it once it's ready for a public release... But anyway, to test the library, and as a useful tool (for me, at least!) I've also been developing this software; Originator.
It's essentially just an integrated data viewer/exporter for a fairly broad set of supported games (obviously most of these are by Origin, but it also has some level of support for some spinoff/spiritually-related titles). I wouldn't call it a modding tool, per se, although it's primarily intended to help peek and prod around in the game data for reverse engineering and such. I don't have any plans on the horizon for writing back to game formats, although I do have some nebulous long-term ambitions specifically for mission viewing and editing.
In terms of games it "supports" (take this with a hefty grain of salt!), this is the current list:
- Wing Commander (DOS / Kilrathi Saga / Demo / FM Towns / Sega CD)
- Wing Commander II (DOS / Kilrathi Saga / Demo / FM Towns)
- Wing Commander Academy (DOS)
- Wing Commander Armada (DOS / FM Towns)
- Wing Commander III (DOS / Kilrathi Saga / Demo / 3DO / Playstation)
- Wing Commander IV (CD / DVD / Demo)
- Wing Commander Prophecy / Secret Ops (Retail / Original Prophecy Demo)
- Wing Commander Arena (XBox 360)
- Super Wing Commander (3DO)
- Privateer 2
- Strike Commander
- Pacific Strike
- Wings of Glory
- Starlancer / Freelancer
- Origin FX Screen Saver
- Space Rogue (PC / FM Towns)
- Longbow / Longbow 2
- Crusader No Remorse / No Regret
Some of these are barely supported beyond some container formats and maybe a couple of codecs; for some I am planning on expanding support quite drastically based on my own previous work (not all of which is represented in libOriginData or Originator yet), others I think of more as experimental stubs for consolidating or encouraging community efforts. Many of these games share an awful lot, so I thought I might as well drop in some support while I'm about it... There are some obvious omissions; the biggest of which is no doubt the Ultima series - those seem to have their own active communities/ecosystems which I don't feel is necessary to double-up on presently.
So right now, you can browse almost all containers, listen to most audio, including MIDI (MT-32 and General), view many images, and most later RealSpace engine models (some palette issues exist for WC4). There's an IFF viewer, and a fallback hex viewer if nothing else will view the content.