New Poll Examines CCG Weapon Systems Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've got a new poll today, and the topic is the Wing Commander Collectible Trading Card Game. Our specific focus is on the Weapon Systems aspect of the game. Some people might have a black and white interpretation of ship specs based on what they're used to playing, but there's plenty of variability that happens in the universe. This can range from mention of an Epee with a torpedo in WC2, Rachel/Pliers offering to upgrade your loadout or straight arcade-style pickups that appear in several games such as Arena, Armada Proving Grounds and the WC4 demo.

The CCG allows players to enact their version of this by modifying the stats of particular flights with the upgrades below. To limit the poll options, we didn't include Kilrathi variants of most things except for the Skipper. It's functionally the same as the Tachyon Cannon in-game, but since the in-universe device is so different, that's on the list too. Keep in mind that some of the "less interesting" choices have really great stats! Pick your favorite below!


The last poll asked about stealth fighters and which created the most chaos. The Dragon easily won, but the Strakha was unsurprisingly in a strong second place.

Wing Commander Fans Salute Klavs' Legacy Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We reported earlier this week on the untimely passing of Wing Commander superfan Adam "Klavs" Burch. It can be hard to find the words to appropriately express people's thoughts at a time like this, so some fellow fans have turned to more visual attempts. Both tributes below features Klavs' famous Rapier models in a classic 'missing man formation'.

The first is a beautiful scene by Mac:

In remembrance of Adam "Klavs" Burch.

Thank You Adam, for everything.

Kevin Caccamo also featured this honor to Klavs in today's Spacey Saturday stream.

Very Fine Rendering of a Very Fine Carrier Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD spotted a phenomenal pair of art pieces by AEdwardBaker. He's just created a beautiful take on the TCS Victory. This test render is only available in 1080p, but there's already so much great detail in everything down to the laser turrets and weathering on the hull paint. It's really slick! You can give him feedback or check out his many other gorgeous space scenes here.
"She's a fine carrier with a long history of service to the Confederation."

"Yes sir. A very long history."

A test render of my model of TCS Victory from Wing Commander III.

Done in Blender

New Wing Loader Adds Support for WC3 Enhancement Patch Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Yesterday we reported on Mash's spectacular patch to increase Wing Commander 3's resolution and integrate enhanced videos. As we also mentioned, this was something that Destro was working to incorporate into Wing Loader. With the success of Mash's program, Destro has officially stopped trying to integrate that into his mod. He's instead released a new version of Wing Loader that seamlessly supports both apps side-by-side. It's also packed with fixes and improvements for Wing Commanders 1&2! Grab version 0.92 here!
Wing Commander III HD Video playback via Wing Loader has been cancelled. I was planning to release this a couple of weeks from now but I ultimately cancelled the project... Why? Someone did it for me!!! And in my testing, theirs works better. :p

Mash has created an Enhancement Pack for Wing Commander III that includes adding in the HD Videos and this is what I'm going to recommend using with Wing Loader moving forward. Check out the patch on his forum page.

Now that that is out of the way, I've packaged Wing Loader v0.92 that includes some new features, fixes and of course, support for Mash's Enhancements Pack.

What's new in v0.92

  • Origin Orchestra Intro now included when starting WC1 & WC2
  • You can now launch WC1 & WC2 via DosBox from inside Wing Loader (Voiceovers will not work due to DosBox Memory management)
  • ImGui support. (Minimal)
  • New settings menu (ImGui) to setup Wing Loader to your liking. (Press M to bring up the Settings Menu)
  • MP4 playback now with synced audio via libVLC. (Removed OpenCV)
  • Added support for Mash's Wing Commander Enhancement Pack!!!!!!!!
  • Fixed a few missing lines in Wing Commander 1 Voice Mod.
  • Memory Leaks in (Definitions, Asset Loading, and Cameras fixed)
  • Removed camera jump when in range to objects. (This was on optimization but on some CPU's was causing jittery icons)
  • Many more minor changes and bug fixes.
While I'm sad I never got the HD videos done in time, I'm over the moon with Mash's patch. :D I guess I'll move on to the next phase of Wing Loader development. Stay tuned. :p

New Enhancement Patch Upgrades WC3 Resolution and Video! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have an exciting release by Mash. He has managed to upgrade the Kilrathi Saga edition of Wing Commander 3 to accommodate modern high resolution displays as well as incorporate ODVS' enhanced video files. This has long been high on the list of fan requests, so it's pretty incredible to finally see. It's not just something he's working on - there's a playable release ready for you right now! Give it a try and let him know what you think!
Hi, I've been working on a patch for the Windows version of WC3 which came in the Kilrathi Saga compilation. It's finally reached a point where it seems playable so I thought it might be a good time to share it here.

My initial goal was to increase the resolution of the game so as to see more detail in space scenes. This has turned out quite well I think, with a few minor issues to work out. I then turned attention to adding support for the HD movies created by ODVS. This currently works reasonably well but still needs work.

Anyway here's a link to the project on GitHub where you will find some more details and download the current release.

Looking forward to any comments. I hope it works :)

If you don't have the Kilrathi Saga version of WC3, Destro has created a simple patch that upgrades your GOG/DOS WC3 to the Windows edition. As you may be aware, Destro has been working on a similar effort to upgrade WC3 and incorporate the higher resolution videos. What an embarrassment of riches to have two talented programmers independently attacking this issue simultaneously!
In space the frame rate is limited to 24fps as original so I wouldn't think that is the problem. I was actually working on increasing the fps in the patch but it was causing a lot of problems, so I've dropped it for now. Better joystick/controller support is at the top of my list of things to do.

If anyone comes across any movies playing in the wrong place or order, let me know. You can also try fixing it yourself by editing the "movies.ini" file in the "movies" folder. You'll find an example in there where I've fixed some of the "Blair walking in and out of doors" scenes.

Thanks to AllTinker and Bitterman for the screenshots!

Moving On Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

After any dismal event, it's hard to shake off, pick yourself up again and continue. It doesn't feel right to just go on about your lives. The silver lining has been that it's nice to hear your thoughts about Klavs though, so please keep that coming. We're also always on Discord for anyone that would like to talk. Without trying to lean too hard into an obvious cliche, I also know that you all would want us to continue reporting Wing Commander news even if you weren't here to read it, so that's what we'll do.

I thought a simple and engaging news post today would be this terrific graphic that LOAF recently extracted. It's the targeting VDU images for Wing Commander. But there's a few mixed in that you may not have seen before!

The Wing Commander III target images! Do you know which three don't appear in the final game?
If you think you know which three don't appear in-game, hit the Comments link to let us know.

Goodbye Klavs Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We are truly brokenhearted to announce that Adam "Klavs" Burch, a true giant of the Wing Commander community, has passed away unexpectedly. He was a dear friend to many and always a positive voice, a kind person always eager to help. His creative work was unbelievable. The artwork he created and the people he inspired and supported over the years will carry his legacy forever, cold comfort though that may be. He was a great person gone far, far too soon; we are so much poorer for having lost him.

Klavs was a true inspiration; he was someone who honed his incredible talents for artwork and aerospace in the fandom and went on to turn them into an astounding career doing the sorts of things most would only dream of. And despite the fact that he went on to design real airplanes and spaceships and imagine better tomorrows for everyone he stayed dedicated to the Wing Commander community, always giving endlessly to make it a better place. He was the best of us: a man who looked for opportunities to contribute his talent and passion to make anything better. You looked forward to a message or a post from Klavs because it meant something wonderful was due. It meant that he'd been inspired to imagine some brilliant space battle or he had another impeccable 3D model to share with other artists or he'd seen something you were working on and knew a way to add something.

It would be impossible to properly catalog Klavs' contributions to the Wing Commander community. Stop reading this right now and type "Klavs" into the search bar on the right: 384 news updates about his work going back two decades. More than one full year of Wing Commander news is just Klavs! Countless 3D modelers will use his ships as long as the community exists; lore maestros will study his work on the map and his visualization of the Hakaga attack and endless other things; we all will forever look to his compositions to further spark our own passions. And, we hope, everyone will take a great lesson from his maturity, his passion and his willingness to contribute.

Klavs' brother has posted a memorial thread on Facebook. His family asks that donations be sent to the Challenger Center, which seeks to inspire kids to pursue science education and be involved with spaceflight. In the coming days, we'll do the best we can to further memorialize him by sharing again some of what he created and gave to our community. But for now, I hope it is not too corny to eulogize him in exactly the way I would want done for myself:

We are gathered here to pay tribute to one of our own, Colonel Burch.
As we all know, the campaign for the Vega Sector has been long and hard.
No one fought harder to hold back the advancing Kilrathi horde than Klavs.
Now he has made the ultimate sacrifice for the Confederation.
Company...
Atten-SHUN!
Prepare arms!
We'll lift one for you at the Vacuum Breathers Club, laddie.
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A Few Words Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

All of us at the CIC are in shock at the news of Klavs' passing. We all get caught up in the frenzy of our hectic lives, but moments like this really make you realize you don't know how lucky you are to have everyone in your life until it's too late. I had the honor of meeting Adam Burch in person once about ten years ago. He flew into town on behalf of the kit-built aircraft manufacturer that he worked for at the time. I couldn't believe how knowledgeable he was about all aspects of the plane, plus the marketing and business sides, and then he could even fly it! I work in aerospace myself, so I know how complicated this all was, and his expertise was astounding. He was also exceedingly generous and kept mentioning how he'd like to return some day so he could take me up on a flight. If you didn't know, he didn't just design Wing Commander ships - he was also a spacecraft artist/designer at Lockheed Martin and Blue Origin. We had a real space ship builder in our midst.

Klavs inspired a whole generation of aspiring Wingnut artists, and there are whole projects built around his models. It feels like he started over and remade the Rapier II fighter half a dozen times, and I just assumed he would be here to remake it again half a dozen more. I could talk all day about his 3D prints that I have on my shelf, his amazing custom Wing Commander shower curtain, how many times his ships wound up as the winner of the Wing Commander fan project of the year or the time he paid Malcolm McDowell to wish us a happy birthday. He was just that ingrained in the fabric of things here, but he meant even more to his family. It feels right to remember him in the context that we knew him, but on another level, I also cannot comprehend what a tremendous loss it is to the people who knew him personally. I am absolutely heartbroken for his family and young children. Any comments attached to these posts will be shared with them, so feel free to add your own thoughts as well. Take care out there.

New DOSBox Staging Update Fixes WC3 Video Playback Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Master O dropped in to share that a new version of DOSBox Staging has been released. We've previously reported that while development of the original DOSBox largely stalled out years ago, fans are still in need of a high quality emulation environment to play classic games. As modern computers continue to advance, there are many improvements and quality-of-life tweaks that can make the retro emulation experience much better. This includes support for modern video and sound setups, better controller and joystick integration, plus compatibility with the features of modern operating systems. And with all that, versions 0.81.1 has a specific fix incorporated to properly display the video from Wing Commander 3! You can try it out for yourself here.
Summary:

The main focus of this maintenance release is to fix a couple of regressions introduced in 0.81.0, most of them related to game compatibility, and address a few long-standing issues.

Regression fixes:

The release fixes the following 0.81.0 regressions:

Fix Wing Commander 3 videos and cutscenes appearing height-doubled.

Album Campaign Ends at 150% of Goal! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Great job, everyone! Once again, hundreds of Wingnuts have come together to pull off a successful crowdfunding campaign! The finally tally was $24,300, which is more than 50% over the $16,000 target. This means that a live orchestra will be able to record the entire Wing Commander album in Budapest and it will be supplemented by a live choir in Salt Lake City. The entire project will come to more than $40,000 when combined with a separate mega donation from Matt Hiltner, so Wingnuts will truly be in for a treat. When all is said and done, the effort will include reprintings of the prior albums on CD as well as vinyl editions of both orchestra pieces. This will be a collectible set for the ages! Even if you're only interested in hearing the final product digitally, it will surely be a treat. Composer George Oldziey has already started placing deposits to secure time with the musicians later this year, so stay tuned for progress updates in the future!
Bravo! You (We) Did it!!

I had such a wonderful feeling watching the minutes and seconds counting down at the end of the campaign knowing that our success was assured. I also have a wonderful feeling from reading all of the very touching comments from many of you about how much the Wing Commander music was not only a big part of your gaming experience but also your lives. I can't tell you how much that means to me. All artists dream of having such an impact on others, and you all have made that dream come true for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now the rest of the work begins for me to bring this wonderful project to fruition. I am so looking forward to it! Bravo to all of you!

Musically yours,

George

Final Day for WC Album Campaign Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We're entering the last day of the Wing Commander album campaign. After yesterday's surge in contributions, the project is currently sitting at more than $22,500 in donations to make a new record of classic WC3-Prophecy music with both a live orchestra and choir. Thanks to all of the very generous fans, the stretch goal has already been met and all aspects of the project should be able to be accomplished. With any remaining proceeds from a last minute bump, Origin composer George Oldziey will attempt to squeeze out a bit more music to fill out the album even further. If you'd like to spend the final hours with fellow fans, Kevin Caccamo will be hosting a Prophecy-themed livestream from noon to 2pm Eastern US time. Then you can also join us in Discord #Wingnut as the minutes tick down to the campaign's conclusion at 5 pm Eastern US time. I'm very excited to see where things end up. Check back tomorrow for the final tally!

Greetings all! Now that we are soaring past the choir stretch goal with only hours left in the campaign, I'm planning on using the additional funds first to fly a conductor from LA to Salt Lake City to conduct the choir sessions. I was planning on doing that myself, but this would enable me to sit in the booth and lend a more critical ear to the recording process.

And if we CONTINUE to soar higher before the campaign is over I'm planning to hire a few more string players to make the string sound even more lush for the orchestral recording.

Again, a profound thank you to all of you wonderful fans!

George


BREAKING NEWS: Album Campaign Hits $22,000 Stretch Target! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Wingnuts rejoice! Over two hundred dedicated fans have come together to push the Wing Commander album campaign over its $22,000 stretch goal. This means both a live orchestra and live choir will be part of the set of reorchestrated WC music. You all are amazing! If you haven't yet added your contribution to secure a copy for yourself, there's less than 48 hours to do so. The campaign ends Saturday afternoon. Composer George Oldziey also added this sweet addition to thank everyone who participates:
Greetings all! I had an inquiry as to why there is no digital download of the Wing Commander bar music in the reward tiers. It's basically because it slipped my mind! I'm going to add a digital download of the bar music to every reward tier from the $65 level and up! I can't change the text of the reward descriptions after pledges have been offered, but you can count on that becoming available when the project is realized and ready to ship! Thank you so much for your support!
Here's George's excited reaction to hitting the goal!
Greetings all! I have to say I'm STUNNED by the flurry of pledges in the last few days, especially the last few HOURS! I was doing end of semester grading for my Berklee students just a few hours ago with $1300 needed with 48 hours to go to meet the live choir stretch goal, not sure if it would happen. I just happened to look at my phone while having dinner with my lovely wife Suzi a few minutes ago and saw a Kickstarter update. $22,250!! YES!!!

So, as a result, I'll be going to Salt Lake City after the orchestra recording in Budapest to record members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the choir parts to the volume 2 music. I can't tell you how happy that makes me!!

I'm actually on the verge of tears of joy. I thank you all SO much for making this, likely my most lasting musical legacy come to fruition. I'm serious when I say you are the greatest and most wonderful fans in the world!

Now the planning starts! I've already booked August 19th in Budapest to record the orchestra parts. I'm looking at some time in September to record the choir, as I'll need to do some preliminary mixes for the choir to sing with. Then there will be mixing all those wonderful parts together to create the masters that will be "printed" for CD, vinyl and digital downloads. So I'm estimating that some time in October you'll be receiving the results of this adventure.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm thrilled and humbled at the same time.

Yours ever so truly,

George

The WC4 Installer Is Such a Mood Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Remember the specific point in 1995 where game installers all got hot? Crazy how you go from that to that in a year.

I'm updating all my GOG .conf files to add a bunch of handy options. I gave the first games a command line option with a debug mode cheat sheet. Easy way to quickly load the EGA version or with a different sound card. Currently trying to add back Privateer 2's beautiful installer (with lore screen!) to the GOG package in a way that doesn't break everything else.
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Album Campaign Heats up in the Final Stretch Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We're now just a bit more than three days away from the conclusion of George Oldziey's campaign to create a new Wing Commander album with a live orchestra. Just since this past weekend, the project has added another $1,000 to approach $19,500. With only a few more days left to go, is $22,000 possible? The project has already crossed the minimum $16K threshold, but we'd love to see it hit the $22K stretch target to add a live choir as well. Wing Commander fans have shown up in force many times before, so it's certainly possible!
Greetings all! It seems like with only 3 days to go we are close to the stretch goal of recording a large choir to add to the large orchestra recording for volume 2! We are only a few thousand away, and I REALLY think this would be a beautiful addition to the final mix. I have some amazing sampled choir libraries, but there is NOTHING like the real thing in my humble but very musically adept opinion :)

So, if it is at all possible, let's make that happen! I think it would immensely add to the overall musical impact of the project.

I love you all! You are the best!!

George

Here's some samples of George's wonderful 2019 jazz album full of Wing Commandar bar music. A handful of reprinted copies are up for grabs as part of the new album campaign:


Target Acquired: Microsoft's WC3 Test Copy Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

An eBay find: a copy of Wing Commander III that belonged to Microsoft’s QA folks! I’ll send it back if they promise to get it running in Windows 11.

Microsoft would have used copies like this to playtest compatibility for Windows 95 (and adjust Control+C behavior)!
“Didn’t you already have this one?!” - Sully
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Final Week of Orchestral Album Campaign! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The campaign to make a new Wing Commander album had a very good week! It added more than $1500 in pledges from a couple dozen new fans. With that being said, its current $18,500 tally does make it a challenge to hit the $22,000 mark to add in a live choir. As great as it would be to hit the $22K stretch target, composer George Oldziey says that if we end up falling a little bit short, he may be able to generate a little bit more live orchestral material with the funds. Either way, the money will be used to enhance the final product! The final few days of any crowdfunding effort can be unpredictable, so we'll keep our fingers crossed! You can secure your copy and help the project here!
Note that George's comment below is from a few days ago. The Kickstarter officially closes this coming Saturday. Now's the time to jump in if you haven't yet!
Greetings all! As a result of your amazing support we've crossed the $18K threshold with 10 days to go! There is still time to meet that stretch goal of $6K (for a total of $22K) where we can record a live, beautiful choir as well!

Thank you all so much for you generosity and faith! Let's try to hit that mark in the next 10 days!

Musically yours,

George

A Little Taste of WC3 Behind the Scenes Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got a little snippet unearthed by Sash's RetroBytes. It's a segment from the British TV show Bad Influence! that peeks behind the scenes of Wing Commander 3. Most of the footage looks like material we'd have seen on other longer WC3 BTS features, but it's always nice to see times when Wing Commander was showcased on television!
The Heart of the Tiger! Hollywood comes to video games in a big way - as we see in this clip of Bad Influence series 3 episode 4 where they went behind the scenes of the production of Wing Commander III.

Warning: Not Safe for Enigma Sector Work Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Scout recently found this spicy post on the Game Collecting Reddit. A user named charitysmyth1 had just acquired a copy of Wing Commander 2. Much to their surprise, it contained a collection of vintage early '90s adult media. These look like rather tame items all-in-all, but they might have been considered pretty racy before the internet age. Although not pictured, it sounds like the box did include the WC2 disks at least!
Scored some big box PC games over the weekend. What I found in Wing Commander II completely caught me off guard.

Gemini Hot Spots Reimagined From New Point of View Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a fresh batch of whimsical Privateer scenes and objects by Cybot. He's got a couple of inspired bases, a sharp-looking Centurion, the Mercenaries' Guild office and some cars! Many of the items depicted are available as 3D models to download. Grab them at the CIC Forums here!

GOG Sci-Fi Sale Discounts Wing Commander Series Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

GOG has kicked off a brand new Sci-Fi Sale to help you complete your Wing Commander collection. Each of the games is marked down 75%. There's actually almost 600 games that fall under the sci-fi definition over at GOG, so I did a check to see where Wing Commander places in the all-time best seller rankings. It looks like WC1&2, WC3, WC4 and Privateer are all in the top ten behind System Shock 2 and Masters of Orion 1&2. Prophecy, Privateer 2 and Crusader are close behind in the top 15. Armada and Academy make the top 25, with Star Trek 25th Anniversary between them. Those are excellent numbers!

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