Wing Blender has gotten its first update in more than a year. The program is a Blender importer/exporter for ship models that allows for easier manipulation of the items in Wing Commander Prophecy or Secret Ops. It's been a useful app for fan project modders, and the new version 2.2.1 can easily cut import time in half! You can grab the program here and get tips on its use at the CIC Forums.
Anyway, if you've tried to use the importer, you'll know that it is sluggish as hell. I've been trying to work on that. I made a few optimizations to the importer recently, which mostly involve using flat typed arrays instead of lists of lists, and it turned out to be MUCH faster than what I had. With my most recent optimizations, I was able to cut the import time in half! Well, at least for the more detailed meshes. AST_S_01.IFF hasn't shown much improvement in terms of import time, but that's because the other bottleneck is the MAT reader, and I have no idea how I could optimize the MAT reader any further.
- Allows you to do most of the work on the model in Blender and then export it without the need to use external utilities to set the collision sphere, radius, or hardpoints.
- If a texture's filename is numeric, you will be able to convert it straight to a MAT file without renaming it. For example, if you have a texture named 424242.jpg, your model will reference 00424242.mat
- Converts Blender "empty" objects to hardpoints and other VISION engine mesh metadata.
- Collision sphere position and radius is automatically calculated, but can be manually overridden.
- Child objects can now be exported along with the main object.
- LOD mesh support
We may never know
Miniatures Tabletop Game Crunches the Numbers
Adm_Maverick has made more progress with his Wing Commander tabletop game. He's pretty close to being able to playtest the game with fellow fans thanks to finalization of some stat tables. There's also an attractive new 3x6" card layout for characters and ships. (2019-03-22)
All Wings Considered - Episode 5 - LIVE!
The fifth 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 we're heading to the most difficult mission in Wing Commander history, Ghorah Khar 2D... (2019-03-21)
Cockpit Renders Tease WC4 Remaster
Among many other Wing Commander endeavors, Pedro is still grinding away in the background on his WC4 Remaster project. He reports that there might be some exciting breakthroughs regarding cockpits soon, and DefianceIndustries has stepped up to share some of the prototype views. There's still work to go, but these examples are pretty sweet! (2019-03-20)
Prepare for Intense Space Combat... Also Book Club
Episode 5 of All Wings Considered is less than two days away! This will be the team's most challenging episode to date as they take on the Special Operations 1 Finale. NINE Gothris escorting a Fralthra! (2019-03-19)
Squad Goals: Collect 'Em All
We spotted a classy Italian WC3 last month, and this time here's an original Italian Wing Commander courtesy of Dennis Mull. This is one of the European Hit Squad rereleases, and in this case it was published by Jackson Libri. It came with a similarly stylized version of the manual/Claw Marks as well. (2019-03-18)