News Collection: On This Day in WC News
2020.224 (August 11, 2020)
While popping in to explain what's going on with the watches in the Wing Commander Movie, Jordan Reeve also shared some fantastic photos from the film set in Luxembourg. He got a chance to visit during the making of the movie, which included some fantastic up-close encounters with the Rapiers and Kilrathi. There's a lot of envious folks in #Wingnut right now!Most memorable..
2019.223 (August 11, 2019)
UnnamedCharacter has discovered another nifty developer trick in the code of Wing Commander. By observing what gets loaded into active memory while playing the game, he noticed how certain palette colors become blanked out and then revert back to magenta/red as the ship takes damage. This is how parts of the cockpit flicker when taking damage! Here he is to walked through the details:Shades of MagentaThe following images are two different representation of the game palette.
2018.223 (August 11, 2018)
2017.223 (August 11, 2017)
The Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack isn't just about bringing the visual assets into the 21st Century. That might be the main priority and most obvious change, but incremental improvements continue to be made as they make sense. In addition to making the new Vesuvius model look great, it's now got destroyable components as well as significantly upgraded turrets. There are pictures below, but you should check out the video to get a real sense of how dangerous a torpedo run will be against one of these things!
2016.224 (August 11, 2016)
It's a great week for birthdays, and in addition to our own, we'd like to wish capi's WC RPG project a wonderful fifth anniversary! He hit the milestone a couple weeks back and modestly hid the mention at the bottom of one of his extensive weekly updates. Few fan projects have been able to keep up such a consistent pace year over year. Work continues on scene narratives, encounter details and ultimate direction for the story in his Elegy of Sivar campaign.
2015.223 (August 11, 2015)
Klavs is well known for his Concordia models, but his latest revision was unfortunately lost in a recent crash. His only recourse was to start over. The good news is that the ship is coming back together better than ever! There are still some areas yet to go, but the sleek shape and many hull details are already in place.
2014.223 (August 11, 2014)
With much of the Kilrathi fleet now established, Klavs has turned his attention back to polishing several aspects of the Wing Commander universe that will eventually be needed in his Tales of the Claw adventure. On deck today is the Southampton class destroyer. It looks tough and rugged without appearing overly bulky. The green hull highlights also make it visually similar to the Tiger's Claw and its contemporary escorts.
2013.223 (August 11, 2013)
Wing Commander lives! The Wing Commander fandom is as active today as it was fifteen years ago, and that's just astounding. Against all odds, companies continue to release Wing Commander products like the Academy DVDs and the movie BluRay. GOG has released the bulk of the series digitally and is now poised to publish the rest.
Thank you to my lovely wife for baking her first Wing Commander CIC birthday cake!
In just over two months, the Austin Symphony Orchestra will be performing music from Wing Commander live in concert… and you can bet the WC:CIC team will be there! The event is October 18th at 8 PM in Austin, Texas, the birthplace of Wing Commander and current home of Cloud Imperium Games. Tickets will go on sale August 12th at midnight CST, so pick up your pass to the show and let us know you're coming - we'll have a variety of other Wing Commander activities during the week leading up to the concert!Update 8/13: Wing Commander will not be part of this program afterall.
We are pleased to announce that we have confirmed with Electronic Arts that they have licensed four more Wing Commander games to GOG! Academy, Armada, The Darkening and Prophecy should be available through the service later this year, completing the PC run of the series. Proof positive that it will be an amazing year for Wing Commander!
When Wing Commander Prophecy came out in 1997, it was common practice for companies to create an additional SKU that was somewhere between a downloadable demo and the full game. The specialized OEM version of the game would be then offered to manufacturers for bundling with graphics accelerators, sound cards or other upgrades. For years, the OEM version of Wing Commander Prophecy was thought lost… until now!Prophecy OEM was bundled with the appropriately-named Real3D Starfighter graphics card as the third disc of the install software (an odd choice for Real3D, as the Starfighter was not a 3dfx card which would take advantage of Prophecy's other major commercial tie-in.
NinjaLA has a special treat for Wingnuts this year! He's working on a new Wing Commander comic. We'll let him explain:Introducing my Wing Commander comic series!I know I have been promising this for quite some time now, but I have an outline, a story and a whole bunch of pages roughed out..
Lt. Overload has been hard at work on a Secret Ops mission pack. As a bonus for today's big day he has released a bonus teaser mission to give everyone a taste of what he has in store. I'll let him tell you about it:An alien factory is constantly building drone fighters, classified as "Cuttlefish.
For the 2006 CIC Anniversary, we launched the Holovids video archive as the central repository for trailers and previews, original cinematics, behind the scenes material and deleted footage. The section contains dozens upon dozens of downloadable movie clips, collected over the CIC's long history. For the 2007 Anniversary we added convenient streaming through a Flash video player, which was all the rage at the time. Today, Adobe Flash is on the way out as a means to deliver online video, in part due to the rise in mobile browsing.
It's been a bit of a quiet year for WCPedia, however that hasn't stopped contributors from continuing to work on aspects of the project. Wingnuts can now access each game's documentation from the respective landing pages. The complete game list is available here. Wing Commander manuals are some of the greatest sources of background information for the series and excellent reads to boot!
After a four-year break, the CIC Mail Bag is back with questions and comments from you! Cpl_Hades and I take some time to share some of the feedback we've received and respond to the community. Check out the special 15th Birthday edition of the CIC Mail Bag here!
The CIC's Facebook page audience has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year! Right now we're just about two dozen people away from 1500 followers. Can we get there with a little 15th Birthday push? Liking the page keeps you in the loop when breaking news develops, and there's some bonus Wing Commander trivia sprinkled in too.
Presenting the most exciting document we've recovered: the collected documentation generated during the production of Wing Commander I in 1989-1990. You'll find snippets of source code, design notes, internal memos, schedules and more that went into creating the greatest PC game of all time!Download (219.
This collection of early product flyers should be of interest to anyone who loves Origin's promotions department. From a multi-page press pack on Wing Commander to the one-page slip on Origin FX, it's all here!Download (77.
Today we have DRM... and in the day we had password protection. Instead of a special CD key, Origin had to send reviewers a 'cheat sheet' for logging in to Wing Commander I, scanned here!Download (1.
This is one of the most fascinating documents we've released: EA's sales data for all Origin SKUs after their first year of stewardship. Some of these numbers may surprise you! Note that this is not lifetime and does not include games sold before the 1992 buy-out.Download (2.
This internal profile created by Origin in the mid-1990s is another great look at the company, featuring executive bios and history. The best part, however, is the page with cool Wing Commander III ship rendering artwork!Download (2.
This is a short but interesting PC Games Plus preview of Wing Commander III (with the added bonus of some 1990s Ultima artwork on the cover!) Check out the logo artwork, clearly derived from Wing Commander II.Download (2.
This is a collection of photocopied reviews which Origin distributed to show that Wing Commander I was a major success. In this instance, they were sent to "The Fatman," who was likely looking for pull quotes to promote his game audio business.Download (26.
In 1992, Origin Systems put together a glossy booklet to pitch upcoming products to retailers. It includes information on their inbound projects as well as executive bios and a company history. This version, for Egghead Software, is a great look back at the Origin of yesteryear!
This collection of "The Fatman" George Sanger's files from Wing Commander I and II is especially interesting. It includes notes on the music itself and the contract issues that came up after the scope of the project became apparent!Download (22.
Earlier this year, I visited EA Mythic's Origin archive to take a second fast pass at the Wing Commander production slides they had stored. The previous archiving effort had missed several as the slide scanner failed to recognize them or created garbled results. Here, for the first time, is the full set!
What you see here is the wall chart from the original brainstorming session for "Alien Commander." Conceived as a spinoff of Wing Commander in which you play an alien, Alien Commander eventually became the first game in the lauded System Shock franchise. This is where it all started!Download (7.
Did you ever call Origin for help with a game? If so, you probably spoke to a member of an elite brotherhood of CS agents. It's part of game development we don't usually think about, but it's absolutely essential to a successful product. Here are mid-1990s CS policies at Origin!
As Origin FX, the Ultima and Wing Commander-themed screensaver, was in development, Warren Spector collected ideas for minigames and additional modules. Some of them are even Wing Commander-themed... check it out!Download (18.
Warren Spector left Origin in 1995 to found Looking Glass, the company responsible for System Shock 2, Thief and other titles. This is his company-wide goodbye letter, which is a great look back at the culture at Origin at the time.Download (1.
Wing Commander III, like any Hollywood production, had a massive number of storyboards created during preproduction. Thanks to David Downing, we now have photos of all of them! Download this massive find below.
Every aspect of Wing Commander III's production is chronicled in this binder, from the set catering information to camera positions to the shooting schedule! If you're interested in the nuts and bolts of interactive movie production, this is for you.Download (345.
This binder of information is the edit companion for Wing Commander III's barracks scenes. Every scene shot on the green screen for the barracks is tracked, measured and recorded here!Download (63.
In the 1990s, everyone gave away mousepads. Origin was no exception, giving away these Wing Commander IV and Prophecy mousepads at trade shows to promote the games. The "Wasp" item is especially cool, with 3D hexagons all over the image.Download (5.
In 1995, Paul Steed pitched a game called Cyclone Alley to Origin. Cyclone Alley was a futuristic racing game set in space that was ultimately abandoned. At one point, Warren Spector attempted to merge Privateer 2 and Cyclone Alley into one project... and these are his notes!
The Darkening is still a sore subject in some areas today, owing largely to the conflict between EA UK and Origin in Austin over the game's release. This post-mortem document was created in 1996 by the team in Origin responsible for supporting the game... and it's safe to say that no love was lost. Download (12.
This collection of assorted Prophecy-related documents was discovered in a folder in David Downing's archive. It has some interesting notes, including the outline for a speech he gave on the game, the decision to change the capital ship names and some execu-speak from Electronic Arts!Download (20.
This glossy pitch for Privateer 3 was crafted in 2000 for the eyes of Electronic Arts executives. Printed in full color, this massive document was signed by the entire team. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to convince EA that the team with ten years of space combat experience was a better match for building an online space game than the team responsible for Command and Conquer.Download (39.
In contrast to the Privateer 3 pitch available above, this is an internal document. Passed between the project lead and the executives at Origin, it was intended to create the broad vision for an MMO, Privateer Online: what it would do, what it would accomplish, how it would make money.
Here's another entry in our collection of Wing Commander movie script drafts. This version of the second draft is Kevin Droney's personal first attempt at scripting the movie. Droney was brought in to rewrite the film, owing largely to his experience with the Mortal Kombat film. Download (2.
Wing Commander ships borrow names from ships of all ages and nations. To celebrate the CIC’s 15th Birthday, we take a look at four Wing Commander ships and where their names come from.HMS / TCS Ark RoyalI'll order Rear Admiral Dayan with Task Force Twenty-one to deploy from Tangier. She's got two battlewagons, the carrier Ark Royal, and some damned good cruiser and frigate commanders.
Every year we like to give away one trivia prize to users who aren't on the live chat during the event. The first person to submit these trivia answers to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a digital copy of the Wing Commander movie score via iTunes!Q1.
As you may recall, we begin every Wing Commander year by asking how long you've been following the site. Are you a new fan, or have you been part of the community since our pre-history as the Wing Commander Home Sector? As we approach two decades in operation, it's gratifying to see how many people are still around… and that Wing Commander can still attract new blood. Hear that, Electronic Arts?
I hope you have enjoyed all of the material available today. It has been a busy year for lots of reasons, but as the community continues to find time for Wing Commander regardless of the impact of real life so always will I. A genuine thanks to the thousands of Wing Commander fans everywhere who continue to make this the best community in the world. You are the series' legacy, and the friendships you continue and the content you generate makes any effort at running the CIC worthwhile.
2012.224 (August 11, 2012)
If we'd had a kid instead of a Wing Commander community, they'd be starting high school right now. Let THAT sink in!This was a good year to be a Wing Commander fan. Between the GOG releases of the series and the DVD set of Wing Commander Academy, everything is just plain available again in a way I never would have predicted.
We're honored to have a birthday message from series creator Chris Roberts for the community:Happy fourteenth birthday WC News! I tip my hat to Ben, Chris, Barrie, Brandon, Kris, Aaron and Jason for keeping the dream alive. I’m humbled that a world I created because I wanted to feel the dream of being a pilot flying a star fighter with a mission to save humanity connected with so many people and grew into something so much larger. A lot of talented people contributed to making the Wing Commander universe what it is today, and that includes the people at WC News and the fans that keep its spirit alive today despite there being no new commercial “AAA” game for 14 years (sorry Arena isn’t a real WC – it has to be first person 3D and cinematic!
And a very happy birthday to our sister community's flagship site, the Ultima Codex (formerly Ultima Aiera)! They turned eight years old yesterday... so at least they won't have to go to the same high school as the CIC!
Remember, Colonel Blair Armstrong says always use protection. (This is the actual medal case in Super Wing Commander; I miss the bikini girl.
We always start the next Wing Commander year (WCY) with a poll asking how long you've been with the community... and every year we're blown away by both the number of people who have been with us since WCHS in 1995 AND the fact that we still get new WingNuts today! So, keep the tradition going and vote!Last time we asked which Kilrathi had the coolest sounding name and the winner by a long shot was Dakhath "Deathstroke" nar Sihkag with almost half the total votes.
Fourteen years ago, CIC founders Chris Reid and Ben Lesnick, awkward teenagers both, sat down for an interview with Evan "Hadrian" Adnams to record an 'infoburst' (the term podcast not yet existing.) Justin "LeHah" Bielawa and Echo Sector's Keenan Weaver sat down with Chris and Ben again earlier this week and asked them the same questions. How has a decade and a half in the Wing Commander community changed us? Find out here (53 meg MP3).
The CIC is going back... to Austin! Last year we celebrated the birthday from Austin, TX while visiting former Origin developers and studying material housed at the University of Texas' videogames archive. If you missed that adventure you're about to get a second chance: we will be in Austin the second week in October (during the Game Developers Conference.
Last year the Chatzone was upgraded to new forum software called Xenforo. One thing that was not possible to implement with it was the old rank system. The software continued to see updates over the last year and we can now announce that a new Chatzone rank and medal system has been implemented. Wingnuts can earn service ribbons, bronze, silver, and gold stars, along with other awards for Chatzone activities.
Attached are pictures of the original Wing Commander press release... from when the game was still called Wingleader! This would have been sent to store owners who were planning on ordering new games from Origin.
This is a special treat. In the past we've explored earlier drafts of the Wing Commander movie -- the pitch to Sony, the first, second, third and shooting scripts. We've followed the original through Chris Roberts' and Kevin Droney's rewrites and revealed how it became the movie we saw in 1999. But what if we told you there was a Wing Commander movie pitch before all that?
In the tradition of last year's selection of Wing Commander posters, here's something you can print at home: a copy of Blair's orders prop from the Wing Commander movie! It's interesting that some (but not all or even most) of the Wing Commander movie material considers him to be a Confederation Marine.
Here we have Ellen Guon and Stephen Beeman's original script/pitch for "Wing Commander II: Cloak and Dagger," written in November 1990 shortly after the release of the first game. It's Vengeance of the Kilrathi, for sure, but it's Vengeance of the Kilrathi writ large... with many more elaborate scenes and ideas that didn't make it to the finished game. There are too many highlights to list, so let me just mention this: players get to watch a reporter talking about the state of the war between missions...
Ah, the Wing Commander 2 pilots: Iceman, Minx, Turbo, Tomcat, Cirocco, Bogey... wait, what?! This fascinating document, glimpsed in the Wing Commander I & II Ultimate Strategy Guide, introduces us to the characters Ellen Guon and Stephen Beeman initially imagined for Wing Commander 2. As with the script, there is a LOT here that didn't make it into the finished game!
Finally, we have the preliminary list of art assets needed for the initial version of Wing Commander 2. These are all the talking heads, background sets, special scenes and so on that Guon and Beeman believed the art team would have to create. Note that they're already thinking about saving money/time: there are notes about reusing things from Wing Commander I... and Ultima 6!
At some point during the development of Wing Commander 2, someone at Origin ran a text file of all the game's ship stats through a dot matrix printer. From there they marked changes as the game was finished--what ships were cut, what changed roles and so on. Over the years that printout yellowed, the text faded, the edges tore and it slowly disappeared... until it was discovered and photographed for this post!
... that the back of the box for Special Operations 2 has absolutely nothing to do with anything that happens in the game?The Confederation's electronic grapevine is running amok with rumors that vital intelligence has been withheld by the High Command. Luckily, Special Operations has its own sources of information, and they say the waiting game just won't cut it any longer.
The quest for Wing Commander II Super Nintendo goes on... but we have found a trace! This Wing Commander II hat was created by publisher FCI to promote the game. It was given to us by Billy Cain, who was lead on the sadly lost project!
1992 was the first "down" year for Wing Commander. It's something of a surprise, after Wing Commander in 1990 and Wing Commander II in 1991, that there was no major game project. Privateer ("Trade Commander" at the time) was initially planned for a holiday release, but delays to the Strike Commander technology pushed it back to 1993. Instead, we now celebrate the twentieth anniversary of four smaller projects, all now considered true classics.
Ever wonder how Baen got the first Wing Commander novel into the stores? Probably not, but here's the answer to the question you didn't ask! It's interesting that there's really very little focus on it being a WING COMMANDER book and a lot on the fact that Mercedes Lackey has a whole host of successful fantasy series' to her credit. Bonus: it's very, very pink.
Interested in Freedom Flight after twenty years but aren't sure you're willing to spend the $0.01 for a used copy on Amazon? We've got your hook-up: the preview chapter for the novel is now available online here.This was originally included in copies of Wing Commander 2 Deluxe and features an edited version of the novel's first two chapters.
It's no secret that Chris Roberts' Strike Commander had something of a pained development cycle. Advertising promoting a Christmas 1991 release date (below) was so inaccurate that the final game's manual included a parody promising it would finally be out in 2011. One interesting fact is that Strike actually had a much more diverse selection of vehicles in the original proposal, including an attack helicopter and a P-38 Lightning which mercenaries of the future were somehow going to use as a ground attack aircraft!As evidence of that, we've archived both versions of Origin's press release for the game.
If you'd visited Origin's headquarters in 1992 you might have found this "editorial cartoon" taped to more than one office wall. We'll leave it to you to divine the meaning.
To help with the promotion for the Wing Commander Academy DVD set, we created incredibly high resolution scans of a number of animation cels from the series. None of them were used by anyone, and so here are four updates worth for anyone who is interested. The first shows off the series' main characters, including Blair, Maniac, Grunt and Archer.
The third set of Wing Commander Academy cels are the series' ferocious Kilrathi. Many consider the Wing Commander Academy Kilrathi to be the 'ideal' look for the alien race... even though some of them were purple and green.
The second set of Wing Commander Academy artwork includes many of the game's classic fighters... and a few capital ships!
Last and certainly least is animation cels featuring... the Warrior King!
The 300+ images on the Wing Commander CCG weren't all computer art. A great many of them were traditional paintings... and we've added high resolution scans of two to our collection in case you'd like a really close look at how making a card works. These pieces by Robert Daniels Jr.
You've already seen the out-of-nowhere VDU image update above. Here's the story behind it: I was just trying to come up with something that looked cool for a birthday update and figured I'd see what it looked like if all the Wing Commander I VDUs were lined up. It quickly became clear that I'd accidentally discovered the coolest looking thing in the world. And so by Wednesday night I was frantically playing through Super Wing Commander on my PowerMac, Bertha, so I could be sure to include the SWC versions.
With all the interest in both medals and Super Wing Commander, I thought it might be fun to show you what a full set of 'chicken guts' looks like in that release. The game will show up to three of each 'star.' The first gives you the medal, the second the complete bar and the third the small triangle on top. It is only possible to win one Medal of Honor (lower row, right) in the game.
The Wing Commander Prophecy soundtrack is strange enough: it's two tracks from the game and a dozen randomly licensed techno/industrial songs. But now look at this: the Wing Commander Prophecy OST--from 1997!--on a cassette tape.It's a real thing: for whatever reason, cassettes apparently had a longer shelf life in Thailand...
We are pleased to announce that an anonymous xOrigin employee has donated 36 DAT tapes... most of which are labeled Wing Commander 3 or Wing Commander 4! We have absolutely no idea what these tapes contain... and are not yet sure how or if they can be recovered.
Now it can be told! In early 1999, Origin laid off the Maverick team and cancelled their project, Privateer Online. In October, 1999 they hired back as much of the team as had not moved on to Star Wars Galaxies as they could to create... Wing Commander Online: Privateer.
Paul Steed, an Origin artist who would later go on to fame working on the Quake games, once pitched Origin a science fiction game called Cyclone Alley. Paul explains:Back in ’94, I was Project Director at Origin, and they knew I was going to quit and they said, ‘look, what’s it going to take to keep you here?’ And I said, ‘get me my own project, and I’ll stay. I want a team of people to do a project like I think it should be done.
You may have heard of Alien Commander, Warren Spector's pitch which ultimately became the famous System Shock. What you don't know is how delightfully crazy it is: the game is set on the wreckage of the TCS Tiger's Claw and has the player face off against Double Helixes! Below are scans of the two-page pitch which is worth a read.
This was a birthday surprise even to us: Wing Commander actress Ginger Lynn Allen was kind enough to stop by the forums and answer fan questions! Here's what we've learned so far. If you'd like to ask her a question you can post here - hopefully she'll be back soon!I've just found this site and thought I join and have the chance to talk to all the Wing Commander fans out there.
Did you know the CIC has a twitter account? It's @wccic. Now LeHah has set about creating a list of Wing Commander related celebrities who use the service. Know someone who should be added to this list?
If you're anything like me you're constantly frustrated that the digital manual included with the CD-ROM edition of Wing Commander Academy does not include the cover art or the back page featuring the "Wingman's Creed." Thanks to a pair of high resolution scans from Sheppard now it does! We've inserted the missing pages into the digital version of the manual. It's a small update, but one I truly appreciate.
A lot of Wing Commander manuals are available as digital downloads... but you wouldn't know it for looking! Kris has cut through the disorganization and gone back and gathered up all the manuals we posted in single updates and then forgot about over the years. Remember the UK versions of the Privateer 2 manuals we posted in 2006?
We've had a lot of questions about what is going on with the Wing Commander computer project. When I started building the fourth Wing Commander computer I set a seemingly impossible goal: I'd like to add a 3DO Blaster to the setup. The 3DO Blaster was an ISA card which allowed PCs to run 3DO games in Windows. Because of the VGA connection it's absolutely the best way to play--and get screenshots from!
For the past month or so I have been snapping Instagram photos of hardware going into the Wing Commander computer... and I thought it would be cool to see it all in one place! All of these boards, consoles and controllers help play Wing Commander games in some specialized way!
The CIC's deep content has begun the move to the WCPedia! Kris has been hard at work converting many of our sections to the new, easy-to-update format and the results speak for themselves.The Books Landing Page now features information on all the novels, official guides and unofficial guides. It merges information from /background, /books and several articles.
Let's get it out of the way first. We failed. Not for lack of trying, we made a huge number of updates and edits with a decent number of new articles created this year. What we've been doing is going back and updating old articles to match new layouts we are working on.
This awesome Kilrathi sketch is by John "The Gneech" Robey, who is no stranger to Wing Commander!
One of the most iconic moments in Action Stations is the final communications between TCS Yorkshire and the remains of the Confederation force. The young executive officer of the Yorkshire, already heavily damaged from the attack on the Kilrathi fleet, gives the order to slow the ship down and draw in the Kilrathi. Doing so will buy much needed time for the other Confederation ships to flee the system and fight another day. To honor the TCS Yorkshire and the rallying cry she created, NinjaLA has created a fantastic piece of art.
But wait, there's more!
The crew of the Wing Commander: From the Ashes play-by-post roleplaying game were kind enough to send the community their birthday regards: "Phoenix Roleplaying, home of Wing Commander play-by-post game 'From the Ashes,' wishes wcnews.com a very happy birthday." They add that anyone is welcome to join their game, an easy to pick-up-and-play forum-based roleplaying scenario. You can learn more about their game and start playing yourself here.
Forum member capi3101, known for his ongoing Wing Commander RPG project, is celebrating the birthday with a stand-alone role playing module based on the Enyo Engagement! Titled "Enyo," the document contains everything you and your friends need for a thrilling adventure circa 2639. I am pleased to announce the release of Enyo, a WCRPG miniature campaign, in honor of the 14th anniversary of the founding of the Wing Commander CIC website. Enyo is a pseudo-historical campaign that allows players to participate in the Enyo Engagement, an event first mentioned in Claw Marks.
I bet you thought you'd heard the last of Unknown Enemy, the grandfather of all modern Wing Commander fan projects. Well, you thought wrong: the team has been hard at work at a high resolution patch which will take advantage of modern advances in Wing Commander Prophecy improving science. The update isn't quite ready yet, but they were kind enough to send us this preview:Way back in 2002, we released Unknown Enemy, the first major mod for Wing Commander: Secret Ops. Looking back on it now, it seems in many ways primitive and naive - certainly, it's hard to compare with what we achieved in Standoff.
While the 200th anniversary for the Burning of Washington is still two years off, I figured why not get it in early. So for the CIC's 14th birthday WC vs History turns to the US Capitol Building and the Hall of the Great Assembly. The legislative hearts of the United States and Terran Confederation respectively, they are brought together in Wing Commander IV. Happy Birthday Wingnuts and enjoy!
The reason there are two WC vs History's for the birthday is rather quite simple. LOAF lost this one in his email. I sent him the history parts asking for some WC polish. So it's sat idly for months.
Like we do every year, we want to offer up some trivia and a prize to those unable to make the 'party.' The first person to correctly e-mail us the answers to these five questions will win a copy of the Wing Commander Academy DVD set! (... but you should all have bought a copy already, anyway.
I hope you enjoyed all of that material! The most sincere thank you to the thousands of Wing Commander fans who continue to make this site worthwhile. It sounds corny, but we wouldn't be anywhere without you.Thank you to the rest of the staff for making the day and day-in possible: Chris, Dundradal, AD, ace, Hades.
2011.223 (August 11, 2011)
Welcome to the Wing Commander Combat Information Center's 13th annual birthday party! Please join the fun on IRC, where we're having Wing Commander chat, trivia and giveaways! It's the social event of the season.Wing Commander fans have a lot to be thankful for this year, from the release of Privateer on GOG (with more to come!
Eleven years ago, HarperCollins angered Wing Commander fans everywhere by cancelling the third movie 'continuity novel', Pilgrim Truth. For more than a decade the manuscript written to bring closure to the Pilgrim storyline and the 'movie world' sat unread and unreleased. Today, we are proud to announce that it is now available. Thanks to the efforts of Electronic Arts and the dedication of author Peter Telep, we are now allowed to release the text of the book for WingNuts everywhere to read.
Want to read Pilgrim Truth on the go? You're in luck! Starman has kindly set up Pilgrim Truth as an eBook! It's available in both mobi (Kindle) and epub (everything else) formats!
As you have heard, ace, Chris and I are in Austin, Texas looking at the University of Texas Videogames Archive. This museum collection includes the personal papers of Origin luminaries including Richard Garriott, The Fatman, Warren Spector, Gordon Walton and Billy Cain. Thanks to donations from our collections, there will even be a WCNews archive available soon! We don't have time for a full analysis yet, but I wanted to share with you some of the highlights:The original, 1991 Wing Commander movie proposal and outline.
The @WCCIC started off last year as an April Fool's Joke... but now it's the real deal! Kris has integrated Twitter into our backend, which will automatically notify readers of new CIC updates--and we'll be using it to post the usual array of Wing Commander jokes and references previously reserved for our personal accounts. Click the button below to follow us on Twitter!
You asked for it: the CIC has finally entered the 21st century with the addition of a "mobile" version of the site! Now you can get your Wing Commander news and information on the go without any awkward pinch-zooming. Point your tiny browsers at m.wcnews.
You may have noticed that the Chat Zone was down earlier today. That wasn't to frustrate partygoers--it was because we've replaced the aging vBulletin board with a brand new Xenforo system! There's no need to create a new account and your old login will continue to work... but the new board is more secure, features an achievement-style 'promotion' system, support for mobile platforms and social networking, and can be integrated right into the CIC front page!
“In three years we’ve uploaded almost 1,100 content articles, uploaded 700 files, made 10,600 edits and had over 1.3 million views.” - August 10, 2010What a year the last one has proven to have been! WCPedia’s growth was well beyond my expectations because of the hard work of a group of dedicated and determined wingnuts.
WCPedia has needed a main page facelift for a long time. On its fourth birthday, what better way to start the Wing Commander year off with than a new main page? Well here it is. Wingnuts can now better navigate to the main areas of the project quickly and easily.
WCPedia has undergone some major structural changes in the last year. The project was split into two main content areas recently. The Wing Commander Encyclopedia is where you’ll be able to find all kinds of real world information about Wing Commander. Wingnuts can find landing pages for all the major Wing Commander products from which they can explore various areas about each product.
A lot of progress has been made to enter as much relevant background information on the Wing Commander feature film into the WCpedia project. While tastes and opinions vary on the film itself, every fan owes it to themselves to familiarize themselves with the making of the film and the development process that gave us what ended up in theaters. To this end, there are over 20 behind the scenes articles and interviews, and more than 420 behind the scenes images, and other resources available at the wcpedia movie landing page. Here are some of the highlights that you won't want ot miss out on.
We've previously reported on a recent re-encode of the Wing Commander Movie Electronic Press Kit. That tape is available to download in it's entirety HERE. But until recently it's been one of the big holes in our Holovids section. As part of our WCpedia refit I've been spending time chopping up the tape into it's individual segments so that you can all enjoy it without having to wait for an enormous download!
A big part of our WCpedia movie effort has been to include the various script drafts of the film for easy comparison. While some work is yet to be done, the labor intensive part is done and each draft can be read in it's entirety. All, four - yes four! - drafts are parsed and ready for you to enjoy.
One curriosty that's been reported in the past are that the production notes for the Wing Commander film have never been discovered in English. While entering articles into the WCpedia project we noted this sad deficiency and would like to rectify that. The CIC needs YOU!You can read through the spanish production notes HERE, along with an extremely rough translation.
Have you ever wanted your own Wing Commander poster? Just take one of these super high resolution pieces of key art to a local print shop and you'll have a beautiful new decoration for your walls!
It's funny to think about a cutting edge game developer doing art and layouts by hand--but that's exactly how things worked before Origin switched to a digital process in 1994. In this set of images (originally addressed to Dallas Snell), you can see the creation of the corporate logo used on the boxes of the first several Wing Commanders. It looks like there were some interesting alternatives in the mix!
Also recovered from Origin's vault: print resolution versions of the art used in the magazine that started it all, Claw Marks!
If you were a video gamer in 1990 and claim you weren't impressed by the line art of Wing Commander's ships then you are a liar. This was, without a doubt, the first step to hooking me on Wing Commander.
And what's a birthday without dancing girls? ... and medals, missiles and ribbons.
For the first time ever online, here are Origin's "source" files for the famous Wing Commander I Kilrathi ace artwork! Dakhath, Khajja, Baktosh... they're all here! Also, Bhurak.
In honor of Wing Commander II's upcoming 20th anniversary, we've asked members of the CIC staff to post their memories of the game here. Want to share your own? Post it to the forums and we'll collect them all in a future article!LOAF:I remember being given Wing Commander II the Christmas after it came out.
When Wing Commander II came out I was very disappointed with the ship images in the manual. Black and white shapes compared to the detailed line drawings in Claw Marks? Twenty years later, it's clear I was terribly wrong--these get the feel of World War II identification silhouettes just right.
Look closely at these Wing Commander I and II screenshots, scanned from Origin promotional slides. They're from pre-release versions of the game! You'll find some of the familiar changes (ie, "Lt. Shadow" and the named Kilrathi)...
Here are high-resolution slide scans of two of Wing Commander's most mysterious images. The first, showing a young Blair in front of a group of photographers, appeared on the Wing Commander II box. In the actual game the scene was moved to Admiral Tolwyn's office and used the 'ten years later' Blair. That was all done to save disk space; as originally scripted, you would have seen Blair at his trial (some of the graphics for the court scene were later reused in Special Operations 2).
This fall, we will be running a lengthy series of updates highlighting the various objects and layouts Chris photographed while visiting Mythic in 2008 (and we will forward Ultima-related pictures to Ultima Aiera). Kicking off the project in honor of Wing Commander II's 20th anniversary is a fascinating "sell sheet" developed by Origin's publications department. At first glance it looks like it's just an advertisement for Wing Commander II--but it's actually a 1994 publication designed to convince retailers to order a Sega port of the game!Origin planned to release both Sega and Super Nintendo ports of Wing Commander II, both of which were to be developed internally.
Here's a blast from the past courtesy of Joe Garrity and the Origin Museum. Back in 1991, Origin decided to photograph their 'rock star' developers buying their newly released games at local stores. Here are Richard Garriott, Chris Roberts and Warren Spector buying copies of Wing Commander II, Savage Empire and Martian Dreams! Just looking at the shelves in the stores fills me with nostalgia.
Courtesy of our friends at GOG, we have three digital copies of Wing Commander: Privateer to give away! And we're giving them to... whoever uses them first! Grab a code here and head over to GOG to redeem it.
Little bits of an earlier version of Privateer have slipped out over time--that nice 3D Gothri, the different intro cutscene and so forth. Here are all the screenshots, together for the first time and most of them never seen before. Note the Mercenary Guild secretary's lack of cleavage! Note the alternate intro scene involving a Galaxy and Demons!
Ever wonder how a game box was made? Lets take a look at everything that went into the simple Righteous Fire box! First, we're going to find a font for the new text logo. This one looks good!
Nothing about Armada was quite like the rest of Wing Commander, from the speed of the gameplay to the ship specifications... and the logo, with giant green jello letters, was no exception. But how weird could it have been? Check out these candidates developed by Origin's publications unit!
This is the first of two exciting 'lost pages'. Archaeologists have discovered the draft text for Armada's incredible "Voices of War" manual... with some differences! One is that the letter to M'rathka is signed by a different kil, Clat'har nar Ragitagha...
... the least appealing advertisement ever designed. "The big fish in 3DO games"? Really?
Check out these radical Wing Commander III and IV sketches, done by the art team to plan the ships and characters that would need to be rendered and costumed for a new kind of Wing Commander game. Some of these were included in Origin's Official Guide to Wing Commander III... but the Vesuvius sketch is as-of-yet unpublished! Seeing this sketch should better explain why the novel describes Vesuvius as being Kilrathi-like--its "prongs" are sharper and much more pronounced.
Here are a selection of cool high-resolution storyboards and script pages from Wing Commander III. Interesting to note that the storyboards have stronger language for Blair's final optional losing-track 'fell off' of Thrakhath. Special bonus--three images tracking how they built the 'gunnery' CGI set (I never even noticed the planet)!
Here is another great set of classy photography from the Wing Commander III film shoot, used in Origin's Official Guide. Colonel Blair sure looks confident for someone who can' sew his patch on correctly...
These incredible renderings were created by Origin for their Official Guide to Wing Commander III. Now you can see them at the highest possible resolution--and learn every rivet on the side of your Excalibur...
Get an even closer look at every crease and line of this sexy F-27 Arrow! Doesn't that 'straight on' shot have an unusual amount of weight to it?
Here are high resolution images of some of Wing Commander III's most iconic scenes. These were created by Origin for use across all branded products in 1994--from card games to Zanart! Okay, just the two.
Frankly, I think I got out of DC just in time!
This Wing Commander 'sheet music' was found on an Origin disc. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like you can use it to play the Wing Commander III soundtrack yourself. ace says: "It looks like it's just the first 20 seconds of the WC3 escort MIDI. It seems to be the same MIDI file that's on the CIC and doesn't fix any of the oddities to make it more sheet music friendly.
Take a moment to thank the amazing team of men and women behind Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger. Here they are, in the flesh! They are: Adam Foshko, Chris Douglas, Chris Roberts, Craig Miller, Dan Orzulak, Frank De Palma, Frank Roan, Galen Svanas, George Olziey, Kirsten Maryott, Mark Chandler, Martin Galway, Nenad Vugrinec, Prem Krishnan, Tim Ray, Tony Morone, Tuesday Frase and the QA team!
We have discovered an additional capital ship commented out of Victory Streak. In the manual's Quark files are located the following specifications for a Confederation heavy carrier:Heavy CarrierLength 1200 metersMass 35,000 metric tonnesMax. YPR 1 dpsMax. Velocity 130 kpsAcceleration 2.
Victory Streak, the Wing Commander III manual, includes a review of Hail SHODAN, a pretend movie in the Wing Commander universe that is a reference to System Shock. The 3DO version of the manual even includes a System Shock screenshot to go with the review! While digging through Mythic's System Shock archive, I happened to find the exact screenshot used... in full color!
Say hi to the bartender for me!
Here's a craft project for you--make your own Wing Commander locker! To start you off, here are Blair's two photos of Angel from Wing Commander III... and his bikini picture from Secret Missions 2 (courtesy of NinjaLA). Next you'll need Super Wing Commander's space condoms--and you'll never have to use them...
We have seen some interesting 'road not taken' artwork before--but these early designs for Kilrathi Saga really takes the cake! It's very interesting to see the different attempts and how they clearly lead to the focus on the 'Kilrathi hand' graphic... which we'll look at in another update!
Here's a swath of Kilrathi Saga box art production examples--you can follow the rough idea (which includes a Bearcat and a Vindicator!) all the way through the individual ship renders to the finished box. Pay special attention to the version of the box that actually lists the addons as contents--that was published in PC Gamer in 1997 and confused a lot of people.
I am very pleased to announce that this is the 48th CIC update of the night--which means we just shattered the previous record of 46 updates set by Privateer Day several months ago! More importantly, the night isn't close to over yet--we're going to set a bar that it may be impossible ever to reach again!
When it came time to design the Kilrathi Saga box's claw logo, Origin's artists didn't just render what they thought a Kilrath hand might look like... they dressed up in a real one to see how it would look! This set of test photos was taken to determine what the 3D rendering should look like--you can trace the development from the original picture of the emperor all the way to the render itself! Most impressive, the photo session seems to have lasted six hours and required multiple hand models.
Finally, while looking at raw notes from Origin's publication department we've also found a page cut from the Kilrathi Saga manual--containing a letter from Blair's dad (you can learn more about Blair's father here). PopsiclePete was even able to render the page out using Origin's original layout... so you can see what the message would have looked like (here)! It looks like Origin's publications staff had something against letters involving parents...
This set of awesome sketches--created throughout the development of the first three Wing Commander games--originally appeared in the 1997 Kilrathi Saga calendar. Now you can see them all at their original resolution!
Here are two interesting images discovered among Origin's publications material. Both are high resolution renders not seen in the games themselves. The first seems to be a shot of the TCS Vesuvius' bridge, possibly intended for use as a menu of some sort... the second is the empty flight deck of a Kilrathi Bhantkara-class heavy carrier.
In fact, it sounded like a milk run. All they had to do was make an orbit or three around a small,insignificant planet the Kilrathi called "Vukar Tag." It was way out in the Kilrathi boondocks. Okay, so it was in enemy territory, but it was closer to the Fleet than to Kilrah, and they had the jump points very clearly mapped.
We are pleased to announce that the CIC has successfully recovered the Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger source code. Two versions of the complete source have been located and permanently archived. Our agreements with Electronic Arts mean that we can not make the source code available to the public at this time--but we want everyone to know it will now be preserved for future use and study. This is the first source code in our 'offline' research archive, which also includes budget documents for Origin's film shoots and the 'rough cut' of the Wing Commander film.
Trixter of oldskool.org was kind enough to use his impressive video knowledge to remaster the Wing Commander III 'making of' video. He says:I've created two versions: A 480i MPEG-2 that can be directly burned to DVD, and a 480p H.264 MPEG-4 file for computer viewing.
These Wing Commander IV sketches bridge the gap between Wing Commander III and IV--and hopefully confirm that the Intrepid was never meant to be two destroyers attached together (where did that rumor come from?).
These two great photos show the complexity of two of Wing Commander IV's most impressive sets--the courtroom from the introduction and climactic endgame, and Pliers' detailed workshop on the Intrepid.
These full color Wing Commander IV ships--source images created for Origin's Official Guide to Wing Commander IV--make a compelling argument! This set includes the long lost Dralthi rendering!
Here's a magnificent render of the BWS Intrepid's flight deck--possibly an alternative to the 'top down' version used in the finished game.
In 1995, Origin created several beautiful magazine covers to promote Wing Commander IV. Rather than simply capture screens from the game itself, these renderings were unique works of art. Now you can see the original resolution images, as they were created before being sent off to the magazine editors! A fourth image was created for Electronic Entertainment, although the source file has not been located.
Ever wonder how much a Colonel Blair standup costs? $42. How many promotional Wing Commander IV t-shirts were printed? 1,280!
I don't know what this is... but it terrifies me.
Now meet the (very similar) team behind Wing Commander IV! They are: Andy Sommers, Chris Douglas, Chris Roberts, Frank Roan, Tony Morone and the QA team!
Here we have an impressive array of The Darkening concept art, showing the design for sets, establishing shots and even ships! Interestingly, the artwork isn't 'dark' at all--it's light and painted with bright colors. The first three were once available as "easter eggs" at Origin's interactive Privateer 2 website in 1996... the others have never been released to the public before!
This set of photographs includes a number unpublished (and somewhat arty!) photographs taken on the set of Privateer 2: The Darkening. Included here are Erin Roberts, John Hurt as Joe Kane, Clive Owen as Lev Arris, David McCallum as the Canera Captain, Brian Blessed as Uncle Kashumai and Mathilda May as Melissa Banks. Uncle Kashumai is just begging to become an "internet meme"...
This is one of four sets of Privateer 2: The Darkening pre-release images. These come from multiple earlier builds of the game and were used for both internal testing and in some advertising. This set is images of the 'booth system', and changes should jump out at you right away--different characters in the database, a full color intro screen, different icons for the guns and so on.
This is one of four sets of Privateer 2: The Darkening pre-release images. These come from multiple earlier builds of the game and were used for both internal testing and in some advertising. This set is images of the gameplay itself, and it's certainly the most fascinating. Check out some of the changes from version to version--there were no less than three different types of VDUs for ships!
This is one of four sets of Privateer 2: The Darkening pre-release images. These come from multiple earlier builds of the game and were used for both internal testing and in some advertising. This set is images of the game's full motion video shoot. Although it didn't change much between the recording and the release, these do offer some unseen angles and much clearer pictures of sets than have been available in the past.
This is one of four sets of Privateer 2: The Darkening pre-release images. These come from multiple earlier builds of the game and were used for both internal testing and in some advertising. This set is images of the game's various planet menus--and also some renderings from the landing scenes with the "HUD" removed! You can see some of the planets change just in the course of these image--little things like the number of trees in the picture can change between versions!
This magnificent 3D rendered city was created for the British version of Privateer 2--it was the front and back cover of the Crius Hospital guide! Bonus: high resolution 'splash' images used for Origin's Official Guide to Privateer 2. You can make them out a lot more clearly here...
If there's one complaint we get about our birthday updates it's that there are too many images at once. Well, count this as the time we backed down. We recently discovered 1.2 gigabytes of individually rendered frames of Privateer 2 landing artwork.
Like those black and white Wing Commander III renders? Then you'll love... every ship in the Tri-System!
Dinky little Straith got you down? Why not pick up an upgrade for it... in high resolution! Look at some of the amazing detail that could never have made it into a game in 1996, like the lettering on some of the missiles!
The ships used to promote Privateer 2 are a unique group--their 3D models often differ significantly from those seen in the game itself!
Between 'Privateer 2' and 'Privateer 2: The Darkening', it was known as simply 'The Darkening'--and here's a whole swath of potential box covers developed by Origin for the game! Note the prominent "Interactive Movie" logo in several... and the lack of Clive Owen!
Last--but not least!--are the official portraits for the Privateer 2: The Darkening team. They are: Adam Medhurst, Erin Roberts, Nick Goldsworthy, Paul Hughes, Tony Stockton and Brian Marshall.
This collection of very early Wing Commander Prophecy sketches was the first group created for the game, including art from Syd Mead and others. Look at the turrets on that beautiful Devastator drawing!
Ever wanted to learn how to land a starfighter? This series of gameflow storyboards done for Wing Commander Prophecy should show you how it works! Note some interesting references in there--is that Sparks and a Rapier II? Bonus--a rough shot of the MED mission editor in use!
The classic Confederation star should be familiar to everyone... but this Kilrathi logo is a bit more unusual. As far as I can tell it has only ever appeared in Origin's Official Guide to Wing Commander Prophecy!
You've seen many of these before... but you've never seen them in this resolution! The most interesting, though, are the two fuzziest--which show the original design of the TCS Midway!
To prepare for Wing Commander Prophecy, designers collected examples of helmets used in previous Wing Commanders. I almost left this collection out, except for the awesome full color version of the pirate helmet... where you can see that "ROBERTS" has been crossed out and replaced with TRASHED!
Ever wanted to know how much an actor might be paid to appear in a Wing Commander game? Actress Ginger Lynn Allen recently sold her Wing Commander Prophecy contract on eBay--to us! We've scanned the document and you can download a copy here (PDF).
More of the early planning for Wing Commander Prophecy. In these Visio sketches, a designer has plotted out how the game's multiplayer menus will work! Shame we never got anything to compare this to in the finished game...
Wing Commander Prophecy had some truly outstanding advertisements--beautiful panoramas of detailed human and alien ships. Now you can download high resolution versions of these ads, without words or logos in the way! They make great wallpapers.
This set of images--some of which are unfortunately very blurry--looks like the effort that birthed the Wing Commander Universe map! You can see a rough map as well as notes on the systems in Prophecy and two early missions. Pay special attention to the 'early' Midway model!
It looks like someone rendered out all the parts to make... and then never put them together! Can you take these images, match them together and make an awesome battle for Kilrah?
Here are three mockup covers considered for Wing Commander Prophecy. Dig that awesome font... but seeing the Panther permanently bend like that just kind of hurts!
From Chat Zone member wcnut and the Standoff team comes this gift for Macintosh users:Mac gamers have been able to play Windows games for a while now using Wine, an open-source Windows API emulation layer for Unix/Linux/OSX, but it's typically a somewhat long and complex process to set up. Using existing tools and some help from other Mac gamers on the web, forums regular wcnut made his own Mac wrapper app for both Secret Ops and Standoff ! That means playing those games is now as easy as clicking on the package file (.DMG), dragging the Secret Ops and Standoff icons whereever you want it stored on your Mac and click to play !
PopsiclePete has released a new version (1.2) of the OpenGL renderer for WCP and SO. Built on the foundation created for the updated graphics seen in Standoff, the new patch sports several exciting features. This release also supports HCl's latest WCP enhancement pack, but there are still some glitches with DVD playback while the game is running fullscreen that were not able to be fixed in time for this release.
It's not just pretty pictures today--we also have an absolutely insane sound file dredged from the depths of Origin history! Labeled "Maverick Mix", this four minute combination of music, sound effects and conversations is one of the strangest things you'll ever hear. It was part of an internal product pitch for "Shadow Force," and it begins with a Chris Roberts imitator, goes on to play some new music and ends with a conversation about what the new game was going to include. Warning--contains some language.
Origin's cancelled Prowler project was not a Wing Commander game; it was an Origin game developed for consoles by a group who would go on to do great things in the Wing Commander universe. Never the less, the CIC is the unofficial guardian of Prowler history, thanks to artist Sean Murphy's history of the project. As such, we're excited to announce that the box art developed for the game (the later Playstation version) has been discovered!
I recently purchased a pair of Wing Commander posts from Movie Bits and their man in charge, David, was kind enough to note the WCNews in my sigature. He offered send me the set of photographs he had take of Wing Commander movie props that had passed through his hands over the years to share with interested Wing Commander fans. Check it out!
Did you know that when a game wins a magazine's "editor's choice" award that there is actually a physical award? Here's a quick look at a number of the awards won by the Wing Commander series, which are currently on display at EA's Bioware Mythic studio. We'll be looking in more detail at these and other Origin awards during our upcoming Mythic Photos updates series.
On 2634.155, Crown Prince Gilkarg, the Barons of the eight noble clans and the heads of several claw fleets gathered to observe the first demonstration of a ship-killed torpedo. The test went flawlessly, an Asjaka bomber destroyed a Butha-class cruiser in a single strike, and the secret weapon that would allow the Empire of Kilrah to begin a war which would be fought on a scale unlike any before it was in place. The germ of the torpedo concept, however, belonged to Kilrah's impending foe.
We are pleased to announce that the newest addition to the Combat Information Center team is Jason "Dundradal" McHale. Dundradal has been a member of the community since the Origin's Official Chat Zone/#Wing-Commander days. His contributions to the site date back to our very first week of operation, where he arranged an interview with Heart of the Tiger and False Colors author Andrew Keith. More recently he has been in charge of the WCPedia effort and co-authoring the 'WC vs History' update series.
Amazing fact: the CIC almost shares a birthday with its Ultima community counterpart, Ultima Aiera! Aiera turned seven yesterday, August 9, and we wish it all the best. Kudos to WtF Dragon and Ultima fans everywhere for the great work they're doing.
Every August we kick the Wing Commander year off with a poll asking how long you've been part of the community. Have you been hanging on since WCHS days or did you just get hooked on the digital release of Privateer last month? Let us know!The previous poll wanted to know gave the best briefings.
As always, we want to offer some trivia and a prize to those unable to make the 'party'. The first person to correctly e-mail us the answers to these five questions will win a copy of Wing Commander IV on DVD!Q1: What ships are rendered on the cover of Kilrathi Saga?Q2: What planet's Privateer 2 landing sequence includes blimps?
It seemed like an impossible goal--not to mention one sure to break the new mobile site and RSS readers everywhere--but we have just hit 100 updates for the night! To celebrate, here's the selection of images that I pulled out of the Mythic material as being important but that didn't really fit anywhere else. The first one is especially strange--I have no idea who Alex is, but his screenshot appeared on a Kilrathi Saga folder.
PopsiclePete has a cool present for us--a high resolution version of the Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga manual rendered from Origin's original file templates! The cover is still a scan, but it will be updated soon. The rest is magnificent, you've never seen a digital manual that looks this nice. Download it here (96 meg PDF).
We have a very kind gift for Wing Commander fans everywhere, from Kevin Caccamo of the Hostile Frontier project:For the CIC's awesome 13th birthday, I'd like to say congratulations and thank you all. Some of you may know that other FreeSpace projects like Earth Defense have released all of their exclusive assets in case anyone else in the modding community may find a use for them. Me and the team have decided to follow suit and release a big modpack containing much of our exclusive assets (Ship models, cockpits, textures, effects) to the WC fans to celebrate the CIC's 13th birthday, and so that others who are planning or working on a WC mod have more toys to play with. The ship models included in this model pack may be freely used in your own WC fan projects, but please do not forget to give proper credit to the people who made them.
Come one, come all, see WCNews.com's amazing WORLD'S LARGEST BLAIR! Other sites may have promised you a giant Blair before, but we aim to make liars out of them all! Step right up, my good men, because what we have in this tent is a massive 4023x10120 image of the great Colonel Christopher Blair, weighing in at 41 megabytes...
Thanks, mom! This will be the first time the staff have been able to eat the birthday cake together...
Whew! That was a lot of work! A very special thanks to the talented group of people who helped do the 'birthday crunch' several weeks early this time so that Chris, ace and I could head to Austin knowing everything was ready. As always, the CIC Staff is the best group of people I know.
2010.223 (August 11, 2010)
Welcome to the Wing Commander Combat Information Center's 12th annual birthday bash! If you aren't on IRC chatting and winning trivia prizes... well, why aren't you?This year marks the 20th anniversary of the original Wing Commander--that's a concept so huge I can't get my head around it...
Ever wonder how the latest Wing Commander game got its start? Now you can see more of the earliest concept drawings... and the first screenshots of the game's original 'top down' look. Be sure and look closely--they include early models of the two abandoned heavy fighters, the Centurion and the Gothri!
In the past we have talked about the story mode planned for Wing Commander Arena (then "Conflict") and how there were two versions--the initial 'burning battle' pitch that was apparently written by someone who had never heard of Wing Commander... and another elaborate plan created in response to our criticism that involved a crazy amount of Wing Commander minutae. It's about time we let you read them for yourself:Backstory #1 - July 24, 2006Backstory #2 - August 3, 2006 (.
The future is here! AD has managed to extract all of Wing Commander Arena's audio and 3D model files. Time for the modders to start playing... and everyone who likes looking through folders of beautiful textures should take a gander, too!
AD has zipped all of Arena's audio files up into a single package and converted the game's music into mp3s. The music may seem odd--they were designed to loop and some have a few-second intro and then a looping main body. He's also produced an Arena medley, included in the package!
When I was originally planning today's updates I had hoped to pick out one great 'present' for each game, walking back through that series. Now that fell apart as we found more and more cool stuff that had to be included, but right along side my list of official games with possible updates was one important note--make sure Wing Commander Standoff is represented. They came through with an awesome new trailer, available below. Here's the official word, from Quarto:The trailer was actually created as a form of musical presentation, providing a visual backdrop for the music from Standoff, which Michael was presenting as part of one of his final university assignments (that's right - working on WC mods does get you good grades!
An Electronic Press Kit (EPK) is a tape sent to television stations and other multimedia outlets put together to make producing a story on your product easier--they include stock interviews with cast members, film footage that can be narrated over, trailers and other background material. We've digitized a new copy of the 45-minute Wing Commander movie EPK for anyone interested in seeing interviews with Chris Roberts and Freddie Prinze Jr. or a copy of the movie's b-roll.Wing Commander Movie EPK (385M, .
We can't leave the movie out of the document updates! Check below for a scan of the 'Set Book', which will tell you all about where and when the Wing Commander film was... filmed.
As always, Prophecy gets the most new documents--we have a press clipping binder (from a professional pull service-swanky!), a set book and some designer notes on weapons.
One of our Twitter teasers promised many pictures of German rapper Smudo in a Prophecy flight suit... now, thanks to Joe Garrity and the Origin Museum, we can deliver! You can see them all here (also includes pictures of David Downing showing off Prophecy at ECTS... but we know you're here for Smudo).
Please find enclosed a fantastic one-page Privateer 2-era interview with Erin Roberts conducted by "CGR". Unfortunately that's all we know about the origin--full color copies were included, unattributed, in press kits put together by Origin in the United States to sell the game here!
We've located 'Tape B' from Origin's Privateer 2 video archive, which adds most of the videos not already in our archive (except, somehow, the introduction). Here's the roster:Uncle Kashumai 1 (24M, .m4v)Uncle Kashumai 2 (8M, .m4v)Uncle Kashumai 3 (23M, .
We have updates of two familiar Privateer documents--the concepts for Privateer 3 and Privateer Online. These versions feature maps and other charts which were missing from the previously archived versions.
Here is the third and arguably least interesting of the photo galleries from Origin's archives. These pictures show Mark Hamill promoting Wing Commander IV at a signing session at New York's Virgin Megastore. It's still pretty neat to see Wing Commander (and Star Wars) fans excited to meet the man! Could you be among them?
Wing Commander IV documents, too! These are only for true hardcore crazed fans--production books that show the smallest aspects of the game's shooting schedule.
We've decided to burn bandwidth like it's going out of style... by posting all of the movie files from the Wing Commander IV DVD! Now you can see Wing Commander IV's film segments better than they were meant to be seen--and I feel confident fans will soon create an 'upgrade patch' for the CD-ROM version of the game...WC4 DVD Videos Pack #1 (1.
Since we posted the entire run of videos from the Wing Commander IV, we decided we also needed the scenes that for one reason or another didn't make it onto that project... so here they are, extracted directly from Wing Commander IV PSX! The download pack includes the "Bearcat factory" scene mysteriously missing from WCIV DVD and the three alternate 'space' versions of the Tyr briefings found only on the Playstation release.WC4 PSX Scenes (31M .
Another great update from Joe Garrity and the Origin Museum! How much work goes into making something almost no one will ever see? A lot! Check out these documents which cover the 'making of' the Wing Commander IV development team patch.
We have three awesome galleries of 'behind the screens' photos from Origin's archives to show you today, and this is the first: 101 photographs that show how the animatronic Kilrathi in Wing Commander III were constructed! Check out the full collection here.
This is my favorite update being offered today--behind the screens photos of the Wing Commander III cast and crew at work (and play) during the game's film shoot. If the candids of Jason Bernard don't bring a tear to your eye, I don't know what will. View them all here.
Ever want to see Hobbes speak Japanese? Thanks to Joe Garrity and the Origin Museum, you can! He has provided a wonderful 9-minute Wing Commander III Playstation promo video made for the Japanese market. If you speak the language it's probably very interesting, seemingly introducing the entire concept of the series...
How do you sell a new Wing Commander game? Every which way you can! Check out these newly scanned advertisements which prove that it takes everything from awful puns to promising players a ride in a Soviet jet!
When the ESRB rates a new game, they don't necessarily play it themselves--instead, they ask for a video sample they can just play. These days I'm sure it's all done with DVDs and e-mail--but in 1994 that meant Origin needed to cut a special tape of Wing Commander III material to send off to the rating board. Here, for download, is a copy of that tape. It consists of just over an hour of FMV footage--not everything, but a significant amount.
That's right, new Wing Commander 'making of' documents... for all of the FMV games and beyond! Rarely represented Wing Commander III steps up with two cool scanned books: a large notebook of information about props, including details on uniforms, ranks and... chairs, and Origin's collection of press clippings for the game.
Here is an excellent high-resolution scan of the Heart of the Tiger subtitle font. That's all I have to say about that.
AD and HCl have coordinated to create a new tool capable of extracting the video files from the Playstation Wing Commander Games... and then they've gone one step further and extracted everything from Wing Commander III to post here! Because of advances in compression between 1994 and 1995, the Playstation video looks a little better than that seen on the PC. It's worth a look!
Ever since I saw these pictures in Origin's Official Guide to Wing Commander III, I've dreamed of being able to get up close to that wall. It looks like this is as close as we'll ever get! It's really a shame that photos of the software development aspect of Wing Commander are so much less common than those of the film shoots.
As promised on Twitter, here are scans of the liquor receipts from Wing Commander III's (film shoot) wrap party. They're from a folder of Chris Roberts' petty cash reimbursements--part of a whole mess of Wing Commander budget information we scanned and archived but didn't feel comfortable posting.
Here we have a set of random slide scans that the completist in me couldn't leave in a folder somewhere... or is there something more? Look closely at some of these images--the Super Wing Commander ships have VDU images from the original game! The Morningstar seems to be carrying two Maces!
There are even two more Point of Origin scans to post, thanks to the Origin Museum! We have not only a previously unposted 'Point of Origin Special Edition' featuring the results of a company-wide survey... but also the original internal memo which created the newsletter in the first place! Pretty cool.
Video game anthropologists take note, this may be Wing Commander's cave drawing! Here we have the earliest known piece of Wing Commander artwork: an action mock-up used at COMDEX which would eventually go on to become the basis for the game's box art.The most obvious difference is Spirit, sans helmet and labeled "Lt. Sakara"--but the rest is actually very different as well.
For our final update of the night we are proud to present, in honor of its incredible 20th anniversary, the game that started it all--the original Wing Commander, available for download!Wing Commander (121.6M)If you're new to the original Wing Commander, be sure to check out our online copies of the Claw Marks magazine and blueprints posters... and if you're looking for an additional challenge you can pick up the Secret Missions.
NinjaLA is back for another year of awesome Wing Commander fan art, starting with an awesome 'Fleet Action' drawing! He says:A friend of mine gave me an amazing compliment when I showed him this drawing, he thought it was so symmetrical it was a cell shaded render, I promise though, it is 100% hand drawn on real paper.. only the brightness and contrast have been adjusted.The Hakaga has one of the most interesting and unique looks of all the kilrathi carriers and make up one of my favorite book covers of all time.
All around stand-up and Standoff guy, PopsiclePete, reached far into the dark depth's of Wing Commander fandom's history to create... an e-book version of infamous parody fanfic Wing Commander 4.123106. You read it here first--or in alt.
It seems impossible to me, but it's time to tell some of my own 'behind the screens' story. One of the first 'serious' Wing Commander things I ever did was advise Peter Telep and an editor for Baen about continuity for the movie novelization and False Colors, respectively.I recently discovered that I had saved an old mailbox with a record of this correspondence. Reading these e-mails is a great way to see the amount of work that goes into something that seems so simple--how much unappreciated effort and passion people like Mr.
We've invited Dundradal, who has taken the lead on the project, to report on the status of the WCPedia:“Welcome to the great experiment!”Three years ago today the CIC launched WCPedia with these words. Theproject’s goal was to create the authoritative database of the WingCommander Universe. Every piece of canon and every aspect of the universewould be uploaded into one place so that some future work (fan orotherwise) might build upon the information contained within.
Obee (of WingCenter fame) was kind enough to give us a whole pile of tokens to download his album, Anker! So quick, grab a code from the list below and enter it at this site to get the download--before they're all used up!
It's that time again--if you missed our party because you had somewhere else to be, we still want you to have a prize! All you have to do is be the first to answer these difficult trivia questions and you'll win yourself a copy of Freedom Flight autographed by Mercedes Lackey! Good luck!Q1: Name a Wing Commander II character used as reference during the construction of Wing Commander III's Kilrathi creatures.
Kevin Caccamo has birthday missions, too--for two different games! Take it away:Happy Birthday, CIC! Here's what I've been working on for the past few days: An update/mod for Wing Commander Saga with stuff from Hostile Frontier and a small mission for Standoff.To install the WCSaga mod1.
Lt. Overload has built a Wing Commander Secret Ops mission in honor of the birthday. Here's the, ah, description:COMBAT INFORMATION SYSTEMLOADING DATA...TCS Reid Plunkett-ClassLogging in...
Good news, everyone! Team CIC is going back... back to Dragon*Con! This Labor Day weekend you can join Chris, LOAF, LeHah, Frosty, Death and presumably some surprise guests at the east coast's largest sci-fi convention.
We always start the 'Wing Commander year' off with the same poll question--how long have you been visiting the CIC? Since the pre-history WCHS days or did you just start today? Let us know how long you've been hanging in there!The last poll asked for everyone's favorite console-based Wing Commander--a surprising majority said the utilitarian Playstation ports of Wing Commander 3 and 4.
Well folks, you've just lived through history: a new record for number of CIC updates in a single day! We've smashed through 2007's birthday, which featured 35 stories. What will we do for an encore? As always, I would like to end by singling out some extraordinary folks for special thanks.
Okay, one more! Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum comes through with a last minute set of scans... which is the record-shattering 45th update of the night!
2009.223 (August 11, 2009)
BluesNews is reporting that Electronic Arts has filed a new trademark registration for Wing Commander (as well as Populous, Theme Park and Road Rash). You can find the filing status/information here.EA already holds the copyright to the Wing Commander IP, which gives the company long-term ownership of the series as a whole. Unlike copyrights, trademarks specifically guarantee the right to sell a product under a particular name.
Tonight we celebrate the Wing Commander Combat Information Center's eleventh birthday, which means thanking all of you for allowing us eleven years of hosting the best community on the internet. I'm going to keep my usual introduction brief--see the last post for some thoughts on the future of our endeavor--because we have introductions from a pair of special guests who set the mood so much better than I ever could.I will note, however, that we are also celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Wing Commander movie. I would be lying if I claimed that everyone loved the movie...
We are extremely honored to have the man himself, Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts, kicking off this evening's festivities. Here is a man who needs no introduction to Wing Commander fans:Wow! It’s been 11 years since WC news started up. Time flies!
One of the best things to come out of the Wing Commander movie's release was author Peter Telep's magnificent novelization (and its sequel). Mr. Telep, the man behind four Wing Commander novels and nearly forty other books, was also kind enough to send birthday greetings to help us honor ten years of our wearing out our copies of his books:When I was first hired to adapt the Wing Commander screenplay into a novel, I was thrilled and frightened out of my mind. I knew there was a huge fan base, and I knew that some well-respected novels had already been written and published.
Here's the news you're all here to read: Episode Five of the Wing Commander Standoff fan mod is now available for download. I don't think I'm overstating this: Standoff is, perhaps, the single grandest achievement of the Wing Commander community -- a more than fitting tribute from a team of more than talented people. Here's the official word and download links:Start by downloading Standoff Prologue + Episodes 2, 3 and 4 Bundled (270 MB). Then download the Episode 5 upgrade (173 MB)!
Back in 2006, Paul Hughes made our birthday party a huge success by providing a wealth of Privateer 2 material in honor of that game's 10th anniversary -- and it turns out he's still watching out for us! Paul e-mailed me, out of the blue, last week: he had found an old backup of Privateer 2 material and would Wing Commander fans be interested in taking a look? You bet we would - and the material is fantastic. It has some 300 'source' images from the game...
We hear you, we hear you -- you're tired of broken links in our ships section. You go to look up the Kilrathi dreadnaught and staring at Blair and Hunter instead. Well, no more! Every ship link now works correctly and in most cases we've added beautiful 'five view' images of each ship to their respective pages (exceptions: Wing Commander Prophecy and some ground-based targets).
One of the most interesting stories about the Wing Commander movie is the sheer quantity of cut scenes -- a large 'traitor' subplot and a number of other things were edited out of the film very late in its development. These scenes can all be found in Peter Telep's novelization, which went to press before the final cut of the movie was completed -- and hinted at elsewhere (a 'Pilgrim Traitor' action figure, for example, was released. AD has gone through the script and taken some pictures to go with it to show you exactly what was removed between the workprint and the finished version of the film. You can read it all here.
Missed the party but still want to win a prize? You're in luck - we have an annual latecomers trivia tradition. If you couldn't make it to #WingNut tonight, just find the answers to these five questions (all of which are hidden somewhere at the site). The first person to e-mail them to us wins a brand new copy of Wing Commander Prophecy for the GameBoy Advance!
One of our birthday traditions is finding out exactly when you joined our ranks... because from where I'm sitting it seems like the replacement pilots are just getting younger every day. Have you been around since this was the 'Wing Commander Home Sector', or did you join us for Wing Commander Arena last year? Cast your vote in the poll!
For years we've had requests for high resolution scans of the Wing Commander movie 'art book'. This 38-page manual was put together by Digital Anvil for the movie's licensors - HarperCollins, X-Toys, SciPubTech, etc. - to show examples of what the various ships, characters and weapons 'look like'. You can find every page here.
This time of year we usually bring the Fan Projects section up to date. Here, you can find general information, screenshots and contact data on all projects, past and current. We've added new pages for Wing Commander: Invasion, Havoc's multiplayer title and Wing Commander Legacy. The Collateral Damage, Privateer: Ascii Sector, WC4 Homeworld mod and WC Saga entries have been updated to include all the latest screenshots and artwork.
Since we're celebrating ten years of the Wing Commander movie, it only seemed fair to integrate the movie ships into the ships section; after all, one of the community's frequently asked questions is: what's the deal with those movie ships? Now you can know for sure whether the Wing Commander movie Rapier is the same as the one in the game (it isn't) or if the Tiger's Claw is (it is). Note that the Salthi and the Krant don't appear in the actual film--they were cut early in post-production--but their specifications appear in the Confederation Handbook.
NinjaLA, winner of the CIC's 2007 art contest, has finished the first four pages of his Wing Commander comic in honor of the anniversary:Starting things off on a high note for this (the 10th anniversary of the Wing Commander movie) I have re-launched the Wing Commander comic with weekly updates. This series deals with a sticky point from the Wing Commander movie, namely why Commander "Bossman" Chen is dead in the movie but alive when the story of Wing Commander 1 takes place. I hope to explain the 'how's and 'why's of his capture and explore some of his trials in captivity.
The Mail Bag is back this year with another issue full of mind-bending letters to the CIC staff. All of them are real! It's been four years since the last edition, and we've been itching to publish a new one. Guest commentator LeHah joins us this time around.
I'd like to take a moment in this space to talk about our community.Let me be perfectly honest: two weeks ago, for the first time in nineteen years of Wing Commander, I had a crisis of faith. Why am I doing this? Do we need the CIC anymore?
2008.224 (August 11, 2008)
We're the old men, ace.I think the question on all of our minds is: can it really have been ten years? It seems impossible to me that we first did this a full decade ago. Wing Commander fans have grown up, created amazing things and stuck to the series throughout everything we've gone through since Secret Ops launched ten years ago today.
I'm putting you back in the cockpit, Colonel, where you will be reunited with an old friend: the thrill of battle.Nine years and ten months ago Origin withdrew the limited-time episodic release of Secret Ops to promote Wing Commander Prophecy Gold -- and we've spent that time staying true to Mike "Boomer" McCoy's request that the files not be passed around the Wing Commander community. That all stops today, because we've finally been given official permission to distribute the entire Secret Ops package again! The free-to-download episodic Wing Commander game is free to download again!
Readers already know the story of how we came to be given access to Electronic Arts' archive of Wing Commander and Origin data at EA Mythic -- now we're proud to show you some of what we saw. This is just a tiny sample - our team took over 4,000 pictures, 8,000 scans, transferred three-dozen tapes and 25 SyQuests, digitized 100 VHS tapes and imaged 700 CD-ROMs.Thanks to Paul Barnett and the rest of the team at Mythic we were able to spend five days working with this material in a dedicated conference room. From 7 AM to 7 PM we worked on site and then spent our evenings searching for missing equipment and backing up data.
This is the first of our 'Mythic Sample' updates - this one shows off press images of ships rendered to promote Privateer 3. The first set shows the Demon-class fighter with various engine upgrades. Then comes the Dralthi V (finally!), the Drayman (another design?!
And here's where you would have kept those ships! These gameflow screens would have been where pilots upgraded their ships, traded, fought in arena battles and interacted with bartenders and fixers. In order: Augustus, Furnace, G-tok, New Damascus, New Parris and Yena.
Here are three 'high resolution' images from Privateer 3. These promotional renderings were created for publishing in magazines or to be used in advertising material. From left to right: a Fury-class fighter, the commodity center on Augustus and an intense combat scene.
... and here's one more piece of unused Privateer 3 artwork (for now!).
Can you believe that Privateer 3 made it far enough in development to have its own manual? While this certainly wasn't the finished version, it's pretty cool -- check out the ship specifications for several of the classes seen in the screenshots above! Unfortunately we're missing several of the fonts, so the layout hasn't quite rendered correctly... but we'll fix that as we learn more about regenerating Origin's old Quark files.
... and here's our new daily feature which will carry us through the next two months! We'll be offering commentary from the writers and designer of the Wing Commander Arena Star*Soldier manual for each page. Have a question you'd like answered about this or a future page?
After the Maverick Team finished with Secret Ops, several projects were considered and even worked on - Strike Team, Privateer Online... Privateer Online again. Thanks to the Mythic project, we've learned about another one: Shadow Force, a followup to Secret Ops which would have put the player in charge of a team of mercenaries charged with impossible missions. Sound interesting?
Our minor theme today is focusing on new beginnings - focusing on what we're going to do instead of what we've done. With that in mind, Kris has updated the Secret Ops page of our Background section as an example of that site's planned overhaul. The goal is to add more information, background, trivia, links and other resources to create a comprehensive reference for each game - somewhere new users can start and old veterans can learn something new. Please let us know what else you'd like to see, because we'll be updating the entire section over the next few months...
Here are two CDs that don't come from Mythic - as a grand finale to the 'Making the Game' series, Captain Johnny has provided ISOs of his Wing Commander Prophecy and Wing Commander Secret Ops development CDs! They're full of useful information and tools - everything from ship specifications to a copy of the MED internal mission editor. Can you get it to work?
And here's an ending! Making the Game Part 97 features Wing Commander Prophecy's "losing" mission series. This is (for now!) the last update in the Making the Game series - we hope you've enjoyed this chance to study the development of Wing Commander Prophecy.
This update isn't a new feature: it's a mea culpa, and a necessary one. Last year we started the WCPedia and asked that everyone help us develop a world-class Wing Commander Encyclopedia... but then life got in the way. In short, we screwed up -- so let's try it one more time!
The CIC birthday is always a good time for overhauling the Fan Projects section. Newly listed games include Ranger's Glory, Perfect Plan and the WC1 Remake (all three run on the Flight Commander engine), WC: Collateral Damage and Privateer: Ascii Sector. The WC4 Homeworld mod and WC Saga entries have been updated to include a lot more screenshots.
The Standoff team has a very cool birthday present for everyone -- a small mod for the game that changes the Raptor into the unreleased 'speeder' ship planned for Privateer! They say:You can head on to the downloads section to check out this new ship, which we've dubbed Artemis-class, and which will be present in Standoff's next episode among the many civilian ships that fell to the Kilrathi offensive in orbit around Mars. This patch will replace the Raptor in Standoff's simulator with the Artemis, and will temporarily disable sending your scores to the online scoreboards (for all ships), but it can be uninstalled through the Windows Add/Remove program control panel.Grab it here (300kb).
Our Wallpapers section has been updated to include all the great desktop images that were featured in the news over the past year. This includes around twenty art works from talented artists in our community and a great deal of official Wing Commander Arena imagery.
We have an annual tradition 'round these parts - polling the audience about how long they've been part of our community. Did you board the ship for Arena or have you been privateering since WCHS days? Cast your vote and let us know!...
This is another annual tradition: the latecomers trivia. If you weren't able to make it to the birthday but would still like the chance to win a trivia prize then just be the first to email the answers to these five questions to us! You'll win yourself a CIC polo and Eisen hat. As always, all the answers are hidden somewhere at the site!
The Wing Commander Combat Information Center is proud to announce a rare occurrence -- the addition of a new staff member! Aaron "AD" Dunbar joins the team as a staff writer as of this update. He cut his teeth running Outlander.solsector.
And least but not last, Joe Garrity of The Origin Museum has a video that... has to be seen to be believed. Fair warning, it's called "catsexy1.wmv".
As always, we would like to thank everyone who attended or contributed to our birthday party this year. A special thanks to PopsiclePete who helped square away many of our last minute posts - Standoff is lucky to have him.Thanks to everyone involved in creating Wing Commander over the years, especially the many talented developers who are still willing to spend their time helping our community. We couldn't do it without you guys, for any number of reasons!
2007.223 (August 11, 2007)
I know I've said this every year for as far back as I can remember, but Wing Commander fans are the best fans in the world! In 2007, we were truly blessed - from official releases like EA Replay, Wing Commander Arena, Wing One and Star*Soldier to the continuation of amazing fan projects like Standoff, Flight Commander, Gemini Gold, Saga and beyond... it's been a good year to be a WingNut. Pat yourselves on the back, it was your hard work that got us where we are today...
We asked Sean Murphy to say a few words about Wing Commander Prophecy in honor of its tenth anniversary. Sean was one of the game's 3D artists... he created some of the game's most familiar ships, including the beloved TCS Midway. More importantly, he's always been there for the fans, even after all these years!
... and George Oldziey, who composed the wonderful musical scores for Wing Commanders III, IV and Prophecy, was also kind enough to take time out of his schedule to comment on the WCP's development! He gives a very honest - and I think important - commentary on the project:For me, the most memorable aspect of working on Wing Commander Prophecy was that it was the first WC game of the post-Chris Roberts era. In my opinion, Chris had gotten a bad rap from Electronic Arts, as well as internally at Origin, for "overspending" on Wing Commander 4.
We're also here to celebrate Wing Commander's bright present... and the guys at Electronic Arts responsible for Wing Commander Arena were also kind enough to send along some awesome birthday greetings. They say it better than I can, so read on:Hey there Wingnuts,We here at EA and Gaia just wanted to take a minute to say hello andsend a HUGE thank you to everyone in the WC News community for yousupport, help and passion. Without you, the Wing Commander franchisewould not be what it is today and things like Star Soldier may neverhave existed.
... but wait, there's more! Producer Sean Penney, the guys at EA Arcade and the team at Gaia also have a special present for us to enjoy! One of the fan-favorite things we saw during the leadup to Arena's release were the amazing 'white' ship render wallpapers created by Gaia.
The Fatman, whose Wing One album is currently lighting up all of our Last.FM pages was also nice enough to send seasons greetings. He's also sent along information on an upcoming fundraiser for the University of Texas' new Game Archive being held by Richard Garriott and company!Yeah, I Friggin' LOVE you guys!
In general, the CIC staff are old fashioned internet gentlemen. We don't advertise or Podcast or YouTube or MySpace or anything of the sort... and, on rare occasions, we've been known to turn up our noses at these new fangled things kids today love. Well, our readers have made one thing painfully clear in recent months: they want a Wikipedia.
To this day, a full decade after their arrival, the Nephilim remain largely a mystery. Their ships, however, are now a little better known... thanks to a behind-the-screens document left over from Origin! "Shipsalien.
Last year we opened the Holovids movie archive, cataloging everything from official trailers and interviews to fan created music videos. In an effort to make these easier to watch, we've adopted the Flash Video technology that made YouTube so popular. Many of our clips now offer immediate, inline viewing alongside traditional downloads. Some files could not be converted because they use a proprietary codec or because they are too large to offer in this format.
The other night an old friend called me with a normal question - was Prince Thrakhath right or left handed? Boy, I said, I don't know - right, I think, but we'd have to load up WC3 to see for sure.1 Has this ever happened to you? Sure...
These new videos were in the news over the past couple of months. They've now been given a spot in the video archive.Interviews with Arena producer Sean Penney.Interview with WC3 game mechanics director Frank Savage.
The Birthday always gives us good motivation to refresh some of our older sections, and Tech Support, which debuted at last year's party, has been updated! The section now contains instructions on how to get all your Windows games working on modern systems. Unlike with DOSBox, we're dealing with thousands of unique hardware and software configurations, so not every issue has a clear cut fix. Nevertheless, it's more than possible to get every single DOS and Windows game running smoothly on today's machines.
Here's a quick feature old timers may enjoy - an 'On This Day in Wing Commander News' feature! Wondering what was in the news one, two, three... or nine years ago? You can find out here.
Here's an unusual sort of developer document to archive -- one we actually created! As some of you may recall, the CIC staff helped advise Raylight on their ground-up GameBoy Advance port of Wing Commander Prophecy. One of our jobs was to create a gameflow script from the extracted video and comm video files in the PC version. To explain how the game worked we created a 'no frills' website that walked the developers through Prophecy one step at a time, listing all the dialogue, mission locations, events, etc.
In 1995 Chris Roberts and Origin Systems began pitching a Wing Commander movie to various film studios and investors. To help sell the project they created a series of lush painted storyboards to go with their presentation. Over the years several of these have made their way around the internet in generally low resolution scans from magazines - owing mostly to a PR release at Origin which accidentally claimed they were storyboards for Wing Commander Prophecy's film shoot. Today, however, we collect them all in their original format - showing everything from Blair in his space suit to paintings of the 3D Merlin character who almost was.
Nine years ago to the day, we launched our very first InfoBurst -- an interview with CIC founders Christopher Reid and Ben Lesnick. Originally a RealAudio show, the CIC InfoBurst returns as a free internet radio station. Tune in 24/7 to listen to random tracks from our music archive. Special shows including the 1998/1999 interviews with Chris Roberts, George Oldziey and Chris McCubbin have been archived in MP3 format.
In 1997 magazines couldn't just log on to a press site to download screenshots and content -- the internet wasn't that complex yet. Instead, game developers put entire disks and later CDs of game information in the mail! Our own KrisV was able to track down the two special Electronic Press Kits which Origin released for Wing Commander Prophecy. They're packed to the gills with screenshots in obscure high res format.
You've all seen how Electronic Arts releases Wing Commander Arena screenshots in bursts. Well, life in 1997 was the same way - with Origin offering precious few Wing Commander Prophecy in special bursts. We've managed to preserve three of these collections in better quality than has ever been seen before -- including eight amazing full resolution FMV photographs and twenty high res cutscene renderings! Some are familiar, some were thought lost to the ages...
You've all seen them before, two Prophecy images you'll never forget: a trio of Wasps arrayed over a planet and a pair of Panthers exiting a bright green jump gate. They're beautiful and part of our shared Wing Commander culture... but did you know that Origin actually made over two dozen such promotional ship renderings? It's true - everything from Vampires to TOBY pods got the 'promo' treatment ...
Would you enjoy... a little bit of new continuity? We've got it! What follows is part of a Prophecy 'teaser' story written by Origin for the press in 1997:Following this revelation, Kt’Lan refused all offerings of food or drink from her accolytes and ordered them to prepare her K’Shrik-Non, or death den.
Rod Nakamoto, a former Sega executive, was brought in by Electronic Arts to run the Wing Commander franchise during the development of Prophecy. Worlds of Origin, the great Origin fan club, interviewed Nakamoto for a document which Origin later distributed to promote the game:Is there anything you can tell us about the future of the Wing Commander line?I wouldn't want to spoil our surprise…All I can say is that a new Wing Commander product will be released later this year…and it will be AWESOME. As anticipated, it will be a strong single player game with a new multi-player component.
This is a good crash course for those unfamiliar with Wing Commander Prophecy - the original press description of the game (and franchise) created by Origin's PR department to sell the game to newcomers:The StoryRookie academy pilots Casey and Maestro report for their first tour of duty aboard the experimental capital ship TCS Midway. On the ship they meet the crew, including senior fighter pilot Maniac, and special military advisor Col. Christopher "Maverick:" Blair, both of whom formerly served with Casey's war-hero father Iceman (from Wing 1). Before the new pilots can adjust to their first assignment, word comes down of an attack on an unarmed Kilrathi colony.
But what were we doing when Prophecy was being released? The CIC is only nine, and Prophecy came out a decade ago! Well, for those who haven't been with us for all those years: the CIC had a predecessor, a Wing Commander news site called the Wing Commander Home Sector. The basic setup was essentially the same - daily news, feature articles, fan developed content and more organized by a very young LOAF and ChrisReid.
One of the most elaborate websites ever created (with one of the worst URLs ever registered) was Origin's wingcommanderprophecy.com. The game offered extensive details about the game, including a section where pilots logged in as TCS Midway fighter pilots! After many years, we've been able to recover many portions of the site!
Wing Commander music videos... we've all seen them. From touching tributes to Blair's death to heavy metal set to giant space battles to Ashlee Simpson narrating the Wing Commander IV trailer, fans are good at making them (except for that last one). Did you know there was an actual Wing Commander music video?
Annual poll time! At this time each year we ask our readers: how long have you been among our ranks? Is anyone old enough to remember WCHS? Did you come aboard for Secret Ops, Prophecy GBA, Standoff or EA Replay?
We didn't post a big picture full of birthday prizes this year, and we got a lot of questions about it! Nothing's changed though - we're still giving away tons of prizes at the party right now! And here's a peek at this year's loot!
Longtime WingNut Shades has an awesome present for us - a Secret Ops specific version of the ICIS Manual and a host of Wing Commander Prophecy and Secret Ops DVD covers and disc artwork! I'll let him explain his project:At long last it has been FOUND!OK… Created!A DVD cover, manual, and CD label for Secret Ops.
Mark Smids has a cool Prophecy-related surprise for us - a song! He writes: "For a while now, I've been recording some of my guitar songs. One of these tracks that I wrote a while ago, is a funny song dedicated to Wing Commander. It's a Tom Wilson style acoustic guitar song, describing lt.
An anonymous WingNut has sent us a neat little birthday present - enhanced versions of several Wing Commander 1 conversations. This neat tech demo adds a fan-recorded voice track and morphs the mouths and moves the heads of the characters to make them look like they're actually talking. These are pretty amazing -- although... Spirit has sounded better!
Kevin Caccamo has released a new stand-alone version of the Wing Commander 1 Remake for Flight Commander! Here's the official word and some pretty, pretty screenshots:The Wing Commander 1 Remake is an individualized attempt to re-create the same gameplay and action that was seen in Wing Commander 1, only this time in three dimensions. Wing Commander 1 Remake has evolved steadily along with Eddie Benowitz's game Flight Commander.In the standalone release of WC1 Remake, mission briefings, as well as green comm videos were included.
We did did it before... and we'll do it again! If you missed our party because of work or other commitments, we still want you to win a prize! All you have to do is be the first to answer these very hard trivia questions and you'll get yourself a copy of the rare-as-isometal Wing Commander IV DVD!
The Xbox 360 Contest went better than I could possibly have hoped - with people from all corners of the globe submitting entries of all sorts. Better yet, they're each incredibly unique - from drawings to interactive software to 3D trailers to physical objects - when we need to prove how diverse the community is, we need point them no further than this update. And the competitors (in no particular order) are...MajorCam: "To run it the html file and px file need to be in the same directory to work.
NinjaLA... for his Wing Commander Arena drawing. The action scene was truly spectacular, capturing the mood of the Wing Commander universe down to the tiniest detail. Check out the Kilrathi nobleman in the Kiranka's windows, or the little tears in the Broadsword's Durasteel...
... and at the end of a great night, we have some big thanks to make after a big year!Sean Murphy and George Oldziey, for taking the time to send us their memories about Wing Commander Prophecy. We really do love the work you did, and hope that we'll still be finding ways to honor and remember it in another ten years.
2006.223 (August 11, 2006)
Welcome, WingNuts to the Wing Commander Combat Information Center's 8th Anniversary Party! This year, we're celebrating more than just our success and the amazing quality of our community: 2006 also marks the tenth anniversary of one of the greatest games of all time, Privateer 2: The Darkening. With that in mind, we've decided to focus many of this years efforts on that often overlooked title. Read below to see the many updates we have ready for you - including a giant collection of videos, some behind the screens material, an all new Darkening ships database and a tech support section that will help everyone keep playing Wing Commander forever.
As August 10 got nearer and nearer, rumors have swirled about the status of HCl's Prophecy Multiplayer Patch. Does it really exist? Will it be released on the Birthday? Did HCl die?
In what is almost an annual tradition, we have added a new CIC color! CIC Red (main site), CIC Blue (encyclopedia), CIC Teal (game guides), CIC Green (ships) and CIC Gray (document archive) are joined by CIC Yellow: the Holovids movie archive (VISIT HERE). Trailers and previews, original cinematics and long lost scenes have been collected and organized. Go behind the scenes of your favorite Wing Commander productions.
One of the important things we do here at the CIC is help fellow fans gets their older Wing Commander games up and running. It was hard enough back in the early 1990s, but a whole new generation of challenges confronts eager players in 2006. Fortunately, we now have much better tools to get classic titles running smoothly, and we're lucky to have an army of knowledgeable fans to teach newcomers how to use them. That job gets slightly easier today with the new Wing Commander CIC Tech Support section.
The Origin Museum has kindly sent us a copy of a DVD containing many of the cinematics from Privateer 2 : The Darkening, and we are happy to be able to make them available to you! The original source for the DVD is a VHS tape which was donated to the museum so while the quality isn't DVD quality, it is still higher quality than the video used in the game. Sadly there were a few scenes missing from the tape, most notably the intro and the first Joe the Bartender scene but the rest is well worth a look. You can find the videos in the Privateer 2 part of the Holovids Cinematics section.
It's time to face the music: our old Privateer 2 Ships Database was kind of plain. It was missing a vast array of ships, it lacked many screenshots and the specifications themselves had more holes in them than a Jincilla Skull. Worst of all, some of the pirate cruisers were just pictures of cats! With that in mind, we are proud to present Ships 2 - Privateer 2, a complete overhaul of our Privateer 2 ships section!
And, of course, the crown prince of Wing Commander fan projects, Standoff, has something for us! Check out this amazing wallpaper:But wait, there's more! Their news site has been updated with some exciting information:the losing path missions for episode 4 are approximately halfway done. It's just that by now, we should be nearing the end of the episode, and that doesn't seem to be the case .
Joe Garrity, of the Origin Museum, has provided more than just those amazing videos: he was also kind enough to provide our archive with scans of Privateer 2 storyboards -- roughly fifty pages of them! These are the drawings upon which every FMV sequence in the game was based... watch the movies and read along! You can find them in a zipped PDF here (50 mb).
... and Joe wasn't done yet. Last, but not least is a Privateer 2 press kit! This is the document which introduced audiences at the 1996 Electronic Entertainment Expo to Privateer 2: The Darkening...
Erin Roberts was also nice enough to put us into contact with veteran Privateer 2 programmer Paul Hughes (in fact, they're working together at the newly formed Embryonic Studios alongside another Darkening veteran, Nick Elms -- expect big things!). Paul turned out to be a great guy who was happy to help with our birthday bash! First up from him was a set of images of Privateer 2's wingmen...
Paul also happened to have another neat set of images handy -- full sized scans of the development team caricatures which appear at the end of the game! Hit escape after you found out Kronos' identity? Then you missed one of the strangest Wing Commander credit sequences ever made... and now you can relive it!
After all that, Paul Hughes was still kind enough to answer some of my most nagging questions. We've collected them all in an interview article. It's obscure stuff about how Privateer 2 works and who built it that way -- but it's certainly required and fascinating reading for anyone who's paying attention a decade later! Find out exactly how registration numbers work and why the Windows 95 port was too fast here.
Enjoy reading current comments from Erin Roberts and Paul Hughes? Then maybe you'd like to see some from ten years ago. We've collected a pair of Privateer 2 interviews that happened way back in 1996. The first is an interview with Erin Roberts that was conducted by this site's predecessor, WCHS, before the game was released.
Back in 1996, PC Zone magazine produced a special 20-page Privateer 2 preview booklet. It interviewed all aspects of the team, including programmers, the guys behind the full motion video... even the sound engineer! It was a beautiful magazine which featured many early screenshots -- look very closely and you'll see some unusual things...
Here's something a lot of people don't know: different versions of Privateer 2 featured readically different manuals! It's strange but true - the original UK release came with a "Crius Hospital Rehabilitation Guide" and an in-universe "Guide to Space Travel"... while the American version came with a single booklet, "Your Guide to the Universe". Well, it's time for the walls to come back: thanks to the scanning efforts of KrisV and myself, now everyone can have both manuals!
... and that's not the only thing that changed between the versions. The American release of Privateer 2 has radically different cover art than its European counterpart. Here's the proof -- a giant space eye versus a space battle...
Here's a little one -- but useful none the less. We've finally gone through and updated our Booth Transcripts with all of the ship registration data. Wondering why Galactic Freight E247_135D isn't around? Now you have a quick reference to find out (it's serving a six month ban for traffic by-law infractions).
Too much Privateer 2 for you? Well, you made it this far -- here's a present courtesy of the Origin Museum! It's a six minute making of segment from Wing Commander Prophecy -- watch Commodore Blair get slimed for his Nephilim torture sequence! You can find it in the new video archive here.
Keenan Weaver, aka, ZFGokuSSJ1, has some fan art for us. He says: "I thought the CIC needed a very generic Confed wallpaper... so here ya go!" Well...
And in that same spirit, here's a simple birthday animation from Bob McDob!
Every year we hear from people who had to miss the party due to professional obligations but still would love to participate... well, here's your chance. If you missed the birthday, answer these five trivia questions correctly -- one lucky winner will receive a coveted Wing Commander IV DVD! Good luck:Q1: How do you return to the WC3 installation program after the game is installed?
On our second birthday, six years ago to the day, we posted some interesting CIC statistics. It's been a long time since our daily transfer averaged a mere 220 megabytes, so here are some more up-to-date figures for you. The main site comprises over a gigabyte in HTML pages and various graphics. Our 7,200 updates have accumulated some 700 megs of news pictures.
Managed to get yourself banned from the Chat Zone in the past year? Well, don't feel bad, it happens to a lot of people... and now you're in the clear, because this message is a blanket amnesty for all but the three worst offenders in celebration of the site's birthday! Welcome back, pilots, and play nice.
We have a tradition at these events, when it comes to polls -- we'd like to know how long you've been visiting the CIC. Were you a loyal WCHS reader in the mid-90s? Were you around for our grand opening bash? Just how many of these birthdays have you seen?
Here's a last minute submission from the Origin Museum -- a picture of an official Privateer 2 crew jacket!
... and what party would be complete without an honest to goodness cake? Here's one kindly set up by my mom! 'W' for Wing Commander, 'P' for Privateer 2 and then 8 and 10 for the 8th and 10th anniversaries we're celebrating.
We sincerely hope you have all enjoyed the evening, the features, the prizes and the company. The birthday is our favorite time of year, and we're looking forward to number nine.As always, this event may have been marking the website's birthday, but it really exists to celebrate you. Wing Commander fans have come together to build an amazing community.
2005.223 (August 11, 2005)
Thanks for celebrating our seventh anniversary with us! Take a look around, talk to other fans and enjoy being a Wing Commander fan.
The highly anticipated Standoff Episode 2 is now available! There are two download packages available. Players who don't yet have Episode 1 can download the combined 126 meg Standoff package here. The 67 meg Episode 2 addon can be downloaded here for people who already have Ep 1.
We have an exciting brand new fan project to announce today! Wing Commander Pioneer should be making lots of headlines in the coming months, and here is the first look. It's being created by a talented team of experienced Wing Commander fans. Howard Day, Brad McKinstry and Michael Ward are responsible for the art.
We're making good on our promise to add a fun new feature to the Forums. The iBProArcade add-on for vBulletin Forums lets you play Flash games and transmit your score to the server. Compete against other Forum members for the High Score!More games will be added soon.
We have upgraded and expanded the CIC Background section with more in-depth introductions to more games and products in the Wing Commander series. This area is far from a comprehensive list of all the various Wing Commander items, but it should provide a great primer for people who need a basic history on the core products. Certain parts of the section will be upgraded with more screenshots, better scans and detailed information in the near future, but for now, check out the revamped section. Hopefully it inspires many of you to seek out new Wing Commander experiences with classic items.
Shades2585 brings us an updated and expanded version of the CIC Secret Ops Strategy Guide. He searched high and low for every bit of news and every press release that trickled out in 1998. The result is a big section on the history of Wing Commander Secret Ops. Gun charts, ship data and mission flowcharts and walkthroughs are all there and have been checked and rechecked.
There's a lot of exciting Fan Project activity going on these days and our projects section was showing its age. Information on Unknown Enemy, Standoff, Flight Commander and WC Saga has been updated. Abandoned projects have been shelved and we've added working download links for partially finished games. Most important of all, new projects that have sprung up these last few months have been added.
Never one to miss a party, Raptor has sent in his own contribution to the celebrations on behalf of the HTL team. Don't forget to read on past the chapter description for the latest news on the new HTL site.Hey all, Raptor hereHappy Birthday and many happy returns to the Wing Commander CIC, from me andall the HTL crew. You guys have done more than anyone to keep the WingCommander community on the Internet thriving over these past few years.
Raptor has prepared another two entries for the Encyclopedia. Not just any two; End Run's Kevin "Lone Wolf" Tolwyn and Jason "Bear" Bondarevsky! The On This Day feature has been restored and improved. You can again find out what happened around this day in Wing Commander history.
CasperXJ has sent another delicious cake for the CIC Seventh Birthday Party! This one looks pretty good.
The CIC Mail Bag has added another exciting update. You can check out today's new chapter here. In this issue the CIC staff takes a look at a case of mistaken identity, fans upset with technical issues, embarrassing real life encounters that have come back to haunt us and more!
A couple of years ago we had a regular WCPolaroid news feature. Pictures were taken during the filming of Prophecy to make sure that everything looked the same between shots. We've now put all of them on one page for easier browsing. Enjoy Article 51!
It's been a few years since we did a poll about when CIC visitors began frequenting the site. There were quite a few new additions to the community back then, and we continue to grow. Some of our readers might even remember when ace, LOAF and I worked on the Wing Commander Home Sector for a couple years before the CIC opened.It looks like most people thought that having a new game announcement would get them to come to a Wing Commander fan gathering.
The biggest people we have to thank this year are all the Wing Commander fans who continue to join our community. 2005 is our busiest year yet, and it's amazing that everyone is so enthusiastic about what we're doing. There are a great many active fan projects and eager fans ready to make the future an exciting place to enjoy Wing Commander. We hope you enjoy some of the things we've updated with today, and we really appreciate all the people who contributed to this event.
2004.224 (August 11, 2004)
In the grand tradition of CIC Red (front page), CIC Blue (encyclopedia), CIC Teal (game guides) and CIC Green (ships) comes the newest CIC color - CIC Gray: the Wing Commander Archive. Our goal is to collect as much Wing Commander development and promotional resources as possible - scripts, design layouts, sketches, etc. And to start off the project, we've scanned more than three thousand pages of such documents - including the long awaited Wing Commander Bible and Prophecy Script! You can find it all here.
Like music? Then you may enjoy a grand total of 128 Wing Commander mp3s, many of which have never been heard before! We've got rare licensed tracks from the movie, rare Cobalt 60 promotional tracks... and best of all we've got the entire soundtrack to the original two games, extracted from the Redbook Audio tracks of the rare Japanese FM Towns ports (84 tracks in all)!
Want an idea of what we'll be working on over the next year? Look no further - we're going to be giving the Ships Section a much needed makeover! To show you what we're going for, we've gone ahead and revamped the entire Wing Commander 1 section. Click on to see the Confederation 2.
Tolwyn of the Wing Commander Saga mod has digitized high resolution versions of both the original Wing Commander 3 trailer and the fantastic Wing Commander 3 Making of video! I remember standing outside a Babbages window staring at that trailer as it looped over and over... these videos came out really well - they certainly put our old Wing Commander 3 Making of RM to shame!
Dedicated readers may remember several months back when I revealed the story of the Warrior King - possibly the strangest crossover in TV history (and the only one involving Wing Commander). Basically, Star Trek's Michael Dorn played a 'warrior king' who travelled between all four of USA's saturday morning cartoons... starting in Street Fighter and ending in Wing Commander Academy. In the past, we've only offered the Wing Commander portion of the story for download...
The long awaited Wing Commander Saga trailer is here! The video clocks in at 2:28 and shows off some pretty darned impressive ships and their environments - fans of the Wing Commander III designs and that game's style of CGI animation will not be disappointed (fans of Blackmane-style starbases, however, might not enjoy the opening sequence)! You can download it here (29mb). Good job, guys!
The Reckoning's Bob McDob checks in with an artsy reinterpretation of the final losing scene of Wing Commander III. He'd darned well better animate Pepper crushing someone's skull for next year!
Tolwyn has been busy in his video encoding lab: he's also made available new, higher resolution versions of many of the Wing Commander III 'lost scenes'!
Tolwyn of Wing Commander Saga has submitted a second video for your consideration - but this one doesn't involve the FreeSpace 2 conversion. Phoenix, of the cancelled Rebel Assault Project, made this cool video of Lance's attacking a Kilrathi starbase. It weighs in at 1:55 minutes... you can grab it here (3.
#WingNut regular/talented artist (how's that for an epitaph?) Filler has made us some neat birthday wallpaper:He also did the cool 'balloon' CIC logo you see at the top of this page! Thanks, Filler!
After taking a two year break to retool and refresh ourselves, the latest edition of the CIC Mail Bag has been released! You might not believe but, but each and every email is real. Visit here to see what's new.
Sorry for the very late publication of the Dragon*Con 2003 Gallery. The problem this year was with the number of pictures we had to sort through after the convention. In 2004 we will be fixing this by doing nightly full galleries, so we're be ready to go shortly after the convention ends. Because the 2003 pictures will soon be out of date, we've decided to publish as-is.
Viper61 has provided another exciting taste of the Wing Commander Saga mod for FreeSpace 2, with a sample of the fiction he's writing for the game! Here's what he has has to say about about it: "This is about a third of the fiction between two missions and was chosen for release as it has no relavance to the actual story line. This is just to wet appetites and to give people an idea of what to expect from Saga storyline-wise." You can download it in pdf form here (80k).
Poor Raptor wasn't able to make tonight's party, but he sent us through this little present: Holding The Line chapters 188 and 189!Hey all, Raptor hereIn honour of the CIC's birthday, we're presenting an HTL double header,parts three and four of "Loud And Clear". As you've seen previously, acombined strike by three Confederation carrier groups has taken out an enemydreadnaught and decimated its escorting battlegroup. The Nephilim are notbeaten yet however, and are more than capable of hitting back.
Thought you'd heard the last of the Wing Commander Saga team tonight? Not by a longshot! They've also done this fantastic movie-intro inspired wallpaper to promote the release of their game. It's available in either 1280x960 or 1024x768 format!
Freelancer narrowly beat Freespace in our previous poll, each getting close to a third of the vote. If you combine the scores for Freelancer and Starlancer they win by a good margin.This time we'd like to know how long you've been a Wing Commander fan. Previous polls can be found here.
Cyberion has made everyone some neat Confederation logo wallpaper in honor of the CIC's birthday. Thanks a lot! It really makes for a nice, simple, elegant windows background... and it makes me hungry for sponge cake for some reason.
Thanks for playing our quick summer trivia game! It went fast, but many people worked very hard to squeeze out answers each week. Coordinator TC had this to sayI would like to thank all of you who participated in our shortened game. We had many knowledgeable fans, and some close scores, both of which made for an entertaining game.
... thanks to CasperXJ, the CIC's Unofficial Baker!
Bob McDob has sent us five pretty screenshots from the Reckoning mod for Digital Anvil's Freelancer. They show off Perry, New Constantinople, Bearcats and more!
The Wing Commander Saga mod has released these rendered screenshots of their new WC3-style corvette model - which they've named Kamrani-class in deference to the Unknown Enemy mod. That's some nice team work - and one hell of a model!
There's even more from Tolwyn of the Wing Commander Saga. He's updated Wing Commander 3D six new models. The models include two Arrow Vs (in regular and pirate varieties, an F-86 Hellcat V, a F-66 Thunderbolt VII, a Fralthi II cruiser and a H'var Kann-class dreadnought! Check them out!
I'd like to welcome everyone to the Wing Commander Combat Information Center's sixth birthday celebration. It's really hard for me to believe that we've been doing this for more than half a decade... or that it's been so long since we were eagerly anticipating Secret Ops and the movie. It's even more amazing to me that after all these years we've managed to hold on to a community.
2003.223 (August 11, 2003)
It's been a big year with lots of encouraging news. The biggest news is that our traffic is way up and Wing Commander fans around the world are more interested in our community than ever before. With over a hundred people visiting us on irc to wish us well (70 concurrent), we're having our biggest birthday bash ever! Below a good assortment of various fan projects have contributed something neat for you to see, so please enjoy.
The topic doesn't make sense to most people, nor does it appeared to be spelled right, but it very much expresses our sentiments as we push this project out the door. For many years people have been asking us where they could find a complete Wing Commander Encyclopedia. What we have available today is far from complete, but it is also a chunk of the most comprehensive Wing Commander database available anywhere. With over 1500 records already compiled, there is still much work for us to do, but we're proud to present what we have tonight.
If the God mode cheat for Prophecy Advance didn't help you enough, how about a cheat to unlock every mission in the game? After entering the following code, you'll be able to load any mission from the Flight History terminal the Midway's ready room. Enter the following code at the Prophecy splash screen with the flashing "Press start" text:Up, Up, L, R, Down, Down, A, A, B, AIf you see the screen flash white quickly, you'll know that the cheat is active. Now go enjoy playing the missions that you didn't play on your first run through the game!
Hot off his latest single "Where ace Will Take Me," Ghost has put together his latest masterpiece. You can download Ghost's Happy Birthday Song here.
Eder from Wing Commander Standoff sent these awesome shots of him flying the newly modeled Rapier I. This is the latest in a long line of cool ships from all eras that he has imported into the mod. It's hard to believe they can make the Secret Ops engine look so good, and it's really cool to see ships from the movie flying around. Eder spraypainted a special message for us on the side of his fighter, but it might be a little hard to see in the shots below.
Bob from The Reckoning, a Freelancer mod, has whipped up an in-engine shot to celebrate our Fifth Birthday. I see what appears to be a Talon skimming over a Concordia Class Supercruiser. I sure love to see those Movie era ships simulated in game.
Wing Commander Unknown Enemy was one of the first mods to be completed. It pioneered some of the Secret Ops engine modification and editing. They're currently offline because their mirrors have all had to shut down, but they should be rehosting it very soon. You will need the Secret Ops starter pack to begin when they're back online.
Needaham from the UE team also made what can only be described as a Wing Commander themed orchestral "Happy Birthday" song. It's a short mp3 they've zipped up for us. You can download the 325k file here. It's pretty neat.
Wing Commander Saga: Battlegroup Serpent has released a four minute trailer for their upcoming Freespace 2 mod. It's a pretty exciting look into the basics of the story with some very nice in-game shots. If you haven't been following this one, the trailer might surprise you. You can download their 33 meg trailer here (BL.
Previously available in forms such as 35 mm film and obscure DOS files, originalTHP has properly updated and encoded the original Wing Commander 3 and 4 trailers for our Birthday. They're quite exciting to watch, and I wish I could've caught the WC4 trailer in theaters many years ago. That would have been great. You can download the 15 meg WC3 trailer here (BL.
XJ from Casper Station has put together a short teaser for Wing Commander DDX, his fan fiction novel in progress. He also baked us the cake below. You can find his 6 meg teaser here (BL.org mirror here).
Our six-week summer Trivia game has come to a close. There were some easy weeks and some really killer weeks, and each time there were a surprising number of rabid fans that were able to pull up obscure answers. Every week we heard stories about fans going out to purchase new materials in order to research questions and deliver the most thorough answers possible. It's quite inspirational.
Hadrian has put a number of sound files suitable for cell phone ringtones online. Not all phones will support this, but it's worth a shot to check these out if you have a fancier phone. Point your phone's web browser to http://members.shaw.
While we generate news updates, create features and find new files to post here at the CIC, over the years our friends at the Black Lance HQ have been there to support our continued expansion. Today we'd like to give them special thanks for mirroring a number of videos and features that different fan projects have created. Without their help, you might not be reading this right now (as our server explodes). They also prepared a message.
This year Destination Software and Raylight Studios really helped boost the enthusiasm of our community. Many active fan sites have bolstered our ranks and many fan projects have extremely impressive results to show. Beyond that, the CIC exists because thousands and thousands of dedicated Wing Commander fans visit each week. We'd like to thank you for keeping us going for five years now, and I'm confident we'll be together for quite a while longer.
2001.223 (August 11, 2001)
We'd like to thank you all for visiting us for three years at wcnews.com (and for several more years at our precursor Wing Commander news sites). We've reached another major milestone today. Each year we're continually impressed by how enthusiastic our fellow Wing Commander fans are in supporting our community.
There's nothing we like more than opening a new CIC color. CIC Teal brings you all of the information you could ever want for missions from all of the major WC games. Cpl Hades put an enormous amount of effort into it, and TC and I contributed a little too. We hope you'll enjoy this latest addition to the palette, CIC Game Guides!
It's our third anniversary, and it shows. We've polished up our CIC Chat Zone for this joyous occasion. The latest version of the Bulletin Board software makes reading and posting more enjoyable and customizable than ever. The biggest change is that we've made a number of color schemes available for you.
For many thousands of years, The Book of LOAF remained in the mysterious charge of an Eagle-taunting robot. But since such things were abandoned in hopes of harmony, access to The Book was lost... until now. Formerly available only for the modest fee of $99.
Running a Fan Project? We've got just the thing for you. From now on, you can run a page dedicated to your very own project right here, at wcnews.com!
The results are in and it is now time to announce the winner of the longest WC character list. The winner with a grand total of 858 names is Dralthi5. Congratulations, you win a Maniac action figure signed by the founder of X-Toys! Unfortunately the list wasn't long enough to beat LOAF's list which will be up later, but for now you can read the winning list here.
I recently went over our referral logs, and compiled a list of the most funny, twisted, and downright sick search engine queries. The strangest thing about it is not that people look for these things, but that in the process, they somehow end up at the CIC. Read it here. You must be 18 (or create a distraction for your parents)!
We couldn't have done it without the supernatural efforts of all of the people listed below... and many more!MNelson: For continuing to support our efforts immensely by funding BlackLance.org.
2000.224 (August 11, 2000)
Whew, we're finally there! After years of hard work (and about 36 hours of insane crunch time) we're officially two years old. You are our first guests as we enter our third year at www.wcnews.
Kdown asked us to let everyone know that the Black Lance HQ is down and not to do things such as mail to any of the @blacklance.org addresses. You can temporarily find the site here. Things should resume normally shortly.
By popular demand, and just because we can, we have completed a guide to most of the weapons from all WC games. This guide is part of the Ships Database which has changed a lot since it was first unveiled one year ago. Check it out!
For those of you who are interested, here are some statistics about the CIC that we've collected:The main CIC server holds over 160 megabytes of HTMLs and images with several hundred megs of other files being kindly hosted by others. The CIC server transfers over 220 megs per day of its more than 5000 files (over 1000 of which are HTMLs) to its visitors. The CIC front page has now had well over one million hits from nearly 120 countries and at one point had over 10,000 different people in a day viewing its news. Speaking of news updates, there are now more than 2350.
This collection of documents was given out to people to help advertise the Wing Commander Academy TV show back in 1996. It's especially interesting because it contains a lot of background information about the Wing Commander Universe that has not been seen before! It also contains some fascinating insights into what Universal planned to do with the show, had it continued on to a second season. The guide was given to me by Joe Garrity, to whom I am eternally greatful.
We've set up shop at Cafepress. You can get Wing Commander themed T-shirts, mugs and mouse pads for $12 US each. The "profits," a dollar from each purchase, go back into the site (hosting, domain name, bulletin board). Direct expenses here to keep the site up total hundreds of dollars each year and we don't expect Cafepress to make a huge dent in that, but every little bit helps and you get a neat item in exchange for keeping the CIC alive.
Applicants must enjoy lengthy debates about pointless minutiae and long walks on the beach, as well as have an extensive knowledge of the vast Wing Commander Universe. Send qualifications by mail to email@example.com -- be forwarned, difficult trivia questions will be asked.
This could be the dawn of a new age for Wing Commander fans. Especially for the CIC's second anniversary, long lost Byydo has completed his Happy Secret Thingie, which he started exactly one year ago today. If we're lucky, we might catch a glimpse of him at the Birthday Party before he returns to seclusion at the peak of Mt. Everest, but this will enter the history books as "The first WC fan project ever in the history of Jesus that was ever completed.
2000 is the year of the fan made game. However there are many hurdles in place that can trip up those brave enough to attempt a large scale project. In order to help these people gather support for their causes, we've put together a section on the various works in progress. We have around ten major projects listed, and there are several more pending.
This is one more for the Fan Projects section. Justin Bielawa announced today that he's surreptitiously acquired a copy of the ultra rare novel End Run (I hope his librarian doesn't read the CIC), but that's just the beginning. Before year's end he hopes to have a copy of the most sought after (however never reprinted) Wing Commander novel available online. Can we condone this sort of mischievous behavior?
For some reason, nobody is buying anything from Amazon zShops, so there's a huge surplus of Wing Commander merchandise up for grabs. A few examples: 41 WCII Deluxes, 32 Armada's, 20 movie posters and 13 Prophecy Golds. There's more in our Where to Buy section. The prices are a bit high sometimes, but some of the items are hard to come by (Prophecy Gold has reached $100 on eBay).
That's right, the CIC Mail Bag has returned for its annual reincarnation. This time we've got some one genuine submission plus two e-mails that the CIC received in error. You've got to see them to believe them. Hey, we're not going to leave the Mail Bag hanging this time either..
The CIC has compiled many of the numerous cheats which allow you to get ahead the easy way in Wing Commander. Find out how you can cheat the Kilrathi of their victory with the press of a key. The CIC welcomes its Cheats section.
The WCESCRP Team is proud to announce that their letter to Origin has been sent to multiple people within the company with over 500 names in support of the release of a Wing Commander engine source code. They've worked hard for six months on this project. We wish them good luck for all our sake. You can find more on the project here.
We've been without a Wing Commander Academy episode server mirror for a while, so a few newbies have come along that don't have any of the series. So for a limited time you can check out one of our older smaller partial mirrors. It's not a complete solution, it's barely a half complete solution, but it'll get you on your way until we find another way to host the 400 odd megs of WCA. You can find the mirrors page here.
What would a birthday be like without something to download? Dan "Vinman" Sumner has extracted and converted a number of mp3s from the in-flight music from Wing Commander 4. Some of the clips are rather short, but it should be, literally and figuratively, "music to your ears." We've split up the twenty or so mp3s into two 2.
Our handy dandy Fan Directory has been updated with numerous new profile and updates. The latest slew includes three new pictures of some of your absolutely most favorite fans. ;) The ICQ List has also been updated.
Hey, we had all these updates, why not one more?
Despite little attention, our SETI@Home group has grown to more than ninety members. Combined, we've put in more than twenty-seven years worth of computer time to searching for extra terrestrial life. SETI has a new version out, 2.04, and our list stats have been updated.
The alt.games.wing-commander Homepage has been a bit slow of late, and this has not been aided by some major problems at Deja. We're looking at alternatives to keep the posters list updated, and there should be a FAQ update soon.
Last, but far from least, we'd like to take some time to thank a great many people who've been critical to the site over the last two years. We're short on time but long on the list of people we need to thank, so they'll go quick in no special order: Matthew O'Neill, Joe Garrity, Johnny Guentzel, K. Downing, Anthony Sommers, Carly Staehlin-Taylor, Kevin Scholl, Beth Wasden, Peter Telep, our Chat Zone administrators and moderators, the many people who've submitted news and maintain active Wing Commander sites, and definitely our visitors. Many sites have also aided us.
1999.223 (August 11, 1999)
The CIC's First Birthday Party is now over, but we're not stopping there. We still have a lot of work to do reporting news, upgrading our currect sections and creating new sections as the need arises. If you haven't gotten a chance to look at our lineup of new features, you can find the list here. You can also find complete logs of last night's Birthday Party here.
By the time you read this, LOAF's on his way to Austin to attend college at the University of Texas. He should be checking into his dorm and coming back home to us in just over a week.
Almost three years ago the online Wing Commander community was stunned by the sudden death of Jason Bernard, Captain Eisen from Wing Commander 3 and 4. From that event, a number of online tribute sites were created. With the recent passing of False Colors/Heart of the Tiger co-author Andrew Keith, we'd like to put together a simple tribute for him as well. Since he worked behind the scenes, it's harder to relate to him compared to Bernard, but he was a real great guy who was very attentive towards the fans.
Did you miss the Party? Want to see the next best thing? We now have logs of the big event available to read online. The first log starts about two hours before the opening of the new CIC sections and continues two hours after.
Hack from hell Eno Barbus gives a report from the sharp end. Great reports from Rock emperor Zak Skintight's 'Piss-up in a Brewery' party at the Braufhrer ale plant on the planet of Karatikus. The result of a rash comment by a disillusioned groupie, it really has to be one of Zak's best bashes to date. One event slightly marred the celebrations, when Zak gave me an impromptu high-speed tour of the plant in his brand new Thrashmobile 5000.
1998.223 (August 11, 1998)
While kindly visiting our own Secret Ops Chat Board Boomer responded complaints that the Secret Ops Website's text is to difficult to read. Boomer notes that the people in charge of the site are going to be changing the color of the text, thereby making it easier for us to read!
Harbinger reports that the September 1998 issue of PC Gamer has a small article about the upcoming Secret Ops. We will hopefully have a transcript very soon.
Deathlok mentioned on IRC last night that Daylight Productions has sent the Wing Commander Prophecy DVD off to Creative Labs, presumably to be bundled with some upcoming DVD product. No word as to when or how it will be released, however.
People who know me know that the Encyclopedia and Timeline are my pet projects, what I've always dreamed of doing... now, dates have finally been set! Check the subsections for counters... (the timeline is coming soon, the encyclopedia is a ways away).
Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site also reports that the Movie's official trailer and some CGI images should be released within the next few weeks!
What's a Wing Commander news site without news taken from the incredible Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site? Not much, I'll tell you that. Apparently Dan mailed Richard Gibbs (WC Movie music man) and learned this...I am somewhat familiar with the game - however, I will not be making thematic reference to the music therein.
Wow, last night's CIC opening IRC party was, IHMO, a big success. I've never seen so many people in a WC channel before, thanks for all your support... we'll do it again real soon! For those of you who missed it, here's a lengthy complete log.
WildFire- sent me another pair of missing WCIII scenes just after we went live yesterday... check 'em out!
QuickNote (tm), The Carousel Picture Company's official company web page should be up within 6 weeks. It will include the current WC Movie page we all know and love... (Thanks to the guys over at GMS!
And Origin said, 'Let there be light', and there was the light of the newly illuminated 'Secure Channel' button at SecretOps.com. And the light allowed access to the first fiction update, which may be found below.INTER-SECTOR DAILY NEWS(ISDN)Midway Triumphant!
A while back at WCHS I once asked for help trying to locate a portion of Origin's old Wing Commander IV web page... Psychopath found a hard copy and typed it up for me today! Above and beyond, man...