DefianceIndustries has shared some exciting news about another amazing graphical upgrade developed by the community. Pedro and PopsiclePete have helped implement emit maps that will allow for proper glow effects in Prophecy and Secret Ops. This is a huge win for a game that's highlighted by dark spaceships adorned with eerie lights. There's also some great benefits for regular spaceships too. Coming soon to a Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack near you!
So...it isn't often we jaded MUP-pers get really excited over something, but this is one of those times. The dynamic graphical duo of Pedro and PopsiclePete have been hard at work performing dark magics and alchemy on the Open/GL patch and have given us a gift long sought after: Emit maps!
Up to this point we've had to be creative in how we do things like glowing windows and engines in the MUP. Kevin Caccamo 's awesome Wing Blender tools for Blender allow us to fake emitting surfaces by letting us use shadeless textures. But that means in things like capships we have to ensure that emitting surfaces are attached to other destroyable objects or fake it with a hidden CARGO chunk. Nephilim models were especially difficult because they aren't symmetrical. So we have to do really wacky stuff like use transparency functions on the windows and create a second "emit mesh" that lives just beneath the hull so when you view the model head -on the emitting mesh shows through the hull - and the emit mesh has to be attached as a destroyable chunk like CARGO so it can stop emitting once the ship dies. Because Vision inexplicably doesn't support destroyed base hull meshes or even texture swapping on a destroyed main object, some of this is still necessary. However for ships like corvettes and fighters, this is a huge win!
Why? a couple of reasons: 1) for some reason rounded objects like the engine on the barracuda (being one of the most obvious offenders) as well as the gun pods on the Nephilim fighters don't emit properly using the shadeless texture approach and 2) we are limited to selecting faces and creating shadeless materials for those faces - with proper emit mapping we can actually bake real glows onto the fighters and ships. Hangars can actually look like they're lit by the overhead lamps, hull around intakes can now properly render soft glows, etc. it will add a new level of visual enjoyment to the MUP.
Here are some new shots of everybody's favorite Maestro-killer - the Barracuda, using the new emit maps.
The 3-D Space Combat Strategizer
Pix and Dennis Mull have both recently found an interesting compilation by Empire Interactive. The set bundles together Wing Commander, Civilization, War in the Gulf and Frontier: Elite II all in one pack. Two of them are space sims, plus there's a tank sim and a classic turn-based 4X - not unlike hundreds of various '90s packs. (2019-01-21)
Annual Community Vote Begins!
With 2018 now well in the rear view mirror and 2019 well on its way, it's time for us to jump into our annual fan project contest. We took nominations over the last couple months and have come up with this list of noteworthy endeavors to recognize. Of course, the standard disclaimer applies: this is by no means an exhaustive list of super cool things that Wingnuts have been up to lately. (2019-01-20)
Denis Loubet Remembers Aaron Allston
Former Origin artist Denis Loubet has completed another portrait. This one is a tribute to his friend and fellow Wing Commander veteran Aaron Allston. Sadly, Mr. (2019-01-19)
Chinese Secret Missions Now a Little Less Secret
Christian Klein posted these neat pics of the Secret Missions made for China/Taiwan. We've previously posted about a number of Chinese ports in the past, including WC1, SM2, WC2 and the Special Operations, but it's possible that I've not seen the SM1 before. It's nice to close the loop on that! (2019-01-18)
Wing Commander Jazz Album Discs Ready to Ship!
There's good news on George Oldziey's live Wing Commander jazz album. The production copies have finally come back, so George is ready to ship discs out to project backers. Very coolalbum art was created by SabreAce, which you can see below. (2019-01-17)