The Good Ending Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

"Either you're an earthworm or an eagle."

Launch Deck, BWS Intrepid.

Paladin: So here you are, an instructor. Not a general, or a senator. And you could have had everything.
Maverick: “Everything” means I keep flying. So if you ask me, I’ve got everything.
Paladin: I envy you, laddie. At times I wish I’d made the same choice myself. So, how’s that farm?
Maverick: <laughs> I’m not a farmer.
Maniac: I’m talking about rolling a bomber, not a fighter.
Newbie: You’re kidding!
Maverick: You know, of all people…
Maniac: I’m not enrolled in training!
Maverick: …Maniac taught me one thing.
Maniac: Wha– hey, pal. Uh, Senator. I– What? What?
Maverick: Well you said, “either you’re an earthworm or an eagle”.
Maniac: I said that?
Panther: Hey, Colonel! We’ve got a fresh batch of newbies to shake down.
Maverick: They can wait a bit. I think I’ll log some flyin’ time.
Maniac: Er, Senator, about…
Paladin: Maniac… shut up.

Moongate Ebook Complete, Physical Rewards Prepping to Ship Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Everything is coming together for Through the Moongate, from Wing Commander and Ultima VII to Portalarium. This historical reference on the history of Origin was successfully Kickstarted in October 2019, and author Andrea Contato is in the final stages of prepping materials now. The actual text of the book was completed in December and released electronically a couple weeks ago. Contributors can log into their Kickstarter accounts for download links. If you missed the original campaign but still want a copy of the book, a store has been set up for that here. Physical printings should be ready to go within a matter of weeks, and some of the bonus extras are now ready as well. These include a fantastic Wing Commander bookmark by Origin artist Denis Loubet as well as a cloth art collage by Manda that features a Kilrathi and Dralthi in the corner. I'm looking forward to getting mine!
Manda's artwork on cloth prototype is ready and the detail is very good. :) A lot of wing Commander and Ultima references in a single artwork.

New Animated Ferret Ready to Rock Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

DefianceIndustries has a fun new update for his animated Academy-style project. He's built a new fighter based around the enigmatic Ferret introduced in Invisible Enemy. It's the second time in a week we've gotten a new fan take on this potent patrol fighter. It looks like a great ship, and we can't wait to see it in action!
Happy New Year Wingnuts! It's been a while since I've posted anything to this thread, mostly because I've been heads down on the remaster work mainly. But all Thunderbolts and no Ferrets makes Jack a dull boy. So I went back to the animated series and made a WCA Ferret. It was a self-set 2 hour modelling challenge (I made it), and then the textures were done later. You only see it in one or two episodes, but it kind of looks like a cross between an F-5 and an F-18. It's a strangely handsome spacecraft.
Here's how it's depicted in Academy versus its Wing Commander 2 incarnation.

Enhanced Video Also Incorporating Missing Lines of Speech Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ODVS has another awesome sample of the great work he's doing to enhance Wing Commander 4's video footage and make complimentary tweaks for the WC4 Fan Remake. In this case, he's found a snippet of audio that was present on the original CD but missing from the official DVD release carried by places like GOG.com. He's managed to splice the two together so the missing verbiage will be heard in future releases in HD or 4K. The team is still on the lookout for other similar improvements to be made in the future. There's also a new tool to improve the frame rate, which is on display in the sample below as well. Check it out!
A couple of new things to mention is this one. Firstly, as part of our efforts to improve on the base game in Wing Commander IV Remastered, I'll be fixing up any audio errors I come across - including missing dialogue. For reasons unknown, Catscratch's line "Oh my God, you're him!" (which was present in the CD-ROM release) was missing from the DVD edition of Wing Commander IV. I managed to extract it from the stereo audio of the CD-ROM release and seamlessly integrate it into the remastered version, maintaining the Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound audio format. You'll have to take my word on that, given that I can only upload to YouTube in stereo - but you'll see come the final release. :)

So here's the remastered version, AI upscaled to 4K UHD, 60fps HFR. I also used a new method to increase the frame rate for this video: RIFE AI. I previously used DAIN AI (Depth-Aware video frame INterpolation), but RIFE (Real-time Intermediate Flow Estimation) is new, exciting, produces fewer artefacts and most importantly (from my perspective) takes 66% less time to process.

Fan Project Vote Under Way Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The annual CIC Fan Project of the Year voting is now in full swing! There's a wonderful lineup of nominees this year, so we know it can be hard to just pick one to vote for. The contest phase will end in a week or two, so now's your chance to help select the winner for 2020. Good luck to all the nominees!
  • The AI/Neural Net Enhanced Wing Commander Video Packs made a big splash this year by surprising fans with the quality of its upscaled movies. The new footage can even be easily dropped into WC4 and Prophecy.
  • The Animated Academy-style Video Project is a relatively new endeavor by prolific modeler DefianceIndustries. He's managed to create some gorgeous cartoon style models that look wonderful in action.
  • Flight Commander 2 was another newcomer this year. There's already a playable demo to interact with, and it even runs in a web browser!
  • The Gemini Sector RPG has had an especially busy year. The team has been hard at work to keep evolving and spice up the game with cool artwork to accompany their Discord sessions.
  • The Graphical Novel Project draws inspiration from WC4 and Action Stations as it seeks to develop a flexible interface for animated storytelling. Some very cool previews help set the stage for what to expect going forward.
  • Klavs' Models made a return in 2020. On top of the being some of the most beautiful WC imagery around, they also serve as the backbone for a number of fan projects, such as LYP Studios' awesome Morningstar 3D print.
  • The WC Toolbox expanded this year to support Armada and Wing Commander 3. Even the console ports of WC3 got in on the action. The tools helped lead to some new discoveries, including some never-before-seen background sets from Wing Commander 3!
  • The WC4 Fan Remake kicked things into high gear this year with the ramp up of key programming, artwork and video enhancement. They even debuted a new website at wcrespace.com to keep tabs on it all and share the latest advancements!
  • wcdx 2.2 is the latest and greatest patch for the Kilrathi Saga. It fixes compatibility on modern systems, but it also goes back and unbreaks things that the original conversion for Windows 95 didn't incorporate correctly from the DOS originals. It now supports everything from WC1 through both Special Operations.
  • Wing Commander Loader is a project people have been asking for for decades, and Destro is finally making it happen as he steadily works to incorporate the voiceovers from the Sega CD port of WC1 back into the original DOS game.

Frank Savage Talks Strike Commander, Wing Commander 3 and More Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Fabien Sanglard has posted a great podcast interview with former Origin programmer Frank Savage. The main purpose of the conversation was to learn more about Strike Commander, but there's also wonderful information about Origin as a company, the technology of Wing Commander 3 and Mr. Savage's later work on Xbox. The whole recording close in at more than 70 minutes, but there's also a transcript you can skim to get the gist of it. Check it out here!
Frank Savage: So at that time I was a hobbyist game developer. I taught myself C and C++. My education was in Electrical Engineering. So I knew the mathematics behind 3D stuff, but I had never applied it. I never tried to do anything with it except for a couple of courses in college. I was a huge fan of the Wing Commander series. I had Wing Commander license plates on my car in Illinois where I was living in Chicago at the time. I would go to GenCon every year. GenCon was a game convention used to be held in Lake Geneva and Wisconsin and then eventually moved to downtown. Milwaukee, and that was where I first saw Wing Commander at GenCon the year before. I went and played Wing Commander every day literally every day when it released. Went to Gen Con the next year and they had this demo for this game that that I had never seen before called Strike Commander and watch the demo and saw like unbelievable graphics for that time. There was another person watching it with me a GenCon and we were laughing. Think about how like how if you can do this on a personal computer imagine what the simulators that we terrain people must must look like.

And I talk to Warren Spector who is who is there recruiting for origin at the time told him the story of how I played Wing Commander every day how I knew some of the mathematics behind this and taught myself C and C++ and he said, "Wow, you sound like someone we should hire because Strike Commander needs people to come work on it." And I said, well, okay like "I would love to get in the game is like this would be a dream job of mine." So I wrote a letter accompanying Warren back to Origin that had like my my experiences and you know the stuff that I've been doing with games and Warren told me he's like look, we're in the throes of shipping Wing Commander 2 right now. It probably won't won't come out we won't talk to you for some amount of time because the game is still about a month away and we're not sure. So I said okay, that's fine. Like I've got you know, I have a regular job that time.

I was working the IT department at a home improvement chain so you can see like how steeped in gaming I was at that point. I was a huge gamer, but I hadn't really done a lot of stuff professionally. Origin actually reached out to me that week and they were going to fly me down to Austin, Texas. I've never been to Austin in my life. And the last second they said well, here's what we're going to do. We're going to actually have you be interviewed by by one of the people on the team and over the phone. And then if that goes well then we'll think about what the next steps will be and there's probably gonna be three people talking to you that Friday night and I said, "Alright, that sounds great."

Drakhri Encounters Furious Ferret Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a fabulous digital painting to share. This depiction of a Ferret taking on a Drakhri was created by artist Mike Riendeau. He's currently making a series of video game-inspired art, which you can find on Twitter here. The scene was suggested by More_Boom_Boom, and it's a really great one. I love the stylization that takes the relatively sterile gray Ferret cockpit and gives it the green-and-blue glow of a Sabre. Very cool!

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