WC4 Fan Remake Revamps Lexington and Much More (March 4, 2022)

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
The WC4 Fan Remake team has been outwardly quiet these last couple months, but they've been very busy! This was revealed today in one of their biggest updates yet. The TCS Lexington has been massively overhauled with incredible new geometry, textures, detail and especially lighting, which is a new dimension for the team to play with. Things like capship turrets are now exquisitely modeled with accurate physicality and are fully destructible. The flight deck is also starting to come to life with plenty of environmental object filler. And there's even a flythrough video! As an extra cherry on top, variants of the recently revealed frigate model have also been shown off. Check out the full update at WCRespace.com here.







People may think that the lighting doesn’t match what was in the FMV; however this isn’t quite the case. We captured a number of scenes from the Lexington hangar and what we realised is that there appear to be two sets of colour grading on the Confed track; the tint on the Lexington changes from reds to blues after captain Eisen is replaced by Paulsen. Although not relevant for the demo we are talking about matching the in-game colour grading to the FMV for the final release. I do love discovering things like this about my favourite game all these years later.




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Original update published on March 4, 2022
 

Rylex

Rear Admiral
The new model looks really great! Excellent work!
But... is it only me... or are the spotlights in the hangar bay too colorful?
Well, I mean it just looks too "playful". Just because it's possible to use so many colored lights doesn't mean you should. I would decrease the brightness by about 20 percent at least.

Anyway, keep up the excellent work! I can't wait to see this finished.

... green Arrows ... bahh... they really look ugly with this color (even though the color seems to be correct for Wing Commander 4).
 

Pedro

Admiral
The new model looks really great! Excellent work!
But... is it only me... or are the spotlights in the hangar bay too colorful?
Well, I mean it just looks too "playful". Just because it's possible to use so many colored lights doesn't mean you should. I would decrease the brightness by about 20 percent at least.

Anyway, keep up the excellent work! I can't wait to see this finished.

... green Arrows ... bahh... they really look ugly with this color (even though the color seems to be correct for Wing Commander 4).

Everything we show is WIP, it should go without saying that nothing we show is as it will be released. We're not a developer with funding and a PR department and we don't divert our resources into polishing for these updates, we show it as it comes in. As such we're always aware balancing still needs to be done.

The lights used are exactly where they were on the original pre-rendered models. They're colored if they were colored on the original model (most, including the spotlights aren't).
The issue here isn't in the light intensity, it's diffuse/ emissive balance. Emissive is used for the baked rebounded lighting, but currently the diffuse is too dark and the baked lighting is too bright (which also means the shadows are overly subtle). We aren't yet up to that kind of fine tuning.
 

Rylex

Rear Admiral
No problem Pedro, I am convinced that you will manage it - as always. 😁
Think of it as feedback rather than criticism.

Anyway, the green Arrows still hurt my eyes... 😝
 

ODVS

Ensign
No problem Pedro, I am convinced that you will manage it - as always. 😁
Think of it as feedback rather than criticism.

Anyway, the green Arrows still hurt my eyes... 😝
You're right, @Rylex, the green Arrows are correct for WCIV. There are two variants in the game - the Confed Arrows, boasting the green paint job and the Pirate Arrows, which have a blue/red paint job and look considerably more worn and run down.

You can get a closer look at Defiance's gorgeous model work for our versions in the Ship Recognition section of our media page, here: https://wcrespace.com/media/#shipViewer

I believe the canon explanation for the recolour is that Confed's fighters all got new "peacetime" paint jobs to reflect their new roles being primarily patrol/protection after the Kilrathi war ended. I'd assume the real-world reason was to help players easily distinguish between friendly Confed fighters and their nefarious pirate counterparts before the player defects to the UBW.

On a personal note, I do agree with you - I always preferred the WCIII wartime Arrows and even the WCIV Pirate Arrows to the green variant. But hey, we're honouring the original game's design ethos at every step - and who are we to question Origin? 😝
 

Pedro

Admiral
Yeah I'm not fond of the green arrows either, but blame Origin - and even then be kind, WCIV was made with a schedule that if I were presented with it I'd be immediately searching for a new job.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
I suppose then I'm the odd man out for actually liking the green paint job. It reminds me of WC 1-2 era paint schemes. In fact, I liked it so much I threw it on a Tigershark in the MUP. :cool:
 

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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
You're right, @Rylex, the green Arrows are correct for WCIV. There are two variants in the game - the Confed Arrows, boasting the green paint job and the Pirate Arrows, which have a blue/red paint job and look considerably more worn and run down.

There are three Arrows in WC4! There's also the cloaking variant with pink markings that shows up later in the game.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Yeah I'm not fond of the green arrows either, but blame Origin - and even then be kind, WCIV was made with a schedule that if I were presented with it I'd be immediately searching for a new job.
The green looks bad (or at least more bad than it should be) because it looks like the wrong green... I get that this stuff hasn't necessarily had an artists pass, so I'm not trying to nitpick, yet something is making it look very bright lime green in the screenshot when it really shouldn't be *that* bright. The in-game screenshots have it a bit leaning more towards olive but that's in part because of the low res and baked in lighting. And that could be part of it: the intense glare and high contrast from whatever the lighting set up in the remake is possibly making it glow more. The highres render does make it look brighter too but it's still significantly more muted in than the screenshot.



wc4arrow2.png


arwconf.png
 

Pedro

Admiral
The ships don't have any baked lighting, so that's a fairly accurate representation (it's the hangar model which is overexposed due to doubled up lighting. Although the truck probably has too much specular, as I recall it was missing a specular map). Here is a chunk of the texture. You're right that it doesn't match either - it is closer to the rendered model and I think that should be assumed to be the correct version for the reasons you mentioned (and just generally the washed out colors those palettes graviate towards).


Hull.png

I'm not entirely sure that lime green looks better. They both look equally unappealing to me but something to bare in mind down the road.

It's only fair to mention that I threw those into the hangar just because they fit. They haven't had any TLC as we switched to focusing on the demo.
 

Rylex

Rear Admiral
Oh oh... I see I've started another discussion with my comments on the green color.

The green looks bad (or at least more bad than it should be) because it looks like the wrong green...

wc4arrow2.png
The olive green really does look a lot better.

I realize, of course, that from a Wing Commander point of view, everything has to be historically accurate. That's why you can't use the color scheme from Wing Commander Armada, which I still favor. 😍

However, such small discussions are always nice, because you can see that the fans have contact with each other again and again, even after years.

And I was always wondering, why Wing Commander Armada had such much higher ship speeds. The game really does not fit too well into the Wing Commander timeline. Aside from the Wasp (Booster speed), there was no ship faster, than the Arrow?
And even if so... no ship looked better than the Arrow (to me) 😜
 
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Knight26-77

Rear Admiral
Maybe it is me, but the Arrows look HUGE in those shots. Is that the correct size? I'd love to see the fighter all next to each other for a size comparison.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
And I was always wondering, why Wing Commander Armada had such much higher ship speeds. The game really does not fit too well into the Wing Commander timeline. Aside from the Wasp (Booster speed), there was no ship faster, than the Arrow?
And even if so... no ship looked better than the Arrow (to me) 😜

I believe this is for multiplayer balancing so that there's an advantage to flying a smaller ship. They found during testing that smaller differences in speed weren't so appreciable in multiplayer so they increased the range.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Maybe it is me, but the Arrows look HUGE in those shots. Is that the correct size? I'd love to see the fighter all next to each other for a size comparison.

The hellcats in the hangars are scaled down slightly. The arrows and the hellcat you fly match the original games scale.
We will look into addressing the scale of the parked Hellcat down the road but it's not a burning priority for the demo.
 

Rylex

Rear Admiral
I believe this is for multiplayer balancing so that there's an advantage to flying a smaller ship. They found during testing that smaller differences in speed weren't so appreciable in multiplayer so they increased the range.
Thank you LOAF for the explanation!

@Pedro: I can't wait to play the game.

I really wanted to play Wing Commander IV again for a long time. But you know that... every time something else comes in between... and your project gives me the power to wait a bit until it's finished. Now I just turned 40 last week (so the reflexes are even worse)... at least I got married last year, before turning 40 ... otherwise my wife would have changed her mind (just kidding ... no, she wouldn't have!). 😜

Well, I'm curious if I still could shoot down a Gladius/Banshee or Kilrathi Khor'lar/Goran counterpart with my Arrow on multiplayer 🙄 ... as the opponents also grow older, I'm sure I could. 😁
 

Knight26-77

Rear Admiral
The hellcats in the hangars are scaled down slightly. The arrows and the hellcat you fly match the original games scale.
We will look into addressing the scale of the parked Hellcat down the road but it's not a burning priority for the demo.
Ok, so it's an issue with the original asset making those parking spots/maintenance bays too small and then the team kept them the same size as the originals.
 
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