Wing Commander 3 as Seen From the 21st Century Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Sidequest has posted a thorough retrospective of Wing Commander 3. It comes from an interesting perspective. The author has a lot of experience reviewing games, but was born after WC3's 1994 release. As such, one of the first things he calls out was the game's low resolution and high compression in cutscenes. While there's no doubt that this is an issue, if you lived through it at the time you would recall how the high end graphics (both in flight and for video) brought hardware of the time to its knees as it was. He also struggles a bit through the lack of tutorial help in-game, which was also typical of the era. But it's wonderful to see how people power through these difficulties and nevertheless have a blast with the game!
Thanks to Spacedock for spotting this one!

WC4 Fan Remake Enlisting Programer Reinforcements Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ODVS has put together a new promo for the WC4 Fan Remake, and it's a little different than most that we've seen. Watch it and let him know what you think. The team is also potentially looking for another programmer. If this might be something you could help with, hit the comment link below!
Are there any C++ / C# programmers out there left to recruit? We have two musicians but only one programmer. :) It's our only real bottle neck.

We're looking for tools. Now whilst many of the tools are in C# like all game engines the core is in C++ interop is going to be needed even for those.

I'll outline some tasks I think we could bounce to others here:

  • AI Behaviour Tree - New behaviours for space combat (Tool C#, game behaviours protocol buffers, behaviour implementations C++)
  • Model material editor: Leaning towards C++ using IMGUI to avoid complexity. C# is an option but would require a lot of interop The AI tool exists but needs to be redone to support per project behaviours and a focus on 3D locomotion. The material editor doesn't, material overrides are currently defined in yaml.
And here's a recent example of the reworked in-game audio, in case you missed it!

WC1 Fan Cutscene Visits Ardai Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Plywood Fiend has created a nifty cutscene to share this weekend. The setting with an iconic Dralthi wing broken off is a cool piece of art on its own, but he also made a corresponding animation with music and captions to turn it into a WC1 style cutscene. This kind of 30-year-throwback creativity makes it so fun to be part of the Wing Commander community!
I've always wanted to make one of these. Alas my pixel art talents aren't quite up to the original game's standards, but perhaps this'll make for a nifty, nostalgic thing for some.

Bit of a headcanon scene here. It takes place during the winning path with the Tiger's Claw finishing the Kilrathi off in Venice and other Confederation ships vanquishing the feline menace in other systems.

Act Fast for Discounted Wing Commander at GOG Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

GOG.com is having a sci-fi midweek sale that's briefly discounting Wing Commander - and many more space sims! Each WC package is just $1.49 or a whopping $11.92 for the entire set of DOS and Windows games in the series. Of course, most of the people reading this already own the games, but there's a whole new generation of gamers out there who barely know what Wing Commander is. The GOG sale ends late tonight, but their frequent discounts are an excellent opportunity to bring new people into the fold! Also, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw is now included since it has been recently released on GOG. It's a wonderful WC-inspired game half off now for just $14.99! RGO makes it easy to pretend you're playing a brand new Privateer spinoff.

Perseverance Rover Successfully Lands on Mars! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We spend a lot of time in the world of science fiction here at the CIC, but when history is made in the real life realm of science and technology, we like to take a moment and recognize how incredible it is that the imaginary events of yesterday are actually happening today. As you've hopefully heard, the Perseverance rover successfully touched down today on the surface of Mars. Like its sibling in 2012, the maneuver was accomplished as the rover was gently lowered by a levitating aerial crane. The fact that this time the "rover" was a one ton beast the size of a car makes it all the more amazing. On top of the ability to search for signs of life on the surface, this probe packs a flying helicopter for the first time. This will provide unprecedented views and mobility for a craft on another planet. I can't wait to see what we learn in the weeks, months and years ahead! Congratulations to all of the teams who spent more than a decade working hard to get here (which includes Wingnuts like robotics programmer eddieb, among others no doubt).

French Mags Reveal The Darkening Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Dug up an excellent French Privateer 2 preview from the 1995 press junket (when it was still just The Darkening). I think this is the highest quality image of Mathilda May's cool space lady costume I've seen!

This one has some great in-progress renders from the landings and gameflow! And here's one more.
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Uncommon Settings Make Fun Sketches Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a couple of hand drawn sketches by AirenWoodmoon. They're both based on RPG notebooks that the artist drew years ago starring the characters from Wing Commander. We don't see nearly as many sketches like this as we used to, but of all the inspirations for such drawings, WC3 has clearly been the most popular. These are based on settings from WC1/2 and Prophecy, which makes them pretty cool and unique. I mean, Shadow and Doomsday? Stiletto and Kevin Tolwyn? What a deep throwback!
So every notebook needs a back cover, right? One of the original Pilots' Notebooks had an insert cover that I had done of the first group I started playing with in the Wing Commander Universe, way back when I was a kid. I've been obsessed with Wing Commander off and on my entire life, and I was indoctrinated watching my dad play the first two games on the Amiga, and playing myself when I was old enough. Anyway, the original insert cover was the crew that I used to role play by myself with when I was a kid and later dumped into the game with my friends. I decided to recreate that drawing for the back cover of the Christmas gift.

Pilot roster, left to right:

  • Ian "Hunter" St. John (WC1)
  • Tanaka "Spirit" Mariko (WC1/WC2)
  • Christopher "Condor" Blair (OC)*
  • Jeanette "Angel" Deveraux (WC1/WC2. I went with in game Angel though I like the movie girl)
  • Todd "Maniac" Marshall (WC1/WC2/WC3)
  • Elizabeth "Shadow" Norwood (WC2. You might not remember her. She died in the first mission of the game.)
  • Courtney "Jazz" Colson (WC2. And yes I changed his name. By this point he's half OC, but still the crazy traitor)
  • Etienne "Doomsday" Montclaire (seated, WC1)
  • James "Paladin" Taggart (WC1/WC2/WC3)
  • Ralgha nar Hhallas "Hobbes" (WC2/WC3)
So back in high school I was really into Wing Commander. Prophecy had just been released and I dove headfirst, pulling all my friends into this massive RPG campaign based on the Midway, even those who I had never role played with before. It was massive and glorious and spanned two years, the longest running campaign at that time. (We had ADD. The only reason it lasted that long is that we dropped any and every character we wanted into it.) It was glorious. :D

One of the ways we would play the RP was through passing a notebook around. Since we started it with a handful of Midway pilots the notebooks quickly became known as the Pilots' Notebook. Think of it like a massive chat board between a slew of characters, except done on pen and paper and passed around between classes. It was only a short period of time before we started drawing covers for these things. And so this is a redrawing of my original cover for the first Pilots' Notebook, showing the original group that started the whole thing.

From left to right, back standing row first:

  • Kevin "Lone Wolf" Tolwyn (yeah, not his in game/book look. I based him off Malcom McDowell’s Tolwyn)
  • Tom "Jinx" Winston (OC)
  • Lance "Frosty" Casey (Prophecy)
  • Nicole "Knife" Forbes (loosely based on Forbes from the book based on the movie)
  • Aleksei "Skull" Karovich (OC)
Group on the bench:
  • Emily "Babe" Babecock (OC, though I'm almost sure I took Babecock off the Prophecy pilot roster in game)
  • Max "Maestro" Garrett (Prophecy)
  • Jessi "Sugarplum" (Elrondofthewoodship's OC)
  • Jonny "Q-Ball" Quest (yeap)
Floor seating:
  • Erasto "Zero" Dodds (Prophecy)
  • Jean "Stiletto" Talvert (Prophecy)
This picture took me forever, but I'm really pleased how it came out. It was made for a Christmas gift, and I'm glad I get to finally share it.

South Korean Wing Commanders are a Localized Treat Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Yesterday we were talking about collecting rare international versions of Wing Commander, and here's another prime example. AD found this awesome set of Wing Commanders 1 through 4 from South Korea. WC1&2 got an especially nice combo treatment with localized fighter blueprints and everything. We know it got a big promotional push at the time too from various artifacts that have cropped up over the years. The first package was done by SKC Soft Land, but I can't quite make out the details on WC3 or WC4. The originating post on this dates back to 2004, so the original poster is probably hard to find today, but if you've got experience with these, please share in the comments! It does appear that WC4 was censored in South Korea to remove the throat cutting, Telamon body and Tolwyn hanging to conform to local ratings pressure. This is a very cool find!

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