But Is It Ours?

The professional opinion seems to be that Wing Commander Arena is a fun game... but many hardcore Wing Commander fans are worried that it won't make proper use of the classic series' extensive continuity. Producer Sean Penney was kind enough to answer a few questions, giving us a glimpse at the kind of work and research Electronic Arts has put into making this a true 'Wing Commander' game. Watch for references to everything from Secret Missions 2 to Chris Roberts' Wing movie!
Q. Have you had previous experience with Wing Commander, either as a developer or as a gamer?
A. My previous experiences with Wing Commander were as a player and fan. Being part of the Star Wars generation (aren't we all, really?) I couldn't get enough sci-fi and the WC franchise was a long time companion. I played them and went through more than a few joysticks.

Q. How will Arena appeal to existing Wing Commander fans?
A. This was a question we asked ourselves a lot during development as we wanted to ensure we did the IP justice. We balanced that with a desire to introduce the WC universe to new players. We were careful in our selection of ships and queried the WC community on our choices. The ships we used are favorites from across the series, and they are true to the IP in more than just form - function and balance were important considerations. Our goal was to offer a fast-paced fun arcade space combat game to WC fans that would also have broad appeal. And being able to fly Kilrathi ships has me excited as a fan too. It's an Arcade title - so think of Wing Commander Arena as a slice of the Wing Commander experience.

Q. Will the game include any familiar Wing Commander elements -- ships, history or the like?
A. Oh yes of course - we've advanced the history in a minor way, and the ships are drawn from across the WC universe, and will be familiar to WC fans. We've updated some to fit in with the frontier-like atmosphere of Arena. For Example:

The A-17 Broadsword Executioner: The Broadsword was first constructed for planetary bombing raids during the Pilgrim War, and was soon adapted to carry torpedoes. Lightly armored but sporting heavy weapons and good missiles as well as a deployable turret and a tractor beam, this bomber is perfect for taking on small, quick fighters.

And

The Dralthi IX Rhino: By far the heaviest Dralthi ever constructed, the Rhino is the equal of the Vaktoth or the Hhriss. Heavily armored and armed, with moderate speed and maneuverability, the Rhino hits hard and keeps on hitting.

Q. When and where in the Wing Commander universe is the game set?
A. The Epsilon Sector, 2701. The Terran Confederation and the Kilrathi Assembly of Clans have beaten back the Nephilim hordes, but at a terrible cost. As the shattered governments focus on rebuilding the core worlds, the frontier has descended into lawlessness. Regional governors hold power through force of arms, as humans and Kilrathi alike fight amongst themselves using the weapons of the last war. Privateers, outlaws and worse take advantage of the situation, eager to make a quick credit in the galaxy's most volatile arena...

Q. Can we expect to see any promotional tie-ins with Arena... web presence, Gamer Pics, XBox themes, etc.?
A. All good ideas

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Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans.

Relive Blair's Story in Seven Minutes
2015-04-25 -- Szych has put together a tribute video to the Wing Commander series. He hits the highlights of WC1 through 4 as well as Prophecy in one composite package. While the clip is jam packed with different scenes, it's not just a music video with random edits - he does a good job of trying to cover many of the major plots points in a fun nostalgic trip.

Flat Universe on Mission Design
2015-04-24 -- The Maslas Brothers have again taken to the forums to answer questions from fans, this time focusing on map design. The playing field in Flat Universe is made up of distinct scenes or maps, interconnected through jump points. Each map can have any number of hotspots, such as space stations or asteroid fields, and missions may span multiple maps.

New WC Saga Tools Released To Assist Pilots
2015-04-23 -- Luke has created two more useful tools to help both players and modders of WC Saga. WCS Base Extract is a utility that unpacks Saga files as a first step towards creating new missions in the game. Mouse Trap improves control for pilots who fly with a mouse.

WC Film Project Energizes Next Generation of Gamers
2015-04-22 -- Mike Peters is a high school teacher and a huge Wing Commander fan. For an exciting summer project, he's working with his students to put together a fun film series. They've already started on the story, which will center on Colonel Halcyon and Commodore/Admiral Tolwyn prior to the events of WC1.

Wing Commander Added to Origin Humble Bundle
2015-04-21 -- Last week's leak about the Origin Humble Bundle has been officially announced! The baseline bundle with Dragon Age, Peggle, Dead Space 2, Medal of Honor and C&C Generals is available at any price, but gamers who pay more than the average unlock eight additional titles, including Wing Commander 3&4, Sim City 2000 and Ultima 7. The average is currently just $4.

It's Hip To Be Square
2015-04-20 -- We haven't heard much on Ron B's WC strategy game lately, but he's back now with an update. The biggest change is that the hex-based space grids have been turned into squares to streamline development. Other aspects of the project have been coming along well, so he actually expects to be able to share a playable test release soon.

New Utility Boosts Prophecy & Secret Ops Framerate
2015-04-19 -- gr1mre4per has put together a neat new upgrade patch for Wing Commander Prophecy & Secret Ops. There are patches that upgrade the video to DVD quality, enable OpenGL graphics support and even add multiplayer, but the game is still locked at 32 frames per second. grim's patch updates the Prophecy or Secret Ops executable to run at any custom refresh rate, although 60 seems to work the best and provides nice and smooth motion.

Rapier + Ninja = Boulder Blaster
2015-04-18 -- Wojo is well known as an aficionado of the WC Movie's Rapier I fighter. Recently he was shocked to see one Lego's latest toys, the Ninjago Boulder Blaster. It's a cylindrical fighter with a big rotary cannon for a nose.

New Preview Features Wing Commander Star
2015-04-17 -- Many of you have already seen it, but a hot new video is exploding across the internet. Wing Commander's Malcolm McDowell has been made the new spokesman for Lunchables Uploaded, but he's not a great fit. His hilarious new commercial is below.

WC Skin Pack Jazzes Up Modern Jets
2015-04-16 -- Cannon Song has put together a nifty skin pack for Vector Thrust, a new flight sim based around today's fighter jet designs. Rather than import Wing Commander models though, he's reimagined the paint schemes of six craft based on their WC equivalents. Looks closely and you'll see this was accomplished very creatively!

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