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.

Close Encounters Of The Kilrathi Kind
2016-08-29 -- We've got an another awesome NinjaLA sketch to kick off your Wing Commander week. This one features a Confed pilot locked in hand to hand combat with a fearsome Kilrathi. Our human appears to have a weapon, but it looks like he has about half a second to fire it before getting ripped to shreds!

Hypothetically Cruise Though No Man's Sky At A Cool 500 KPS
2016-08-28 -- There's been a lot said online about No Man's Sky. It had tremendous prerelease hype, and the final results have left some disappointed. But many others are having a wonderful time exploring space, collecting resources and admiring all the pretty colors on their way to the center of the galaxy.

Enhanced WC2 Music Samples Very Pleasing On The Ears
2016-08-27 -- Apple's Garageband is an app for music creation and a sound library that provides the user with various instruments and drums. The program also supports importing and tweaking MIDI files, a feature that YouTuber Jason Walton has been tinkering with. He's just posted two enhanced WC2 tracks based on further refinement of his methods and feedback from fellow fans.

Geek Out Over This Wing Commander History Review
2016-08-26 -- Ollamh has filmed a Wing Commander profile for their Geek Trivia series. There's not a lot of trivia, but it's a pretty exhaustive retrospective view of the main games in the series. It's certainly a big step up from relatively brief text articles that pop up from time to time.

Rock Out To Wing Commander Memories
2016-08-25 -- TeamRock has posted an article on the "Lost Classic," Wing Commander. The author lovingly recounts how Wing Commander shaped his formative gaming years. Branching plots, engaging shipmates and a dastardly enemy all get credit for making Wing Commander stand out among a backdrop of awesome '90s entertainment.

New Sins Of A Solar Empire Mod Unveiled
2016-08-24 -- Nomada_Firefox has taken the wraps off his Wing Commander mod for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. There's a number of screenshots already available because he's actually been working on the project for quite some time and held off on sharing it until he felt like he had a good amount of momentum going. It looks like he's definitely off to a good start.

Gr'Kath's Sick Of Herding Kittens
2016-08-23 -- Next up in NinjaLA's stream of sketches is a Wing Commander comic concept. Before you get your hopes it, this is just a one-off concept page. Ninja has several other examples from prior attempts to kick off a full length story, but an engaging and visually striking series is a huge undertaking.

Homeworld Mod Strives To Be First To Kilrah
2016-08-22 -- Now that L.I.F.

Looking Back At The Heart Of The Tiger's Awesome Premiere Edition
2016-08-21 -- One of the most elaborate packages in the Wing Commander series is the Premiere Edition of Wing Commander 3. In addition to the regular items that everyone got, it included a color version of Warbirds, a soundtrack CD, a 'Behind the Screens' CD with cool interviews & features, a t-shirt, a 1995 calendar, a VHS 'making of' tape, a folded poster and a copy of the Fleet Action novel in a film reel enclosure. There was a variant available at Sam's Club, but the primary way for fans to acquire this collector's item was to directly call and order from Electronic Arts - since this was years before online orders were a thing!

Wing Commander Script Guides Updated For New Release
2016-08-20 -- In the chaotic hustle and bustle leading up to the CIC Birthday, sometimes we run out of time to process a few things in time for the party. Shades' Wing Commander script guides didn't quite make the cut this year, but that means they gets a whole news cycle to themselves today! These were first previewed back in 2014, but Shades has used the intervening time to edit and clean up the documents.

Our Most Pointless Post Ever... Or Our Best?
2016-08-19 -- There's a sizable slice of the internet today that's just mindless content farm drivel. No, I'm not talking about clickbait listicles or low quality aggregations - this is stuff so pointless that it really makes you pause. I get why they do it.

Happy 20th Birthday, WC4.123106: The Price Of Entertainment!
2016-08-18 -- Fan fiction is what you get whenever you have creative fans combined with an audience. Today, you'll see stories emerge for game series before the first game is even completed. But in the early days of the internet, things were rapidly evolving and the nature of things like fan fic were dynamic as well.

Pix Revives Tandy TX For Glorious Wing Commander Run
2016-08-17 -- Pix has put together a wonderful walkthrough of the process he followed to get an 8 MHz Tandy TX to run Wing Commander. The technical hurdles he had to jump through are a fun read for those of us who've built computers from scratch, and the results are quite impressive. The game is super choppy since the machine is well below the recommended specs, but it's amazing that it actually runs!

Dogfight Doubles Down On Colorful Contrasts
2016-08-16 -- Hot on the hells of his very colorful tribute to the CIC's 18th Birthday, NinjaLA has put together this beautiful scene. A Confed fighter chases after a Kilrathi ship in the distance. Its bright engine flare against a blue haze adds some great texture to the mix, plus there's some additional nice highlights provided by the electric green blobs being fired from out of the frame.

Party Logs Now Online
2016-08-15 -- We've put the logs from this weekend's party online, so if you couldn't make it in person, you can relive the event now! Check out the transcript here. Hop down to 16:17 to see when the party officially got started.

Time To Claim Party Prizes
2016-08-15 -- Another great party was complemented by another great round of Wing Commander trivia, and now it's time for the winners to claim their prizes. If you won an item below, send us your IRC name, real name and address. If the item has a choice involved, be sure to let us know that as well.

Happy 18th Birthday, CIC!
2016-08-14 -- Welcome to the CIC's 18th Birthday Bash! Daily updates all year round are an important way to keep the ball rolling, but once each summer we get this special opportunity to turn the faucet on full blast and share a load of big updates. In the months leading up the birthday, we're never exactly sure what all will solidify in time for the event, but we're always happy with the outcome.

Happy 18th From NinjaLA
2016-08-14 -- NinjaLA has put together this party-themed sketch of the Tiger's Claw and her escorts for our 18th birthday. I really like the idea of the colorful smoke trails and the ships are pretty sharp too! In case anyone else wanted to take a stab and crafting their own message, he put together this base template that tones down the smoke and removes the caption.

August 2681 Issue Of Destiny's Way Released
2016-08-14 -- Just in time for our 18th Birthday, the Maslas Brothers have released the next issue of Destiny's Way. Once again, the in-universe magazine of Wing Commander Flat Universe is packed full of nostalgic references, thought provoking articles and clever advertisements. Check out the pages below or grab the official PDF here (3.

Art Assets Reveal Never Before Seen Cockpit
2016-08-14 -- It's certainly not every day we get to see new Origin concept art or unused designs from the classic Wing Commander games, but we've got a birthday treat today! Joe Garrity recently uncovered an amazing set of cockpit art and animations from a fighter we've never seen before. The lock and autopilot lights are unmistakable, and there are vertical and horizontal bars that could definitely be for a gun capacity and afterburner fuel.

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