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.

Play The Flat Universe Alpha Now!
2014-10-30 -- The first playable edition of top-down shooter Wing Commander Flat Universe has been released! The Maslas Brothers still consider this a 0.5 alpha version, but it already looks like a lot of fun.

Crusader: No Remorse Goes Free On Origin!
2014-10-29 -- Electronic Arts' Origin service has announced its newest On The House game, Crusader: No Remorse! Crusader is an Origin Systems isometric shooter renowned for its rich setting, interactive environments and exciting action. After two games were released in the series, its lead designer, Tony Zurovec, left Origin to found Digital Anvil with Chris Roberts and now works on Star Citizen at Cloud Imperium Games Austin.

Antares Rocket Fails At Launch
2014-10-29 -- Yesterday's departure of an unmanned Orbital Sciences resupply module resulted in a large explosion shortly after liftoff. After half a dozen routine private resupply missions to the ISS and a lengthy stretch of diverse and successful exploratory ventures over the last several years, the mishap came as a bit of a shock. But it serves as a reminder of the difficulty and complexity associated with all space travel.

X-Wing & Tie Fighter Released on GOG!
2014-10-28 -- Classic '90s space sims X-Wing and Tie Fighter were released this morning via Good Old Games. In both cases, these are the special CD-ROM editions that come with all expansions and enhanced graphics & sound. Official strategy guides are also an extra bonus.

Alternate 3D Printing Resource Allows Resizing
2014-10-27 -- Klavs' latest 3D printing experiments have put his slick new Rapier front and center. The ship is now available to order from Sculpteo in unpainted plastic or resin and a fancy prepainted color variant. One major difference between this vendor and Terran Fleet Supply at Shapeways is the scalability.

Video Puts A Positive Spin On Kilrathi Concept Ship
2014-10-26 -- Howard Day has posted a slick animation of his Drak'thli. The ship was originally designed by Feng Zhu, who was commissioned to create concept art for an unreleased Wing Commander game that would have occurred after Secret Ops. Although it's not exactly like any other Kilrathi vessel that appears in the game, it fits into the WC3-era design scheme extremely well.

Latest Renders Bring New Armor Textures To Bear
2014-10-25 -- ScoobyDoo's interpretation of the cult favorite Bearcat fighter has been further refined in a new update. Enhanced techniques have allowed him to give the metal hull a better finish. The typical Confed markings are missing, but below Scooby explains how they can be modularly added in the FS2 engine - where most of his designs take flight.

Orchestra Warming Up For Wing Commander Album
2014-10-24 -- Lots of exciting news from George Oldziey today. Production of the Wing Commander live album (orchestra and choir) starts at the end of next week, and George has hired a professional film crew to document the process. And one dedicated fan with a talent for music has managed to score himself a seat in the orchestra...

'Exploring Believability' Explores Wing Commander
2014-10-23 -- The quirky Exploring Believability blog has posted an analysis of Wing Commander. Topics include typical subjects such as the setting and game mechanics, but they also briefly touch on morality and conceptual balance. Although elements of the later games continue to pop up in the discussion, the primary focus seems to be on the first game in the series - his issue with never "commanding wings" is resolved after a couple games.

YF-44 Fans In Good Company Here
2014-10-22 -- SabreAce was inspired by Klavs' recent Rapier renders to build a couple of stylish accompanying pieces. The first is a silhouette logo that would fit anything from Confed letterheads to decals affixed to a fighter itself. There's also a patch design that could be used for development team jackets/jumpsuits.

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