EA Announces Travel Health Benefits in Wake of Roe Decision Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today has been exhausting, and we know many of you are exhausted too. We'll be back with some more upbeat Wing Commander stories tomorrow, but for now, here's the topically relevant angle on current events: the owner of the WC franchise, Electronic Arts, has announced tepid support for abortion rights in the US. Although they didn't come out and use the word "abortion" in their public-facing statement, they have internally communicated to employees that they "will soon offer expanded travel health benefits" to employees seeking basic healthcare that they will only be able to access out of state. They join a number of other game developers and tech companies who have announced similar measures today. With the competitiveness of the industry at a fever pitch these days, these types of benefits will be critical incentives in the future.

Anyhow, take care of yourselves out there. Hit us up on Discord if you need someone to talk to.

As EA’s executive team, we want to reiterate our unwavering support for you, our employees. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade regarding abortion in the United States. We know this issue matters, generating a range of emotions for you and your loved ones, whether you’re based in the U.S. or abroad.

Your health and well-being are our top priority. We are working closely with our U.S. healthcare provider, Cigna, and will soon offer expanded travel health benefits, for eligible U.S. employees and their eligible dependents. Our aim is to provide the support and services that empower you and your eligible dependents to get the care needed to be the best, most authentic version of yourself at work and in other areas of your life.

Advanced Facial Upscaling Tested with WC3 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

CD1188 Entertainment has posted a neat video of the latest AI upscaling and image processing techniques. They're using a screenshot from the WC3 introduction to demonstrate how amazing the technology is. AD asked the Wing Commander community's resident neural net expert, ODVS, for his take and he provided some additional context:
They're using Gigapixel AI with its new Facial Recovery algo (which was just released). I'm already doing a deep-dive into experimenting with it for motion. It's impressive, but you hit the uncanny valley pretty hard. Sadly, they've currently only trained it for static images. I suspect it will be a while before it gets incorporated into their motion-friendly models, but I have no doubt that's coming. I am already doing experiments, though. :D
Even if this isn't quite ready to actually animate videos with, the technology remains incredibly impressive!

WC4 Fan Remake Developers Get Specific Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The war toils on for the crew making the WC4 Fan Remake. With a playable demo still in the works, the team has firmed up a potential set of minimum specs to get everything running smoothly. I haven't kept up with modern PC specs, but these seem quite reasonable for the level of graphical fidelity and performance we've seen from previews. With that being said, now is your chance to voice any concern if something else should be supported.
With the help of EmuMusicFan I believe we now have some minimum specs. He helped test with low GPU memory and movie playback optimizations to get 60fps 1080p h265 running at speed with only 2 cores.

Minimum specs: (No shadows, no post process)
2 Core CPU
2GB GPU (Probably 860M/750Ti)
8GB Memory

Recommended specs:
4 Core CPU
6GB GPU (Something like a 980Ti)
8GB Memory

Ideal specs:
4 Core CPU
8GB GPU (Something like a 1070Ti)
16GB Memory

If these specs seem too high for anyone give a shout out.

On a similar note, Pedro is also looking for some common flight stick setups that fans are using. More customizable options will be added later, but if you'd like your joystick to make the initial cut, post your specs and details at the CIC Forums!
I'm trying to add good default keybindings for different flight sticks/ HOTAS setups to the Wing IV Remake Demo.

Would people mind posting the string that appears in USB Game Controllers (*exactly* as it appears) here, including the name of seperate rudder/ throttle if you have them. Finally if you could take a photo of the stick and label the buttons as they show up in the properties (or ideally an online image someone has already done).

Long term we want to have customizable mappings but for now if you want good default mappings for your favourite stick this is the way :)

The First Neural Message Gets You Hooked Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Wing Commander Confederation Handbook is a book that's presented as a fake web browser... and since it's from 1999 it's full of absolutely garish banner ads. And here they are, collected from the book's layout files! I could sure go for a warsop egg.

author avatar

Chunky Avenger Ready to Kick Lego Butt Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

One of John Nelson's original Wing Commander designs a while back was the sturdy Border Worlds Avenger. Although it's super impressive what people can do with Lego bricks, there's always room for improvement, and he's taken a second run at tightening things up a bit. The results look really solid. Most of the hull plating is a bit darker and the major structural elements are bit thicker with more mass. Hit the comment link to let him know what you think!
The last of my Lego updates, the Avenger. I went ground up to give it a more game accurate boxy and thicker look and the front cockpit cover had to change and I found the parts to do it. Enjoy.

Happy Father's Day Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Happy Father's Day to Wingnut dads out there! If you're anything like Dia Dastardly, then you discovered a way to incorporate Wing Commander into your celebrations. She's 3D printed a slick little Excalibur to give as a gift. That sounds like an awesome present to me, but you don't have to be on the sending or receiving end to make your own fighter. This looks like it may be based on AstroFossil's model. Build your own with the file here!
I’ve been working on my dad’s Father’s Day gift. It’s a F-103 Excalibur from Wing Commander. He and I used to play it a lot so I hope he likes it.

Enjoy Life's Simple Wing Commander Pleasures Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The CIC was founded on the principle of "All Things Wing Commander," and we continue to try to live up to that every day! As such, LOAF has found a very obscure mention of Super Wing Commander in a 1995 documentary called Synthetic Pleasures. It features the "suit up" portion of the SWC launch sequence. And you don't have to hunt down the VHS like LOAF did - see it for yourself in the embed below!
Alexa: “Your order of SYNTHETIC PLEASURES has been delivered.”

The Super Wing Commander bit is just after the 44 minute mark (following footage of a robot labeled Robot Redford). It's the extremely-90s-cyber-stuff 'suit up' sequence from the takeoff cutscene.

French Prophecy Streaming Series Kicks Off Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Docteur J has hosted epic playthroughs of Wing Commander 3 and 4 over the last couple years, so in 2022 he's taking on Prophecy over at Oldies Games TV. He's been streaming Wing Commander for a long time, and his dedication is a fantastic example of how Wing Commander fandom transcends all languages and cultures. At first his content would have been geared towards French speakers, but with YouTube's auto translate feature, anyone can turn on captions in their native language and follow along with the fun! The first few new Prophecy chapters are available now:

Bandcamp Holds Juneteenth Fundraiser Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The music website Bandcamp is holding a special event on June 17 to donate their share of album sales to causes that promote racial justice efforts. This commemorates the Juneteenth national holiday in the United States, which celebrates a major milestone on the path to ending slavery. Wingnuts looking for a way to support this are in luck! Earlier this year, The Fat Man released an ultimate MT-32 Archival Edition of his legendary WC1 soundtrack. The album is available to listen to for free on YouTube, but it's only $10 to own a portable copy of your own via Bandcamp. It's a pretty cheap way to help a good cause and get your Wing Commander fix at the same time!
Way back in 2007, George put out a fantastic album of WC1 music known as Wing One, and it's been on our highly recommended list ever since. This new edition scrubs Fat's archives for a complete reckoning of all the music in the game. Today's release clocks in with 55 tracks and 85 minutes of audio - compared to 27 tracks and 34 minutes in the original release fifteen years ago.

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