April Fools! (March 31, 2017)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!

April Fools Day is coming up which means joke articles and gotchas everywhere (including here.) To get ready, we thought we'd look back at a 1996 April Fools' article printed in Computer Gaming World that concerns our favorite series. Fresh off the release of Wing Commander IV, CGW had a laugh at the game's enormous budget and endless ambition with an article claiming that "Wing Commander V" would be shot in space. Today, the article seems obviously fake... but if you can believe it, it caused significant debates in the fan community in 1996!

There were several reasons for this. News traveled much more slowly and incompletely online at the time, meaning that it was days between the first subscribers reported CGW had 'something about Wing Commander' and when the text of the article made it online. The transcribed text omitted the italicized quote crediting the article to 'The Fool' and the photoshopped Hellcat V rocket, leaving many thinking it was possible Origin had something truly crazy in the works (add to that the fact that the dates on magazines mean 'display until'... so all of this went down in March when no one was even thinking about April Fools!

The funniest part of the story is how dated some of the jokes are now. $100 million is now a perfectly ordinary budget for a game project... and Richard Garriott actually HAS flown to space and even filmed a short horror movie there! Who's the fool now?

Original update published on March 31, 2017
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That... was a very cruel joke.

At least the magazine ad was ridiculous enough to figure out if wasn't anything serious. Those are real 3d assets in a rendering engine with art that is completely fidelis with the source material. Complete with talking heads in the VDU.

Privateer: Gemini Gold? No... Gemini Titanium.

I would shamelessly donate funds to said fan project. :rolleyes:


Unknown Enemy
I must say, as far as April Fools' jokes go, that one was absolutely brilliant. It's immediately obvious from the start that this has to be a joke, but then you see full gameplay and assets, and actually makes you wonder whether it could possibly be real.

Clearly, it's also very productive as far as jokes go. I had been vaguely aware of Rebel Galaxy's existence before, but couldn't be bothered finding out about it. Well, after watching this video, I immediately clicked on the Rebel Galaxy launch trailer. Need I add that I almost certainly will buy the game? Sure, maybe not straight away, but at some point when I think I might actually have time to play it, definitely.

Also, the first thing I thought of, after watching the trailer was Star Giants. Anyone remember that one? How one day, we were looking at this weird unknown GBA game that just happens to look almost exactly like WC1, and next thing you know - the people behind it sign a deal with EA to make WCP for GBA? I'm sure the Rebel Galaxy folks wouldn't mind making this one real, either, if the opportunity arose. Here's hoping that it does!


Rebel Galaxy is a great game Quarto. Definitely worth a buy. But what the heck with that Privateer April Fools? It looks so legit. Like someone out there is actually making it happen. I would soooo love for it to be real someday...


Unknown Enemy
Hehe, I did notice you weren't with Zynga any more, but even after your comments above regarding the use of your artwork, I somehow didn't make the connection :). Are you actually one of the founders of Double Damage, or "just" working there? Either way, I can't imagine anyone else being more well-suited to art-direct this game, and undoubtedly you find the game infinitely more satisfying than whatever you worked on at Zynga. Now I'm all the more curious to give it a try... or at least, I would be if I had any time whatsoever. Pure insanity at the moment.





Howard Day

Random art guy.
Yep. I think, with the exception of the Comms Portrait (which is from RG) and some of the..ui work, like the locking reticule? You're looking at 100% my art. :D I'm very very excited. :p


Space Marshal
Yep. I think, with the exception of the Comms Portrait (which is from RG) and some of the..ui work, like the locking reticule? You're looking at 100% my art. :D I'm very very excited. :p

Congrats! I'm happy for anyone lucky enough to get to work a dream job. It's a blessing, hard to overstate being able to work on something you love every day. I figure most of us have, at one time or another, had a job just because everyone needs a job, and there's no wrong or crime in that... but if you're at a place that's not really right for you or vice versa, it makes day to day life pretty firstworldproblems unbearable.


Unknown Enemy
I'm definitely not one of the founders of Double Damage. I'm just a guy they hired. :) And so far? This has been absolutely my dream job. No joke or exaggeration.
I can imagine! And it sure looks like you're doing that dream job right :). The game does look great.