News update at last...


Unknown Enemy
We've just posted an update over at the website.

Standoff News Update said:
Well, we really did intend to do an update sooner than May - honest :-P.

Anyway, without wasting time on excuses, let's get to the progres. As you can see on the progress page, Episode 4 missions have shifted from yellow to green. I'm still a bit uncertain whether they really deserve green, or if they're more of a greenish yellow, but it's close enough :-P. We still have two missions which haven't been started, and some of the others haven't got proper briefings yet. Most of the missions are at least fairly bug-free, though - and, since the missing missions are only on the losing path, the winning path is already completely play-through-able.

Other progress - the Episode 4 fiction has jumped all the way from red to blue. That's really not a big deal - getting the fiction done is easy, so we're literally talking about one weekend's worth of work. Still, it's one thing less hanging over our heads, and one step closer to completion. Finally, game engine cutscenes have gone from green to blue. Visually, they're done - the music isn't done yet, but that's a different category on the progress page :-P.

(On the subject of music, we do expect some progress in a few weeks - Michael has just started his summer holiday, though he's away in Europe for the next two weeks)

The worst part is that I still haven't been able to make much progress on the remaining graphics-related tasks, and especially the videos. This is partially because, unlike the game engine cutscenes, the videos can't really be considered complete until the music is in there, because it's only then that I convert them into the game's file format - so, just as soon as Michael returns, we'll hopefully see a lot of progress in the video department.

So, that about concludes this update. Just one other thing - we've added a few new screenshots. They don't reveal any new ships or anything like that, but they offer some hints about what you can expect in Episode 4. The first shot shows the objectives screen from the first winning path - Bradshaw is a busy, busy man :). The remaining three shots show Bradshaw fighting to save the TCS Reims. The significant thing on these is the damage report with no percentage values - it's one of those tiny little changes we sometimes make to bring the game just a little closer to WC2. It's really remarkable how much of a difference this makes - it used to be that you could fly around with 85% core damage without too much worrying, because you knew that it would still take several shots before you died. Now, you no longer have the comfort of knowing your exact state - so when your core reaches "severe" (red) status, things get real nervous out there ;-).

As you can see from the update, the episode still isn't too close to completion - while the missions are getting close to finished, a lot of the remaining pieces of the puzzle have yet to fall into place. Still, summer usually brings a lot of progress from those of us (i.e., Eder and Michael) who are still at university ;). In any case, it's nice to see the last red bit disappear from the Ep.4 section of the progress chart... while there's still a lot of yellow in there, the blues and greens are gaining ground.


Unknown Enemy
I can almost hear Tolwyn's well wishing now....
Hehe, I'm afraid you're the only one - we did want to have that line in there, but ultimately, we just couldn't find anybody who could do any kind of reasonable Malcolm McDowell impression :p.


Mr. Standoff
Yeah, we're actually waiting for Mr. McDowell's talents to become more affordable so we can release Episode 4. :p


Seventh Part of the Seal
yeah, i mean who says it needs to sound like malcolm mcdowel? that sounds nice and all, but why not make him sound like he did in WC2? That didnt sound like M.M.


Seventh Part of the Seal
Hey Quarto, I was wondering something. Everyone in here says that the WC2 stuff is the best. Quite frankly whos to argue with that (NOT ME!). Still... there are a few WC2 features that haven't really been explored that I was wondering about.

First off, a lot of the music I've heard in the game seems to come from WC1, and WC3... I think there was even a little privateer music in there. I could be mistaken, but I didn't really hear anything from WC2 (the opening to the Secret Ops 2 Campaign was kinda cool). Is there any reason you guys decided not to persue that?

Also, after recently playin through good old #2, one of the things i really missed was that, unlike the other Wing Commanders... for the most part, you aren't always flying off the Concordia. You start out WC2 flying off Caernarvon (SP??), then transfer to the Concordia. Then later missions require you to land all sorts of places; Planetside, Olympia, TCS Gettysburg, a free trader, ... a kilrathi transport, as well as a few other things.

I'd heard you guys were working on a starbase and was wondering which era SB it would be from and if we'd be seeing the chance to land other places?


Unknown Enemy
We do use WC2 music, on more than a few occasions - first up, the WC1 music you mention is in fact WC2 music. In addition to that, we also use one of Jazz' piano pieces in the losing cutscene for the Prologue. Naturally, we don't use stuff like the WC2 theme and such - but that's because we've got our own musical theme.

You definitely won't ever get to land in any places other than the Firekka and the Lionheart. For one thing, this just wouldn't fit with the plot - you have to remember, while WC2 takes place over the space of two years, Standoff (well, apart from the Prologue) takes place over the space of a few days. That said, at one point in the very distant past, I did briefly consider adding the possibility for the Firekka to be destroyed at the end of episode 5 and the player landing on the Concordia instead, but ultimately common sense prevailed - Eder would kill me if I told him to make me a special landing scene, special room files, and special whatnot just so that players can briefly see another ship. So, the Firekka can still be destroyed, but you don't get to land anywhere if that happens :p.

(in other words, apart from plot reasons, it comes down to production "costs". Our graphics department is Eder, all by himself - we don't have the resources for this kind of stuff)

As for the space station... I don't want to say which station it would be, because it's so uncertain that it will be there at all. There's just no point talking about such doubtful stuff.