Original Wing Commander Artist Here.

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
that is gorgeous! those black and white shadow compositions are the thing I have the most trouble with. you, sir, made it look easy and fantastic. this thread is my favorite of forum threads!
 

Denis Loubet

Space Marshal
Thanks! The cool thing is that you're seeing this before Richard does! :D

Of course, he asked for battling armies, and I was all nope, nope, no, HELL no! :rolleyes: Stripped his concept down to the crucial elements and ran with that!

--Denis
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
But I have to say: I always thought that WC1 had great balance when it came to the Kilrathi ships compared to the Terran ships. Starting with WC2 the Kilrathi ships became pieces of flying crap when compared to their Terran counterparts something that only got worse in later WC games and that always bothered me. The Kilrathi now only had superior numbers whereas in WC1 they superior numbers and capable fighters.

Prophecy was terrible for this, you'd blast through swarms of Nephilim without even using a missile.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
Ah ok. Of course, each ship has a weakness in its capabilities but I thought from your poast that there were more handicaps as the "Only turning left" for the Salthi or the "Always goes up or down" for the Dralthi (in addition to their "normal" weaknesses due to their ship class (fast but not heavily armed and paper thin protection etc).
But I have to say: I always thought that WC1 had great balance when it came to the Kilrathi ships compared to the Terran ships. Starting with WC2 the Kilrathi ships became pieces of flying crap when compared to their Terran counterparts something that only got worse in later WC games and that always bothered me. The Kilrathi now only had superior numbers whereas in WC1 they superior numbers and capable fighters.


mekt and I have talked about this before, I found the kilrathi to be way harder in wc2 than wc1, I only ever died like twice in wc1, and a lot in wc2. the kilrtahi had fast ships not as fast as the terrans in wc2 but their shields and weapons were far better than 95 percent of the Terran ships, the only ship that I felt really great in was the broadsword, in fact if they would have added afterburners to a broadsword it would have been the perfect fighter, bc it would be nimble enough to dog fight but could still take down cap ships as well. one problem is that some of terran ships were so fast that I would accidentally ram my ship bc the kilrathi ship would appear out of nowhere, plus I found the wingmen in wc2 to be far worse than wc1. Iceman was a boss in wc1, but the only wingmen I found helpful in wc2 were angel and spirit, stingray sucked bad, and even though I loved hobbes as a character in wc2, he was a pretty terrible wingman.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
mekt and I have talked about this before, I found the kilrathi to be way harder in wc2 than wc1, I only ever died like twice in wc1, and a lot in wc2. the kilrtahi had fast ships not as fast as the terrans in wc2 but their shields and weapons were far better than 95 percent of the Terran ships, the only ship that I felt really great in was the broadsword, in fact if they would have added afterburners to a broadsword it would have been the perfect fighter, bc it would be nimble enough to dog fight but could still take down cap ships as well. one problem is that some of terran ships were so fast that I would accidentally ram my ship bc the kilrathi ship would appear out of nowhere, plus I found the wingmen in wc2 to be far worse than wc1. Iceman was a boss in wc1, but the only wingmen I found helpful in wc2 were angel and spirit, stingray sucked bad, and even though I loved hobbes as a character in wc2, he was a pretty terrible wingman.

I'm impressed that you haven't died much during WC1, there are some missions that are particularly difficult to not get blown away. Anything with hordes of Gratha like in SM1. I always die at least a couple of times during that strike mission against the supply depot in SM1, where you fly the Scimitar for the last time. I guess it's all down to playing style though.

@Denis Loubet - if you were involved with drawing the faces of characters in WC1, you may be interested to know that the guy in my avatar is the live personification of Knight, as seen in the Wing Commander movie. Not the clearest face pic :)
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I'm impressed that you haven't died much during WC1, there are some missions that are particularly difficult to not get blown away. Anything with hordes of Gratha like in SM1. I always die at least a couple of times during that strike mission against the supply depot in SM1, where you fly the Scimitar for the last time. I guess it's all down to playing style though.

@Denis Loubet - if you were involved with drawing the faces of characters in WC1, you may be interested to know that the guy in my avatar is the live personification of Knight, as seen in the Wing Commander movie. Not the clearest face pic :)


just curious which game do you find harder overall though wc1 or wc2, I thought the special operations were extremely hard especially the one with bear and hobbes as your wingmen against two cap ships
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Prophecy was terrible for this, you'd blast through swarms of Nephilim without even using a missile.

I agree. The only mission I remember where you are outmatched without being grossly outnumbered was the one where you are flying a Tigershark escorting Blair, and have to fight off a Devil Ray (which is a match for a Panther, more or less). When you get your hands on a Vampire, pretty much nothing can touch you one-on-one and you only die from having multiple enemies shooting you at once.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
I think WCP did the huge battles great. They really go the point across that the Nephilim have their strength in numbers. Also I think the WCP engine was the first one that could really handle huge battles. I remember saying "Wow! Finally huge battles in Wing Commander", because that was a feature which Freespance was known for, and WC somewhat lacked.
They were a bit too easy on the normal difficulty level. I think for me they were about right on hard. I think I have to re-play WCP to check it.

For me the hardest one was WC2. I hate those "2 Broadswords (one of them completely useless) against the biggest f*ing ship the cats have"-missions.
WC1 SM are a close second place. Those Drakhai...
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I take it you're a fan of Mike Mignola, Denis. Your blacks are really thick and blocky like his or Al Williamson.
 

Wirsing

Spaceman
Hi Denis!

And yeah, I got the lowdown on the ships, and then did the cockpits. I'd also look at the renders of the ships to kind of imagine what the window arrangement would look like. On the Scimitar I tried to deliberately place the readouts in awkward places so you would have to be looking everywhere at once.
Ha, that worked out very well! I still liked flying the Scimitar though, but there was one thing that made it a bit intimidating to me: It's the only ship in WC1 that misses displays of front/rear armor state. Every time one of your shields went completely down you had to guess if and how much the armor at the respective position was damaged and how much damage it could still take, and guess what, I usually guessed wrong! :) I always wondered if the displays were missing due to a mistake or left out intentionally, and if the latter, who came up with that idea?

Furthermore, in another place on this forum we were talking about the correct way display the magnificent WC-Art:

If the original 320x200 graphis are displayed so that they fill the entire screen of a monitor with an aspect ratio of 4:3 (like almost all monitor-tubes had when WC came out), the pixels are taller than they are wide. Screenshots you'll find here or at other places on the web typically show the graphics with square-sized pixels though, since the screen resulotions used nowadays match the 4:3 aspect ratio perfectly.

So, what looks right in your oppinion? Since I can't add pictures to my post I can only give examples: should the scanner or the center of the crosshairs look like near perfect circles or rather have a more oval appearance?
 

Denis Loubet

Space Marshal
-danr-: I'll accept the accolades for the faces for Glen Johnson, who was the brilliant artist who did them. :cool:
Glen was, I think, the second artist hired at Origin. I hired him!:) He had done awesome work for Hero Games on projects I had worked on. I knew he was fast and good. What I didn't know was how he worked. OMG!:eek: Glen would just set down his pen-point and draw the silhouette of his characters in one continuous line, like he was tracing a finished version of it in his mind. I could not comprehend how he did what he did. The guy was amazing!:confused:

LeHah: I am.:cool: I try to use the principles I've gleaned from Mike rather than slavishly copying his style, but the man can get more depth and meaningfulness from a single meandering line than most comic artists can get from a full page panel.:confused: He is the master of suggestion. He somehow suggests deep textures, vast spaces, and atmospheric lighting with scraggly lines in harsh black and white. I have a long way to go.:cool:

Wirsing: Damn, you're right! The scimitar lacks the front and back armor readouts! I can't remember if that was intentional or not. :confused:

I'm looking at google images for "wing commander" and noticing that if the targeting reticle is round, then the radar is stretched horizontally, and if the radar is round, then the reticle is scrunched horizontally.:confused: I'm figuring that in the working files I made sure the reticle was round, and so the radar screen is just drawn a little wide. Good question!:D
 
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Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
I did the Battlestar Galactica launch tube effect with a series of multiplane background images, and I did the carrier-launch deckhand silhouette after watching a lot of old WWII footage of carrier launches.

Was one of them this one, by any chance?

ww2scramble1.jpg
 
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Denis Loubet

Space Marshal
I just posted the choices my patrons will vote on for my next art project. There's a bunch of Ultima suggestions, but only 2 Wing Commander ones. Since the voting is only open to patrons, I fear there won't be enough Wing Commander patrons to swing the vote. Where can I get more? ;) (FYI, the two Wing Commander choices are a series of character portraits, and a strange Wing Commander/Ultima crossover illustration based on the Kilrathi ship that can be found in Ultima VII.)

By the way, would you guys be interested in seeing the Steampunk-ish early Shroud of the Avatar character concept art I did for Portalarium? Here's a recent example:

shopkeeper2_by_dloubet-d8jmd9c.jpg

Enjoy!

--Denis
 

Denis Loubet

Space Marshal
capi3101: :)I approve the ever-loving crap out of that message!!:) (You can set a monthly cap, and still get all the art!)

FredDude32: Okay, you can have mine, and I'll have Mike Mignola's. ;)

Right now, my Patreon is a hotbed of Ultima fans. Ewww!:p You don't want them deciding what art I'm going to do, do you! ;) I need more Wing Commander fans to be patrons because although I don't mind fantasy, I also like science fiction! Help save me from a career of swords and sandals! ;)

--Denis
 
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Denis Loubet

Space Marshal
Has anyone explored other than what the military Wing Commander universe looks like? Did any of the games show what, for instance, high society might look like?

Please let it not look like this:
socialite_by_dloubet-d8myo5f.jpg

This is an early Shroud of the Avatar character concept for the Socialite. The outfit would be at home in Flash Gordon, Hunger Games, or Jupiter Rising. (I also think the bust got away from me a bit...:-P)
I ask myself how many people would actually want to play this character.

--Denis
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
none of the games give us too much insight into civvy life in wing commander, with the exception of privateer. Some of the novels give a slightly better picture, but really wing commander IV was our first real glimpse at the confederation society at all.
 

capi3101

Admiral
I'm looking at it a little bit with the Elegy campaign. Actually, Elegy will take a hard look at what Kilrathi society is like after the War (i.e. after Kilrah's been destroyed and the Empire is a thing of the past) - it's pretty grim. And a major point of the plot.

Pretty much when I think of Confederation / UBW society, I think of Firefly; I think it'd be pretty similar. You know, all the hard working folks are out in the UBW, all the debutant chicks with neon hair, a frilly dress with a plunging neckline and a fluting glass of what's probably tranya in their hand all live in the Core worlds of the Confederation...

EDIT: The bust is pretty tame compared to what I've seen of some of the concept art from Shadowforce - they've got one character that puts the Aeon Flux outfit to shame. I'll have to see if I can find that again...

EDIT EDIT: Here we go - though perhaps it's not all that bad.
 
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