We are proud to present a new daily feature which represents a major part of our mission -- the preservation and study of Wing Commander's history. Thanks to several very generous material donations we have been able to put together an impressive archive of documents relating to the development of Wing Commander Prophecy.
Just over twelve years ago the development team first met to put together a plan for what was then called Wing Commander V. It was a project full of firsts -- the first Wing Commander game designed for the ground up for the PC and the Playstation simultaneously, the first one to include multiplayer and the first one without Chris Roberts at the helm.
We would like to thank Prophecy Lead Billy Cain, Designer Captain Johnny Guentzel and Joe Garrity's Origin Museum for all the help and material provided for this project. We'll be running through all the dated documents in order and then providing a series of interesting undated ones. We will end by looking through Billy Cain's project bible for the game! Lets get started!
Today's document is the earliest yet identified -- so early, in fact, that it dates to just days after Wing Commander IV hit store shelves. This is the first of two rough plot pitches for the game... this one by Chris Douglas, whose artwork defined the style of Wing Commander III and IV. Mr. Douglas didn't go on to continue work on Prophecy... but his story is certainly very interesting.
Obviously the first thing you will notice is how different (and interesting) this pitch is -- military governor Blair, the return of Prince Thrakhath, Lt. Connor White and the TCS Eagle. I think that a close study, however, reveals some similarities -- and gives you a good idea of what basic elements potential script: the new character, the two alien races, the requirement that Blair be included in the story.
Wing Commander 5 Game Design Document
Download (2.5 mb)
Date: Feb. 15th, 1996
Project: Wing Commander Prophecy
Donated By: John Guentzel
The Standoff website has been updated with a progress report on Episode 5, and the Characters page now has entries for Saxman, Popsicle and Henderson. It sounds like they are still hoping for a 2008 release. Here's the official word from Eder:
Yet again, we've managed to go several months without an update. Honestly, every time we celebrate the release of another episode, it gets a little harder to get back to work ;-). Still, once more into the breach...
That's not to say we have not made progress, though. Although things have been all too quiet lately, Standoff continues to make small steps towards completion - and this time, we're really talking about completion, since finishing this episode means finishing Standoff entirely. And about time :-P.
So, what have we been up to this year? Well, since most of the other graphics are done (you won't see much in the way of new ships this episode :-P ), I've been concentrating on pre-rendered cutscenes. Episode 5 has quite a few of them - indeed, even the intro this time will be pre-rendered, as there was no way this particular intro could be created as an in-game cutscene in any reasonable amount of time. This one will be particularly interesting, you'll see... :-)
In the meantime, Quarto, Pierre and Pedro have been working on missions. I'm actually rather disappointed in their progress - Quarto keeps promising me that next update, I won't have any red left on the progress chart, but... well, see, it's still there, next to in-game cutscenes and fiction :-P. Still, there is steady progress. Just, you know, not much of it. So, if you want to see Standoff's Episode 5 out this year, feel free to drop by the forum and let those lazy bastards know what you think about that... :-P
Oh, and since we don't at the moment have too much to post in screenshots, we've finally updated the characters page, adding profiles for the last three cutscene characters - Saxman, Popsicle and Henderson. That's gotta count for something. :-P