The plot thickens! On May 31, 1996 the project is in the very earliest stages of development and plans are focusing on things like the makeup of the team, sharing resources with other projects and who will be contracted to write and direct the game's story elements.
There's a lot to read here - it confirms, for instance, that "Maniac Missions" was still a serious project with a planned development team at this point, and that Origin had some involvement in the Wing Commander Academy animated series. There is also a timeline attached, which shows individual deadlines for each element of the project's development. The most surprising thing is that final testing is, at this early date, scheduled to go until April 28, 1998 - some five months after the game ultimately shipped.
Wing Commander V Component Manager Meeting Agenda
Download (4.3 MB)
Date: May 31, 1996