...and other bizarre Mercenaries Guild advertisements from the Gemini Sector.
...and other bizarre Mercenaries Guild advertisements from the Gemini Sector.
Here is my #CIBSunday with the great Wing Commander Privateer big box for PC. Always been a fan of Space Sim games as Star Wars but Wing Commander is certainly my favorite one with Elite. This one combines space trading & combat as a merchant, pirate or mercenary.
Good Lord; I think I was a teenager when I painted this, which was farther back now than I care to admit to.
Funnily enough, I had a bit of a cleanout a few days ago and stumbled across this, painted around the same time. I'm not sure what inspired me to do a watercolour of a piece of a carrier but there we are.
Unlimited Fuel: 7E1D61:1FNot sure what the "shells" refer to. That may be a mistake.
Invulnerability Always On: 7E08A8:00
Earn Medals More Often: 7E0546:FF
Have Major Rank: 7E05AE:03
Unlimited Gun Energy: 7E15A964
Front Shield Increased on Hornet: 8B9BAD3C
Mega Front Shields on Hornet: 8B9BAEFF
Rear Shield Increased on Hornet: 8B9C213C
Mega Rear Shields on Hornet : 8B9C22FF
Front Shield Increased on Scimitar: 8B9BAD3C
Mega Front Shields on Scimitar: 8B9BB255
Rear Shield Increased on Scimitar: 8B9C2563
Mega Rear Shields on Scimitar: 8B9C2655
Front Armor increased on Hornet: 8B9C9540
Front Armor increased on Scimitar: 8B9C9963
Rear Armor increased on Hornet: 8B9D0940
Rear Armor increased on Scimitar: 8B9D0D63
Right Side Armor increased on Hornet: 8B9D7D40
Right Side Armor increased on Scimitar: 8B9D8163
Left Side Armor increased on Hornet: 8B9DF140
Left Side Armor increased on Scimitar: 8B9DF563
It's that time of the year! E3 is in full swing, and all of the digital storefronts are having their summer sales while video games are on people's brain. GOG.com is no exception, so that means the Wing Commander games are available at a hefty discount. At 75% off, individual packages are just $1.49 or under $12 for the vast swath of DOS/Windows WC titles. Of course, we're huge proponents for collecting the physical boxes as well, but it's hard to beat the ease of digital copies at your fingertips!
Inspired by the Kilrathi fighter in "Privateer"
Doing some code refactoring about how the AIs control the ships. They're no longer able to turn faster than the player - and a bunch of hacks have been actually re-coded to work in a more straightforward, honest way. I've also been working on Reticles. As you can tell, these now shift around a bit as you maneuver. Makes the whole thing feel 1000% more dynamic.Bonus video! This one's got the front/left/right/rear directional cockpit view enabled. It's also testing out the look with a CRT filter enabled.
A watercolour representation of a scene from Wing Commander 3, specifically the final strike on the Kilrathi homeworld. The background didn't come out as well as I'd hoped and the Excalibur looks a bit funny in places, but it still works. Somehow.
Kilrather Comm ship based on concept art for Wing Commander, medium poly game level asset. Made with 3DS Max
Barracks update - a bunch of lighting and tweaks to the layout and scale. I tried to mash up the interface from WC2 and the computers from the science lab from WC1 to add a communication / shipviewer / lore computer. Thanks to LOAF for the idea! Also threw out a CRT filter just for nostalgia purposes. :p
Done with the Barracks for now, added the atmospheric lighting to the briefing ready room as well. Either the Officers Lounge or Debriefing area next!
Wing Commander Arrow Light Fighter
The Arrow Light Fighter is a highly modified 1/72nd scale resin kit from Fantastic Plastic. Major modifications to the model include new vacuum formed canopy to replace the sub-standard kit part, new vacuum formed engine recesses and engines, and new detail throughout. The model was finished in automotive lacquers and weather with acrylic washes and pastels. The display base was machined and polished Corian.
Thank you for the positive feedback, but actually this took zero coding, only Priv1ToolsCmd and graphic editing! I probably won't have the time to write full scripts/instructions on how to incorporate those modified cockpits, but it's actually very easy: you just unpack priv.pak, replace cockpit .iff files inside, repack priv.pak and enjoy... all this can be accomplished with the .iff files provided at the link.
After playing Priv for several hours with those cockpits, I must say that it's a very pleasant experience! Along with everything loading immediately (ah, those days quarter of a century ago when landing at a base took 30 seconds and taking off 2 minutes :D ) - such a wonderful time to play Privateer again. :)
Unfortunately, modding Privateer, especially in its GOG incarnation, is quite a bit of a hassle, especially on 64-bit systems (where some of the old tools need to be run in dosbox themselves, instead of just off the usual system CLI), so let me dump some of my notes; "all" you need is some tools off the CIC, and I will try to link to some of my scripts and Excel files that made my modding a bit easier; and in case I figure out an easier way to share this, I will.
In order to get easy access to (and reintegration of modified version of) priv.tre, unpack the game.gog (whis is actually an .iso image), copy contents to some directory and mount that directory (instead of game.gog, as is done by default installation) as D: drive in dosbox (you will need to fiddle with dosbox config files). Then get yourself priv1toolscmd off the CIC, and:
priv1toolscmd untree priv.tre
priv1toolscmd unmake cockpits\clunkck.iff /template:Interchange
priv1toolscmd untemplate clunk001.tpl
Clunk001.tpl.png: in a graphics editor (I am using PaintShop Pro 7, an ancient but dependable one) that respects 256-color palettes etc. resize the image to 320x200, fill completely with color that's "transparent" part of the original (has palette index 255, is completely black), save; this makes entirety of the front cockpit transparent
In order to have HUD brackets visible over whole screen (not only in the part of the screen that used to be Tarsus' windshield):
in clunkck.xmf, change (note that e.g. the " 6, 1," part you are changing is 16bit=two-byte value of right border of the original visibility area for the brackets; 262, as in 6+256*1):
char 59, 0, 0, 57, 0, 63, 1,144, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
char 59, 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 1, 199, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
clunkck.xmf also let's you move parts of the HUD around (that's what I did in the original screenshot); the coordinates are pretty easy to find (just look for "// start xy" and "// end xy" values), but remember that e.g. "ENER" meter (your energy supply level) also has additional information in the "DATA" part (again, coordinates saved as two-byte values) that tells game which part of the bitmap to hide in order to indicate unavailable energy, so if you move the "start xy" and "end xy" part, you need to modify the "DATA" part as well, because otherwise you will not see your energy running out :) , etc.
Now reverse the priv1toolscmd commands above
retemplate (priv1toolscmd template clunk001.tpl.scr),
remake (that's the unfortunate part, since you need to use that ancient xmiff through dosbox, if you're running 64-bit windows)
retree (again via priv1toolscmd)
remember to use correct paths during all of the above operations, so that you are repackaging new modified versions of the files ;)
Pro tips: it seems that game might be saving some of the above data in the .sav files; so to best test any modifications you might have made, you need to start your career from scratch (makes testing non-Tarsus cockpits a bit of a hassle).
Freaking insomnia continues to break my brain. You get Wing Leader artwork out of it, though, so... Yay!