News Collection: On This Day in WC News
2021.137 (May 17, 2021)
A Korean YouTuber that Google Translate says is named Wonder Chome has posted a neat experiment. They're using the mt32-pi here, a program that transforms a Raspberry Pi into a device that can emulate the amped up MT-32 audio. The original Wing Commanders were designed to sound their best on the Roland sound board, but it wasn't something that most player had available to them. It's amazing to see fans exploring new ways to do this after nearly 30 years!
2020.138 (May 17, 2020)
Origin composer George Oldziey tipped us off about a virtual jazz festival he'll be participating in this afternoon. Today is the grand finale of the Austin LuluFest. Due to virus limitations, the entire set is being livestreamed, so anyone can watch. George will be performing with his wife, Suzi Stern, at 1 pm Pacific US time / 4 pm Eastern US time / 8 pm GMT.
2019.137 (May 17, 2019)
2018.137 (May 17, 2018)
Fans continue to do amazing things by digging into the earlier Wing Commander games' code. One of the latest findings has led to the manipulation of the screen transitions between segments of the Wing Commander 2 cutscenes. They've found that there are ten possible ways to wipe the screen and launch the next clip - variants of wiping side to side, diagonally and circular from the middle. This is just one of many findings that Wingnuts have discovered recently, albeit a more visible one that's easy for us to highlight.
Speaking of WC2...
2017.137 (May 17, 2017)
NinjaLA is BACK... with a herd of cats! Ninja recently tried his hand at drawing a Kilrathi Hakaga-class carrier in the same style as Claw Marks. The results speak for themselves!
2016.138 (May 17, 2016)
Kevin Caccamo has made a cool discovery while digging through the guts of Wing Commander Prophecy. Using a modified version of Wing Blender, he was able to import an unusual ship file. The result is a preliminary version of a rarely seen Confed cruiser that did not appear in the final game. Little fuzzy glimpses have leaked out here and there, but these are the best shots I can recall.
2015.137 (May 17, 2015)
Two iconic wings of fighters have been added to the WC Vega flight roster. Two foam-and-cardboard Scimitars were completed first, but they've been the most challenging design to build so far. A pair of Dralthis came together a bit more easily, and their presence allows Mike Peters and his students to set up some slick space combat action in their upcoming fan film project. All of the lightweight ships have been suspended on wires to set up a variety of dramatic angles - the test shots below look pretty promising on this front.
2014.137 (May 17, 2014)
Shaggy has put together a very cool add-on for the rhythm game Beat Hazard. This creative shooter uses your own music tracks to influence the top down space sim environment. Players that own the "Shadow Operations" DLC can find Shaggy's A-14 Raptor fighter on the built-in ship editing workshop pages. See what it looks like in the first two images below.
2013.137 (May 17, 2013)
Klavs' latest design is another star of Wing Commander 2, the heavy attack Sabre. It's looking both sleek and vicious in these new renders. The F-57 still needs a set of colorful textures, but we can't wait for this bird and its Broadsword bomber brother showing up at Terran Fleet Supply soon!Blair put the eight of us in line astern formation.
2012.138 (May 17, 2012)
The TCS Phoenix has launched and the game has begun in the Wing Commander: From the Ashes forum-based RPG. Some of the first characters have already been defined, and action in the Pentonville System is now in motion. There is also an out-of-character area where new players can ask questions and get situated before they begin role playing. Check it out for yourself at Phoenix Roleplaying here.
2011.137 (May 17, 2011)
st3lt3k caught this article about the 100 greatest video games according to Fandomania. Despite being somewhat skewed towards classic Nintendo overall, the list has some PC highlights, and Origin games take several early slots. Wing Commander Privateer comes in at 90, Ultima IV ranks 85 and Wing Commander IV is 84th. Wing Commander: PrivateerSet in the Wing Commander universe, Privateer is an early sandbox-style game that allows players to choose their alliances and factions and freely roam the galaxy as spacefaring privateers.
HCl is continuing with his amazing Wing Commander archeology, and his latest finds continue to impress. First, the image to the right is an example of the insane scratch-paper math that he used to decrypt some of the compression algorithms in Privateer 2. In case it wasn't clear, HCl is actually a human being and not a robot! Yet, he's managed to crack some crazy code and dig deeper into the game.
2010.137 (May 17, 2010)
Together with a friend, Lin Kuei Ominae has put together an awesome new savegame and universe editor for Privateer 2. It looks really easy to use and lets you tinker with a lot of things. This is a great tool to tune the space combat to your liking and hunt down all those FMV side-plot missions. Grab it here (2.
Here's some neat shots of Eddie Benowitz hosting events at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory open house over the weekend. That new Mars rover looks even more like Wall-E than Wall-E looks like Spirit or Opportunity. There's also a cool video of Eddie demonstrating the giant robodome.The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the lead U.
2009.137 (May 17, 2009)
The new poll today gives us a short break from our 'introduction' series. We've asked how long our visitors have been coming to the CIC before, but this is the first time we're gauging their actual ages. Don't be shy! In the future it should be interesting to see how 2009's results are influenced by a new Wing Commander game (or lack thereof).
Series H is the long Hrissith series, the prelude to the game's final wormhole battle. The odd thing about Hrissith, to me, was the fact that there was one and only one mission where you could select your fighter. Why develop that functionality and then use it only once, and with the exact sort of linear choice the game was supposedly trying to avoid?These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!
2008.138 (May 17, 2008)
There's been another incremental upgrade to Privateer Ascii Sector this week. Version 0.3.2 is the first Win32 release, so users no longer need to run the game through a program such as DOSBox.
We're introduced to an interesting point in this May 7, 1996 Component Manager Meeting agenda: will Wing Commander Prophecy have an 18 or a 24 month development cycle? Corporate, of course, will ultimately win and enforce the shorter timeline... but it's very interesting to see the game being planned in the hopes of having an additional six months of development. Also: who is the Production Designer at this point?
2007.137 (May 17, 2007)
Chris Knudsen has some new visuals from his Privateer Ascii Sector project to show off! If you aren't familiar with this one, it's an (apparently succesful) attempt to replace the gameplay of the original Privateer with an ASCII text-based game! It's pretty astounding. These are pictures of "Loye Naval Base", which is presumably the game's equivalent of Perry.
Microsoft yesterday released "Aegis Wing", a free side-scrolling space shoot-em-up game for Xbox Live Arcade. The game was developed by a trio of interns over a semester and is being released as a free gift for XBLA fans! We gave it a few test flights last night. Although the general idea is similar to Wing Commander Arena, the game itself is several orders of magnitude less complex -- it's essentially a classic sidescroller with updated (though still simplistic) graphics.
2006.137 (May 17, 2006)
Two days ago you read about Origin Museum curator Joe Garrity's exploration of Box 11... but there's even more to see! Joe has kindly added 64 more pictures from the unusual and amazing collection. You can see all the pictures, which include artifacts from a wide variety of Origin games ranging from Windwalker to Crusader, here.
Scooby Doo, author of the recent Wing Commander ship pack for FreeSpace 2, is continuing to use the Wing Commander universe of spacecraft to model new craft. He's posted quite a few samples at the forums - can you figure out what each ship is based on? The answers may surprise you, from a Thunderbolt to a Tembler! You can find explanations in this thread...
2005.137 (May 17, 2005)
HCl is working on a patch for the Secret Ops engine that many mod makers would love to get their hands on. A patch to allow cloaking ships! The screenshot below is the result of tweaking some translucency parameters in the game. Unfortunately the effect currently only works in Glide mode, but work is continuing.
TC stumbled across these latest strange examples of Wing Commander going international - Slovakian WC novels. There are six of them in all, though the sixth novel doesn't have cover art online. The rest have some really pretty cover art, completely different from the US releases. They clearly say Wing Commander on them and all are written or co-written by William Forstchen which makes me think somebody bought the rights to all of his novels.
2004.138 (May 17, 2004)
You may remember that on the way to E3, Chris stumbled upon the new EA compound completely by accident. Well on the way home, he took the opportunity to get a better look, this time in the daylight. Unfortunately he had to abandon the attempt when EA security got suspicious, but not before grabbing a few photos.The last 16 photos from Chris' excellent E3 adventure are now in the gallery, and he'll get the commentary for the final day up when he has fully recovered.
Chris has been showing off our new CIC polo shirts at E3 this past week. Most if not all of the people who pre-ordered have now received their shirts and the feedback has been great. Now that Chris is back, we're ready to accept new orders. People who'd like to get their hands on the limited remaining stock can send us an email to work out payment and shipping details.
2003.137 (May 17, 2003)
Kruer has remodeled a new, higher poly-count Hades-class Quick Strike Cruiser for the Wing Commander: The Wasteland Incident project (pictured below). He's now looking for someone to develop high resolution textures to make the ship look its best -- contact him at WCMDF@linkline.com if you can help! (The project is also looking for VegaStrike Engine modelers, texture mappers, mission programmers, set designers and character animators).
Hoo-boy, Stiletto sure takes a boring picture. I mean -- she's a pretty girl, she's great in the games... but these pictures are boring. Where'd her freaking expression go?
2001.137 (May 17, 2001)
Hello, mon ami. I hope the flight goes well for you and all the others on the Concordia. I am about to set out for a covert operation with Admiral Tolwyn. So I'm afraid we might be apart a little longer.
SciFi.com answers a question that's been on all our minds of late: What ever happened to Mister Roberts? This article reports that he has created his own LA-based production company, Point of No Return. Their first project is called "Earthfall", a futuristic Mars movie budgeted at forty to sixty million dollars.
After a very exciting lead-up, the Invasion Beta has been released! This version, 1.0d, includes a full conversion of one of Star Trek: Armada's factions to the Terran Confederation. You can download the mod here (5 megs), and additional music here (10 megs).
DRAsvitt has sent three more pictures of his tiny little ships... the Broadsword, Rapier II and the mysterious Black Lance carrier. He's also got a very reasonable request...Unfortunately, all of my attempts at creating molds to reproduce the Wing Commander ships have met with failure.
GameSpy has an interview with Richard Garriott -- providing more information on his new game and company... including a list of some of the ex-Originites who now hang their hat at Desgination: Starr Long, Carly Staehlin, Jeremy Gaffney, Jay Lee, Bill Randolph, Todd Hayes, Dave Aldritch, Jason Beardsley, Scott Jones, Victor Meinhert, Jennifer Davis and Rick Holtrip.
Remember the Black Lance carrier from yesterday? Apparently it was under our noses all along -- KillerWave had converted it to Vision format months ago! You can download it at his site here.
2000.138 (May 17, 2000)
As we predicted a while back, Prophecy Golds got rather scarce after they went out of production. Original Prophecy games are much more common, but Gold is generally a better buy. This has pushed the going rate for used Golds up above the original retail price. Fortunately it appears that the professional used game retailer Funcoland has some in stock.
We've compiled a few old Starlancer previews that discuss various Wing Commander topics, but don't warrant full updates.Spank!'s is here. There's a bit of an emphasis on Warthog.
Ballistics expert Professor Anna Wrack reveals all. My colleagues and I are pleased to announce the fruition of our latest project, the creation of a ballistic ship-mounted weapon. Known as the Mass Ion cannon, it functions round the principle of projecting positively-charged microparticles of depleted Plutonium at high velocities. It's effect on shields and armour is comparable to an average Medium Laser; however, it ahs a marked advantage over all beam weapons in that heat build-up, the Laser's greatest curse, is completley absent.
1999.137 (May 17, 1999)
AD reports that Ebert showed a clip from Wing Commander while talking about how science fiction has been influenced by 2001 & Star Wars. I'd have a clip for you, if ATI would go ahead and ship my fricking AIW 128...
Wing Commander came in 78th this week, earning an additional $11,576. The movie is currently playing on 26 screens in this tenth week in release. In total the film has made $11,552,291.
Star Wars site extraordinare TheForce.Net has posted pictures from the building of the 'Pod Race' sequence for the movie -- except they're not, they're pictures of Wing Commander's Rapier fighter. Kinda funny how the Rapier is "great" when it's mistaken for something from Star Wars... there appear to have been some changes made in the Rapiers since we last saw them, perhaps they were actually used in TPM?
Of all the suggestions I got (thanks, people!) I liked this one the best -- it's thanks to Christian Geroux! I think it's the one I'm going to end up using. Nothing much happening here, just waiting for the weekend's box office figures to come out and finishing up a bit of encyclopedia stuff.