Wing Commander

  • 03

    Jun

    DefianceIndustries has some more gorgeous artwork to share today. In honor of Wing Commander Academy coming to the Peacock streaming service, he's created new versions of the WCA television ships. They even go one step further and have nifty cartoon style textures, despite being traditional three dimensional models underneath. It all comes together in a very cool new wallpaper image that's available in ultrawidescreen. A standard widescreen is also available at the CIC Forums - where you can also let him know what you think!

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    Ok so I spent some time devising a proper 90's style toon shader with some pencil lines. I'm oddly pleased with the results. I added an ultrawide render as well for those of you with more monitor than sense. ;)

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    I finished "Tooning" up my scimitars...get it? yuk! yuk!...Revel in the pure 90's cheese of it...I think the WCA Scim is probably the best version of it out there. The
  • 02

    Jun

    We've got a couple of impressive mega enhancements from ODVS to share today. His big video upgrades for WC4 & Prophecy take the high quality DVD editions and magically transform them into HD resolution. These are more than just upscales as new digital material is being generated to create crisp upgrades, but there's still a limit on what can be done. Nevertheless, ODVS keeps trying to push the envelope and reach even greater heights. The first video is another experiment at taking the low res 160p WC3 footage and cranking it all the way up to 1080p. Then he builds on these same techniques to grow a 360p WC4 clip all the way to 4K. The YouTube version doesn't quite do it justice, so you can also download the sample here (70 meg mp4).

    I thought I'd apply some of the new techniques I've figured out working on the Wing Commander IV remaster and revisit the Rollins scene from Wing Commander III to see
  • 01

    Jun

    SpaceX made history today by being the first private company to launch astronauts into orbit. We love looking at all of the fantastic sci-fi space ships that frequently appear in the news, but it's worth pausing for a moment to appreciate just how special it is when those ships are real. The CIC has been following the incredibly ambitious SpaceX plans for ten years since we first reported on their ground breaking unmanned launch in 2010. Now it's 2020 and there are people in space right now flying the Dragon capsule. That's just fantastic. The exciting liftoff was streamed live to millions of people, but the crew is still up there beaming back tremendous footage. You might have missed this fun clip where they show off the interior cabin below. Feel free to drop by the #Wingnut Discord tomorrow morning as we watch the ship dock with the International Space Station!

    spacex_dragon29t.jpgspacex_dragon30t.jpgspacex_dragon31t.jpgspacex_dragon32t.jpgspacex_dragon33t.jpgHere's a nice recap for anyone

  • 31

    May

    georgeoldziey11t.jpgIf you had fun watching Wing Commander composer George Oldziey perform jazz live a few weeks ago, you’ll be excited to hear that he’s got a live piano set planned for tonight! Just hit up this Facebook event and join the fun! Sorry for the short notice, but he’ll be going for a good 90 minutes. The party should be automatically archived as well. There should also be a virtual tip jar if you’d like to support Mr. Oldziey as an artist that’s been affected by a lack of live music gigs due to the coronavirus.

    Hey guys. This isn’t terribly Wing Commander-ish, but I thought I’d let you know that I’m doing an hour and a half of solo jazz piano music tomorrow on FB live from 5 to 6:30 PM PDT. Here is a link in case you want to share with the Wing Commander universe.

    Thanks,

    George

  • 29

    May

    The King of TrainSim

    agiar2000 posted a neat video of what happens at the end of the TrainSim in Wing Commander 1. Everyone plays at least one short-lived round just prior to Enyo 1, but a lot of pilots never go back. There's a high score board you can place on, but you can also get to the end after four missions. Running through them all nets a score of more than one million points, which would put someone in first place with plenty of room to spare!

    trainsim_win1t.jpgtrainsim_win2t.jpgtrainsim_win3t.jpgThe clip should start at 9:30 so you can see the happy conclusion.

    Did you know that it is possible to win in the training simulator in the 1990 DOS game "Wing Commander"? I didn't until I accomplished it. I only recorded the last 10 minutes because I was using a 10-minute "instant replay" recording feature that constantly records a rolling 10-minutes.
  • 28

    May

    Here's a couple of unboxing videos for Wing Commander Movie action figures by Nerd4Life. These are Blair in his flight suit and the Kilrathi General. YouTube has a pretty good real time auto translate option now, so if you blow up the videos and turn that on, it's possible to get the message behind what he's saying. I have to say that I almost jumped out of my chair when he ripped the plastic shell off. Not everyone is as terrified about tearing the cardboard it seems, and perhaps the glue has lost some of its stick after twenty years. I'm not sure I ever had the heart to open any of my own figures. At one point I did separately purchase opened ones on eBay to avoid violating my originals!

  • 26

    May

    EmuMusicFan has a new teaser for a spinoff effort from his graphic novel project. Much of his previous work was to artfully recreate the Action Stations story, but we also knew he was working on a Melek character. Based on his latest sketch, fellow Wingnuts have successfully guessed that he's experimenting with WC4.123106, a fantastic piece of fan fiction released in 1996-1997. He's added a few characters as well as poses that will help him illustrate it further. You can let him know what you think at the CIC Forums!

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    After an original part used in tandem, a test part from The Price of Freedom novel version was added. The part depicts something that happens after Melek asked Blair for help and got a response, and Blair was invited to board the Kilrathi ship.

    For my level, Melek's bowing pose is a little difficult to draw. But there was a real sense of accomplishment in actually drawing it. His

  • 26

    May

    Earlier this weekend we reported on some collaboration to integrate ODVS' significantly enhanced video with the upgraded WC4 game engine that Pedro and team are working on. This was a test to see how 60 FPS video would work to sync with the high frame rate of the gameplay. I think it looks pretty good. Some people find the hyper real sensation off-putting, but I think it fits better here than in other places. The team says it's unlikely that they'll go with the high motion cutscenes, but it's still pretty cool to see here. And this is one fantastic scene to rewatch!

    This came off the back of a conversation with Pedro - he said since I've been remastering some of the WCP CD-ROM videos and upping them from 15fps to 30fps, could I up the WC4 DVD videos to 60fps? So I thought I'd give it a go :)

    It's certainly interesting - but it possibly falls prey to the dreaded "Soap Opera Effect". However, in doing

  • 25

    May

    Development on the WC4 Fan Remake has been generally slow of late, but Pedro has a few neat updates to report. He's done some testing with ODVS' fantastic enhanced video with great results. It'll be a perfectly complement to the gameplay updates that have been at the forefront so far. There has also been some discussion on new features like modern gamepad controller support as well as improving some of the development tools as well. There's still quite a bit of work to go, but it's good to hear the team is still on it!

    To be honest development paused for a while, but I came back to it last night, did a few fixes; tested it with ODVS' AI upscale. It looks good, don't worry we'll be incorporating the best possible video when the time comes. I did make some progress on a particle editor, but Rear Admiral Tarsus is offering to help out with tools (which I am super grateful for). We have a potential
  • 24

    May

    Teepublic is a site that makes custom shirts, hoodies, mugs and other goods with contributed art. It's mostly intended for things like corporate giveaways or a venue for selling indie art, but occasionally some unlicensed merchandise slips through - and boy, does it deliver today! Once a piece of art is uploaded, the site makes it easy to translate that imagine onto something else like a sticker, phone case or pillow. And with the coronavirus pandemic still in full swing, they've now added face masks! A handful of fairly random WC designs is available, which includes a Kilrathi taunt face, a couple famous logos and even the Hot Wing Commander. They're $15, which is on the higher side, but not bad considering how shortages persist. The company also donates a medical grade mask for each novelty one purchased. Links to the ones we could find are below - let us know if you see any other good ones.

  • 23

    May

  • 21

    May

    Very exciting news today that we just can't wait to share: Privateer 2 director Steve Hilliker has posted over an hour of footage from the game's FMV shoot to YouTube! The footage is sourced from a Beta SP tape and has been further restored by a genuine professional... resulting in a better look at the Tri-System than we've ever seen before! You'll see beautiful sets, props, extras and more for the very first time. You can access the footage here.

    25 years ago I directed live action film sequences for the first interactive movie in Europe. Originally it was called 'The Darkening' but became better known as 'Privateer 2 The Darkening' for Electronic Arts. We had a great cast including Clive Owen, John Hurt, Christopher Walken, David Warner, Mathilda May, Brian Blessed, Jurgen Procknow, David McCallum, etc. Recently I discovered that all the master tapes were sadly destroyed many years ago. Using only my
  • 21

    May

    ODVS has another fantastic video sample to show off. After releasing his massive enhancement to WC4 and Prophecy video, he's continued to research and perfect the craft. This has produced some impressive results from the very low res WC3 footage, and even more advanced methods for manually improving video quality further have been discovered. The results from that testing have been amazing! Check out a new sample below. This one minute clip took several hours to produce, however, so ODVS is looking for feedback on how much an improvement fans think this is over the last release. Let him know what you think at the CIC Forums!

    I've been experimenting with a new AI model and overall video workflow technique and I thought you all might like to see the results.

    This new process is far more time consuming than the previous one. As well as the new AI model, I'm actually upscaling to 4K (2160p) then

  • 20

    May

  • 18

    May

    Classic PC game publisher MicroProse is making a return. The company was a major force in the '80s and '90s with series like Civilization, X-COM and Master of Orion under their belt. Like Origin, they also had roots in the Austin, Texas game development scene, but waves of industry consolidation caused the name to go under in the early 2000s. An Australian megafan and software developer has been steadily following the rights and buying up assets for the past 15 years in order to relaunch the brand. Original co-founder "Wild Bill" Stealey has also signed on as a consultant to advise the new CEO. You can find an interview with him here. They've officially kicked off this month with the announcement of three historical combat sims by teams that partially include former MicroProse developers. The new titles look pretty slick in teaser trailers, and we're excited to see how this venture pans out.

  • 18

    May

    georgeoldziey10t.jpgOrigin 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. Watch the live stream via Facebook if you're interested. An archived version will also be available later. It should be a quick fun thirty minute set. See you there!

    Hi guys! Hope you are staying safe. This is kind of last minute, but I’m just doing a little shameless promotion to let you know that Suzi and I are performing live on FB as part of a jazz festival this coming Sunday at 1 PM PDT. The festival is called “LULUFEST 2020” and we’ll be doing a 30 minute set from our living room with our new/old Steinway O! I’ve spent a
  • 17

    May

    Mr. Freight was scrolling through Facebook and something caught his eye. Peeking out of a box in this advertisement for Country Living Magazine is the Wing Commander VHS. It's the poster child for an article about "garage sale finds worth a ton." They credit the picture as just a stock image from Epics/Getty, but little do they realize the WC Movie is actually creeping up in value! Since the distribution rights reverted to Chris Roberts from Fox a couple years ago, physical copies have been out of print. While the VHS is decidedly still affordable, DVD and Blu-ray editions can be pricey. Fortunately digital copies are starting to be made available again for as low at $8.

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  • 16

    May

    Lieutenant Lance Casey may have defeated a Nephilim invasion fleet, but now he's facing his biggest challenge yet: the novel coronavirus. The actor behind Wing Commander Prophecy's main character founded Steven Petrarca Events after transitioning out of acting about fifteen years ago. He's built the company up into a high end event planning business with some major customers in West Hollywood, California. Like many other industries, however, COVID-19 has severely impacted their ability to operate. Until the threat subsides, SP.E has published a line of at home tips and today advertised that they're gearing up to provide safe service when restrictions start to lift. I don't envy anyone trying to plan a wedding right now, but it's good to see that they're starting to adapt!

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    We're ready when the timing's right. Our service team will be following all necessary protocols to make sure you and your
  • 15

    May

    Here's one for the history books: the original four-page story premise for the tenth episode of Wing Commander Academy, "On Both Your Houses". A premise document like this was the first step in developing an episode of the show. Once it was approved by the show's producers it would be expanded into a three act outline and then a full script (which would go on to be boarded and then animated).

    The final episode is very close to this initial premise although it does feature some differences, including setting Archer's robot fight at the Greenhouse lab, having Maverick ultimately be the one to shoot down the Kilrathi pilot and ending with an unused coda aboard the Tiger's Claw. You can download the PDF here; a full transcription is available in the WCPedia.

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