News from Bot

  • 24

    Jul

    Rapier I Holds the Line

    It's a good week for Rapier I art. We posted an uncommon 3D render of a fan model a few days ago, and now we've got a top down line art sketch of the CF-117. The rotary neutron gun is a bit long, but the ship portions are pretty good overall. This type of drawing was really big in the late '90s, so I'm surprised we haven't seen more of this over the years. bagera3005 is certainly a fan of this art style with thousands of Star Trek ships and other similar designs in his gallery. He's also made a Kilrathi-inspired ship, pictured below. It's kind of a funky cross between a Goran and a Sorthak by my eye.

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    My version of Wing Commander Rapier from the movie

    newrapiers3t.jpgnewrapiers4t.jpgbagera3005_art2t.jpgIf you'd like to see more cool WC line art, be sure to check out our prior updates.

  • 24

    Jul

    The iPhone/iPad app iDOS 2 has been in the news this week since it was announced that the program will be coming down soon per Apple's app store guidelines. The company has always been very leery of emulators and programs that can run other code or operating systems (like Windows 3.1!), and it's honestly surprising that the program has been allowed to exist on the platform for this long as it is. While it's still available at the time of this writing, it might not be around much longer. Nevertheless, there's been a surge of downloads, and people have been posting about different games that they've gotten to work. Here's a picture that Steve Makofsky took playing Wing Commander 1 on his iPad, which is pretty darn cool!

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    Kinda shocked it worked so easily - iDOS2 running vintage Wing Commander.

    This is by no means the first app to enable this kind of activity, but most have been relatively short lived.

  • 23

    Jul

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    Jul

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    Jul

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    Jul

  • 21

    Jul

    More Federal factions are considering declaring independence following the recent conflict in the Azaladshu system.
    Sofia Trevino, political journalist with The Federal Times, published an overview of the situation:
    "When Azaladshu Free seceded in reaction to the government's surveillance laws, it inspired three other factions to do the same, making ten systems and a billion people independent. Superpowers routinely gain and lose systems via local politics, but this was a rare instance of member factions abandoning their fealty."
    "The newly sovereign nations have severed all links with the Proactive Detection Bureau, so their communications are no longer being monitored. Despite broad public support for the Domestic Counter-Terrorism Act, many citizens still consider personal privacy to be a constitutional right."
    "Dozens of other factions are now considering independence. This affects only a

  • 21

    Jul

    Prisms Development Update

  • 21

    Jul

    Rapier Gets Its Feet Wet

    Here's a nifty old school Rapier I put together by FetzerJoshua. Art based on the Wing Commander Movie is kind of a special breed, and this one's no exception. Due to differences in the medium, most fans probably haven't spent nearly as much time staring at stills of the film ships, so it might not be obvious at first how much detail he got right. The layers to the fuselage, cockpit pylons, landing gear and even unusual missile placement are pretty good. I added a few reference shots below so you can compare. Not sure why it's on the beach, but why not?

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  • 20

    Jul

    The Interstellar Health Organisation has published a preliminary analysis of onionhead gamma strain, a recreational drug also known as 'helix'.
    "As with the alpha, beta and Lucan strains, the active component is derived from seeds produced by the onionhead flower native to the planet Panem. These contain alkaloid compounds that have a temporary psychoactive effect on human perceptions and cognitive functions."
    "In the gamma strain, these compounds have been genetically modified using synthetic molecules of unknown origin. This has diluted the concentration of psychotropics, therefore producing less intense hallucinogenic episodes."
    "The practical advantages of these modifications are twofold. First, they allow onionhead to be economically mass-produced using artificial environments rather than grown as natural crops. Second, the gamma strain is more hardy and able to survive for longer periods

  • 19

    Jul

  • 19

    Jul

    Mac has put together a nifty visual of an escort carrier cruising in the Freepsace engine. The core model comes from Klavs' collection, and the resulting image is a beauty. We wanted to share in case some people could use a new wallpaper image. There's some additional shots of some funkiness from a gameplay perspective, but even those shots look cool!

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    A viewer on my recent #wingcommander video commented about the Tarawa, which reminded me of my efforts to import her into #FreespaceOpen It has no shield impact anims, the bumpmaps are a little weird, and it cant fire. But it looks nice at least. The Tarawa model was from Klav's Wing Commander 3d model pack btw.

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    Oh ya, one more thing, how the Tarawa deals with itself exploding in FS is....really weird. She's a long way before I can have her ready for prime time.

    Mac's other big hobby is his YouTube channel dedicated to sci-fi history. He's recently

  • 18

    Jul

    Destro has an update on the project to add Sega CD speech to Wing Commander 1. He's recently managed to make some significant improvements to memory utilization and thereby enhance performance. As far as matching up the audio between game versions, he's nearly complete with the basic shipboard audio and will soon be moving to inflight communications. Real life plans have slowed things somewhat, which is something that everyone involved with fan projects should be very familiar with. Nevertheless, fans like Destro continue to persevere and make gradual progress towards amazing things!

    I have been picking at it on my free time, which unfortunately has been not much lately. :( I have fixed many issues including memory leaks and lowered the memory usage from over 5gb to a under a few hundred mb which is more in line with what it should be. I managed this in a few ways but most notably instead of loading
  • 17

    Jul

    prinze_galaxycon1t.jpgThe Cosmic Circus has covered Wing Commander in their latest retro review. Wing Commander games from the late '90s aren't "pixel art" and I still think the year 2000 sounds kind of futuristic, so it's almost jarring to find that Wing Commander falls into the retro category these days. At any rate, this article does a good job of emphasizing the fun parts of the film while also spending some time analyzing the character elements that didn't work as well. The author has a history with the rest of the franchise, which helps give some valuable context that other recent reviews might lack. Check out the full piece here!

    • Even in the year 2700, there’s product placement. Nokia makes the brand of computers that humans use in their ships. If you remember the Nokia brick phones of that era, this makes total sense.
    • If you’re a fan of Star: Trek Voyager, you might do a double-take at Maniac. He could be Tom
  • 16

    Jul

    PC Gamer has posted a new article about the coolest cockpits in gaming. There's a lot of new stuff in there, as you might expect, with some of the slickest UIs from Star Wars Squadrons, Titanfall 2 and Rebel Galaxy Outlaw throughout the piece. There is precisely one retro throwback though: the Hornet from Wing Commander 1. It's hard to argue it's not among the most iconic cockpits in gaming history, but it still doesn't show up in that many modern articles. The author chose a 16-color Amiga screenshot for the piece, which is an interesting decision, but they all look good. Wing Commander just has so many great choices. You can find the full article here.

    F-36 Hornet (Wing Commander)

    One of the all-time classic cockpits. Seeing your legs tucked under the console, and your hand wrestling with the flight stick as you fly and fight, gives you a real sense of being squeezed into the pilot's seat of a

  • 16

    Jul

    Dennis Mull is back with another wonderful Wing Commander find. The latest addition to his collection is the Special Edition of Wing Commander Prophecy. While these are fairly uncommon in English, it's even more rare to see a German one floating around. The main differences are the Cobalt 60 soundtrack as well as the awesome Wasp mouse pad. This is a nice pickup!

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    Mail Day: #WingCommander Prophecy Special Edition (German Release) complete with Mousepad and Soundtrack CD
  • 15

    Jul

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    Jul

  • 15

    Jul

    Here's a nice spread from the December 1996 issue of the French gaming magazine Joystick. We start with a wonderful cover shot of the Heretic fighter, which is great to see since Privateer 2 was also competing with C&C Red Alert for top billing this month. There's a full five pages of preview material, and although I don't read French, it's just fun to see the layout. The Darkening is full of wonderful FMV set pieces and a unique combat engine, so this is full of eye candy. You can find the full issue at archive.org here.

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