Are we ever going to see another Wing Commander? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 05-07-2011, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I really enjoyed Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger as well as Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom. Do you guys think we will ever see another in the series?
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post #2 of 42 Old 05-07-2011, 03:29 PM
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We can dream.

I also loved the last one, Prophecy. There was also a stand-alone expansion that was download-only (way back in 1998). It was also very good and concluded the story. Not sure if was just me, but IV was a bit too graphics-intensive, and I actually thought III looked and played better. I also had a DVD edition of IV with better cinematics that I got with my Creative DVD decoder card.

Privateer was my favorite, though.
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post #3 of 42 Old 05-07-2011, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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If memory serves me correct ..The game shipped on 4 or 6 cds. Wow that was eons ago. Did the DVD/Decoder version have full screen hardware assisted FMV?
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post #4 of 42 Old 05-07-2011, 09:30 PM
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I rem when Chris Roberts answered their support line when I phoned about a probm with the 1st game. That was when they were just starting out and small, well before they got big and made a movie. A lot of fond mem with the whole series. That was along long time ago.

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post #5 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackssr View Post

I really enjoyed Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger as well as Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom. Do you guys think we will ever see another in the series?

I would like to say that we will. The issue we'll have is that it almost certainly won't be a continuation of the story and more or less a return to the begining - Either a prequel of sorts or a complete reboot. It's just been so long since Prophecy and Secret Ops came out that they would need to draw in a new audience.

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I also loved the last one, Prophecy. There was also a stand-alone expansion that was download-only (way back in 1998). It was also very good and concluded the story.

Episodic releases haven't quite panned out the way we thought they would when Valve announced the Half-life 2 releases, but in all Secret Ops was ahead of the game in that respect and is still one of my all time favorite gaming experiences. While playing it all through today may not reveal a perfect game or anything, the actual experience of waiting a week for new missions and having new fiction released on the website throughout the week between releases was fantastic.

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Not sure if was just me, but IV was a bit too graphics-intensive, and I actually thought III looked and played better. I also had a DVD edition of IV with better cinematics that I got with my Creative DVD decoder card.

3 and 4 were the same engine. The WC4 textures are actually more detailed but the resolution limitation makes all the detail just look grainy/pixelated. The simpler look of WC3 and the fact that the ship designs of the Kilrathi have a better feel than the bland Borderworld ships make the overall look of WC3 better IMO.

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If memory serves me correct ..The game shipped on 4 or 6 cds. Wow that was eons ago. Did the DVD/Decoder version have full screen hardware assisted FMV?

Yeah, WC4 was 6 CDs on the PC and was abridged to 4 on the PSX. THere's actually 2 DVD versions out there. One is just the PC version on one disk and is single sided. THe version that shipped with Creative DVD drives and a Hardware Mpeg2 board was a dual-sided single layer disk.

All the videos were full MPEG2 with Dolby Digital sound. The video files are also all VOBs that can be played in your DVD software independant of the game. The caveat is that the disk was designed to run with that specific hardware decoder board. If you buy the disk on ebay or something you will need a patch to make the game use your computer's software decoders. Otherwise the WC4-DVD runs great on current machines, though there are some Palette issues in vista/win7 64bit OS' that can be resolved by closing explorer while the game is running.
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post #6 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 07:26 AM
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I remember when Wing Commander 2 came out, I had to upgrade to (I think) a 486 DX/2 at 66Mhz with...whatever..256megs of ram or something.

I had some Orchid VGA board....this was before 3D graphics, when we were perfectly happy with 320x240 at 256 glorious colors.... For what its worth I also remember at the time the big "Audio Debate" for Wing Commander.

If you wanted to hear the incredible MIDI score, you needed one of those external Roland sound processors....or you went with the Soundblaster for the sweet digital sounds, or the Soundblaster Pro....but you couldn't have both.

Then the Soundblaster 16bit came out, but in the days before Windows you had major problems getting it to work, for example, in stereo or at all with your games....so all of us were waiting on this Sound Card from Canada....damned if I can remember the name, but I bought one. It had great Midi, not as good as a Roland but waaay better than the digital-clock midi sounds you'd get on a Soundblaster or Adlib card, AND it had a digital chip on the board, so you could have the sweet digital voice and sound effects in games and your high-end "real samples" midi......unfortunately it didn't quite work.

I ultimately returned it, I remember ordering it directly from the company in Canada....they were cool about letting me return it....

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post #7 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 07:39 AM
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I owned a Gravis Ultrasound back in the day. I never could get it to work right with a lot of games so I replaced it with a Soundblaster and never looked back. It has sweet MIDI though. They were the big kahuna for MIDI back then because they had wavetable instead of the bleep and blorp stuff that everyone else was using. Then along came the AWE line from Creative and the rest is history. I really miss those old MIDI-using games and it's a shame MIDI is all but dead now.
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post #8 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 07:44 AM
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Yep, it was the first affordable "wavetable" card.......(I haven't used THAT word in a decade!).......

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post #9 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 07:51 AM
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I remember how bad-ass Doom sounded with wavetable MIDI. It was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. The Star Wars games like Dark Forces, X-Wing, and TIE Fighter were awesome too because it felt like you were sitting near an orchestra if you had the right gear.
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post #10 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 11:48 AM
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It is good to see other MIDIphiles.

I've lately been playing the original DOOM games using the GZDoom source port and the SGM SoundFont for superb MIDI playback with my X-Fi. Good stuff.
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post #11 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 12:10 PM
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I remember playing that game with my Rat Shack 286 8 bit vga computer and like a meg of ram. It was so great to have 256 whole colors and a GASP 52 meg hard drive. I later went up to a 386dx25 and a nice, at the time, HUGE 17' monitor I paid about 900 for through Radio Shack when I worked there.
We also loved Doom and many other early games back then and my friend and I were thrilled when we managed to score used 1 meg memory chips for 25 each so we both could have 4 whole meg of ram installed.
The more ram you had the more cool features that worked in each game if I remember correctly but that was like early 90's now and those games were ground breaking.
Seem to remember getting a sound blaster and all that too so I could have the cool audio as well and slowly upgrading the boxes, video cards, sound cards, getting a CD drive, etc.
It was a lot of fun back then but pretty spendy for much of the cool toys
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post #12 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Didn't Diamond have the Monster Sound 3D at one time. It was add in sound card with a jumper cable from your original sound card. We have come a long way with regards to hardware. The software seems to have stalled a bit due to the consoles. I hope some developers start pushing the envelope again and bring PC gaming to the forefront of graphics. I do miss the technology as well as the challange to get those few extra frames.

In those days you needed 5 PCI /slots cards just to run SLI with 3D Hardware Sound. ABIT motherboards were the go to guys back then with their SoftBios and 6 PCI slots on the BX series .
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post #13 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 12:29 PM
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I ran one of their first Abit BX boards back in the day, what a great setup that was. We also did the 3DFX 12 meg SLI setups and everything like that later when the original FEAR? I think it was came out. I had a AMD 486dx120 by that point and it would run right with the early Pentium chips for a lot less money.
It was so nice to just plug everything in and have it detect automatically and just work, plus it made over clocking easy and no jumpers to set properly or screw up.
Pretty soon everyone had a version and I don't even think Abit is around anymore.
About then I got my first full tower case too, room for like 8 devices in front and lots of drives, WEEEE!
I also had the early Antec 300 watt power supply that was like more close to 400 watts back when a 250 was HUGE, came in my first good tower, a Antec value line tower that I still have out in the garage. That thing housed MANY of my builds for like over 10 years.
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post #14 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 12:39 PM
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The old Diamond sound cards were great. The one I was most fond of had the box art with a woman screaming.

Back then it was all about A3D 2.0 for hardware-accelerated audio. Now we can get that kind of audio through software with less than 1% CPU utilization.
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post #15 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 12:41 PM
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I had a Quantum 3D Obsidian graphics card back in the glory days of 3dfx. One of those long monsters that weighed a lot. I couldn't fit it in my computer at the time without taking off a bit of the side because it was so big. I eventually replaced it with a more practical ATI card.
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post #16 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

The old Diamond sound cards were great. The one I was most fond of had the box art with a woman screaming.

Back then it was all about A3D 2.0 for hardware-accelerated audio. Now we can get that kind of audio through software with less than 1% CPU utilization.

A3D was pretty nice. I remember Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight with A3D. Eventually Creative got the company that made it and included A3D compatibility in it's initial EAX line of products so that people wouldn't buy non EAX cards that had licensed A3D. Ah, the memories....
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post #17 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 12:48 PM
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It's really too bad 3DFX sold out and folded up, they had groundbreaking cards back then till they cheeped out and gave up. At least their add on cards were great if you had the room and budget. They had some hilarious commercials at the time too that always went something like, what if we used all this power to solve world problems, then it would list all the issues that they could fix for mankind with great graphics and settings, then somebody would say "NAW! We just wanna play games" and all the fixed things would self destruct...
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post #18 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 01:00 PM
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It wasn't that they sold out, they just couldn't compete when they strayed from their successful business plan and tried to make it on their own by being an OEM on their own terms instead of doing what was already proven to work.
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post #19 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 01:09 PM
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Well it's too bad either way, I just know they folded up or sold out or whatever fairly shortly after everyone else stepped up their cards. My first gaming card was a Diamond Stealth 3d 1 meg I think it was, they and ATI were slugging it out back then and I probably should have went with the ATI as they were better at the games. Think I added the 3DFX addon cards later as the prices dropped to something I could afford, still have the 2 12 meg cards that I SLI'd but don't think anything modern can even run them now plus there wouldn't be any drivers that work.
Their old newsgroup forums on Usenet are still there but of course any posts in them now are just spam.
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post #20 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 01:28 PM
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Now this thread has me jonesin for some Klingon Honor Guard action! That game was one of the first Unreal titles. It actually used a version of Unreal engine tech that was older than the one used in Unreal so it was extremely buggy, even after patching. It's a shame nobody ever updated the game like they did with Unreal because that would be one VERY fun game to play with modern hardware even though the graphics are ancient stuff.
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post #21 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 01:52 PM
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I was just messing around with Unreal Tournament. I have the EAX enhancement patches installed for it and use Creative ALchemy to allow the effects to work with Vista.

I forgot just how overdone the EAX effects are in that game. It sometimes sounds ridiculous, but it is certainly charming in the memories it elicits.
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post #22 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 01:59 PM
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Yeah, I hear ya. Those older titles just have a quaint charm that nothing has today. I think I'll see if I can fire up DS9: The Fallen in the next week. That one is another classic Unreal title like KHG but with much nicer environments.
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post #23 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post

It wasn't that they sold out, they just couldn't compete when they strayed from their successful business plan and tried to make it on their own by being an OEM on their own terms instead of doing what was already proven to work.

Also part of the problem was Nvidia was catching up quick with the Geforce line of GPUs. I believe Geforce 2 was the first series to give 3dfx a run for the money. ATI and Matrox were also coming of age at that time.
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post #24 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I was just messing around with Unreal Tournament. I have the EAX enhancement patches installed for it and use Creative ALchemy to allow the effects to work with Vista.

I forgot just how overdone the EAX effects are in that game. It sometimes sounds ridiculous, but it is certainly charming in the memories it elicits.

Doesn't UT support OpenAL? You don't need EAX, OpenAL is just as good.

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post #25 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
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Doesn't UT support OpenAL? You don't need EAX, OpenAL is just as good.

The original Unreal Tournament uses DirectSound3D for hardware-accelerated audio and EAX extensions. You can probably use fan-made OpenAL or FMOD hooks for the game, but I would rather stick to how it was originally coded.

Unreal Engines 2 and 3 do natively use OpenAL. That said, there are numerous older OpenAL-based games that use EAX extensions but do not have support for similar effects native to OpenAL (like through EFX).
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post #26 of 42 Old 05-08-2011, 04:26 PM
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I miss the way my SoundBlaster AWE64 gold used to make my MIDI games sound.

Haha. Nostalgia!

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post #27 of 42 Old 05-11-2011, 11:11 AM
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Not unless they can find a way to make it into a FPS.... From the game publisher's point of view, space sims are dead. I don't know why though, as there are TONs of fans out there still that would love to see an updated "Tie Fighter", or "Wing Commander". But the publishers don't want anything that requires more than 4-6 buttons and a directional pad to work, and people who love this genera would be up in arms if they dumbed down the controls that much.
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post #28 of 42 Old 05-11-2011, 11:44 AM
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I'm still wanting a Freespace 3 or a Freelancer 2 to come out.

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post #29 of 42 Old 05-11-2011, 11:50 AM
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I'd be happy as a clam with a 64-bit version of the X-Wing and TIE Fighter games with updated graphics, 36-player (or more if possible) multi-player madness, and true-to-scale ships for a change. Certainly doable with today's hardware. X-Wing Alliance was a pretty sweet game and it runs okay on today's systems with some hacking but we NEEEEEEEEEEED something that just works.
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post #30 of 42 Old 05-11-2011, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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X-Wing and TIE Fighter were awesome. I agree an updated version would be incredible. Maybe after the COD 99 we will see something like this one day
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