After all these years, to finally get my own squadron

Demo CD mockup
The pre-alpha demo is finally here!

It has been over three years since we started development in earnest, and finally we can present something playable! A recreation of the original Wing Commander IV demo.

I say a recreation but, of course, the original 43MB demo is included; we have invested a lot of effort into loading the original stats and mission scripts, and so we need to keep it around.

To download the demo and see the release notes please click here.

Bear in mind this is pre-alpha – it’s not representative of our desired quality level. We have big plans, but we’re eager to get your feedback to help steer development.

Stormfire power-up pod
Stormfire power-up pod

You like to be in charge?

We want you to let us know if it works on your hardware – this engine is largely untested and we want to know if bugs need fixing before we disappoint anyone on a full release.

We want to know what your performance is like and, most importantly, how does it play? Do you like the physics? Is it too loose or too tight? Do the old stats feel sluggish at modern framerates? Is there anything missing from the original demo that you miss? (We could name a few things we didn’t get to in time, but don’t want to prompt you).

We will be prioritising a version with improved controls and AI before moving onto the main game.

We’d love to hear from you over at the CIC forums to help us make the perfect version:

A new “Epic” trailer is included, based on the original TV spot

To be in control?

We have added support for the following controllers:

  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Joystick (Dual and Single)
  • Full HOTAS
  • PS4 and XBox Gamepads (only XBox supports rumble)

You can customize your controls for each input method separately so that you don’t need to create new mappings if you change input device.
We absolutely recommend testing out the game with an X-Box pad first (the only option with rumble support!) as it’s a new way to play Wing Commander, and we think it feels fantastic.
Note that whatever input method you select your keyboard key mappings will always work.

An image of the final score from a mission
Time for you all to grade the demo

To be the one the CAG chews out when your team screws the pooch on a mission?

If this were a commercial project it would never be shown to the public at this stage.

Will it crash? Maybe.
Will video fail to play? Maybe.
Will there be graphical corruption with certain settings enabled? Who knows?

The biggest known issues you should be aware of before going in are:
AI behaviour is entirely placeholder
Classic mode can be selected but will not be correct for the demo
Visual effects are still all placeholder

If you meet the requirements and it’s still not working please reach out to us on the forums, detailing what you’re seeing and any error messages.

The readme has some bug fixing tips; we’ve addressed the errors we have seen.

If you like the demo (which we hope you see as full of potential, but still needs a tonne of support) why not join the team?