One of our primary aims with this remaster is to create a version of the gameplay which matches the FMV as closely as possible. This means creating new models based on the FMV. That said it is fairly standard practice for these kinds of projects to offer a classic mode where you can play the game unaltered.
Likewise when the remaster is eventually released you will be able to switch between Defiance Industries‘ beautiful models and the originals (which are still impressively highly detailed given their age) with a single button press.
This of course applies to room images as well as models.
Being able to export the original assets was important to ensure scale and offsets matched the original assets. A large mismatch might have introduced bugs to the gameplay. Going from exporting these assets to incorporating them in game was almost no additional effort.
From the screenshots you’ll no doubt have noticed that we’re opting for a style that is evocative of the era the original game was made rather than a direct recreation.
The reason for this is that a direct recreation isn’t possible as we are rebuilding the game from the ground up, so we are embracing the differences. Going down the path of matching the original 1:1 would take additional development time to match the GoG version you already have available, and detract from the enhanced experience.
An example of where we have taken creative liberty is the nebulas. Wing Commnader IV only had a plain black background with the odd star and small celestial body, but we have opted to keep the new cubemaps. To ensure these don’t feel out of place in the era we turn off filtering on the texture and bias towards higher mip levels (lower resolution versions) of these images, the result is hopefully similar to what you would have seen in popular first person shooters of the era.
Recreating the original space scape would take extra time, and since the nebulas are present in the FMV (and in the next Wing Commander title) they don’t feel out of place in the franchise.
Likewise for the mouse cursors which we have replaced we still use our new animated versions but at a lower resolution so that they don’t seem out of place with the original assets.
Going forward we may experiment with other options; from 4:3 space combat, to VGA filters and more traditional classic HUDs. If there’s something you’d like to see make it into this mode then let us know in the CIC forums.