Babylon 5: The Geometry of Shadows - Minbari Project v.1.0 BETA

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Author: Asprin

Okay, the time is right! Here it is B5:TGoS - Minbari Project release. Before proceed to download, please read the F.A.Q. and our recomendations.

Q: What is the Babylon 5: The Geometry of Shadows (B5: TGoS) and why BETA release?
A: The B5: TGoS is a project based on FSO engine (in OSS forked edition – FSO_OSE) and on the Babylon 5 universe created by J.M. Strazhinsky. There is no sense to list all differences from classical FSO, we will note only one, because all the others are based on it – the physics. Well, we can’t call it fully “Newtonian” type because of certain FSO engine properties (that is why we have finished works on FSO_OSE and have started development of new game engine), but at the present time all critical signs of the given type of physics were released and we can characterize the project as Sci-Fi Simulator. Because of new physics type, we had to update the most basic principles of game-play such as AI behavior, navigation, weapons control, sensors control and so on. However, some of these things have experimental character and they are optimized not in the best way, therefore. OSS team has only 2 programmers and we can’t work on the both engines simultaneously. Anyway, this circumstance will not influence the game-play, and we hope that new B5: TGoS team will finish all of the critical works.

Q: What exactly expects us in this project?
A: Well, the B5: TGoS has no general campaigns or missions. However, the Minbari Project has: there are 3, linked by story line, campaigns. Each campaign has 20 actual missions. You can start from any campaign but we strongly recommend that you’ll play according to internal order: Part 1 – The Unity, Part 2 – When the Darkness Falls, Part 3 – The Beginning. All of them can be finished at any level of difficulty. During the game your opponents will be forces of Neo-Minbari Front, Drahs forces, and of course – the Shadows. The only problem, there are no cutscenes and, therefore, certain, not critical, difficulties with understanding of the general story line are possible.

Q: How many abstractions in the project?
A: Approximately at level of IFH: D&O project, but still a little bit more. For example, we tried to simulate the refueling during long flights, similar to F16 4.0 and LOMAC, but because of the mentioned FSO properties we could not achieve distinct result. So, when you flying multistage mission your fuel value will return to maximum level when the next stage starts, but without any “explanations”. The second example is missiles launch. This sector of works is not finished yet and, therefore, the process not always looks well, anyway it will not influence the game-play and it is not so critical. The last thing we want to mark is general combat environment. There was a phrase: “Minbari pilot != Human pilot”. Of course it is so and Minbari have different cultural, political and military systems. However they have it, and they have same understanding of their systems as we have of our own. So, lets imagine that you are not human pilot, but minbari one, and the environment, understanding of which you have in real life, corresponds to minbari.

Q: Have you tactical recommendations on the game?
A: Of course we have. First, the fatal situations: missile hit, very low speed, some of head-to-head situations, behavior by a principle of the “solo” are deadly for you.

Second, basic solution on hard points and on avoiding the long fights: you have to control available friendly units as often as possible; one of the most useful but the risky sequences for advanced enemy - regroup your pilots, lure your target closer, then command your ships to attack the target. Remember, you have to execute this while moving (about 200-300m/s) or your opponents will get superiority. Well, actually the sequence works with standard enemy as well, however, if enemy unit is equipped with missiles, it will not engage you in close combat, until the amount allow. The unit will move enough quickly and on the “slide vector”.

Third, do not allow missiles to hit you, use countermeasures or high-speed slide maneuvers; also, your own speed will add to missile’s speed at the moment of launch – use this opportunity.

Fourth, don’t fight with low speed without tactical or other important necessity (try to keep 600 – 1100m/s), otherwise you will be very easy target.

Of course, these recommendations are basic; we’ll hope that you’ll create your own. Anyway, if the game-play will difficult for you, there is a “magic key” for the invulnerability – F12. Using this mode will not affect your progress but we recommend to finish all three campaigns without it. Our crush-team did. And the last thing – NEVER FORGET TO RETURN TO THE “BATTLE MODE” WHEN YOU ARRIVE MISSION AREA.

Critical default controls you have to know.

“W” – Fly Forward
“A” – Fly Feft
“S” – Fly backward
“D” – Fly right
“TAB + W” – Afterburner Forward
“TAB + S” – Afterburner Backward

“LMB” – Primary Fire
“CMB” – Secondary Fire
“RMB” – Target Object in Reticle

“SHIFT + 1” – Increase Engine Power (affects to accelerations but lowers primary recharge)
“SHIFT + 2” - Increase Weapon Power (affects to primary recharge but lowers accelerations)

“SHIFT + N” – Switcher between NAVIGATION and BATTLE modes
“N” – cycle NAV points
“ALT + A” – Autopilot switcher (ON/OFF)

“V” – Launch countermeasures
“C” – Reset message board

1. Please, make sure you have GUI resolution 1024x768 in the LAUNCHER.
2. You can use additional flags in order to shut down the markers: "-nomarkers" disables target's and missile's markers, "-nomtm" disables only missile's markers
3. If you have LCD monitor, please remove "-ogl_rate 85" from the launcher's command line.
4. If you will install the game on Windows XP, please cut the install path up to C:\Programm Files\OpenSpce Softworks\B5TGOSMP or something you like. Don't use default long path.

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