Monday, September 20, 2004

Heads Up: Babylon 5 Starship Commander Tactical Simulator

(And we will be referring to this one as B5: SCTS in the future.) Thanks to Darkblade at the HLP forums for pointed out the existence of B5: SCTS, a freeware game in the style of Starfleet Command. The developer is Carlos Bott, a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Maryland. I contacted him for futher information (including whether the game was still in development), and here's what he had to say:

The game is definitely in production. I just coded the jumpgate and jumpgate vortex effects, and am currently working on a planetary atmosphere glow effect.

The game's idea is based upon Taldren's Starfleet Command Series. The B5: I've Found Her Fighter Simulation was also an inspiration for the project.

Since re-starting the program in June, I have changed the graphics engine from TrueVision3D to Conitec A6 Game Studio, due to better and advanced graphics possible with the engine (particle, vertex and pixel shaders).

I have most of the Babylon 5 ships from the Babylon 5 Wars board game (from Agents-of-Gaming) models converted for in-game use. I have used the Homeworld B5 mod as a starting point for the models, but will use models provided by DamoclesX (doing the B5 Starshatter Mod), and by Atherohaven. I have coded basic navigation within a system and have begun programming on the ships systems (some ships having up to 24
weapons hardpoints alone). I will be using RazorAI for my AI system once that AI package is released. There will be an alpha test, which is about six months away - primarily due to my Computer Science teaching duties with the University of Maryland, followed by a private beta and a public release. A non-Babylon 5 version generic combat game is also a possibility.

We'll keep our eyes on this one and continue to report as it progresses. Thanks to Carlos for the quick response.

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