Frequently Asked Questions

You've got questions, we've got the answers! Ask us a question not on the list here!

General

Question: What is 'The Babylon Project'?
Answer: The 'Babylon Project' is a group of dedicated individuals who are trying to bring the essence of Babylon 5 space combat to FreeSpace 2, an award winning space combat simulation from Volition Incorporated.

Question: What's involved in the process to bring Babylon 5 to FreeSpace 2?
Answer: There are alot of things involved in bringing forth the experience so many people want to have and that were trying to deliver. There are modelers, sound artists, texturers, writers, and general designers and management people who are all working together to make the project work.

Question: How long has the MOD been in development? Why is it taking so long?
Answer: The MOD has been in development since October 1999. The reason for the lengthy build-up period is because the project started as a gleam in Reaperman's eye and has since expanded and gained the popularity of hundreds if not thousands of people. Some of those people have joined us along the way and we hope more offer their unique talents as time passes. Conversion of anything to FreeSpace 2 was largely an unknown when the project first started and building models for Babylon 5 presented their own unique challenges.

Question: What future plans do you have?
Answer: As of "Release 3", we will be moving from a standard mod to a full stand-alone total conversion, independent from FreeSpace 2.

Question: What exactly do you mean by stand-alone?
Answer: The Babylon Project will use the improved FreeSpace 2 engine by The Source Code Project. Also The Babylon Project stand-alone will include the minimum required files from FreeSpace 2, so you're able to play The Babylon Project without FreeSpace 2 installed. Original FreeSpace 2 campaigns or other mods however will not work, unless these other mods have been specifically made by remaining FS2 files in mind.

Goals

When we started this project, we were looking to make a small modification to FreeSpace 2 and give FreeSpace 2 fans the ability to fly the StarFury and fight against other Babylon 5 inspired ships. But the conversion has taken on a much larger role. With the cancellation of Babylon 5: Into the Fire by Sierra, some regard The Babylon Project as Our Last Best Hope to fly the StarFury.
- IceFire

The above statement holds true. Our mod team has been actively engaged in attempting to establish the models, textures, sound effects, and tools to help us make an awesome total conversion as well as bring fans of Babylon 5 a space sim experience that they will not soon forget.

Here are our goals:
  • To provide a space sim experience using the FreeSpace 2 engine and incorporating the Babylon 5 universe
  • To give the player the ability to fly many Babylon 5 universe ships including the StarFury, Thunderbolt, Frazi, Sentri, and Nial
  • To incorporate the sounds and feel of Babylon 5 to give players the experience of flying and fighting in historic recreations as well as new battles

It has not been an easy task and many things have come and gone. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. The MOD is always in a perpetual state of change and our plans have been restructured several times. However, we have held true to our vision and Babylon 5 in the FreeSpace 2 engine is coming.


Gameplay

Question: What ships will be flyable? Will we be able to fly the Whitestar?
Answer: Most of the major races fighters will be flyable and will include icons and weapons graphics in the mission briefing screens. That means that you'll be able to fly everything from the Aurora, Badger, and Thunderbolt StarFury types to Narn Frazi's, Minbari Nials, and Centauri Sentri's. Also the Narn Gorith and the Centauri Rutarian from B5 Wars will be made available. The WhiteStar is a ship that almost everyone wants to be able to fly, however, it may be difficult to make it flyable. The BlueStar, seen in Babylon 5's last episode, which looks very similar to the WhiteStar, will be flyable.

Question: How will weapons be balanced with ship durability? Will enemy fighters be destroyed with a single shot?
Answer: The Babylon Project has been balanced similarly to that of a tactical shooter game. Although your fighter will take a number of hits from many types of weapons, your ship has only a thin layer of shields (we like to call this a structural integrity web) to project from small shockwaves and typically cannot take more than a few hits from weapons. Using your wingmen and friendly capital ships in many missions is a near requirement and most manuvers must be considered carefully. The Babylon Project largely features fun over being completely faithful to the show but we try and strike a fair balance.

Question: Will there be missiles?
Answer: Thirdspace showed us that missiles can be used on StarFury's and we already knew that Thunderbolts and Badgers carried missiles to compliment their primary guns. There are several kinds of missiles that will be available to the players depending on the race of the ship. Missiles are for use at medium to long range and the balance is still in favor of gun combat than missiles. Babylon Project missiles tend to require more accuracy than FreeSpace 2 missiles so shoot carefully.

Question: Will there be new sound effects and music?
Answer: Samples from the show, video games, and our own mixes are used throughout Babylon Project to create a Babylon 5 like atmosphere. Several samples of music from Babylon 5 have been mixed into the game as well using the games required audio quality.

Question: What flight style will be used? Newtonian or WWII Dogfight?
Answer: The FreeSpace engine does not have the ability to do full newtonian flight models so we will have to be using the standard physics model. Ships have some slight slide effects to the ships just to give them a bit of a different feeling. Source code additions will eventually add several newtonian like manuvers to the mix but we'd like to keep the relative feel of the game the same.

Technical

Question: I am recieving an error message that looks like this:
Error: Invalid weapon name.
In sexpression:
( when
( true )
( good-secondary-time
"Friendly"
100
"Cyclops"
"Belisarius"
)
)
(Error appears to be: Cyclops)
File:C:\projects\freespace2\code\Mission\MissionParse.cpp
Line: 3552

Answer: You need to go into the Campaign Screen and change your campaign to The Babylon Project Supported campaigns. FreeSpace 2's main campaign will not work with The Babylon Project installed.

Question: In some missions when a ship docks with another ship, the docking ship gets thrown several thousand kilometers away. What happened?
Answer: This is an error in the model and its defined docking ports. The model will undobutedly be fixed so be patient.

Question: I've got a bunch of Babylon 5 models. Where can I convert them?
Answer: In all but the most rare circumstances, models created without regards to FreeSpace 2's necessarily picky model system will not work in FreeSpace 2. The time spent to fix a model submitted like this is usually longer than making a new model from scratch, so please do not submit models that have not been build according to guidelines. A short guide on how to make models for FreeSpace 2 may be posted in the near future.

Question: I can't download the files from any of the servers. What should I do?
Answer: Usually when FilePlanet or 3DDownloads says it can't find the file, it usually means that the file is unavailable because too many users are logged in. Try again at another time to see if you can get the file.

Question: The game crashes when loading a mission or inside a mission.
Answer: Its very difficult to track down most of these errors. Typically they are limited to a single machine and its usually related to drivers and/or operating system. Some suggestions have been posted on the forum and may be useful in discovering the problem.

Question: I have a slow connection. Can you burn me a CD and then mail it to me?
A: That is not our policy and will continue to be. We're confident that people will be able to download or aquire the MOD using one method or another.

Question: Why can't you solve my problem? Why are you not answering my e-mails?
A: We're just fans and while we do have alot of technical skills, we can't provide much more than any other computer savvy user can. We're not trained technicians and we can't always help you. If we haven't answered your e-mail, there could be any number of reasons why. If your asking a question, its probably been answered before on the forum. Save us time by checking there first. If its a problem, we may not have a solution. Finally, we may just not have time in the day, there is only so much we can do. If we can help you, knowing your processor speed, video card, ram memory, version of FreeSpace 2 (there are several versions now available) and any other relevant details can help us greatly.

2000 The Babylon Project, except where Babylonian Productions, Interplay, PTEN, Sector 14 Studios, Sierra, Sonic Images, TNT, Volition and Warner Bros may apply. All trademarks are copyrighted to their specific owners.