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Of disappointments gone by....

Hadn't seen these before. Live action shots from Sierra's "Into the Fire". What might have been. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Hail to the Chief! (and the Chief's women) /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Live from Geneva...

A little blue screen work.
These represent the last images of our beloved B5 castmembers taken to date.

"Into the Fire" was the Babylon 5 PC simulator game that was being developed by Sierra Games. As part of the game, live action footage was shot of President Sheridan, Delenn, Lochley, Ta'Lon, Lorien and a very large cast of supporting actors.

A demo of the game was unveiled at the E3 gaming conference in 1999 and was a big hit. Things looked great for more B5, but as usual, Babylon 5 always gets screwed (see post of same title).

Sierra faced financial difficulties, reorganized, laid off dozens of programmers, and cancelled a few projects - including the 90% complete multi-million-dollar-invested "Babylon 5: Into the Fire".

There was an attempt by an independent group of programmers to purchase the materials and finish the game.

They were our last best hope. They failed....
Oh, that's why I don't know about it. I never paid much attention to the gaming stuff, never got into it myself. But I thought it sounded good for the gamers. And a way of keeping B5 in the public eye, especially for younger "viewers/gamers".

I do remember hearing of a B5 game that got cancelled. Sorry to hear the project is, definitely, dead now. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
The music wasn't bad, either...

Oh, you're just making me feel sniffly, B5_O.

What was the plot of "Into The Fire" going to be? Do we know?

*takes a look at her fanfic and grins evilly*
That I don't know, Channe, but the script was just over 100 pages and was written by Christy Marx (Grail).

JMS had said, however, that you weren't confined within a rigid storyline. For example, he said you could launch an attack on the Drazi Homeworld if you wanted to, but you might pay a heavy price for your actions.

Damn it all!
Here are some more pictures from the game that never was. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif








I still have one of the promotional "3D" mouse pads that Sierra was giving away after they cancelled the game. It has the shot of the destroyer and escorts emerging from the jumpgate. *sigh*


<sigh>, Into the Fire <sigh> Crusade <sigh>

I have nothing to show for the game (as in physically). Just 192 pictures and 7 video clips. Man i wish the game had come out.
Wouldn't it have been "cheaper to keep her?" so to speak?

I mean MILLIONS invested and nothing to show for it?

Were they worried about profits from sales?
If so not releasing it at equals 0 potential profits and a guarantee of losing your entire investment...
Why not finish it and "cut the losses" as much as possible?
All that money and time was already "spent", it made absolutely no sense to simply abandon it...

I have to be missing something...

{Sigh indeed}
We're always left scratching our heads aren't we?

I too, got the mousepad. But I also got a cool silver watch with a shadow ship on the face - all for the cost of shipping.

I had seen a lot of material for this game, including that great trailer, but this was the first time I had seen any of the live action shots.
Wouldn't it have been "cheaper to keep her?" so to speak?

That assumes that you have enough cash (or credit) left to still be able make your payroll (and rent / mortgage payments, etc.)

If you don't and really must layoff a large percentage of your developers then you choose the projects that are best to continue (either closest to market or best projected cash flow / profit, or some combination) and provide what support you have left to those. Any others fall by the wayside, regardless of what your lost investment is or any other considerations.
One of many disappointment for us B5 fans when will it end ? *sigh* Crusade *sigh*Rangers *sigh*The Sierra Game Does it ever end ? /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

Oh gosh, that's a beautiful sight, all those Earthforce ships in stunning detail. Would have looked gorgeous in MOTION on my monitor, too...
Re: Projected cash flow

With Warner Bros apparent surprise over the successful release of the Season 1 DVD, it's clear they underestimated the B5 market.

I wonder, if they ever did change their minds, whether they could still go back and get Sierra to complete the game.
Re: JMS posts on the situation

September 21, 1999

Yeah, I got word of this today from one of the developers on the game; apparently the problem is two-fold: 1) because Sierra has taken so long to get the game out, it has become expensive, and the additional million bucks used to relocate the facility north (and everyone involved) was charged against the game, and 2) they made a deal with WB for X number of games in Y years, and they've chewed up most of that time already, and WB is (I'm told, haven't had a chance to verify this yet) loathe to renegotiate since it's now taken --what?-- three, four years to get this first game out.

There's rumors that another studio might be interested in picking it up and finishing it off -- it was literally inches from being finished, and it's a spectacular game -- but again that's only rumor, I don't know anything beyond that.

(The game would have allowed players to go through all of the major wars of the B5 universe -- the Dilgar War, the Earth/Minbari War, the Shadow War and the Earth Civil War -- with a chance of affecting the outcomes and dealing with the
temporal stresses caused by that.)


October 20, 1999
This got sent to me from someone who got it off the Wired.com site...figured folks might be interested.

'B5': Back B4 U Know It?
by Andy Patrizio

3:00 a.m. 20.Oct.99.PDT
The dedicated fans of a game based on the Babylon 5 television series are doing their level best to find a new home -- and life -- for their favorite pastime.

When Sierra announced in September that it was killing off three games -- including "Babylon 5: Into the Fire" -- as part of a massive reorganization that included 105 layoffs, angered fans went bonkers.

"A lot of people wanted to take out the Sierra servers and do other things to try and take Sierra out of the business," said Kevin MacNeil, aka Drazi Guy, one of the three coordinators of the FirstOnes.Com, a fan site that had been following development of the game.

"It took about a week to get everyone under control and to get ourselves coordinated and decide what direction we were going to head," he said.

The plan was to spread the news of the game's demise to every gaming site and Babylon 5 fan out there. It proved to be an effective tactic.

One editor for a gaming publication said he'd received more than 2,000 emails on the issue. Wired News has also been flooded with feedback from upset B5 fans.

Another target was game developers, and that campaign has also paid off.

"There are four companies who have shown interest in purchasing B5. We are now in discussions with all of them," said Dave Williamson, Sierra's senior vice president of business development. "Some have reviewed what we've got and some
are in the process of scheduling meetings with us. So, we are actively pursuing the opportunities."

The B5 team members, who were all laid off together, bonded quickly with the FirstOnes crew. "They have been a great help for the team as far as morale, when it all first happened," lead programmer Dan Foy said.

Foy has been in the games industry for 10 years and has never seen anything like the FirstOnes' effort. "The show's popularity is certainly a part of it," he said.

Another reason for the loyalty is that the developers took an active role in the FirstOnes forums to discuss nuances of the game. "People really enjoyed participating with us and took it more personally when the project was cancelled," said Foy.

Even though the B5 team has a good severance package from Sierra, the crew is eager to renew work on the project. Foy said they need a pretty clear picture on a possible buyer within a month or they'll start losing members to other jobs.
At that point, a new team will have to be rebuilt, which would delay the game even further.

He described the game as 65 percent complete. The engine is pretty much done, but artificial intelligence and some missions still needed work.

The FirstOnes faithful continue their work as well. A Web ring dedicated to spreading word of the game and trying to find a new publisher has sprung up. So far it has 16 member sites. Petitions to find a new publisher have almost 600 signatures, and the message board on FirstOnes.com has 700 users posting to it.

How long will they carry the torch? "We're going to hold out until the development team has moved on to other projects and there's no hope left," said MacNeil.

It looks like I overstated the percentage of completion for the game.
I remeber the last time I went to Gen Con they had a demo of the game. The details on the ships were great and from what I saw it had maybe only a few months left for them to finish the development. Too bad Sierra canned the whole thing, and I do believe they drop B5 because they weren't sure how well the sales for said game would do. Too bad they didn't make it a public, they would have realized that a lot of people would have purchased the game. But I do think the game was further than 65% complete when I was at the convention.