Friday, 1 October 2010

It's live!

GE Flight Simulator, the beta version of a new online Flight Simulator, based on Google Earth.

It's been years (6 I think) since I released the Sportstar Simulator. Overall, the game was running well and was fun to play. A lot of people enjoyed it very much: a fan even released a Youtube video of it :) Sadly, the big plans (more planes, worldwide scenery, etc.) I had in mind never came to exist, mostly due to lack of time and use of an outdated technology.

A few months ago, I stumbled upon "Ships" from PlanetInAction and realized how suitable the Google Earth plug-in would be to build a flight simulator, quickly, while enjoying the fantastic scenery it can provide.

So in the free time left to me between a full-time job and new dad responsibilities, I managed to put together a beta version for people to try out.

Here is a short list of the features already implemented:
- Worldwide scenery, thanks to Google Earth
- Three aircraft (The original Evektor Sportstar, a Piper J-3 Cub and a Cessna 172)
- Real-time physics
- Some (very) minimalistic weather simulation
- Sound and animated parts (trust me, this was non trivial using the GE plug-in)
- Joystick support, through this excellent browser extension
- (Basic) multiplayer

The GE-Flightsim will require a fast PC and a good graphic card in order to achieve comfortable performance: on my 2Ghz Dual Core + Gforce 9600 it runs a 60FPS but on my Celeron laptop with shared graphic chipset I only get 6FPS



Plenty of things still have to be fixed or improved:
- Collisions are not right and lead to jerky behavior of the plane on the ground (especially at low frame-rate). I am working on it.
- The model orientation runs into a gimbal lock situation under certain circumstances (90 degree tilt) hence the weird barrel roll the plane may do in that case.
- Building collisions are not realistic.
- and the list could go on forever...

I definitely need input from users in order to improve the GE Flight Sim and aim in the right direction: let me know what you think so I can improve it in future releases.

I am soon planning to open up the aircraft library to the public so people can create and add their own models. More to come on that subject in this blog.

Have a nice flight!

X.

6 comments:

  1. This thing is wicked, rock on!

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  2. Hey Xavier i got a quick question for u
    why did you get rid of the cessena 172 we got 0.6 now

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  3. @Anonymous: The Cessna was model was not really good and I had to prioritize development. I may add it back again later.

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  4. Oh..... thanks for answering anyway also can you add a sonic boom when you break the sound barrier when going strait down in the alpha jet from at least 50000 feet?

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  5. Thanks for putting it back in again

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  6. Can you add a passenger aircraft? Example 777,737 etc / a airline for passengers?
    Thanks

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