Friday, October 1, 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 I had in mind never came to exist, mostly due to lack of time and use of an outdated technology.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!



Anonymous said...

This thing is wicked, rock on!

Anonymous said...

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

Xavier said...

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

Anonymous said...

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?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting it back in again

Anonymous said...

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