Virtual Reality & FSX

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DC1973
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Virtual Reality & FSX

Post by DC1973 »

Hi folks,

I've been a fan of MAIW for a long time, but was saddened recently to read of the closure of ACG, as the team there had done such a tremendous job of building spectacular sceneries for FS9 and FSX. I have no way of contacting Steve who ran the site, and so post this here in the hope that he will hear of it.

Last year, I purchased an Oculus Rift DK2. To say that the experience of Flight Simulator is transformed in VR is an understatement to say the least. As a PPL in real-life, I can honestly say that while using FSX on a monitor is no real comparison to real world flying, using a VR headset is actually better than real life flying ( no restrictions, any aircraft is fair game, etc ). I fly on-line quite a bit with a military VA, and a Typhoon in VR blows away a Piper Warrior in real life!

I post this here because I wonder if Steve and the ACG team have ever been able to view their creations in VR, and whether the experience would re-ignite their enthusiasm for this pastime. I lived at RAF Coningsby from 1990 - 1995 and often stood by the fence at the BBMF hangar on DogDyke Road to watch the Tornado F3s on the OCU pan. Just the other week, using ACG's Coningsby, Daryl Payne's F3 repaints and the MAIW Tornado F3 package, I was able to relive those moments in VR and it provoked the most remarkable sense of melancholy nostalgia. I really felt as though I was 17 years old again!

If you haven't yet played FSX in VR, you haven't seen it at all, it's that good. I do hope that, if possible, the ACG team are able to view their wonderful sceneries "full scale" in VR and see that Flight Simulation is about to enter a new golden age. I'd hate to think that they walked away from the simulation game without ever knowing how incredible this new tech is, so if you read this please do pass it on to John Young or Stevo if you know him.

The software to make the Oculus Rift work with FSX / P3D is called FSX FlyInside, and the Oculus is commercially available from late March onward, although I pre-ordered mine and apparently it won't arrive until June. A DK2 still does a great job though and can be picked up second hand these days as production of them has now ceased.

Cheers
DC Designs

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John Young
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Re: Virtual Reality & FSX

Post by John Young »

Thanks for your kind comments DC1973. Some of the ACG designers are continuing their work - see Lakenheath for example on this forum and the ACG files are being hosted here too. I'm as busy as ever working with AI.

Sounds interesting, but I don't think I could justify a VR headset. I don't do enough flying to warrant it because I spend most of my sim time designing. It would cost me around £120 to see if I liked the option and that's not a gamble I really want to take. I suppose it's no different to wearing a helmet in a real jet, but I'm not sure about half a kilo on my head for an hour or more.

John Y.

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DC1973
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Re: Virtual Reality & FSX

Post by DC1973 »

John Young wrote: Sounds interesting, but I don't think I could justify a VR headset. I don't do enough flying to warrant it because I spend most of my sim time designing. It would cost me around £120 to see if I liked the option and that's not a gamble I really want to take. I suppose it's no different to wearing a helmet in a real jet, but I'm not sure about half a kilo on my head for an hour or more.
John Y.
Hi John,
The headsets weight next to nothing, honest. Trust me, one go of one of these headsets and you'll never look back. It's very hard to put into words how good it is, but an example would be those little white cumulus clouds you see floating past when flying about in "Fair weather" settings: they're the size of a matchbox on the monitor. In VR, they're the size of small towns. Likewise, because the VR headsets provide stereoscopic vision, if you're afraid of heights in real life you'll be afraid of the height in FSX. A 500ft drop in VR really is a 500ft drop, as far as your eyes and brain are concerned.

Try to borrow one if you can - believe me, you won't be disappointed. Also, if you're getting 20 fps on a monitor, the Oculus software will give you 60 fps ( I'm not kidding, they call it asynchronous timewarp or something ) so performance actually increases inside the headset, as long as you don't over do it on the detail settings.

I'm starting to sound like a sales rep for Oculus or something so I'll leave it at that, but do try and have a go of one in the shops when they appear commercially - I think that'll be enough to convince you of how wonderful your sceneries and AI look in VR.

Thanks for so much wonderful scenery and AI! :)
DC Designs

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