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Submitted by Matthieu Laban, posted on February 23, 2005




Image Description, by Matthieu Laban



I've been a flight simulation enthusiast from the first day I got my hands on a copy of flight simulator 5.1 back in 1995. I started coding one or two years after but my experience in this area never allowed me to even start to think of doing such a thing as a flight simulator. Things have changed since then and with the help of stuff like C#, Managed DirectX and ODE, it has become easier to do things like flight simulator games!

Last year, with a lot of time ahead, I decided I would try to write my own flight sim. The result 9 months later is far beyond what I thought I could do. The flight model is not the most accurate ever, but the feeling of a flying aircraft is there. So far, the aircraft can roll, take off, land, stall Ö The physics are based on ODE, used through a simple Managed C++ wrapper.

An ATC system has also been implemented, itís very basic now, but AI Aircrafts talk on the radio and do actions according to whatever they are told by the ATC controllers.

For the terrain, I have written a shader that allows for more realistic ground rendering especially with the fog effect. The sky rendering technique is also based on a shader that calculates at runtime the color shades to apply based on the position of the sun and the haze level.

This project is far from being finished and a lot of work remains to be done.

If you want more information about the making of this project, Iíve written a bunch of articles on my blog in the Flight Simulator Project section. They cover various aspects of the project and the problems Iíve been facing along the way. Several videos are available as well as loads of screenshots.

Matthieu Laban
http://msdn.labtech.epitech.net/Blogs/matt/


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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
 
Rhinoid

February 23, 2005, 03:29 AM

very impressive for 9 months work.

 
Victor Widell

February 23, 2005, 04:07 AM

Can you blow things up? That's what I miss in the MS version...

 
Matt

February 23, 2005, 04:23 AM


Victor Widell wrote: Can you blow things up? That's what I miss in the MS version...


For now no you can't, but i'm thinking about it, i really liked the way you could break your aircraft apart in Flight Unlimited 2&3.

 
Danny Chapman

February 23, 2005, 04:29 AM

It does look nice.

Incidently, none of the image links on your webpage (e.g. things like http://msdn.labtech.epitech.net/Blogs/matt/gallery/image/292.aspx) work - at least with Firefox, and some other things are broken too...

 
Matt

February 23, 2005, 04:49 AM



Danny Chapman wrote: It does look nice. Incidently, none of the image links on your webpage (e.g. things like http://msdn.labtech.epitech.net/Blogs/matt/gallery/image/292.aspx) work - at least with Firefox, and some other things are broken too...


sometimes when the window is too small, the picture goes down under the menu on the left, maybe that's the problem, otherwise i don't know what's going on, it's a standard .text blog here.
I don't appear to have any problems with any of the links though ...

 
Danny Chapman

February 23, 2005, 05:11 AM



Matt wrote: sometimes when the window is too small, the picture goes down under the menu on the left...


Ah yes - there it is!! Wouldn't say 1280x1024 is too small though...

Cheers - Danny

 
Rui Martins

February 23, 2005, 06:15 AM

Is there a downloadable demo ?

I really prefer do download a demo instead of movies.
I prefer the interactive way 8)

 
Matt

February 23, 2005, 06:28 AM



Rui Martins wrote: Is there a downloadable demo ? I really prefer do download a demo instead of movies. I prefer the interactive way 8)


Nope, there is no downloadable demo available yet. Soon :P

 
Morten Bendix

February 23, 2005, 09:40 AM

First of all, nice work!

Emergency landings (with no wheels down for example) is something I've always missed being able to do in flight simulators. That would be really cool.

Also, about the ground textures. Are these copyrighted? (I'm guessing not)

 
Francois Richard

February 23, 2005, 11:39 AM

Really nice work !

Do you intend to release this game as an open-source project or is there a commercial motivation behind this ?

Will you add network support ?

 
Morgan

February 23, 2005, 03:11 PM

How did you render the ground texture? Even given your detail textures, the ground looks incredibly high resolution, with hundreds of roads and buildings clearly visible.

-m

 
Matt

February 23, 2005, 03:22 PM



Francois Richard wrote: Really nice work ! Do you intend to release this game as an open-source project or is there a commercial motivation behind this ? Will you add network support ?


There is no commercial motivation behind this, for now at least. It's just a personal project. I don't think it'll become an open-source project though.

About the network support, i will certainly add it in the future.

Thanx for your comments ;-)
Matt

 
Matt

February 23, 2005, 03:29 PM



Morgan wrote: How did you render the ground texture? Even given your detail textures, the ground looks incredibly high resolution, with hundreds of roads and buildings clearly visible. -m


The ground textures are high definition satellite photos. There are no optimizations for rendering it faster other than using dds compressed textures.

 
ReaperUnreal

February 23, 2005, 03:42 PM

Are those volumetric clouds? Or did you just use a couple of noise functions to make some billboard textures?

 
Matt

February 23, 2005, 04:35 PM



ReaperUnreal wrote: Are those volumetric clouds? Or did you just use a couple of noise functions to make some billboard textures?


I didn't spend much time on the clouds so they are just simple billboards :-)

 
Matt

February 23, 2005, 05:08 PM



ReaperUnreal wrote: Are those volumetric clouds? Or did you just use a couple of noise functions to make some billboard textures?


I might also add that i'm using my laptop to code this program, so i'm very limited in term of shaders and other CPU/GPU intensive stuff

 
Martin Bell

February 24, 2005, 06:18 AM

Hi,

Looking good!
You say you used ODE in there. I've been looking to integrate a physics sdk into a huge world for a while now...
How big is your world, and did you have any issues integrating ODE?

Cheers,
Aph

 
Matt

February 24, 2005, 07:14 AM



Martin Bell wrote: Hi, Looking good! You say you used ODE in there. I've been looking to integrate a physics sdk into a huge world for a while now... How big is your world, and did you have any issues integrating ODE? Cheers, Aph


The world is pretty big actually and i've had to tweak ODE parameters to make it work ok. I talk about ode issues in my blog, especially for the step functions that i had to change to avoid instability issues.

Matt

 
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