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 Have a Rift? Try Space Station Explorer - sorta playable 
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:38 am
Posts: 252
Ok, I have no game building skills at all. This is the first game-like thing I have built since copying BASIC code from magazines on my Commodore 64 at age 8.

However, I figure those who already have their Rifts (like me!) are itching to try anything Rift compatible, I know I am! I was expecting lots of dumb Unity rooms and hills to run around in, but none have arrived. So I built this. ISS Explorer:

Download link: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9415628/ISS_explorer.zip

At the start of the experience you will find yourself atop a small platform above the International Space Station (free assets on the Unity store). Have a good look around. Look at you hands and note you are wearing an EMU:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extravehic ... ility_Unit
Then fall off and drift by the ISS leisurely. It's a pretty amazing structure. I'm pretty VR acclimated since I've had my Rift for a week, but your vertigo mileage may vary. Gravity is turned down very low, so it is a slow fall. Look back up at the platform you fell from.
Finally land on a large platform below the ISS. From here you can get a good look at it. There is even a Russian Soyuz docked and a fellow astronaut. I recognize this experience is totally lame (I built it in one evening with zero experience) but with the Rift, it really brings home the scale of the ISS. It is HUGE! I never really felt how big it was before today, and I worked on it!

Eventually, I'd like to turn this into a full blown EMU/ISS simulator. I already work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, so I will probably demo the Rift to some folks there. My dream project would be to implement space tele-presence using the Rift.

Anyway, let me know what you think. It runs at a steady 60FPS on my machine, but I have a Geforce 670.
Any advice on the following would be appreciated
(1) How can I make the player fly in Unity? Like noclip mode. I'm not afraid to dig into the scripts if needed.
(2) How do I make a nice space/earth background? Can I copy and edit the skybox from the Demo?
(3) Anything else.

If you think this is too lame to even post, also let me know!


Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:04 pm
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Cross Eyed!
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:04 pm
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Location: Indiana
This may help your question or not I just googled it. I am no programmer.

http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/18410/walkthrough-fly-mode.html

I tried your demo out. It is cool falling slowly. The scale of the EMU is large you may already know this. Great job for one night and no experience.

Are you using the Unity trial or what?

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Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:12 pm
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:38 am
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Sweet, I got a mention in Bloody's review on 3D Vision Blog.
http://3dvision-blog.com/8873-my-first- ... ment-23390


Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:27 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:55 am
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Yep, that article brought me here. I've downloaded your level and eagerly await my kit to try it out. I'd love to see NASA get on board with your idea and, if not tele-presence, at least create realistic virtual constructs of the ISS and the space shuttle for us to explore. With a nice Blue Marble skybox or google earth rotating outside the window. I'd also love to see the stars done accurately as well, by which I mean have the stars appear as they would from orbit with no atmosphere to quiet them.


Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:06 am
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Petrif-Eyed
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:23 pm
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Location: Irvine, CA
I liked it quite a bit. That thing is big!

Just goes to show what an important potential tool this could be for all types of structural designers and architects. You can show people drawings and blue prints all day, but you could never convey the sense of space and scale without actually building something - until now.

I just recently went through the process of searching for a home and while I got "ok" at visualizing a home from a floorplan my wife just can't do it. Even with just quick mock-up graphics, this type of thing would be revolutionary for architects, home builders, real estate agents, etc to quickly allow laymen (and women) to visualize floor plans.


Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:50 am
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Binocular Vision CONFIRMED!
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Joined: Sat Dec 22, 2007 3:38 am
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@brantlew There is definitely a market for architectural visualization using the Rift. The sense of scale and presence makes a huge difference. Autodesk may already be looking at integration into their products (such as Revit).

However, it may be easier to just export the solid model from CAD and import it into Unity or UDK.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to work on the Space Station Explorer more this week.


Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:21 pm
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:50 am
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rmcclelland, I just wanted to thank you for the cool demo and the motivation to try my own! I just received my Rift a few days back. I think a virtual tour of the ISS with the Rift is a great idea and who knows what it could become. I'd love to help you with the project if you are interested in the help and interested in the developing the project further. I was a former intern at Langley and of course am passionate about all things related. Please PM if you are interested.


Wed May 01, 2013 6:46 am
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One Eyed Hopeful

Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:36 am
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Location: San Francisco, CA
@brantlew As an architect, I'll say the Rift has definite potential. I've shown it to most of the people in my office, and we've already modified one of our existing Unity walkthroughs of a maintenance facility to work with the Rift. The sense of understanding you get with it is incredible, and we'll definitely be using it with clients. That said, I imagine it'll be 10-15 years before most of the industry actually uses this stuff on a regular basis : P Architects are notoriously inept when it comes to getting outside of business as usual, (though the exceptions will be amazing).

Autodesk integrating it with their products would be great, but considering the fact that on a better-than-average workstation with a moderately complex project, Revit will give me roughly 1 FPS (if I'm lucky), I'd say it'll take them a while to get it done. Maybe someone will make a decent viewer and they'll buy it and tack it on the side : P


Wed May 01, 2013 8:52 am
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Certif-Eyed!

Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:10 pm
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Itinerati wrote:
@brantlew As an architect, I'll say the Rift has definite potential. I've shown it to most of the people in my office, and we've already modified one of our existing Unity walkthroughs of a maintenance facility to work with the Rift. The sense of understanding you get with it is incredible, and we'll definitely be using it with clients. That said, I imagine it'll be 10-15 years before most of the industry actually uses this stuff on a regular basis : P Architects are notoriously inept when it comes to getting outside of business as usual, (though the exceptions will be amazing).

Autodesk integrating it with their products would be great, but considering the fact that on a better-than-average workstation with a moderately complex project, Revit will give me roughly 1 FPS (if I'm lucky), I'd say it'll take them a while to get it done. Maybe someone will make a decent viewer and they'll buy it and tack it on the side : P

The benefits of showing off the final product to customers are clear. How useful do you think it is during the design process itself? Would being able to walk around in what you are designing be a huge help, or do you get so good at visualizing based on the blueprints that it is less of a leap than people may think?


Wed May 01, 2013 11:02 am
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