I am delaying the release of the early access version of Aquila to complete OpenVR support, as completing that allows me to iron out issues arising from the Oculus libraries and SteamVR. Thank you for your patience!
About the Game
Have you dreamed of what it would be … to soar like an eagle?
Aquila Bird Flight Simulator lets you experience soaring bird flight using the Oculus Rift headset (OpenVR support is coming!). You embody one of three species of eagle flying over either Northwest Scotland, a part of Columbia, or Graham Island in British Columbia. This is designed as a soaring simulation, and as such you can make use of ridge lift and thermals.
Proceeds from this project help towards bird of prey conservation at a major bird centre in Hampshire, UK, where I do voluntary work. Supporting this project helps towards vital conservation, rehabilitation, and education schemes throughout the UK and overseas. So on behalf of the birds, and the staff, thank you! 🙂
To change default options for the Unity player, hold CTRL after launching the game.
– Dude you’re an eagle! Three species of eagle, the white tailed sea eagle, the bald eagle and the harpy eagle.
– You have thermals and ridge lift to make flying easier. Thermic lift is marked with coloured markers (red for down, yellow for neutral and green for up). Wind direction and speed can be set on the main menu. Wind direction is indicated by particles that drift with the wind; they can be tricky to see as I don’t want them distracting.
– Free looking in VR, and movements are reflected in your shadow. At the moment, if you look behind you it will let you look through yourself and it’s not pretty!
– Simulates an 8kg bird with a 2.5m wingspan. The species you pick is a cosmetic difference only at present.
– You can land and take off, and walk around on the ground. There are no trees to land in. Sorry!
– Very high detail 13km x 13km for Northwest Scotland (plus an extra 13km lower detail each side for extra horizon). There are two additional terrains in Columbia and British Columbia, of equivalent size.
– Day/Night cycle using UniStorm.
– Two demo courses on the Scotland terrain, simply there to show a good way to soar the main ridge, and give a start and finish goal challenge. They’re not to be taken seriously, and are designed for the default wind direction.
– Observer mode: The in-flight menu allows you to select a view that is displayed on your main pc screen while you play in VR. This can impact performance, but allows people not playing to watch your flight.
– Non-VR … the game will run without a VR headset connected, and defaults to a chase view. However I’d encourage VR use please as that’s the point!
There are various control methods:
– Oculus Touch … use your arms as wings. I recommend the default bird, the White Tailed eagle, for this. HEALTH WARNING: It’s not easy and your shoulders may get a work out. Please view the manual.
– Xbox360/One controller … the original control method before Touch was released.
– Headset steering … you can tilt your head left and right to steer, while up and down controls pitch. The Remote or your Xbox controller flaps. Again see the manual.
– Keyboard … for the desperate.
Like many VR flying apps, this can be pretty intense. In particular for the Oculus Touch, but generally recommended, I would suggest you play sat down. It is enjoyable stood up, but I’ll let you be the judge of whether you’ll fall over or not. To reduce the impact, I’d recommend gentle gliding flight with the default options (wind at 230 degrees) on the ridge you overlook on starting. You may have to turn left to see it, but it’s massive. Wind direction is indicated by particles that drift with the wind.
This is a relaxing soaring simulator. These are pretty large terrains, and you’ll glide at about 30mph, so when you’re high up you can seem to be moving slowly over the ground. Fly however you like, but I plan to add a stamina level for any non-touch control method to encourage some efficient flying!
– Currently ugly if you look behind you, if you don’t move your own head up, as you’ll look through yourself!
– (GRRRR) If you fly too fast, you pitch down. It’s controllable, and rare now thankfully, but it will do it.
– If you get too slow on a loop, you waste lots of height recovering. That’s possibly not a bug.
– You can’t currently ‘trim’ in pitch, although you can fly just fine without.
– The flapping doesn’t look quite right for the white tailed sea eagle, but it’s done with maths not the Unity animator.
– The white tailed sea eagle does not have a ground walking animation. Please see the manual.
– Observer mode does not output sound to your normal pc speakers, if you are using the Rift headphones.
– (PARTWAY THERE) More dynamic landscape with things to do of course (challenges).
– Trophy/achievement support.
– (PARTWAY THERE) Maybe one large landscape, or many smaller ones. I’d love to be able to add more trees!
– (Plan in motion!) Perhaps multiplayer, or motion platform support a la Birdly. I have approached Somniacs….
– Survival simulation? Weather, defending your territory, nest provider, etc.
– Oral tutorial, perhaps from another bird flying nearby. That sounds like a right can of worms….
– (in progress) Flight assistance, particularly if you’ve never flown anything before.
This game is not finished, and is under early access. It gives you a flavour of what to expect, and an opportunity to report back with bugs. Please do report back with any issues you encounter; it helps me make it better! This is my first Unity app, first Oculus app, first Touch app, although I am not new to coding.
Thank you for looking!