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Titans of Space - A Guided Tour (Original DK1 version)

drash
Level 7
NOTE: If you are looking for the new version (with DK2 support), please see this thread instead.

I noticed some recent comments about wishing for an astro-educational VR experience, or wishing to be able to fly through the Solar System, etc. It is nice to see comments like that, because right now I am releasing my first space-themed VR project called "Titans of Space".



Overview:

Titans of Space is a short guided tour of a few planets and stars, the point of which is to give the player a sense of scale of just how big these planets and stars are compared to each other.

It's not meant to be realistic, but more on the surreal holographic side. Everything you see is shrunk down to 1 millionth of their actual size, which means you will see Earth as a 12.7-meter-wide holographic ball, rather than the giant 12756km-wide ball of rock that it is.

Although the tour is on rails, you can proceed through it at your own pace. The controls are very simple as there are merely five things you can do during the tour:

  • Look around

  • Zoom in on things

  • Read the tour guide panel in front of you

  • Rotate a planet or moon (when the option is available)

  • Proceed to next tour stop whenever you're ready

Titans of Space supports several forms of input: Oculus Rift, keyboard, mouse, Xbox 360 gamepad, and Razer/Sixense Hydra.
Once the tour is underway you don't actually need any of that (aside from the Rift) unless you wanted to zoom in on something or fiddle with options.

There is a lot of information presented before the tour starts but you don't need to remember any of it.
All of that information about controls and options (and more) are accessible at any time during the tour, just hit Escape (or gamepad X button):


For those without a Rift, I've also included a "non-stereoscopic" option. However, please keep in mind that this VR experience is intended to be experienced in VR the first (and only?) time you play through it, so if you have a Rift on the way I would simply recommend you wait to get your Rift first before trying it out. ๐Ÿ™‚

It takes a minimum of 14 minutes to blast through the whole tour without taking your time and without taking any breaks, so plan accordingly.

As mentioned earlier, all sizes are to scale (1:1000000), but distances between objects are not to scale in any way.
I tried to be astronomically correct for everything else so if anyone sees any glaring errors (within reason), let me know (at drash@crunchywood.com).

Controls:

Basic controls:


  • Show Options:
    ---- {Esc} / {Gamepad X}

  • Proceed to next tour stop:
    ---- {Enter} / {Return} / {Click Right Mouse Button} / {Gamepad A}

  • Zoom:
    ---- Hold {Spacebar} / {Left Ctrl} / {Left Mouse Button} / {Gamepad Left Trigger} / {Gamepad Right Trigger}

  • Quit:
    ---- {Q}


Advanced controls (new as of v1.37):


  • Rotate Planet/Moon:
    ---- {Left arrow} & {Right arrow} / {Gamepad D-Pad Left} & {Gamepad D-Pad Right}

  • Slow down or speed up:
    ---- {Down arrow} & {Up arrow} / {Gamepad D-Pad Down} & {Gamepad D-Pad Up}

  • Screenshot:
    ---- {F12}


Additional options (and all listed under in-game Options):


  • Toggle Vsync: {V}

  • Toggle Framerate Indicator in right eye: {F}

  • Adjust FOV: {[} & {]}

  • Toggle Anti-aliasing: {A}

  • Toggle Motion Intensity Level: {M} ('Low' is standard, 'High' has a slightly more interesting flight path)

  • Toggle Labels: {L}

  • Toggle Tour Guide Information Panel: {T}

  • Toggle Looping Demo Mode: {D}

  • Toggle Non-stop Mode: {N}

  • Toggle Soundtrack: {S}


Experimental options:


  • Toggle Dynamic IPD: {I} (This causes some planets/moons to feel larger when you get very close to them)



Setup Notes:


  • Crank up the sound or use headphones! Sound effects and music are an integral part of this experience.

  • , and makes the text far more readable. Titans of Space will automatically strip away unnecessary eye-candy in order to reach a decent frame rate (if it can), and with all the extras turned off it will still look pretty good in the Rift as long as you're downscaling from 1920x1080.

  • Do not use Vsync / "wait for vertical refresh" / "vertical blank". There are two major reasons for this:
    a. Titans of Space wants to know your true frame rate in order to adjust eye candy, at least for the first few seconds after the tour starts.
    b. Vsync is proven to double the latency in Titans of Space, and it tends to be very noticeable in this particular experience. But, after the framerate has settled, feel free to experiment to see how vsync feels for you.
    If you have fiddled with your vsync settings in the control panel for your graphics card, please go back and make sure you don't have vsync forced on:
    * For ATI/AMD users, you'll want to look in the "Catalyst Pro Control Panel" -> "3D Application Settings" -> "Wait For Vertical Refresh" setting and set it to "Off, unless application specifies" (this is the default).
    * For Nvidia users, you'll want to look in the "Nvidia Control Panel" -> "Manage 3D Settings" -> "Use the 3D application setting" (this is the default).

  • If you have a Razer Hydra and wish to make use of it for positional body tracking (for leaning in your seat), you'll have to figure out a way to affix a Hydra controller to your upper torso. After you have done so, lean back in your chair and hit the Start button on that Hydra controller (while Titans of Space is running) to start tracking your body position. (Note that you can still use any Hydra controller to zoom/advance to the next tour stop.) If you find your body position drifting, you can reset it again using Start button (when leaning back in your chair), or just stop using it by docking it back on the base station. Ensure your base station is oriented such that the cables are coming the back of the base station (more specifically, the cables should come out in the direction of your "forward" direction)!

  • Performance Requirements: DirectX9.0-capable graphics card (only tested on DX10+ cards, however). Titans of Space maintains 120-200 FPS (with maximum eye candy and anti-aliasing ON) on an NVIDIA Geforce GTX680, 30 FPS (with all eye candy shut off and no anti-aliasing) on a 6-year-old ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670.

  • Translations / Alternate English Text: Starting in v1.3, nearly all text is localizable into other languages or even just an alternate version of the standard English text. This includes planet/moon/star names, tour guide text, menu screens, etc. Spanish, German, Swedish, Italian, Czech, French, Danish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Dutch translations are available on the website. There is a text file named "tourguideV1.37.txt" inside the _Data folder which holds all of the text values used by Titans of Space, and it is simply a matter of changing those to whatever text you like. (For MacOSX, use Show Package Contents on the app file, open the Contents folder, and find this text file is *next to* the Data folder, not in it.) Anyone should feel free to volunteer their own translation by emailing it to me (along with a description of the translation and how you want to be credited), after which I will post it on the website for others to use.

    • Please note that at this time, only Latin and Latin-Supplement unicode characters are supported and a graphic of these supported characters can be viewed here.

    • There is not a lot of room for text, so be sure to check your changes inside of Titans of Space. To speed up this process, use the TAB key to quickly skip through the different tour stops. (Or use shift-TAB for even faster flights)

    • If all text shows up blank inside Titans of Space, that means you need to convert the text file to UTF-8. NotePad++ is a free text editor that can do this via Encoding -> Convert to UTF-8.

    • If you change text #124 (v1.31+), you may also want to change #125 through #132 as those are the coordinates of the "play button icon" and "Oculus Rift icon".

      • (x,y) coordinates of Play Button Icon in the main Menu: (#125, #126)

      • (x,y) coordinates of Oculus Rift Icon in the main Menu: (#127, #128)

      • (x,y) coordinates of Play Button Icon in the in-tour options Menu: (#129, #130)

      • (x,y) coordinates of Oculus Rift Icon in the in-tour options Menu: (#131, #132)

    • Between v1.33 and v1.34, the following changes have been made to translations and may need (re-)translation

      • Changed: #51, #60, #61, #73, #82

      • Added: #169, #170, #171, #172

  • Custom Soundtracks: Starting in v1.3, you can place one or two of your own songs into the "CustomMusic" folder inside the _Data folder. For MacOSX, use Show Package Contents on the app file, and the CustomMusic folder is inside the Contents folder.

    • If you want to replace the music heard while touring the Solar System, place a song named "solarsystem.XXX" into the CustomMusic folder, where XXX is any file extension corresponding to one of the following formats: Ogg, WAV, XM, IT, MOD, or S3M.

    • To replace the music heard in the "Large Stars" segment, place a song named "largestars.XXX" into the CustomMusic folder.

    • You can replace one or replace both.

    • To stop using custom music, remove these songs from the CustomMusic folder.

    • These songs will be looped.

  • Yaw Drift Correction: If you have not already calibrated the Rift's magnetometer using the OculusConfigUtil, it's important to follow the instructions at the beginning to calibrate the magnetometer for yaw drift correction. Use deliberate head movements. If you're unable to follow those instructions or it doesn't seem to be working (don't break your neck), hit ESC to skip it and Titans of Space will attempt to automatically calibrate it for you as you look around.
    There is now visual feedback as to whether yaw drift correction is working. On the left side of the tour guide panel readout, there are 3 lit indicators:

    • If yaw drift correction has been successfully calibrated, the top indicator will be green.

    • If drift correction is not yet calibrated, it will be red.

    • After being calibrated, when yaw correction is actually in progress, this top indicator will briefly be yellow.

    • The second indicator from the top will be gray until the first time yaw correction occurs and then it will stay green to let you know yaw correction has actually occurred at some point.


Known Issues:


  • If you run Titans of Space in Windows windowed 1080p mode you will probably see either see a black screen or an upside-down image. To work around this, either start it in full screen, or start it in windowed and then switch to full screen using Alt+Enter.

  • If you run Titans of Space on MacOSX in fullscreen on "Oculus Rift - Fast PC" quality level, you may see different images for each eye (black screen, missing cockpit etc). The workaround here is to run it in Windowed mode instead, or try "Oculus Rift - Slow PC" fullscreen and let it automatically increase the quality as appropriate.

  • If you experience drift, use the B key (or gamepad B button) to reset your forward direction. Drift calibration now works very well so you may not ever need to do this.

  • Visible guide paths no longer work properly.


Changelogs:

Changelog for v1.35 -> v1.37:


  • Feature: Almost everything has received a facelift of some kind (some of it is pretty subtle, though). However, the animated surface of stars has been removed as it was unrealistic and very GPU-heavy.

  • Feature: Most adjustments to settings are now saved between sessions. Hitting the F1 key will restore all settings to their defaults.

  • Feature: Some planets and moons can be rotated at will using the left/right arrow keys (or left/right d-pad buttons on a gamepad controller). A yellow icon on the right will show up when this option is available.

  • Feature: Travel between tour stops can be slowed down at will and even stopped completely. Use the up/down arrow keys (or up/down d-pad buttons on a gamepad controller). A blue line below the information panel indicates the current setting.

  • Performance: Performs better on newer computers, performs worse on older computers. Framerate is more than doubled for a GTX 680, but framerate drops to 30 FPS on an old ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3670.

  • Other minor adjustments and bugfixes.


Changelog for v1.34 -> v1.35:


  • Feature: Updated to use Oculus SDK 0.2.4. You may now calibrate your magnetometer using the new Oculus Config Util (available from Oculus as of 8/16/2013), and Titans of Space will use that instead of asking you to calibrate every time it starts.

  • Feature: Take screenshots by hitting the F12 key (useful for fullscreen modes where native printscreen tends to fail). Screenshots will appear in the app's Data folder as "screenshot###.png" where ### is a random string of letters and numbers.

  • Other minor adjustments and bugfixes.


Changelog for v1.33 -> v1.34:


  • Feature: To restart the tour at any time, hit the R key.

  • Feature: Instead of random stars in the night sky, actual stars are now used. How many constellations can you pick out?

  • Feature: Added a "Nonstop Mode", where the distracting controls and facts panel in front of you will disappear and there will be no delay at each tour stop. The player will still stop briefly at each destination, but continue on to the next immediately. This is toggled on/off using the N key.

  • Feature: Either Hydra controller may now be used for positional body tracking. Just hit the Start button on the one you want to use.

  • Feature: Updated to use SDK 0.2.3. This means more robust drift calibration and automatic usage of your IPD if you have configured an Oculus profile. Note: The profile that has "set as default" checked is the one that will be used.

  • Feature: To toggle showing the tour guide facts panel on and off, use the T key (or gamepad right shoulder / hydra button 3 or 4). This could be useful if you wanted to test yourself on the information like peeking at flash cards.

  • Feature: There are now two Oculus Rift quality levels, "Slow PC" and "Fast PC". Both will give you the exact same experience, but Slow PC will start off with no eye candy enabled and work its way up, and Fast PC will start with all eye candy enabled and work its way down. This eliminates much of the slowdown right when a tour starts for the first time on a slower computer.

  • Feature: 4x MSAA anti-aliasing can now be toggled using the A key. The screen will blank temporarily when you toggle this. 4x MSAA results in a serious hit to performance for not a lot of benefit (IMO), but the option is there if you want it.

  • Feature: To sort-of-quickly fly to the next tour stop, use the TAB key. Use Shift-TAB to do the old 1-second quick-fly feature available in previous versions.

  • Vsync seems to feel great for me now, not sure why! But, it will still be off by default so that appropriate quality level can be determined. Feel free to experiment with vsync after the frame rate stabilizes in the beginning.

  • A small number of translation file changes have been made. If you use anything other than English, please be prepared for some minor inaccuracies until the changes are (re-)translated. More info in Setup Notes above.

  • Bugfix: Turning off demo mode during the return trip to Earth would screw things up afterwards.

  • Bugfix: Turning on demo mode right after starting the tour did nothing.

  • Other minor adjustments and bugfixes.


Changelog for v1.3 -> v1.33:


  • MacOSX support. Only tested on a 4-year-old Mac Mini running Lion -- it worked but ran poorly (20-45 fps, all eye candy shut off). If it runs great or poorly for you, I would be interested to know what kind of Mac you have.

  • Bugfix: Replacing only the music for large stars segment is now working properly.

  • Small changes to make Titans of Space completely translatable.

  • Experimental Feature: IPD trickery mode. Use the I key to toggle. Best used in "high" motion intensity mode. When this is on, flying close to planets or moons will cause them to appear larger than you thought they were. This feature is undocumented inside Titans of Space, but you will know it is off if you see a red light on the lower left of the indicator light area. Once it is on, it varies from black to light blue depending on how close you are to a planet or moon.

  • Added indicator light (middle left of indicator light panel) to show what quality level Titans of Space is running at. As the quality is reduced to improve frame rate, the color of this indicator will go from greens to yellows to reds to black.


Changelog for v1.2 -> v1.3:


  • Bugfix: Yaw drift correction is greatly improved, with visible feedback during the tour. (See Setup Notes for more info.)

  • Feature: The cockpit seat's headrest has been removed for improved visibility behind you.

  • Feature: A new looping demo mode with auto-continue at each stop after small delay (use D key to toggle, demo loops around Solar System only).

  • Feature: Supports translations / alternate text for nearly all text. (See Setup Notes for info on how to create/use a translation or alternate text.)

  • Feature: A motion intensity setting has been including for those craving more a motion-intense experience. By default this is "low", and "low" mode is the same as the flight path in v1.2 and earlier. (use M key to toggle)

  • Feature: Custom soundtracks. Can replace the songs for the Solar System and Large Stars segments individually. Custom songs will be looped. Formats supported: Ogg, WAV, XM, IT, MOD, S3M. (See Setup Notes for info on how to use your own music.)

  • Feature: Can toggle soundtrack completely off, but sound effects will remain. (use S key to toggle. Note after being off, toggling back on does not take effect immediately)


Changelog for v1.1 -> v1.2:


  • Bugfix: On slower/older machines, one of the large stars stuck around when it shouldn't have.

  • Feature: Use L key to toggle planet/star labels (but you have to toggle it twice before it works, I'll fix that next time).

  • Cockpit (and your suited body) is now 20% larger.

  • Adjusted flight path round Europa & Io.

  • Made it a little bit more clear that if the user skips the drift calibration at the beginning, the forward direction may need to be frequently reset during the tour.


Tip Jar:

Titans of Space is free to use (in a non-commercial setting), but if you happen to like it a lot you can thank me (and help me recoup the cost of a Unity Pro license) with a PayPal donation:


Download links:

(The download is roughly 225MB in size. Apologies to those with slower internet connections!)

Windows:
Titans of Space v1.37 (Windows) from Oculus Share
Titans of Space v1.37 (Windows) from DropBox (Sometimes suspended due to high traffic)

MacOSX: (Tested on Lion only)
Titans of Space v1.37 (MacOSX) from Oculus Share
Titans of Space v1.37 (MacOSX) from DropBox (Sometimes suspended due to high traffic)

Linux: (Untested)
Titans of Space v1.37 (Linux) from ADrive

And, due to the graphical facelift in v1.37, it performs a little worse on older computers, so v1.35 is still available below:

Windows:
Titans of Space v1.35 (Windows) from DropBox

MacOSX: (Tested on Lion only)
Titans of Space v1.35 (MacOSX) from DropBox


All of the above information and download links are also available at http://www.titansofspace.net.
I hope someone enjoys playing this! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Titans of Space PLUS for Quest is now available on DrashVR.com
410 REPLIES 410

whoisonline
Level 3
My take on this.
One of the best ones around, and the detail is just wonderful.
Keep up the fantastic work.

I hope you dont mind, I've posted a video at http://www.virtualreality.com.au and youtube.

drash
Level 7
I'm quite flattered, whoisonline! That's actually a really unique approach to doing video reviews of Rift apps. Partway through the video it dawned on me that you're not showing a stereo-pair -- how did you do that? Also, I'm happy to see a video review that isn't full of bugs from older versions, so thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Titans of Space PLUS for Quest is now available on DrashVR.com

andyr123
Level 2
Hi drash

What a great demo. First and only demo i've tried on the Rift so far (which arrived yesterday)

The best compliment i can give you is that when i saw the quote from Sagan, i thought if he was still alive and saw this, i'm sure he would have been blown away with your work - this demo was made for him. Really, well done.

I have some suggestions! Maybe some have been suggested already

1. When in AutoPilot, hitting Enter should pause the demo. At some points i'd love to stop and take in the view!
2. If Enter is hit twice quickly (rather than the once to move on), then go back one step. Sometimes i want to repeat a bit again because its so awesome!
3. Left and Right arrow on keyboard should rotate the astronauts pod. (i dont think up and down would work). This would also be great whilst in the AutoPilot mode also so you can rotate whilst moving
4.Does the Hydra on the body allow you to rotate the pod? When i'm in a swivel chair, i'd live the hydra to allow me to rotate in my chair, which would perform the action above in (3).
5. Finally, if you could integrate the Leap to allow you to press buttons on the pods console to do some of the above then that would be truely awesome. ie show the virtual arms/hands moving so i can point at a virtual button to do the above. (or a cursor system like lunar lander so the rift moves a virtual mouse pointer when you look down at the console?)
6. Can you store the settings for Vsync, AA, fast movement mode etc?

Cant wait to show my kids..they will be blown away too - and a great way to get them interested in science.

thank you!!

andyr123
Level 2
Hi
having played around further, i think (4) would be better if it moved the chair in the pod, rather than the pod itself, leavig the arrow keys to move the pod itself. Or maybe make it optional.

Ananas
Level 2
This was just incredible. One of the first demos and one of the best demos I've tried. I have knew the sizes of Sun and other big stars, but seeing them like this really blew my mind. Text was readable, music was fitting and nice, planets looked great. This was just a perfect demo.

dplewis
Level 2
This is one of my favourite demos to show off my Rift!

Not sure if it's already been mentioned, but this week It was also featured on the TV show "Good Game" in Australia ๐Ÿ™‚

drash
Level 7
Thank you all for the continued feedback, it's very useful and encouraging! And dplewis, thanks for heads up on the "Good Game" mention, and good luck on your Shark Mountain demo. ๐Ÿ™‚

"andyr123" wrote:
The best compliment i can give you is that when i saw the quote from Sagan, i thought if he was still alive and saw this, i'm sure he would have been blown away with your work - this demo was made for him. Really, well done.

I have some suggestions! Maybe some have been suggested already


Wow, that's actually an incredible compliment. Thank you! You gave some great suggestions as well, and I've made notes on them. However, I have to tell you that I probably won't be releasing any more updates for the time being as I'm working on some big changes that probably won't see the light of day for a while. Thanks though. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Titans of Space PLUS for Quest is now available on DrashVR.com

whoisonline
Level 3
"drash" wrote:
I'm quite flattered, whoisonline! That's actually a really unique approach to doing video reviews of Rift apps. Partway through the video it dawned on me that you're not showing a stereo-pair -- how did you do that? Also, I'm happy to see a video review that isn't full of bugs from older versions, so thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚


Thanks for the experience and liking my vids.
I wanted to keep them simple and a bit immersive perhaps .. removing the stereo pair and putting me in the view helps to do the trick i think. I just get my screen recording software to just record that part of my screen.

I'm keeping my eye out for your updates ๐Ÿ™‚

mstdesigns
Level 2
By far one of the best demos on the rift out there. Would love to see more ๐Ÿ˜„
Have you considered making a much longer commercial version which would be for educational purposes?

evoh
Level 2
Hey all, I am having a bit of a problem. I tried out titans of space a few times and it was amazing. Then all of a sudden it started crashing. I have deleted and re-downloaded it, restarted my computer numerous times etc etc. but nothing seems to work. It first opens up a window that asks if I want to restore the window (not the OS) after a crash before promptly crashing again. seriously frustrating.

I am running it on OSX. Any thoughts?

Cheers,
Ben.