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Ski Resort (Concept only)

KuraIthys
Level 2
I don't want anyone getting their hopes up, so don't expect to see this any time soon, but while going through things that might be interesting to do in VR, I was suddenly reminded of the skiing I used to do.

And it struck me that I could make a pretty good skiing simulator by combining stuff I now have lying around with a rift headset.

So, I thought basically of making a small ski resort, complete with a few buildings, a chairlift, (and probably a chain-lift as well), and a gentle ski slope.

(The slope is gentle mainly because real ski slopes can get to levels that are... Well, scary would be putting it mildly, but in any event while that might be fun for some people, I'd like to start off carefully until I have a better sense of what using the rift is like.)

Anyway, going up the chairlift is half the fun of skiing, and in VR should be pretty good too, but here's what I was thinking.
(This has as much to do with what I happen to have lying about as anything else)

Use a rift (obviously) with positional head tracking provided by an IR marker and a Wii remote. (I might implement alternate methods depending on practical concerns, and just for the flexibility).

A Razer hydra will be used for hand movements (alternately, wii remotes or anything similar might fulfill this role too.).
- The hydra's analog sticks won't be used for movement, although that might be a fall-back for people that don't have all the stuff I'm going to be using. - Depending on how practical the alternatives are, I might use the analog sticks while walking, rather than skiing.)

Finally, two Wii balance boards will be used to control the skis (and possibly for walking, if that doesn't feel too weird).

You might wonder why I'm thinking of using two boards... Well, it basically has to do with the physics of skiing.

A balance board has 4 weight sensors in it, and you can use it to figure out a person's weight distribution. But in principle, you can also use it to determine a degree of 'twist', since if two diagonally opposing corners have most of the weight on them, this would imply that your foot is diagonally across the board (if there's only one foot on it.)

Why does this matter? Well, control over your speed and direction while skiing can be done using several techniques.
The most basic way to stop, is the 'snowplough', which you do by twisting your legs inwards until the skis point together in a V shape.
To turn, you lean on the edges of the skis, (and possibly combine this with a snowplough to control your speed.)
A more advanced method of turning is to lift one foot off the ground, turn it, then place it down again.
(Obviously, this is difficult to do without falling over, especially at speed, and risks crossing your skis, which is pretty dangerous.)

But anyway, the ability to lean sideways independently with each foot is very important in skiing, which a single balance board cannot replicate.
Hence, I figured the easiest solution would be to use two.

Obviously, I could also implement snowboarding (which is more practical with a single balance board), but I see no reason not to do both...

It is a ski resort after all.

Anyway, as I said, this is all just conceptual at this point, so don't get your hopes up to see it any time soon, but if you like the idea (or have any comments about it), please feel free to let me know of course.
11 REPLIES 11

yubinhydin
Level 2
"Ausinspiration" wrote:
I vaguely remember on like this:
http://www.psw-leisure.co.uk/Alpine-Racer.htm

Where the feet are together on a platform which the player pivots left or right to turn. That should be achievable for a home build, but I wish I could add tilt and elevation, ideally independently for each foot.
This has me thinking now, I might have to add it to my list of things to prototype.


AWESOME Game I use to work for an Arcade Game distributor called Hagen Electronics. I was able to install and play these games all the time, Alpine Racer was AWESOME!!!

I would be willing to back a project to make this VR.

KuraIthys
Level 2
"Ausinspiration" wrote:
I vaguely remember on like this:
http://www.psw-leisure.co.uk/Alpine-Racer.htm

Where the feet are together on a platform which the player pivots left or right to turn. That should be achievable for a home build, but I wish I could add tilt and elevation, ideally independently for each foot.
This has me thinking now, I might have to add it to my list of things to prototype.


Yes... That was the kind of thing I was thinking of. It had it's limitations, but the general design of it worked really well for skiing.

"Ausinspiration" wrote:
Wow, I never considered a motion platform for a train simulator.


Heh. Well, it's partially because I've seen the simulators used by DB in Germany for driver training...

It actually seemed pretty reasonable as things go, but I still ran into logistical problems with the weight.
(The reason being that unless you crash one, a train doesn't accelerate very quickly. I figured that based on normal motions encountered by trains, 2 m/s/s acceleration would be good enough for most situations. - That's only about 1/4g...
So the angles involved, especially in the forward and backward directions don't have to be that huge...)