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JetPack Races (updated)

Krisper
Level 2
I would like to share my first Oculus Rift game, JetPack Races. I really have no idea what people will think of this, I built my JetPack a while ago and enjoyed flying around Tuscany and the Destroyed City so I thought I would add a bit of a challenge to it and add in some time trial racing. It is modeled on the Bell Rocket Belt and it uses Physics to fly, I think it would be pretty true to the real thing.

I have used the Unity Island Demo for this, which is far from perfect as the water does all sorts of weird things, but I wanted to share the idea to see if anyone thinks this might be worth me continuing to develop it. You'll have to excuse my very basic modelling skills.

You can play this with or without the Oculus Rift, although the immersion of the Rift makes it a lot more fun. It can also be controlled with keyboard, XBox Controller and the Razer Hydra. Using the keys is difficult, the Razer Hydra is the most realistic, but the easiest is using the XBox Controller.

If you use the Razer Hydra it is best with the Base set up to one side. I find it easiest to start with the controllers off the base, start the game and you will be prompted to point the controllers at the base and pull the trigger. First check which joystick moves the player, I prefer the left joystick for this. Swap the controllers around if you need to and then point and trigger the controllers to set them. Look down and you will see the hands, put your hands in a similar position on your body and press each start button to activate the hands. The prompts to do this disappeared for some reason.

The first thing you need to do is to sign up by entering your name into the console, with the hydra you can touch a key with your hand to press it, without just look at the keys and the current one will highlight. Type a letter by using the mouse button, A button or Hydra right bumper. Hit the Enter key on the console to finish and your JetPack will be ready on the starting pad.


Move over and position yourself with the JetPack at your back and hit the M key, the A button or the Hydra right bumper to put the JetPack on. This will also start off the starting sequence. Wait for the start signal before taking off or you will stop the start sequence until you land back on the starting pad.


The aim is to fly through the gates around the course as fast as you can. The gate positions make it pretty obvious of the correct course, but it doesn't really matter about the order, as long as you fly through them all. There is a penalty for any missed gates. The race is finished when you land back on the starting pad.


The Scoreboard will hold the top 10 scores so see how you go πŸ™‚


JetPack Controls
Keyboard
Space bar - thrust.
W - forward
S - back
A - strafe left
D - strafe right
Q - rotate left
E - rotate right.
X - reset controls.
The movement keys do nothing unless you are applying thrust. This makes it hard with the keyboard as you don't always want full thrust so you will need to tap the space bar as you fly around. Take care with the rotate keys, the rotation continues until you undo it with the opposite key.

XBox Controller
Right Trigger - thrust
Left Joystick - forward, back and strafe
Right Joystick X Axis - rotation
This is by far the easiest control system.

Razer Hydra
Once you are wearing the JetPack move your hands close to where the handles are, or where it is comfortable to control. Pull both triggers to grab the handles.
Right Trigger - thrust
Once you hold the handles move your hands towards you to fly forward, away from you to fly back, to the left and right for strafing.
Rotation is done by moving one hand away from you and the other towards you. The JetPack handles should move in a similar manner to your hands. You will often need to reset the controls, move your hands back to the start position and pull the left trigger to reset them. This is definitely the most realistic of the controls and once you practice a bit it is pretty easy to fly through the gates.

So let me know what you think, is it worth continuing to develop this?

Edit: New version available for download.
Changes include:
    on screen instructions
    ambient sounds
    more spectacular collisions


I looked at improving the Hydra controls, but each time I tried it with the base in separate places it seemed fine to me. Hopefully the instructions in the beginning will help with working them out.
Download here, Windows 32bit only at the moment.
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/42318389/JetPackRaces.zip
19 REPLIES 19

Anonymous
Not applicable
"Krisper" wrote:
"nerocom" wrote:
I tried this several times.. got into the jetpack after entering my name (and hitting enter). Nothing happened. Just sat there but nothing beyond that.


That's odd, did you get to actually wear the JetPack, you will know because you get a helmet with a HUD on it. Once that happens the Start Gates come up, and then a few seconds later the count down begins. Did you see any of that?

You should be able to fly the jetpack without the race starting too.


Hmm. I just rebooted and no dice. I am able to put the jetpack on, but, no HUD comes up. Basically if I look down it looks like I have a white beach ball instead of a body.

Also, after putting it on, the controls are standard FPS, walk jump etc, no flying.

Anonymous
Not applicable
Okay, I know what I did wrong. I wasn't setup with the jetback exactly behind me. I thought I did but if you're not lined right up, it does the issue I mentioned before. Once I figure that out, it's a lot more fun πŸ˜‰

Krisper
Level 2
"nerocom" wrote:
Okay, I know what I did wrong. I wasn't setup with the jetback exactly behind me. I thought I did but if you're not lined right up, it does the issue I mentioned before. Once I figure that out, it's a lot more fun πŸ˜‰


OK, I will make it easier to put the JetPack on in the next update.

I also apologise for the lack of in-game instructions. I was trying to avoid any visual prompts that would not be visible if this was a real simulation.

whoisonline
Level 3
"Krisper" wrote:
"whoisonline" wrote:
Jetpack races is great, I attempted with the Hydra, but I think theres something wrong with my setup right now, so I just used the xbox controller, but its definitely one worth trying with the hydra again coz this one is fun.

And the potential is great, so I hope you keep working on this one, possibly multiplayer? flying loops in the air?

Anyone else having issues with the hydra setup? I can go backwards easily enough, but forwards is hard, the xbox controller is fine too, but if the hydra configuration is sorted out properly, it would be even better.

I look forward to some updates.

I've posted on : http://virtualreality.com.au/2013/08/18/demo-jetpack-races/

Thanks for posting about this on your blog. Looks like you had some fun flying around.

You jumped the gun on the start though, when the red lights come on it means you false started, so I think you might have missed all of the gates being activated. They fly on jets too.

The hydra controls definitely needs work, I am so used to having the base just to the right of my laptop, I really need to test out other positions for it. I will work on that as a priority for the next update I do.

Multiplayer is definitely what I had in mind for this. I think that would make it a lot more fun.


No probs, get demo.. yep . i jump the gun heaps ..lol i need to try this again but knowing what I'm doing.
I like the intro to the game, but I think alot of users are getting lost not knowing what to do .. but the jetpacks are good on xbox controller. cant wait to see what you do with this .. i look forward to your updates .. thanks again for sharing.

Anonymous
Not applicable
"Krisper" wrote:
"nerocom" wrote:
Okay, I know what I did wrong. I wasn't setup with the jetback exactly behind me. I thought I did but if you're not lined right up, it does the issue I mentioned before. Once I figure that out, it's a lot more fun πŸ˜‰


OK, I will make it easier to put the JetPack on in the next update.

I also apologise for the lack of in-game instructions. I was trying to avoid any visual prompts that would not be visible if this was a real simulation.


Oh you're fine, I'm just used to walking up to a tank in BF3 and jumping in, but honestly beyond that it was a no brainer to figure out.

Krisper
Level 2
I have updated the game a little, see the OP for details. The new version is here https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/42318389/JetPackRaces.zip

Next I'll look at getting some multiplayer happening. Might take a while as I haven't done anything like that before.

Kayasaya
Level 2
Need graphical improvement, but the programming is pretty awesome, its a good project, loved it.

Krisper
Level 2
"Kayasaya" wrote:
Need graphical improvement, but the programming is pretty awesome, its a good project, loved it.


Yeah, my modelling skills are pretty poor, I think the JetPack is OK but the gates are terrible, and the rest is from the Unity island demo. Glad you liked the game though.

Gateshot
Level 3
Did the update break the xbox controller? Turning (right stick) not working for me anymore.

Krisper
Level 2
"Xemakon" wrote:
Did the update break the xbox controller? Turning (right stick) not working for me anymore.

Shouldn't have, will check it out as soon as I finish work.

EDIT: Works OK with the xbox controller for me. Not sure why it wouldn't for you. Maybe I need to look for other joystick inputs and implement them, I look specifically for the XBox 360 for PC.