October Update

Quick update.  Things have been quiet over the last few weeks as I have been relocating.  The new office is finally set up and work will resume!  Visually there isn’t a huge amount of progress to show on the cockpit model (although it has been populated with a bit more detail), but the important thing is… Freedom 7 flies!  Here is a shot through the porthole just after the turn around maneuver.

The next stage this week is to upgrade both Unity and the Oculus Runtime… something will break, we just don’t know what yet!  But better to get things updated to the new oculus drivers asap to keep compatibility once the consumer version is released.

Getting closer to lighting the candle on the demo!

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Things are getting cramped!

A very pleasant afternoon today concentrating entirely on the cockpit model.  Still a lot more bits to add… but things are really starting to get cramped in there! (particularly in the Oculus Rift).  Really makes you feel for how claustrophobic these capsules were for the pilots who flew them to space!

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Picking up the pace!

All areas od development are advancing nicely at GFL: Mercury.  The first physics test, surface to orbit transition, sound implementation and a very cool new atmosphere are just some of the things that have happened over the last fortnight!

In addition to these engine refinements there has also been some progress on the interior modelling of Freedom 7!

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Little Blue Marble

Took a break from working on what’s inside the capsule and took a look at what’s outside!

Up to this point test builds have simply used a flat image of Earth as part of the skybox.  Well not any more!  Some pictures of the new work in progress 3D earth as it rolls under Freedom 7.  I was particularly pleased to see how it looks (and more importantly, moves!) in the periscope.  I was able to pick out the same Islands that Alan Shepard did (or would have, if he hadn’t forgotten to remove the filter!).

I’m really beginning to see why later capsules had the large overhead window, you can hardly see a thing out of the tiny portholes on Freedom 7!

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Let there be light!

If there’s one thing any good spaceship has plenty of it’s lights and switches!  Mercury is certainly no exception.

Made some real progress today modelling and implementing the signal lights and toggle switches.  These are still decorative at this stage but will eventually function correctly in each variant of the Mercury capsule.  The process of laying out this panel is painstaking, particularly as I chose to begin with Freedom 7 (Alan Shepard’s historic 15 minute flight) which is one of the less well documented craft in terms of cockpit layout.

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Cockpit and Periscope Development

Here are a couple of work in progress shots of the interior of Freedom 7.  Still a lot of detail to be added such as the lights and switches but as you can see the overall space is taking shape.

One particular instrument that has been causing some headaches is the iconic Mercury periscope, specifically how to get it to display an authentic, realtime view on the dashboard.  After a great deal of experimentation I think you’ll agree the finished display is looking rather good, and works as it should showing a refracted view of the planet below.  Other features such as dynamic lens distortion (linked to player head movement), reflection and realistic glass really add to the effect.

More pictures to come soon as this environment is worked on!

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All systems go!

Go For Launch: Mercury

Welcome to the new website for Go For Launch: Mercury, a fully immersive and interactive simulation of America’s first manned space program.

Go For Launch: Mercury is currently in development and will include;

  • Full support for Oculus Rift (or monitor)
  • Accurate and detailed interiors of each variant of the Mercury Capsule
  • Accurate and detailed models of the Redstone and Atlas rockets
  • Detailed, interative flight controls
  • A full set of accurate, playable missions

A short demo will be published in the near future. Watch this space for further developments!

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