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Topic: Flight model for new helicopter game< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
joncoughlin
(HC716JO)
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Joined: June 2017
Posted: June 06 2017,03:10

Hi, all

I found Hovercontrol in a google search. I am a game developer and I'm a couple weeks into a project that I hope to turn into a commercial video game. Here's my most recent progress gif:

https://twitter.com/ClickToZoom/status/871830743810486275  

I am making a helicopter flight sim inspired by Sim Copter (a game I was obsessed with in my youth). The presentation and tone of the game will probably be lighthearted, but I would like a range of flight models from full-arcade to full-simulation (within reason).

I was an aerospace engineer for 8 years and my specialty was flight simulation, but I did mostly fixed-wing and missile sim development, so rotary-wing flight dynamics are new to me.

Can anyone in this community point me toward good resources for developing a standard flight model for helicopters? I should be able to handle full aerodynamics and control systems literature, so don't be afraid of technical depth. I have paged through the FAA Rotorcraft handbook and I'm looking at picking up some textbooks, but I'm so new to this stuff that I don't really know where to start.

You can find more of my games here (and I post progress gifs on my twitter handle):

www.joncoughlin.com
www.twitter.com/clicktozoom
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Bluebottle
(HC154BL)
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Group: Certified Pilot
Posts: 3360
Joined: Jan. 2004
Posted: June 06 2017,11:51

As a priority I would determine your target audience.

Simmers don't tend to use video games (I have never owned one and I am not unusual)
Gamers tend not to use simulators - the learning curve is tedious and realistic flight is boring (no "crash and burn" or shooting)

Microsoft attempted to appeal to both markets with a product called "Fly" and it was disastrous even though the base platform was free and the dynamics were heading in a good direction.
.
The exception being a few warfare gaming platforms, particularly the  DCS franchise that offer good physics/systems and gameplay.

I'll pop back if I can think of a good reference work

Good luck from a fellow developer.

From a pilots perspective, good on concepts but short on maths:
"The Helicopter Pilots Manual - Vol.1 Principals of flight and helicopter handling" by Norman Bailey.  Published by Airlife Publishing


--------------
Mark Adams     U.K.    Hovercontrol Certified Pilot

Bluebottle: Flying insect with unsavoury habits,
incapable of flying in a straight line, often lands inverted.
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joncoughlin
(HC716JO)
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Posted: June 06 2017,13:43

Thanks for the advice. Our target audience will be gamers, and our focus as a team will be on designing a city full of interesting architecture and fun characters. There is a hole in the market for a lighthearted helicopter sim, and our development budget will be small enough that I think we have a business case assuming we make a good game (I'm expecting this to sell in the $15-$20 range).

I plan to design a career system for progression that allows players to pick up contracts at their discretion, earn money, and eventually use that money to purchase new equipment (helicopters, payloads, etc). Again, Sim Copter is a major influence - it was a game more focused on the career of piloting than the mechanics of it - but I would like our game to include flight models with varying levels of realism, and my dream would be to include a full-simulation flight model with autopilot assists to scale difficulty.

I have left our design space for contracts/missions as broad as anything real helicopters do right now. Taxi, policing, reconnaissance, heavy lift, and movie shoots are a few easy ideas.

I certainly don't expect to make a simulation that competes in realism with the software you all use and contribute to, but I hope that by engaging you early I might be able to design some aspect of the game to appeal to your enthusiasm. At a minimum, I don't know anything about helicopters or piloting, so I have a lot to learn, and you are the crowd to help me understand the culture and the intricacies of the machinery :)
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Kota
(HC539KO)
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Posted: June 08 2017,02:13

I'm a simmer, a gamer and a real world private pilot fixed and helicopter. I would love to play your game! Best Wishes!

--------------
Hovercontrol Bell 412 PE
Dodosim Advanced Bell 206Blll
Dodosim Bell 206 FSX
Dodosim Huey (soon)

X-Plane V9
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joncoughlin
(HC716JO)
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Posted: June 08 2017,20:36

Quote (Kota @ June 08 2017,02:13)
I'm a simmer, a gamer and a real world private pilot fixed and helicopter. I would love to play your game! Best Wishes!

Awesome! I will be creating a development log at TigSource in the next couple days for this project. I'll link it as soon as I do for anyone who wants to follow along.

Also, I'm still looking for a good book on rotorcraft dynamics and control. I am mainly concerned with damping and induced forces and moments. I'm assuming they're different than with fixed wing aircraft. Here's an image from "Airplane Flight Dynamics and Automatic Flight Controls" by Jan Roskam that hits my desired fidelity:

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joncoughlin
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Posted: Aug. 11 2017,17:38

Hey again :) have a gif!



I'm working with the company "Flippfly" on this game, now. We haven't publicly announced the game yet (it still doesn't have a name) but I'm pretty excited with our progress (7 weeks now).

I am in charge of the helicopter dynamics, and while they won't ever approach realism, there is at least some solid physics underneath every part of the game :D

Here's a link to the gif library if you'd like to see more of the project: copter game gif library

Let me know if you have any thoughts, or if you'd be interested in beta testing for us. I really want some feedback from the simulation community.
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