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vgmaster

Virtual Reality Doom project.... any ideas concerning guns?

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In my Innovating Game Development course at my school, my group is doing a virtual reality version of DOOM, where we are using head mounted displays (with a laptop in a backpack) that superimposes monsters, characters and powerups in an actual room at our computer science department. My job is to do the User Interface part of the project. Our professor recommended that we purchase a gun instead of building one. It needs to have a trigger, several buttons, and force feedback. The device must be incorporated into a library to be used by the other team members who are dealing with graphics, game logic, etc.... Also, our professor recommended that we attach a camera to a gun for tracking, noting that tracking will be the hardest part of the project. What PC gun and camera peripherals are good for creating such a project? I am a little ansy about attaching an IToy, because it's kind of cheap and not entirely accurate. I have been googling this stuff, but since this is my first time dealing with UI, what sites are good resources for what I am doing? For reference, pasted below is an excerpt from our project proposal. The system will be constructed using a laptop computer, an optical see-through head mounted display, a custom-built prop weapon input device, a camera, and time permitting, a rumble vest. The laptop computer must be light-weight and fast enough to perform real-time image processing; the player will wear the computer in a backpack or harness. A head mounted display is required to display the virtual images that will be projected over the real world. In particular, a HMD with wide FOV is desirable; a smaller FOV will limit the positions that in-game entities can take. The HMD that will be used as part of this project is the Sony Glasstron PLM-A55. This model provides a greater resolution than the less sophisticated PLM-A35 model with only a modest increase in cost; the PLM-A55 offers a resolution of 180,000 pixels at 800 (H) x 255 (V). A camera with high resolution and fast frame-rate will be used to capture the position of various trackers inserted into the gaming arena. The camera used as part of this project is the Intel PC Pro. This camera offers a 50-degree field of view, 640 x 480 pixel resolution, and a frame rate of up to 30 frames per second. In addition, this webcam performs automatic exposure and focus control, helping to resolve some of the lighting and distance concerns related to this project’s tracking system. The ArToolkit augmented reality library will be used to compute the position of real-world markers to infer the position of the player; enough markers must be used so as to avoid losing the player's orientation in-game. Visuals will be rendered using ArToolkit and OpenGL graphics calls. In addition to marking the playing arena, the room must be tagged so as to allow virtual creatures to interact with it realistically. Points of entry, exit, and various spawning locations will be flagged in the environment to keep game-play consistent and convincing. These points will be loaded into marker structures for use by the ArToolkit library. The weapon prop will be multifaceted. A single trigger will provide input for firing and several buttons along the side of the weapon will handle weapon changing, pausing, and other interactions. A vibrating motor will be inserted into the controller to provide haptic feedback for when the user fires the weapon. This is my first time dealing with UI, so any assistance would be greatly appreciated! [Edited by - vgmaster on March 31, 2006 10:07:11 PM]

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The only thing I can think of that would come close to matching your requirements would be a lightgun of some sort, though I don't think you can get lightguns for the PC, you'd have to get a console one and some kind of adapter so you can plug it in to the pc. If you're lucky you'll be able to get say a PS2 lightgun with the features you need (you'd have to mount the camera seperately) and a usb adapater for it and then be able to use it via DXInput with no problems.

Building something yourself probably wouldn't be that hard, you'd just need to get some large plastic toy gun off ebay, add in a motor for rumble and a few push buttons which you could control via a very simple parallel port interface (if you wanted several rumble settings it would be harder though still pretty simple).

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Yes it is a similar project, except in their project they constructed their gun from scratch, whereas in my project I need to purchase one (my professor recommended we purchase one instead of build one) and attach a camera onto it. I have read about some cool ideas online where people have wired their Nintendo light gun to a gyroscopic mouse. If I can make a trigger click result in a mouse click, I can just use the C programming language's support for mouse clicks, in addition to the camera, to do what I want to do in the game. Am I on the right track in thinking this?

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Why not purchase a cheap USB gamepad, tear the guts out of it and stick the buttons on a lump of wood. Use that as your gun. I have never seen a gun for the PC. I think you will have to make some part of the gun.

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I second the recommendation that you get a console lightgun and a PC adapter. Then you could work with available hw/sw and not have to reinvent any wheels.

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I am going to opt for using a Nintendo gun, and soldering it to a mouse so that the trigger responds to a left mouse click.

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Quote:
Original post by vgmaster
I am a little ansy about attaching an IToy, because it's kind of cheap and not entirely accurate.

I once spoke to someone at HIT Lab NZ about their AR work, and if I remember correctly, I'm sure they said that they preferred the IToy because it was such good quality for the price. Not the best camera, certainly, but the best value for money. From what I saw, it seemed to be fine for tracking (they also use the ARToolkit). On the other hand, most of what I have seen them do involved tracking targets that were typically about 6 inches square and within maybe 8 feet of the camera, so for your application it may not be so good.

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