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Kiel368

[UNCONVENTIONAL] SharpFury Battle Hungered: World's first aviation video game in REALITY! - Feedback needed

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Hi,

What if you couuld have the most realistic physics and graphics in your video game? Why would we create virtual environments? They are already there, outside the building! For the first time, me and my team are going to use what nature's created to create a tank/aviation video game! Meet the SharpFury Battle Hungered.

 

Here's a little description of what we're gonna do:

 

Imagine you had a model/rc aircraft. If you wanted to fly it, you'd most probably experience some common problems including very limited control range, unrealistic controls, limited functionality and fixed first-person-view (if any). And, after all, how long could you just fly around doing circles around where you're standing?

We are going to change all that! Meet our upcoming Battle Hungered drones line featuring control over the Internet (yes, it's proven to be working), connection to your phone, computer, TV or anything else (the magic of Unity 3D smile.png ), user interface like in some famous video games e.g. War Thunder or World of Warplanes and immersive flying experience using Oculus Rift virtual reality googles! Be like a real pilot, with real controls and real sensors including GPS, airspeed and altitude all packed into a nice carbon fiber airframe. Don't worry if you're just a beginner, our virtual flight instructor will surely help you and prevent the plane from crashing.

But the best comes next: what if you could stick an ASG (Air Soft Gun) rifle to your plane? And what if you had a super-advanced sensor surface covering your plane and the software was smart enough to detect hits on your plane's different modules and simulate damage? What if you could battle with your friends even over thousands of kilometers in reality? That is the heart of Sharp Fury Battle Hungered. Take a Google Map of your surroundings and turn it into a virtual battlefield! Use special editor to create spawn points, bombing targets, drop zones, cap zones and more! Then invite your friends and let the battle begin!

So, you guys - gamedevs, are the first group of people I'd like to ask for some feedback as you probably understand me best. Write your comments and PLEASE take a very short survey here (very important to me, will take you like 30 seconds, I know, it's not suited for gamedevs): https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WCKS99Y

Looking forward to hearing your feedback. biggrin.png Thanks guys!

Kiel366

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Thanks for the responses you have already given.

One thing came several times: the legal aspect. Thanks for pointing that out, I'm gonna consult it with some experts.

Still waiting for some more feedback!

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This idea is interesting, but I think you will find yourself in a serious legal situation if you tried to release something like this to the public.

 

First of all, the FAA is likely to shut you down before your first drone gets off the ground. I don't think drones with weapons are allowed in civilian airspace.

 

Even if you could somehow overcome that hurdle, what would happen if a drone ended up injuring someone or destroying someone's property?

 

You may find that you are liable for damages in these cases.

 

There is also a flaw with your game design. Someone who wants to fly a drone and bomb targets can already do that by joining the military. I think most people want their gaming to be free from real-world consequences like people getting hurt, or being out $1000 because you crashed your drone. The main problem here is that you are talking about a remote control program rather than a game. It may be fun, but so is flying a real plane. 

 

It might be better to take out the weapons part and just have players fly through objective regions, etc. Or make the weapon entirely virtual. For instance, you could use GPS + accelerometer + camera data to check LOS between any two planes and then sync that with the time in which a player "fires". That way, there are no actual projectiles physically flying around.

 

This does not address the problem of crashing, of course. I'm not sure if there is a decent solution to that. Auto-pilot is fine, but wouldn't be guaranteed to prevent crashes. You would have to have some sort of insurance, which sounds insanely expensive. 

 

Good luck on this idea, and I'm sorry about all the bad news. 

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Well, we are considering laser weapons as well that are much much cheaper and the sensor surface for detecting hits actually exists and we wouldn't have to build it from scratch, but laser has two major problems: the projectiles fly in a straight line and at the speed of light, so any target leading, which is actually a vital part of every dogfight is out. :-( But, ok. Give me some more feedback so that I can improve the idea.

 

BTW: Can't I just put in my license agreement that I do not take responsibility for any damage caused by malfuction and improper flying? (like in a wrong place, or dogfighting over a street full of people) I cannot really control what all my customers are doing. Isn't it the same as if I was selling knives? Used improperly or just by accident they can be dangerous too!

 

Is airsoft actually considered a weapon?

Edited by Kiel368

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Well, Airsoft weapons can be pretty powerful (deadly), so it is definitely a weapon. Lasers have a similar/worse problem. Even if its Class I, the fact that it is aircraft-mounted makes the FAA really nervous. I remember reading a news piece where a man was facing life imprisonment for pointing a telescope laser at a jet that was flying overhead. No one was hurt, but they dropped the hammer on him pretty hard in terms of legal issues. Granted, in this case he was clearly behaving inappropriately, but it is something to consider. 

 

As the manufacturer/purveyor of this product, you would not be directly liable for the actions of your customers. However, all it takes is for someone to get hurt or maimed while "using the product normally" to then file a suit against your company. They will lose, perhaps, but you will need a decent legal team and insurance. Both of these things will end up costing more than the development of the product to begin with.

 

Virtualization would be more effective from this standpoint. The other possibility would be to limit the game to event centers like a big warehouse or stadium. That way, anyone who is inside the building can sign a release of liability. It would be indoors, so FAA doesn't have jurisdiction. Then you could even use some sort of mounted weapon (maybe like a Nerf type gun) since it would no longer be a public safety issue. Keep the drones in an area behind Plexiglas or something.

 

If you were to try to to simulate weapons using line-of-sight extrapolation, leading and such can still be possible. You can even simulate wind effects. You just have to program the software to send a particle virtually across the 3D space. Its basic kinematics, really. The hard part is setting up some sort of accurate integration scheme (since even a single frame may end up to be too long). You could just do a series of ray casts as well, to simulate an arc.

 

The more I think about this idea, the more it seems like there are really too many competing products that are similar. For instance, I know a place around here that you can fly a real simulator (with controls and everything) for like $100 for 3 hours. That would be a lot more fun than flying a drone. The only thing better is flying a real plane. I'm not really a plane enthusiast, but I think having phone-app controls would rather kill the experience even if the graphics were literally photo-realistic. 

 

Just my thoughts. This is more business than game design, though.

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Well, I guess you're right, although FAA is a US organisation and there are still a lot of countries where there even is no law regarding these issues or it is not forbidden to do such things.

I wouldn't say Asg is deadly. When I was playing it I took several 300FPS hits and it wasn't even all that painful. We're talking about 6mm plastic bb... and a laser diode bought for 1$ at tme? It has like 50 m range!

Someone in the survey told that what we're building isn't called a drone, but a multicopter. For clarification: this is gonna be a normal fighter airplane like e.g. the mustang.

And the lag issue: there will be no relay through any official server! Modem-modem 3g connection's ping is about 160-200 ms, which gives 80-100 ms one way. Lte connection cuts that in half.
And if you have a broadband connection for your cobtroller device, again cut in half.

According to various feedback sources, we will need to change our plans to get funding and start the company for good. What would you say for everything the same (oculus and stuff), but without hit sensors and weapons for now? Like virtual Google Map battlefield would still be in use as a racetrack, checkpoints, whatever, time&scoreboard for completing tasks? but no shooting? (And after that is sold come back to combat?)

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I could see crashing as being a pretty serious issue. Who pays for the damage?

 

If it's you, then you are out a ridiculous amount of money and therefore have to charge equally ridiculous rates. If it's the customer, it will significantly affect the value of the product. I don't think anyone would play unless they already had (drone) flight experience.

 

It can be called a drone, since it is a remote operated aircraft. Whether it is like a plane or helicopter or quad-copter, or hot air balloon. You don't have to call it a drone, that's just the most broad umbrella term for all of those types of aircraft.

 

I like your idea sans combat. 

 

I would still gear this in the framework of a competition. Maybe an annual or semi-annual event where a bunch of people get together at a park or other public place, pay a fee, and one person walks away with the winnings minus your cut. This could be really fun if you have 10-20 people racing simultaneously. If it's just you and that one guy across town who also bought the aircraft/game, it would get old pretty fast. Especially if you have to fly across town before you can even play, and then back again. Seems like battery/fuel would be a problem here as well.

 

There are a lot of snags to work through. Are you sure you are committed to this?

 

I don't want to discourage you, and if this is a burning passion or dream for you, I hope you really do succeed. That said, for this particular idea, if I were you personally, I would probably put this one on the back-burner. It sounds like a nightmare to try to ship a game on time and work out the logistics of safe and legal aircraft operation all at the same time. I do wish you the best of luck, though.

 

Of all things, the technical challenges of controlling a plane by internet connection are minimal, I will grant you that. The only issue is with people with bad internet. Period connection drops would mean you or the customer has to shell out hundreds of dollars every time it happens. 

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Thanks, so I see the best I can do is sell unarmed drones, but with the same capabilities (using virtual battlegield as a race track for example) and organize sone events.. seems pretty cool. Maybe I'd be even possible for people to play remotely on my own flying area. Like you sign up on a website, check your connection and provide some kind of piloting skills proof (might be a test flight in my old, slow indestructable foamy), choose your opponent or even it is chosen randomly for you and at the specified time you fly & fight.

Addressing the crashing issue: at every point in time, pilot can turn off simulated damage and battle related stuff. But of course from the battle's perspective it is as he has bailed out. Looses the battle. Connection loss can also be resolved: the plane isn't blind. It can fly for itself untill connection is regained, or even return to the last place, where it'd good sinal strength. In the most extreme cases, it may shut down everything, switch on external Gps (with its own long-lasting power source) and deploy a kind of parachute or maybe attempt to land.

Thanks for the feedback. It's getting more and more possible to implement.

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