VR Helicopter is a project in collaboration with Visual Scale. The aim was to develop a graphically ambitious VR helicopter simulation in combination with an as much as possible realistic flight behaviour and a dynamic helicopter transport system. The user controls a Eurocopter H135 with a THRUSTMASTER T.16000M Flight Control System, consisting of joystick, throttle and pedals, while he has to accomplish transport tasks for a base camp in an icy region. The project was developed with Unreal Engine 4 and for the VR target platforms HTC VIVE, Oculus Rift and Samsung Odyssey+.
The responsibilities of LinkRealities included 3D Asset Creation/Optimization, the animation systems (plus rigging), the dynamic cockpit displays including radar minimap and monitoring camera, dynamic shader development, the helicopter flight behavior, input mapping, the transport system as well as the transport objectives, the software launcher and the VR Pawn setup.
The helicopter flight behaviour and the dynamic transport system are physically based. This enables the consideration of different physical forces such as ground effect, weight, gravity, or effective translational lift (ETL). The steel cable between the helicopter and the transport magnet can dynamically be lowered down or pulled up, whereby its shader takes the resulting distortion of the UVs into account and corrects it. The radar minimap is generated once as the scene got loaded and allows to display one or more objectives as POIs (Points of Interest). In addition, the map can be used according to personal preferences as »Gaze Oriented« or »North Oriented«.