Written by Phil on . Posted in Latest

If you discount the crap title (Enya song every time I see it) this simulation of sailing on the oceans of the world is a bit of a dream game come true for me.

I used to work in a brewery…………side note, my second name is Brewer and I was a Brewers Assistant making beer in the Brewing department. The job had my name written all over it. Anyway, I used to work with this guy who we used to call the hippy. He had his sailing masters certificate and a million other professional qualifications that allow him to deliver yachts all over the world; which is what he does now for a living.He used to talk about sailing with such enthusiasm during our shifts that you couldn’t help but get swept along with it all. Previously I had done a bit of sailing with the Royal Marines when I was based in Cyprus but this was low-key introductory stuff.

This really had an effect on me. My affair with the seas extends to sea kayaking now but I always yearn to go further. Money, job, life simply won’t allow it unless I become completely wreck less. So this simulation which allows you to sail the world’s sea and oceans using real-time weather should in some way fill a tiny portion of an otherwise large gap in my life. In Sailaway, the oceans of the planet have been recreated with unparalleled accuracy; making a trip across the Pacific can take months, just as it would on a real boat. With a persistent online world, adjust your settings and your boat will continue to sail even if you aren’t online. Receive updates via email as your boat continues its progress.

I can’t wait to get it.

Onwards – VR

Written by Phil on . Posted in Virtual Reality

I have had my head quite literally in the world of VR gaming for the last few weeks. I have got over the initial motion sickness and have no problems with that at all.

Onwards is a first person shooter that has become very popular with Vive and Oculus users. It’s in early access like most games these days. The best way to describe it is Counter Strike on Crack. When you get the main menu you have the option to go to the shooting range to try out all the weapons. Here you have the classic  range with targets and a few rooms and open areas to try out your pistol drills. The use of the weapons using your own hands is brilliant. You have to go through the actual motions to change the magazine and get a round in the chamber. Using grenades is equally realistic. Pulling the pin and lobbing it wherever you like with as little or as much force as you need to works really well.

The servers are mostly busy and it’s not hard to find a match. Most people are cool but it’s the internet so you get the usual teen muppet. Apparently bots are going to be added in future updates for a more co-op experience and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.

Steel Division

Written by Phil on . Posted in Articles

This looks interesting. Steel Division  Normandy 44 (yep, another title with the word steel) made by the same guys who made the Wargame series. My heart sank a little when I heard it was being developed by this company simply because it will probably be the same with a WW2 coat on. That’s great for some people but not me. However, when I started to read about it, they were saying things like “Fewer mouse clicks per minute” and “more tactical elements”.

Anyway, just a heads.

FSX Virtual Reality Video Overlay

Written by Phil on . Posted in FSX, Virtual Reality

To use Virtual Reality in FSX you need to install a program called Flyinside. This alone is an incredible experience. The program also allows you to import any window. So I imported a video and it works really well. I have loads of training videos and I used to use multi monitors to fly the simulation and watch the videos at the same time. This though allows you to watch the video from within the cockpit.

I made a very short video to try to demonstrate this.

It’s always hard to get across just how good it is to actually feel like you are sitting there inside the actual cockpit. The sensation is something I thought I would never experience. It also makes everything easier. Turning switches, setting flaps, reading the dials all enhanced. When I fly and look out of the window in a turn, you get that vertigo sensation in your stomach. The inner ear is being tricked so well it has a physical impact on your senses.


DCS Virtual Reality – Oculus Rift

Written by Phil on . Posted in Virtual Reality

My PC is just over 3 years old and at the time of buying it, it was far from a high-end machine.

  • i7-3770K (3.5GHz)
  • GTX 680
  • 8GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD

Last weekend I got the Oculus Rift with the intention of trying it on this system with low expectations and then upgrading my gfx card next month to a GTX 1070. When I set it up I jumped straight into DCS and dropped myself into the cockpit of the A-10C. I was blown away! “Dad stop swearing!” my daughter shouted as I was trying to describe the sensation of actually being there.

And that’s the point I was sitting inside something I was so familiar with. I know this cockpit but I had never sat there inside it. I could look around and see the detail that went into every switch and knob. Everything is huge. I had no idea how big these planes were or how big in scale the cockpit was. Taxing out I had the canopy open and felt the urge to put my arm on the side to rest, but of course it is not there.

Flying, I was breath taken and I really mean that in the physical sense. I was saying out loud “WOW!” “WOW!” “WOW!”

I had toned down the settings and had the pixel slider set at 1 but it still looks good. It looks awesome. I do get times where I get motion sickness from a low fps but most of the time it is fine and it gets better the more you do it. You adjust to it and I feel ok now after a week.

I can’t wait to get the new gfx card. This really is a game changer for me. This is a bigger leap than Track IR and I won’t fly these wonderful modules in any other way.