The Freeflight Experience is a PC VR game, meaning that it will require a VR capable desktop or powerful laptop PC to run the software, and a 6-DOF tracked head-worn VR display device to provide the visual and audio experience.
All-in-one headsets, like the Meta (Oculus) Quest may be used with a PC Link cable or Airlink (Wireless) connection to the host computer, but these headsets do not yet have the rendering performance to run the Freeflight Experience in stand-alone mode. We will continue to evaluate technological advancements in standalone headsets, and hope someday to provide a fully off-line experience, but this will probably involve some compromises in image quality or world extents.
If your VR system requires a PC to operate (Rift, Reverb, Varjo or Vive), you will need to run the software that enables your system. This could be the Oculus application, Steam VR, Varjo Base or similar programs.
Your computer will need to be connected to the internet during play, to support the streamed terrain and imagery data, to access historical atmospheric sounding data, and to verify your license to run the software on startup.
To interact with the game’s UI, you will need to use VR hand controller, like the Meta Touch, Steam Valve Knuckles, HP Reverb, or HTC Vive controllers. Using these controllers, you can fly the simulator while sitting at you desk by holding the controllers as you would grasp the hang glider base-bar or down-tubes. The simulator monitors the absolute position of your head to determine if you are upright or prone, and the position of your hands relative to your head to measure your weight shift control inputs.
Some of you will want to try this simulator why hanging in your harness from a suitable point, using a control frame from a glider, for the most realistic experience. The Freeflight Experience supports two methods of determining your effective control inputs when hanging is such a simulator rig: The first requires a windows-compatible 2-axis joystick which is mounted near the hang-strap, and is used to measure the angle of the harness suspension, and thus estimate the shift of the pilot’s CG. Other CG-shift measurement solutions exist, including force measuring transducers capturing control bar forces. As long as these devices emulate a Window’s compatible HID device, it should work fine. To use such a system, your computer and control frame will need to be spaced close enough to allow the USB connection.
If you can’t have your control frame located near your desktop computer, I have created a way to use an Android cell phone as a wireless suspension-angle-measuring device. Using an old cell phone attached to the suspension above the carabiner, and a free downloadable app, you can stream data to the simulator over Wi-fi, allowing you to set up your simulator remotely from your computer. To use Airlink with the Meta Quest (2), you will need a 5 GHz band Wi-fi Router connected to your gaming computer through a wired connection.
For the best VR experience, you will need a high spec desktop or laptop computer with a good internet connection.
- The recommended minimum specs for such a VR ready PC are:
- i7 4 core processor or equivalent, with a clock speed of 3.8GHz or greater
- NVidia GeForce 1080Ti with 8GB memory
- System Memory 16 Gb
- Internet Connection 10 MB/s
- For Optimum performance, I recommend
- i7 9800 4 core processor or equivalent, with a clock speed of 4.5 -5.2 GHz
- NVidia GeForce 3080 with 12 GB memory
- System Memory 16 Gb
- Internet Connection 30 MB/s
Naturally, the better your system performs, the better your VR experience, and how much system resources you need will depend on your display hardware, and a myriad of other factors.