Escape from Jakku

Dates: Aug. 19' - Sept. 19' (2 months)

Team Size: 7

Platform: PC, Oculus Rift (VR)

Language: C/C++

Tools: Unreal 4, Blueprints, Perforce
 

Role: Programmer & UE4 Developer

Contributions:

  • Programmed MOOG Motion Platform.

  • Developed motion platform visualizer.

  • Fixed critical networking bug.

Overview

Fly the Millennium Falcon and dodge Tie Fighters in this virtual reality simulation (VR). The motion base lets you feel the jolt of enemy fire and every areal maneuver you make. As the action unfolds, spectators watch a cinematic view of the experience projected onto a wall surrounding the ride.

Notable Contributions

Motion Base Movement.gif

Programmed MOOG Motion Base Movement

Another student and I worked to get the motion base to respond to the movements of the Millennium Falcon. One of the challenges we faced was simulating the full range of movement the Falcon can make since the motion base doesn't support flips or full rolls. After trying several things, I implemented a motion cueing system that used the acceleration in the Falcon's movement. The movement that the platform made using this method felt right and added to the overall immersion of the experience.

Developed Platform Visualization Tool 

Testing the motion cue algorithm on the motion base was a slow process. To help with iteration, I created a simulated motion base in Unreal. This saved us time, enabling us to rapidly prototype the movement we were looking for before testing on the actual motion base.

PlatformVisualizer.gif
NetworkingBug.gif

Fixed Critical Networking Bug

The spectator view allowed people to enjoy the experience without having to put on a VR headset. There was a longstanding bug with the Millennium Falcon, where it would jitter in every shot in the spectator view. After lots research and testing, I determined the issue was due to the overuse of replication. This interfered with replication's ability to predict position between packets. Now fixed, the experience is more enjoyable to watch. 

More Contributions

  • I set up and managed version control for the project using Perforce, making it easier for students to work on the project without conflicts. 

  • There is a path of orbs that guides the user through the map during their flight. I coded the calculations and event callbacks for every time the player passes or misses an orb along the flight path. These events are handled by the scoring system developed by another student. 

 

What I've Learned

The Escape from Jakku simulation was a great learning experience. I enjoyed getting to work in a team environment alongside my instructor and classmates. I graduated with a Course Director Award for my achievements in the class. The project is still in development, and I’m proud that my work contributed to creating an enjoyable experience.

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