Have you dreamed of what it would be ... to soar like an eagle? Aquila Bird Flight Simulator lets you experience soaring bird flight using a virtual reality headset. This is a soaring simulation, so you can make use of ridge lift and thermals like any other soarer in the skies...
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Release Date: Aug 18, 2017

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“The game is unfinished, but there is enough here to have fun for anyone curious about soaring. The exact path of the game is unset, but I would like people to experience Aquila as it is now.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Version 1.0 is not far away, once I complete a GUI overhaul. However I do envisage more features over time. This is my ambition, it's not going away. I'm a certified soaring nut, as my fiancée will testify...”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Refinement of game features, and the addition of more. This will have to be progressive, as I work full time and coding is the hobby.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Flying and soaring works very well I think, and the motion controller support is a great work out. More than enough fun for an early access! I have an Oculus Rift, so Vive support is untested at the moment.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Doubtful. I would like this game to be accessible, and a high price isn't a way to do that. Supporting this game helps support birds of prey in the wild.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“I really really appreciate honest open feedback. I'll try and add suggested features that I think will add to the game. Please get in touch.”
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Notice: Requires a virtual reality headset. See the VR Support section for more info.

Available: August 18

This game will unlock in approximately 13 hours


Recent updates View all (6)

August 16

HTC Vive Feedback

I was finally able to try Aquila on a Vive setup yesterday (thanks to Virtually Mine - https://virtuallymine.co.uk/ ), and I can provide some much needed feedback from it, and changes I can now make to my simulator.

Initial impression on the Vive? A really good VR product, the controllers work well, the picture is clear in the headset, but the field of view doesn't match the Oculus.

Anyway... Vive and Aquila? Flying worked pretty much how I was expecting, but you need to do large circles for the flapping motion, much as you can do on Oculus. About 1 per second for it to register well. Your tracking setup needs to be accurate. It has triggered the need for me to add some kind of 'aid' to show you how you're doing.

I'll be adjusting the motion controller tutorial to be more accurate with its text when a Vive is detected. The D-Pad/Directional Pad is the Vive's Touchpad, and works very well. The tutorial refers to the D-Pad only.

When I first ran Aquila, I was facing West in the calibration screen that is shown at the start. When you run it, pick your spot and center the view so North is then ahead. This isn't a room-scale app and it needs you at your center point, preferably sat down or on a stool at least. Make sure your sensors have a good view of your hands for the flapping motion.

Whatever VR setup you have, you'll have more control if you fly faster... therefore I'll have to add a gauge to show your speed. Turn on the 'glide pitch' option in the in-game menu to show a good glide position.

Otherwise I was quite pleasently surprised, and the experience wasn't too different from the Oculus. Would I buy one? Maybe, if I didn't have Oculus. They're both good headsets.

I'll see what I can get done prior to releasing the early access version, but the patches will keep on coming for sure!

Thank you for your patience, and thank you for reading. :)

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August 14

Patch to version 0.941

Just a few fixes here:
- Finally... Finally... managed to fix Unity's quirk of printing text on top of everything else, so the title menu looks correct. It was some legacy Unity 'feature' that was as useful as a chocolate fire-guard...
- Changed the music around, so a different piece starts first.

If you're having fun with motion controllers and Aquila...
- Most control issues with your bird, and flying anything including gliders, rockets and commercial airliners, comes from a lack of speed. If you fly too slow, you may stall. In Aquila, one wing always begins to stall first with quite a pronounced turn towards the stalling wing. Pitch yourself forwards a little to fly faster and you will have more control.

... which prompts future issues to fix/add:
- I'll be working on something to help with speed awareness, maybe just a speed indication, and make it show in Easy mode only.
- I'm planning an 'easier' control method for motion controllers, so you can simply flap your arms up and down like we (probably) all did at school.
- I'll be trying a Vive first hand tomorrow, so I'll be able to bug fix and adjust as appropriate.

Thanks for looking. Patch is live now... small 2.2mb update.

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If you have the Oculus Home version of Aquila ...

... then I can issue you with a complimentary key for Aquila on Steam. If anything the simulator runs much smoother in OpenVR, so I can recommend it. Please get in touch.

Note for HTV Vive users...

This application was originally made for the Oculus Rift and Touch controllers, but practically works on the HTC Vive through OpenVR. However you will see Oculus Touch controllers in the motion controller tutorial, during which it refers to clicking the D-Pad or directional pad. This is referring to the Touchpad on your Vive controller, and works the same. I am sourcing a model for the Vive controller, to refine the wording for Vive players.

About This Game

Have you dreamed of what it would be ... to soar like an eagle?

Aquila Bird Flight Simulator lets you experience soaring bird flight using virtual reality. It was originally designed for the Oculus Rift, but has now been modified for OpenVR.  You embody one of three species of eagle flying over either Northwest Scotland, a part of Columbia, or Graham Island in British Columbia. This is designed as a relaxing soaring flight simulation, and is not arcade-style flight, and as such you can make use of ridge lift and thermals. If you want a work out try flapping with motion controllers!

Proceeds from this project go towards a major bird of prey centre in Hampshire (UK), where I do voluntary work. Supporting this project helps towards vital conservation, rehabilitation, and education schemes throughout the UK and overseas. So on behalf of the birds, and the staff, thank you!

Main Features:
  • Dude you're an eagle! Featuring three species of eagle:
    • White tailed sea eagle
    • Bald eagle
    • and the Harpy eagle.
  • Simulates an 8kg bird with a 2.5m wingspan. (cosmetic difference only at present).
  • Steer your bird using:
    • An Xbox360/One controller
    • Your VR headset
    • or Motion controllers (experimental).
  • Satellite photography scenery for:
    • 13km x 13km for Northwest Scotland
    • Columbia and British Columbia, of equivalent size.
  • Day/Night cycle using UniStorm.
  • You have thermals and ridge lift to make flying easier.
  • Configurable wind direction and speed, shown as 'dandelion seeds' in-game.
  • Free looking in VR, along with selectable views on the birds back and a chase view.
  • You can land and take off, and walk around on the ground.
  • Options to start in the air or on the ground.
  • Tutorials for gamepad control and motion controllers. (headset steering tutorial to come)
  • Comfort mode: This levels the camera, and limits your pitch and roll to produce a more comfortable experience. It is on by default, but can be turned off.
  • Some relaxing music to go with the flying.
  • Observer mode: The in-flight menu allows you to select a view that is displayed on your main pc screen while you play in VR. This can impact performance, but allows people not playing to watch your flight.
  • Non-VR ... the game will run without a VR headset connected, and defaults to a chase view, but it's just not the same as VR!
  • Next Level V3 motion platform support is working, but is not included in the Steam or Oculus Home versions because of the SDK's involved. Contact me if you are interested in this feature.

Current issues:
  • Satellite photography is best experienced with a bit of height. The illusion will not work when you're near the ground.
  • Currently ugly if you look behind you, if you don't move your own head up, as you'll look through yourself!
  • If you fly too fast, you pitch down. With comfort mode on, it is rare as your pitch is limited.
  • You can't currently 'trim' in pitch, although you can fly just fine without.
  • The white tailed sea eagle does not have a ground walking animation, but has more flexible animation in the air. The other two eagles use normal Unity animations.
  • Observer mode does not output sound to your normal pc speakers, if you are using the Rift headphones.

Future plans:
  • (PARTWAY THERE) More dynamic landscape with things to do of course (challenges).
  • Trophy/achievement support.
  • (PARTWAY THERE) Maybe one large landscape, or many smaller ones. I'd love to be able to add more trees!
  • Possible survival simulation including weather, defending your territory, nest provider, etc.
  • Expanding the tutorial to be narrated, perhaps from another bird flying with you nearby.

Final note:
This game is not finished, and is under early access. It's a start point of what to expect, and an opportunity to report back with bugs. Please do report back with any issues you encounter; it helps me make it better!

Also note that, due to the SDK's involved, Next Level Motion platform support is not included in the Steam or Oculus Home versions. Contact me if you are interested in this feature.

Thank you again for your support, and thank you for looking!


System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i5- 4590 equivalent or greater
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 or greater
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible
    • Additional Notes: Your pc must meet VR Ready specs to use this application successfully with VR.
    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel i7 6700K
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 or greater
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible
    • Additional Notes: Observation modes on second screen do impact performance, try it!
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