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...
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (10) - 70% of the 10 user reviews for this game are positive.
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 bird flight, soaring and flying generally. 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 and work on the tutorials some more. 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 wife 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 for the Vive I rely on testers trying the game.”

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 has already helped, and will continue to 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. If you wish to help with 3d modelling (I'm hopeless with non-coding!) or terrain creation (I'm learning!) please get in touch. I have extensive experience in aviation, gliding, and hobby coding. Outside of that this project is a challenge!”
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YouTube Tutorials...

... for playing with Motion Controllers are now available at the following address on YouTube, and on the Aquila website. These run through an introduction to Aquila, your first flights, and more detail on take off and landing (plus a few other bits). Please check them out. They are currently applicable to the Oculus version, using Motion Controllers. There are two important differences from the Steam version, which will be shown in a future video, however briefly they are:
- to open the in-game menu, look straight ahead and double-press your motion controller trigger.
- to change your view, look either left or right and double-press your motion controller trigger.

Other control methods (steering via headset or your gamepad) are the same in both versions.

My YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCr_yOjbGVuV9EYDlIAZTo0ISB9ewPtcc
Aquila Website (click Tutorials): https://www.aquila-bfs.com/

If you have already purchased Aquila...

... on either Steam or Oculus Home, and you wish to have the other version, please get in touch with your purchase details. I can then issue you a complementary key!

Note for HTC Vive users...

This application was originally made for the Oculus Rift and Touch controllers, and has been adapted for the HTC Vive, or any compatible headset, through OpenVR. It should auto-detect Oculus and Vive headsets, and give appropriate instructions. However, if you are presented with the wrong information, there are launch options in SteamVR and your normal Steam Library to override and force Vive or Oculus VR types if required.

Running with and without VR

This is an application that has been made with Virtual Reality in mind, specifically using OpenVR on the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. It will run without a headset connected, or via the non-vr launch option, and has control methods added to support non-vr play, but support is not completed and the gamepad tutorial may not be fully applicable. See notes for version 0.981. I've had significant interest in a Non-VR version, so I have been adding support to do this and I'm at a point where people just need to try it. One thing not said is that when using a gamepad, you can hold the right top shoulder button and use the right thumbstick to look around.

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:
    • Bald eagle
    • White tailed sea eagle
    • and the Harpy eagle.
  • Simulates an 8kg bird with a 2.5m wingspan. (cosmetic difference only at present).
  • Steer your bird using:
    • Motion controllers - only Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive have been tested.
    • Your VR headset
    • An Xbox360/One controller
  • Satellite photography scenery for:
    • 13km x 13km for Northwest Scotland
    • Columbia and British Columbia, of equivalent size.
  • Day/Night cycle using trueSKY.
  • 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 all control modes. The Motion Controller tutorial is narrated.
  • 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. I hope to address this in the future using World Creator.
  • If you look behind you, the game will try and adjust your view so you look down your side. However, ultimately, if you intentionally move your head to defeat that compensation, you can look through yourself! I can't stop you.
  • You can't crash yet, but you can try. You'll simply land, no matter how hard you hit.
  • You can't currently 'trim' in pitch, although you can fly just fine without.
  • The Harpy eagle is currently the only bird with a ground walking animation.
  • Observer mode does not output sound to your normal pc speakers, if you are using the Rift headphones. You need to change your settings on the Oculus software (or equivalent) to enable sound mirroring, or whichever output option you wish.
  • Oculus Touch and HTC Vive are prone to problems with bright UV light, and requires a solid sensor setup. The flapping motion required with Oculus Touch requires your sensors to have a good view of your complete motion, or it may not work correctly.
  • Very very rarely, after a cold start, when starting airborne you may actually start on the ground. This is due to a short delay in the tracking setup on starting the game.

Future plans:
  • (PARTWAY THERE) More dynamic landscape with things to do of course (challenges).
  • Trophy/achievement support (there are a few already).
  • (PARTWAY THERE) Maybe one large landscape, or many smaller ones. Next on the list is to add a few trees.
  • Possible survival simulation including weather, defending your territory, nest provider, etc.
  • Narrate the tutorials for headset steering and using a gamepad. The Motion controller tutorial is now narrated. Perhaps the narrator could be another bird flying with you nearby? One for the to-do list...
  • Special needs access (head steering is the start of this).

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

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • 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.
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • 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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