Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal

I took a break from my current project to put together this little gem: a VR version of RMS Queen Mary's Verandah Grill!

It was fun to play with Unity's new High-Definition Render Pipeline, which as you can see produces some lovely results.

It's a separate download/executable from Magnificent Ships, but I thought it worth mentioning for the fans of her here. You can download it from my website:

Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal

Announcing a new "boating lake" feature!

You can now remotely pilot each ship in "model scale" upon the surface of a physically-responsive lake that reacts to ship movement. I've taken care to ensure each craft physically operates as much like a real-world version would, which was a challenge given current VR-rendering framerate requirements.

The ships are spread around the edges of the lake to keep performance high, and only two are allowed on its surface at once (one per controller). You just grab a ship with a controller (or "tractor-beam" it to your hand from across the lake) and toss it in to begin controlling it using Vive's touchpad or Rift's thumbstick.

I also added a few fun interactive elements on the lake, including a mini-game where you compete against a "ghost ship" to see who can ram the most buoys. Can you get all five?

Be advised: I adjusted a lot of the quality settings and don't have much to test on, so you may want to test which works best on your system. To do so, just press a number keys from 1 to 7. (7=highest, 3=default)

I changed and added a lot of code, and there's only so much testing one person can do, so if you find a bug kindly let me know in the discussion area how to reproduce it and I will fix it ASAP. Thanks!

Here's a full list of changes for this version:
- Added a boating lake, miniaturized all ships, and made them controllable when placed upon it!
- Changed SSN's propulsor model to more-accurately reflect what's publicly available.
- Added bow-spray to Iowa and Queen Mary.
- Reduced polygon count on Queen Mary, Iowa, and ABQAIQ.
- Changed propeller bubbles to better mimic cavitation patterns.
- Reduced flicker and improved shadows, but they are now disabled in "default" quality. (You'll need better than a GTX 970 to use them and maintain 90FPS.)
- Better reflections when viewing underwater.
- Improved numerous materials and textures.
- Reduced size of player collider and limited it to just the camera.
- SSN's hull now gets wet when immersed.
- Added stabilizers to Queen Mary that rotate to counteract roll.
- Made Iowa's radar rotate.
- Adjusted buoyancy of ships to react faster to wave changes.(Works better with larger waves now.)
- Weather changes are now random outside of the six hourly "presets" for each ship.
- Compiled using IL2CPP runtime with Unity v2018.2.14f1.
Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal
Progress continues on a new feature. Not ready to discuss details, but here's a teaser. Did I forget anything obvious?

Jun 28, 2018
Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal

I didn't particularly care for Steam's Trading Cards until playing-around with them this weekend. Turns out they're kind of fun!

So, I just had to make some for both volumes of Magnificent Ships!

I'm happy to report that they are now live on Steam! Enjoy!
Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal

Oculus and Touch are now fully supported (via SteamVR)!

Here's the full list of changes:
- Added Oculus and Touch support.
- Improved galleon model, added mermaid crest to stern, better cloth sails.
- USS Iowa's deck and radar now properly match her World War 2 configuration.
- Slowed USS Iowa turret rotation before and after firing.
- Reduced player momentum when stopping using only one controller.
- Fixed a few geometry and texture details.
- Reduced installation size and loading speed by crunching textures and compressing objects.
- Enabled global fog on the horizon.

Apologies for the delay; real life has a way of interfering with one's hobbies. I'm still hoping to finish the "top secret super cool feature", but am unable to provide an ETA as my financial situation is currently in flux. However, this release brings the code-base between Volumes 1 & 2 into parity, so the feature should be relatively straightforward to add to both at the same time, thereby reducing my workload a fair amount.
Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal
I'm busy adding Oculus and Touch support, as well as a large new feature that takes the experience to a whole new level!

Also, check-out The Mermaid's new billowy sails and improved shader! (Note the shadows and light illuminating the backside of the cloth.)
May 23, 2017
Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal
Fairly large structural update here, with a few bug-fixes, bringing Volume 1 into feature-parity with Volume 2:

  • Switched to improved lighting model and shaders.
  • Increased time-of-day change-rate.
  • Improved buoyancy realism.
  • Smoothed controller input; no more shaky hands while holding ships!
  • Fixed issue where rotating camera via mouse wasn't aligned properly to the headset.
  • Updated code to match MS:V2.
  • Better ocean sounds.
  • Iowa's radar corrected to match WW2 configuration.
  • Increased detail of Iowa's Bofors guns.
  • Adjusted smoothing normals on some Zumwalt features.
  • ABQAIQ's bow-thrusters no longer obscured.
  • The Mermaid's mesh is now much less blocky.
  • Desktop mirror fades in/out when headset does.
  • Added Oculus audio spatializer.
  • Fixed issue with some edges not drawing correctly underwater.
  • Camera shake from gunfire now decreases with distance.
  • Ships now always appear in front of camera when changing ships.
  • Added some missing colliders to QM.
  • Added splash-screen while loading.
Apr 14, 2017
Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal
In celebration of Magnificent Ships:Volume 2 nearing completion, Volume 1 is now on sale!

V2 should be out in the next week or two, with some of its engine improvements being rolled-into a V1-patch soon thereafter.

Happy Spring everybody!
Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal
This update adds Oculus Rift support via SteamVR. (You'll need SteamVR running, but it should work well enough.) I don't have Touch controllers to test with, so I doubt they will work, but you may use Gamepad or Keyboard/Mouse controls instead. (See Readme.txt for button/key mapping.)

If someone wants to test with Touch controllers and post results below it might be helpful to others.

Just a couple other small changes:
- Added bubbles whizzing-by beneath the ocean's surface.
- Adjusted bow-wave on Queen Mary and added a missing collider above her bridge.
- Fixed occasional issue where incorrect ship information was displayed for wrong ship.
Nov 28, 2016
Magnificent Ships: Volume 1 - kideternal
If you enjoy looking at ship models, this VR experience is for you! View some of the highest-detailed ship models ever created in your living room.

This initial release only supports the HTC Vive. If you're interested in Oculus Rift support, please let me know! (I don't have Touch controllers to test with, but if there's enough interest I'll order some.)

You can adjust graphics quality via the #1 thru #7 keys on your keyboard. (1=lowest, 7=highest, 3=default.) I tuned performance to (just barely) maintain 90FPS on my GTX 970, but am eager to hear how it performs on your hardware.

For the curious, I'm using Valve's "The Lab Renderer", but its automatic-quality adjustment features don't work with other features in this project. Also, its shadows flicker somewhat (even at max settings, which is set by default), and I'm not happy about that, but it still provides the best rendering performance solution for ships/ocean of this detail.

If enough people enjoy this type of experience, I'll be more than happy to get cracking on Volume 2! (I've already chosen several magnificent ships for it, but if you have a request please feel free to let me know!)

I love working on this project and hope it brings you happiness!
- Wm

Search news
Jun   May   Apr   Mar   Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2020   2019   2018   2017   2016  
2015   2014   2013   2012   2011  
2010   2009   2008   2007   2006  
2005   2004   2003   2002