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Design Phase
Born On:
03:26, 28 January 2012 (CST)
Last Updated:
08:53, 12 June 2013 (CDT)


This project will be a cockpit simulator for battle mech / mech warrior type games. Similar to the SeriousChair except using a special set of joysticks and controls instead of a keyboard. The chair and monitors should be able to swivel to simulate the turning feeling of the mech torso. Large speaker woofers should be placed under the left and right sides of the seat to simulate the walking sensation (if software allows left/right leg landing info, otherwise just turn up the volume on the speakers and don't worry about left vs right foot). Heavy vibration motors should be placed in the controller and in the seat back to simulate weapon firing and hits to your mech (if software allows it). The first version should just have monitor(s) mounted. The next version should have a head mounted display with motion sensor to simulate "hat switch" look around by naturally moving your head. If not a head mounted display then if the software allows it, to just move the image across multiple monitors (usually a three monitor setup works OK). Would using three monitors and a head motion tracker tied to the hat switch controls makes sense? If you look at the right monitor should the software also pan the "camera" to the right?

Example setup similar to SeriousChair except with swiveling chair base: SeriousChairSideView.png

Here are some blueprints I made in 123D Design app on my iPad 2:





Example cockpit sims from other people:

Tesla Pod (perhaps the best sim on the planet?) TeslaPodExterior.jpg TeslaPodInterior.jpg MechCockpitSim.jpg

I'm trying to figure out a good software to use first. I want to see if there are any links on the web about which games + software anyone else might use for their sim cockpits. I think my first design should just have a chair and screens and some basic controls of a keyboard and joystick. Then I'll take apart a keyboard or something and make all the keyboard buttons actual, labeled buttons on a DIY metal / wood painted to look like metal control panel. Then I'll add the rumble feature either with powerful bass speakers or actual rumble motors in the seat somehow to shake the seat if you get hit etc. But that one requires feedback from the game we can tap into that tells us we were hit then we can send the hardware signal out to the motors. I wonder if there are any free, open source mech games we can take and then add in our own code in the sections that deal with getting hit and taking damage and then spit out our own hardware codes we can then read as how strong to run the rumble motors. So the heavier the damage the stronger it shakes. That way if you take a full salvo of missiles to the body it will shake all over the place and actually make it hard to control like it was real! I want to go for realism here. I even want to eventually add hydraulics to the seat to make it tilt and shake and swivel and pivot to mimic the G forces you'd feel as the mech goes through all of its motions from walking to running to jump jets and landing to pivoting the torso, to firing weapons and getting hit and taking damage to actually FALLING DOWN ON YOUR FACE! It will have a 5 point safety harness of course....

NOTE! ===================================================

Build 4 or 6 of these and put them on a truck / bus and rent it out for birthday parties, etc.! Call it the BattleBus!



Arcade components (push buttons, assorted hardware, etc.)

Xbox Steel Battalion controller