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Realistic Aircraft in UDK?

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    Realistic Aircraft in UDK?

    Greetings everyone,

    I have been working on creating realistic aircraft vehicles (biplanes, specifically) to add anywhere in a level. I had first attempted to inherit from the classes already in place for the Cicada; however, the movement is incorrect, so I tried to recreate the classes with different movement. This hasn't been working so well for me.

    How would you implement aircraft - with the physics of proper aircraft, not hovercraft?

    My idea has been to create components with imitated aerodynamic physics and attach these components to various parts on a biplane model, such as the wings and ailerons (and other such flaps) to create upwards movement, and also the propeller to create forwards movement. I would use something like:

    Upforce = SpeedComponentIsTravellingAt x Sine( AngleBetweenNormalOfComponentAndDirectionVectorOfC omponent ) x SomeTweakableMultiplier

    Then all I need to do is create the vehicle's movement to simply turn the different ailerons when the control keys are pressed, and enable or disable (and perhaps also influence speed of) the propeller as well. The propeller's movement will cause the vehicle to move forward because of the attached components, and when the vehicle has enough forward speed, the components on the wings will generate enough upwards force to lift the vehicle into the air.
    It would be essential to controlling the aircraft that the differences in forces created by these components would give the plane ability to change pitch and roll, thus heading etc etc. (Another feature would be that shooting a wing off will visibly affect the movement of the biplane and make it essentially uncontrollable.)

    This seems straightforward to me, but my trouble has been understanding UDK and how to implement what I just described in it. I am not sure how to create these components and pre-attach them to a vehicle with UnrealScript, and have their physics influence the main vehicle's physics.

    I'm also not sure how to properly implement the vehicle: the player should be able to press a button to start the plane then control only the flaps using WASD, not the actual movement. Physics would calculate the movement; thus, the biplane would be able to run out of fuel and have the propeller stop turning but still glide by the flap's motions.

    I want the character model still visible inside the vehicle when they are controlling it, just like a normal biplane.
    As a next step, I would I want to disassociate the mouse's direction with the vehicle's movement and keep the character's own agency. Basically, I want the player to be able to aim and fire his handweapon elsewhere while the vehicle is flying in it's own direction. This would include all the camera work associated. The game is going to be entirely third-person.

    I think that's all... Nothing I've done has been going even close to the direction I have hoped.
    Thanks, any help would be so excessively appreciated.

    #2
    My crude efforts to implement this concept can be seen here, however I still encourage anyone to develop a more advanced version.

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