Lunar Flight Page 2

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Installation

Installing the game was pretty easy. The build I was given was basically a rar file which had to be extracted somewhere to my hard disk, leaving the exe and other files in the desired folder. No registry entries needed, and double-clicking the exe launched the game.

The final game may work differently in terms of installation. Plans for the final version include distribution via Steam, first for PC, then for the Mac.

Lunar Flight's Launcher

Lunar Flight’s Launcher

It is not recommended to use the input tab on this initial splash screen to configure your controller. Instead it should be done in-game.

If you use windowed mode, make sure to pick a resolution one setting lower than the highest your monitor supports. The game only supports very specific widescreen resolutions, these are listed in the startup dialog when you run the game.

Setup

It is very important that you observe these steps before configuring your controller:

  • Make absolutely sure that your joystick’s throttle slider is in neutral position, which is usually in the middle-position. If you don’t; the software will lock on to that slider in either the forward or reverse thrust position, and will will not let you assign other axis properly.
  • Set up your controls while you are on the pad, i.e., before flight. If you start a flight, and then try to assign an axis or a button, it will lead to unexpected results.
  • For the axis you may need to start by bringing your stick forward, before assigning the axis for forward by clicking on the corresponding button on the setup screen, backward before clicking the button for that function, etc.

Lunar Flight is developed using middle-ware, something called the Unity engine. It is a game development tool that lets you develop your own unique game content while providing a fully developed gaming engine for the developer, including such things as graphics and physics -modules, and support for various peripheral controllers.

While this is a neat solution for programmers who do not wish to spend time on reinventing the wheel as applied to programming basic game functions like for example rendering subsystems and peripherals support, but would rather direct their talents towards developing an interesting game, you are on the other hand, at the mercy of the middle-ware.

On paper, the Unity engine supports every controller out there, however, I had my share of troubles attempting to assign functions to my trusty, 10 year old Logitech Strikeforce 3D joystick, so I had fellow SimHQ staffers “531 Ghost” (using CH controllers) and “Arthonon” (using the Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog and Logitech 3D Extreme controllers) to double-check my findings.

Long story made very short: There is a bug in the Unity engine which makes joystick support a bit of a hit-or-miss thing. And me having a vintage piece of equipment probably has not helped either,

I hasten to add that Shovsoft has been very helpful and have spent a lot of their time on this issue, Also, they have devised some brilliant fixes for me and I’m happy to say that using the three steps described above, my joystick now works fully as I wish it to.

Controller configuration - joystick

Controller configuration – joystick

Controller configuration - Gamepad

Controller configuration – Gamepad

Joystick setup

Joystick setup

Ultimately, where the Unity game-engine is concerned, Shovsoft and other developers can only wait for the company behind to correct their software. We hope they will be forwarded a fix for this slight problem sooner rather than later.

Get cracking Unity — the entire astronaut corps is waiting, only for you!

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