Here is a little summary of how the show went, what our visitors said about the Yaw2 and what we learned.
All in all, it was a great show, lovely visitors, interesting conversations, new ideas, excitement and of course a lot we learned. As we have pointed it out earlier, we find these expos to be extremely useful for testing purposes because it's a very very long continuous test for the machines that also includes a lot of getting in and out of the chairs. We gather information about how the simulators work for different types of people. Is it comfortable for the really tall guys? How easy it is to move a heavier person? Is it easy to get in and out when the gaming plate is mounted? And of course we also get a lot of feedback about how it feels, how it compares to other simulators that people tried at the show and whether it is what they expected or it is different in some way?
In this video we tried to put longer clips of people using the simulator so that it's not just the yoke turning that you can see, but also the simulator moving. The videos that are currently up on our YouTube channel are still valid in terms of latency and how well the simulator reacts. We haven't changed any parts, motors or anything that would reduce the responsiveness of the device since we filmed those initial gameplay videos that you all saw during the campaign, so don't worry about that.
Besides the good vibes at the expo that we are super happy to share with you, we also want to share how the actual testing went and how we coordinated working with the development and production team back in Hungary.
Before the show we assembled the devices that got sent out before the holidays. They were packaged just like the ones that you guys are going to receive, therefore we were able to record an assembly video that will be a good start for the instructions on how to put these simulators together. We are very hopeful that it will be able to provide you an actual useful guide how to assemble the Yaw2.
We learned some things during this process and there were not huge problems that interfere with the functioning of the simulator, but they can be fixed and we would definitely like to do that. The team in Las Vegas sent daily updates about how it is to work with the Yaw2s and the team back in the office already started working on the solutions for these small issues.
After the devices got assembled, we took them to the exhibition center. They are fairly big devices, but even without having to disassemble them they can fit into a minivan or bigger SUV depending what setup you have mounted on them. Even when a smaller vehicle was available, it was very easy to take the desk part off and to get the rotation platform off of the rest which significantly helps with the height and also the weight of the simulator. We were happy to experience that taking it apart and putting it back together didn't take much time and engineering skill.
Setup for use
When you think everything is ready for the show and the next day you go in and realize that all those things that have worked the night before are now behaving in a way that you've never seen before.
And then we fixed it. But important thing here to highlight is that the outer circumstances that were given on the day of the show messed with the connection a lot. Even after switching to network cables and link cables for the Oculus headsets, we experienced some weird connectivity issues sometimes. The game, run on PC, not recognizing the headset, the game glitching, crashing, etc. These things have almost nothing to do with the simulators but they for sure caused some headaches. In the end we managed to demo what we initially wanted, two types of rollercoasters, No Limits 2 and Epic Roller Coaster and the beloved X-plane 11 flight simulation.
Something to take away from this section is that in an at home or even in an arcade setting, you can learn what setup works best for you, how you should set up the simulators, whether to use a separate router or just use the one you already have, to connect wirelessly or if it's better to connect with a network cable. It takes time and practice but of course we will be there to help you out with any questions in the future.
CES was a big test for the Yaw2s. One (black&white) was a standard, one from the first batch we produced after finalizing development and the other (black&black) was an "almost pro" which was a fusion of the final standard and a pro that is still in development.
Some things that came up:
The rotation platform of the black&white had some contact issues, making it difficult to use it in 3DoF mode. Since the rotation platform comes in one piece, it is a closed box and it's fairly difficult to look into it and potentially fix something on the inside. Ideally we would want to make it easier to open for troubleshooting. The sensor itself that was sending the confusing data was also accessed and it turned out that in fact the faulty data was the result of a contact issue that came up in at a bad moment.
Some casters in the roll started to act up, as well, making more noise than usual. We consulted about this issue with the team back home and they also experienced this with the rest of the devices that they were testing. After they took them apart, it was visible that two neighboring casters basically melted together because they were touching during the many hours of testings. We changed the casters and are running new tests on them.
The cogwheels in the pitch and roll pieces also made a bit more noise than we are used to but after a quick investigation, it turned out that the two parts were slightly shifted from where they would have been supposed to be. This was again a problem that the development team had also noticed at that point and already had adjusted in the rest of the simulators.
There were a couple more smaller things that we noticed, mainly ones that won't stop you from using the machine, rather just annoy us a little bit wanting to create something that we imagined a certain way. We are doing our best to resolve all of the issues that we discovered.
As an ending here, we just want to say thank you for everyone who came to Vegas and visited our booth. We believe that it was a good show, great experience and both machined worked well. The issues that we mentioned here are being taken care of and the first units are being sent out soon.