Tinker Pilot has been in the works for a few years now, aiming to deliver a PC VR simulator experience that lets players build their own sci-fi cockpit and outfit it with 1:1 digital counterparts of things like HOTAS flight sticks, pedals, joysticks and more. Now you can get a taste of the highly configurable flight sim in its new paid alpha.

Project creator Lluís Garcia Lamora is currently funding Tinker Pilot through Patreon. For now it seems the game’s focus is weighed heavily on the cockpit’s modularity and flight characteristics, which ought to appeal to the sort of player who wants to focus on the flying aspect of the game and finetuning their own setups.

Outside of creating your own flight setup, which also lets you import models and rig them so they match your own unique equipment, Tinker Pilot also lets you take full control of where you put things like information screens, holographic buttons, custom panels, communication holograms. Cockpits can also be filled with things like decorative pictures, special furniture and more.

As for gameplay mechanics, here’s what Garcia Lamora says:

“The gameplay in Tinker Pilot is meant to be diverse and challenging, but above all is meant to be fun. You will be able to play different game modes that will require the use of the many systems of your ship and the environment itself, where the proximity to terrain, stations, ships, and other objects gives a greater sense of movement and speed.”

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Garcia Lamora released a video showing off some of the game’s combat, although we’re hoping to hear more about gameplay as the project makes headway so users can really put those detailed cockpits to good use.

Tinker Pilot’s Patreon includes tiers ranging from $4.50 per month to $89, all of which get you immediate access to the latest alpha build, something Garcia Lamora says will be regularly updated as he makes progress towards release.

It’s not clear when Tinker Pilot is releasing for the PC VR-owning masses, however Garcia Lamora says a contribution through Tinker Pilot’s Patreon for $30 or more will get a copy of the final game when it releases.

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  • VRFriend

    Looks like loaded generic map into Unreal Engine and some basic flight. Sorry, but this is not what VR should be about. Looks infantile and boring after 1 minute. Just an honest opinion.

    • It’s pretty rough, but the dev is getting $200/month through Patreon and it’s really too little… he should get at least $50K to make some decent application

    • fredzvt

      My honest opinion is that he was able to create something really cool by himself. I’m a developer myself and I know how hard it is to get to this point. Even “basic flight” mechanics are hard to develop.

      I absolutely disagree that this looks infantile and boring after 1 minute, but at this stage it is unfair to compare it with any big project.

      I’d really appreciate if you could be more VRFriendlier with indie developers. I don’t know what you think VR should be about, but I think its a shame you took the time to depreciate someone who is clearly doing his best.

      • Raphael

        It’s “just his honest opinion” though (which implies it represents absolute truth rather than being an infantile perspective).

        It’s ironic he calls himself “VRFriend”.

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        • VRFriend

          VRFriend is not LoserFriend. Spot the difference.

        • I think your assault on his opinion is overboard.

          He is right, in that it’s a basic demonstration of a concept. There are lots of great concept games floating around. It’s odd this one gets such nice exposure when so many others do not.

          I’m certain it’ll be more interested down the line when it’s more developed, but right now it seems like a plea for Patreon money and some vague promise.

          I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say you’re not related to this project in some way and merely shilling for them. I’m going to assume you’re just a fan-boy of VR in general. That said:

          I think you’re assault on any and all criticism of VR will only backfire in the end. If you push something without looking at any of it’s weaknesses, you’ll only get a weak product that will impress no one. If you really want to support VR development, try balancing your enthusiasm with some constructive criticism now and then.

          Otherwise you’ll only destroy the thing you love by helping it to become the laziest version of itself, instead of the best.

          • Raphael

            What a load of pish you talk.

            ” Looks infantile and boring after 1 minute. Just an honest opinion.” << Comments like this is the reason so-called VRFriend received criticism. Thanks for your detailed and utterly crappy analysis including assumptions about my reason for calling out the infantile comments from your buddy. I assume you're not his mommy and just pretending to be an unrelated defender of the infantile? (See how I slipped in some really dumb assumptions like you?).

      • David Wilhelm

        1:1 user customizable controls mapped to hardware is no small feat.

        • It is actually a small feat. Very basic. He has the models of these devices and simple places them in space, recording position and rotation. It’s basic stuff.

          Coordinating their movement isn’t a big deal either. Mapping controller rotation with object rotation is the definition of basic game controls.

          You know, all of this negativity towards people pointing out simple criticisms *kinda* smacks of forum manipulation. Are the game dev’s and their friends/family popping in here to swing votes on posts?

  • gothicvillas

    Was this worth the article? I checked both videos and it looks pretty basic..

    • fredzvt

      Absolutely! It’s amazing to see articles that supports small indie teams and even more lone developers. Its hard to understand how hard it is go get even to this basic stage and an article like these can really generate a lot of attention to an otherwise stealth project.

      I hope the dev can get the funds to continue on this amazing project! We all have a lot to benefit from it!

      Keep it up, Lluís!

      • VRFriend

        You are joking now. Template loaded into UE and basic flowgraph. Not worth time of people reading about it.

        • Raphael

          Thanks for your expert opinion flappy. I’m sure after reading your detailed insights and perspective people will adopt your view of things and start shit-posting alongside you.

          • VRFriend

            My opinion had short explanation. Yours is only an insult.

      • I am a lone indie developer and I don’t recall getting any coverage.

  • It’s cute you can align real-world controls with virtual ones… but there isn’t much to show off then that. I really wish Empyrion was remotely interested in VR, as then you could build your own hovercraft, spaceships, and even capital ships. Or maybe a game like Space Engineers. Those games, where you make your own craft from the start, would then be even more amazing with 1:1 control alignment in the real world.

    This is more of a concept demonstration for the *idea* of matching your control lineup, and really something Oculus already showed off with their desktop space, so it’s not quite original either.

    Maybe the article’s author isn’t pushing this project itself, so much as hoping more games will adopt that 1:1 control mapping system into their games? For flight sims I’d say it’s pretty much a necessity!