Will Google destroy Microsoft?

Who thought Google was ever going to get into the gaming industry… and even challange the all mighty Microsoft Flight Simulator?

What I am going to tell you next, is just a hint -the peak of the iceberg- of what Google can do combining some of it’s technologies.

Imagine a Flight Simulator that lets you travel across the real Earth… fly over the Statue of Liberty, swirl around the Great Wall of China, visit The Pyramids, and then… even land next to your 3D home apartment. Sounds surreal?

Well, now Google is giving us a taste of what may come next… hidden in your own installed version of Google Earth!

Users feel this like a dream come true… however, developers and competitors are beginning to delve into an nightmare wandering how long the ‘monster’ Google will take to get away with their rapacious plans…

I offer you the following secret unraveled by our friends from TechCrunch:

We’ve always known that Google has wanted to challenge Microsoft’s desktop dominance in a number of areas, but to date we didn’t know that extended to gaming.

Hidden inside Google Earth is a secret Flight Simulator that takes full advantage of Google’s extensive satellite imagery.

To access the hidden feature, open Google Earth and hit Command+Option+A (note it must be capital A) or Ctrl+Alt+A if you’re using a Windows Machine.

The Google Earth Flight Simulator comes with two aircraft options, a F16 Viper and the more manageable SR22 4 seater. Players have the option of commencing the game from their current location in Google Earth or can pick from a list of pre-determined runways.

Overall the game play is fairly simple in terms of control, but the striking difference is flying over real pictures of locations. I took a quick flight from San Francisco International, headed North to the Golden Gate then turn back over the city before heading towards the Valley. It wasn’t perfect, but it was as good visually as the paid Microsoft Flight Simulator, and in terms of actually presenting real objects it was better.

flightsim1.png

sim1.jpg

Useful Shortcuts:

  Exit flight simulator Ctrl + Alt + A, Escape
  Open flight simulator options Ctrl + Alt + A
  Display flight simulator help Ctrl + H
  Increase thrust Page Up
  Reduce thrust Page Down
  Toggle HUD H
  Pause simulation Space

More details can be found here.

Tips to make it work:

– Ctrl+Alt+A on PC.

-Command+Option+A (note it must be capital A) on a Mac.

-“Make sure you’re focused on the main window or the shortcut doesn’t seem to work. ”

-“Very happy that this actually works… you have to wait about 2 minutes before it does.”

-“Works on Mac”

Remember to tell me about your voyages across the Earth!
Special prize for anyone that can get through the Golden Gate!

Cheers and Enjoy!

Questor!
Know Spanish?! Check out Edutainment in Spanish.

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4 Responses to Will Google destroy Microsoft?

  1. […] hayovt wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  2. Joost says:

    Flying with GE-FS F-16 looks nice but that HUD looks like something out of a comic book. So I went and changed a little here and there. Looks a lot more like an F16 now! I cant get the compass to show heading every 10 degrees. Can anyone help??

    Copy this into generic.ini (C:\Program Files\Google\Google Earth\res\flightsim\hud):

    % Generic Head Up Display Config
    AirSpeedX = -0.4
    AirSpeedFactor = 0.194384 % 1/kt
    AirSpeedY0 = -0.2
    AirSpeedY1 = 0.1
    AirSpeedRange = 16
    AirSpeedDV = 1
    AirSpeedSmallInLarge = 5
    AirSpeedLargeX0 = -0.05
    AirSpeedLargeX1 = 0
    AirSpeedSmallX0 = -0.03
    AirSpeedSmallX1 = 0
    AirSpeedValueX = -0.06
    AirSpeedValueTextFlags = [left middle]
    AirSpeedPointerX = 0.005
    AirSpeedPointerAngle = 3.14159265
    AirSpeedPointerLength = 0.015

    AltitudeX = 0.4
    AltitudeFactor = 0.0328084 % 1/ft
    AltitudeY0 = -0.2
    AltitudeY1 = 0.1
    AltitudeRange = 16
    AltitudeDV = 1
    AltitudeSmallInLarge = 5
    AltitudeLargeX0 = 0
    AltitudeLargeX1 = 0.05
    AltitudeSmallX0 = 0
    AltitudeSmallX1 = 0.03
    AltitudeValueX = 0.06
    AltitudeValueTextFlags = [right middle]
    AltitudePointerX = -0.005
    AltitudePointerAngle = 0
    AltitudePointerLength = 0.015

    VerticalSpeedFactor = 196.85 % min/ft
    VerticalSpeedRound = 10.0
    VerticalSpeedX = 0.4
    VerticalSpeedY = -0.25
    VerticalSpeedTextParams = [center middle]

    VelocityMark =
    [
    -.01 .00 .00 .01
    .01 .00 .00 .01
    -.01 .00 .00 -.01
    .01 .00 .00 -.01
    -.03 .00 -.01 .00
    .01 .00 .03 .00
    .00 .02 .00 .01
    ]
    VelocityMinSpeed = 0

    CompassSmallInLarge = 2
    CompassLargeInHuge = 3
    CompassTextParams = [center bottom]
    CompassSmallY0 = -0.310
    CompassSmallY1 = -0.295
    CompassLargeY0 = -0.325
    CompassLargeY1 = -0.295
    CompassHugeY0 = -0.330
    CompassHugeY1 = -0.295
    CompassTextY = -0.331
    CompassRange = 20
    CompassX0 = -0.15
    CompassX1 = 0.15

    RollScaleHalfAngle = 60
    RollScaleR = 0.2
    RollScaleCenterX = 0
    RollScaleCenterY = 0
    RollScaleLarge = [30 60]
    RollScaleSmall = [10 20 45]
    RollScaleLargeR0 = 0
    RollScaleLargeR1 = 0.025
    RollScaleSmallR0 = 0
    RollScaleSmallR1 = 0.0125
    RollScaleTextR = 0.07
    RollScaleTextParams = [center bottom]
    RollScaleSegments = 10
    RollScalePointerR = 0.005
    RollScalePointerL = 0.02

    SkidIndicatorMark =
    [
    -.01 .005 .01 .005
    .01 .005 .01 -.005
    .01 -.005 -.01 -.005
    -.01 -.005 -.01 .005
    ]
    SkidIndicatorY = 0.17
    SkidIndicatorX0 = -0.1
    SkidIndicatorX1 = 0.1
    SkidIndicatorMin = -2.5
    SkidIndicatorMax = 2.5

    PlaneMark =
    [
    -.01 .04 .01 .04
    .00 .05 -.00 .03
    ]

    PitchLadderDV = 5
    PitchLadderSmallInLarge = 2
    PitchLadderSmallMark =
    [
    -0.08 0.0 -0.04 0.0
    0.08 0.0 0.04 0.0
    ]
    PitchLadderLargeMark =
    [
    -0.13 0.0 -0.04 0.0
    0.13 0.0 0.04 0.0
    ]
    PitchLadderY0 = -0.35
    PitchLadderY1 = 0.35
    PitchLadderXOffset = 0
    PitchLadderLetterOffset = 7000

    HUDColor = 65280
    StallColor = 255
    StallX = 0.7
    StallY = -0.65
    StallText = STALL
    StallMinSpeed = 6
    StallTextParams = [center bottom]
    GearX = -0.85
    GearY = -0.65
    GearText = GEAR
    GearTextParams = [center bottom]
    FlapsX = -0.7
    FlapsY = -0.65
    FlapsText = FLAPS
    FlapsTextParams = [center bottom]

    HUDLineWidth = 1.3
    HUDLineSmooth = true

    ThrottleIndicatorX = -0.95
    ThrottleIndicatorY0 = -0.8
    ThrottleIndicatorY1 = -0.8
    ThrottleIndicatorWidth = 0.00

    ElevatorIndicatorX = -0.7
    ElevatorIndicatorY0 = -0.5
    ElevatorIndicatorY1 = -0.5
    ElevatorIndicatorWidth = -0.0

    AileronIndicatorY = -0.5
    AileronIndicatorX0 = -0.8
    AileronIndicatorX1 = -0.8
    AileronIndicatorWidth = 0.0

    RudderIndicatorY = -0.6
    RudderIndicatorX0 = -0.8
    RudderIndicatorX1 = -0.8
    RudderIndicatorWidth = 0.0

  3. Questor says:

    Hi Joost!
    WOW! Awesome work!

    I also found it much like a comic book :P, I don’t if it is just me, but I couldn’t manage to control any of the airplanes for too much time. I found it quite difficult to fly, like when you turn left or right, the shifts are excessive and you almost immediately go into the crash (maybe I am not pressing the right keys… :P). Did you have this problem yourself?

    I never imagined you could modify the simulator from the .ini,
    you did such a great job. I am trying this myself now! 🙂

    Modifying the graphics from that text commands seems to have been a tedious job, with lots of trial-error tests!

    Congrats for this and your effort, is really awesome!!! And thanks so much for sharing! 🙂 🙂 🙂 We could submit it to Google?! 😉
    Cheers,
    Questor

  4. Poul says:

    try modifying aircrafts whish are in google_earth_folder/res/flightsim/aircraft/*.acf
    heh i now have F16 which flies with speed 12000 🙂
    .ach files are plain text files

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