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Posted: May 12 2010, 1:56 AM
by Bulldoggie
I'm a longtime fan and user of the SpaceOrb. I recently purchased a SpaceNavigator from 3DConnexion and was wondering if any of the game work done by this august crew over the years will port to it?

Re: SpaceNavigator

Posted: May 12 2010, 16:11 PM
by vputz
Hey there! Unfortunately I may not have a happy answer for you. The SpaceNavigator (if I'm thinking of it right) is a USB device, which means it's already represented to the computer as some sort of HID device; the work I've been doing with the little kits is to represent an old RS232 Serial device as a HID device.

In other words, I faked a driver in hardware--what you need (to use the SpaceNavigator as a gaming device) is a software layer to take one device and have it pretend it's a different device.

This is technically possible the way I did it (there are ways to set up the Arduino as a USB host) but it's not trivial. I've wanted for some time to write a HID->HID translator driver and just can't bring myself to do so. It's almost certainly possible (and probably relatively easy) but the stuff I've done here won't really relate at all, I'm sorry to say.

Good luck finding something, though--and if you do find an answer, please post here. The SpaceNavigator looks like a tidy little device and it'd be fun to have available!

Re: SpaceNavigator

Posted: May 12 2010, 17:54 PM
by Bulldoggie
You're right it is USB. I love the build quality, but there's no real user level SW, just an SDK. Thanks anyway for a quick response!

Re: SpaceNavigator

Posted: May 13 2010, 9:48 AM
by vputz

Don't hold your breath (seriously; I probably won't even glance at it till late summer or winter), but that does give me an idea for something I've wanted for a long time--a programmable "patch board" for HID devices, implemented in hardware. I think I see how it can be done, but I'm short on time these days.

Re: SpaceNavigator

Posted: June 30 2010, 22:25 PM
by gman
I've used the SpaceOrb 1996-1999 exclusively for all the PC games at the time such as Interplay's Descent series, IdSoftware's Doom and Quake series, Acclaim's Forsaken, Valve's Half-Life. I remember playing start.bsp on Spactec's own Quake1 server! I've even tweeked the sensitivity files, which I felt ramped up the sensitivity so high for the sake of competetive game play that most of the high precision measurements of the orb was lost. For competitive gameplay full translational acceleration at all times is desired, so on/off keys did the trick, just making the orb basically a rotational device like the mouse. Well removing all sensitivity multipliers, just delivering raw input to Descent then massively increasing the ship's acceleration or force/mass ratio (hex modifying one of the Descent files) I really noticed the true precision of the device, how much I could control it with a light touch slowly creeping around tight corners then ramping all the way to inbelievable warp speeds in any direction instantly then instantly back again to a controlled crawl. I remember emailing one of the Spacetec employees, about how useful it would be to have a hardware slider on the device to ramp the sensitivity on the fly (I did make some Quake configs that used the orb buttons to modify zoom/sensitivy on the fly for the Teamfortress mod of Quake1.)

Well Spacetec's high precision hardware is still around; Spactec was bought by Labtec which was bought by Logitech which owns 3Dconnexion [url][/url] The SpaceNavigator is sold at the same price the SpaceOrb was sold in 1996. Though I loved playing with the SpaceOrb, there are some advantages to a 1hand 6dof device. Rather than having the right hand use some fingers to hold/stabilize the device while only 2 or 3 fingers use buttons it could instead operate the keyboard using all the right hand's fingers and have access to more buttons, or even onto a mouse or another 6dof device. I keep imagining playing World of Warcraft using the left hand on the SpaceNavigator for movement, right hand on the mouse for target selection and spell casting (if they'd ever make support for it.)

Right now I just use it for Google Earth (which uses all axis except roll.) I would really like to use it for playing games on modern operating systems and computer hardware, but the drivers only have support for modeling and CAD programs.

Lately I've been playing some of the 90's games using DOSBOX [url][/url] , but unfortunately not with a 6dof device. Not even on the source port games such as eduke32, d1x rebirth seem to support them.

SpaceNavigator now supports all games

Posted: June 12 2011, 13:50 PM
by gman

[url][/url] Descent 1 and 2

[url][/url] Duke Nukem 3D

With the release of 3dxWare 10 beta 10 I've been playing D1x and D2x Rebirth (Descent port) with the SpaceNavigator! Also Eduke32 (Duke Nukem 3d port,) albeit crawling forward at the moment.

I've even got it working in Quake2, and hopefully soon Quakeworld as well.

So incase you break your last SpaceOrb and are having trouble finding a replacement, or want to try orbing in one hand and keyboarding/mousing in the other you can always give the SpaceNavigator a try.

Well, back to the games, even works in World of Warcraft, now a hand free for all the spellcasting in WoW!

Quake 1 and Quake2 works great!

Posted: June 12 2011, 20:29 PM
by gman

Profile and config files, to start Quakin' on the Space Navigator!

List of verified working games growing

Posted: June 16 2011, 17:45 PM
by gman
Doom 1 and 2, Heretic 1, Hexen 1 and 2 also are all working with the SpaceNavigator. What's nice about these games (along with DukeNukem 3D, Forsaken, and the Descent series) is that they all have variable translational control, not just variable rotation control (like Quake 3 and Heretic 2.)

Profile exchange forum [url][/url]

Re: SpaceNavigator

Posted: March 26 2012, 13:12 PM
by silentguy
I also picked up a used Space Navigator and Space Pilot USB on Ebay.

Using the 3DConnexion Beta v10 drivers, I was able to map keyboard and mouse for gameplay.

However, I still seem to like the Spaceball and Orbshield better.

I think the gain control setting is better, and control is finer using the spaceball.

You probably can set the SpaceNavigator to have similar settings, but I think for the cost you really cant beat the Spaceball/SpaceOrb and Orbshield.