Week 7 Newsletter

During this week, we did plenty of things, including designing multiple levels, making new models, having meeting with Dreamcatcher team and so on. We will illustrate them one by one

First of all, on Monday, we specifically discussed what if we won’t have enough time to play with Dreamcatcher until the end of semester and still want to present the idea of how things shape things. Basically, we all agreed that giving full customization access to players will be a good idea. While a player want to achieve a better performance, he can modify the size, the weight, the locations of engine and seat, and test with the configurations to achieve higher goals. The other point that is not highly relevant to the main mechanism is that we are talking about the background story. Rather than let players compete with each other for nothing (we are not doing a real time multi-player game), we would like them to complete missions and get rewards. The missions are no big difference than previous competition designs, but it just makes more sense. For instance, someone gets stuck in the desert, and a storm is coming, please go and save him and avoid being swallowed by the storm. The storm even is just a timer, but it gives players the intense and requires high performance of the vehicle and better driving skills of the players.

The new model we made was Colosseum in Rome for turning test. Because Colosseum is shaped in circles and contains potential multiple layers, we can modify it to be the test facility in different levels. Different levels have different diameters, and so if a car want to pass a smaller circle with the same speed for a larger circle, it has to have better stability.

Then, on Thursday, we had a meeting with the Dreamcatcher team, where we looked really deep into how Dreamcatcher actually works. Now, we obtained a much better understanding of its working principles. We specifically discussed our concerns about force decomposition problem on A-arms and the decisions to make fixed and load ports. After these problems cleared out, we are now in a good stage to collect data on the very first round and get it ready for Dreamcatcher to design. We were trying to build a regular contact with Dreamcatcher team, as we may use some of their resources frequently in later this semester.

On Friday, we visited the Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab at Stanford University, where many interesting vehicle experiments are being undertaken. More interestingly, they have an amazing 270 degree immersive driving experience simulator and the experience is very realistic. Thanks for Michael Sturtz, Dr. Wendy Ju and the VAIL for accommodating us for such a wonderful tour.