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Discussion in 'Works In Progress - Archive' started by imerso, Sep 12, 2011.
You're welcome happy to help.
There is a new update in the online repository, and now normal lighting under Indie.
I sent v1.1 to the Asset Store for the people who bought from there.
Hi imerso, great job with this feature add-on.
I'm however wondering how you did solve the issue with floating precision.
Basically, I'd imagine you used the world origin centered on the camera position and compute other GameObjects relative to it.
My question is: how did you achieve this result? I can't see where in Unity you can hook the engine and provide your own view matrix and transform GameObject positions so they are positioned in relation to the camera instead of a standard identity matrix.
Thanks for answering as I really went down the process and couldn't find a way.
Some further questions before purchasing:
- I assume the planet meshes are dynamically generated and updated each frame based on proximity? Are you using something similar to a ROAM algorithm?
- Is the mesh generation itself good enough that shaders aren't essential (other than for noise generation)? Or are you using complex shaders with vertex displacements etc. to arrive at the final look (and not deforming the actual mesh/collider)?
The answers pretty much dictate whether the add on is interesting or not so I would really appreciate your reply. In general, I think you would see better sales if you took the time to explain what approach you are taking and what you actually include. It is quite vague at the moment. I can see the results, but I have no real idea of what to expect in the actual package.
The current version is actually living with some floating-point imprecisions (some camera jittering when really close to a planet in high levels), but soon I'll be providing a long int (fixed-point) camera class which will use 64bit integers to store positions. 64bit integers have the advantage of uniform precision everywhere, and you can even adjust the precision level you want.
I am trying to look at the demo but I keep getting a bad length error. (I tried a couple of different browsers). Also the downloadable is windows and I'm on mac.
I'd love to buy this but I really need to see what it's like before I spend that much money.
Yes, something similar but not ROAM.
The mesh is generated with vertices already in their place, so we can use Physx for physics.
I am providing a WebPlayer (will re-upload soon), so everyone can try it and see if it fits, before buying.
Thanks for the answers!
My last part of the question (which you attempted to answer above) did not really relate to final output but rather the approach and the components you include. For example, how do your code create the planetary mesh, how flexible are the algorithms / noise generators (different kinds of terrain etc.), do you simulate orbits etc. or is it just faked, etc. etc. etc.
If you do have such info somewhere, please point me to it. If not you really should consider some form of feature list and more in depth explanation of what you are offering. Right now I can't tell if I am buying something advanced or something I could knock out reasonably quickly myself.
Also, more specifically I am interested in how "deep" the current shader problems on macs is? Would it generate terrain correctly without the broken shader in place or is it a part of the noise generation for the terrain meshes?
... (some replies above) ...
So, a WebPlayer showcasing the product is not enough to you. Right. Let me see if I understood: you want me to stop coding to explain (exclusively to you) everything about the technical aspects of the work, in full, deep details, before you decide if you can do it yourself or not?
I will charge you $1500 for my time, let me know if you wish. Thanks for the interest.
You don't know about my sales number, or do you?
I am interested in this as well. A real answer, please, At least if you are interested in selling to me personally.
Jaimi Foxis seriously even for me this start to be annoying before asking imerso that as you may know his time read the forum there is 21 pages of information about this plug-in a webplayer test that you can use to see the project.
Before asking imerso use some time and read the forum. 95 % of questions that people ask all the time already were answer.
I am on a mac, and I am interested in this product, and how it works on that platform, and whether the issues that are reported present on the mac might be something that i may possibly be able to fix. I have read the forum. The information that is available is
Now it might be possible that I could fix this. But I do not know what this shader does, or what is wrong with it (or what the expected result is). That is all I am asking.
If it is annoying to you that I ask imerso about the deficiency on the Mac that he himself has said is there, because I might be interested in purchasing it anyway, all I can say to you is that it is not your business. I am not demanding support or a novel on how things work, or anything like that. I am a prospective customer inquiring about an issue that affects me. Imerso can answer, or tell me to take a hike. Either way is fine by me.
It is kinda my business because imerso is single developer and the more time it is taken from him the slower the product is develop if he were telling everyone about every issue he would never had time to finish the plug-in. WHEN you will buy it you will have access to full source-code and possibility to update it on your free will. You will even have access to the repository and work on the code with other people, but that after you will buy the plug-in before it you can't do anything.
From my point of view, the webplayer does not showcase your product - it shows one possible end result of your product. The product being a library of code an assets. I really can't tell from the web player how the library works, and therefor can't tell if it is suitable for my needs.
I must say I dislike that you put words in my mouth. I never said full details, nor deep. I said "more in depth", basically wanting more details. I haven't seen *any* details whatsoever this far. Also, on what planet would this information be exclusively for me? It would answer questions others have too, and probably help your sales.
English doesn't seem to be your native language, but your reply is offensive. Whether you may like it or not, you are now a provider of a product. You have to expect people asking questions before and after purchasing. You have to expect criticism.
The fact that you reply in this manner to my questions really make me wonder what kind of support (if any) you will provide if people encounter problems. Will you reply in the same snarky manner and quote them a price for your time?
Also, I don't care about your sales numbers. I said that a more professional feature list with more details would likely help your sales. As in you selling more than now. Is that bad in your world?
As I said, english probably not being your native language I'll give you the benefit of a doubt. I really hope you didn't mean to come off as such an impolite and arrogant €%!.
Now, can we return to the point where you offer a bit more info on what you are actually selling? Thanks.
This is absurd. I have been in business successfully for 20 years and one important thing to learn is to balance your resources wisely. This applies even if - or especially when - you are a small/lone developer. Also, if it delays the project THAT much to offer some more detailed info, then something is seriously wrong.
My suggestion to him that it would help to write up a more detailed feature list was actually me trying to be helpful. If such a thing had existed, he wouldn't have received as many questions on the forums. He would have actually freed up MORE time for development.
Anyway, I'm done with this now as the experience has been surreal.
lol I couldn't help but find this funny. Please by all means knock out a system that procedurally generates planets and allows for a smooth transition from vast space areas to a first person perspective allowing for physics etc.. And since it is so easy why not give it for free or even charge people half as much. A web player demo shows a product, as for things being fake, computer games has always been about taking advantage of visual illusions and distortions of perspective in order to provide user's an entertaining experience. Do the planets have gravity and the entire scene using a physics driven orbital system? No. That really isn't what is being sold here, what is being sold are full sized procedurally generated planets, which by the way a planet does not have to contain cool features like water, vegetation, weather etc.. to be considered a planet does it? Though it just so happens imerso has been working hard to allow for those features. Let's keep the complaints and questions a little more on topic.
I happen to agree with Thinker and the whole reason I'm taking the time to chime in some feedback which yes I just have done is so that imerso can concentrate on the project at hand which is a work in progress. I'm happy he talks to us at all and lets us be part of the development, that's more than I can say for 99% of other companies that hardly talk to beta testers and most definitely don't get in discussions about the technical aspects of their product prior to a full release. Once again if $150 is too much for this kind of coded project then either you don't have a good idea of what is being offered or it is in fact super easy for you in which case I say again, make your own version and sell it to us for cheaper.
You misread my post.
I said there is no way of telling if the code / mesh generation is advanced or relatively simple. There are many ways to approach the problem tackled by Imerso's extension.
FYI I have experience and knowledge such that implementing procedural planets with dynamic LOD etc. is not a daunting task. I am simply trying to determine if purchasing Imerso's code would save time or if I would spend as much time modifying it to my needs.
And as for "keeping the complaints and questions a little more on topic"... I think my questions have been 100% on topic and very reasonable.
You are way off. I could have understood this position before release when it was clearly in beta and sold as such at a discounted price.
It's released on the store, and with minimal feature specs. People are not (or shouldn't be) paying to be treated like participants in some free and open beta test. After the point of release any reasonable developer would stand by his product and answer questions in a polite manner.
Oops. Missed this passage which is exactly the heart of the matter. NO, I don't have a good idea of what's being offered. And Imerso is answering with a snarky attitude. Yes, the project is generating planets dynamically. That's all I know, and frankly any relatively experienced developer knows there are a multitude of ways to do this. Some are definitely worth $150 and some are frankly not. I would like to know the approaches taken before purchase.
Also, frankly $150 is pocket change when you are doing full time game dev work. Still, it is good business sense not to spend any money without making sure you get some value from it. I'm not going to take a chance on this, certainly not after Imerso so clearly displayed his attitude to customers.
Now I have probably spent more than $150 on my time debating this. I am happy you are happy, but I will definitely give this a miss unless Imerso does a full 180 degree reversal.
Not to take you off more time... as you said, you probably have spent already those money in time by quarrelling on here... but, do you REALLY think you can do what Imerso have done for as much as 150$?
Sorry if I doubt about it: if you think a programmer takes like 50$ a day (and I think usually a programmer takes quite more) then you suppose you can do what Imerso has done in as much as... 3 days?
Man, I warmly suggest you really start to do it and sell it because then you would really make some money out of a product like this and it would only take you 3 days while Imerso is working on this project for months.
No, definitely not. When I do consulting work (mostly business to business) I charge about $150 an hour, so I would be at a loss from the start.
But that is just assuming Imerso's library does things the way I need it to, otherwise those $150 are wasted both in terms of money and time (as in invested in testing and reading code). And if so, I would rather not purchase it and dedicate time towards implementing my own proprietary system.
See? That is why I am asking questions : Does the library take the "right" approach, or is it way too "techy" and advanced, or a hack? I don't know at this point.
But again, you are right I could have spent those $150 on the extension instead of typing reply after reply. However, this is a matter of principle to me. I can't believe people actually defending someone selling a code library and pretty much refusing to answer questions about it. I find all the behavior displayed in this thread rather odd.
But each to his own. If you are happy and think Imerso's approach to sales and "customer" service is fine, then alright then. I'll just disagree and elect not to spend my money.
And with that, I think I have explained myself more than I really need to. So back to making money instead of wasting time arguing on the interwebs.
Not even the opinion of the pre-buyers is enough to you, Foxis. Most if not all of them are being really patient with me, with all bugs and delays, AFTER spending their money. I can't be happy with you attacking me from the start, before spending not even a little of your time to read the previous answers. All your questions were answered before more than one time.
As explained some times before, there is currently a problem with running under Mac, that is in the terrain generation part, and is like 2 or 3 lines of incompatible code. That is something related to a single shader plus a rendertexture not working together, I am not sure what the problem is but I AM SURE that is like 2 or 3 lines of code to make it work exactly like the Windows version. I don't have access to any Macintosh were to test the code, and doing that remotely is a pain, so Mac is currently in standby, I'm sorry.
As a temporary workaround, Mac developers can use the Indie path of the code, so they can at least see something.
Unfortunately, Indie code path is still needing a revamp, which I'm working right now. The next Indie update will enhance a lot but a lot really in image quality. I said in the private list I could not reach Pro quality with Indie but now I think we'll reach almost the same or even the same quality just with the Indie path -- sorry for posting first here at this time, guys, I'll be sending an email to you all telling about this in details.
Now, I must tell that I'm overwhelmed, really. Although not that absurdly complex to finish features and fix all the bugs, I'm not progressing as fast as I (and everyone) would like.
It just happens that my time is not enough. I am doing the best that I can with my available time and resources. I will be re-uploading the WebPlayer for the people to experiment with, then if they find it interesting they may support the extension (or not).
You apparently don't understand my position. No, the opinions of other users aren't useful to me. I have no idea what their level of expertise is nor how they intend to use your library. That is why I am asking questions, to understand if your library is useful to me. Is that so hard to comprehend?
Attacking? Again, you aren't reading very well. I am questioning your behavior when you avoid answering questions and reply with a rude attitude. "No I won't type any technical answers for you, I can but it will cost you $1500". Seriously?
Please let me know where you explain how your mesh generation works (not in every techical detail, but in general). I asked, and got a one sentence reply. I have no idea how you are generating the terrain data or how flexible your algorithms are. Same things goes for other questions. You have me and one other guy asking what function the broken shader is performing and whether it can be easily bypassed - no answer.
Sorry, I just don't think you are being very professional about this. You need to at least be polite, even if you think people are asking hard or time consuming questions.
To all followers of this thread:
I see all people here as smart, capable developers.
Some (if not most) of you may very well have more than enough skills to develop something similar from scratch, but most people understand that $150 is far less than all the months it takes to start from ground zero, so they prefer to get the code that I already wrote, even unfinished as it currently is.
Some not, I understand and accept. I think the WebPlayer is a good way to show the current state of the project. You load the page, look at the demo, then you decide if you are curious enough to see the code behind. If not, you just close the page and continue your life normally.
Until finished, I will tell what, not how. The how is exactly what I'm selling here.
Ok I have re-uploaded the WebPlayer demo.
Visit http://www.etereo.com.br (~7mb) to check the demo and see if you like. Please note that it is currently Windows only.
For some time, pre-buying is available again directly from my page, through PayPal, for $99. Buying you get:
- the full C#/CG source-code with no hidden secrets;
- free source-code updates;
- access to an online repository for easier code updating.
I will find a way to get a Macintosh for some hours to fix the bug that prevents it from running under Macs.
OK, that is fair play and I respect your explanation. There is a vast difference between selling an extension vs. what is essentially a tutorial or example of sorts. Still, there's a middle ground between angry one-sentence answers (like yours) and a full technical walkthrough. You could have been a tiny bit more cooperative and forthcoming. Anyway, I may just risk $99 to get some answers. We'll see.
About the last published webplayer...
Why is it not possible to get close enough to any of the showcased planets so that terrain detail can be explored in higher detail? Speed get halted to a stand still, making it impossible to get close to the surface.
Procedural terrain detail is actually the most interesting feature to check and decide if this system is worth the pricey $150 tag.
Please modify your webplayer, and get rid of the ridiculous speed limitation.
Sorry, but as it stands now, it's not an interesting system.
Speed limit ? In the original version it was only 50 units ( it could be modified of course ). Its not slow its just planets are so massive.
There is quit high resolution on textures plus remember this is still not finish work.
For now this system is worth 150 $ investment even from an indie developer that don't have much money.
Have you actually tried the current webplayer? It has a speed limit preventing getting close to the surface. Useless as an evaluation demo.
Just tested the webplayer.
It's true that the ship now gets painfully slow while getting near to planets, BUT it's working, it's NOT stopped.
And by the way, the planets fractal terrain is now absolutely beautiful and very detailed (I didn't like the previous version).
There's also a small problem of vibration while down to surface on one planet... but I am sure it will be corrected later on
Another note: I know it's just a demo, but just to make it look better and more realistic, you should lower a bit the power of the high frequency noise in terrains, Imerso, they look too much bumpy and rocky.
Yeah but you can change the speed limits like Thinker said.
Its fun and easy to work with.
Right, Foxis. I must admit I was stressed and could have waited a few minutes before replying without thinking. That is it. I am sorry for being rude. And I understand your point as you're working on a Mac which does not display the demo properly.
There is no speed limit for what I see, max speed is defined by how near you are to the surface of a planet.
I don't know if there's a way to change the influence of distance from planet factor.
If there is, it's not mentioned in the commands on the left of the player.
No worries! Happy we understand each other. Good luck with your work!
I think $150 is a steal for this type of product. How many hours must have gone in to developing this? That price get's you one to two hours of time if you're hiring a professional programmer.
Imerso, Don't run yourself ragged trying to please everyone. You'll just end up getting too stressed out. Offer what you think is reasonable and fair and then draw the line.
And keep up the good work, it's very exciting!
Yes sure if you hire this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO7XhaTGDYg&feature=related
Hey Imerso, you will have money coming near the end of the month-ish - I am planning on buying this
Not wishing to cause any stress but there is no sign of the announced update with fixes at the Asset Store as yet.
I am sure at the end Imersos work will be exactly the same if not better .
You just need to give him time and more support by money or coding support after buying the plug-in .
Do you know when WebPlayer will work for Mac?
Thanks! This looks amazing!
Sure but if you read the comments there are NINE people working on it... so Imerso will need at least 9 times more time to do that
9 people working on one project not on the planet plug-in .
So most likely on the planet plug-in is 1 or 2 people working.
Are you receiving the mailing list? Have you received two mails from me (one through the mailing list, another directly)?
Thinker and all the other Etherea1 supporters already have full access to a planetary engine source-code *today*, and they're already having fun with that. They can see all the technical details, change everything they wish, make their own games, enhance the code, create their own solar systems full of planets the size and color they wish.
In the mean time, I have sent another source-code update to the supporters...
I've been following this thread for a while, and tho' I must admit I'm not yet convinced about full scale planets, Imerso's work continues to interest me, even if just for the technical prowess of it all. I think at this point as an indie dev, Imerso deserves a pat on the back.
I saw two issues with the video that was posted earlier which stood out as a problem with the Infinity system, as opposed to Etheria.
One was something I seem to see with Etherea as well - which is I just don't believe the scale. Our planet is HUGE. Now, either the detail of the landscape is way too big, or the sheer size of the planet in the video is way too small. I was on a plane today and just travelling from one small spot on the planet to another small spot took me 2 hours at several hundred miles per hour. That being said, if a planet gets too big, you can't really use it for a game. So either way, if you want large procedural planets: "too big" or "too small" is a petty detail, it's just something I've noted.
What really stood out with the terrain on the linked Infinity system video was the serious stepping in the terrain. There seemed to be a smoothing algorithm in there somewhere, but it was still something that just didn't work for me. Could be something that needs ironing out, but still it is an issue.
(And they certainly didn't land and plant a flag on that planet did they?)
Here are two shots from the Infinity Tech Demo video to explain what I was seeing, and a shot from the window of my plane to just show the vastness of the rock we sit on:
*Please Note: These are NOT screen shots from the Etheria project but shots from the video posted earlier which I am posting as an example of problems with that system NOT issues with Etheria.*
These are not screenshots from Etherea!
I'm supporting the argument that the video is not a good resource.
Well, with scale its all in the details, the screenshots you are showing are from an early work in progress prototype, lacking many details.
Imerso I warmly suggest you drink some relaxing drink... my post was not in any way disregarding on you, so why attack me?
I'm following your project and always writing enthusiastic comments here, what the heck is wrong with you?