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GAIA - AAA terrain generator, procedural texturing, planting and scene creation

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by AdamGoodrich, May 21, 2015.

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Would you pay an upgrade fee for Gaia 2 so that we can hire to accelerate its development?

Poll closed Sep 3, 2018.
  1. Yeah super cool - I would pay a $15 upgrade fee to get it faster!

    83 vote(s)
    80.6%
  2. No way - you promised free and i am happy to wait!

    20 vote(s)
    19.4%
  1. ArcticHorse

    ArcticHorse

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    Thank you for the video. I just bought this along with some of Backwood's Gaming's stamps and Turboscalpeur's grasses.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  2. TryHarder

    TryHarder

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    Sorry for late reply I've been away, Ok i'm using your latest build and Unity 5.3.5f1 and my target platform is Windows Store Universal 10. I'm about 1 week away from needing to start to build some terrains and would really like to use your system if possible.

    Thank you.
     
  3. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I will take a look. OK - so i took a look - the fix turns out to be quite significant. There is a lot of 'standard stuff' that they have ripped out of Windows Store Universal 10.

    If you were considering using Gaia at run time - you wont be able to - the fix will allow you to use it at design time though. Please PM me with your contact details and invoice number.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  4. Raptorixx

    Raptorixx

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    Thanks for the advices guys! Very much appreciated!

    Framerate is now up a slight but towards 35-40 after some changes to the LODs and removal of the colliders... tbh I didn't see much change when I had the colliders removed. Instead I notice another thing I didnt see before... much due to not looking close enough or towards the ocean.

    The speedtrees has some weirdness around the edges of the trees. Which seems ot be traces of the alphacutout :( These are affecting alot of things.





    I am feeling that I am slowly getting closer to where I want to be... but this issue above is really annoying :)
     
  5. Raptorixx

    Raptorixx

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    I love AQUAS myself! The only downside is that it is a calm water asset... so basically not suitable for oceans/sea/lakes where you want waves or if you having the wind tying to your water since it will be calm waters regardless. I have requested that he would add waves to his asset too, since I really do think it may be one (if not the best) water asset if he had waves as well included.

    /r
     
  6. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    While this is not a Gaia issue, its a shader / unity issue, I have never seen this before - are you running linear deferred with a hdr camera ? What post fx do you have - try disabling them one by one. Almost looks like SSAO gone wrong.
     
  7. CodingFuntimes

    CodingFuntimes

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    Hi Guys,

    This tool looks amazing, I've played around with random terrain generations many times in the past with varying levels of success. I have a list of questions regarding this tool. If anyone could take the time to answer them that'd be greatly appreceiated. Sorry in advance if these have been answered before, I haven't had the time to research this as I just stumbled across it while at work, however just felt I had to ask the questions anyway.

    Firstly, I like many have realized that world-size limitations are inevitable without some mathematics wizardry. I was just wondering what is the terrain size generation maximum?

    As an additional note, is it possible to use this tool to generate multiple terrain tiles and stitch them together later? I have a clever method of getting around your typical rounding errors associated with world size limits but it involves some tiling trickery. Obviously this would mean that the edges of each tile would have to be aware of those adjacent so that height mappings and terrain styles were similar.

    Thirdly, Is there any support for inclusion of custom models, textures, materials or prefabs etc for use in spawning/painting?

    Finally, Is there any support for "biomes" or climates? I guess this is linked with the above question as dependant upon biome I would obviously like to place different scenery entities.

    Thanks for reading my novel of a question, If anyone makes it this far and has the energy to answer any of these questions I would be hugely appreciative.

    Once again Thank You,
    Nic
     
  8. Waizujin

    Waizujin

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    Unsure if this is in the package already or not, but it would be awesome to place spawners on the map by hand, then spawn items in clusters in that area. Allowing biomes, dense forests, etc.
     
    Nateply likes this.
  9. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    The limitation is largely pc resource based - unity allows you to create i think 15k x 15k terrain tiles. However they wont perform well.. so you want to go smaller and then tile them. Most AAA games are actually relatively small, and tiled in and out.

    The perhaps better question to ask is if you want to create a large world game - what do you want it to do. What game play will you fill it with.. otherwise its just a large boring game.

    Gaia does not currently support large multi tile environments. It's designed to give you a large amount of control and to allow you to 'design' the environment to suite your game rather than design your game to suit your environment.

    Games such as Crowfall are using Gaia to design their environments, and then they stitch them together at runtime. Gaia does not currently support the stitching aspect of this, however there are other stitching tools on the asset store.

    Yes - I provide samples purely to get people up and running. This will get you something pretty and quickly. However the intention was always for Gaia to be a tool to create environments and you can plug any asset in you want. I think the essence of what Gaia actually is - which is a tool to create beautiful environments has gotten a little lost in translation.

    Gaia has the concept of spawners that spawn assets in an area. They can texture terrain, plant grass, plant trees, place rocks and buildings, and even place groups of things such as villages or graveyards. A spawner looks at the criteria you provide and then works out the best place in the environment to place it.

    Group related spawners essentially allows you to spawn biomes.

    Yep... a spawner has a range.. to make it easy for you i default it to the size of the terrain tile.. but you can shrink the range to be whatever you want.. you can then further mask things out to get any result you want. Its all there and its very powerful.
     
  10. Waizujin

    Waizujin

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    Oh nice, I didn't know spawners could be resized. This tool has a lot of awesome stuff, and right as you start to get the hang of it you realize there is even more powerful stuff to play with. :D
     
    AdamGoodrich likes this.
  11. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    Another thing you can do using the concept you are talking about is use the proximity spawning selection criteria. Say for instance you have a POI (set of game objects that are a point of interest - the farms in the samples, for instance). If you go through your terrain and find specific places you want them to be able to spawn, you could throw an empty game object down and assign it (crap, I forget if it is tags or layers.. but you should be able to find quickly in docs).. but you would assign the game object to whichever one and then in the proximity spawn criteria for your farm, you should be able to set that same value to have your farms spawn only around those markers. I haven't played with this feature yet, but it was the first thing i thought of when I read your post. Pretty sure that is the way that works, right Adam?
     
  12. Raptorixx

    Raptorixx

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    Hi Adam!

    Many thanks for your reply! For SOME reason (which I have no clue about) the player settings was set to forward, however it was not what I am using normally. Might been some test I did a little while ago and thus forgetting to change them back. However it didn't solve the problem...although giving me slightly better framerate ;)

    Also I am not so sure that it isn't GAIA related either to be honest. Cause it appears that a tree spawned by the GAIA spawner gets the artifact while a tree manually placed by myself (both using the same prefab) does'nt have it. I will add a picture where the left tree is GAIA spawned and the right tree is manually placed by me.



    ** Worth mentioning this is against the water it's happening and not in the sky as previous screenshot.. so partly solved. Might be something I need to take with the water asset creator. Since it also appears when using the terrain tree spawner which is the same that is being used by gaia to some extent (at least as I understand it since GAIA adds the trees there before spawning).
     
  13. John-G

    John-G

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    What water are you using, if it's Ceto then speedtree shaders are not supported and must be removed from the reflections layer, this is covered in Cetos docs.
     
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  14. Raptorixx

    Raptorixx

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    I always puts my trees in a separate layer to get better control, that seems to help on the trees manually spawned with the prefab, but the problem still exists as I mentioned when using the terrain tree painter (and GAIA spawner).
     
  15. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I will happily own an issue that is mine - but this isn't. Gaia does not include any shaders so its pretty hard for it to create shader issues. What Gaia does is save you time by putting existing assets into your scene.

    To compare apples with apples. Place a terrain tree into the terrain using the terrain tree painting control. This is what Gaia does, but instead of doing it manually it does it via the terrain API. You should be able to replicate the issue. If it is not immediately apparent then allow your scene time to bake as the issue could be created there.

    In the example above there could be many things at play ranging from - trees being spawned as terrain trees vs placed as prefabs / gameobjects (which you must be doing if you are putting into separate layers) - to one being baked and the other not being baked, and as @John-G commented, there being an issue with your water asset.

    I don't have any blinding flashes of inspiration other than to do an exhaustive test that allows you to isolate the permutations until such time as you have a solid idea of how to replicate it. You will need to remove all post fx from your camera as these have also been known to cause issues.

    I would also suggest that you speak to the author of the water asset you are using. In the image above you are only getting the artefact against the water and chances are they will already know about the issue.

    If you still have issues and want to do it as a game object in a separate layer then just configure up a spawner to do it that way. Gaia will spawn a tree as a game object as easily as it will as a terrain tree.

    @Dannyoakes have you ever seen this ?
     
  16. John-G

    John-G

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    @Raptorixx as taken from the Ceto manual.

    • Unity has handled the Speed Tree shaders differently than normal for some reason. They do not have a render type so can not added to the replacement shader. This means you will get a strange pattern on the ocean behind the trees. You will need to deselect the layer speed trees are on from the depth mask.
     
  17. Raptorixx

    Raptorixx

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    Sorry if I was unclear... but in my ** Worth mentioning part I basically concluded the same thing as you explained... the problem isn't within GAIA since it's the same thing with the terrain tree spawner. Also it's nothing to do with the post FX since I have both disabled and enabled it to test. The issue isn't showing at all when manually spawned as objects so the problem is in here.

    However I think you hit the nail Adam! I am a bit angry of not thinking of it myself! But I will definitely try to spawn the trees through the gameobject spawner instead, since they should at least in the theory solve the problem.

    John G - That was one of the very first thing I already checked. It's not that... if I haven't done that change then you would still see the issue on the manually spawned prefab as well. I am pretty sure the issue comes when using the trees spawned through the terrain tree painter instead as of a gameobject.

    **UPDATE* Can confirm that there is NO issues anymore when spawning them as GameObjects instead of Terrain Trees.

    Now I just need to figure out to make a Clustered Tree Gameobject spawner behave like the Terrain Tree Clustered Tree spawner :p Cause trying to mimic the spawner settings as good as possible it still only spawn 9 trees during one clustered spawn (with having only one spawn rule due to testing)
     
  18. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    speedtrres do not work with ambient occlusion image effects due to the reasons mentioned by @John-G
     
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  19. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Just set the spawner up the same way as the clustered tree spawner. Under the hood the same placement logic is being used.
     
  20. Raptorixx

    Raptorixx

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    I am definitely doing something wrong :p

    Here is what I have done sofar now using a SpeedTree Elm Tree:

    # I am using the Clustered Tree Spawner, but instead of using Terrain Trees I am using Game Objects to spawn
    # The Resource settings are having the exact same DNA and Spawn Criteria settings.

    Still the weird thing I have is when I spawn the rule with Terrain Trees then it spawns 47 objects but when I am using the GameObject spawn rule then I get only 28 objects spawned.

    I have no idea why it is a diffence to be honest... I tried to play around with different noises and the strenght factor in those, but couldn't get it above 28 objects.

    Am I doing something wrong here?

    Adding images..

    First one is the settings for the TreeHandler Resource:



    Second one is for the GameObject Resource:



    If I do a full spawn with all trees then with Terrain Trees I get 986 trees spawned and with GameObject Trees I get 380. The problem is that It's really hard to get more then 1400 trees to spawn and I am needing at a minimum about 3500-5000 trees.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  21. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    What does your game object spawner look like? If you want more trees, work with the failure rates and amounts in your spawner. I am not sure if it makes a difference or not but I wonder if you are using a single GameObject spawner for all of your game objects or did you create a dedicated one for your tree GameObjects? I can't remember how the seed thing works out but I wonder if spawning with other game objects if you are getting less trees because of other things spawning with that same spawner? What I usually do is separate out different types of game objects I am spawning into different game object spawners. For example, with the default GaiaResources file, I break the game object spawns up into three GameObject Spawners.. Villages, Farms, and Nature. I wonder if breaking trees out into a Trees GameObject Spawner and running it before your other GameObject Spawner might yield more trees?

    Might not but might be worth a try. I would guess the main culprit may be your actual Spawner's main settings (up above the list of GameObjects in the spawner)..
     
  22. Raptorixx

    Raptorixx

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    Hi Shawn!

    Thanks for the ideas!

    Here are the settings on the spawner:



    I have been testing quite a bit with the noise mask between None and Perlin.

    I also did what I had been trying to avoid... I deleted all details which means I would loose all manual placed details as well :( Reason for this is that I have some detailed mesh spawned as well so I wanted to make sure they didn't interfere... but still only 402 trees spawned.

    Hmmmm notice something interesting now....

    Since when I added new gameobject spawner rules it basically took a copy of the last one.... what I had misssed is that that it was the camp which also have spawn extentions. So what I now did was to set all spawn extentions from 2 back to 0 and I thought that would change things since I saw colliders being allocated on the grass texture spots where the extentions was spawned. However for some damn reason the colliders for the spawn extentions still show up even if I have set them spawn extentions to be at size 0. I feels like these colliders are the ones messing up the spawns for the trees. How should I do to make sure to get them removed when I already have set the extension size to 0?

    As you can see down on the screenshot.... all the small colliders are getting added even though I have extention size now set to 0 on all game object protoypes. The colliders are added as _GaiaCollider_Grass



    Also if I look at one of the grass colliders then I see that it has two sphere colliders located at basically the same spot (which is NOT part of the tree prefab). See screenshot below:

     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2016
  23. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Gaia adds these to stop collisions during spawning as a bunch of assets don't have them, and you don't want trees growing through trees. They are disabled at runtime and are separately parented so you can easily delete.
     
  24. Robdon

    Robdon

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    Hi Adam,

    Just got GAIA, and having a play with it... and loving it so far :)

    I wanted Palm trees on my terrain, so I added the Palm tree that you have supplied to the Resources and spawned lots in.

    However, I've noticed that the 'Fade Mode' setting of 'Speed Tree' on the palm tree doesnt seem to be working.

    With the other 2 supplied trees, it smoothly transits between LODs, and I can barely see the swap over, but with Palm trees it seems to 'pop' in the change range than smooth it, as if the 'Face Mode' was set to 'None'.

    Is there something special I need to do to make Palm tree work nicely like the other 2?

    Generally the Palm trees seem to pop in and move around when going to billboard also. Is it just that the palm tree is a lower quality tree and doesnt work as nicely as the Broadleaf and Conifer, or is there are problem?

    Using Unity: 5.3.5f1

    Thanks, Rob.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  25. Robdon

    Robdon

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    Oh Also, FYI, as Raptorixx said...

    I've noticed that all the Bounds_ColliderCache GameObjects that get created seem to have 2 colliders on them.

    I think its because in SpawnRule.cs you are doing CreatePrimitive, and then also doing a AddComponent<xxxxxCollider>.

    The CreatePrimitive automatically creates colliders, so I dont think you need to create one manually also?

    Not a massive problem, but might make it a wee bit quicker...

    Rob.
     
  26. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I have actually come up with a better and much faster way to do this - will be coming in the next update.
     
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  27. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    None than i am aware of - I don't use them so I can't comment from personal experience.
     
  28. Robdon

    Robdon

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    Ok, well, I've created a support request for Speed Tree, and see what they say, since it does it outside of Gaia also. The Palm trees are definitely a bit naff and dont look good when switching LODs...
     
  29. Aerothosis

    Aerothosis

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    Hey there @AdamGoodrich
    First off, I'm in love Gaia. Absolutely superb. I've been playing around with it and making a variety of maps, but when I've ventured off to making a larger map, I seem to run across this strange error.

    The map size I went with is 8192 x 8192. The default size was just a bit too small for what I have in mind for my project. After doing so, and spending a considerable amount of time populating the map with the spawners, I keep getting this "group < 0x7fff" error. That's all that it says in the title and description of the error. And it completely fills up my error log, instantly giving me 999+ critical errors.

    Not sure where this is all coming from, but any ideas would be awesome.
    If it's just something to do with maybe too much going on memory wise on my system, I can accept using smaller maps and just loading them together rather than one large map.

    - Mike
     
  30. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hey mike - drop me an email with an image of your error log. Gaia has been successfully used on much larger environments so there is something a little skewif with your set up.
     
  31. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Some glimpses of things to come - > done with Gaia and a new companion tool I am developing :)

    Terrain is a randomly generated Gaia terrain - and texturing was done with Gaia.

    The rest was done with the new tool in about 5 clicks and less than a minute - mostly on deciding what i wanted there. The actual spawn times were fractions of a second.

    This does not represent a fully worked up scene - I just got carried away playing :)









    Other assets used:
    * Tenkoku - stunning lighting, clouds, sounds and atmospheric effects
    * AQUAS - lovely and efficient water
    * Ferns - Turboscalpeurs lovely ferns
    * SpeedTree Desktop Trees Pack - Cedar and Americal elm trees - less is more
    * SpeedTree Birds of Paradise - Gorgeous flowering plants
    * PBR Terrain Textures - Lovely terrain textures
    * Cinematic Image Effects - Free and awesome unity post FX
    * HBAO - Lovely ambient occlusion
    * Rocks & Boulders 3 - Current favourite rocks

    @chingwa thought you might enjoy as well - latest tenkoku is lovely :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  32. ArcticHorse

    ArcticHorse

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    Could you tell us more about the new companion tool? :).
     
  33. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    It is a pseudo procedural spawning system designed to make scene population / level design a breeze.

    It's focus is purely on spawning and it does this with minimal setup and configuration. It does grass, trees, prefabs and POI's (points of interest e.g. villages, cemeteries etc).

    Gaia by comparison is the bigger brother. It has a lot more capability from terrain creation and texturing, to spawning, and has a grab bag of sample assets and utilities included as well.

    There were specific challenges that were pretty much impossible to solve with a generic tool that I wanted to solve with this - for example - near zero configuration - very precise artist control - speed - the creation of things like believable mesh based ledges and rock platforms, and the automation of placing complex structures made of many parts such as villages etc.

    It will work with mesh environments or terrains and is tool agnostic, so regardless of the tool you use to create your terrains, you will be able to use this. It can be used at design time or runtime, and is multi-tile enabled.

    In the same way that Gaia innovated by being the first to bring the stamping concept to the asset store, this innovates in the way it does procedural content generation. The magic is in the way you use it.

    If you look at the images in my previous post only the terrain and the texturing was done by Gaia. The rest was done with this new tool. For the level designers out there this takes days, weeks, and months of work and shrinks it down to minutes and hours.

    I enjoy using it so much that I could no longer imagine creating a scene without it :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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  34. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Btw. I am looking for a name for it. I like what Gaia stands for and how strong it is as a name. If you have any suggestions then please send to me in a PM, and if I choose your name, you will be invited to join the beta, and get a free copy when it launches.
     
  35. hopeful

    hopeful

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    Hmm. You could always use the name of Gaia's husband. Well, maybe not. ;)
     
  36. Fenris2

    Fenris2

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    Hmm, well sticking with the Greek theme... How about Janus. God of beginnings and choices since spawning is all about that. Okay, okay well technically stamps would be the true beginnings but still.

    edit: oops, so much for the PM. :p
     
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  37. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Thanks for the responses everyone :) Still looking, will give it another week and then choose one :)
     
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  38. chingwa

    chingwa

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    DISTRIBUTO! But must have a superhero with a cape in the logo!
     
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  39. kburkhart84

    kburkhart84

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    It isn't exactly greek, but I think "Genesis" would be a great name for the procedural creation tool. It creates something from nothing, similar to project Genesis from the Star Trek Movies.

    I searched "Genesis" on the Asset Store. A couple of things come up, one involving creation/destruction of objects, and another involving generation of space scenes. So the word "Genesis" is used on more than one asset, though none that I saw involve spawning things for terrain, etc... The word is not used all alone as the full name of any assets that I found, so I think you could lay claim to that with no issues, but if not, you could something including the word and be fine, similar to other assets that have done so.

    *************

    Another word that could work good is "Greenhouse." The only assets I found searching for this word was a couple of art assets, nothing to do with generating anything at all. I know the asset isn't only for plants, etc... like a greenhouse, but I think the name fits. Gaia isn't only for creating earthlike terrain either, rather it could be used for other types of terrain, like alien, etc... and the stamping system and POI system I don't think have anything to do with Gaia either, but the name still fits, so I think "Greenhouse" could fit the same way.
     
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  40. ArcticHorse

    ArcticHorse

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    I'm excited about this. Hoping you will spawn the player separately from everything else as I use an editor that has to spawn the player itself.
     
  41. Daniel-Talis

    Daniel-Talis

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    Like this term..almost as good as "points of interest"

    How about "Tool agnostica" :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  42. Thrawn75

    Thrawn75

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    Nice work Adam. Glad to see Gaia continues to evolve. That transition to content management seems very logical to me.
     
  43. DenisLemos

    DenisLemos

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    I think the tool must have a compound name. As Gaia is one of the most popular tool of the Asset Store I believe the word "Gaia" must keep in the name of the new tool by the simple fact of being an established name and will appear in search results for those who are looking for Gaia.

    And the compound name should also transmit to the possible client about what is the tool.

    I believe the name should be something like this:

    Gaia's DPO
    Gaia's Distribution Process Optimisation


    or

    Gaia's SPO
    Gaia's Spawning Process Optimisation


    or

    Or even like the guy up there said:
    Gaia's Tool Agnostic

    This is just my humble opinion.
     
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  44. Phesant33

    Phesant33

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    Quite keen for this new tool, will be great to see some demo vids too :)
     
  45. Marcurios

    Marcurios

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    The Garden Of Eden Spawner...GOES..lol..

    Goes ? Goes where ?

    Or GENA..hehe..Garden of Eden Natural Arranger..
    Oh wait that's not fair, i have foreknowledge.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  46. Wizard-Games

    Wizard-Games

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    well first i looked for words that started with gaia, and found nothing, but the word "Gain" is pretty close. You could do somethign to play with the word gain.

    Next I looked for some other gods and found that Demeter was the goddess of agriculture and harvesting and stuff so that could sorta fit with the lore.
     
  47. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Posts:
    3,689
    Thanks everyone for the feedback - loving it. I demo'd this to the environmental team at Crowfall https://www.crowfall.com/ today - they are loving it as well.

    In related news I am exploring supporting the GPU instancing coming with Unity 5.4. So not only will it make cool things for you - but they will perform magnitudes of better as well. No promises yet - early days :)

    I have come up with a whole bunch of cool refinements - and aspects of this will flow into the next release of Gaia, so for the awesome community here, even if you decide that this tool is not for you, you will still see a benefit in Gaia.
     
  48. ArcticHorse

    ArcticHorse

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Posts:
    682
    I'm good with Gaia 2. : ) Like Terrain Composer 2. : ) Don't deviate from a known name.

    I really like the name Gaia and it has a whole mystique associated with it--if you have to call it something else maybe Gaia Prime or something. I was a classics major and had to learn Ancient Greek. Gaia resonates with me. It means terra firma. : ) And quality terrains.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2016
    AdamGoodrich and TeagansDad like this.
  49. vrpostcard

    vrpostcard

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Posts:
    33
    Spawny McSpawn Face?
     
    TeagansDad likes this.
  50. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2013
    Posts:
    3,689
    I really love it as well. Its not very search engine friendly, but known in Unity space :)
     
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