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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. Thrawn75

    Thrawn75

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    Or... Gaia Plus?
     
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  2. FargleBargle

    FargleBargle

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    The Gaia brand has come to mean so much since its release that, from a marketing perspective, any related follow-on product should try to reference it. Maybe take @kburkhart84's suggestion and name it something like "Gaia: Genesis". You could even keep the existing logo, and add the new name as a sub-brand under it, to drive the point home that this is more goodness from the company that gave us Gaia. :)
     
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  3. RonnyDance

    RonnyDance

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    Well the problem that Gaia is not so Google friendly is because of the name itself. It used pretty often for other products. For example there is the Trance Band "Gaia" which is Armin Van Buurens second alias. And well Observatoriums etc.

    But as FargleBargle and others already mentioned, Gaia is one of the most known Product names in the Unity Community and store. That's why I also would stick to it.

    Never change a winning team, you know ;)

    Really looking forward to the pseudo procedural Spawn function. Creating terrains with Gaia using stamps is so nice and easy. But creating own POIs and dedicating time in placing some stuff not following some simple rules takes me lot of time (well I just tried it ones ;)). So everything that makes the life easier and "procedural" is really welcome.

    Cheers
    Ronny
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016
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  4. Robdon

    Robdon

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    Hi Adam,

    I'm finding it a bit difficult if I need to 'insert' a new texture rule into a resource file.

    Because you are using an Array in the inspector for us to specify the textures (and other items also), and since the order of them is important for spawning the textures, its difficult to insert a new texture if you need it to be in the middle.

    Because of the way Unity has 'designed' it, you cant insert a new one. You would have to manually copy all the values to the ones below to 'shuffle' them down. Which is quite a bit of work.

    Unless I'm missing something?

    Would it be possible for each item to have a new field called 'Order' that is just a numerical number, and it runs them in that order?

    Or maybe implement some kind of improved array ordering like this guy here: https://bitbucket.org/rotorz/reorderable-list-editor-field-for-unity

    **EDIT: Ah, just realized you can right click and 'duplicate' an element, and then change that one. That makes it a bit better, but maybe something like that drag and drop list editor would be a nice thing to add anyway...

    Thanks, Rob.
     
  5. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Glad you sorted it. You can get from terrain - but that will potentially cause issues if you are changing the use of the texture.
     
  6. Waizujin

    Waizujin

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    EDIT: You can probably disregard this somewhat. I managed to get these soft rolling hills by taking a heightmap, applying a massive amount of surface blur until it looked completely different and then importing it as a stamp. Honestly it's basically perfect. Your importing real world terrain tutorial was amazing and really helped me understand how to do this. So thank you! Any other tips you might have, especially on creating good mountains would still be very welcome!

    Hey Adam, I'm loving the tool, but really struggling with some things.

    I want an island about 2km size that's relatively flat with maybe a small mountain.

    I'm trying to work with stamps, but they're all heightmaps and I can never seem to find any good heightmaps... The heightmaps I find all end up being VERY jagged when imported, and a lot of your provided stamps are the same. I know I can smooth the terrain but it only helps somewhat.

    How do I get terrain similar to this http://i1.wp.com/files.facepunch.com/petur/2015/June/04/2015-06-04_17-13-09.jpg

    The terrain isn't at all jagged, it's got hills but those are smooth. There's also this image which has a nice mountain in the distance: https://cdn.mmos.com/wp-content/gallery/rust-overview/Rust-world-view.jpg

    If I try any of this with heightmaps, especially the mountain, all I'd get was a massive jagged peak rather than a nicely made realistic looking mountain. I MIGHT be able to get terrain as smooth as the first image but it would be a real struggle and require me to limit the height value on the stamp considerably.

    I've seen some of the images you've posted and your maps look SO good. Do you have any tips? Terrain Generation has been a real struggle for me.

    Thank you so much!

    EDIT: Sorry for so many edits. Is there a way I can control what stamps are used by the Random Terrain Generator? I know I can select categories but can I enable and disable individual stamps? For example, disable the stamps that come with GAIA and add my own and enable those? Or should I just delete those stamps?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2016
  7. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    Hi @Waizujin... If you play around with the height settings, you can eliminate a lot of those jaggies. I didn't have problems with any of the island stamps Adam included with Gaia. The only time I had problems with them being too jagged was when I increased the height too much. Normally a height in the range of 5-10 seems to be ideal.

    You might also find my Stamp Packs for Gaia useful. Volume 4 is an islands stamp pack. You can see other available packs by either visiting my web store or my publisher page in the links below in my signature. My forum thread link is also there if you want to follow for new releases. Health issues have been causing releases to be a little slower this summer but hopefully I can get them rolling full steam again soon... :)

    But again, for the ones you have been trying to work with, double check the height and try to keep between 5 and 10. If you are only getting minor jagged areas, a lot of times you can use the Unity smooth tool in the inspector for the terrain to smooth only specific areas or use the Smooth buttons in the Gaia tools to run smooth over the entire terrain.

    As far as the Random Terrain Generator, at this point you would need to move any stamps out of the categories which you don't want included. You can either move them to another folder, or if they are the ones that came with Gaia you may just delete them since you can always reimport them. If you are using stamps from my packs, you can go into the GX of Gaia Manager and each stamps pack has options to enable/disable individual stamps within the pack. If you previously enabled all of the stamps within the pack, you can go back and click the ones you want to disable and it will move them out of Gaia and back to the original pack folders.
     
  8. magique

    magique

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    Genesis is a great name, but I prefer the reference to the true beginnings of creation rather than the Star Trek one.
     
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  9. TryHarder

    TryHarder

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    opps missed this you edited the reply :) Thank you for the reply but I do need to use it at runtime, so thats not going to help :( Shame as its a fantastic product, Thank you for trying.
     
  10. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Not really sure what you are doing here - there is no 'jaggies' issue with the stamps provided with Gaia - actually I think there is one stamp of mt everest that is no good.

    If you want a smoother more rolling hills type effect - just set the height of the stamp lower.

    If you are still getting stuck PM me and we can Skype.
     
  11. TheSeawolf

    TheSeawolf

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    @AdamGoodrich , hey I've been away for 3 months and am trying desperately to read through the forum posts since April.

    Could you please somehow persuade everyone from posting so I can catch up
     
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  12. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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  13. Black-Spirit

    Black-Spirit

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    Adam, care to share what shader you are using on the terrain? In-built or some other? I bought the same PBR textures, though they look like nothing like that.

     
  14. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    None - its the standard unity terrain shader. Very few of my images use non standard terrain shaders. The challenge is in how you set the textures up, how you mix them together, and how you show things in the distance.
     
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  15. Crede-Pendrel

    Crede-Pendrel

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    Hi Adam and other posters

    First off great product! I was blown away by the screenshots you posted. I am currently working my way through the quickstart guide. In my first test scene when I spawn gameobjects the rock piles show up but the villages and farms are invisibile. Any adivce how to resolve this? I have tried removing and respawing them with the same result.
     
  16. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Never seen this before - are you sure its not just distance based culling ? Try zooming in closer to the villages.
     
  17. Crede-Pendrel

    Crede-Pendrel

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    Thanks for the quick reply Adam

    Sorry for the lack of contextual information with my last post. I took some screenshots.
    When I zoom in on the village the model just isnt there. Sometimes its below the ground, like in the gaia_2 image but its still not there when I move it up.

    Still worth every penny. And once I figure it out it will be even more amazing.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Crede-Pendrel

    Crede-Pendrel

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    I discovered that when I opened the disclosure triangle for the rocks some of them were culled. I changed it and they became visible. The farms don't have the triangle to apply the same trick.
    I'm also not having an issue placeing/viewing other gameobjects.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
  19. Crede-Pendrel

    Crede-Pendrel

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    Sorry to spam the message board today.

    I started a new scene and did Option 2 in the QuickStart guide. Everything works fine in there, I can see my farms. I went back to my other scene and tried to respawn but was still unsuccessful. There must be something wrong with the save.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I checked your image in the other post - Gaia will create an empty parent for a particular spawn type - even if it doesn't spawn anything - which it hasn't in that scenario. I can see how that might be confusing so I will change it in the next release.

    The spawning system in Gaia is very solid - whats happening is that the spawn criteria haven't found a suitable location to spawn that object. If you look at those locations they are quite steep - hence the lack of a spawn there.

    Open up the visualiser of that resource, and tweak its settings. To get more of a sense of how this works have a look at the video's that talk about Visualiser and Fitness, and GameObject / POI spawning here: http://www.procedural-worlds.com/gaia/tutorials/.
     
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  21. chaneya

    chaneya

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    How about "Gaia's Child"

    That would be my pick. It uses the same name which is important for the marketing but indicates it is something different, yet related.

    Allan
     
  22. nuggs94

    nuggs94

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  23. digiross

    digiross

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    I bought Gaia awhile back but haven't started my project yet. I was curious if there is a way that Gaia can pull data from Google Maps to render real world areas. It seems I saw something awhile back you posted but can't find it in the 127 page thread. :c)

    Also the new tool sounds great, eta on it's release?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  24. chingwa

    chingwa

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    @digiross I think this is the one you're referring to: http://terrain.party/
    It isn't directly incorporated in Gaia but it's easy enough to import the data that you download and setup a terrain stamp for use with Gaia.
     
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  25. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    The main features are largely complete. I need to add undo support, more testing as quality is very important imho and then documenting. Feedback has been very positive so not too long now.

    Am in a particularly busy time with startups, new part time game dev teaching role, and general parenting :)

    BTW successfully tested on multi tile terrains and meshes yesterday.
     
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  26. buttmatrix

    buttmatrix

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    1. Does Gaia - or any other asset for that matter - provide a way to manage terrain trees once they've already been placed, e.g. tree map?
    2. I posted some time ago to this forum about optimizing terrains in Unity by exporting to a mesh. I've since resolved that issue, but I'm unclear on how to delete the original terrain in the hierarchy without also destroying associated trees, detail objects, etc. [my best solution so far is to just not draw the terrain; literally uncheck 'draw']
     
  27. chingwa

    chingwa

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    In Unity you can't delete a terrain while simultaneously keeping the trees/detail objects. These are all saved as part of the terrain data structure. The best you can do is to turn off the terrain rendering, like you've suggested.

    Alternatively, you can write a utility to read the terrain data, and then replace the trees and detail objects with individual game objects. This would allow you to then delete the terrain completely. This is not a built-in function of unity though, you would have to write this yourself.
     
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  28. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yes and no. Generally no. There is an asset called uNature that is coming soon that will help with this i think.

    One of the benefits of terrain is that it manages these for you. You can set up trees as prefabs and tell Gaia to spawn them as GameObjects instead of as terrain trees. This sorts out the trees issue.

    There are shaders that do grass... but the ones I have played with have such poor performance that I haven't personally found them very useful.
     
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  29. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    Hey!

    Sorry for some shameless advertising but for trees I have found a partial workaround, feel free to check it at:
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/speed-tree-optimisations.317585/
    150FPS with 50k trees. Still polishing it but the concepts should be 100% use-able for any case.

    As for grass I think I talked a little about that in a old gaia related post (in the new forums that are now removed) where I presented a screen from some work-in-progress game with 400k blades of SpeedTree grass at 30-40FPS along with all the post-effects, volume clouds, water etc...

    Basically just create a grid, put all your grass in it and only display the grass that is around the player, instantiating it dynamically on the run. No matter how much grass you have (you can literally have millions of grass blades) since you only display the one around your player that is the real bottleneck.

    Also if we check some AAA looking stuff (like modern games or even Valley benchmark) we see that the filling grass does not have any shadows and other fancy rendering stuff to keep performance high.

    And just check out halo 5, i think on that jungle planet. The grass amount is so LOW and that is an AAA game!

    And another bad thing for unity is that we have to do all kinds of workarounds and all in C# considerably dropping performance because of that. (As a side note, anyone has any idea why isn't unity open source like Unreal??? A lot of stuff require small fixes and it is a tremendous pain to wait for a new freaking version just for some minor stuff. Like now, the vertical billboards are upside down, do i have to wait for a new version just for that fix???). If we would have source code access the workarounds would be a lot faster.

    And as a note if you wish to create a game with a lot of trees, grass (real grass not the useless unity billboards) and an open-world environment doing it for mobile is suicide. Also you must target video cards like 750Ti and above + to do a lot of manual workarounds if you want to have something decent looking.

    Personally, all those demos they do like adam or the blacksmith tend to make unity looking like something that can create AAA looking open world environents out of the box, but that is NOT the case, unfortunately.
     
  30. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    hey there,

    this is a screen shoot from my first tests using gaia and the latest version 3.0 of the color ultra terrain shader, wich simply play together well: Setting up the terrain was just a few clicks using adam's great tool as well as assigning the color map ultra shader and adding dynamic wetness and snow.

     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
  31. jbooker410

    jbooker410

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    How do you make a bigger terrain? I can change the terrain size but the auto stamping will only stamp a part of it. Tried everything I can think of.
    Thanks.
     
  32. jbooker410

    jbooker410

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    Never mind I figured it out! Amazing asset!
     
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  33. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I have tried it - it is amazing! :)
     
  34. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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  35. docsavage

    docsavage

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    and fast...at least from what I could see.
     
  36. magique

    magique

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    Looks very promising. Are you releasing the code for this or making an asset we can purchase?
     
  37. GarretPolk

    GarretPolk

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    Sorry if this was addressed already, but I had a similar issue. I found out that the sample Speedtree's in Gaia are out of date. I replaced them with the current free ones from the Asset Store and it fixed billboards not having occlusion shading and improved the colliders. Hope that helps.

    [Edit] Talking about Gaia 1.5.3
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
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  38. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hmm... wonder if they are backwards compatible... will try out - if they are then will replace in the next release.

    One of the issues with the asset store is that you need to publish to hit the widest target... and this means dealing with version compatibility issues. Easy enough to handle with code - not so much with art assets.
     
  39. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    If it were me, I'd just remove them and tell people to install the standard assets. That is the problem with including standard assets in packages. If they were different SpeedTree models other than the standard asset ones, I could understand including them. :)

    *hides from Adam* :p
     
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  40. Assembler-Maze

    Assembler-Maze

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    First I will try to finish it in order to see all the problems that exist with it and if/how they can be mitigated in order to get the best looking result.

    While I don't know if I'll make an asset (I don't think I have the time to make it work with one button click, it requires some complicated setup) or publish the code (working on some proprietary game) I will for sure make a tech post on how I managed to do it and how anyone can replicate the results.
     
  41. Quast

    Quast

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    Adam, I hope you answering my questions.
    1/ Can i adds more trees and grass.
    2/ can i change water colour and control wave speed and height ?
    3/ Is there deep water ?
    4/ In some videos trees and grass appear if you get close to it ! is this normal ?

    Thank you.
     
  42. magique

    magique

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    You can tell Gaia to generate multiple times in order to add more trees and grass to the scene. Changing the various fitness parameters can also allow you to get more trees/grass during a single generate.

    This has nothing to do with Gaia. You must ask the author of the water system you are using. But this is commonly done with the material used for the water and could certainly be changed.

    You must change the sea level value, change the kind of terrain you are generating, or move your terrain mesh up/down to get deeper water. Or simply move the water plane up/down to get the depth you want.

    This is normal Unity behavior and is based on the terrain setting for detail distance and tree distance. Increasing these will improve this for you, but at the cost of performance.
     
  43. Quast

    Quast

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    Thank you for your replay. Your answers had opened the door for few more questions ^-^
    You got me wrong. What i want to said is, if i made a tree or grass by blender or any other 3D program can i export it to Gaia ?
    Why i should ask the author ? I bought this asset and i can do what i ever i want ! is there any rule not allowed the user to get benefit from the things that Gaia introduce ?

    Do i need to pay monthly or annually for the updates ?
     
  44. Teila

    Teila

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    And also the name of an earth-based goddess. :) The word "geology" came from Gaia. I love it too.
     
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  45. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yes.

    There will be a multi-tile update coming and I may choose to charge an update fee for it... I have not decided yet.

    Thanks @magique for taking the time to answer @Quast questions :)

    Appreciate the awesome community here. With time zones, and having a life myself, community answers are often faster than mine. I tend to only answer things that have not already been answered by the community, or that perhaps might be misconstrued.

    I think the point being made here is that there are many water systems for Unity, and you may or may not be using the one that comes with Gaia.

    With Gaia, what I am doing is utilising the water that comes with Standard Assets. I place it into the scene for you as a convenience. I am sure it is possible to change the colour, wave height etc, but I have never done this myself.

    Here is the documentation for Unity water : https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/HOWTO-Water.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
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  46. magique

    magique

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    You misunderstand. The point is that whatever water solution you are using, whether it is integrated with Gaia or not, is not Gaia itself, but a third party component. If you want to know how best to tweak a third party asset then you should ask the author of that third party asset. Although I'm sure if we knew which 3rd party water solution you are using there are many people here who could help you to adjust it to suit your needs.
     
  47. DL88

    DL88

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    Hello, this is my first time posting on here and I'd like to say I really like the GAIA system makes things quite a bit easier, but I do have a problem when generating trees, grass and game objects. It seems when I try to spawn them in it only places them in one strip of my terrain, my terrain is larger than standard, is there a way to fix this besides manually placing all the objects. Thanks in advance.

     
  48. wccrawford

    wccrawford

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    I read the first and last page of this (127 pages! Yikes!) and saw that you initially didn't include real-time generation of terrains, but that you might consider it. Did that ever happen? Specifically, can you generate a terrain based on a seed at run-time?

    Thanks!
     
  49. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Some people have done it, but its not something I support out of the box, and not something I plan to support in the short term either. Gaia is aimed more at designing your environments to suit your game, rather than adapting your game to suit your environment.

    Fit your spawner to the terrain and then use masking, or alternatively move the spawner around to spawn in the areas you want stuff placed.
     
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  50. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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