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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. Teila

    Teila

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    Works great with smaller terrains!! Smada is using small terrains and you can see his fabulous screenshots above. :)
     
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  2. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    In the beta I'm working with terrains that are just 500x500, and everything works great :)
     
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  3. GalacticGlum

    GalacticGlum

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    Well how do I join beta?
     
  4. BackwoodsGaming

    BackwoodsGaming

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    According to an earlier post, I'm pretty sure Adam mentioned that he isn't inviting more people to beta. There is one more test version and then it will be released. So hopefully will be in asset store soon... :)
     
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  5. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Very soon :)
     
  6. FyreDogStudios

    FyreDogStudios

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    I like the sound of that,
     
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  7. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    We've all gone on here about "great stuff within 5 minutes", and whilst this is true once you've worked through Gaia's initial setup processes, I decided a while ago when Adam announced a new beta was on the way that I'd do a rough timing once I installed the latest beta from initial setup to gathering the textures, configuring the spawners, testing them, tweaking the results, testing again, etc. to a point where I was getting the sort of results that I was happy with.

    The image below is one from 3 hours of setting up, running Gaia's processes, tweaking and repeating.

    Now, 3 hours might seem like a lot of time, and I'll be honest here, I could have put an image up after about 90 minutes, but I wasn't 100% happy with the results I was getting then (mainly because I'd forgotten some of the settings I had in the previous beta so I was experimenting with values to try and reproduce those results but then I realised that Adam had improved the spawners in the latest beta to rebalance things and what I was trying to reproduce was something that was actually running off a set of slightly off-balance algorithms :D )

    screenshot32.jpg
     
  8. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    The latest beta introduced the concept of 'sea level', and everything auto configures to that as you don't want land plants and textures happening below water level.

    The sea level setting is arbitrary so if you don't have a water table / sea level to consider you can always drop it back down as it is automatically calculated as a percentage of the overall land height.

    When creating a new environment I tend to find that the majority of my time on a new scene is spent exploring textures for ground, grass etc.

    Am in the process of building out a new project using Gaia plus a bunch of other assets to both test it and show what can be done and have spent an hour just playing with grass textures, and still am not happy with them!

    The techniques and settings I come up with while doing this will be reflected back into the project so that you will be able to use them as well.

    As Paul comments, your time is in the setup. However once you have done this you can change your terrain shape any way you like, and everything will automatically just adapt.

    That is when this system really shines.
     
  9. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    It's been too long between screen shots!!

    Here is a series of images as I build up a new environment from scratch.



    First - choosing the vegetation I want to use.



    The building out the vegetation - first layer...



    And the next layer ..



    A first stab at some trees ..



    Playing with light ..



    Will create a series of spawners where each one is designed to add another layer of detail..

    Then i can drop them into a 'spawner group' that procedurally generates a 'biome' with a click of a button. Then prefab them.

    And finally - change the shape of the terrain - drop the prefab in and press a button.

    Instant biome that adapts to the underlying terrain :)
     
  10. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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  11. John-G

    John-G

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    Ok, you just took my breath away. Man those are results I could never achieve even if I spent a year working on it.
    Cant wait to combine this with Truesky and Ceto for the ultimate Island scene.
     
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  12. Rick-

    Rick-

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    Impressive...
     
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  13. FyreDogStudios

    FyreDogStudios

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    We has now?
     
  14. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Random rocks can certainly add areas of interest across the landscape...

    As we've mentioned, the time put into the setup for Gaia is certainly worth it. I added in some of Michael O's rocks (from one of the asset packs he released free the other day), and after about a half hour of setting up the spawning rules within Gaia, and maybe another 5-10 mins of testing and tweaking, it gave me these results.

    screenshot34.jpg

    screenshot36.jpg


    The beauty about this now, is that if I was to get rid of this terrain and create another one, everything is now set up (so far - there's still some things I want to add in (other trees, etc.) :D ) but once I've got a terrain defined, I'm literally a handful of clicks away from another procedurally textured landscape, replete with grasses, plants, trees and random rocks scattered about :D
     
  15. Fenris2

    Fenris2

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    I have been lurking on this thread for quite a while now, and all I can say is the results everyone is producing keep looking better and better. Gives me some real hope even I will be able to produce something passable. ;P
     
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  16. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yeah - its really cool seeing how the beta group and the product is improving - just look back thru the images :)
     
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  17. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    If I were to try and recreate by hand what Gaia lets me create, then I would probably give up in frustration long before I got there :)
     
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  18. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Spent a little more time adding some more spawners to the scene - all texturing, details, trees, rocks and houses done procedurally.











    The buildings and rocks shown here will be included in the asset when it launches :)
     
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  19. nasos_333

    nasos_333

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    Very cool :), the terrain looks amazing.

    Are the grass positions saved in a texture (like in Terrain Composer) or are they available through scripting (or both) ?
     
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  20. RonnyDance

    RonnyDance

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    Adam what Day / Lightning System are you using? It looks really cool. Specially the night foggy screenshot with the moon some posts before. Since I am working on a horror game this would be exactly the scenario I am looking for.

    The buildings are from th exterior kid of 3dForge isn't?
    With rocks you mean the small rocks? How will you add those to the Gaia Asset? As sample prefabs?

    Anyway awesome screenshots! Really
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2015
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  21. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Adam's using Time of Day (as am I now after Adam 'persuaded' me that I should get it - well.... he was very insistent that it'd be a good purchase and he was right :) ) As for the effects he got there - he's probably using a mixture of fog, sunshafts, maybe some bloom and depth of field effects :)

    The buildings are from the 3DForge exterior kit, and a good example of what you can create with it

    Gaia can spawn any game object you pass through it, so it can procedurally place rocks, trees, houses, etc. for you. That's what I did in my images a few posts up from here :)
     
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  22. RonnyDance

    RonnyDance

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    Thanks smada luap for the Time of Day asset it really looks pretty easy to use and AAA. I am also searching something for dynamic snow and rain effects but UBER (https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/39959) seems to have dynamic rain and snow effects already included.

    By asking which rocks and buildings Adam is using I was referring more to his post:
    "The buildings and rocks shown here will be included in the asset when it launches :)"

    Which rocks does he mean? The small ones in screenshot 2 and 3?
    And he wants to add some 3DForge Exterior Buildings to Gaia out of the box if it comes out?
    I suppose he is creating one big demo terrain with this prefabs included?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2015
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  23. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Yup. The rocks you see in those images will be included with Gaia. (they're not really that small but certainly add interesting features to your landscape, and you can get Gaia to automatically scale them up or down each time it places one into the landscape for you to give you some variety - as well as rotating them so they all don't look uniform :D )

    MotuProprio has given Adam 3 rock prefabs for inclusion, and 3DForge has given him some pre-built houses for use in Gaia so that users can get an idea 'out of the box' of what Gaia is able to do.

    As for size, I'm only working on terrains that are 512x512 and can still pack in quite a lot of detail.
     
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  24. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    Just to clarify,

    I have given @AdamGoodrich a small selection of single mesh buildings created from contents that is already 100% available from the Village Exteriors Kit specifically so that Gaia has some ready to use contents as with the rocks you see in the screenshots as well.

    The First FREE Update for the Village Exteriors Kit will be submitted and available inside the next 12 hours or less.
    + 450 Meshes +450 Prefabs +31 pre-built Buildings

    Also included in the Gaia release, will be the exterior of The Blacksmith's Forge so that you can even grab that FREE pack and paste it right in there.

    Cheers
    Cobus
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2015
  25. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    My intention is to give people something great as a starting point.

    As we are getting pretty close to release now I will start to show of a little bit of what is possible and the latest shots are using Gaia in conjunction with a range of other assets as well.

    Assets Included with Gaia:
    * Cobus (3DForge) has generously provided a sample of his buildings from the Village Exteriors Kit - they look amazing as you can see, and you should definitely check out more of his work :)

    * MotuProprio have also provided a small sample from their Real Rocks Vol 1 - they also look amazing and if you like rocks then you should also check their kits out :)

    Assets not included with Gaia:

    Grasses:
    * HQ Photographic Grasses Pack Vol 2 - All of this publishers grasses are awesome.

    Trees:
    * SpeedTree Desktop Pack 1
    * SpeedTree Desktop Pack 2
    * SpeedTree Ground Cover Pack 1
    * SpeedTree Bamboo

    All SpeedTree as nothing else comes close imho.

    Lighting:
    * Lighting is done with Time Of Day. Generally awesome, the spherical ambient is especially lovely.

    Camera / post processing is done with:
    * Time of Day rays and scattering
    * Sonic Ether's SE Screen Space Ambient Occlusion. What sets this apart imho is the colour bleed.
    * Scion - Filmic Post Processing - a whole range of stuff in one brilliant kit - depth of field, tonemapping, vignette etc - a must buy imho.
    * Super Sampling SSAA - Really awesome anti aliasing

    Just FYI, i am not affiliated with any of these authors apart from the ones I am including assets from - these opinions are my own, although I hope they enjoy the plug :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2015
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  26. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    The grass positions are calculated dynamically per terrain - so they will always adapt perfectly to your terrain. I modify the underlying unity detail maps - so anything that renders based on this will be able to use them.

    I noticed your grass shader - would be happy to collaborate / test :)
     
  27. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    An extra pic from me for this evening (Adam's seen it and said that I should show you it all), but it also shows how other assets (the fences are from Cobus' (3dForge) Exteriors kit) and whilst these weren't put in place here by Gaia, it was a test of my own code to create an interlinked fence that randomly snakes away from a starting point (I don't particularly relish having to place fences manually and then move each one around so that they interlink with each other, so I wanted to create some code to do it for me :D -- eventually I'd love to be able to create a spline across a terrain and have it create the fence there for me, but I'm digressing...)

    screenshot5.jpg
     
  28. nasos_333

    nasos_333

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    That would be great. The system has some peculiarities so i would first need to adapt it to read the splat foliage positions/type ID and then would be great to send over a version that supports it for testing with Gaia, it would be really exiting to see the system with proper cool ground as well :)

    The simple solution would be to let Gaia populate with various grass types and then have InfiniGRASS replace them with its own prefabs (that can potentially be the same as the original grasses).
     
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  29. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I can provide you with the data you need in any format - whether its a list of positions and what to grow there - or whatever works for you - Gaia has a detailed understanding of what goes where - and why.

    I have also been working on a plugin based system for exactly these types of things. This might be a good opportunity to test it :)
     
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  30. nasos_333

    nasos_333

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    That is great, i can definitely use a positions/foliage type structure a lot better than reading Unity terrain structures.

    I will check what is the best way to go about importing the position/types and get back with specifics.
     
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  31. Carmexx

    Carmexx

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    Total cost of these packages is $614 + whatever your going to charge for Gaia . Its very easy to get excited about your asset from the screenshots, but I'd like to see some videos of your tool with standard assets and what it can do to save me time in creating terrains.

    Albeit - I'm on the hype train.. I have the imagination of a dead goldfish when creating terrains and it sounds like your asset will sort that for me.

    Regards
     
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  32. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    In my screenshots, I've used the HQ Photographic pack Vol 1 and Forst's Oak trees, and some from other assets - total cost for these would be around the $60-$80 mark in total, but if you're looking at creating terrains anyway, you've most likely already bought some grasses/plant textures and some other trees, etc. so there's really no additional costs involved.

    I'm also using Time Of Day, but that's just for me. There's no requirement to actually have this, and you can get good results using standard skyboxes and tweaks to the GI and overall lights :)
     
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  33. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Replying to this separately - I'm in the same situation as you but working with Gaia it certainly brings out your creative side :D
     
  34. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Great comment :)

    The work flow video's will come when Gaia is released, so you can make an assessment then of whether or not you think Gaia can save you time. From my own experience and the feedback I have been given it does.

    With respect to assets you can chuck in whatever you want - I bought most of these when they were on sale, and SpeedTree is by far most expensive of the group there. I shared the asset list purely to share the knowledge for those who are interested. I will also be sharing how-to videos on non Gaia things like lighting and camera setup as well when I launch for the same reason.

    To your point though, there are a lot of great free or near free assets in the store as well, and I will make a demo project with these to show what can be done without breaking the bank.
     
  35. RonnyDance

    RonnyDance

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    Yeah waiting on a Sale for Time of Day again and perhaps the awesome 3dForge Exteriors of Cobus :)
    For SpeedTree stuff I will wait and perhaps using free ground textures and trees. Or well something that costs max. 10-20€.

    Great that you are also thinking of the "free" folks Adam.
     
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  36. Teila

    Teila

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    There are several beta testers who are using Unity trees and they look great. :) You don't have to use Speedtrees. I prefer them but sometimes I look at the pictures from the other testers and wonder why I don't use Unity trees. There are some great ones out there at a low cost.
     
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  37. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    I have been using trees from Forst for they very cost effective for what you get in my opinion
     
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  38. khos85

    khos85

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    Looks nice :) Do you use any image effects, eg tone mapping? I can see DOF.
     
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  39. one_one

    one_one

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  40. FyreDogStudios

    FyreDogStudios

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    Any more on the release? Before the end of September you think?
     
  41. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I certainly hope so. I just released a new beta as the last one really changed up how some stuff worked and pretty much bombed.

    Out of every mess up though I learn more, and as a result of a suggestion of one of the beta members I introduced a new way of thinking about height.

    Now all height is represented as relative to sea level. This means you can happily change your sea levels and the system will just adapt.

    In previous release if you changed your sea level you had to change all your spawner rules and this was very confusing.

    I would have hated to release that to a wider group, so this time in beta is well worth it :)

    The system is now also very powerful which is great, but that can come at the cost of complexity. Really working at trying to make Gaia both powerful and usable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2015
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  42. hopeful

    hopeful

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    I definitely agree on the sea level bit. Sea level indicates where the undersea action begins. :)
     
  43. TerrainBuilder

    TerrainBuilder

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    New image from me using Gaia and Scion :) New Pic 4.png
     
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  44. Teila

    Teila

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    Here is a picture of a pastoral valley from our game. I made this with a combination of World Machine and Gaia. Gaia helped me to make the valley and WM gave me the erosion and the mountains. Gaia was also used for the texturing and detail placement and I will use it to add trees to the upper valleys.

     
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  45. Tiny-Tree

    Tiny-Tree

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    how does it behave when we have a large prefab for example a stadium and its placed on a slope, can i have options to decide if: it will be rotated to normal of the terrain or its rotation will stay 0,0,0 but the terrain will be moved to fit under its geometry?
     
  46. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yes

    No - not yet. This is planned for a future release though.
     
  47. ibyte

    ibyte

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    My project involves an island and it would be nice to be able to use Gaia to work it's magic under water as well :D
     
  48. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yep. Supported :) A height filter based on -20m to say -100m would be applied from 20m to 100m under the sea :)
     
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  49. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Post-processing effects can alter how everything looks (well, that's what they're there for isn't it :D )

    Anyway, as Scion is currently on a 24-hour sale, I decided to purchase it today, and I decided to see how it would affect the images I was getting.

    The first image is with just the effects you get from Time Of Day's light scattering and the AA Image Effect.

    screenshot18.jpg

    The second one is with Scion activated...

    screenshot19.jpg


    it's subtle but the light isn't as harsh with scion and I think makes for a more comfortable view :)
    (but then again I'm biased against my own stuff :D )
     
  50. HeadClot88

    HeadClot88

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    Hey @AdamGoodrich - Got a few questions about Gaia and future projects.

    But first off - It looks like you made an awesome asset. I look forward to its launch. :)

    How much will Gaia cost?
    When will this awesome asset be out?
    Can Gaia generate coherently across multiple terrains?
    How well does this handle large scale multi tile scenes?
    Will we get source code access or Just a DLL?
    Lastly do you have any plans for a city generation toolset set similar to Gaia?

    Just thought I would ask.

    - HeadClot
     
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