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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. mwituni

    mwituni

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    Thats what I was talking about! ... Looking really good!

    The fact its add lightly submerged banks by flattening/smoothing as can be seen through the water is great.

    That adds a lot of flexibility.
    Would the "shapes" you mention be something hard-coded or can users add their own?

    While I'm on a roll ...
    Ideally you need something to create erosion ... that can be used around soft sand - like at beach, and also on hills and mountains, cliff edges etc... to create this sort of effect ... but even slightly (like a 10cm drop or so which is found around bays and river edges)



    so something that creates quite a sharp erosion effect, and ideally can be re-used to created eroded 'layers'
     
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  2. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    That looks really cool ! I will spend some more time on the beach creator to see if I can get something like this. River erosion might work in a similar way.

    Partial reveal... You will be able to extend the system with your own feature templates (shapes) ... It will be completely open ended !
     
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  3. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    Such a tease! lol
     
  4. Whippets

    Whippets

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    "River erosion" & "own shapes" - Must.... have.... noaw....
     
  5. Archania

    Archania

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    The line forms over here! Lol
     
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  6. Whippets

    Whippets

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    Picture or it didn't happen
     
  7. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Soon :)
     
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  8. mwituni

    mwituni

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    Wow ... need to get my hands on this.
    Holding back on using WM for some terrains now ... so the pressure is on!

    I have no idea how your tool works, but I would imagine something to create this eroded effect be separate from a tool that creates smoothish beaches. I'm thinking almost like a subtractive shape one positions then applies, then after can do smoothing on certain areas. Here's my 10c design....






    See above! ... my shape is already waiting ;)
     
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  9. Wylaryzel

    Wylaryzel

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    Hi there,

    the idea was born based on my current - and for myself - unsatisfactory workflow. The more general the tools are (even they can do alot), they more tend to create something were I have to manually modify alot to get the things right. Therefore, if I can visualize a bit when which tool should be activated and maybe add some sort of preview, I would be more able to decide if its going into the right direction or not :) But I speak for myself. And with regards to the spawner (I think its the same as I called agents), here I think they shouldn't be too general. It may end up in something like TC where you can do alot - but most of the time only visualize through trial and error.

    Lets talk a spawner for villages and trees/gras: The underlying basics are similar - placing objects. But the consequences and how they spread can be different. The trees/gras would look into approbiate splattextures (and maybe an simulated watermap) and spawn there in a very natural way. The villages on the other hand may have to modify the underlying terrain, grow based on defined resources to look natural.

    I'm a friend of having spezialists at work not generalists :)

    Sounds promising - if we can handle it accordingly. If you would give us the option to randomize the whole thing and place the spawners based on some rules (e.g. not underwater, not on snowy mountains, maybe near rivers) and let us expose the whole thing during runtime it would be very cool (even if it takes some time during preloading). But getting it in the editor and playing around would be awesome as well :)
     
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  10. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yeah, I have been wrestling with exposing 'too much' because then it can become overwhelming. It's still a moving target but simplicity and 'works out of the box' are a major driver for me.

    The other thing is that the more you add, the more overhead and complexity there is. For example I could expose heightmap, spatmap and watermaps (yeah i have one of those too - if you look back thru my fb page you can see an example), but that also means you need to manage the associated memory, and choose when and how to do this... for example if every Spawner had one then it could be a terrible performance issue - however if i then create a singleton manager it creates complexity and potential sequencing issues as I want it to run as well in editor as in game.

    It's a great discussion thats happening here - love seeing the creativity at work :)
     
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  11. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Very cool stuff here. I have a bunch of ideas about erosion etc, but this specific approach never occurred to me. Combined with some very contained smoothing this would be rather cool :)
     
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  12. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hi guys,

    Am just about to jump on a plane for an interstate business trip. Yeah - the non sexy stuff that pays the bills ;)

    Will be out of action for a day or two.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
  13. mwituni

    mwituni

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    Damn ... should have patented it!
     
  14. Wylaryzel

    Wylaryzel

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    Yep, thats the reason I would like more in the direction of spezialists rather than generalists :) With spezialists, you could easily nail it down to the specific point. As mentioned earlier, it could even make sense to differenciate between a village spawner, an npc spawner and an regular object spawner. It would make the life for the users easier.

    Would it make sense to have a general framework were all those spawner types reports back and get the information needed for performing their tasks and report back changed information? And if a specific information (e.g. watermap) wasn't generated, generate it centrally there?

    Have a good flight :)
     
  15. SneakingSnowOwl

    SneakingSnowOwl

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    Just wanted to echo the crowd here - this looks amazing! Happy flying, and, uh... Like everyone else, can't wait to help you out with those bills. ;)
     
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  16. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    Is it available yet? :)
     
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  17. Wylaryzel

    Wylaryzel

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    The next victim found :) Not that the guys re-consider to inform us early :)

    Just kidding - hope for new pics or a release in the AS :)
     
  18. smada-luap

    smada-luap

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    After hearing of the complexities of other terrain generators out there (and their almost-vertical learning curves), I'm all for a terrain generator that will allow me to produce nice looking terrains with the minimum of fuss and controllable random-ness - especially if we can have access to the random seed number used so that we can make a note of ones that appear when we're just 'playing around with the software' so we can regenerate them at a later date. :)
     
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  19. CaptainMurphy

    CaptainMurphy

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    We bought licenses of WC and TC for our artists and they have yet to get anything usable out. The biggest problem has been the constant crashes at completely random times, so if there is anything that would make this asset stand out is to make it stable. If there is a reasonable possibility of this being released in the next 60 days then we may look at picking up licenses for this instead.
     
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  20. Teila

    Teila

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    Poor Adam, it looks like they have all followed you after Cobus released. :)

    The coastal geologist in me is salivating at the possibilities based on those pictures.
     
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  21. Whippets

    Whippets

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    Ditto Teila :) Good looking coast will be great. Along with those tall mountains so I can make a rocky ledge and plateau zone
     
  22. CaptainMurphy

    CaptainMurphy

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    Considering our game is like 90% based on the water, a good looking shoreline is a must. We just want something that we can drop in heightmap and biome data in a tileable format and have terrain generated and vegetation/materials placed without spending years doing it on our side. I am just envisioning just keeping a folder of the tile maps and correlating them to world positions and letting the terrain system do the rest.
     
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  23. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    He posted earlier that he is hoping to maybe release either later this month or sometime next month.. I think he posted yesterday or day before that he was hopping on a plane and traveling for work.. So may be a couple days before he is back in the thread.

    And also ditto Teila.. As the early parts of my game are to be island based, the coastal tools have me drooling as well!
     
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  24. lazygunn

    lazygunn

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    Hello there, firstly must say this looks great, definitely a bunch more fun than wrestling with world machine. Secondly were you the fellow i was having a pm conversation with some months back as they were talkig bout making very simple enjoyable to use terrain tools too, there cant be that many of you! Grats on the work anyways, if you get a bunch of the features promised in there you can count me in, its becoming a good time to be a unity dev.

    In defense of terrain composer it is indeed very powerful, and in defence of world composer, which i use quite a lot, you can use it seperately from tc and its extremely useful for grabbing real world data and would consider this tool a perfect companion for augmenting wc terrains where you can only get low res elevation data and hence the terrain could benefit from these decoration possibilities, or basing a detail-rich new terrain on realworld terrain as a guide
     
  25. Teila

    Teila

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    It is very powerful and I don't think it need defending. :) It is just difficult for some of us to use. Curves can be very counter-intuitive and make it tedious and frustrating to get the affect you want. I loved it once I learned how to use it...but then months later, I had forgotten how to use it. Reminds me of Blender...fantastic tool but not intuitive. If you use it all the time, you can get a lot out of it, but for periodic users, it can be difficult.

    We need user friendly tools for those of us who are not constantly making terrains or are not used to such methods as curves. They may not be as powerful, but they will give us the results we want more efficiently.
     
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  26. CaptainMurphy

    CaptainMurphy

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    This is the exact problem with TC. I spent about 2 weeks immersed in it and was able to build some fantastic terrain with it. I spent about a week working on the gameplay and when I went back to do some terrain changes I had forgotten what to do and within 2 hours of going through tutorials as a refresher I had to start from scratch because I clicked one setting and blew up my heightmap and was unable to get it to recover. Another week later we had it working again (and backed it up a little better this round), and had almost the same thing happen not even a month later (this time with tessellation maps) simply because it was not fresh in mind. We have lost tons of time having to relearn the same tool over and over.

    No one can say that TC is not a very powerful tool, but if you click the wrong setting it can also be powerful enough to wipe out your terrain in an instant. Part of our team base is volunteers and it is very hard to get people to spend their time relearning something that is just not intuitive to work with.
     
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  27. Shawn67

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    Yeah.. I don't think anyone here has bashed TC, not intentionally anyways. The problem I have with it is the learning curve. And it is pretty much like Teila said, I learned parts of it and then had to walk away from my project for a few months. When I came back, I am having to try to learn it all again. At almost 50, I'm finding retaining how TC works long term is pretty much impossible.. lol It is very powerful and a great product, but the ease of use just isn't there if you aren't using it all the time and have to learn it all over again each time you pick it up. So pretty much echoing what both Teila and CaptainMurphy said.. Need something easier to both learn and teach team to use and be able to get similar results. I may even still use both WC and TC to initially import real world terrain and get into Unity, but then use Adam's tool to do all my detail work on the terrain or create neighbor terrains later..
     
  28. Wylaryzel

    Wylaryzel

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    Yeah, call me in. I never indended to bash TC - its very good in rapid prototyping and in some areas (I look at creating splatmaps) its very easy to settle something which looks already good. But as others said, its not the tool itself but rather the design of the UI which was driving me crazy and had more time the feeling to rather create something via try and error than real knowing what I do.

    But or better because of that, I explained the obstacles that I have with regards to setup and UI-design. Adam already mentioned that by himself has a rather hard time to decide how and what is in the UI / setup frontend. As long as he hasn't nailed it down and as open as he is discussing it, there is maybe room that we get something which some of us can more easily use it *fingerscrossed*.

    BR
    Wyl
     
  29. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Hi everyone - back and on the case again. Have tomorrow and the day after scheduled to focus on this. Imho more tools are better. None of them will break the bank and you can take those bits you like from each package and leverage them :)
     
  30. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    Back to work! *cracks whip* Is it done yet?!? :p
     
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  31. CaptainMurphy

    CaptainMurphy

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    Just kidding. I can wait a couple more days. Is there an available design document of features for this asset? I would love to see what the end goal is and possibly get some projects lined up that might work with it best.
     
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  32. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    The first post in this thread talks about the features. I will update this tomorrow to show the difference between launch and roadmap.

    Btw, i do really appreciate the enthusiasm and feedback in here. It's a buzz reading it and hugely motivational.
     
  33. Whippets

    Whippets

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    Are we nearly there yet?
     
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  34. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    @Whippets

    ROFL WAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  35. Whippets

    Whippets

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    At least I'm consistent XD
     
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  36. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    HAHAHA, yip, 10/10 for that :D:D:D
     
  37. Shawn67

    Shawn67

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    @S4G4N - You released your exterior pack so we had to move our pressure to Adam.. At least long enough to give you a chance to catch your breath before we start bugging you about updates... :p

    Plus, I'm not liking struggling with WC and TC again trying to figure out stuff that I'd figured out six months ago all over again in order to make terrain to build nifty villages with your set. So we need to keep Adam on his toes so we can get a more user friendly terrain tool soon...

    So... Adam... :p

    In all seriousness though, I was looking at the first post last night after you posted about needing to update it. I didn't see anything on there about the beach nibbler thing but I think it is kind of included in one of the other terrain areas. Can you confirm that it is planned for the base release?
     
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  38. Whippets

    Whippets

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    Heh, wait until Cobus tells us what he's got planned next, we'll be right back on his case.
    AssetStore Rent-A-Mob
     
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  39. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    @Shawn67
    Cool, I am busy with marketing (website redo with Blueprint added and such) then I am onto the Interiors HD Update and the walls with window holes in.
    Then onto the first FREE Update
     
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  40. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Just added first stage of support for 'chained spawn instances'.

    The concept goes something like - at location X,Z - lets check to see if a base and a building can be built, plus a change to the surrounding textures.

    If all good then apply the chained set of spawn rules! Nice :)
     
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  41. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Guys - FYI I updated the first post to reflect when I will launch and what will be in it. As we get closer I will refine this - for example the Spawner is very very powerful, and is also easily extensible, so there is no reason you couldn't extend it to support village generation, or river generation for example.
     
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  42. Wylaryzel

    Wylaryzel

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    Hi Adam,

    sounds promising - the features for the launch looks already impressive :)

    Do you have a rough estimate when you think you will freeze (more or less) the system and decide on the public / internal settings and exposing things in the inspector or via API's for runtime? And how to setup everything in the inspector? I like the chained spawn instance. On the other hand, I think its a must for purely procedural worlds :)

    BR
    Wyl
     
  43. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    It's going to evolve more, but is already getting pretty close. My approach to the inspector is to make it as vanilla as possible as you can easily spend a month writing custom inspectors (learning from earlier iterations).

    Yep and from the perspective of purely procedural what you will have here is the base framework for purely procedural world generation if that's what you want. This is why I am putting so much effort into making the Spawner powerful and extensible. I have also de-coupled it from Unity as much as possible so that it can be made to run in a multi-threaded way in the future. I may well create real time procedural extension at some point in the future if there is interest.
     
  44. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    I was chatting to Cobus and it stuck me that in the same way you could blueprint and share buildings with his system, you could do the same with worlds in mine - added that to the roadmap :)
     
  45. S4G4N

    S4G4N

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    I really think it is a exciting method to extent products and motivate sharing of creations and ideas
     
  46. Whippets

    Whippets

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    All looking great Adam, can't wait to try it out :)
     
  47. Wylaryzel

    Wylaryzel

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    Agree
    FULLY AGREE.

    I think it would be great idea.. than not everybody has to reinvest time for finding the perfect setting if somebody has found cool setting for valleys.
     
  48. Wylaryzel

    Wylaryzel

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    As long as it doesnt mean that I have to script the details its fine for me ;) I habe a bit of fear that the toolset gets a bit very complex without a good inspector or scripting :)
     
  49. AdamGoodrich

    AdamGoodrich

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    Yeah - i want to make it as simple as possible but no simpler :) The spawner is the most complex piece, but I think I have it separated enough that it will fit 90% of the use cases - and the final 10% can be extended if needed.
     
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  50. Wylaryzel

    Wylaryzel

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    Btw are the terrain generator part of spawner as well?

    Anyway looks you are getting to a close end gg
     
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