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TerraVol: volumetric/voxel terrain system. Dig holes caves in your terrains!

Discussion in 'Assets and Asset Store' started by Amfu, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. Brainswitch

    Brainswitch

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    Setting/pushing a Mesh takes time (ie mesh.vertices = newVertices etc), especially for higher vertex count meshes and even more so for mesh colliders. These are actions that are run on the Unity main thread, meaning it is hard to utilize multithreading - or well the calculation of newVertices can run on another thread but actually setting mesh.vertices etc must be run on the main thread.

    Note/Disclaimer: I have not used TerraVol, but I have worked on procedural meshes and my own voxel engine.
     
  2. EmeralLotus

    EmeralLotus

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    For every technical problem, there is some sort of solution that is lurking somewhere.
    It definitely requires creativity and flashes of inspiration.

    Edison said that invention is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.
    As long as there is a willingness to try various options, there's bound to be a moment of break through.
     
  3. Amfu

    Amfu

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    You're right Rocki, but Brainswitch is just telling that the simple fact of affecting new vertices to a mesh takes some time and can only be done on the main thread, which is entirely true. He is just saying some things cannot be avoided. But I agree there might be some solutions to at least reduce the number of calls (for example, combining 8 chunks together could divide draw calls by 8, which is already a lot better). Most of the time, best solutions can be found by thinking of "not-perfect-but-10-times-better-solutions", if you know what I mean. Anyway, I will think about it in the future.

    For now, beta of v2.1 is ready :) Would some of you (TerraVol customers) like to test it? It basically improve perfs has it uses some pools (infinite terrains are now truly supported) and add a feature to build finite terrain base on heightmap.
    Please let me know if you're interested!
     
  4. philwinkel

    philwinkel

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    hey mate, any screens or anything you could show as a preview of the feature that allows building infinite terrain base on height map? Does it use raw files like unity terrain importer, or height map as image? etc.

    Thanks!
     
  5. Amfu

    Amfu

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    I don't have any screenshot yet, but will post some soon. But keep in mind that, by nature, terrains based on a heightmap can't be infinite (as the heightmap isn't infinite). TerraVol supports infinite procedural terrains, and finite heightmap-based terrains.
    It uses heightmaps as images.
     
  6. philwinkel

    philwinkel

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    ok, cool. looking forward to that. I'm not really interested in infinite terrains; it would be nice to be able to use a heightmap from world machine to start with a realistic base terrain and go from there. so this feature sounds useful. I'm curious as to what kind of heightmap resolution it can manage.. can it import a high resolution heightmap with reasonable accuracy, or is the accuracy limited by the voxel system? i haven't played around with terravol demos too much, but it seems like the brushes and everything are fairly large and it's hard to sculpt fine details like you can generate with a high resolution heightmap from world machine. it'd be cool if this feature let you import some high resolution terrain and go from there.
     
  7. Deus_Lex

    Deus_Lex

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    Hi, I was wondering if there is a seed value that could be implemented in the terrain generation it would be useful if there was for preferences of generated worlds I will be using TerraVol in a multiplayer environment and having a seed for worlds would work well I am also really impressed by the speed of the saving of the voxel terrains.

    The performance of this is really good and digging has no drop in preformace but when it comes to generating dynamically I get a lot of noticeable and sudden freezes when new parts are generated dynamically, it would be nice if I could eliminate the freezing as it loads in new chunks.

    On another note would I be able to make a island with this, some kind of cut off where all the terrain is then lower as a sea floor?


    But other then that this asset is really good, I would be interested in testing the beta of 2.1 I could see about using a height map to get an island of sorts.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  8. CodeBison

    CodeBison

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    Sweet! Am I reading this right? Infinite terrain with page loading/unloading is in this version? If so, I'll definitely be picking this up as soon as this hits live.

    Great product, by the way - having done some voxel work myself, I've got a real appreciation for what you've put together here.
     
  9. Amfu

    Amfu

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    There is no limit with heightmap resolution, but you will have the same size of block/voxel on the terrain than if you weren't using a heightmap. Only the size of block parameter affects this.




    TerraVol uses a bunch of seed values to generate the terrain, which are saved in the .terra file when you save a map. Saving is fast because it doesn't store all raw data, but only seed values and actions made on the terrain :)

    v2.1 improves that. I haven't managed to get rid of that completely yet, but I decided to release v2.1 anyway because it already improves it a lot and will let me more time to polish it.

    Nothing prevents you from doing this. Maybe you will have to customize TerrainGenerator.cs in order to get exactly what you want (or use heightmap).

    Sure! Could you send me your invoice number at terravol.unity@gmail.com?




    Yes it now truly support infinite terrains as it uses a (almost) constant number of chunks, and so almost constant memory usage. You can walk during 10 hours in one direction with having any memory problem. Loading has two steps: one load the .terra file entirely (this is made only once), but don't worry, these files are very tiny. Step two consists in taking saved data into account dynamically while generating the terrain (so this part is purely dynamic).

    Thanks :)
     
  10. Deus_Lex

    Deus_Lex

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  11. Robert J. Niewiadomski

    Robert J. Niewiadomski

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    Hi :)

    Amfu, what do you mean by "infinite terrain" exactly? Do you mean infinite universe or "just planet"? I am aiming at making MMO sandbox game filled with solar systems "and stuff". Also there is going to be space colonization/travel and planet surface modifications. Do you think TerraVol is capable of handling this? Your engine looks promising. I've used your webplayer demo. What about water and weather?

    Best wishes :)
    Robert
     
  12. sundance

    sundance

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    Hi there, we have question about your example scenes in package. We can't understand how to attach texture to digged object. We use material with RTP shader. But it works only for red and blue channels. Please, give advice.
     
  13. luthor_x1

    luthor_x1

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    Having some trouble generating terrain using multiple blocks. The docs have a tutorial to create biomes, which I followed, but got some weird results
    http://gyazo.com/9ac3a7954fc913d5c877e064762274ad

    I've found that if I change the block vertex color from black to blue the issue is resolved. This would lead me to believe no two textures can have the same vertex color, regardless of whether or not they're on a different material. Which you can see from the screen shot, I do.

    If anyone has some ideas about this, or perhaps could better explain the way the vertex color is used I'd much appreciate it.
     
  14. Deus_Lex

    Deus_Lex

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    Hi again just wondering if I can use the terrain that is built in the editer as is and not be generated again in realtime only looking into this as I am unsure how im going to have physics work in the distanse where no chunks have been bulit and no colliders, What im trying to acheve is I build the terrain in the editer and when the game is played the chunks stay so the terrain has colliders everywhere I need this kind of set up as im using terravol in networking and other players will be in areas that your client side wont have generated yet and if any kind of physics occors at that other player there wont be any colliders so physics objects will just fall and would be out of sync.
    I have tryed editing the code and stoped the editer chunks from being removed but the terrain cant be dug and the main generation scripts are having issues with it.

    In short the main idea is to generate a world in the editer so it wont have to be generated at runtime and can still be dug into and saved.


    Any help, ideas or advice on the matter would be great :)

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014
  15. mathias234

    mathias234

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    I got the same issue
     
  16. mathias234

    mathias234

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    I would also like to test the beta
     
  17. Amfu

    Amfu

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    TerraVol doesn't handle any planet/universe feature or space exploration out of the box. This is nothing more than a terrain, which is infinite. It doesn't handle water and weather neither (some other assets does it well ;) )

    RTP shader doesn't use vertex colors the exact same way the included shader does. For example, don't use Color(0,0,0,0) as vertex color. Try using Red, Green, Blue or Alpha. I will get a look at my scenes when I get back home, I don't remember exactly what colors I used.

    I've just added an example scene to v2.1 which handles 2 biomes :)
    Please send me your invoice number by email and I will give you the link to download it.

    @Mathias234
    Same thing: please send me your invoice number by email and I will give you the link to download it (you probably already sent it to me by the past but it is difficult for me to retrieve it in my emails and be sure it is you)

    @Terry57
    I'm afraid you can't do what you want to do without modifying the source quite a lot... TerraVol builds the terrain from scratch each time the game starts. Changing this behavior would have a lot of impacts.
     
  18. hoip

    hoip

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    hi amfu. if i set block_size_x/y/z > 3 then i get clipping errors (frustum issue?) in unity 4.3.4. an idea why? just set block size to (6,6,6) in your example scene (v2.0). if i leave it <= 3 everything's fine
     
  19. Amfu

    Amfu

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    Hi hoip,

    This is fixed in v2.1 beta (at least it should). Would you be interested in testing it? Just send me your invoice number at terravol.unity@gmail.com and I will give you the link to download it. ;)
     
  20. Banksy

    Banksy

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    Is it possible to sculpt smaller pieces ?
    I'd like my player to dig similar sized pieces as in minecraft.. not gouge huge pieces of terrain with each click.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  21. Tryz

    Tryz

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    Hey All,


    TerraVol looks great, but I'm new to voxel work and have a couple of quick questions:


    1. When testing for ground, do custom character controllers have to do anything different than a normal ray-cast?


    2. Is the mesh that's created just like any other mesh or terrain? I'm thinking about things like physics, lighting, nav meshes, etc. I see in the demo the spheres react to the terrain so I think that answers part of my question.

    I'm guessing part of this depends on if we allow terrain modification in real-time.

    3. How would level builders go about making cave systems and populating them?

    Would I just dig tunnels and then drop props in the scene as if I were using an FBX for the terrain? From reading the thread, it sounds like the terrain isn't actually saved, just seeds are so the voxels can be regenerated. Does this change how I'd build and populate levels?


    Sorry for the noob questions :)

    Thanks,
    Tim
     
  22. Nakor

    Nakor

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    Hi. Could we please have a tutorial for setting this up to work with RTP? They are supposed to be compatible but after messing around and reading all the documentation I could find, it is very unclear how this is supposed to work. I can work RTP3 fine on normal Unity terrain, but not with TerraVol. Even an example scene would be fine.

    One other question: Is there anything already in here to loop terrain? Say I want to fly a ship over the surface of a planet and rather than have invisible barriers I just want to loop the terrain.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  23. Nakor

    Nakor

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    I figured out RTP3 integration for the most part, still an in depth tutorial would be greatly appreciated.

    I'll wait for your response on looping terrain before I bother to code up a solution. Have lots of things to do anyway :)

    A suggestion I have is that you expand the tree placement system you have. I tested it quickly and it can be used easily for other things but it has not been designed with this in mind. I have already put a case into my plan to implement this which I will do eventually if you don't already have it planned. I am simply going to expand the system to allow setting of a spawn chance per object, cluster rules (should the item tend to spawn in groups? ie destroyed buildings), and distance from other spawned objects.
     
  24. tomaszek

    tomaszek

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    Besides of what Amfu should answer here, updated RTP3.1 consits of new standalone shaders that can be attached to almost any mesh and map it triplanar. If you'd like to control detail texture coverage you'll need to define vertex colors of mesh, but if you prefer, there is also a simplier method that takes coverage from global normal, so for example you can get rocks texture on slopes while grass will be applied on tops. It's fully configurable in new RTP3.1 shader. Also added a possibility to stick some objects to a mesh (geom blend feature - constrained a bit, but functional). In case of static voxel geometry we could decorate terrain with some extra patches (like patch os sand, a stone path, and so on).

    Tom

    P.S. I'll try to demonstrate this in kind of video tutorial for RTP, but now I'm working hard on regular documentation for new RTP (pdf).
     
  25. Nakor

    Nakor

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    Thanks Tom. I figured it out satisfactorily for prototyping but it would be very good to better understand the shader well before deployment :)
     
  26. Nakor

    Nakor

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    I have a new problem which I'm having a hard time tracking down. I've been looking through all your code (which I appreciate isn't compiled) and I have yet to locate the issue. My current title I am working on involves some scenes where a ship (like an airplane) is flying over the terrain. What is happening that I don't want is the chunks are not reliably unhiding. I have a fixed map size and no matter what I do with the settings it stubbornly hides terrain when it feels like it and doesn't always unhide it. Any help with this would be appreciated.

    Additionally I was wondering if you have a way to export a terrain mesh to a simple object if we don't want to allow in-game terrain deformation? For optimization on certain platforms I may wish to do this.
     
  27. hoip

    hoip

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    hi amfu,

    i'll wait until it's done ;) please just release an update asap, ok? i saw that the last update is months ago.

    could you also comment some height generator (terraingenerator.cs) parts? i rewrote some parts to make a more interesting landscape, but it took me a while to understand what you mean by "isovalue" or "deep" (or "sol" and "collines" ;))). i'll skip the whole rtp shader part too to write own shaders. so, any help is appreciated with your terrain shader (i see that it is a compiled version of your terrain shader). i guess how it works, but, again, it took me a while to rewrite some parts in order to use an own control texture instead of mesh.colors (in.color) and in order to add n control maps (if necessary).

    btw, good job! nice piece of software. looking forward to more ;)
     
  28. Amfu

    Amfu

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    You can reduce the size of blocks so you will have a better terrain resolution, but the terrain will be smaller.



    Hi Tryz!
    1. Normal raycast will perfectly work :)
    2.TerraVol uses standard meshes (it has nothing to do with standard terrains) and standard mesh colliders.
    3. You can drop props in the scene where you want them to appear, but you'll have to ensure that they won't move before the terrain is built around them (ie. no gravity, etc.). When the player will approach these props, terrain, which is built dynamically around the player, will be displayed and your props will be there like if the terrain had always been there too. Not sure if this is understandable?



    Good to know you figured out your problem, sorry for the late answer. Currently there is nothing about looping terrain, but that would be easy to do for you: when the player reaches "the end of the terrain", position him at the beginning and so on. This should work.

    You're right the tree system has been thought for trees but it is a good starting point to add all details object you need. I implemented it in TerraVolEnhance.cs for this reason: people should customize it to suit their needs exactly.

    @Tomaszek: Thank for answering! :)


    The next update v2.1 will fix problems about hiding chunks. ;)
    To export the terrain, you will have to use a mesh combiner (to combine meshes of all chunks) and a mesh exporter. You can find some on the asset store or even on the web.




    V2.1 is going to be released next week on the asset store ;)

    Unfortunately I didn't add more comment to this file in next update but you're right that's definitely a part of the code I should better explain.

    Thanks!
     
  29. Tryz

    Tryz

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    Thanks Amfu,

    Is there any chance that while the player is in one section of the voxel tunnel system, another section is removed by the engine (maybe for performance reasons) and the physics objects placed in that section would start falling since the ground has literally vanished from under them?

    Just trying to get my head around this. :)

    If anyone else has any experience with this, I'd appreciate your feedback as well.

    Thanks again,
    Tim
     
  30. Nakor

    Nakor

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    Yeah I noticed that yesterday. That is great.

    What I did as a temporary fix is I used PlayEditor to combine the terrain into mesh objects. It was super tedious though as I had to figure out how much Unity could handle in one combine and then combine each bunch...by manually selecting them and grouping them and then merging them. Wasn't fun but it paid off as it runs very well now. In the future I will write a script to do it for me.

    Definitely glad to hear about the update. I was hoping to be able to allow explosions on the terrain that destroy terrain which would be cool. I'll see how performance looks post update :)
     
  31. Amfu

    Amfu

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    Hi Tim,

    Yes, parts of terrain which are too far away from the player will be removed and so their collider, for performance reasons (constant memory usage).
     
  32. Amfu

    Amfu

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    Hi Nakor,

    V2.1 is out and available on the asset store :)
     
  33. colorcraft

    colorcraft

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    Is it possible to make the map spawn as an island and then stop generating terrain after the island?
     
  34. p1ut0nium

    p1ut0nium

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    Hi Amfu,

    Just picked up TerraVol yesterday for a game project in incubation phase. Mostly testing tech and looking for the right solutions. TerraVol seems like what we need, but I'm curious how hard it would be to implement procedural caves underground without having to create them manually?

    Does TerraVol already do this? If not, is this something planned? If not, are you available to implement it on a contract basis?
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  35. patricioaljndro

    patricioaljndro

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    Before I buy it, i would like to know something, I would like dig the holes using a shovel, That is possible, is it complicated ?, and can I extract earth from the hole?, as a shovel does it.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  36. BES

    BES

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    How would I get Unlimited terrain going?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
  37. Amfu

    Amfu

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    Sure! You can do this by customizing TerrainGenerator.cs. You will have add a condition to limit the size of your island (something like "if (worldX > 30) { isovalue = 1f; }"). To stop generating terrain after the island, use the "limit size" property of TerraMap.


    You will have to customize TerrainGenerator.cs, it can't be done without coding. You should probably use another PerlinNoise instance to make your own caves.
    Please PM me for any contract. I can't promise anything as I have a lack of time.

    You can do that, but you will have to increase terrain resolution and so the terrain will be a lot smaller. It's not recommended actually.

    Just by loading any example scene and clicking "Play" :)
     
  38. colorcraft

    colorcraft

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    Hmm i cant seem to get grass to show on the terrain When I check the chunks it says that the grass is there but I cant see it :/
     
  39. JamesPro

    JamesPro

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    Wait am I reading this response correctly? A person asked if they could have the Avatar equip a Shovel and start to dig a hole... You responded by saying "Yes but it's not recommended"... Isn't that the whole point and appeal of Voxel Based Engines? To allow the player to edit the world on the fly as they are playing and dig, Build, ect... If this Engine doesn't support that which is what you make it sound like then what's the point of THIS Voxel Engine over the others?
     
  40. BES

    BES

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    OK...I got it working with unlimited terrain ..but the FPS seems to slow to a crawl after walking around the map for about 15min ..
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
  41. Baldwin

    Baldwin

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    Hello, does the grass system work on imported meshes???
     
  42. Colton_Kadlecik

    Colton_Kadlecik

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    Hi Amfu,

    Just purchased your terrain and RTP3 and everything looks great! 2 issues, When following the steps in the documentation to get the 2 assets working together, this line of code (gameObject.AddComponent<ReliefTerrainVertexBlendTriplanar> ()); in Chunk.cs) throws and error stating "Cannot access non-static property 'gameObject' in static context. I commented out this line and manually added the component to the map, will this work? The second thing is when the map is rendered, everything is snow? How can I change this so everything is grass?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  43. iddqd

    iddqd

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    instead of uncommenting the line, change gameObject. to go.

    I also needed to move those two lines down, so it looks like this:

    PHP:
            chunk.meshCollider.enabled false;
    #if TERRAVOL_RTP3
            
    chunkData.useRTP3 true;
            
    go.AddComponent<ReliefTerrainVertexBlendTriplanar> ();
            
    #endif

        
    return chunk;

    To remove the snow, edit the Blockset colors. This is what i have now:
    Default: Red
    Digged: Black
    Sand: Green
     
  44. iddqd

    iddqd

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    Hi Amfu

    Is there an easy way to make the Perlin3D Noise have more emptyness while keeping the scale?
    I can change the granularity, but this will also make the hills bigger. It's essentially just scaling it.

    Thanks
     
  45. Amfu

    Amfu

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    Could you give me more information about how/when this is happening?

    Voxel engine is made to dig/build, yes. But digging with a shovel means digging holes which are as small as 20x20x20cm. Such a resolution isn't recommended because it would need an extraordinary big amount of memory. In minecraft, view distance is very low and you can't dig holes smaller than 1x1x1meters for example.

    I'll try to reproduce it at home. This shouldn't be the case if you use the last version (v2.1).

    Nope, it works only on the terrain.

    Look at the answer of iddqd (thanks btw!), he gave you the right answer. This is fixed in v2.1b which should be available on the Asset Store in a few days (waiting for Asset Store approval).

    What exactly do you mean by "more emptyness"? I'm not sure to understand what you would like to do.
    Thank you for answering Colt4545 :)
     
  46. Tryz

    Tryz

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    I purchased TerraVol and have been playing around with it all morning. A couple of things I didn't quite understand from the documentation that may help other noobs (please correct me if I'm wrong):

    1. Max X, Min X, Max Y, Min Y are in "chunk coordinates", not "world coordinates". So, if your Block Size is (1x1x1) and a chunk is 8 blocks (8x8x8 ), then a Max X of 48 is really 384 in world coordinates. 48 * (8 * 1) = 384.

    2. Size X At Start and Size Y At Start should be an even number. If you put 3, you get 2 chunks. If you put 4, you get 4 chunks. If you put 5, you get 4 chunks, etc.

    So, let's say I want to render the included height map (512 x 512) as an entire terrain where 1 pixel = 1 meter:

    Block Size X/Y/Z = 1 : Meaning a single voxel is a single Unity unit cube (1 meter cube typically).

    Max X/Y = 32 : This would create a max half size equal to 256 = 32 * (8 * 1)
    Min X/Y = -32 : This would create a max half size equal to 256 = -32 * (8 * 1)
    This gives a full area of 256 + 256 = 512.

    Size X At Start = 64 : This gives us our full terrain on the X axis equal to 512 units = 64 * (8 * 1)
    Size Y At Start = 64 : This gives us our full terrain on the Z axis equal to 512 units = 64 * (8 * 1)
    At start we should see all our terrain which is 512 x 512.

    When run, this loads up the entire heightmap as a voxel terrain and it looks good... in the beginning.


    Here's where it gets odd and my questions come in. Once it loads, I can see the full terrain. Then, the chunks around the edge start to vanish. I'm left with only 15 chunks along the X and Z axis. Hence, I'm only seeing a small portion of the terrain around the camera. Note: I don't have 'Hide Far Away Chunks' checked.

    I figured this was some sort of view limit and that if I ran to the edge of the 15 chunks, the terrain would build itself around the camera. Similar to what happens to a normal terrain if your camera draw distance is smaller than the terrain itself. That didn't happen. It's like most of the voxel terrain deleted itself.

    Why did the chunks go away?

    If my voxel terrain is larger than the area being viewed, shouldn't it come back into view when I get to the edge? Maybe I'm totally not understanding how large areas would work.

    Thanks,
    Tim
     
  47. BES

    BES

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    Is there a way to have the same terrain every time without using a height map?

    I am wondering since I launch my map and every time the terrain looks different ..as far as tree and grass amount and height of hills and such...
     
  48. alessandro_88

    alessandro_88

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    hi amfu!

    i just got the terravol v2. thank you very much, this is amazing!
    i was just wondering if there would be a possibility for the random_generate_2_5D_scene to change the script to dig only underground an not on top and to the sides of the cubes. what i actually need is a always new generated cave, so the players digged path should be sourrounded by terrain. therefore i would need to increase the size of z and y (what i know how to do) and only dig in the middle the terrain out (what i don't know how to do). how could i achieve that?

    thanks a lot!

    regards, alessandro
     
  49. fmilioni

    fmilioni

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Posts:
    1
    I'm trying to create a map with C++, but save the map using protobuf is not an easy task! =(
     
  50. RandAlThor

    RandAlThor

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Posts:
    1,260
    I do not read the whole thread so maybe it was aswered before.

    Can i do more then one landscape with this tool in a game?
    I think of some islands in the see, each one should be one landscape with this system so it could be loaded and unloaded if it is not to see or to far away.