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  1. Posts
    206

    Voxels! - Introducing Cubiquity, a voxel plugin built with C++ and PolyVox

    This is our 'Works in Progress' thread. For release news see also our 'Assets and Asset Store' Thread

    Introduction
    Cubiquity is a free voxel terrain asset for Unity Free and Pro. It uses the power of native code to create environments which can be dynamically modified in both the Unity editor and also in-game, enabling dynamic digging, building, and destruction. It is currently in active development and an early version will be available soon.


    Cubiquity supports smooth terrain with a flexible material system.


    Our tank demo shows how a voxel environment can be destroyed in real-time (download)


    Multiple volumes can exist in a scene and can have dynamic transformations applied

    Key Features (some work in progress!)
    • Supports two kinds of voxel environment – cubic and smooth
      • Build your world from millions of tiny colored cubes to create detailed 3D worlds.
      • Create realistic terrains with powerful sculpting tools (coming soon).
    • Advanced Graphical capabilities
      • Flexible material system supports arbitrary blending between multiple materials (coming soon).
      • Level-of-detail meshes ensure fast operation across a range of hardware.
      • Supports Unity's Surface Shader system to allow easy customisation of appearance.
      • Works with real-time shadows and other dynamic lighting solutions.
    • Physics
      • Mesh data can be passed into Unity's physics engine for unified collision detection and handling.
      • Collision detection can also be performed directly against the voxel data.
      • Custom raycast functionality for picking voxels.
    • Create worlds easily
      • Import voxel terrains from external sources such as heightmaps.
      • Direct access to the voxel data allows you to procedurally generate worlds from code.
      • Editing tools available both in-editor and in-game (coming soon).
    • Solid engineering
      • Cubiquity is powered by the PolyVox voxel library, which has been in development for over seven years and is used by several games.
      • Package includes all C# scripts allowing you to customize it to your needs.
      • Integrates seamlessly with many other packages from the asset store.
    • Licensing options
      • Available free for non-commercial and evaluation use (see LICENSE.txt).
      • A commercial license will be available in the future for a fee.


    More details
    For many years we have been actively developing the PolyVox voxel terrain library which has been used by several games and engines. PolyVox is an extremely powerful and flexible library, but requires an advanced knowledge of C++ and graphics programming to use effectively. Therefore we have recently introduced Cubiquity as a higher-level and easier to use interface to this functionality.

    Cubiquity is independent of any particular game engine, and the product we are promoting in this thread is actually the integration layer which connects Cubiquity to the Unity3D engine. It is this combination of the Cubiquity library and the integration layer which we will be making available for download from our website and also through the Unity3D asset store.

    Download Today!
    Cubiquity for Unity3D is available for free in our BitBucket repository, or you can also download a snapshot as a ZIP file.

    The BitBucket repo does not include the source code for the native code DLL, but a copy of the DLL itself is provided. You can use the system for free for non-commercial and evaluation use. In the future it will be possible to purchase a commercial license through the asset store.

    Follow Us

    Do let us know what you think or if you have any questions
    Last edited by DavidWilliams; 1 Week Ago at 02:43 AM.


  2. Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    83
    I would be interested in the planet generator. I would use something like this to pull a skyrim; procedurally generated levels with a hand touch finish. How much would this kind of middleware cost?


  3. Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    199
    Looks amazing. Voxels are quite a popular topic around here so Im guessing you will get a big response from the Unity community.


  4. Location
    Planet Earth
    Posts
    403


  5. Posts
    206
    Thanks guys

    Quote Originally Posted by GBCFraser View Post
    I would be interested in the planet generator.
    Sorry, but I'm afraid that's not a planet generator. It's actually just a Mandelbulb (a 3D version of the Mandelbrot fractal). We needed some large data sets for testing purposes and fractals provide a nice way of generating these while still keeping lots of detail.

    There may be a procedural generator in the future (or at least an example of how it's done) but for now we will focus on getting the core working nicely and providing tools for manually sculpting and editing the terrain.

    Quote Originally Posted by GBCFraser View Post
    How much would this kind of middleware cost?
    We haven't exactly worked it out yet. For the full system we will probably be looking at upper end of the price range on the asset store, but we would also like to offer a free version under some kind of personal or non-commercial license. I don't know whether the asset store allows this kind of restriction though so it's something we have to think about.
    Last edited by DavidWilliams; 04-30-2013 at 07:57 AM.


  6. Posts
    3
    This seems promising! I'll be sure to follow your progress.


  7. Posts
    206
    *** Update - 20th May 2013 ***

    We've been hard at work on our Cubiquity voxel plugin for the last couple of weeks. In our initial announcement the voxel environment was completely static, but it can now be modified in real time. The screenshot below shows some physics object bouncing around the environment while we cut holes in it:


    The physics integration also let us create a very basic test game where you can drive a tank around an arena and shoot holes in the walls. This relies on raycasting through the voxel data and this is also performed by the underlying Cubiquity engine. Naturally you can shoot out the floor and then fall through it


    We're keen to get a preview 'proof-of-concept' release out soon (next couple of weeks?) though initially it will only have an interface for programmers. 'Edit mode' support is something we'll add later.


  8. Posts
    206
    *** Update - 21st June 2013 ***
    Hi guys,

    We've released a new test version showing the integration with Unity's physics engine. You can now destroy chunks of the environment and have debris bounce around the terrain. Check it out in the video below:



    More details and a download are here:


    Please also note that we now have a thread in the 'Assets and Asset Store' forum as a preview of the software is now available for download. That thread will probably be more active but I'll post updates here as well to make sure they don't get missed
    Last edited by DavidWilliams; 06-21-2013 at 10:38 AM.


  9. Posts
    187
    Looking really good! Runs pretty smooth on my old Core 2 Duo. If I blow up too many items and the draw calls get above 1000, then I start to see 15fps. Otherwise I am above 32fps all the time.

    -Dane


  10. Posts
    206
    Great, I'm glad it works well for you. Did you have to change anything to make it run or did it just work? Also, are you using Unity Free or Pro? I was a little concerned that the native code .dll wouldn't load on other people machines, as I only tested on my dev machine.


  11. Posts
    187
    I am running unity pro and I didnt experiences any problems when loading it. I had loaded the project and then loaded the volume data as per the instructions. Then I hit play and everything worked fine. I had not tried playing around too much as of yet, but everything ran well.

    Dane


  12. Location
    In The World Of Programming
    Posts
    205
    Looks amazing, kind of reminds me of minecraft
    Last edited by Frostbite23; 06-23-2013 at 06:56 PM. Reason: freakin auto correct


  13. Location
    In The World Of Programming
    Posts
    205
    And also if you go to the edge of the voxel map, will it automatically load more to the voxel map?


  14. Posts
    206
    Thanks

    At the moment it does not automatically load new sections of the map - we do have some support for this inside our C++ code but it's not finished and still needs to be exposed to Unity.

    Eventually we would like to implement this feature to support large maps (thousands of voxels in each dimension). We're not currently aiming for 'infinite' maps though, unless there seems to be some demand for it.


  15. Location
    California
    Posts
    496
    Infinite would be cool, but Minecraft shows that after a while exploring it can get a bit buggy when it comes to infinite. Large world sizes/sizes we could set would work.


  16. Posts
    206
    I'm going to have to hang my head and admit that I haven't actually played Minecraft

    Would you say that Minecraft really benefits from the infinite terrain? I mean, I can understand that the world needs to be big and that the player shouldn't reach the edge of it, but surely a very large terrain would accomplish this as well. Practically speaking, how far do players travel from their start point? Perhaps it's psychological - that the player feels more inclined to explore if they know the world goes on forever?

    Anyway, I do think that voxel terrain is often associated with infinite terrain (and also with procedural generation) so we should probably keep that in mind.


  17. Posts
    83
    This looks good, its just a shame its in C++. C# would have permitted people without Pro to make use of it.

    Is there going to be any level of liquid sim or biome generation?


  18. Posts
    187
    @DavidWilliams

    Don't feel bad! I haven't played Minecraft either and I love working on voxel code! It is a hobby of mine but I just never had the appeal to go and play Minecraft.

    -Dane


  19. Posts
    206
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyckosama View Post
    This looks good, its just a shame its in C++. C# would have permitted people without Pro to make use of it.
    Actually this system does work with Unity Free! I know this because I have Unity Free myself

    There seems to be a lot of confusion about the capabilities of Unity in the regard. My current understanding (see here) is that 'native code' is not the same as a 'plugin'. All plugins are native code but the reverse is not true. So Unity Free does seem to support the loading and execution of native code in .dlls, but you can't use the 'Low-level Native Plugin Interface' unless you have Pro.

    The restriction seems to be aimed at preventing users from extending the rendering capabilities of Unity Free through plugins, as this would allow users to add things like shadows which are supposed to be Pro only. But this voxel terrain isn't really a rendering feature - it's just generating the mesh and adding it to the Unity scenegraph.

    Anyway, there's a download in my last blog post so feel free to give it a try. If anyone at Unity wants to really clarify the situation then that would be appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyckosama View Post
    Is there going to be any level of liquid sim or biome generation?
    Yes, but these things will be provided as examples rather than as core features.

    The programming interface to this system is really simple. It basically provides a function to create a volume, and then a couple more functions to get and set the colours of individual cubes. Anything higher level than that will simply be provided as examples (or maybe higher level frameworks), building off existing extensions where possible.

    For example, Unity already has extensions for both fluid simulation and for procedural generation. You just need to know how to integrate these into the voxel system, and then you have a lot of flexibility over what kind of game you will create.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaneC020 View Post
    I haven't played Minecraft either and I love working on voxel code!
    Yep, I feel the real world would be a better place if it was made of voxels


  20. Posts
    206
    Hey guys,

    Over the last couple of weeks we've mostly ben doing back-end work (optimisations, mamorry-managment, etc) but we now have some cool new screenshots to show! We've used the awesome Detonator asset for Unity to add some really nice explosions, which go well with our destructible environment. We've also loaded in a new map (courtesy of 'Influx' on the Build & Shoot forums) and got a better tank model from the asset store. Check it out!





    Driving round and shooting up this environment is really fun I'll make a video and demo in the coming few days.
    Last edited by DavidWilliams; 07-12-2013 at 12:49 AM.

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