Full sized planets for Unity3D -- interesting?

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by imerso, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. imerso

    imerso

    Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    243
    UPDATE:

    Just remembering:


    This will include full source-code and priced at about USD 150.00 in the Asset Store. But will be submitted to the Asset Store only when complete and polished.

    For those who *really* believe in my word when I say that it's still unfinished but really close now, is is available right now, with full but incomplete source-code (although already functional) for USD 99.00 through Paypal. The current version is functional but still lacks some visual features (like the atmospheres), and needs some polishment here and there.

    Those who buy before the final release of course will get some special attention from me and may receive some gifts in the future.

    IMPORTANT: the current version is for Unity Pro only, but a Unity Indie version will follow.

    And here it is: http://etereo.com.br


    Thanks,

    imerso


    ----------------------------------------


    Hi,


    [​IMG]

    I have developed an independent C++ 3D engine that can render full sized planets in realtime. Considering the huge worldwide success of the Unity3D engine, I'm now considering (well, already started =) doing the same thing as an extension for Unity3D.

    I have studied Unity3D a bit, enough to be pretty much sure that I can rewrite my algorithms to work completely integrated, directly within the Unity3D editor. It would allow Unity3D developers to create complete, full sized and unique planets in seconds.

    But I'm curious, will the community find it something interesting?

    Please take a look on my site: http://www.etereo.com.br

    There are some videos and even a Windows ~100kb techdemo available there. (Requires a recent, OpenGL 2.1 videocard!).


    Thanks,

    imerso.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  2. Sollthar

    Sollthar

    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Messages:
    466
    Yes! That sounds very very interesting indeed. :)
     
  3. ant001

    ant001

    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    114
  4. phil_ivey

    phil_ivey

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    31
    plugin?
     
  5. imerso

    imerso

    Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    243
    I will really do my best to keep it small, simple to use and deployable to all targets, including the web-player.
     
  6. larvantholos

    larvantholos

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    668
    I think this would be very neat, and a lot of people I'm sure, myself included, would love this sort of thing for starting large scale game worlds on :D
     
  7. plzdiekthxbye

    plzdiekthxbye

    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    456
    +1

    Looks pretty interesting.
     
  8. jay.pis

    jay.pis

    Guest

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Yes, very interested in this! please make it happen. :)
     
  9. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    it looks absolutely impressive. but i would like to know how one could populate the planets with vegetation and any other additional geometry.
    do you have to fade to a "classical" scene? and how could this be done seemlessly?

    lars
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  10. Alienchild

    Alienchild

    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    364
    If you can make it run fast enough even with multiple planets in close proximity (for example 2-3 planets colliding) then I will change my salary account to your bank account.
     
  11. nukeD

    nukeD

    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    275
  12. blackant

    blackant

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Messages:
    332
    looks very interresting
     
  13. Adam Buckner

    Adam Buckner

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,548
    I'm curious...

    This sounds great, and I can imagine a number of uses for this project,but:

    How big is "full sized" for a planet. Scale is such a terribly difficult thing to achieve, and if one really *did* get an earth sized planet, how could one play a game on it?
     
  14. imerso

    imerso

    Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    243
    Vegetation and other geometry can definitely be added to the planets --- I did not implement this part yet, but it is planned and will be handled in an automatic way (no need to manually place things).

    There is no need to fade to a classical scene, and there are no transitions at all.

    []s
    imerso
     
  15. imerso

    imerso

    Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    243
    Full sized means that 1 unit = 1 meter, and a planet can have a radius like 6,371,000 meters, that is approximately the Earth's radius for example.

    And you're not limited to just one planet, you can have hundreds, even thousands of them orbiting around.

    How to play a game on it, well it depends on the plot created by the developers, I'll just provide the tool. =)

    []s
    imerso
     
  16. imerso

    imerso

    Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    243
    Heheh.

    Well, it is perfectly possible, but then it'll use more memory and CPU/GPU cycles. Processing requirement by close proximity planets is around O(n²). If your target has enough memory/CPU/GPU to spend on that, it'll just work as expected.

    []s
    imerso
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  17. fffMalzbier

    fffMalzbier

    Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,073
    Sounds nice But whats about streaming and integration of unity terrain?

    A real size planet is fine , but if you place a lot stuff on it it need to be stream able.

    Overall Thumbs up for your project.

    If possible do not make it as a plug-in, all the unity free version user will thank you for that.
    I know converting the C++ to C# will take some time, but it will give much better usability and extendibility.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2011
  18. Adam Buckner

    Adam Buckner

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,548
    My guess is that if you needed to play any sort of game with an open world the size of the earth, your game will need procedurally generated levels, which will take cycles to process and place but should be fast to pass as one would only be passing parameters not levels.
     
  19. imerso

    imerso

    Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    243
    Due to its own nature, it's definitely stream able.


    Thank you.


    [/QUOTE]

    Yes, that is exactly what I'm doing, thanks.


    []s
    imerso
     
  20. crowonaity

    crowonaity

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    I am definitely interested in your imersiva system integrated with Unity. Please keep me up to date on the conversion process with this.
     
  21. nab477

    nab477

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Messages:
    46
    +1
    definitely interested, if priced appropriately, I'll probably buy it, even if i don't need it for now :)
     
  22. Patriick

    Patriick

    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2011
    Messages:
    220
    I am definitely interested in this and hope that you can get it working right =]
     
  23. U2

    U2

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    212
    +10

    I will buy this as soon as it is released.

    I want to echo the earlier user's request for vegetation.. When I have thought about doing something like this in the past my idea was to be able to assign a planet a palette or array of objects.. such as trees, rocks, and creature spawn points. Each object would have some configurable attributes such as altitude, latitude, slope, rarity and possibly correlate to other objects in your list. For instance you could create a wolf spawn point to spawn your own little wolf pack and place it between a certain latitude at x altitude range and with a 2% rarity or chance of placement and correlate to a type of tree such as a pine tree object.

    So when you visit the planet you have a higher chance of finding wolves in and around pine trees in say the mountains at the northern 3/4 of your globe etc... This could work for virtually any object defined by the user if the parameters for placement are kept general enough.

    I'd also be curious how difficult it'd be to predefine maps or make custom changes to the maps on the planet.. I mean could I actually feed the engine a height map of earth?

    Oh I almost forgot! If you could get this to run efficiently on an iOS device such as the iPad2 then I'd give this a +100!
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  24. brettcook99

    brettcook99

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    38
    Yes, I am also very interested in this.
     
  25. grfxman

    grfxman

    New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2009
    Messages:
    309
    Yes Please :)
     
  26. houndie

    houndie

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2010
    Messages:
    146
    I would pick it up in a heart beat!!!

    Is it done yet??? :)
     
  27. gordonramp

    gordonramp

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    53
    I'm interested.
     
  28. Adam Buckner

    Adam Buckner

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,548
    Sorry, I have to ask. Lots of people are very interested in this... and so am I as a matter of technology.

    How will you actually USE it?

    With a procedurally generated planet the size of the Earth (potentially), how will it fit in your game play?

    I'm not being annoying or confrontational, I'm just really curious.

    The sheer size of a real planet is.... staggering. Grab Google Earth and have a play.

    How will you direct and control gameplay?
     
  29. spinaljack

    spinaljack

    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    798
    I can think of some off the top of my head.

    Imagine a space trading game where the galaxy is accurately modeled. Space stations orbit around planets and planets orbit a sun. You can even approach a planet and land on its surface to perform surveys or to pick up loot. Large city planets you might restrict access to so you'll auto doc with them and then switch to a regular scene.
     
  30. U2

    U2

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    212
    I can't really share my game play concept since it is sort of a forgotten one since late 80s but besides mine I can think of a few other possibilities such as placing bases on certain parts of the planet with planetary assault on those bases. Would be neat to combine space, air and land combat in one seamless encounter. The size of the planet just makes for interesting backdrop for dog fights and possibly some interesting strategic concepts not really dealt with before. i.e. capture the flag with bases on opposite sides of a planet and the use of orbital drop shipping to make the jumps between them or super fast low fliers.. High altitude skydiving deployment of troops.. Orbital bombardment etc.. The more you think about it really the possibilities are enormous for an engine like this.

    P.S. Is this on the asset store yet? lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011
  31. runonthespot

    runonthespot

    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    300
    Agree with Little Angel's question. Obviously you can think of scenarios where having a real planet would be cool, but in actual real game mechanic terms... a planet is enormous. Capture the flag.. Lol! Go to earth and find a flag? Um.. Might be hard to find.

    I'm interested in the tech, but personally wouldn't deal with it at that scale- would rather it be a bit more abstract. I quite like Pirates! level of abstraction- clearly the caribbean, but a more sensible (in game terms) size play area.

    My question is how this integrates into Unity- e.g. procedural is great and all, but what about the bits that we *want* to design ourselves? Support for prefab cities/some sort of scene streaming so that if we *want* to we can add details of our own at specific points?

    Love the possibilities though.
     
  32. imerso

    imerso

    Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    243
    Thank you all for your nice comments.

    Now I am definitely working on the implementation, and hopefully will come back with news in some days.

    []s
    imerso
     
  33. sebako

    sebako

    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    295
    yes please looks awesome!
     
  34. Wink00

    Wink00

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    40
    Awesome!! I will totaly pick this up as well. As for scale, i assume the procedurally created planets have a user defined size... so if you think Earth size is too big... make it Moon sized... or smaller...
     
  35. Adam Buckner

    Adam Buckner

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,548
    I do agree that this technology is amazing. There IS a lot that can be done with it.

    But scale is an issue. How to deal with it, how to create content, how to remove it when it's out of view. If you do fly over a planet with a jet, remember things like an air-flight from Los Angeles to New York is about four and a half hours based on 550 miles per hour. Think of the scale of something like a continent from World of Warcraft. For game play, it's immense - and has lots and lots of technical concerns to be able to deliver this to the player. This surface area is peanuts compared to a planet, or even a planetoid like Earth's moon. Even with INTRA-stellar jump technology, traveling from one planet to another - say for example the Earth to Mars - is an arduous if not boring task. It takes light 15+ minutes to travel between the two planets!

    A lot of what makes a game interesting is focus. How do you focus the attention of the player into a small enough space to keep them entertained? It is a big problem. Entertainment is all about focus. Focusing the attention of the player on a spot, and then giving them something interesting to interact with. Have you ever played in a multiplayer arena game, fps or whatever, and the level was just too big? Not enough players to fill it? Or had to travel huge distances in a game to solve a problem or meet a goal? WoW is constantly shrinking Azeroth my making it easier and easier to move around because even its limited size it "too big".

    Now, this is not to say that this technology is neither interesting nor valuable. I'm very fascinated by it, and will be in line when it comes out, but effectively using this technology is not going to be easy.
     
  36. Alienchild

    Alienchild

    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    364
    Hehe even if you can't find a use for it Little Angel, I sure as heck have a project this would be absolutely perfect for ;)
     
  37. gordonramp

    gordonramp

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    53
    Little Angel,
    One way would be to make a reward for being in that area. For example, if the Player's life is dependent on location and obtaining something in that general location then they will not travel too far or if they do it could be to stay alive. A coordinate system and/or a Minimap would provide a way for the Player to basically know where to go. Coordinates are a great feature if Player's can learn how to use them, I'm using coordinates extensively in my project. Getting about on such a large scale could be achieved by 'Movement speed variation' or the use of JumpPads if the Game has a Scifi theme. Teleporting is a great feature for moving around a large area. :-|
     
  38. Adam Buckner

    Adam Buckner

    Unity Technologies

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,548
    Don't take me wrong. This, to me, is a serious game design question - how to use this technology.

    And I'm fascinated with scale.

    In one of my other careers, I was asked to design a dramatic sequence revolving around a group of people using a spaceship to disrupt an unstable sun causing it to release a flare that helps destroy an enemy base. The problem was scale. How do you show what is essentially a Corvette in relation to a Sun, even a small one? The producers kept wanting to see the curve of the surface of the sun... You can hardly see the curve of the surface of the Earth, much less something as massive as a small sun.

    My mind is spinning with the possibilities... but I think scale, especially massive scale, is as delicate an issue as how to deal with time and seasons in persistent world. If it rains for a week in winter, your game could be both realistic... and a bit depressing. You need to give the *sense* of being in a real environment, but a heightened version of it. The scope of a real planet is deceptively huge!

    But as I said, I look forward to seeing this in action.
     
  39. psyclone

    psyclone

    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2009
    Messages:
    245
    Just the type of thing Ive been wanting.... Please make this happen
     
  40. U2

    U2

    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Messages:
    212
    I think part of what makes something like this so exciting is that it opens the possibilities to what to date had to be simulated. As an example, there have been some games where one could be in space and then on planet.. This engine gives the user the experience of transition. This may not sound like a lot but I remember when WoW first came out and people couldn't stop talking about how there wasn't zone lines where when you cross from one section to the next that it didn't need to transfer to a load screen.

    I think your question about scale is both interesting but a little humorous.. The reason being is when you disengage from the computer and go outside.. Think for a moment when you were a kid and played some capture the flag or other games like that. I remember half the fun was trying it at other friend's houses or up in the mountains on camping trips. Why? Because everything was different based on location.. how things look, the terrain layout etc.. An engine like this simply gives us a closer representation of reality that we as game designers can use to further our player's experience. What makes your question a good one though is the challenge is given to us as game developers to outline the rules of the game within that environment. When someone says find a flag on a planet not being fun that is pretty close minded in the terms of game rules and technology. Obviously you would have waypoint markers, you'd first be looking for a base structure, and then a building or area the houses the flag etc.. Not to mention maps that highlight markers etc.. that we don't really have available to us in real life to the same detail.

    Then there is simply the exploration game play concept which to date has been very little taken advantage of. As one further improves the algorithm for generating planets to further increase the beauty. You give your players the option of finding say their very own secret fishing hole. Heck.. they might even be able to build a persistent cabin by their favorite fishing hole since the game play environment is so huge that there is actually room for people to have personal property in a game with theoretically 100,000 or more players at once. Or how about screen shot contests? I mean like photography in real life players could actually look for beautiful scenes that no one else has seen including the developers themselves!! It's a staggering thought.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  41. gordonramp

    gordonramp

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    53
    Nicely put rutecht, I'm interested to see how Imerso is porting this into Unity3D. Will it be just in the 3rd person as in his example or will it include a transition into first person and the ability to land. Or will this be the job of the Purchaser to achieve. In the example I tried to hover just above the terrain and the result was terrible shuddering, probably caused by the collision setup in whatever Engine he is using. Certainly this will be the challenge for the Purchaser, having the transition from extraterrestrial travel to terrestrial travel. Then what sort of detail can we put into the terrestrial worlds? Can they be convincing and within the framerate limitations of Unity3D and with the ability to take off and enter back into the extraterrestrial? Answers I will need to know before getting too excited about this addon.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  42. imerso

    imerso

    Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    243
    The wobbling when you stop at a planet's ground has been solved already but the new C++ demo is still unreleased, I put it at hold. The Unity3D version if/when released will include that improvement already, so it'll be possible to land and walk around without any perceptible floating-point instability at all.

    On the new (unreleased) C++ techdemo there is far better flying physics as well. I will probably make a Camera extension to complement the Unity3D version, but it'll not be required (any other cameras will be accepted).

    Also, please consider that the techdemo is 100kb only, it does not include any photorealistic textures nor hi-poly models. The Etherea1 tech is much more capable than what has been actually shown.

    And so will be the Etherea1 for Unity3D.

    The main difference is that in the case of the Unity3D version, it'll not be a defined game, but a tool directed to another game developers, so it'll provide the freedom to configure, place and do anything with the planet(s).

    Until now, the conversion is coming along nicely, and I'm quite satisfied with the results. I will come back with more details in some days.

    EDIT: in the case of the C++ techdemo, the entire engine is written by myself. And of course, you can enter and leave any planets as you please, everything is handled automagically by the underlying engine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  43. gordonramp

    gordonramp

    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    53
    imerso,
    Wonderful, anyone who can code their own complete Engine has my confidence. The Techdemo alone is a shot of inspiration, a little rough around the edges but the general concept looks solid. I particularly like the atmosphere effect when entering into the orbit of a Planet.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011
  44. Thinker

    Thinker

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    453
    This plug-in will completely change my work.
    I will have to work super hard to redo everything but this wow well this plug-in will give not only me but all of our Unity users a new way of creativity. Really keep up the work and now that your plug-in will be must have soon by me and many MANY other people. Just please don't set ridiculous price for it haha. Sometimes its better to give something for smaller amount of money to get more from it :).

    And i have question about the planets that are made using this plug-in.
    Can i make holes in the planets ? Like make a cave ? or underground places ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  45. dpentecost

    dpentecost

    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    112
    I'm using Unity in a planetarium/digital dome. Looking forward to this.
     
  46. ZJP

    ZJP

    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,697
    Nice one. Now we have our own Outerra. ;)

    JP
     
  47. imerso

    imerso

    Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    243
    Thanks, I am thinking about fixing it at $99.


    The first version won't be supporting this feature directly. Naturally I will be counting on incentive in form of registrations to continue improving the extension after the first release.


    []s
    imerso
     
  48. lazygunn

    lazygunn

    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,202
    You could make a freaking sweet remake of Damocles (Probably my fave ever game) with this, and for that reason, colour me interested, you guys talk like this stuff hasnt been done before, it has, just 15+ years ago (Frontier, or earlier, Damocles) and not much since!
     
  49. Thinker

    Thinker

    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    453
    If you will really sell this for 99 $ than you can count on me, and i will always be happy to test anything if you will want, i would like this plug-in to have as much possibilities to new and old developers not only game but documentional as possible.

    LazyGunn of course its not a new thing but we are talking like that because its something new for Unity and thats what is important and thats why we are so interested in this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  50. lazygunn

    lazygunn

    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,202
    Wasn't complaining! Was enthused mainly, i'd love to show people how cool games like Damocles were and it seems like a boys dream could come true