Cubiquity for Unity3D progress update (Nov 2013)

Here’s the latest update and snapshot showing our progress on Cubiquity. Since the last release a lot of our work has been internal (API, file format, etc), but we’ve also added collision meshes for the (smooth) terrain volumes, added an example of generating procedural terrain, and added an example of creating colored cubes mazes from bitmaps. See the video below:

The download link is at the bottom of this post. Overall the system has changed quite a lot, so if you were using a previous version then you should take care when upgrading. Be sure to back up all your files so you can revert the upgrade if need be. You will have to make significant changes to your code and any old volumes you have will not be compatible with this new version.

New file format
Previously Cubiquity would store all the data for a given volume in a user-specified folder, with each chunk being stored as a separate file which could be paged into or out of memory on demand. The new version instead makes use of an SQLite database to store the voxel data. It’s a lot tidier as everything is in a single file, and it should also bring performance and robustness improvements. However, the file format is not finalized yet so please don’t depend on it. Future versions of Cubiquity may not be able to load these files!

New licensing model
This is the first snapshot to be released under our new licensing model. It’s free for non-commercial and evaluation use (see LICENSE.txt for full details) and hard-coded limitations on volume size have been removed. Practically speaking there are still technical limitations, but those will lift in the future as we optimize the system. Please note: there is currently no way to create large volumes through the user interface but you can do so through code.

API improvements
The ColoredCubesVolume class has been split into ColoredCubesVolume and ColoredCubesVolumeData, and a similar split has been made for the TerrainVolume. The idea is to correctly separate responsibilities. ColoredCubesVolume is a component which handles rendering, interaction, etc while ColoredCubesVolumeData is just the data it operates on and can be serialized to an asset (probably… not really tested). More splitting of responsibilities will probably occur in the future. Please look at the code for the examples discussed in the video to see how you should now construct volumes from code.

Things that are missing
Some functionality may have got lost in the refactor, in particular it is no longer possible to import a colored cubes volume from a stack of images. We plan to bring this back in the future as a separate command line tool so that we can also demonstrate the Cubiqity C API. So if you really need this functionality you might want to hold off upgrading for a while.

Download the snapshot
You can download the snapshot corresponding to the video with the link below. Just extract the zip file and import the .unitypackage file into Unity. Be aware that it’s still Windows only at the moment.

You can also get the latest version of the code directly from our BitBucket page (may be unstable):

We hope you enjoy the new system! As always you can ask any questions on our own forum or on our ‘Works in Progress‘ or ‘Assets and Asset Store‘ threads on the Unity3D forums. Do let us know if you have any feedback :-)

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About David Williams

David is a post-doctorate researcher at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, where he is investigating GPU computing. Prior to this he worked in the games industry and wrote graphics/engine code for a number of PC/PS3/XBox titles. As well as making games he occasionally enjoys playing them, and also sometimes gets outside to do some photography.

2 thoughts on “Cubiquity for Unity3D progress update (Nov 2013)

    • They’re just different really. PolyVox is low-level and provides a lot of flexibility, but it’s complex and you have to do a lot of stuff yourself. Cubiquity actually builds on top of PolyVox and provides an easier interface and integration with other game engines (so far just Unity3D), as well as some extra features.

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