Cubiquity progress update – volume transformations and materials

Time for another Cubiquity update! Over the last two months we’ve put a lot of work into polishing and refining Cubiquity in order to make it fit more naturally with the Unity way of doing things. In particular, voxel terrains now behave much more like other Unity objects in that they can be translated, scaled and rotated, and can also participate in transformation hierarchies. See the video below for an example (the moon orbits the Earth while the Earth orbits the sun):

As you can see this adds a lot of flexibility to the system, and it’s really starting to feel like things are being done ‘the right way’. I can imagine the solar system example above could be ‘gamified’ quite nicely, e.g. you could defend a voxel-based Earth from a barrage of voxel-based meteorites. And I’m sure there are plenty of more interesting game concepts which you guys can think up :-)

As well as transforms, the video also shows that the material system is much more flexible now. You can still use the TriplanarTexturing material but it’s really just an example. The ‘planet’ material (used for the Earth in the video above) shows how textures can be applied from a cube map, and we have ideas for other approaches too.

Actually setting the material is also more natural now. We’ve introduced ‘VolumeRenderer’ and ‘VolumeCollider’ components which are conceptually similar to their mesh-based cousins, and so the material can be set just by changing the ‘material’ property of the ‘VolumeRenderer’ component. There’s still some work to do with these but it’s starting to take shape.

Sounds great, but when is the release?!
We were originally hoping to be on the asset store by the end of last year, and we’re clearly behind in that regard. This isn’t due to any particular problem or road block – it’s just a case of everything taking a bit longer than expected. But that’s why we put out these snapshots, so that you guys can see the progress and start playing with the system.

As it currently stands, we expect to put out one more snapshot in about a month, and then release at least the free version of Cubiquity on the asset store about a month after that. It’s not clear if the paid version will go live at the same time – we may have a testing period with just the free version available. At any rate the paid version won’t be very far behind.

Of course, being on the Asset Store is really just the start… we have many interesting plans for the future of this system :-)

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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 progress update – volume transformations and materials

  1. Will you post something that will work on a mac? Considering that you’re developing this for non-coders, that’s going to be something I’d think you’d want. I went ahead and tried to run the project just for giggles, and Unity squawks about “DllNotFoundException: Assets/StreamingAssets/Cubiquity/CubiquityC.”

    Anyway, I’ve been keeping tabs on this project for awhile, and I’m very excited by the progress you’ve made!

    • Yes, soon :-) We’re actively working on Linux at the moment and have made good progress, and this has been a step towards MacOS as well. Stay tuned for more information in the next week or two.

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