Introducing: Cubiquity

Regular followers of our blog and forums will know that over the last few months we have done a lot of work integrating PolyVox with the Gameplay3D engine. We’ve also mentioned Unity3D and talked about creating a higher level framework to integrate PolyVox with such external game engines. Today we are pleased to officially introduce this technology as ‘Cubiquity’, and provide a very early demonstration of where we are going with it.
Cubiquity is a C++ library which is currently dependant only on PolyVox and which provides higher-level features such as a scene graph, level-of-detail, mesh management, and tools for manipulating volume data. Additionally we have developed ‘Cubiquity for Gameplay3D’ which basically connects Cubiquity to a Gameplay3D scene node so that volumes can be treated as first-class citizens in Gameplay3D. We also have Lua bindings so that Gameplay3D scripts can create and manipulate volume data.

The video below shows some of the features which are present in the tech demo. Cubiquity supports both cubic (hence the name!) and smooth voxel terrain but only the cubic terrain is being shown at the moment. The terrain in the video has a resolution of 512x512x256 voxels which are displayed as coloured cubes. A LOD system allows these cubes to be grouped together into larger cubes as they move into the distance. The terrain is fully dynamic and can be edited in real time (but note that lighting is baked in to this data set).

As mentioned, we have bindings to Lua which have allowed the whole tech demo to be driven by a simple script. This handles input, drives the rendering loop, and also exposes the entire Gameplay3D API meaning that (in theory) you can take this tech demo and build a game on it. In practice you might want to wait for a more mature version ;-)

You can download the tech demo at the link below. Please remember this is a very early version and, amoung other problems, whole system is currently running on a single thread. This causes pauses/hiccups when the terrain is being modified. The initial loading of the terrain is also slow and may take a minute of so.

Download: http://www.volumesoffun.com/downloads/Cubiquity/CubiquityTechDemo_ver_0_1.zip

We do not currently expect Cubiquity to be free, and will probably be targeting the professional indie market with it. Hopefully this will provide a way to support the development of PolyVox (which is also directly benefiting from the development of Cubiquity). That said, it is likely that we will continue to provide free tech demos which can be scripted to make your own games. We’re really still working out the details here.

I think there will probably be a lot of questions about all this, so ask away in the comments. Eventually we’ll get some proper information available on the website.

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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.

10 thoughts on “Introducing: Cubiquity

    • We really haven’t decided on the price yet as there are too many factors for us to say at the moment. Initially I think we will only sell the Unity3D version, and there is some chance it will only be for Unity Pro (I can’t really say for sure until we try this). We’re probably looking at a timescale of about six months before we release. Integration with other engines may come later.

      At this point in time we wouldn’t expect any potential users to commit to us, we’re really just trying to give an early notice of what we are up to and to determine if there is any interest. We haven’t even decided the final feature set yet. But we’ll try to post regular updates on where we are heading so stay tuned.

  1. Greetings David,

    We would be interested in helping with the testing of the Unity plugin as it is being developed David. We have been waiting for something to come down the pipe that is reasonably priced and works well (for Unity). We would be glad to donate to the cause in exchange for early access to the Unity build as it comes along as well, and in turn perhaps can help by providing feedback on the system. Let me know if there is anything we can do to help facilitate this or run it through the ringer – we need this plugin yesterday! :)

  2. Hi David, I want to try your Cubiquty application example, but i can’t get it working. When i launch the app nothing happens , no errors displayed or other info. I m trying to run it on a Windows 7 64bit machine.
    Thank you for the attention.
    Walter

    • Actually at least one other person has reported the same issue. I don’t know what is wrong in this case, and I haven’t get any kind of logging system in place to diagnose it. Unless anything is printed if you run it from the command line? Anyway there’s not much I can do for now, but I’ll be sure to add a logging system for the next version.

      • David running from a console give me no output and any error too… i think i have to wait for a next release!
        Anyway good luck for the project!

  3. Hi David, we’re in the middle of developing a similar cubic/smooth voxel terrain generator for our game Yogventures, and we’d be very interested in possibly helping fund get this project off the ground, and obviously license it when Unity Integration is complete. If it can perform as well as polyvox and provide a procedural terrain generated out of voxels it’s a subject that obviously is near and dear to our hearts as well. We’d be happy to help test and develop anything that could help speed the process as well. I’d love to chat with you about this if you have time. If you could contact me at the above email that would be great! ~Kris

  4. Hey there VOF!

    If you are able to make a plugin that connects PolyVox to Unity, then I’d love to consider your voxel tech for our next game, which we’re prototyping now. If you need a dev to test how things are holding for you, let me know!

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