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WOW! Asset Gold by Anon_2027
I got this asset a little a while ago and havent got very far into it yet, but it really looks great! The results are very impressive and a lot like world machine. if your at all familiar with world machine then youll love this unity asset. with similar things like High-precision height field importing, Real - time 3D Views, Powerful Erosion Modelling, Graph Based Interface, Powerful Fractal Generators and Texturing your terrain all with a flick of a switch. Map Magic provides nearly unlimited level of detail to your terrains and additive-ly without using much CPU/GPU(or APU in my case). before i was using another great asset Called Gaia also available here to build my terrains but after getting completely done with setting up my world my highest FPS was around 25-30. and now my world is 100 times bigger and 100 times faster with highest FPS maxing out at 120-135 ( but i dip down to 75 FPS range when my PC loads the pined terrains but still a lot better then 25 FPS any day. also the tutorials are nice and easy to follow along with and the learning curve for me was relatively fast mainly because Ive used World Machine and i think it gave me an edge. Lastly the only problem i seem to be having is when i try to add water its like everything breaks and i have to reset the editor to get it working again but it could be a unity bug and not with the asset because Ive tried 4 different water assets and it all comes out with the same end--freezing then id have to cntl alt Del to reset but besides from that this is a 5 star product in my book.
MapMagic – Some Details by Anon_473
I’m writing a review on this Asset even though 2 more reviews are already published, to get a bit more into details when it comes to Generators, and the newly introduced - Biomes.
The way MapMagic works is semi-procedural, meaning that you can have a huge World, with as many tiles as you want, and just having generators do the job for you, and only manually work on the tiles you need your villages, and generally POIs.
The big plus vs GAIA is the definitely the Tiles, and the way you can work with your “disabled” Tiles (the ones without the POIs in it). So you can have generators spawning your objects in your pre-defined spots, meaning, you can spawn grass and trees off the cliffs, beaches near the sea, and even enemies (they are prefabs after all).
Another very interesting Generator is the Forrest one. You can make “alive” forests in your game meaning you can create a 2 years old only forest (which starts with 2-3 small trees) and after 50 in-game years see a full grown forest with many trees with different sizes etc.
So the BIG thing. Biomes. With Biomes and the awaiting normalize Generator, you can create 3-4-5 or whatever different types of maps and mix them in one BIG world. Meaning you can create 1 Biome that is based on Greenery, 1 with snow, 1 with lava etc etc, and with the form generators define where in the map you will have winter, summer or lava, seamlessly!
The creator is very talented and has also the Voxeland Asset which he said he will implement with MapMagic with a Generator! He is a bit busy so don’t wait answers in your e-mails, but he answers in the unity forum.
Nice asset but...technical stuff? by Anon_886
Long time ago, I followed a series of video tutorials on 3D Buzz about procedural terrain generation, Lee on those videos was developing a massive terrain (would take 20 hours to go from one side of the world to the other side!) with meshes. Back then, that project was an R&D and when the video series stopped there were tons of things that was not addressed, like, vegetation, data persistence etc.
When I saw map magic I thought it would be a much better approach for terrains on open world type of games (We all played Skyrim?). BUT.....
The problem with map magic is the slow terrain generation. Can you believe what I say? If you move fast in the world (Like flight simulators) then you would easily see the border of terrains and it would take time to generate the new patches. Maybe for a slow walking player (RPG games) this is not bad, but if the speed is what your game is about, map magic is slow. The problem is sitting withing the way he generates the maps. He is using CPU for the map textures (noise, voroni, etc) and then do the extra calculations on top of it for different things, like vegetable scattering, texturing, and so on. This by itself, not only pushes jobs to the CPU, but also, knowing that Unity cant handle multithreading for its API, puts a huge disadvantage on the process.
I sent a pm to the developer asking if he can move some of the calculations to GPU using compute shaders or not. Guess what, a week passed and there is no answer to my message yet!
Honestly, there are repositories out there, sample projects, for generating noise on GPU even one is using Unitys compute shaders!
You may ask what is so great about using compute shaders? Well, not only it frees up the CPU but also, compute shader will break the process into thousands of simultaneous threads and puts those threads on the GPU. Unlike CPU, GPU can easily handle thousands of threads without any problem and none of the concerns you would have for multithreading on CPU is applied to the GPU threading (no luck needed, no synchronising issues etc.)
By moving the noise map generation to GPU, it would make this asset at least 5-10 times faster on noise map generation. Also, it should be possible to send the calculations needed for vegetable scattering to the GPU on yet another compute shader and pull out the result and use them to instantiate the vegetables.
The last issue that you should know about, is that Unitys terrain puts tons of draw calls in the system by itself. SO? Its not the best solution for mobile devices. Now, using map magic, you could generate terrains in editor (Pin them), all of them, and then, using another asset, the terrain to mesh one, you can convert all those terrains to meshes when you have your final terrain ready to roll. After that, you can convert those meshes into asset bundles and dynamically load / unload those asset bundles additively to the scene. This approach is time consuming, but yields the best result and gets the benefit of both systems at once.
Pure Awesomeness! by Anon_913
This asset is probably one of the most impressive asset I have ever played with. Imagine a node editor, like Shader Forge for example but for terrains.
Each of the node are super powerful and you can do almost everything a software like World Machine or Vue can do about terrains. It covers all the best generation algorithms, textures and spawning. Just like World Creator that costs $189!
The editor is easy to use and the result is displayed instantly on the screen. You can adjust a voronoi curve and see the result on the screen without pressing a "generate" button. This changes everything. It is so productive!
You can place objects in realtime and play with the size, the result is on the screen in real time.
You can place grass, and trees and adjust the parameters without waiting!
Once you understand the editor, you can make a beautiful terrain in minutes and the result is great.
But the best is yet to come, this terrain editor is procedural. That mean it can creates the terrain in game, and you can go in one direction: FOREVER! No more boundaries.
You have to run the demo to understand. It is totally awesome. And quick! I have never seen something that fast. Because it generates only what you see, Unity don't have to deal with millions of grass and stuff located behind you for example.
They generates several terrains and generates them when you arrive close to the border, using multithreading. You cannot feel it, as it is spread on several seconds, and does not slow down.
So to resume, this tool is super powerful, based on a very smart idea, totally innovative, executed like a boss, and you know what? There is the full source code of everything!
And you know what else? It costs only $35. If there is one asset worth its money in the asset store it is Magic Map! I think that some are not going to sleep after downloading this. Buy it if you can, this Russian guy is a genius, just check the code and you will understand why!