Hi all. Back in January while chatting on Skype with Adam Goodrich (author of Gaia) and he threw me the idea of creating terrain stamp packs for Gaia. I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with my situation, but due to some health issues I have been struggling financially and have been trying to figure out some way I could bring in a few dollars to get by. I had come up with the idea of Backwoods Gaming towards the end of last summer with the intent of developing assets in C# but with issues holding on to the thought processes I had problems keeping up with all the logic. Between that, the brain fog type issues I’m dealing with, and the ever changing environment in Unity3D, I had kind of given up with the worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with a code asset enough to provide good support.
Adam said the packs were something he had planned on doing, but with all of the coding that is required to keep Gaia going and other asset ideas he had that would need to be coded, he asked me if it was something I would like to run with. So for the past month I have been working out plans, finding neat areas around the US that would make nice stamps, doing the Photoshop work to make them work well with Gaia, writing an extension for Gaia to make it easy to enable and disable stamps from the packs, and trying to navigate through all of the Unity marketing stuff that is required to submit packs to the asset store. Oh yeah, and working on the website where there is documentation on how to use the packs, information and a stamp glossary showing a top down view and description of each stamp, as well as a place for me to put tutorials (such as my using Sectr with Gaia for large terrains tutorial that has been started in the Gaia thread).
So with that, let me introduce you to Backwoods Gaming and our Terrain Stamp Packs for Gaia.
NOTE: All stamp packs require Gaia to be installed. Get Gaia here.
What are terrain stamp packs?
These are themed packs containing from 10-15 new stamps for Gaia. Packs are priced at $5 per pack and new packs will be released at least once per month, sometimes more. I decided to do smaller, cheaper packs, that way folks will be able to pick and choose which packs they need instead of paying a huge price and getting tons of stamps they will never use. The smaller packs are also easier to manage in a Gaia eXtension.
What is the Gaia eXtension and what does it do?
The GX (Gaia eXtension) plugs the pack into Gaia and lets Gaia know it is there. Within the extension you have options to enable all of the extensions in the pack, disable all extensions within the pack, or enable/disable individual stamps. By default, all of the stamps in the pack are disabled when you import the pack into Unity. Enabling them, moves them into the Gaia stamps structure so Gaia can recognize them as stamps. The reason for setting up the enable/disable system was simply to prevent you from overwhelming Gaia with tons of stamps. If you know you are going to be stamping mountains, you can enable packs including mountains. If you know you are going to be stamping islands, you can enable those packs while disabling others. This is also useful for the randomizer, enabling stamps which you are going to want to focus the randomizer on and disabling others. Note: At this point the enable/disable system only works with Backwoods Gaming stamps from the stamp pack you are working with in the GX -> Installed area of the Gaia Manager. In the future we may update the packs to include a stamps manager that would also let you enable and disable other stamps as well.
What is included in the stamps packs?
As stated earlier, each stamps pack comes with 10-15 stamps for $5. Currently the only things included are those stamps, the stamp extension described above, and short readme files pointing to various pages of the website for documentation. You will still need to purchase Gaia, of course. But once you have Gaia and the stamp packs, you are ready to start creating awesome terrains!
What is planned for future stamp packs?
I currently have the rest of the year mapped out for at least one stamp pack a month. I will be submitting two packs to the asset store in the next couple of days. I had a third that was ready, but when I went back through to do a quality control check, I wasn’t happy with all of the stamps. So I will be going back through it and hopefully releasing it as the March pack. I have a total of 14 packs currently planned and at various stages of stamp creation. I may or may not do pack bundles down the road, or even annual pack subscriptions, but I need to see how things go the first couple of months first. But there is a long term plan.
In addition, I have some ideas of additional things to include in the packs. Once I have the code complete for those things to be integrating, they will become part of all future packs. Likewise, any existing packs will be updated at that point to include them as well.
What do the first packs contain?
Stamp pack volume one contains stamps that contain an area in the center that is ideal for village areas. I planned this pack to coincide with the release of Gaia 1.5 and Gaia’s new ability to be able to setup and spawn village POIs (Points of Interest) Each village area contains a flatter area in the center allowing you to either use the stamp to create an entire scene OR use the Gaia masking techniques to stamp into an existing scene or use with the randomizer in the Gaia Session Manager.
Stamp pack volume two contains stamps of mountains and volcanoes. All of the mountains used to create the stamp are listed as volcanic but not all have the caldera. Almost all of them could have a subtractive/inverted stamp applied to the peaks to create a caldera in them though. As with all of our stamp packs, the main mountain features are always in the center of the stamp so it can be used to create a standalone terrain OR used with Gaia masking techniques to stamp into an existing scene or used with the stamp randomizer.
Ok.. So I’ll quit rambling on now and show a few images.
The images below were created using Gaia 1.5 and the Village Areas – Gaia Terrain Stamps Pack Vol1. The only assets used other than the stamps pack and Gaia are:
- Time of Day for the skies
- Distingo for the terrain shaders
- AQUAS for the water
- Trees Manager System to optimize trees a bit so I could move around on the terrains on my slow machine… lol
All other assets are Gaia samples – Trees are the SpeedTree sample trees that come with Unity/Gaia, Grasses are samples provided to Gaia by Turboscalpeur, buildings are the samples provided by Cobus of 3DForge for Gaia, ground textures are sample provided to distribute with Gaia by GameTextures.com, and rocks are samples provided by MotuProprio as samples for Gaia.
NOTE: Gaia samples are installed with Gaia and are not included in the stamp packs.
The images below were created using Gaia 1.5 and the Mountain and Volcano – Gaia Terrain Stamps Pack Vol2 along with the same assets mentioned above.
Terrain Stamp Pack for Gaia Vol1 – Village Areas: Backwoods Asset Store | Unity Asset Store [Coming Soon]
Terrain Stamp Pack for Gaia Vol2 – Mountain and Volcano: Backwoods Asset Store | Unity Asset Store [Coming Soon]