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Terrains / Imposters/ Collider only loaders

Mike Wuetherick

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Just some general feedback on workflow - I just discovered the 'imposter / collider' generation which seems very useful but I have no idea what I'm doing or what is recommended regarding how this should work.

We really need some proper documentation about how these various tools / workflows work in GAIA and what the recommended workflow is for various scenarios.

As it stands currently GAIA is extremely powerful but I just feel like I'm stabbing in the dark to figure out how I'm expected to use the tools - and it doesn't help that most operations that I run take...a long time...whether generating imposters, loading various setups etc - so it's very cumbersome to try and iterate to try and figure out what I 'should' be doing at any given point in time.

For example, I generated Imposters for my scene and hit play...and no terrains load 'at all' - so I go into the terrain loader and - yes fly cam is set to 'runtime always' loading, but terrains don't load? 

Things like this are probably obvious to the PW folks but are just a black art for mere mortals trying to figure out the tools.  

I always feel like the PW tools could do so much more for me if only there was proper documentation to try and decipher them - and no, youtube videos don't cut it frankly.

Anyways, love the tools, wish I could figure them out. 

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Hi @Mike Wuetherick, just to make sure, did you see that you can get field descriptions and links to the online documentation pages by clicking on the "?" button in most Gaia tools?


For the screenshot above, the link would bring you here:


For the terrain loader components, you should get a link to here:


The reason we do not include a full manual PDF is that Gaia 1 had a roughly 200 pages PDF in it, where everything was written down, but users were not too happy about it because it meant they would need to scan 200 pages (or try to guess from the table of contents where they might find their information) which is why we wanted to make the documentation available online and link to it from the respective parts of the UI.

The downside of this approach is that you got no overview for everything Gaia has to offer & some concepts like the impostor creation are only brushed upon when describing the terrain converter, but they could use almost their own documentation page to explain the concept behind it, etc.

I think we need to add one overarching high level manual that gives you an overview of what Gaia can do (and such concepts as impostors) that then links into the pages for the specific tools where it makes sense.

Regarding the issue at hand: Do you see any error messages in the console when the terrains do not load?
"Runtime Always" on the Flycam should be correct, is the loading range large enough so that it should touch the terrains?
What happens when you select the Terrain Loader Manager from the Scene Hierarchy and you try to load in terrains manually from the buttons in the "Terrains" panel?


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No I didn't actually notice those help links, thanks! that is very useful

Yes the console was spewing errors a ton, I ended up nuking the scene and trying again, and this time something happened and the stamper / biome controllers ended up getting removed from the scene somehow...


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Is there a full set of API documentation for GAIA? Ie how to interact with these systems from code? I have my own scene management system that I need to figure out to handle working with GAIA (I'm working on a multiplayer game and need to load at least the master scene myself, GAIA can hopefully take over from there...)

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Just going through the docs - they are good at explaining the various buttons etc in the UI but what is really missing is 'workflow' documentation - ie how to achieve a given result - for example:

- creating an efficient multi-scene terrain with the terrain loading system - what variation of options should I be using? imposters? terrains? How big is a good terrain size for a loading setup? fewer larger terrains? a bunch of smaller terrains but a ton of scenes? This is what I'm trying to figure out and it's a very slow and laborious process to generate variations of this, where I'd imagine that y'all have a ton more experience and can easily explain what a good set up might be for various use cases...

Just a thought 

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Well this is mainly preference honestly. 
I prefer tons of smaller terrains and terrain scenes vs less larger ones and less scenes. 
Remember that Unity works off a per scene basis. 
Each scene has its own ram, etc.

You could use imposters depending on how large your world actually is. 
Some cases this is not necessary sometimes it is. 

A good rule of thumb is the larger your world the more terrains and terrain scenes you have I would generate imposters. 
Always make backups before any big operation etc. 

I would love to do a series like what your talking about sometime. 
I used to do them on twitch a long time ago, but havent really had the time to do them again. 
I know we talked about this a lot during the game jam. 

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