Build 3025 ‘Alpine Lakes’

Hey folks! Just this morning, the first development build of the ‘Alpine Lakes’ branch of World Machine is now up! ‘Alpine Lakes’ is all about water and the effect it has on your terrain.

You can now add automatic lakes and rivers, drive beautiful
new texturing based on soil wetness, and even have World Machine recraft your terrain by breaking through ridges and creating new drainage basins according to hydrodynamic principles.

Read about it in depth in the new help center:

Build 3025 ‘Alpine Lakes’ Release Notes

Which is also live. 🙂 The Help Center is pretty sparse as all of the device docs are still being written, but it will be the new home of all WM documentation and release notes in the future.

Go check it out above. We’re literally loading up the truck right now and road-tripping down to San Francisco for GDC 2019! We’ll be demoing the new Alpine Lakes features there, so if you’re coming to GDC stop by our booth and say hello.

Naturally since 3025 is a dev build, there’s sure to be some issues remaining. We’ll try to get to anything showstopping, but the next big focus is GDC. This is the first time we’ve had a booth there, and I’m very excited to talk to everyone. See you there!

Stephen

DEV Friday

Hi everyone! It’s a friday night and well past midnight but lots of progress is still being made. Things have been fiendishly busy as we gear up for another major feature release, as well as some other really exciting stuff coming up in the first half of this year.

This blog post is long overdue…

New Feature Release

The next major new feature build will be available in Q1 2019. That translates to within a week or two for the dev channel debut.

I’m really excited for this release – it incorporates some work and R&D dating back all the way to 2016ish, and I’m very happy to finally be able to pull some of the experiments from the lab into production. The next blog post will introduce build 3025… and I think you’ll be as excited to use it as I am.

But for now, what should we talk about? How about….

Better Docs!

Documentation has always been a weak spot for World Machine, there’s no bones about it. There’s only so many hours in the day, and consequently I’ve always prioritized putting time into product work over documentation. In retrospect, that’s… not a great idea. Even for power users, discovering how a new feature works from trial and error is time consuming and risks a lot of misconceptions. We need to do better.

As a result, we’re launching a new help center for the next release. I’m committing to having each new ‘Code Named’ build have full documentation for new features by the time it hits the release channel. Some of the upcoming changes will be very powerful, and I want to help people discover how to best use them. There’s also a high-priority effort to get the existing documentation for World Machine updated and put into a form that is easily searchable on the web. We’ll be slowly back-documenting the last releases as we go.

I was really aiming to make this a wiki, but couldn’t find a good solution… so we’re going with a more standard CMS. But I think there’s a lot of room for the community to help write about innovative ways to use devices, How-To’s, and flesh out best practices — I’m really interested in getting some help writing articles. If you love helping others, drop me a line at stephen@world-machine.com and let’s talk.

GDC 2019

We’re going to be at GDC this year with a booth in the expo! We’ll be demoing the features of the upcoming release, showing off some cool creations by WM users, and more.

If you’re attending, you should definitely stop by. Even better, drop me a line and let’s schedule a chat to talk about what you’re doing with WM, environments in general, or just to nerd out about terrain.

Also.. have YOU created an interested project that used WM? We’d be proud to show off your work to all the expo visitors stopping by (with full credits for you, of course!). Again, drop a line to stephen@world-machine.com.

Until next time,

Stephen

32bit World Machine

Just thought I would note that Build 3024 (predominantly a bugfix) went out a few weeks back.

Work is proceeding along a couple different lines of development right now; I’ll definitely post more as things firm up for the next dev release.

In the interim, I have a question.

Does anyone still run 32bit Windows?

I’m thinking of dropping support for 32bit versions of World Machine. Given that it’s 2018, we’re all using systems with many gigabytes of RAM, all the major 3D card manufacturers have stopped shipping 32bit drivers, and  everyone is running a 64bit OS, it doesn’t seem useful to keep shipping a 32bit version. Dropping 32bit support reduces the workload of testing and releasing each build, and conserves resources..

If anyone out there believes strongly that 32bit support is important, let me know. Otherwise, it will probably disappear in the next build or two.

 

 

The latest 'Behind the Scenes' news from Stephen, the author of World Machine