What is "World Machine" and why should I use it?

Started by N-drju, October 02, 2018, 08:32:08 am

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N-drju

Like in subject...

I never quite felt any urge to try it out. Is it worth exploring?
"This year - a factory of semiconductors. Next year - a factory of whole conductors!"

Oshyan

If you feel limited by what Terragen can do with terrain, in particular *heightfield* terrain, then getting something *like* World Machine might be worth trying. Personally I would not recommend investing in World Machine at this time, though I am sad to say it.

Although Stephen is back to developing it at a reasonable pace, there are numerous remaining concerns, not least of which is the largely unexplained year+ absence in the recent past of World Machine's development. Who knows if that will happen again. But I would argue more importantly the fact that World Machine now has a fairly outdated user interface and set of functionality, it is a bit clunky by comparison to newer tools.

And that leads to perhaps the most important point, which is that for a long time there were no real competitors that were at the same level of quality of output and functionality as World Machine. But there are several tools introduced in the last couple of years and in rapid development that either already equal World Machine, or soon will, and have newer UIs, and faster terrain generation and editing. These include World Creator (GPU-driven, very fast response) and Gaea (from Quadspinner/Dax Pandhi who made plugins for World Machine that already improved on it). Both are in my opinion better options to look at now and be more "future proof". If World Machine is going to catch up and remain relevant it's going to take a lot of new development and probably a total overhaul of the terrain preview system, node network, etc.

That being said, World Machine has a free version you can try out and see if you like. World Creator doesn't, as far as I know, though they've said they will at some point (after arguing against it for a long time). Gaea is supposed to have an "open beta" some time soon-ish.

- Oshyan

N-drju

Thanks for your answer Oshyan. To be honest, I can't really say that I feel limited by what your software has to offer. Possibilities are, quite literally, endless with TG alone. That is why I feel surprised each time someone uses World Machine (or other things) to make terrain. That in turn, made me wonder if I'm not missing out on something... ???

I understand your point very well. I have a rather bad feelings about software that has been abandoned or in a development limbo for too long. You never know what to expect next.

With all that being said, I'd rather stick with TG terrain generation. Learning yet another program with one already able to do stuff, is hardly amusing. ::)
"This year - a factory of semiconductors. Next year - a factory of whole conductors!"

Oshyan

I think a lot of people use World Machine in particular because of the nice erosion (although some newer apps arguably have even better erosion). With the more recent availability of Daniil's erosion plugins we now have equal-or-better erosion in Terragen, so I think WM and other 3rd party tools are less important. Anything that lets you more directly sculpt terrain is useful outside of Terragen though, for now. At least for some people.

- Oshyan