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What’s next for GeoGlyph? What is going on with the tool? What are the reasons for the delays when it comes to updates? Dax Pandhi, co-founder of QuadSpinner, posted an important message on Facebook that clarifies the situation.
Here goes the official statement:
As you may have noticed, there has been a series of delays in adding support for the most recent WM 3.x builds in GeoGlyph 2. I have received many emails asking questions and prompting us to publish a compatibility update.
I wanted to give an explanation of what is going on, and what the immediate future of GeoGlyph 2 will be.
First off, let’s address the elephant in the room. We’re working on a new standalone terrain design software, Gaea. In some respects it will compete with World Machine, but we LOVE World Machine, and would rather see people use it in conjunction with World Machine than as a replacement. So let me clearly state that GeoGlyph 2 will not be neglected or abandoned just because we are making Gaea. We poured our heart and soul into GeoGlyph, and will continue to support it.
So why have we not added WM 3016 (and now 3017) support?
As many of you know, World Machine’s development has been severely erratic over the last couple of years. With the lack of a clear timeline, and the constant changes since WM 3010, it has been very difficult to add support for new versions in GG2. Let’s not forget, they’re all betas, and not stable.
The GeoGlyph IDE has to support many different versions: WM 237 (still the “stable” and recommended option – even the official WM stance), WM 303 which a LOT of major studios are invested in, and 3010/3011/3015 with various levels of investment.
For every change – even something as small as a new menu item or such that is added in WM – it breaks a LOT of stuff in the GG IDE’s code. And to fix it, we can’t just replace code, we need to maintain different bits of code for each version (6 versions at least as of right now). And this does not cover changes to the engine itself. And of course, every “layer” also adds potential instability given that we can’t plan ahead because of the lack of a roadmap in WM’s development.
Such changes require a LOT of work on our side. While we won’t shy away from such additional work, it makes it difficult to assign time not knowing when the next version is going to be available. This is not an excuse, it is just a practical decision we have to make from time to time.
So what are we going to do about it?
We are still working on adding support for WM 3016 and 3017, but we won’t be porting the IDE. You can use WM normally, without GeoGlyph’s IDE, but the devices will still work. GeoColor will no work, as it requires the IDE.
Stephen is now working on making the final 3.x version. 3017 may be the last version we add support for. After that we will wait for the final 3.x release and then upgrade GeoGlyph for proper support, including the IDE.
Along with that release, we will also be able to fix some stability issues, as well as finally add export support for OpenEXR/HDR and FBX with RGB embeds. WM 2.3.7 and whatever the final 3.x version is, will be the only two versions support from that point. It will help us clean up the code.
Eventually, after the release of Gaea, we are thinking of adding World Machine-to-Gaea compatibility for Erosion Studio and sculpted erosion in general. All of that is still just an idea on the chalkboard, of course, but I mentioned it as an example of our commitment to keeping GeoGlyph 2 alive.
And last but not least, all of the above will be free. We respect and value each and every one of you too much to ask for an upgrade fee. We could choose to easily make 3.x support as “GeoGlyph 3” which carries a few new features and upgrade fees, but we are aware that GeoGlyph is not inexpensive, and we want you to get proper value for you money.
I’m the only one working on GeoGlyph 2 as the rest of the team is focused on Gaea, and I’m tired all the time so am not too active here on the group, but I’ll always be around if you have questions or comments.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.
Share your thoughts on the situation in the comments below.