Whystler

Hello there Voxel Farm folks.  I loved the concept of Daybreak Game's Landmark.  It had been a while since I hung out there, only to hear that very soon there will be no Landmark.  I enjoyed learning and building there quite a lot, and participated in a couple of the workshops to build things for the world.

I just love building - the game part isn't necessary to me.  I've been building virtual worlds for years
now .. activeworlds, adobe's atmosphere, blaxxun, secondlife, imvu, you name it.

To be able to share what you've built in a world with other builders is an incredible experience.  It also encourages light roleplay.

Is there anything else out there on the market like this?  

(I've included one of the pieces I made in Landmark that I'm proud of)

 

-Whystler greenhouse-screen05.jpg 

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miguelcepero
That is an amazing build!

In case you missed the username, I'm Miguel from Voxel Farm. I started working in Voxel Farm more than 10 years ago. We are now your typical middleware company with an office, employees etc., but back in 2012 when SOE became interested in the tech, it was just me. The main reason why I sunk so much of my time into this tech is that like yourself, I believe voxel-based worlds and tools can take shared virtual experiences to a whole new level. I think Landmark was a very bright glimpse into that future. That is why we feel the world will become a little darker when Landmark closes its doors.

Contrary to the old adage, at Voxel Farm we make engines, not games. Our tech has been licensed by a few hundred groups just in the past few months. I really cannot comment on what these groups are working on, it is part of our business to let them control the flow of information. I can tell you that Landmark was extremely ambitious. They succeeded in making a game where you could create amazing content without using any external tools, all while in a massively multiplayer environment. Landmark "gamified" the process of building really complex and rich environments. I do not think there is a precedent. This is very expensive to develop and maintain, and it takes a company like SOE with the resources and experience to pull off.

The good news is our tech is maturing quickly. That means smaller groups could create something like Landmark with a reasonable degree of risk and effort. There are three fronts we are pushing simultaneously for this to happen:

  • Voxel-based building and world creation tools (because worlds and the things people create must be beautiful)
  • Integration with Unreal Engine and Unity (because you want interesting things to happen in these environments)
  • A cloud-based platform for these experiences to be shared (because playing and creating can be very social)

If you must absolutely build, our Voxel Studio application has the same toolset than Landmark for voxel building, and then some advanced features, like having textures go into different directions, flexible selection boxes, ability to import textured meshes among others.

You can see some of it in this image created by Ginsen (a notorious Landmark masterbuilder) in Voxel Studio:

CoUwJt9WcAEJ1Gs.jpg 

I hope Ginsen will not mind me using these images from his/her twitter feed. As you can see, the wood grain follows the shape of the planks. This is impossible in Landmark and can take your builds to a whole new level.

If you choose to, you can create the entire environment around your build. That is, you can create your own biomes. Here is some more work in progress also by Ginsen, this time it is an entire biome:

Cnr1R-eXEAAIuyo.jpg 

Maybe this last video will give you an idea of how building in Voxel Studio feels like:




We also have an experimental multiplayer build environment, which we call the Farm Cloud. You can see it in this video:



All this is not happening in a "gamified" environment. Voxel Studio is an application, not a game. There are no cool avatars, no custom lights and props at the moment. While you can add your own materials, the included material selection is a small subset of what know from Landmark.

I would say this is the closest you can get to Landmark in terms of building. There are other voxel games out there, but voxels are used only for terrain and the building is prop-based. And you have polygon-based games/platforms like Second Life, but at this point you are better with Blender or Maya.

We will be improving our Unreal and Unity examples, to the point they will start to converge to the experience you had in Landmark, but we are still covering the basics.
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Whystler

Thank you so much for your kind and detailed reply!  It was deeply informative.

There is a certain model that began with virtual world/chat world building that so many of us yearn for because it seems to have all but disappeared.  And this is the model that Activeworlds uses to this day, I believe.  It's also the model that Adobe's Atmosphere used.  So I ask, anyone reading here; the call is this ...

Would someone please create a multiplayer server that references a voxelfarm built world and it's assets from one internet storage path, and avatars from others.  No game dynamics or in game programming required. This is exactly what Activeworlds and Atmosphere did.  It allowed the user direct control over their content, whether it be a full world, or simply how they represented themselves with a body.  With respect to avatars, I understand that skeletons and animations may be a hurdle in terms of consistency from one avatar to the other, but somehow Atmosphere was able to do it.  Even if it began with static avatars with no animations, like a "will o wisp" lightball, so many of us would be tickled to at least be able to explore each others creations and chat there with each other.

I ask this with some great shame, for I know as an artist, just how annoying it is to endure people without a certain skill who suggest we do something they want.  And so, I also ask this with the full understanding and acceptance that these wishes will fall far behind your own goals, which have lead us to this great approach to voxels and virtual worlds in the first place!  So we have no reason to complain; only to celebrate [smile] 

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Cairo
I know this is an old thread, but wondered if there is any update to this. I, too, have days of despondency over the loss of Landmark. Today is one of them. 
I had gotten in to Landmark during the Alpha and spent my time building Miskatonic University. With each build my skills improved, but I was still learning when Landmark was shut down. 
Has anything been released in the last year?
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Webbrowser

I know of a friend who's making a new Landmark kind of game, and just sent him this link through so that he can see your post.

I'm personally working on an MMO with VoxelFarm as its foundation for the renderer and voxels. It won't be as free-form as Landmark used to be, but might be something you'd like to check out? To prevent link sharing, you can check it out on Facebook under Codename Reality.

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