Streaming City-Scale Environments: Unity and Geopipe Part II

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The real world is an increasingly important component of games, from small indie projects to huge AAA productions, of simulations for training humans and machines alike, and of visualizations and VR experiences. As we discussed in our last blog post, putting the real world into a game or simulation today is expensive, time-consuming, and for many projects, prohibitive. It can take teams of environment artists years to design and refine a large world modeled from the real world, then fill it with enough detail to truly immerse a user in the environment - but what if putting reality in a game was even simpler than downloading an asset and dropping it into your favorite (or your own) game engine?

The advent of powerful, democratized game engines has opened up game development to teams of any size and have greatly shortened development timelines for larger teams. Similarly, Geopipe empowers any team to rapidly and cost-effectively set their game or simulation in a huge, complete environment – and for those who need it, an environment faithfully reproducing the real world.

Geopipe's virtual copy of New York City

New York City loaded in Unity with the Geopipe Unity SDK, looking north from near Geopipe's office towards Midtown.

Building Blocks in Tech Development: Unity and Geopipe

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Those who dabble even casually in game environments are familiar with Unity Technologies, a highly successful software development company that has garnered worldwide acclaim. They are best known for Unity, a game engine that makes it easy to build video games and apps by providing common components and infrastructure to developers of all skill levels. While initially created to develop their own games, the focus of the company shifted to producing the tools needed for game development. Unity provides independent developers with the resources to create their own games. The accessibility of the tool across multiple platforms is unrivaled, and its popularity exploded as demand grew for mobile gaming.

Game development process without a game engine like Unity

The game development process without a game engine like Unity is slow, expensive, redundant and impossible for all but the biggest studios.