I have great news for you: new stuff is coming very soon. But first, here is the state of Scene City's development.
Since I released the current version 0.7, I've received largely positive feedback, and people are happy with it so far. Thanks to all of you for your support, Scene City is getting better and better.
Standalone app? YEAH!... well not so much...
After shipping version 0.7, I reassessed my goals for Scene City and what it should be. I was really happy with the features and direction I was taking, except for one thing: development was painful. A long, frustrating development process, which would have inevitably led to a lower quality application. So I had to change something radically.
The painful development part was the fact that I decided to develop a standalone application rather than a "simple" Blender addon like I did before. I had several reasons to do so (users could test the app without Blender installed, realtime 3d previews, cool factor, zero installs...) but I primarily wanted to have a universal app that could export to Blender for a start, then to Unity, and later to other software.
That sounded like a smart idea... on paper, because once I finished version 0.7, I realized making the app work, then ALSO the Blender part work was almost doubling the workload(!) I missed the famous KISS principle. It's much much better to have something simple that works right now, rather than a promising pile of complex code that might lead to something useful.. or most probably to nothing at all.
I also realized once I was done with 0.7 that exporting a city, while extremely easy and useable, is a 2 step process, and will never be as direct as when you have the features right inside Blender, like an addon does. Sure the standalone app is easy to launch and all, but it's still a step that could be avoided. An addon has the added benefit of context: it is "blended" in Blender. It makes itself invisible, it does its job then disappears when no longer needed, and that's precisely what good software is.
Since it'll be the same kind of issue with any other application SceneCity might support later, I decided to drop the standalone part, and revert back to a good ol' Blender addon. Hence the long time I took after 0.7 until today: re-designing and re-coding the app as an addon. Lesson learnt the hard way, but that's what makes software development interesting ;)
Huge download size fixed
With 0.7 there was another issue I was concerned with: download size. A mammoth 2GB! And with all the content I'm adding with each new version, I had to do something.
Why is Scene City so large?
- in the current state, you download 3 versions of SceneCity: one for Windows, one for Mac, and one for Linux. So you basically download the app 3 times... That's inefficient I know, but it's the simplest and quickest solution I found for me and for you.
- Then for each version, the resources that take most disk space are bundled twice: once to be used in realtime in the generator (the standalone app) and once again in a zip file which is uncompressed when exporting to Blender. What takes a lot of disk space are the 8k HDR skies, more than 200MB, then the terrain preset textures, another 150MB.
Scene City 0.8 will be a Blender addon... No? Three addons?
Scene City has 3 components working together, but that could be used independently: the skies, the terrain generator, and the city generator. Perhaps some people may be more interested by one or two parts, and not so much by the other. It's also a good design practice to make smaller parts work together rather than having a monolithic engine.
So I split Scene City into 3 addons: one for the skies, one for the terrains and one for the roads and buildings. That doesn't change much for you, except that you can use them independently if you wish. They still work together if needed, as expected. I might distribute them separately in the future, but for now I keep them bundled together when you buy and download Scene City.
Scene City 0.8's release is this month, more news will follow!