Monday, 29 April 2013

Topia V1.2 released

Suddenly, after an insanely long delay, V1.2 of Topia is out. This release has taken a while and is mostly focused on the editing tools and being able to finally save the levels in a non-insane way.

New features are:

  • Completely rewritten save system, level edits are no longer stored as a weird, confusing timeline, they are now saved completely as they appear. This was the bulk of the update and I spent a lot of time ensuring the save and load were as quick as possible and don't use an insane amount of space. Storage requirements for a level are variable but tend to use somewhere between 1 and 2 megabytes for each slot
  • There is now the concept of 'grass' and 'potential grass'. This basically means that you can now paint down paths and patterns in 'dirt' and the grass, as it grows, will not cover them. areas of 'dirt' can be reclaimed as grass with the grass painting tool as long as they aren't too near the sea, too steep and rocky or above the snowline.
  • The painting tools have been hugely optimised, this means that people on slow devices (iPhone4 and older + the original iPad) will see much less of a slowdown than before.
  • New lighting: Lighting calculations have been optimised for better performance while the resolution of the lightmap has been enhanced.
  • Better water animation: The way the water refracts the seabed under it is much more realistic and looks cooler.
  • Tree planting. Players can now plant trees anywhere flat enough for trees to grow.
  • Importing levels from graphic files: More info on this coming later...
  • Preset worlds: Players can start from a selection of preset worlds, 7 in the current version.
  • Scale/Offset/Smooth tools, used to make world scale changes to the level.
  • Advanced tools: Some silly effects to tweak your world
  • Life editing in edit mode: Wipe out all trees and creatures, plant random trees.
  • Updated landscape tutorial
  • Vine camera loop mode: The camera travels and rotates over the world and is back to where it started exactly six and a half seconds later. Film this from Vine on another device and it's fairly simple to make seamless looping videos.
Now I have to post another blog detailing how the import works in case anyone tries to follow the link painted as a path in the Creator's Message world!


  1. Congrats on the update Glenn, it plays really well! I look forward to seeing the software build up in future versions into a model ecosystem. What are your potential routes for further development of Topia?...if you don't mind me asking :)