The last few days, I have been examining Ürban PAD, a tool created by Gamr7, which allows you to create a 3D city rapidly. This would be a perfect solution for prototyping open world games situated in a city.
By combining rules in a visual way, the tool allows you to create buildings, blocks, streets, and most interestingly: city layouts. One way to create a city layout, is to start off with a big rectangle, and subsequently split it in parts to make the street network denser and denser.
For now, we’re able to create a static city in Unity3D, with materials and collision detection.
To be sure the 3D models created by Ürban PAD are fine for mobile use, we created a simple first-person checkpoint race game, running on a Samsung Galaxy Tab:
Currently, the only thing that Ürban PAD is exporting is a static, textured mesh. I’m still trying to find out if it’s possible to export additional data, making it more easy to add pedestrian and car behavior, pathfinding, physics, dynamic traffic lights, etc.
This doesn’t seem supported by the software, but a work-around may be possible. We’re having contact with the people of Gamr7 to see if this would be possible.
I can conclude that Ürban PAD is certainly useful to create a city for a prototype rapidly. For more visually rich games, it may not yet be ready, as there isn’t much information exported besides the mesh.
Either way, I would surely recommend to keep a close eye on this, as the software is under active development.