This free open-source tool can help game developers make procedural ivy

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There are plenty of tools to help game developers create environmental objects, like SpeedTree (opens in new tab), which has famously been used to help make the trees in everything from The Witcher 3 to Assassin's Creed Origins. Game designer Robert Yang has just released a new open-source tool that can help developers create ivy and spread it over surfaces without having to do every inch by hand. It's called Hedera (opens in new tab), and it's built on code originally written by Thomas Luft in 2006, which "strongly affirms the value of open source dev" as Yang put it on Twitter.

Hedera lets developers paint ivy onto 3D objects, "with detailed growth sim and proc gen mesh options", and comes with different presets for varying degrees of realistic or cartoonish ivy to suit any given game's style. Or you can just get in there and mess with the shaders and textures yourself.

This is a tool specifically for games being made in Unity, an engine which has been used to make plenty of games people don't associate with it—games like Hearthstone, Cities: Skylines, Wasteland 2, Beat Saber, and Cuphead, for instance, were all made in Unity.

Hedera can be downloaded here (opens in new tab).

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.