I'm reworking the organics engine this morning. I don't know why, but it seems like the morning is the best time for technical tasks and the evening is the best time for gameplay/creative tasks. Actually I could do modelling or textures in the morning as well, just not the writing that is neccesary for quests and so forth.
Basically, the current organics engine splits trees/etc. into three separate rings, the farthest one being simple point-impostors (very fast to render), then nearer are "asterisks" which are yet another type of impostor, then finally the real models.
This system was envisioned to allow way more trees/etc. than I'm really going to be able to do anyhow. The idea was to let a much higher density at far out so when you look at those hills, man, they are just packed with trees. But it doesn't work quite like that.
In the end, you really do notice the ring transitions as the trees come closer. This is just unfortunate. Anyhow, what I'm doing is simplifying/unifying it into one circular disc which moves around, and I'll manage the impostor transitions within it. Much, much simpler. Also, I was having trouble with umake in generating the appropriate parameters, so on some planets it looked wacky and on others it was fine. This will solve all that.
It also gives me abit more flexibilty (simplicity == flexibility as a rule). In short, I can experiment with very small, very dense disks for things like grass, and we'll see how it goes hmm?