Press releasesiDec.4,1998j

JFP Inc. has announced the release of computer software called "Virtual Gardening" which allows users to enjoy creating their own virtual gardens. JFP is a company based in Morioka, northern Japan and is capitalized at 10,000,000. The chairman and CEO of the company is Norihiro Urushibara.

From December 22, 1998 JFP has made their Virtual Gardening software available for download on the Internet in an easy to understand format. The price is 8,800 (excluding tax and postage).
Virtual Gardening will appeal to all sorts of people, from those living in condominiums and who do not have their own gardens, to those who want to design their own gardens first on the computer.
The Virtual Gardening software appeals in 3 ways: you can design the garden, walk through the garden and then simulate the changes the garden goes through,

The design stage allows you to plan out the design of your plot in a 2D environment. At this stage you can choose the type of house you want, window designs, gates, stones, lawn type, ponds, stepping stones, plants, trees (for example, Zelkova trees, Maples and Conifers) and place them in your garden. You can also choose landscape features such as gradients for your garden.

At the walkthrough stage you can enjoy the results of your garden simulation through stunning 3D graphics rendered in Open GL. In real-time you can 'walk' through your garden and alter the perspective of your view as you enjoy sauntering among the plants and flowers you have planted.

Through the gardening simulation you can set the number of years you would like to pass and then see how your garden has developed over time. Your trees will grow, in accordance with our advanced database, and your garden will age before your eyes.

You can also set the environmental setting of your garden, which will affect the way your trees grow and can then enjoy walking through the results of your decisions.

Virtual Gardening was produced with the support of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry's Multimedia Content Association of Japan (MMCA) outside agency.

The 3D computer graphics used in the tree growth simulation are based on the research of Professor Norishige Chiba of the Department of Computer Science at the Faculty of Engineering at Iwate University.

Minimum system requirements are as follows:

Windows95, Windows98 or Windows NT4.0
Processor: Pentium 150mhz or faster (Recommended Pentium II 266mhz or greater)
Graphics: Ability to display 800x600 resolution in 32,000 colors or more
Memory: 64MB or more
Other: Mouse, Ability to play WAVE files, CD-ROM drive (for installation).