A Few Noobie Questions About Map Creation Using Both ADK and WM2

Hey guys. I need a few questions answered before I delve too deep into making my map and realising I then have to start from scratch because I screwed up. These questions may sound stupid, but I reassure you that I have Google-Fu’d like crazy before coming here. I have zero experience with any of this and I did not realise what I was getting myself into when I had the bright idea to make a map… lol

Lets get down to the questions:

1: In the ADK, what benefits does the 127x127, 32x32 map have over the 255x255, 16x16? From what I understand, its better performance wise as the map is chopped up into smaller sections (World Composition) and can be loaded better by potato PC’s, but I can’t really find any clear info on it or I am just misunderstanding the info I already found.

2: I know that my heightmap should be 8129x8129 resolution for a maxed size map, but what I can’t figure out is what resolution should my tiles be exported out of World Machine, and if the ADK says 32x32 components, does that mean I have to export 32x32 tiles out of World Machine (because that is going to take decades to render at a high tile resolution). I have found 3 Unreal Wiki entries and several forum/website posts, each with different resolutions (505, 512, 2017, 2048, 8129) and tile amounts (2x2, 4x4, 8x8, 16x16). It seems like people are not very clear in explaining this stuff and no tutorial that I have found covers this. They also don’t cover the World Machine map size and elevation settings for a full sized map for Ark either, but I “THINK” I have it set right. *fingers crossed

3: Can I freely use all content in the ADK and also the stock UE4 including stuff from The Center and Scorched in my map? I wasn’t sure about the Center as it started out as a mod before it was a DLC.

4: When I did a dry run importing tiles into the ADK from World Machine, they stacked on top of each other instead of in their correct places in world composition like the video I was watching showed me. Do I have to do anything additional in the ADK to what you do in the standard UE4?

5: Those of you using WM2, do you have any tips for creating what is technically a continent? All these tutorials on Youtube and not one covers multiple biomes/terrain types. They are all just chunks of a landscape with no coast. I have been having issues with sheer drops/cliffs using the mask I created as land and have had to delete it and draw the whole thing by hand. I then realised I had to draw each biome separately to be able to apply different terrain types, deleted it again and started from scratch.

I have plenty more questions, but I can figure them out as I go along. Any tips or recommendations you guys have for a beginner would be helpful also.

Thanks in advance for your help.

  1. Resolution size is what matters here. I am unsure why only ADK users think that having 10 map chuncks all loaded at the same time is some how better in performance then 1 exact same sized single map. Loading the map is loading the map. It doesnt matter how many ways you slice it. Unless you actually use level streaming, and Ark does not (by that i mean the culling of landscape, not to be confused with LOD)

  2. An 8k res map will barely function in ARK. Please, please, think of the children! Seriously, dont try and run an 8k res map in UE4.5.1 (thats the version ADK uses). You will lose so much performance. You can use 8k for any size, 1km x 1km if you wanted.

  3. You can use anything from the ADK as you see fit. Its how the center got all its assets. You would be surprised whats hidden in the folders of the ADK.

  4. Common problem with ADK and imports. Resolution? I am not sure, i was never able to resolve this issue and went with the single static mesh landscape.

  5. This would be a great question in the WM2 forums. Keep your landscape between ( X Y ) 1,000,000 and -1,000,000 otherwise you will get replication issues. I would stay under that, but, you will start seeing bad things happen (dinos falling under the world, players go invis, etc etc)

Thank you for your reply. I don’t quite understand what you have said here. Everything that I have found points me in the direction of having my heightmap set to 8192x8192. My goal was to make my map look good and reduce the amount of all these large rock meshes etc in the hopes to improve performance if that is possible. Hence why I am using Wold Machine to design the landscape, but even that is hard for me to figure out and I’m tempted to just scrap my entire project and hand sculpt using the ADK. I have looked deep into The Center and the way it was created in the hopes to learn from it, but have not got very far. I didn’t realise how complex map making was. If only there was a way for the ADK or UE4 to not sculpt outside the bounds of my mask, as keeping the shape of my land exact is the biggest problem I have had within World Machine and the ADK.

From what you have said, I take it that I do NOT use world composition for landscape as culling does not work in Ark, and only use it for items such as rocks, trees, etc like what Ben did with designing the Center?

So in world machine, set your res to like 2017 x 2017. It will look good and will drastically reduce overhead. 2k performs way better then 8k ever will.
I suggest using a single mesh. The only reason “level streaming” is set is for the foliage. The landscape is loaded 100% of the time, so, breaking it into 100 chuncks, then, loading all of it all the time is a pointless venture. Dont worry about it.
Here is the “catch” for that: foliage paint tool will be the death of your computer since you cant “hide” and unload the currently loaded foliage.
There is a guide on WM site for imports with tile builds for UE4. I think the part your missing is the flip Y. I think, google “WM to UE4 tile build” and see what pops up.
I wouldnt hand craft a map if you have access to WM, personally, i think the center map is trash and a flop. Thats my personal opinion, i dont expect everyone to agree with it, and thats ok. … moving on.
If you need some help let me know, its been a year+ since i touched the ADK but im sure nothing has really changed. I have had SOME luck with the tile import, some good, some bad.

Plus side of static single mesh: Less overhead, less messing with tile builds and getting it “right”
Downside: foliage painting will blow your computer up after a few 8k sized paints lol
Plus side of tile: load/unload to save memory and speed paint
Downside: pain in the bottom to get working and has a slightly heavier overhead (sometimes not even noticeable)

Dont use an 8k res map. You will have a massive hit in FPS (usually around 20-50 depending on map size) and your MS will go up a lot.
4k i would say is max, 2k would be ideal really.

Ah ok. I have already Googled for tiled settings many times which lead me to about 5 different setting types and resolutions with no explanation, but if you say it will be pointless, then I have no need for it. My map is going to be roughly 50% bigger than The Island in land mass and about 20% more ocean, so making sure that I reduce performance issues is paramount (which was why I was trying to go tiled as not all my landscape fits into the standard 127x127, 32x32 layout forcing me to add more components to add the rest of the map). If I set my resolution to 2017, can I still have my map set to 127x127, 32x32? I have read a few things stating that is what the island is set to, any smaller and the map will be too small and if set it to 255x255, 16x16, it will cause performance issues but will be the same size as 127x127, 32x32 which is again, pointless and unnecessary.

After seeing how the Center, Island and Scorched were made, I can add trees to the levels as I do them, hide them when that level is done and move on the the next level I assume. From what I understand with a tutorial I read, only a few large trees are kept on the persistent level with the landscape and the rest are hidden within a level. Forgive me if any of my ideas are incorrect as I am an utter beginner. I try to watch tutorials from modders, designers and Unreal themselves, but I get lost and switch off when they talk about things that I am not currently trying to do in my project and probably miss a few facts that I should really know. Some video’s I have watched 3 times over just in case. Lol

I sent ya a PM

here is the copy/paste easy method:

In World Machine: Tile Build
Tile Resolution - Custom 2017 x 2017
Tiles per Side - 4 x 4
Blending Percentage - 100%
Share edge vertices - tick
Flip Y-axis orientation - tick

In UE4 (ADK)
Create a new level with a sky-box pre-built or not.
Save the file with the Planet or location name.
Open the world settings and check the box labeled “Enable World Composition”


Open the levels window.
Click the Levels drop down menu in the upper-left of the levels window.
Select “Import Tiled Landscape…”
Click the “Select heightmap Tiles…” button.
Navigate to the folder where you saved the raw heightmap images from World Machine
Select all the tiled files. (e.g. Planet_Name_x0_y0)
Change the Z scale. Times the world height used from World Machine by 0.1953125 and enter that number in Z scale.
Then click “Import”
Select all the Planet_Name_x#_y# levels in the Levels window
Right click and select load to see if the imported properly.

Dont worry about the weightmaps and all that splatmap **** unless you really want to use it. You can use them if you want to get into using them for importing how the landscape paint is set quickly. Ask around in forums for that one. I never used splats in the end i painted them all in.

What i ended up doing:

Single mesh for the landscape
i used the world comp for foliage only
i did a “section” per area. Example "this is my jungle area here, so, new map, Jungle_1_Near, Jungle_1_Far (yup, 2 new maps for foliage).
Paint my near and far.
Unload and make 2 new maps for whatever area i was going for now.
This allows the landscape to be loaded and only the actual culling items be on a sub map.

Imagine your map as a drawing. Slice it into 10 sections using a grid. There is your Near and Far submaps.
Really the only part of the map design thats going to get you “stuck” is the foliage. Even with my own company project, using 4.14/4.15 its the same issue. I have to use the same methods, but i get to use the proc foliage volumes … yummy volumes. you guys are missing out lol.
You will 100% have to make subs for your foliage, no way around it. You can mess with tile build and hope for the best, or, visually “cut” your sections and submap your foliage there.

I heard the best way to mod for ark is to not do it lol jk! but yeah the method ubove is lagit been trying it out my self. dumping 4 2k hightmaps into a level and connecting them togeather is way better than a big 8k hight map.

You can have 8k maps just fine! Try my example maps for starters and see what you think. If they run fine then you’re good to go: Duke's Free Heightmaps - ARK: Survival Evolved - Unreal Engine Forums

Also, here’s my post with a download to the actual ARk map ‘The Island’ so you can look at that to get n idea of how to set your specs in WM: My New Map! - ARK: Survival Evolved - Unreal Engine Forums