Ark Map Idea - Need help building it

i just need help building an Ark map idea that i have had for a long time i am new to the Ark Dev Kit so any pointers?

Don’t make the map gigantic. Make it the same size as the island, and expantions. Aslo make sure to put the bosses in the obolisks. People have forgotten them in a lot of the maps I download.

Here are some pointers I’ve learned from my experience having modded Ark for over two years:

-Maybe a little late, but don’t use the maximum landscape resolution and small section size. See this link for guidelines:…ide/index.html

-install the dev kit on a hardrive or SSD with lots of space (dedicate at least 200 gigs to be safe.) It doesn’t need to be installed in the same place as your ark game install

-preferably a SSD (mines on m.2 SSD!)

-Maximum sublevel filesize is ~2 gigs, but I’ve found that you should keep it below 1.5 at most to avoid issues

-the more landscape layers you paint per component the larger the file size.

-keep your landscape(s) seperate on its own sublevel, this will typically be your largest file.

-do not put anything not required to be in the persistent level in the persistent level. If wildcard breaks something that causes the dev kit to crash or not load your map hopefully the issue isn’t in your persistent level. You can load your sublevels one by one to find out which one is bad and maybe narrow down the problem. I had this issue in my persistent level and had to redo a lot of work. And being forced to redo work is a major demotivator

-speaking of demotivators, the dev kit crashes a lot. Get used to it. Save often. Use the autosave if you can’t remember this!

-all of your water planes and lighting need to be in the same sublevel or persistent level for you to set the correct settings on your water planes

-copy the ocean or water planes along with the associated physics volume and post process from one of the official example maps. Then past into your map. Keep these together and only change the depth and width/length as necessary. It’s a pain to get the tops to align correctly if you change their topmost planes. If that makes sense?

-when you cook your map it will take a long time to compile shaders the first time. And then again when the dev kit is updated (thankfully not that often.) Cooking get’s quicker after that initial compilation but can still take a long time. I usually do the cooking overnight or while at work or otherwise busy with other stuff.

-test your map before uploading, preferably as a private workshop item

-save your workshop description and paste in your description on you workshop page. If it’s too long the one your write in the cook window will not carry over to your workshop page and will just be blank.

-get feedback along the process.

-get a playable alpha out quickly once you have something functional, then build from there.

-Don’t advertise too much at that stage, but instead post updates with pics and a download link/workshop link for those that want to give feedback. There is a such thing as too much hype and it is never good for your stress level.

-Once you have a cool play space with a adequete amount of stuff complete (basic dinos, most resources, some land for building, swimmable water, time of day/weather) you can advertise more, just don’t spam forums with it, else people will just ignore you.

-Bigger,awesome updates are better then small ones that add little often. Both in terms of keeping players excited for what is to come and not annoying server owners.

-let players and server owners know what is in the works. In particular if you are changing terrain to certain areas so that they can be warned to move bases if they need to. I keep a updated map of areas getting worked on for the next update and in the future.

-the vast majority of mod maps never get past 25% Be prepared to commit lots of time and effort to this if you ever want to have a decent map. if your just doing this for fun and don’t care about other people playing the map then disregard. I’ve been working on my map for over two years and average (probably) 15-20 hours per week. Mind you that a lot of this time is spent just deciding on what to do or seeing what works plus research.

-play the other maps (official and custom) and see how they do things. You can also open the official maps in the editor, their in the maps folder, and see how they are built.

-all assets, even from expansions you don’t own, are available to you and you can use freely in your map, but I would caution you from trying to put everything in Ark on your map. Try to keep a consistent theme.

-Don’t be afraid to redo things! Level design can be a very iterative process. Nothing is ever good the first time around. And if you think it is get a second opinion.

-Need motivation? If your mod is good enough wildcard may sponsor you for $4,000 month. That’s some nice motivation! You don’t need to be a pro or experienced, just have a good idea that no one else is doing! So be creative and offer the community something unique.

I hope this helps!