Build the whole Level in a 3D program or only parts and build map in UE

Title says it all :slight_smile: Should I build my levels (floor and walls, etc) as one layout in Maya or should I try to make pieces instead that I then duplicate in Unreal Engine to build my level up

I’m thinking of using the pieces approach but I wasn’t sure if there’s be a problem with the lighting and such - last time I tried that I had some weird lighting glitches with things that were stacked on each other

just looking for the general $.02 of the community :slight_smile:


Hi GeeksGoneBad,

Using modularity in your levels would probably be the best route to take. If you were to look at any of the examples from the Marketplace you would see that all of the levels are built using many pieces of the same geometry, especially when dealing with walls or flooring. Things like this are best served using modularity.

Using modularity will also help you stay sane when it comes to creating a UV for your textures and for your second UV channel for lightmapping will be able to have decent shadows without having a huge lightmap texture.

There are some good tutorials and insight provided by Hourences site and

Some information about lightmaps provided from our documentation can be found here.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask!

Thank you!


depends on what kind of game and the size of the levels (is the entire level on screen at once, ie top down bomberman style game). Most kinds of games it would be saner to build pieces and reuse them, for performance, culling, UV mapping, flexibility of level design (changes when play testing) etc.

Any typical non single screen game I would prefer to build from pieces. Lighting is much better in UE4 than UE3 and it’s convoluted methods, so should be no problems.

Use both.

UE4 with nothing in it is about as useful as an Ipod with out music so either way the sooner you can throw some stuff into it the sooner you can begin building up the level using layering.

Once you get halfway into it all then things tend to start sorting themselves out between seeing what works and destroying elements that does not and sometimes a simple brush will do the job.

I have done both already :slight_smile: I’m just trying to get into good / proper habits and workflows

Thanks for the replies!

Hi GeeksGoneBad,

Have you looked at the “Content Examples” > Open Map > Leveldesign_workflow?

This map will help you see a good approach to level design and quick prototyping. It’s a good starting point for seeing what works and doesn’t work within a level as well. With this design approach you can get your level planned out and test gameplay before building any assets within 3Ds Max. Check it out, it’s good knowledge either way!