Can I create an underground facility under my main landscape?

Hi Guys,

I’m completely new to game design/development and therefore, new to unreal engine!

I was trying to figure out quite a few things regarding level design an a question reached my mind. Basically, if I have a map in which my main landscape is set on the Z axis (at 0.00), can I create an underground facility UNDER Z=0.00? if so, can you point out any videos or guides on how to achieve this?

Thanks in advance

Yes, basically you need to assign a landscape hole material to your landscape layer, then you are able to use the landscape sculpture tool visibility to remove visibility and collision. The documentation should have infos on how to prepare a hole material, its not that big of a deal as I recall.

@unit23 thanks for your reply. I’ll be checking this out!

The in-engine tutorial for landscape design, sculpting tool included, shows basically how to create a landscape hole. It’s useful for caves, lakes, and a bunch of other things from what I could gather. Do you intend to have any part of the underground facility visible from on top of the landscape? such as an entrance / exit, or a tunnel?

Ok, so a few things… I understand he to put a hole in the ground… But when I do that, and after I have the rest of the shape of the land without objects in the land, how do I switch out the material color from what the land currently is? My hole is still the default color checkerboard and it I want it looking sandy, but the landscape manager does not have it anymore since I already clicked the icons “Fill” and “Create.” Sorry, I’m super new. Just got UE a couple days ago or so. Also, I wanted to address this in a separate post but did not find anything that said I could post a new thread.

I would suggest you start off with something other then landscape creation.

Many good pieces of information for you to understand that will eventually make it possible to look back at this and be like… mhe, so easy.

@preston42382 yes, ideally it will have a part of the facility over the surface to allow access to the underground section. As you say, like an entrance, warehouse/hangar looking structure.

[USER=“3140864”]MostHost LA[/USER] Thanks for that link, I will certainly find it very useful :slight_smile:

BTW, regarding what you are wanting to make.
Normally you load another level - there is no need to keep the stuff above ground in memory when you are underground and there is only one way out.

The doorways are often used as sluice or loading portals/pathways for level streaming/loading. Even on massive projects (like GTA5 for instance) where you have security cameras showing you the whole world and people on the outside. more often then not the outside is only partially loaded if not even just exactly rendered specifically for that POV to save on Memory.

The engine itself (with landscape) is a performance guzzler (at Epic settings anyway). so you want to make sure not to overload when you have no need to.

[USER=“3140864”]MostHost LA[/USER] is this the case even for an Open World setup?

Anywhere you can get away with it. Including walking into buildings.

If you are making an MMO things would be slightly different with the loading/unloading process. Normally that’s all handled server side, so the setups are different… GTA5 is peer to peer - but you can see that for the online version they had to cut back on some visual things too - wild animals for instance.

[USER=“3140864”]MostHost LA[/USER] thanks for all the advice

EDIT: Good intentions, sadly I just noticed its only for up to engine 4.22, so thats a decision you’d have to make if that engine version is suffiicient for your needs.No idea what author plans are . There are other voxel plugins but they are more expensive.

BTW, as your design grows, don’t shy away from voxel’s for underground structures as that is a option I’m considering heavily , bc while doors or portals are fine , sometimes having a seamless transition underground maintains a vision for realism better. YMMV just something to ponder for later.UE4 has no voxels built in atm to work with so you’d have to buy-in for that , tho there are ‘free’ options long as you aren’t going for online gameplay &/or need other features:

I am not the author , as I was referred to this myself from someone on these forums.

You could try having a separate loading trigger a bit deeper inside the underground part of the facility if it becomes a memory / rendering speed issue. That way it’s more of a smooth transition, and not opening a loading screen to notify user / player of the transition. It simply loads the underground area after going a bit further into it than at the main entrance. However, if it’s not possible due to certain constraints of the project plans, then I’d suggest cordoning off the above-ground area so it is in the same already loaded area as the underground facility…hence, separate from the other areas of the open-world landscape further away. Other than that, I don’t know what to suggest since I’m a beginner too.