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ComplexMinded, How do the devs make caves?

Hi ComplexMinded,
Can you give us details as to how the devs make caves and post any info you get in this thread?
I’d like to be able to make better caves using the same techniques as the pros :slight_smile:
Forum users, feel free to post your general cave questions here as well.

  1. What terrain software are the devs using to make caves?

  2. How do the devs accurately cut holes in the ocean plane mesh to match the location of the cave entrance in the terrain?

  3. What program, 3rd party package, or processes do the devs use to create the cave optimized stone meshes and their collision meshes?

  4. How are the cave shells made, ie how do they get them to accurately fit around each hall and room of the cave?

  5. How are cave levels loaded? Do the levels load automatically using world composition, or are the levels loaded via a trigger volume?

  6. What part of the cave making process is done in UE4 and what part is done in other software?

Thanks!

Not from WC but since I had a look at the caves in the editor I might be able to answer a few of these questions:

  1. The caves are made out of single objects like stones. So there is no other software involved other than the regular 3D tool (Max/Maya). For the landscape itself they might use WorldMachine like every professional dev these days.
  2. I think the ocean plane just gets streamed out once you enter the cave. Seems like the easiest way.
  3. Max or Maya. As I said before: the caves are nothing other than a lot of single stone meshes.
  4. No idea what you mean :smiley:
  5. You can find that out by opening the editor. C’mon, you can do it. In general I would say its a case by case thing. The trigger method also has no influence on the outcome. So its up to you.
  6. Not sure what “maing” should stand for but as described before: Caves are just a collection of stones. No voxel, no super special meshes and a bit of volumes.

Wait, you mean the map Cave_1 isn’t a whole bunch of modular pieces snapped together in different ways?

Thanks guys, but I’m looking more for official info.

If you look at the caves in the editor you will see they are comprised of a collection of “optimized” meshes custom made for each cave, and I want to know the 3D modeling program the devs use to export those.
The cave “shells” are block boxes that were custom made to fit around each cave to block all light.
Just type the bolded words in the ADK content browser search bar to see what I mean.

Any 3D program can be used. ZBrush, Blender, 3DSMax, Maya, etc. There’s nothing special about those meshes that they require a specific program to make.

Just stick to using FBX for exporting and you’re good to go.

-WM

Not entirely sure what you try to do with these information or why our help is not enough but I guess that’s your personal business.
In case you are interested anyway: The optimized meshes are just the result of Silmplygon (this tool should be included in the vanilla UE4). They are most likely meshes combined to one in order to reduce draw calls and without polygons at the outside. You could basically tell that already since the “Import Settings” are blank. The “shell” assets are built around the cave in order to “fill” up the holes that stay once you combine most of the meshes to a hole. Otherwise you might be able to see through the holes and see the rest of the level or the backfaces of another cave wing or whatever. They are NOT made to keep the light out. That wouldnt work that way anyway. But the “light” aka sun aka directional light gets turned off via script once you enter the cave. If you have a closer look at the asset you might also notice that only the inner faces are rendered and its “translucent” from the outside. Which speaks for the point I just made.

I’m asking the liason cause they pay him to share behind the scenes info on how the pros do things, and he can share new info we don’t have.

Silmplygon I did not know about so that is helpful. The ocean plane does have holes cut in it though, for cave entrances, and so I’d like to see how they get the holes to align with the terrain. I already know how I would try it, and feel free to share how you would try it, but I still want to know how they do it, since they actually do this stuff for a living.

Technically, they pay me to make sure the community is “managed” and taken care of and not necessarily share information that the dev team has. However, since I want to make sure people are taken care of, I will see what I can drum up for you at the office.

Still waiting for that wiki Complex, its just a minor Security tweak after all, it shouldn’t take months to share it, and if it is that complicated just mirror it to a public server? and remove any sensitive info

The wiki is rather outdated and not updated. I’ve been trying to clean it up. But in the meantime, if you’d like to take a look: ARK Dev Kit Documentation

Edit: So as you can see, quite a bit of work to be done :slight_smile:

we have had access to that documentation for months, it hardly explains anything, Jat or whoever it was said you have a internal wiki that you use for everything and he was going to see if he could make it public

The internal documentation is literally a clone of what that is. It has some more internal information in terms of where to place things / structure related things. Ive been pulling over whatever information from the internal wiki, over into the public one, and adding onto it. Just check out the modified date on some of the pages.

But I can assure you there is not a wealth of information in the internal wiki either… So I’ve been working on trying to get that updated.

oh allright fair enough then, Also could you check discord pm?

Hi i want to know how the level streaming work if i try it like in theIsland then my cave unload after im far away. in TheIsland it Stays until i left the Map.