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Designing holes/pits in the terrain

Hi all,

I’m trying to make some early decisions on a game feature and what all the options are. Essentially its pretty simple and its just about discovering small holes/pits in the terrain. These pits get bigger over time (but this can be an immediate transition). Immediately the mind jumps to voxels but i’m not sure it needs to be that complicated. The player shouldnt be able to dig wherever they please, and the “pits” can be in pretedermined places. a key component is that the pits should not be distinguishable from the terrain until the user “discovers” them. Im wondering whether its possible with the terrain editor/materials to make a hole in a flat bit of terrain and cover with a mesh/plane so you cant see it (without it being obvious). I’ve prototyped this but itd doesnt seem ideal.

Im just wondering if Im missing something alot easier with terrain/meshes. Would appreciate any feedback.

Don’t use the landscape.
if the holes are only visual and do not affect collision that already solved your problem

make 1 mesh with a morph target that generates the hole and import into the engine as skeletal.

Create the same mesh without the hole as a regular mesh.
Import that in.

Create a BP actor with an HSIM to instance the regular tiles.
that’s your base “terrain”.
You can then work on the actor BP to detect and replace the tile with the skeletal mesh, and script a way to open up the hole.
Collision, even complex, won’t change with the morph target, so you should resort to handling it in BP.

if you need each tile to be sculpted, then no. Voxel would probably perform better…

Check out the Voxel Plugin (there is a free version). I believe it’s available through the marketplace - if not it’s on here. It’s a decent set of tools and very flexible for anything more complicated than the standard terrain.

I think you’d really struggle to achieve a decent looking variation of what you’re after with the landscape system in UE.