Do I have to Design my own Props and Materials for Level Design?

Hey guys!

This is my first post on the forum and im a complete newb to any form of video game design, so bare with me!

Ive been going through tutorials on UE4’s youtube channel and have learned the basics of things that I think I’ll need (geometry, particle effects, materials). I’m starting to get to the point now where im wondering if im ready to start creating my own simple levels. I’m excited to get stuck in but as far as I can see there aren’t a large amount of materials or props that UE4 comes with. Now I know you can use programs like Maya or 3ds Max to create your own static meshes that you can then import, but aren’t there places where people upload their own meshes or materials to either give away or sell?

I understand there are websites like Turbosquid, but when I had a look on there, there wasn’t exactly tons of stuff to choose from. Say im designing a pvp map in a castle and I wanted things like a long table, some barrels and guillotine, whats the easiest way to create / find them? The same thing goes for materials, the unreal editor doesnt come with loads… if I needed say 5-10 materials for my castle map, would the easiest way to get them be by making them myself?

Sorry these are probably quite simple questions, its just been confusing me for the past few days and this seemed the best place to ask!

Also what other websites are their like Turbosquid? I’m designing by myself and dont have a lot of money, so cheap ones would be good lol.

There’s places out there, but there’s a couple issues that may matter to you depending on what you’re trying to make—one is that you just can’t find the thing that you’re looking for, very likely because it’s rare that items are usable between games both based off what they are and their visual style. The other thing is that content you find that way can often be easily identifiable and generally people are disappointed in a game that looks like it was put together from stuff anyone can get online—that’s an issue lots of Unity games have.

If you want to look at some stuff there’s been a few threads about where you can find stuff, you can probably find the threads doing a forum search.

Fair use assets and content.

At the moment fair use assets and content is an opportunity looking to happen but at the moment there really is no single source portal as to usable Creative Commons IP that says here it is use it anyway you wish.

It’s out there, a ton of it, but is scattered all over the place where one has to have excellent Google skills to find what is needed based on CC-Zero licensing were such use includes both commercial and non-commercial use.

As a norm when I’m window shopping for cool stuff my first stop is sites that supports either Daz Studio or Poser formatted assets packages as generally the default mesh is in OBJ using JPG texture images and my first stop is usually.

This is my favorite site as the license is made clear before downloading something of interest that you do not need to scrounge around for the read me.

In general though you would want to included some kind of 3d editing ability and Blender (free) is a very good option.

Thanks guys, thats been really helpful.

The first game im hoping to make a few levels for is the new unreal tournament, hopefully I wont need many assets for that. I guess ill just stick to making basic shells for now, and just using the geometry to create any shapes I might want.

I’ll have a look through that website FrankieV cheers, and yeh ill scan the forums too.

I’ll check out Blender too.

Really appreciate your advice thanks again!

Use Blender, since it’s the only option that isn’t going to run you $150+/month. It’s just as good as Maya/3DSMax for your uses (I’m 2 years in and I still don’t feel I have any need to use Maya/3DS), the skills well that you learn in Blender will translate decently well to other programs, and 3D Modeling is a great, helpful skill to have in your repertoire. You would be surprised what good things you can make in so little time of practice (things that are shaped like primitive shapes, at first). Lastly, the skills will translate to Unreal Engine, too. Being able to understand material nodes is crucial in Unreal and you’ll get that in Blender. Unreal feels WAY harder and more intimidating when you can’t make your own assets, at least in my opinion.

Oh, and do the best thing you can do and just devote an entire day to messing around in Unreal. Read through the documentation and try random things as you go. Have a goal, but not some overarching one. Make a “pickup item”. Attach a backpack to your character. Make things highlight on mouseover or explode when you shoot them. Tutorials are great and essential, but they will never replace an evening of just you and the engine getting to know each other.

Welcome :slight_smile:

Beside turbosquid you can also get meshes from:

-use everything from the free marketplace demos → cave, blueprint office,…

But when you want to create a unique level, I would recommend you to learn how to create your own models, because as you already realised, you wont find everything on the internet. For the material you can get many textures from the internet (e.g which you can use in your materials + after some time you can create pretty cool material by yourself, because the material editor is pretty easy to use :slight_smile:

When you go for something commercial, I would recommend you to use blender, because it’s free and you dont have to pay any fees when you sell something