Enterable vehicles and other objects

Let me start off by clarifying that I’ve recently begun learning to use blender over the past few months, as well as UE4 to a lesser degree, (I want to learn the basics of modeling, texturing, rigging ETC, before I really pursue UE4 game-design.)

I question I’ve been curious about but can’t find much information on, is whether or not it would be possible to create interactive vehicles and other objects that the player can walk around inside of, in particular, things like ships or spaceships that interact with their environment (they can move or be piloted) with the player being able to walk around inside of them while this is occurring. In addition, how would such a vehicle be modeled, would the interior have to be manually created in a modeling program, or should it be created within UE4. Keep in mind I’m referring to a seamless transition from the outside world to the vehicle’s interior, rather than the interior being a separate level.

That should be possible, but require some skills. Take a look at possessing actors to start with. There is a free usable asset on the marketplace called ‘Vehicle variety pack’, you can start your quest there.

Absolutely possible and done quite regularly.

Design the vehicle in a 3D modeling app. For something like a spaceships (large) you’ll want to hollow it out keeping the interior surfaces flat and simple. Basically create the hull of the ship (skeletal mesh). The exterior should be part of the main skeletal mesh. For the interior you’ll make separate static meshes to be placed/arranged for rooms, corridors, walls etc.

Do it just as you would a house. Basic 4 walls, windows, exterior doors, ceiling and floor. Doing it this way reduces the rendering impact of the actor when outside the vehicle. None of the interior is rendered (culled), unless visible through window or door.

Determine your vehicle states.

  • Piloted : Player is actively driving the vehicle. Controller Possessed

  • Un-Piloted

  • Vehicle is Idle, not controlled by pilot, not moving

  • Vehicle is moving … physics related. Drifting so to speak.

  • Vehicle is moving on a plotted course. e.g. pilot sets a course to a position. Vehicle drives/pilots itself there.

Compartment (exterior/Interior) component interactions… Say you have a weapons turret that the player can use. This component has movement etc. 360 horizontal, 180 vertical. This would be it’s own Actor class that’s spawned and attached to the main ship. When the player uses it they are possessing it via controller.

There’s a lot more to it, but this should get you well on your way. Start with simple vehicles along with controller possession.

I’ve been trying my hands on something similar;
I’d basically model the ships, components ie Walls and Floors separately as Modular pieces, and bring them to Unreal where I hope to make a variation of different Ship interiors. The thing is the walls and floors will have to be modular to avoid any awkward collision issues.

After that is the Physics. I STILL haven’t found a tutorial on a proper flying Air ship, so I just tweaked the original template from the Starter Content. Just add a few more Static Mesh Components to it.
Going back to the Physics is the most difficult part to me, because there’s Angular Damping and Linear Damping, and I don’t know much but I can say they are float values and setting one around .5 to 1. or 5 makes a big difference from your ship barely moving at all, to spinning wildly out of control; be on the lookout for those two settings in the Defaults section, and the Mass Kg under Simulate Physic.

Luckily I got a basic model of my ship to work but it has no interior, and it’s one mesh so the weighting issue isn’t so much a concern here; but for a modular ship that is made up of multiple pieces to be lifted off the ground together, it may come as a challenge.