How to get my assets created right?

Hi guys.

Last year I started developing my first game and I am definitely still a beginner in this world.
I see that many people get demotivated when it comes to writing code, but that is the easy part for me, I have been writing code for the past 20 years :smiley:

The problem for me comes in creating my own assets outside UE.
I’m using as much 3rd party assets as I can, but right now I’m in a moment where I need to create my own thing, a pub in this case.

I’m struggling to do this in Maya just because I don’t think I’m doing it in the right way. For example, I put some walls together(that are basically cubes), but I’m struggling to make it perfect, the section where the walls merge for example, it’s never getting completely perfect, then when I export to UE I see light leaking everywhere.

This is an early draft of my pub, I created some objects to mimic the tables and chairs just so I can feel the space, it will be removed later, but the walls should be the final ones.

About the wall objects:
How should I make this ? Should I create each wall as a cube indeed? Should I merge all the walls so it becomes one big object?
This may be more of a Maya question than a UE question, but what is the best way to create rooms like this? Should I use other easier software instead of Maya?
Also, is there any way to create this directly in UE for the final game or should I really develop all my assets outside UE ?

About textures:
Once I get the walls right, should I apply the textures inside UE or in Maya itself? With UE we have access to nice free textures with Quixel, would hate not to be able to use them just because I need to texture everything in Maya.

Can someone send some light to this poor soul here? :rofl:

Hey there

Your walls look pretty good :+1:

Regarding the light leaks: You should switch to dynamic lighting just to check if the issue is still there. If this issue only occurs when using baked lighting you should check your lightmap uvs and lightmap settings and rebake. If this issue also occurs with dynamic lighting there is probably smth wrong with your model.

"Should I use other easier software instead of Maya?": I personally mostly use blender, but i don’t think switching to another software will make modeling easier for you (they are all so similar, it might be cheaper though).

The best way to create rooms depends on what you want to do, time budget and skills. If you want to model every single room carefully by hand and make them unique, this is the way to go. However a lot of games use some kind of modular asset library for their rooms, this makes level design faster and easier, but makes modeling and texturing harder, because you have to be very precise and plan ahead… (you would model a couple of different wall sections, one wall with a hole for windows, one with a hole for doors etc + doors, windows etc and then you can assemble these parts in ue, for this to work they have to fit together and you have to be careful of seams etc, it is no easy task)

In most cases it is better to not have a whole room be one object in unreal, because this could mean the engine is rendering walls that are behind the player (because it renders all of the walls, if they are all one object and a little bit of that is visible to the player.), but if these are small rooms you can merge the walls of one room (because the added triangles and texture memory would be tiny).
If you were to switch to a modular approach, you could assemble the rooms from those assets in engine, but if you want to do it the way you started you have to model and maybe texture outside the engine and import once finished.

Texturing: You can use the quixel library with maya or a dedicated texturing software (like quixel mixer or substance or smth) and then import in unreal (this gives you more options and flexibility, for example you could mix multiple wall materials together and hand paint masks to make little imperfections etc), but it is also completely viable to just import some wall textures into unreal and set them up in the material graph. There is also a performance question here, if you use the same tiling material for a lot of assets, you use less texture memory, than if every wall has it’s own texture set. You can get around this by using vertex colors (or masks) to blend tiling textures in engine or by making custom tiling materials.

p.s. one of the most important things when modeling rooms is size reference and blocking out some basic interior objects like tables etc, which you did so that’s a good start already!

I hope that helps :slight_smile: