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Is modular building techniques too expensive?

Hey, I have been experimenting with some games and level design but i am still quite new to unreal, so I have a couple of newbie questions that I hope any of you guys might have experience with.

I would like to work using a modular technique but I am not sure how it affects the gameplay.
I have heard that using modular buildings, will be very expensive on the game?

One of my games, I am building a city from scratch. So I can either use seperate “lego” pieces like 3 types of walls, 3 types of roofs and some windows and doors. Then i can build all sorts of buildings across the map, using these pieces.
This would be quite convenient in building the city itself but wouldn’t this be really expensive on the game? Like would it cause lag and issues because it is heavy with so many different pieces?

Seeing as the other option would be to simply create for example 10 different buildings in 3ds max, import them and then just place them all around the map as instance mesh. Wouldn’t instanced mesh be way more cost efficient? Especially if you were working on a android/ios project? I have also not been able to find any work around if you want to perhaps convert the modular building into 1 building that can be used as instance or destructable. Does anyone know if that is possible?

I am also working on another game specifically for android. The map of this game is just a labyrinth of 200 meters. If i just place the template walls around in the engine in order to create a labyrinth, would that be too many walls and get laggy on android? Would it be better to create a full labyrinth in 3ds max and just import it as one mesh to unreal engine? If so would auto collision be the most efficient way to go about it? Or should i copy the labyrinth as a UCX collision in 3ds max?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Pretty simple question really - if you can instance your ten different buildings, what’s to stop you instancing the different parts that make up those ten buildings to get a potentially much larger variation with fewer resources?

One really important thing you’re not considering is the benefit you’ll get from things like occlusion culling if you break things up; if you don’t use parts you have to render the entire building, whereas if you do, you only need to render the parts that are visible.

Thats a workable approach.
I did this too. When you provide sockets to the meshes you can then construct your buildings easily via BP.

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Thank you. That’s a good argument that it does not have to render the entire building. I did not think about instancing all the different parts either. That is a good idea. I still have to get used to working in the foliage editor but with a grid snap set it should be easy enough to align the parts.

Thank you for your suggestion. This is a very good idea that I have not heard of before. I will look up more info on mesh sockets tonight. It seems like this way, i can work on the finished “product” as if it is just one building.
Would you also know if it is possible to turn these into instances or destructables? I will use some destructables in my game allthough it is not needed for all of the buildings. Perhaps as a workaround you should be able to convert the building into a different destructable mesh via blueprint.