Just some level design questions i need answered (3DS Max)

Hi everyone! I’m very, very new to working with game engines and modeling for them. I have a few questions that i need to move from the concept design phase to the actual modeling phase. I’m working on my first (Test) game and want to get it right so i can expand upon it (my knowledge) for later projects. One of my first questions is, whats a better way to model interiors for usage within the engine, backface cull box modeling or spline modeling? I use spline modeling 99% of the time to make the layout of my interior designs and would like to use this method, but every tutorial i have ever taken on modeling interiors for UE4, they use BFCBM. Is that the norm when creating interiors for the engine or is that just a preferred method by some people? Next question… Is UE4 compatible (or vice versa) with VRay baked textures? These are the few questions i have for now. If anyone can help me, i’d very much appreciate it. :wink:

I wouldn’t use spline modelling.

Just use the base geometric features with 3Ds. That’s the mainstream way to go about it.
At least, as far as I know.

The Vray question I can’t answer, I’ll look into it though.

Oh and: Welcome to the forum!

~ Jason

Thanks Jason, i appreciate the advice. And thanks again for welcoming me to the forums. :slight_smile:
One of the main reasons that i asked the question about modeling style is because i am used to spline modeling and have poor clean up skills when it comes to dealing with rouge verts, lines and such. With splining (thats what i’ll call it for now) i don’t have too much cleanup to do. What are the benefits of using BFCBM compared to other methods? Thanks!

If you can use spline modelling to make solid ganefriendly meshes, there is no issue with itm I’ve done it myself to a certain extent.

I think the question is whether your splines are creating nurb models or polygonal models. If you work with nurb models you want to convert them to polygonal models that are quads, and keep an eye on how many polys you are building with.

You also want to build models that are modular, there are a lot of articles on modular building, but essentially the easiest way to build within Maya or Max is not necessarily the route to a successful model within a game engine. I’m not saying they are mutually exclusive, but that you wan to think about what you need to accomplish.

In creating games you want to start creating a library of parts that is reusable. If your models are too big, then the UV maps get tiny, and the collisions start to get complex and unwieldy. I have combined buildings that I made from modular parts to save on engine calls when they are extensive environments, but using a modular library of parts like walls, wall with window, corner wall, and pillar, allows me to build an extensive environment easily and then to play like essentially playing with legos.

When you build these modular parts they are single sided, (I only make water double side if I’m going to fall through it in game - or things like grass and other simple foliage).

The modular bits too are usually an interior wall so both sides are textured as interior wall, or I make a modular wall series that is exterior, but still has interior plaster or other textures inside.

Some of this also depends on what kind of game you are creating. Many people create slick games on here that don’t have the textural quality that looks like plaster, stone or wood etc. It might be more sci-fi and lend itself to other tricks with texture maps more easily to make the modular bits into variations through texture.

Overall, keep in mind that the more small bits you have in the engine the slower it goes because it is a draw call for the translation of that object in game over and over again. Unity has a good way of combining these, UE4 has a beta of this, but I found it problematic and stopped using it for now preferring to group things in Maya myself where I know the exact outcome.

I’m strictly working with polys for this project. I just want to basically use the line tool to create the base of the warehouse (which is the interior and exterior walls), use outline in spline mode to give the walls the thickness it needs (Shown in “Basic_Outline” image). I want this to be a separate object from the floor, ceiling and other walls that will be created the same way. I find this to have a lot less cleanup (per element) when fixing polys after windows and doors have been added. Then, maybe if the engine accepts such, group them to be 1 object (essentially). Grouping is optional though, i could just attach all the pieces if need be.

I think that is what i sort of want to do with this project, but on a different level. I want the base wall that makes up the entire warehouses containment wall to be a separate element than every other structural element (again for minimal cleanup). As far as reusable objects go, those i am trying to keep limited to objects within the scene, like boxes, stairs and the likes. I eventually will make more rooms in the same manner as the first to be pieced together (for player custom made maps), but that will be later on if this project is successful in it’s creation.

First off, let me explain my idea and what I’m trying to achieve. I just basically want to make a MP team based, turn-based, strategy shooter with top-down and action (over the shoulder) elements. Although it will be a warehouse interior, with the exterior walls visible to the player (when zoomed out), i want the exterior environment to be either a shop or home and the entire warehouse on a table like a table-top game (think “Toy Soldiers: War Chest” meets “Rainbow 6: Siege”). This is my base idea. So it’s nothing too extravagant for my first time trying. I’m just spit-balling anyways… lol

Nice, exactly what i wanted to hear! Thanks.