Large areas and light importance volumes

I’m curious about how to go about making a moderate size level that might encompass a few city blocks and what to do about the light importance volume. If you have vehicles, you need an area large enough for players to move around in. But this seems to make lightmass unhappy. Are there rules of thumb for doing this?


Generally, all areas where the player could get close to should be in the importance volume.
In your example, the entire city area. If you set some mountain meshes in the back that the player can asee (from the distance), but never get to see them up close, then you can leave those outside the volume.

Lightmass is an addict, and RAM is its crack :stuck_out_tongue:

If you have a large area it will inevitably take longer to light your map. Lighting also depends largely on the complexity of your materials.
I can set up a large landscape world with a “dull” simple texture and lightmass is done in less than a minute.
On the other hand, I can set up a tiny room but Lightmass is busy for an hour because of all the subsurface-refracting-tesselating-translucent-reflective-decal mixing monster materials…


That’s the thing with vehicles. Potentially players could go just about anywhere. I guess this means that you can’t get too crazy filling your level with detailing. I was thinking of an area about a 1/4 to a 1/2 mile along a side (2 to 4 city blocks).

Nope, thats the thing with level design in general… :stuck_out_tongue:

Just make your player not be able to “go anywhere”. The art is to make it not look obviously deliberate…
In the early days, there were only “invisible walls”. Later props were used. With Landscapes you could use terrain features…
So in a vehicle game… Just let the road end somewhere… or if the player can drive cross country, place a little forrest, river, cliff etc around the playable area…