Modding the SCUBA mask's underwater visibility

I just picked up ARK again after about a year break, was thrilled to see a SCUBA mask that would give me clearer visibility, and was monumentally disappointed when I put it on and went swimming. Yeah, the viewing distance is increased, but it’s so ****ing blurry that the effective viewing distance is completely unchanged - worse, in fact, since it requires being in first-person view.

This is angering me into motivation to make a mod that changes the underwater post processing volume to make visibility MUCH clearer and tweak the blur. I’m no stranger to programming and many other geeky avenues, but I’ve never modded for ARK before and I’m hoping for some advice on what I’m up against.

Am I going to be able to make the mod a simple script that changes a few values, or do I need to make this a map mod from the original map, and thus continuously update it when the devs change the map? Or is it even possible at all?

Thanks in advance.

Welcome to the forums GregariousJB. First you would need to download and install the Ark Dev Kit (no easy task, it is 60GB+). If you don’t have room to run it on a SSD hard drive then expect performance to be very slow. To the best of my knowledge you can’t make an Ark mod just by changing text files. You won’t need to modify the map though to get something like this working.

The Ark Dev Kit calls the SCUBA mask a ScubaHelmet in some places and in other places it is called Goggles. This is the main blueprint for them I think, including file path:

They seem to change the view that the player gets by assigning a buff to the player when they have them on. For reference, the way your screen changes when a Dilo spits on you is also a buff I think. You can find the Buff file here:

This is a screenshot of what the Buff blueprint looks like:

I haven’t tested this, and I’m still a n00b when it comes to Ark Modding, but I think the “Buff Post Process Effect” is what is used to make seeing underwater significantly better. To make the Scuba Goggles work while in Third Person View (referenced a lot as just TPV versus FPV for First Person View) would mean somehow getting that overlay to show while the camera is following behind the player. I’ve got no idea where to even start with that, but hopefully someone else reading this might do :slight_smile:

Thanks, Sleepy! That was an immense help. I already have the DevKit downloaded, and as soon as I sift through the convoluted and difficult-to-find setup instructions, I’ll have a go at this.

I’m thinking best-case-scenario might be a new blueprint/item instead of overriding the original. That way it’ll last through game updates and players’ original goggles won’t be affected or deleted if they remove the mod. Does that sound about right?

Already stuck. Christ, this whole process of getting the ARK Devkit set up has been a huge pain in the *** compared to every other development project.

It looks like your files are out of date as I have quite a few more sub-folders in Armor than are showing in your screenshot:


How recently did you download the Dev Kit? Did you get it from GitHub or use the Epic Launcher? I would be happy to zip and send you the Scuba files to help in this instance, but it is more important to get your files up-to-date as the files you do have might be out of date and might make this process even harder than it would be.

Thanks for the continued help, by the way. I’m sure I sound ornery but I at least try to live up to my username.

I just finished the Devkit download from Steam last night, and I just downloaded the Github zip today. Should I use the Epic Launcher instead?

EDIT: I’ll try the launcher and see what happens.

I fear this is a bit of the blind leading the blind, but we will do our best! Hopefully you’re not in a country with small download quotas and someone with more experience will jump in here if anything I’m suggesting is taking you in the wrong direction :eek:

What worked for me was installing the Epic Launcher and then going to the “ARK” and following the prompts to install it. I called my Unreal Engine Directory “Ark Dev Kit” when prompted but I ended up with a folder structure of /Ark Dev Kit/ARKDevKit/ so when it asks where you want to install it you might want to say Unreal Engine or something more generic :stuck_out_tongue:

No problem - if I incur any data fees I’ll make sure to bill you :wink:

Downloading now. ETA 4 hours. If this works, I only have myself to blame. I’ve had issues in the past with using Steam to install dev-type tools compared to doing it from the vendor itself.

I’ll report back if it works. Thanks again for the assistance.

Your check is already in the mail :rolleyes:

Keep us posted! Good luck!

Only use the Epic launcher ADK - do not use the Steam one … for any reason
Do not, i say again … DO NOT update via the GitHub version unless its a major fix to something. Everyone has had more issues keeping up with the GitHub
Do not worry about putting anything on an SSD. You know who uses SSDs? Poor people that cant afford a real drive like a 15k and dont realize SSDs have very limited I/O ← ooops? did i give them information they have no idea about? woops, always confusing the retarded kids.
haha, in all seriousness … it runs perfectly fine on 7200’s as well … dont lsiten to the weirdos with “SSDs”

Step 1 - make a mod. Im a mapper, so, i dont know ish about making a mod. No you cant just change a couple lines of code, self high-five and call it a day. Know that no matter how small the task, with ADK, it will take a couple weeks at least just to get step 1 completed. haha … then another 2 weeks to redo it. Check the IRC channel, they are all modders in there.

Sorry for the thread hijack, but Angrytoilet your reply has me curious about two things:

That’s been very different to my experience. When I first started using the Dev Kit I had it installed on a 7200 HDD and with the Task Manager I would see 100% disk usage while I tried to open it and do certain things in the Dev Kit (particularly when it would say “optimizing shaders” or I opened new files for the first time). All I had on that 7200 HDD was the Ark Dev Kit and some Ark Server backups that are there for archive, I wasn’t actively accessing them while using the Dev Kit. When I switched to a SSD it was like night and day though - loading speeds were cut to a fraction and the Dev Kit barely ever pauses. I’m mostly making mods though, rather than map development. At the same time I also doubled my RAM from 16GB to 32GB though so that will have contributed.

I’m just curious if you could explain more about why SSD’s won’t make a difference. I’ve got a friend who is helping me with modding and she is struggling with how slow the dev kit is running. We were going to get her a SSD but maybe the cash would be better spent on RAM instead…? What do you think?

Where can I find those IRC details? :smiley:

So far so good!

Steam = Fail

Epic Launcher = Success

Now I’m just going through the motions to learn how to mod. At first glance, it looks like I’m going to need to edit this:

…which seems to be the meat of how the SCUBA mask buff works. I have no idea how to do that at the moment, but I’ll go over some examples, tweak it, and see what works.

One thing that would be a huge help, if you or anyone knows, is telling me the easiest way to test my changes. At the moment, my workflow is:

  1. Make a change
  2. Simulate the game (I turned off all the dino spawns - using the SmallIslandSubMap)
  3. Use the console to spawn the goggles
  4. Wear them
  5. Jump in the water

I’d love to be able to use this preview pane on the left side to show me how my end result will look right when I edit the PostProcess effect:

But my camera will need to be inside the water so I know when the blur is removed and my effect is working. Any ideas?

LOL! I think we have all said this to ourselves at one point or another!! I made a thread about this sort of thing a few weeks ago and you might be interested in some of the replies:

If you have a keyboard that is capable of macros then you might want to make a macro that does a bunch of the repetitive tasks (spawns the goggles, turns on infinitestats, etc) to make it easier, but I’ve got no idea how to do something like make the water visible when you edit the effect. My guess is that you want to apply the existing effect to the Third Person View though, rather than change the effect itself too much.

IRC details are in the sticky post about modding … i forget the title on it, its sticky tho lol

SSD? I literally rip apart an SSD in like 4-6 months. My I/O destroys them. SSD doesnt really help with anything but start up times, at least, I have noticed. 3 things are going to make things slow for you in ADK (or Unreal at that …) CPU, RAM, GPU.

One thing i want people to understand is, those beast-mode video cards are garbage for development stuff. You should really be using development hardware to develop … Even the 980s are slower then the older model Quadro K620 im using …

My 2 setups are (and not bragging rights, or e-peen, just saying what i use for reference)
Dev: 64GB ECC, 2x 15k HDDs, AMD FX-9590 8core clocked to 5.4ghz, Quadro K620 Video Card
Play: 16GB PC3200, 6x 7200 HDDs, AMD FX-9590 (same as above), nVidia/STRiX 960GTX (2x SLi)

I can tell you, on initial load in of TheIsland map, either machine, takes me maybe a few min. First build. Approx 5,000 shaders takes me maybe like 3-5 min to build… maybe? It’s not that long on either machine.
I have never noticed any “performance” gains in using an SSD. I dont care what “joe computertech” tells people, every … single … test … shows that you gain nothing after INITIAL load of X program/OS. 0 gains. You do lose a lot, like money. Thats #1 thing you lost. Oh and the ability to RAID them since they will burn out in like a day. bwahaha. junk in my opinion. Either way, to get it to run faster > RAM. RAM and make sure the computer can actually handle it. Your standard DELL motherboard is going to have some really crappy I/O and hardware, so, dont expect it to work all that great. There is more that goes into the “why am i slow” result, but, thats a thread on its own. I say push RAM to as close to 32GB you can, get a solid videocard, note that i did not say 10 SLi Titans … bwahah… titans shakes head … anyways …

Development was not made for “gaming computers” any more then it was made for grannys computer on that desk build in 1924. Sure, you can probably play ARK real nice, or, “i can max out in World of Warcraft” … but gaming and dev work are apples and oranges.

I can see now why my friend said that modding in UE4 was the worst experience he’s ever had.

Run program. Crash.
Open file. Crash.
Save changes. Crash.
Change map. Crash.
Copy file. Crash.
Rename file. Crash.
Simulate map. Crash.
Stop simulation. Crash.

i5-4690, GTX 970, 8 GB RAM, 250 GB SSD for the OS, 1 TB SSD for the projects/games/UE4. I load TheIsland map in 17 seconds. It takes about that long to crash when doing anything in this monstrosity of an engine.


Engine works fine really, i find 90% of peoples issues are hardware based, or, simple user errors. Granted, it has its moments, but, your hardware, drivers, setup is most likely the cause of your problems. I don’t see hundres of people on forums saying it crashes for everyone … soooooooooo …

“8 GB RAM” … 'nuff said

If UE4 is so poorly optimized that it crashes because I have 8 GB of RAM, then that adequately proves the point I was making.

I share your pain, I struggled at times when I had 16GB of RAM :frowning:

I’m sure in 5~ years these hardware requirements for the Unreal Editor will seem like nothing, but their significantly more than is needed to play Ark it seems. Angrytoilet I get that you’ve got access to a really good system, though for those of us who have less impressive systems it is quite a harsh process making mods for Ark. It isn’t just the process of learning the engine/blueprinting/textures/etc but also putting up with the random stalls, weird crashes and other quirks of the editor.

OH i totally understand that. What gets me is, modding and developing things shouldn’t really be done on low-end systems and laptops. Why in the world anyone is doing it like that is beyond me. Of course you will get big issues. Even if it loads fine, and, ayou get into making your projects, the more you add, the less likely you will endup with stability. For example, my map, its big. The more i add, the slower it all gets. The point of the story is that you should have ample CPU/RAM (hardware in general) to be able to support the thing you are trying to accomplish. Mapping requires you to essenbtually load in the entire game at once and still run stable and functional. Just something to keep in mind. The engine/editor isnt really that bad, its peoples hardware, and, possibly software, setups that are killing them in this.

so? anyone found out how to remove the blur underwater? can we override the postprocess depth of field?