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Modular character vs Single mesh

Hi there! I am in process of creating 3rd person rpg style game and recently the question arose - what will be best to use for character creation - modular character( separete parts for body\legs\gloves\etc- like in pretty much all old mmos where when you put on top body armor for example, the whole top body part of the char is being replaсed by that piece ) or single mesh character body with equipment attached into sockets.What pros and cons will be in each of this methods. Thx in advance for any help:)

Performance is the main concern, when you have separate meshes then it increases draw calls, but it’s much easier to create customization when using separate meshes.

Sockets work for static mesh parts that dont deform - shield, helmet, some armor, weapons.

Other clothing items that need to deform can be skeletal meshes added with MasterPoseComponent.

Each one adds additional overhead. So if you can use a single mesh, it will perform the fastest.

But if you want to support different clothing - it quickly becomes very difficult to try and create a single mesh for every combination of every part.

Hi Wizard3D. I would encourage a Modular methodology and UE4s Hierarchical Component system is ideal for it. We’re going modular for every Entity in our Action Dungeon Crawler to include all the Characters, Creatures, Weapons, Architecture and Props. This gives us the power to pre-fab a large catalog of monster variations and props. We use the same system to empower Players to fully customize their characters and weapons. Player customization aligns with our monetization model to purchase aesthetic upgrades.

Hi Wizard3D. I would encourage a Modular methodology and UE4s Hierarchical Component system is ideal for it. We’re going modular for every Entity in our Action Dungeon Crawler to include all the Characters, Creatures, Weapons, Architecture and Props. This gives us the power to pre-fab a large catalog of monster variations and props. We use the same system to empower Players to fully customize their characters and weapons. Player customization aligns with our monetization model to purchase aesthetic upgrades.

wow, interesting to see the result)

wow, fantastic) Will we see youк model? It is very interesting to see it)

ok, thx, guess then i’ll stick with modular method because i have a lot of different armor parts and clothing.
My thoughts were - is this poly count realy that important nowdays with all this i7-i9 and 1070-1080, like char with 10k polys and char with 20k. You can model naked body and then simply put on armor pices without this headache with reducing polys on body parts that are hiden under armor like all normal ppl do - becouse it is alot of additional work especialy when you have different races with different color\structure of the body ( integrate each of the body part with armor piece and reduce the polycount on hiden under this armor)… Or its all depends ))

Keep it low as possible. It doesnt only depends on hardware the drawcalls are the performance killer but keep in mind only realtime transformed/modified sockets affect the performance while unmodiefied are in sleeping mode but make a drawcall for every single armor/body part.

My characters consits of over 30 parts (https://forums.unrealengine.com/unreal-engine/marketplace/59809-did-you-have-a-need-of-character-customizer-system/page3).

I think an 3rd person rpg style game with 5-10 chars on screen for desktop machine with standard specs would no problem by a count max/under 100k tris if you reach AAA quality.