I was able to resolve the issue on my own. The problem was that I had two maps with the same name in different folder locations in unreal. Once I renamed the map I was trying to cook and gave it a unique name, the map loaded just fine. So make sure the level and all its sub levels have unique names so it doesn’t mess up the cooker.
I am doing only a custom map as a mod for ARK. I am not changing any of the game’s core or adding any new blueprints/assets. I have created my map, placed it in the mods folder with the game mode and game data files that I copied from the generic mod folder (did not child these). I followed the tutorials posted in these forums and on youtube and linked my game mode inside the game data file. I’ve also set up the world settings linking both the game data and game mode assets. I’ve tried everything I could find on the forums here as well as tried a few things out myself by playing with the world settings. The mod cooks and uploads fine to steam, but whenever I try launching the mod as a custom game, it brings me back to the main menu. I’m sure I’ve done something wrong somewhere, but I am at a loss - I usually follow tutorials very carefully so I’m not sure what I missed. Any suggestions on where to start is greatly appreciated.
[EDIT] - I created a simple test map with nothing in it but a static mesh and a player start to see if I can get that to work following the Wookie’s tutorials and that didn’t work either. Is there something different I need to do to get maps to work?