Possibly Misleading Title: Creating An "Open World Level"

Ok, so I apologize since I couldn’t really come up with a good enough title.

I’ll preface this with me being a beginner. Currently I am working on a game that takes place in a prison. I really want to do it as one large map because I don’t want loading screens or waiting periods when traveling between wings, the only exception is the underground region which you are brought to during a cutscene. Luckily I have a sibling who is an architect and is helping me to design a legitimate prison. I am using SketchUp and I wanted to know how difficult it would be to bring the model into Unreal. Is there a better way to go about it?

Thanks in advance for any advice/criticism.

  • Rant

Your best option is to modularise your model so that you can re-use textures and objects. This s very important when you are creating a large world (as your topic suggests). If you can’t modularise it completely (although prisons are pretty much the same architecture in most places), then you should at least consider making smaller objects (i.e. room sized) in order to get the best performance possible.

One large model is going to kill your framerate … no matter what game engine you use.

So I should pretty much make one room and use that for every cell and one hallway, in addition to the specialized rooms such as dining.

Yeah … that would probably give you the best performance. Also try to re-use as many textures as possible. 8-}

Thanks, I really appreciate the help

You could do that, you could also break it down further into having a few variations of walls, corners, stairs and various other objects.
What I usually do is make a very rough version and figure out what pieces and sizes would be the most useful, as I’m making each mesh I start building the scene with my modular bits and this way you can very quickly start to see if things work and what variations you may want (be it model or texture variations).

The goal being to be able to make many different things (let’s say rooms) out of the least amount of meshes.

Though for a prison it might make sense to just make a few whole rooms for the cells and only break things down further when you need too?

Yeah, I was thinking that that would work nicely, the models aren’t going to be incredibly high quality (read AAA) because:
A) I’m not that good
B) It doesn’t fit my art style
So it’ll take on more of a hand-drawn style anyways and going for rough versions, but not too rough, might look nicer with everything else