Download

Several questions regarding larger Landscapes (and more).

Hello Unreal Engine Community,

Foreword:

I worked with the UDK for a while and sadly it required a lot of UScript to do, what I tried to achieve and sadly I’m no UScript Coder. UE4 now, after being able to take a look at it, offers Blueprints (and full C++ code, in any case). I think, what I would like to do with it, as a Level Designer (Skill: Beginner/Intermediate), would be possible, but I am not sure how. I hope, the UE Community and Devs can help me with this.

Topic:

I would like to know, how to achieve the following:

I would like to create a larger Terrain, around 4x4km (16km² playable space) and populate it with Trees, Grass, Buildings etc. Later on maybe even with AI.

How would I work on it, that everything is in one single huge map (maybe with streamed sub-levels?) and does not need any real loading times (except the loading due to streaming?)?

Example:

I start at the very bottom left of the map in a House, enter a Car and can drive around the map, without issues, to the opposite end. Sure, maybe not along a straight path, but along a road and that the Engine loads the models etc on demand. Also, that information is saved along the line. Example: I start at the bottom left, drive for a couple minutes, crash with the car, car explodes and remains there the entire time.

I am not sure, but I bet, that this has to be stored somewhere in a Save System?

How could I also achieve it, that I have a model from a House, but that there are several Instances, where each of these houses look alike from the outside, but not from the inside? Could this be done using a House model with several interior sub-models and define a randomization via Blueprint?

It sure is not only a question about the Landscape size, but also on how to create such a huge Landscape and populate it properly. I’m somehow a little stuck with getting this done and I hope, that I can achieve this in UE4 with Blueprints. Or would this only be possible with extending the Engine via C++?

Greetings,

Maxunit

PS: If this is not the right sub-forum and should be posted elsewhere, please tell me :slight_smile: If AnswerHub would be a better place for this, then I will re-post it on AnswerHub.

Sounds to me like you want to make GTAVI :smiley:
Everything you mentioned here is possible, but for single hobby developer, it’s many years of work.
I’ve been working on Satellite data from London, England for over three years now, (as a side hobby project). I also work for a triple AAA dev and so don’t spend every day working on my model of London. The model is a section one mile square, ( so at least half the size of what you’re thinking about) and every building, road, pavement etc, is being low poly modelled in 3ds Max and Maya - a few a week, (and it’s taken three years so far)
That’s without a single line of code or one blueprint.
So to get things into perspective, you’re looking at a Mammoth task that would take an experienced triple AAA dev many years to build! :cool:

Nah, not really looking at creating something uber huge like GTA IV/V/VI :stuck_out_tongue:

I sometimes play State of Decay and it has a playable area of 16km², which is a nice scale. I thought about working on something like that (the level scale + designing it) in my spare time. I know, that it would take months (heh…) for a single person, but whatever :P. Just wondering, if such a thing is possible with UE4 and how and if C++ changes are needed.

It is possible, when you:

-create low poly meshes (e.g the spruce meshes that we use in our game have max. 1700 tris + 2 LOD stages)
-use culling volumes + culling in the foliage tool
-plan the level very carefully → add stuff that blocks the view of the player (e.g hills,…)
-use good LODs
-use level streaming

By the way, State if Decay is awesome! I’m still playing it in my free time :slight_smile:

Hey Maxunit,

Fighter5337, as always, brings up some solid points. You can create some fairly large worlds, but ultimately it would come down to optimization to get a good frame rate and designing something that would run smoothly.

We have some good documentation and even examples in Content Examples that explain a lot of these concepts if you’re having trouble.

Good luck with your project and be sure to post some updates in the WIP section to get feedback from the community. They’re very helpful in pointing you in the right direction! :slight_smile:

Hey Fighter,

You actually have free time?! Hard to imagine since you’re on here so much being helpful! :slight_smile:

Tim

:stuck_out_tongue: I cant believe it myself, but sometimes during school/game project/forum/tutorials/skype I have a little bit of time to play some games

@Maxunit Some useful links:

LOD (of course you can even create better stages when you do it manually -> e.g just a plane for the 2nd lod channel like in Battlefield)Unreal Engine 4/Blender Tutorial: LOD (english) - YouTube

Culling:

Also take a look at some open world games to get a feeling how they did it -> e.g Skyrim :wink:

Thanks for the replies, Tim and Fighter :slight_smile:

Very helpful information. I will dig into it, totally.

I am primarily a Level Designer in his Beginner/Intermediate Stages. I started Level Design with Engines like GoldSource and the old Unreal Engine 1. I mostly was stuck with using GoldSource and Source and there you primarily use Brushes over 3D Models. In UE4, you primarily seem to use 3D Models over Brushes. Means, I have to get into something like Autodesk 3D Studio Max Design now to be able to build nice houses :wink:

(Or maybe use GoldSource Hammer, do a proper House using Brushes and use an Export Tool, which converts it into an optimized 3D Model)

I surely will post my progress in the WIP Section :slight_smile:

:wink: or use blender, its for free and you can nearly do everything with it