Ship Builder Attempt

Hello all. I’m trying to get to grips with UE4, and I’m finding it a little confusing at first, and I’m at a loss for where to begin. If you have the time, would you mind answering some questions that would point me in the right direction?

I’m trying to make a warship game that uses a ship creator screen to build it’s vessels and then insert them into the game. Initially, I would like the creator to lay out a series of ribs along a keel, and then lay out shaped plating on the outside with options to customise certain forms, such as the superstructure, bow and stern shape and propeller placement.
Then I would like the creator to define approximated drag, weight and propulsion power (for gameplay).
In game, I would also like the plating to be destructible, exposing inner elements of the ship. In terms of damage such as flooding, I am just going to apply weight based on the location and size of a shell hit which gradually increases if not brought under control, giving the ship a list.

Now, the question I have is really where to even get started with any of this because I don’t know if it is even possible. Do any of you have any suggestions? Thank you in advance for any answers.

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Possible yes.

Done by a novice? No.
Or at least you’ll become a pro doing it.

To start.
You need different model parts that belong to each other.

They also need to be destructible per your request, so you have to make a copy of them that’s damaged as well.

Once you have the 40 or so modular models you can start trying to assemble a builder.

I suggest that each ship has the same amount of modules, to which you exchanges meshes at runtime.

If the meshes are all the same, and you are careful about pivot point placement, you can get this to work well even with completely different mixes.

The builder will probably have to validate the mix/match off a list or something similar. But that’s the easy creative part of the coding.

Hit and damage is done with mesh swaps - hidden by a flash or explosion. There’s probably nothing at all modular about it - though you could visually deform the mesh with a shader. Even poke holes in it with the opacity channel. But it’ll never look as good visually as a mesh swap.

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Haha, quote of the day, for sure!

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