Shoot em up game level


I want to develop a Shoot em up game like Gradius but I don’t know how to create the level.

Do I need to create all the level in one file only?

If it is in one file only, does Unreal load the entire map at once?

I think this question not only apply to shoot em up, it also applies to games with big levels.


if you plan to do it in 3d, it’s like an endless runner, you spawn pieces forward while destroying what you’ve already gone through, although here it has a difference, that the world is the one that moves while the ship is “static”

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I started an open world game on one big map and I believe that was a mistake.

Using 4.26.2…

I move to World Composition and broke by big map into 64 (8x8) smaller maps.

Each of these smaller maps is, essentially, a level; however, in world composition there is a World Composure which a tool can be used to stitch the mini-maps together as well as set the “Streaming Distance” which tells UE when to load the map.

Also to note that in world composition you can break things up even further in that not only can you slice up the maps but you can partition encounters, villages, boss areas, etc and set their own “Streaming Distance” to load that level as the player approaches.

Might check that out to see if that will accomplish what you are looking to do…

@Husky211 Thanks, but how can I spawn pieces forward? I think I can do it with a class that spawn something when the ship arrives a certain position, or maybe there is something in Unreal that does it for me.

@vespineauto007 Thanks for you comment, but how can I broke a maps into smaller maps?

u spawn with the spawn actor node How to Spawn Actors in UE4 || Blueprints || UE4 TUTORIALS - YouTube

any part of u level is an actor, that way you can make it procedural if you want

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@Husky211 Great! Thank you!

I’ve just started to learn Unreal and I didn’t think that.

Thanks again.

I used GIMP to “slice” an image into smaller images.

I would recommend a Google search using “gimp split image into smaller images”.

The first link from seems fairly instructive.

My process was flawed in that the indexing initially created from GIMP is not the expected indexing that Unreal wants (had my X axis and Y axis flipped :frowning: ) so there was some manual file name changing to get things to correctly load into Unreal.

Also, if you do a Google search on “unreal height map size” you should see a UE Landscape Technical Guide which contains a table for recommended sizes for your smaller maps.

Highly recommend you choose one of the recommended sizes.

Also, each smaller map needs to be the same size such that you can load them all at the same time in UE.

For me, I was 2 pixels short on the left and top pieces of my map which caused some non-trivial time working in GIMP to fix this issue.

Finally, I took height map data from a real US location. This required some smoothing which I did in GIMP as well as I scaled my height map data 80% in the Z to make it more reasonable/playable.