Should I create one big level, or many smaller levels?


I apologise in advance for what may be quite an abstract question!

At the moment I am approximating (a small) part of the original resident evil game purely to learn the mechanics of UE4.

For those who do not know the original game, each room was its own level in a ‘mansion’, with a (now iconic) loading animation of an opening door between levels.

My question is; when creating a similar game, are the occlusion algorithms within UE4 powerful enough to have the entire ‘mansion’ as one level (bear in mind that rooms will mostly be, well, room-sized!) or am I better off having each room as a level, or somewhere in between?

Can anyone provide any guidance, please?


Hey Mike,

You might want to start experimenting with Level Streaming. You can set each room as a level and only load the assets within it when the player crosses into the Level Streaming Volume. Using Level Streaming, you can build the entire mansion in a level and just stream the pertinent information during play.

Unfortunately, there isn’t any documentation on that available quite yet, so I’ll give you a basic rundown of how it works and you can play with it from there.

Separate your assets into levels (using the Levels tab found in Window > Levels). The persistent level will always be loaded. When you place a Level Streaming Volume, expand the volume over the area you want the level to consist of. Then in your Levels tab, right click on the level you want to associate with your volume, and go to Streaming Volumes > Add Streaming Volumes. Now when your character enters the volume, the assets in that volume will load in, and after leaving the volume those assets will be unloaded.

A couple things to be aware of:

  • The assets are loaded in when the active camera enters the volume, so be careful when setting the size and location of the Level Streaming Volume if your camera is positioned off your character.
  • You can use multiple streaming volumes per level, and you can use different brush shapes, so don’t worry if your level isn’t perfectly rectangular!
  • Make sure your Level Streaming Volumes are in the Persistent Level or they will not work.

Anyway, I hope that answers some of your question. Good luck!

Ben Halliday

You are very welcome. Let me know if you run into any problems.

Wow, that sounds perfect… I shall give this a go tonight!

Thank you very much!