So you want to make a map


I have had a lot of people come to me for help should it be tips or questions so i have decided to put everything i have learned into a tutorial/guide on everything you need to do to get a basic working map up and running, This will be a work in progress and some things may be wrong or may have better ways to do them, If you see a mistake or have tips or information you think should be included feel free to post it below :slight_smile:

The tutorial below is extremely outdated (ADK v184) use this template instead MEGA It comes with all the essentials already in place. But please do read the tutorial below as it will still teach you the basics but due note some settings are out of date

Ps there will be alot of small images on this thread, simply click them or right click and open in new tab to view them at a larger scale :slight_smile:

The Basics

This guide will take into consideration that you have ADK installed and working and have loaded up the island at least once.

then select save as and navigate to your new mods folder and save it as the folder name

Now lets load up the island and copy over what we need to make a working weather/day&night cycle as well as the waterplane, simply CTRL+Click then CTRL+C to copy then CTRL+V to paste (you might have to take a few files at a time as it sometimes wont copy/paste if you select them all at once)
[screenshot] [/screenshot]

Next we want to enable World Composition. This will allow us to use submaps for better organising and performance as you can stream them in and out ingame and in the editor
[screenshot] [/screenshot]

Next you want to click Window and enable “Levels” and place that window somewhere on your screen, Now lets make a landscape submap for your landscape. UE4 and ADK is limited in what file size’s can be cooked and that limit is roughly 600-700mb, So if you wish to have a very big map you can haver 5 landscapes spread over 5 submaps, maxing out each one, but for now we will only make 1, Click Levels and create new and make “Landscape”.
[screenshot] [/screenshot] [screenshot] [/screenshot][screenshot] [/screenshot]

Now inside the levels window double click the Landscape layer to make that your main working sublevel, you can know which layer you are working on by the blue colour
[screenshot] [/screenshot]
Now select Landscape and lets make a new landscape with the following settings

Now select your landscape and change the Landscape Hole Material to Mat_theislandwithmasks_hole_inst and Max LODlevel to “1”, Now your landscape will be very black but don’t worry it just needs some paint so go ahead and paint it all to grass. Now chose your sculpting tools and start sculpting your landscape, For now don’t even think about trees and rocks etc as that will be coming in later. My suggestion for shaping landscapes is to use the sculpting tool to lower the landscape far below the ocean then use the same tool to raise a area above the water line then use flatten to basically outline your island or islands, Do a rough line up then go back to each area and do the finer detail work.


Once you have a rough estimate of your map you can start thinking of detailing it with rocks and trees etc. Now to keep sizes down and to make it easy for your self you should divide your map into a grid as i have done, you can see it here Now you will have to make 1 submap for each square, If you chose to divide it into 5x5 10x10 or 2x2 is up to you and your map size,
As for the name standard i have gone with the same one they use on ARK
A2_Near etc

Now to add the foliage (trees, bushes, rocks, etc)
On the far files you need to have the following added
[screenshot] [/screenshot] [screenshot] [/screenshot]
On the near you need to add the following
[screenshot] [/screenshot] [screenshot] [/screenshot] [screenshot] [/screenshot]

[screenshot] [/screenshot] [screenshot] [/screenshot] [screenshot] [/screenshot]

To make foliage work you have to apply its setting, each foliage mesh has its own setting if not create one copying the settings from a similar one.

Next you need to go to instance settings on said foliage setting (yes you have to do this for every single foliage you have on every single umap) Double click the foliage setting you applied earlier and scroll down to “clustering” On your foliage you want to change the settings to match the one you just opened

the settings are

Replicate this componement = ticked

damage fxactor to spawn = treeharvestimpactemitter (if a tree, use metal for metal and stone for stone… durr)
attached componement class = Woodharvestcomponement (if stone use the stone one etc)
destroyed mesh = Only select the DM mesh if its a rock or similar, trees have their own destruction sequence (hint…they fall)
Destroyed mesh actor class = Treefalling_blueprint (only use if its a tree)
Is falling tree = ticked (if its a tree)
Collision presets = blockallexceptlK

I may have missed some but its simply copying the settings located in the _settings file you with the same mesh name

Making day and night work

Previously in this post we copied over several items to make the weather and sun work… Well we got the files but they still don’t work this is because there is several items that needs to be setup correctly for them to work and that is matinaee’s and the level blueprint, Were going to cover level blueprint after this so please be patient.

You should have the following matinaee’s on your map from copying them over earlier, if not then you messed up… go back to step 1


Click each matineea’s and apply the correct actors to make them work as they should

as such

the settings are (roughly, the names might not match 100% as it was late at night and i am lazy, so if you get stuck just ask :slight_smile: )

Build matinee




      weather global outdoor fog

Matinee weather heatwave


Thats it for now folks. Please post below what you think and if you got questions or suggestions

Brilliant tut! Good job :slight_smile:

Well done Uzumi :slight_smile:

Great tutorial! Adding it to the super thread for useful links/info :smiley:

Thank you good sir

tutorial on how make map play ready & how to upload your map to steam so that your levels cook into the file and are able to play and test as you build/edit your map.

Thanks man! This helped get me started a lot quicker. My only suggestion is create the terrain at the same level (or just below, depending) your water plane, that way you’re not messing around with sculpting as much :slight_smile:

Were you able to set time of day with this and have it affect the sky light intensity? Doesn’t seem to matter what I do for time of day it’s always same brightness.

I would suggest making it at height 100 because there is a limit as to how far a landscape can go up and down, This way you can have a ocean deep enough and mountains tall enough

Updated to explain foliage better and how to correctly setup the day and night cycle

Awesome tutorial, a bit demotivating but i guess the boring stuff will become less boring with time.

hey thanks for the tutorial! i got one question though, when i try to add the settings to matinee_masterdaycycle > globalweaherfog > replace actor with selected actor
i get the mssg : ‘‘cannot add matinee_weatherfog to matinee persistenlevel, as it is a matinee actor’’
am i missing something or doing something wrong?

Make sure that all the actors are on the same umap (level) It is best practice that all matinees and weather, day&night cycle is on the main level

are you sure it’s not supposed to be atmosphericFog? since it seems i can’t place a matinee within a matinee :slight_smile:

Ah yes, its WeatherGlobalOutdoorrFog Thank you for pointing that out :slight_smile:

Hey uzumi18 :slight_smile:

First, I will thank you for that important tutorial, which solved some problems for me :slight_smile:

But having some questions, which I can’t get rid of though:

First: For some reason, I have caustics on land. As well as I do not know, from which value the caustics come from. What makes some parts of my landscape set up with caustics? How can I get rif of it?

Second problem is still with Beach_Sands_Wet Texture.
It isn’t shiny like in ARK Survival Evolved. I messed around with a week now, but i have no clue what it is causing.

My Beach_Sands_Wet zoomed out. It is shiny.

Zoomed in and/or playerview. It isn’t shiny. No effects. In both direction. With the sun and against the sun.

I made a special template level. For testing purposes. Here, the texture has natural behaviour.
With the sun (zoomed in):

Against the sun (zoomed in):

And example from ARK Survival Evolved:

I hope, you can help me. So I can end troubleshooting and concentrate myself of making the map, with solved issues.

Best regards

Do you have a working day and night cycle aswell as weather? if yes then try and bake your lighting to refresh everything, Also try scrubbing your masterdaycycle matinee (changing time) and see

hey uzumi, can you go through the part of making sub map from your main map? I’m new to map making XD

sub maps is what we call levels or umaps, It is explained above, enable world composition and show levels, there create another level, just make sure its in the same folder as your main map file

So we need to split the main map into multiple submap? i mean how do we split it ? right now i have a giant map after import the height map inside dev kit
Should I remake the height map and make it into multiple tiles?

Yes or you can make submaps and use the move tool

No, my daycycle-/weathersystem is not adjusted to my map, like you told in your tutorial. My question is, why is it working on my template and not on my map? Both have no working weather- and daycycles. And the same cloned one from “TheIsland”.
Yes, I will go through your advise though. But do you think to this question?

How to bake for refreshing?

And what do you think about the wrong caustics?

@ Nguyen Ken:

Didn’t we merge our projects? Why do you want to make a map? Do you have enough time for two projects at once?


I crashed my whole map, for finding the issue. :rolleyes: But find nothing. I have now only my landscape, a simple etmospheric fog, a simple directional light, with LF_Caustics_inst (now i know, from where the caustics come. But I still don’t now on what the caustics are bind to the waterline).

On that screenshot, there are caustics (the dark areas). Why? I have no waterline, no PostProcess for water, nothing. It’s curious …