Very Large Map (6400 KM x 6400 km) feasability

As the title suggests, I wonder if is it possible. I am looking to start development on a world which I will either use for a game or animation (not decided yet) and I want to simulate as closely as possible the feeling of a Pangaea-like supercontinent (I know… very original) and I would like to know if it is possible to have a 6400 km by 6400 km world for a total 40.960.000 km^2 or roughly four times the size of Europe. Obviously, I am not looking to load ALL of the landscape in one huge chunk but I would like to keep it as open-world as possible. I know it will be huge, I know it will take me a lot of time, and that it is a very difficult thing to do, so I am not really looking for that kind of feedback, rather simply I want to know the actual technical feasibility of having such a map, at this size, divided in chunks. Thank you very much for your time in advance for any constructive feedback and/or suggestions.

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Hi, I guess it might be a lot easier to generate it procedurally / by seed as the player moves around the map.

Just doing some quick calculation. Imagine you want 1000 “things” (e. g. any actor or any instance like tree, rock,…) per square kilometer which will be a very sparse environment. 32 bit times nine (three times for the location, three for rotation and three for scale) that times 1000 and then times 40.960.000 will result in about 1.4 terrabyte of data. So I guess that would rule out to use it as game since then people would need to download and have that amount of data on disk =)

That then means you need to use the landscape grass type to place all your trees rocks,…

So with 10 “things” per square kilometer you would end up with about 14 gigabytes of data which might be ok. Of course it might/will be boring for any player to have only 10 “things” per square kilometer in the world…

Also the landscape is stored as 16 bit texture with one pixel per square meter and all the landscape grass types use a texture of the same size (no idea whether those are 16 bit though). So no idea of UE uses any compression on the landscape texture, if not then you will end up with about 82 gigabyte for the landscape (not counting any grass layer) which again will/might not be feasible for disk usage.

In the end there is no reason you need a world of 6400 km by 6400 km. You only need to have that the player has the illusion/thinks the world is of this size.


Its possible… But as you’ve acknowledged its not boring to solve… You can look at past discussions on here to get started. Search on planet / planets and geo-spatial data as keywords. You can also filter posts using my forum name if necessary as I’ve commented in a lot of related threads. The biggest challenge arguably is that Epic don’t offer anything out of the box right now, and the pre-existing landscape system is ancient / antiquated.

Personally I’ve built worlds out to around ±2000km, which is still a long way from your goal. To make that work I had to use meshes sparsely (no landscapes / voxels). At that scale Z-fighting and lighting was also an issue, and of course origin-rebasing. The latter will be solved with doubles coming to UE5 hopefully. Populating such a large world with interesting things is a real challenge though. Its somewhat easier for sci-fi worlds tho. :wink:

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In the end there is no reason you need a world of 6400 km by 6400 km. You only need to have that the player has the illusion/thinks the world is of this size.

That is an interesting concept. So there would be a scaled differential? I can make it seem as though it was 6400 km x 6400 km when in actuality it’s somewhere around 640 km x 640 km and everything is scaled down by 100 to make the proportions seem like it’s the same?

Thank you very much for the pointers, much appreciated :slightly_smiling_face:.

How to achieve it
I have a problem now
When you open the top view, there is a grid inside.
If the terrain exceeds this grid, the terrain will disappear.
How did you solve this problem

Its an interesting thought experiment. But most devs don’t opt for it as it can break other things: think physics / collision / lighting / cmc. Look for posts about scaling things down.

Scale needs to still be accurate, but you can make the overall size smaller. Like how GTA V is based on Los Angeles but is much smaller than the actual city.