Why is editing terrain so difficult ??

I need functionality in my game similar to this. Yet the only available options seems to be to completely code a smooth voxel type system from scratch .


I just don’t understand these guys managed to do it in 1989 on rubbish computers with rubbish technology and yet it’s 2015 now

we have technology that can do things people back then only dreamed about and yet there are no feasible systems / solutions to allow in game terrain editing unles you wanna make a mine craft clone

Completely different use case from the current UE4 landscape, so no surprise it doesn’t suit your needs.

But here’s the thing. They gave you the source code so you could make it suit your needs. Not so that they could provide everything to match your needs. The short answer then is “yeah, it doesn’t exist until you make it”. It should be the mantra for all game developers using engines. Sure it’s a pain to have to write things, but that’s what game development is about, actually developing the things you need.

I saw someone was working on a voxel based landscape thing a while back. Honestly making a height field editor for what you want would be reasonably easy too (given some work on procedural meshes added recently to the engine).

So my suggestion is to go and make it so. Its YOUR game you’re working on after all. Epic aren’t working on it.

Completely misunderstood my post.

How is it different from the ue4 landscape or a voxel system?? I just want to dig or raise the land.

My point was simply if they could do it back then with limited resources and technology then WHY is it so difficult now when the technology has become more advanced over the years .

You said about people working on voxel systems again read my post I already mentioned them so why bring It up??

And you’re comment about how easy It is to make a height field editor or voxel system is laughable . If it Was so easy to do then why are only a handful Of plugins most only in early development and thousands of posts all with people wanting to do the same thing

An even if you can edit the height at run time that’s only half the battle you have , collision, lighting, performance the list goes on and on to take into account .

So my suggestion is learn to read . I’m not bashing epic engine it wasn’t even aimed at any engine in particular, and I will keep making my game thanks.

coming out with comments like that is stupid so basicaly youre saying why post on the forums asking for help go do it yourself, I everyone could do it themselves and didn’t need help there wouldn’t be a forums or an answer hub in the firs place , I’m sorry If you’re such an expert that this is easy for you .

In that case how bout you make it for me and I’ll pay you?? Shouldn’t take you long it’s easy right??

I’m just amazed that In over 20 years people including myself are struggling to recreate something like in populous. Just makes the work they did back then even more incredible

In a month I picked up UE4 and made my voxel system:

There is nothing magical in a dumb voxel system.

Creating a similar procedural world with the scale of populus would take me about 6hrs in blender bge…
I actually did a quick and dumb minecraft system in a day, with plain object(cube) placement for terrain. It ran fine…

Seccond the way populus did it, isn’t the way a 3d polygon engine would do it.
Have you used 2d engines?
From what I learned in pygame, was that you draw most of what you see only once, then only update on each frame the tiny changes ( the area of 64 by 64 pixels) on the screen where the terrain changed or the character moved. If there was no change it was effectively a still picture, with background logic tics happening. A glorified paint program in a sense. That is why it worked on **** computers.

Then again a voxel system should be a part of an state of the art engine, because why should everyone need to reinvent the wheel?
Maybe the problem is that it is not meant to be. A stock system would result in boring games. Anyone who would want to spice things up would need to make enough changes to the point where there is little of the old code left.
That is why there is the procedural mesh component. It is flexible enough to be smooth or blocky, massive and responsive.

There are plenty of games that have reached higher technical fidelity than populus.

My suggestion now is to split your terrain problem into its core problems.
Is draw call batching something you need, or is plain object placement enough?
Try spawning a grid of cubes with height from a sine wave.
Do you know how to translate input ,to world position ,to voxel removal placement?
Try to log/print camera looking direction vector. Think, whether you need to raycast, or you can handle the ray purely logically.
Is low data look up overhead important, or does a dictionary( map ) suffice?
If pointers and flatened 3d arrays are not your thing, maybe a simple “map( (x,y,z) ) = voxel or not” lookup is easier.

Hopefully, I was not too annoying.

Ok, I’ll bite.

I didn’t misunderstand your post. You were whining that something wasn’t in the engine for you. Let’s not try and suggest you weren’t because we both know you were. My comment was trying to respond to that whine by suggesting that it wasn’t the appropriate response to a missing feature.

The thing is, it’s not easy for ANYONE to do something they’ve not tried yet. But the people who want to work on games, I mean really work on them. They TRY. They don’t expect someone else to do the trying for them. You should start with the UProceduralMeshComponent as has already been suggested. Heightfield editing isn’t that hard (and yes its pretty easy to program) as you’re simply changing Z values on a regular grid. Look on these very forums and you’ll find countless examples of voxel editors and height field editors and all sorts of things in between (bubble world editors even!).

Yes, I could write it for you, but honestly I’ve got better things to do with my time and I don’t need it myself. I did my heightfield terrains maybe 20 years ago, so I have no need to learn how to do it either.

Anyway, my intent wasn’t to insult you, so please don’t take it that way. My intent was to try and get you to understand that making games is about taking responsibility for your own development. I’ve been part of enough development communities for enough years to know that actually putting in the effort yourself is the best way to push forward. I used to have the same issue as you do, that things didn’t feel like they had progressed, but I realized that it was the wrong way to view things. In the end, we are all responsible for our own output, Epic is definitely not responsible for our lack of ability to extend its engine for instance.

Anyway, I’m not going to respond or read this thread now. De-escalate whatever animosity you have and just let it be. But my advice is to go ahead and work on things yourself. You obviously have identified an opportunity for yourself to actually make a saleable product, so why not be the one to create it? Add it to the marketplace so that others can benefit. For my own efforts, I’m doing that with AI work (which is my speciality and what I enjoy doing).

Good luck.

Hey folks, keep it chilled.

There isn’t a pre-built Voxel terrain system in the engine, for the same reason there isn’t a pre-existing road editor, or a water / ocean system ,or an inventory system - not everybody needs or wants it. Developing that would satisfy a tiny percentage of UE’s market and it’s not worth the time. It’s one of those thing you’ll have to figure out how to do yourself. If you do it well enough and you really believe it should be a fundamental part of the engine, submit a pull request with it in.

It’s also not really fair to compare that game to Unreals Landscape system, which is infinitely more complex and flexible. A lot of folks around here have done Voxel terrain systems now, so there’s plenty of available people around to help give pointers. That, or hire someone to do it.