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What are the best practices for Unreal map creation?

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    What are the best practices for Unreal map creation?

    Hello everyone! i am a gamer since the times of UT99 (that game defined my childhood), but i never took a serious look to the map editor. Now i decided that i am going to participate in the community and do some levels, i am working in my first map, and was wondering if the more experieced Level designers/mappers/modders/artists can give some advice for us, and share some tips for people that is just starting now.

    What i learned so far, looking at UE4 an unreal demos is:

    -Create the "skeleton" of your map using BSP, (use ctrl+shift+b to build only geometry, that way you can iterate faster when you modify BSP) Playtest everytime you put or remove something. <- (I am at this stage)

    -Once your map is fun to play, you can start beautifiying it, (add textures, illumination, meshes) (keep playtesting)

    -Use a lightmassimportancevolume and navmeshimportancevolume to delimit your map zone, this optimizes the lightning and navpoints processing. Postprocessvolume is nice, but try to dont overdo it.

    -Shift+5 is BSP editing mode use it!

    -Try to work in powers of ten, keeps thing easier.

    -In the default texture when you create your BSP, the smaller squares are 1 UU (or 1 cm), the next bigger ones are 10 UU (or 1 meter) keep that in mind with the grid snap value to make your life easier.

    -You can switch between Wold and local space for moving, and editing geometry (very useful when you have more than 90 degrees angles in your map.)

    -When use the "x" axis when modelling your meshes as the front of it, keep your mesh in the origin (0,0,0) of your 3d program, a good practice is to keep at the centre and bottom of the mesh for things like boxes, barrels, statues (things that you are not going to tile) for tileable elements, use a a border (i use border, bottom) as the center to work better in the editor. Try to use real sizes when making your meshes, remember that 1 cm = 1 UU Better adjust your 3d aplication to work in cm / metters.

    -You can make blueprints for meshes that you will reuse that combine logic or elements like, mesh + a light.


    My doubts rigth now:

    -Its better to replace simple bsp (blocks for floor and walls for example) with static meshes, or is ok to put some meshes over it to add detail (think performance)

    - What is the better way to test performance? is ther a way to look at the triangles that are on the player viewport (editor) and the amount of system and video memory used?

    -When i add the meshes for a ramp for example, do i left the bsp under the mesh and use the bsp collision or do i give the mesh a collision and delete the bsp?

    a simple list of do's and dont's can be really useful for the beginners! thanks!
    Last edited by Kon_Fle; 03-24-2015, 09:35 AM. Reason: Spell check, extra tips

    #2
    would be interested too.. i think its a good idea

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      #3
      I have found personally that digging a map out of a single solid BSP brush, using subtractive brushes, is more effective than building a whole map out of additive ones. (not that you can't detail it with additive brushes, just for the basic room geometry and such)
      My maps: DM-Incomplete | DM-Archives | DM-Foundry | DM-Sewage

      Comment


        #4
        Here is a good post about some things you should take into heavy consideration even before you open the editor. I personally wish we would see more of these type things when seeing peoples levels on the forum. ( Photo references, overall visions, top down level layout.) I am also guilty for not having these posted on my level thread. However I have gone through these steps on my own, just havent posted any of it.

        http://www.worldofleveldesign.com/ca...s-workflow.php

        As for if you want to replace bsp with static meshes. Yes do this all the time. When you have the art necessary replace the bsp with static meshes. Just get rid of the bsp once it is replaced properly. If the mesh is not overly complex then get rid of the bsp collision underneath it, and create/use the static meshes collision.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Darksteel View Post
          I have found personally that digging a map out of a single solid BSP brush, using subtractive brushes, is more effe...
          Back in days of U1-UT99 the game's world space was solid by default. Cutting out stuff was the only way to make something.

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            #6
            Originally posted by ShurikMur View Post
            Back in days of U1-UT99 the game's world space was solid by default. Cutting out stuff was the only way to make something.
            That would explain a lot.
            My maps: DM-Incomplete | DM-Archives | DM-Foundry | DM-Sewage

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