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    Open world level streaming?

    So I'm developing a large open world game. The game revolves around traveling in a vehicle between "Islands". The way I'm doing it at the moment is making a map for each island and streaming it into a larger master map through distance. The problem I am running into is that the UDK boundaries are far too small for the world I am attempting to create. I've heard people say its possible to create an infinitely large world with level streaming, how is this possible without hitting the kill box? Apart from scaling the assets down, is there any other way to do it? The only other solution I can think of is streaming the islands immediately around a map then unloading the last one. That isn't a very viable option. In an ideal situation I'd use unrealscript to stream exact distances with an INI file holding a tileset, but I'm not sure how viable this is since I'm no programmer.

    Due to the nature of the game, seams shouldnt matter.

    #2
    Bump from page 2.

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      #3
      You shouldn't go too far when scaling things down. Stuff such as lighting artifacts and collision will mess up if the scale is too low. This if you decide to use a smaller scale to achieve larger world sizes.

      Level streaming is confined within the level box you see in the editor. Streaming helps make huge levels though.

      Would it be that bad if a single level held 4-8 islands and then you would load a new level to see more islands (like the Mario "worlds" did in a way)?

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        #4
        I'd also suggest you to create smaller maps of just few islands and load them. You could be able to do it so that the level loaded is just your ocean plane and then stream the islands in as you approach some of them. That way it should be really fast do make the transition...

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          #5
          Originally posted by musilowski View Post
          You shouldn't go too far when scaling things down. Stuff such as lighting artifacts and collision will mess up if the scale is too low. This if you decide to use a smaller scale to achieve larger world sizes.

          Level streaming is confined within the level box you see in the editor. Streaming helps make huge levels though.

          Would it be that bad if a single level held 4-8 islands and then you would load a new level to see more islands (like the Mario "worlds" did in a way)?

          Yeah, I discovered the lighting artifacts the hard way. I also get stupid collision errors randomly as well. Scaled back up to 100% now. I suppose breaking the world into "chunks" could be a last ditch option although I'm trying to make the game as streamlined as possible.

          Originally posted by phobossion View Post
          I'd also suggest you to create smaller maps of just few islands and load them. You could be able to do it so that the level loaded is just your ocean plane and then stream the islands in as you approach some of them. That way it should be really fast do make the transition...
          My issue is I dont have enough space in the editor to stream all the islands I have.



          I'm experimenting with an idea now. Basically, I bring the distance fog in closer and make the pawn slow to a crawl when you leave the islands. It gives a good illusion of size.

          EDIT: That method works pretty well, although the fog now occludes the skybox. Is there some way I can fade the levels in instead of using fog?
          I've tried changing the skybox material to translucent > Allow fog but that causes a glitch in my particles that makes them flicker.

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            #6
            I am also interested in this, so let me know if you find a solution. I feel like there really should be a way to stream in levels even outside the editor box, but I guess you would have to somehow translate your world around you (if that's even possible) so you are moving in place in some sense. I kind of doubt it is possible, if I am even making sense. :P

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              #7
              Originally posted by euanc View Post
              My issue is I dont have enough space in the editor to stream all the islands I have.
              The idea was to stream only between few neighbor islands and do normal loadmap between those groups. However, the map loaded would be just plain waterplane, which should take only microscopic time to load (if you ensure all islands are already unloaded so there is close to no cleanup). The water plane map would then stream the islands' map as necessary.

              Anyway, best of luck with this!

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