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    Rolling landscapes

    Hi everyone.

    I've been working on an idea and building up a static library for a project im working on for a while now.

    And i just have a quick question (or maybe not so quick, well see) about the unreal engine

    Im planning on having quite a large city with a countryside and hill and eventually ocean. And i just wanted to know if the UDK/Engine could handle this. I'm sure there is probably a way to do this but i just wanted to see what people thought.

    So, would it be best to design the whole region in sections? Or would make more sense to do it all in one? Basically is it possible for it to load other "maps" as you walk around or would it just not work.

    Interested to hear your thoughts people

    #2
    You'll probably want to wrap your head around level streaming:

    http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/LevelStreamingHowTo.html

    You can load new levels on the fly, so you can segment things up as needed.

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      #3
      Edit* Too slow.... :P

      Unreal has a level streaming system. It's essentially loading one map into another during runtime. Yes it's possible to do, you just have to make sure the current grid size (top view, blue edges) is enough for your needs.

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        #4
        Excellent, that's what I needed to hear. I imagined it would be possible, and I knew there would be some kind of terminology for it too

        Thanks alot guys, ill have a good read

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          #5
          Sorry Denny, I actually had that page up in another tab when I saw the post.

          Comment


            #6
            Hey again all, just one last thing, ive read pretty much all of the pages that linked off from the link you gave me. And i havnt found this out. So i thought id just ask here quickly

            When i design each level do i have to actually move the square plane that im working on to fit where it would be in relativity to the other maps? Or is it possible to use the kismet level manager to position each tile? And one last question, are there any limitations i should be aware of?

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              #7
              Hi all, sorry to double post. But i still haven't figured this out yet.

              I've managed to make the 3 terrain grids I have tile perfectly, although, each map is actually in a different place in the editor.

              What i want to know is, is it possible for the engine to position the map wherever you like?

              And is it possible to make a huge landscape, like you would see in existing games such as Oblivion or Driver. I only mention these two games cos they both have quite large game worlds

              Any answers are very much appreciated

              Comment


                #8
                When I was playing with streaming levels the other day, I had a master level that contained the individual streaming levels, and I am pretty sure that I was able to position the level wherever I needed after adding it to the master level.

                I'll double check that though.

                EDIT: Color me tremendously surprised that the editor and game runs on my laptop at work.

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                  #9
                  Ok, I just tried it again.

                  I created a level called stream1.udk and stream2.udk. Both of them were just simple flat brushes with a single static mesh on top. No lighting or playerstarts.

                  Then I created a third level called streammain.udk. I created the single little cube out of the way like the docs suggested, then went into the content browser and added the two existing levels (Level -> Add Existing Level). I stuck with Kismet because it seemed easier, but distance streaming might actually be better for you.

                  When I added the second level, it did seem that it was right on top of the first one, and I had to grab the flat geometry and the static mesh and move it and line it up with the first one.

                  I set up Kismet to load them both on startup, added a player start somewhere above my first streaming level and then added a single point light above the whole thing.

                  Built and ran and both of my levels with their static meshes were there. They weren't perfectly lined up, but they were there.

                  So I added a trigger and a touch event to toggle the visibility of the second level and that worked too.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ok, I'm stupid.

                    If you go into the content browser on the level tab, you can right click on the levels you added and adjust the offset. If you were to make uniform level placements, it should make things easy to set the offsets and position the levels.

                    Also, I haven't it tried it, but I wonder if a level being streamed into a master level could itself have streaming levels.

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                      #11
                      OK, ive had a long play about with this, and all the offest does is pysically move the level, so if you load the level on its own, you will actually see it has moved the whole square however many units you set in the offset. So its the same as actually moving the entire level yourself, except it confuses things alot. Well a little, but it does work, just not how i want it.

                      It's starting to seem as if making a massive scale landscape is impossible in one load, or using this method, with the unreal editor.

                      And also, it seems like any levels that are outside the blue grid in the editor (which will be most of them) wont have collision

                      If you have any ideas please let me know how best to go about doing this, cos ive tried over and over :P

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I don't have any other ideas, but just talking about scale, have you looked at this?

                        http://udn.epicgames.com/Three/TerrainDesign.html

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                          #13
                          Cool, that helped clear a few things up. So the maximum map size is approximately 10 kilometres. Do you know if its possible to change the engines unit conversion from 1 UU = 2 cm to 1 UU = 1 cm?

                          In case you haven't realised im planning on making quite a large landmass.

                          And 10km obviously isn't very large at all, I think that's roughly the size of Oblivion's landmass, and I wasn't exactly impressed with the size of oblivion.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Well, that's 10km per level.

                            If you were to able to find ways to separate it and just deal with a few loads here and there, you'd be set.

                            Hell, make them stand in an elevator every 10 minutes while you load.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Yeah that's an option true, but surely loading up a 10km level covered with detailed statics and lighting is going to kill most people's PC's :P

                              Plus, I still don't know the downside to working outside of the blue grid, and how I would go about making a map that's up to 10km square

                              And I don't really understand your reasoning about loading whilst in an elevator :P

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