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Need some help getting started on building a planet

I'm a complete newbie to Unreal, and couldn't find answers to my specific questions elsewhere on the forums. I've asked on Quora.com with a few responses over several days, but I need more specific guidance.

I want to build complete open-world spherical planet that can be circumnavigated by players. The diameter of the planet is 6152km, therefore the radius would be 3076km. I have created a sphere, but I cannot find the radius component for it.

Being so large, I'm not sure whether the sphere will take up a huge amount of space on my hard drive. I'm building a desktop at the moment, and I can get more hard drives if needed, but it will mean more time before I can start building the world, since I haven't yet bought the $1100 980ti. Does Unreal Engine have some sort of LOD built in so that it doesn't render all of the sphere and I can work at a micro level? Also, if I simply create the supermassive sphere, then work on a small section of the planet, will that still take up a huge amount of storage space?

Additionally, I really want to get gravity sorted for this thing, and apparently there would a problem with world origin affecting floating point numbers or something as you travel great distances. I'm not quite sure what it meant, but if it could be a problem in the future, it's better to plan sooner than have an insurmountable hurdle later.

I really appreciate any help I can get on this.

Product Version: UE 4.10
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asked Jan 07 '16 at 01:08 AM in Using UE4

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2 answers: sort voted first

Simple answer: UE4 does not support that.

I would say try to limit your scope... can you actually fill that planet with that much content?

Are really large worlds possible in UE4? In theory yes, you can use with World Composition and use level streaming (loading individual maps and transitioning to them), and give the appearance of a large world. You would basically create a bunch of smaller Levels and use world composition to arrange them and the player would seamlessly travel between them by shifting the orgin of the map. However multiplayer is not supported (out of the box)

More Information here: https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/LevelStreaming/WorldBrowser/index.html

Trust me, running around in a 5km by 5km world is quite large (if your using to scale models in a game).

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answered Jan 07 '16 at 02:43 AM

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avatar image Nozza Jan 07 '16 at 07:40 AM

Shame. I hope they add some sort of better support for larger world spaces soon.

I have run some estimates, and I can certainly fill the world with content. It will take a few years to get there, but I will get there.

World composition and level streaming are not ideal, but I have to work with the tools I have available, so I'll get to work creating large worldspace cells and try to match them up. Does it kind of work like the way Skyrim stitches cells together in the open world?

This game is definitely intended to be multiplayer. Is it not supported out of the box for large worlds, or is it not supported for free users out of the box?

For what I've envisioned for my game, 5km x 5km is nowhere near large enough. It's the huge open spaces and grand vistas that provide a sense of scope and feeling of wonder in the world. Plus players can fly to significant heights, at which point they pass out from lack of oxygen and fall back to a breathable altitude.

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Necro'ing this one:

No current machine will handle a world of that size, with content, in one chunk, UE4 or not.

Everything on the market today that has large open spaces like that uses some form of level streaming or chunking. Everybody fakes it. :p

The eye can't discern fine detail out beyond a certain distance anyway, so consider using a skybox at the 5km boundary (including vertically) that's a pre-rendered image of the scene beyond. It's going to take a bit of creative engineering to get this working how you envision, but it is possible.

LOD is built in as a picker; the engine doesn't generate lower-quality meshes and textures for you, but you can set up as many levels as you need with your own stuff.

On your multiplayer question, I'm assuming you're asking in regard to the world origin shifting from the World Browser article. You'll want to disable it, as suggested in the last paragraph of that section.

Hopefully you've already figured out most of this yourself, since it's been a year and a half.

If not, hope this helps!

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answered Jan 26 '18 at 07:45 PM

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avatar image Nozza Jan 31 '18 at 05:54 AM

Thanks for that. Yes I've spent the time since learning a lot more. I most definitely will be taking advantage of chunking the world and streaming the data into the client much in the way that Runescape and Minecraft do. I've been working mostly on gameplay mechanics than art, but I'll have to spend a lot more time on the assets than I had anticipated anyway.

I've got a few ideas on how to handle world origin, gravity etc, but I'm a ways off from dealing with that just yet.

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