Medieval Docks: Unreal Engine 4 Documentation

Getting Started

Overview

Medieval Docks is a desktop ready environment pack with over 200 assets to create a historic scene. Houses can be built using both modular & hyper modular pieces to create a multi-level interior and exterior building. Populate your medieval world with over 30 props including docks and a market.

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File Structure

Audio

  • Contains ambient world sounds

Blueprints

  • Contains blueprints for doors

Materials

  • Contains all materials in the world

Models

  • Contains all static mesh assets and FBXs

Particles

  • Contains any VFX used in the world

Scenes

  • Contains 3 scenes. Main demo scene, a speed level scene, and an asset scene where all the assets of the pack are laid out nice and organized for easy inspection.

Terrain

  • Holds the terrain textures, materials and info data.

Textures

  • Contains all UE4 textures and TGA assets.

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Package Breakdown

Houses

Hyper Modular


What is hyper modular?

Hyper modular is lego-like pieces that are broken up on a panel by panel basis. This allows for very customized looks to a building. There’s a ton of benefits to using this method but a few downsides as well.

MedievalVillage_ModularHyper

Using Hyper Modular pieces gives you the freedom to create hundreds, if not thousands of combinations. However, this can also cause quite a few problems with pieces lining up properly in every situation. To counter this, we created a basic size system that follows UE4’s grid snapping system of 1 decimeter or 10 units.

 

The pack comes with basic hyper modular assets pieces to help fill the gaps of some areas you want to customize outside our basic modular house chunks.

 

Main downside to hyper modular system:

  1. There’s a lot more work to complete a building. Creating a building can become quite complex as there’s tons of pieces needed. Changes to a small section may cause a ripple effect to other areas of a building.
  2. It creates more drawcalls and can be heavy on performance depending on the level layout. A building may contain 50 or more assets and may cause a slowdown on the CPU. To balance this, we have included LODs to draw out each piece quicker. It is important to include occlusion culling to help further optimize these buildings.
  3. No matter how many pieces you add to a modular system, there’s no way you can create every available shape. You may need to go 1 step further and create your own custom floor piece.

 

 

Standard Modular

Standard Modular pieces come in bigger pieces of entire floor sections. There’s 3 main sections: main, floor, and roof with over a dozen different layout sizes. The main floor has a door entrance and mid sections usually have more windows.

MedievalVillage_ModularStandard

 

It’s very simple to create a 3-4 story building with a main, mid, and roof pieces. This can help with greyblocking, simplifying levels, and also save on performance.

 

For every size and layout, we have 4 designs. 2 that include wood log themes, and 2 that are stone built. The stone built assets are much lower poly, so be weary of over using the log houses if you are concerned about performance.

 

Interiors

 

All hyper and standard modular buildings come built double sided. This allows for easy access into interiors and visual changes such as creating fully transparent windows showing the inside of a building.

 

*Disclaimer* There’s no real best method for creating interior floors with staircases that meets all the different needs of our customers. This is the best middle ground we have found so far and if you have any suggestions or feedback we would love to hear them.

 

Helpful Tips For Houses

We have provided a lot of house pieces and there’s a large variety of ways to mix and match them. Here’s some helpful tips when making your own buildings to further enhance this pack.

 

1) Use a combination of hyper modular, and standard modular. You can easily mix a modular main floor and use hyper modular pieces to build out the mid and roof sections.

 

2) Intersect pieces if you do not plan to allow the player inside. Intersecting modular or hyper modular pieces can create some interesting shapes quickly and easily.

 

3) Mix and match materials. The assets UVs are laid out so that most standard tileable materials will work with the assets.

 

4) Use blueprints to create prefabs. You can easily build out a group of building styles into a blueprint, then use the blueprint to place the group around your level.

 

5) The windows shader has a set of emissive properties to create a nighttime scene. it also comes with a transparency toggle which allows you to make the glass fully transparent to see inside a building.

MedievalVillage_Windows

 

6) Use the variations for hyper modular pieces to break up repeated sections. Make sure to look into each variety provided for the specified dimensions to help break up monotonous areas.

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Foundations

Docks

The pack provides 3 styles of wood docks with 2-6 variations each, so you can create all types of looks. A few examples are a more heavy duty docks or a makeshift dock in the middle of the woods.

The pieces will snap easily to the grid to give quick and easy block outs of the layout.

 

Stone Foundations

The stone foundations are a great solution to creating basic foundations for any type of medieval environment. They can seamlessly create a stone base so you don’t need to rely on the terrain for all your ground.
The great thing about the foundation is its projection material. The floor materials use a top down projection, this allows all pieces to connect any which way you need without the hassle of potential texture seams.

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Props

We have over 30 props to help decorate your docks, landscape, houses and best of all a good start to a basic marketplace. There are fish, oysters, potatoes, and more to get a nice blend of displays.
All props are highly optimized with clean materials, and full LODs. They also come with clean box colliders to allow for a simple drag and drop into your level

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Terrain

We use a standard UE4 terrain material set up that blends 4 terrain texture types with height mapping. The 4 terrain textures come with full PBR maps. There is also a wetness parameter that includes puddles with parameters to adjust the size, depth and other key visuals.


There are some basic shader parameters for each texture like specular, roughness, uv scale.

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Foliage

This pack provides enough standard foliage for a basic scene. There’s a few trees and grasses to help create a dry, dreary fall atmosphere.

 

All foliage use a common parent material which makes creating global foliage shader changes very easy.


We have utilized the foliage shader system to generate great looking sub surface scattering. The material also gives you full control of its intensity.

 

The foliage models have vertex baked AO. This serves 2 main purposes: to generate AO in the model(which you have full control over in the material properties) and to mask out the simple grass wind shader node.

 

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Materials

Material/Texture Setup

*All materials are built to the standard PBR material*

  • Maps:

Albedo(Base_Color) –  We use suffix ‘_a’

Normal – we use suffix ‘_n’

For the Metallic, Roughness and AO we use a compact map that stores the maps into the RGB channels. The suffix for this is ‘_c’ for Compact.

  • R – Metallic
  • G – Roughness
  • B – AO

 

Instances

Many of the materials are attached to a parent materials. This gives you the ease to make global changes easily by tweaking only a few values.

The parent materials are tagged with a dash ( – ) as a prefix, they will be the first to show up in your material folder. The parent materials are as follows:

 

Bark:  For trees. It was created to use a model’s prebaked vertex colours and then add them to the ambient occlusion

 

Billboard: A standard shader from the UE4 tree billboard example and gives some basic tree properties to help blend billboards material to your scenes lighting.

 

Leaf: Uses simple grass wind that is masked out using the models pre-baked vertex colours. It is set up with the foliage shader, and has full control over SSS, Roughness, Specular, and a few other things such as  Base Color Tint.

 

Cloth: Similar to our Leaf shader but does not have opacity & does not use vertex colours for AO.

 

Parallaxing: Basic shader that uses bump offset. It is a bit expensive and we use is sparingly.

 

Standard: Used on most props. It has Base Color, Compact, and Normal map inputs. It also comes with a detail normal slot that gives you full control of its size, strength, and even rotation.

 

VertexPainted: Basic shader that uses R-G-B vertex channels(which you can paint inside UE4) to blend between top and bottom layer materials. As well as add grunge.

 

Window: Gives you the control over the windows in our pack to be 100% opaque, fully transparent, or opaque but with lights on.

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