Medieval Village: Unreal Engine 4 Documentation

Getting Started

Overview

Medieval Village is a AAA quality 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 80 props ranging from pottery to a garden carrot.

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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.

Our walls, windows, floors and roof pieces are generally built in intervals of .5 meters(50 units in UE4s grid). We have created a wide variety of heights, depths, and lengths to give you full control of your customized building.

 

Some size examples are:

1×1 – 1×1.5 – 1×3 – 1×4 – 2×1 – 2×1.5

The pack comes with 100+ assets of modular pieces and most come with 2-7 variations to help break up any noticeable patterns.

Main downside to modular system:

  1. There’s a lot more work to complete a building. To create 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.

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 just a main, mid, and roof pieces. This can help with greyblocking, simplifying levels, and also save on performance.

Layout sizes vary on interval of 2 meters starting at 6×6 to 12×12. There’s also all the possible sizes in between such as 6×6, 6×8, 6×10 and 6×12.

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.

We have made floor sizes for every potential sized buildings. This allows for quick and easy capping of a floor. To create staircases, we have provided a staircase and stair platform asset. These combined can create a straight, angle, or completely spiraled staircase.

MedievalVillage_Stairs

In order to create a floor opening, we have provided dozens of small floor sizes. We recommend using the floor chunks provided or using BSP brushes. We do not recommend you scale the assets as this will cause texture distortion.

*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

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) Replace the plaster and wood on the buildings to create even more variety. This pack contains brick, yellow stucco, different wood frames that can replace the default materials. Experiment with different materials until you get a desired look.

MedievalVillage_PaintVariations

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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Props

House Props

There’s a large variety of additional props that are used as an extension for the building frames. Assets such as support beams, extension beams, foundation pieces, roof extensions awnings, house lights, and stairs can all help create a truly unique look for your building.

 

Standard Props

We have dozens of additional props to help build up the streets of your game. We wanted to tackle the kinds of themes you would see in a medieval world, and created mini sets of props based on those themes.

Street Props: fences, steps, crates, street lamps, barrels, etc.
Workshops: 9 different store signs, blacksmith gear, etc.
Nature: Bushes, Trees, grass, etc.
Farming Props: plough, tomatoes, grain sack, trough, etc.

Festival: banners, tents, kegs, tableware, etc.

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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 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, bushes, grass and garden vegetables to help create a more lush scene.

 

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). As well, to mask out the simple grass wind shader node.

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Material Setup & Instances

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, so they will be the first to show up in your material folder. The parent materials are as followed:

 

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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FAQs

FAQs

How tall can I make the houses?

There’s no limit, provided you have the “Main” as the lowest part and “Top” as the highest part. We recommend you do not go any higher than 4 storeys as it would start looking a little strange. Physically, these kinds of wood based structures would not go above 5+ storeys as the wood frame would collapse under the weight.

 

How do I create my own look up table?

Please see the documentation below from Unreal:

https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Rendering/PostProcessEffects/ColorGrading/index.html


We recommend using some of the prepackaged LUTs you can find on the UE4 Marketplace.

 

Why do some objects have LODs/Collision, while others don’t?

In some cases where the model should never be reached by a character, shouldn’t interact with it, or is simply too small, we felt it unnecessary to create collision. As for LODs, we do not include any for models under 500 tris.

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Support