Creating Maps

In this tutorial we are going to cover all steps to create a Map for from scratch and use it in your server.

Creating a Map in Unreal Engine 4 from Scratch

After you’ve downloaded Unreal Engine 4.25. Launch it and create a Blank Project:

Select the following options and give a name to your Project:

Once it opens, open the Project Settings window and toggle off the following options: Use Pak File, Share Material Shader Code and Allow Static Lighting:

After that, restart the Editor as it asks:

The next step is to create a folder inside the Content/ folder, this step is very important. Rename this folder with the Asset Pack name you desire (1. Expand the tab; 2. Right click on Content; 3. Create a New Folder):

Now let’s create the Map itself, in Unreal maps are called Levels, to do so, (1.) right click on the Content space and (2.) create a new Level:

Rename it with the map name you desire, save it and open it up. You will notice the viewport got black, this is because the Map you just opened doesn’t have anything, let’s add some stuff into it:

First let’s add a floor, for that just drag-and-drop a Plane from Place Actors -> Basic window into the viewport:

With the plane selected, you will notice it is a simple Static Mesh, this Static Mesh is a model already included in the Engine, so it is important that you copy this Mesh to your Content/YourAssetPack folder to avoid any further export problem:

To find where your Mesh is located, press the magnifying glass at the right of the Static Mesh item at the right of the screen:

This will open the Engine’s folder which contains some Basic meshes which come with the Engine:

Let’s copy some Basic Meshes into our AssetsPack folder to be used later, including the Plane:

Use CTRL+C + CTRL+V to copy the assets into your folder:

Now let’s replace the plane mesh we were using to our copied mesh, for that, just (1.) select the copied Plane mesh, and (2.) press the arrow on your Plane Actor to replace it’s Static Mesh (alternatively you can just Delete the spawned Plane and drag and drop the new Plane from your assets pack’s folder):

After that, with your Plane (floor) selected, let’s just scale it to X = 10, Y = 10, Z = 10 and centralize it on X = 0, X = 0, X = 0:

We can also add some lights, for that, just drag and drop a Directional Light (Sun Light/Shadows) and a Sky Light (Shadow’s Color) into your level (you can fly around with Right Click + WASD in the viewport, or press F to centralize the Plane - if selected):

Great job, now we can see the stuff! Now let’s add some color to it, applying color and textures in Unreal are made through Materials, for that, let’s just create a Material ((1.) Right Click and (2.) create new Material):

Rename it to M_Plane and open it up:

We won’t cover all aspects of Materials in this tutorial, for now let’s just pin a Vector3 node with a color into Base Color input, for that Right Click on the screen and search for Constant3Vector:

After that, pin it into Base Color input:

Select the Vector3 node and select a color for it:

Now save and close this Material window, and you are able to drag and drop your material into the Mesh you want, let’s do it for the Plane:

And voila, it gets greenish (or the color you selected in the Plane’s Material screen)!

Now let’s drag’n drop other Meshes into our Level, like so:

Also, Unreal provides a built-in SkyBox (to fill up the sky with color and clouds), to add it, just search for BP_Sky_Sphere on Place Actors and drag it in the viewport:

You can create a new Material and use it to paint these meshes as well:

If you (1.) select the Directional Light, you can change it’s (2.) Rotation, also, remember to set it to (3.) Movable, so it’s shadows work in Real Time, feel free to tweak the light as you want, including it’s Color and intensity:

When you are fine with it, move your camera to see the whole map and take a screenshot of it, we will use that for a Thumbnail afterwards (save it anywhere with the same name as your Map as .jpg, in our case: MyAwesomeMap.jpg):

And we are done! Save everything and let’s export it:

Select any folder in your computer and wait it to finish:

Importing your Map into your Server

Open your Packaged folder and you will have something like this:

Copy the Thumbnail to the same folder as your Level (should be in MyAwesomeAssetPack/Content/MyAwesomeAssetPack):

Now jump to the (1.) Content/ folder and (2/3.) copy your whole MyAwesomeAssetPack/ folder:

And paste it inside your server’s Assets/ folder:

Open the folder you copied and create a Assets.toml file in it, and paste the content located at Assets#Assets Configuration File into this file.

You will end up with something like that, remember to add an Entry to assets.maps list with the MapKeyName = MapPath pattern, the Map Key Name can be whatever you want, as our map is in the root of our Asset Pack, the Path is just MyAwesomeMap and we gave the key the name MyAwesomeMap as well:

Now you can add your map to your Server’s Config.toml settings:

Or just open the game and (if you are using the built-in nanos world Server), you will find your new map in the New Game screen like that with your thumbnail:

You can now just start the New Game with the Sandbox package selected and VOILA! Your playable new map made from scratch!