I’m having great fun with the City Park Environment in Unreal Engine. I picked it up the moment it was released and have never regretted the amount of time I spent with it. Having done so, I understand that it’s not easy to get started with it when you’re a novice. The set takes long to load when it’s first installed, and there are some optimisation tweaks we can make to get the most out of this fantastic set by Silver TM.
The developer has answered a question on the product page that has greatly helped me improve my frame count. On my RTX 2080 it had something like 20ish out of the box, but with these tips I got close to 60 just by item 1 on the list below:
- Remove the Planar Reflection Map
- in Mesh Settings / LOD0 / Reduction Settings, set the percent triangles to 50 or less
- in Texture Settings, set LOD Bias to 1 or more
Initial Loading Times
I’ve seen a lot of cranky comments about the loading times, potential hangs and even crashes when the set loads for the first time. Fact is, there’s a lot going on and while Unreal Engine is working, you need to leave it and your computer alone for a while. This is especially true after installation and on first load.
I recommend you load the project before you go to bed, and see where Unreal Engine is the next morning. When it says it’s xyz% done and still working, it has not crashed or hung itself. It’s still working. Leave it be for several hours before you quit. I’ve heard stories that on a GTX 1080 laptop it took about 36 hours to load. On my RTX 2080 setup it took over an hour. Patience is the key. Unless you see a crash dialogue or blue screen of death, Unreal Engine is still working.
After loading, the set has over 5000 shaders to compile, which will take another hour. At least during that process you’ll see a progress, a luxury we don’t have during the initial load.
Subsequent load times are much faster (minutes rather than hours).
Distribution and Size Issues
You are free to distribute projects using the demo level that comes with the project. Be aware that it will easily exceed 512MB when compressed, which makes distribution on many a platform a little tricky. I’ve found two options that may work for you (not including cloud storage solutions like private servers or Google Drive etc).
GitHub lets you add up to 2GB of binaries to any release you create from your project. It’s not for everyone, but it’s free storage with large uploads. You’ll have to be familiar with making commits, writing a (formatted) Readme.md file and you need to know how to create a release. Files will be public, so you can’t really put them behind a secure paywall. Great for sharing free releases though.
Itch.io is a nice option to share files with unlimited sizes for free. It’s essentially a free version of Steam, complete with launcher application and the option to push updates to your customers. You can distribute free and paid products and your files will live behind a secured paywall if you wish. If money changes hands, Itch.io take a cut (10% or more, up to you). Files can only be downloaded by registered users, so you can’t distribute them as a plain link.
If you have any questions, please let me know.