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Tutorials to Becoming the Best Level Designer and Game Environment Artist (since 2008)

UDK: How to Add a Custom Map Template

Category: UDK
September 09, 2011

In the previous tutorial we covered UDK Map Templates Deconstruction. We went through all the actors that are in the map template map scene.

In the following tutorial we are going to set up a custom template and use it as a choice in the map template menu.

First lets set up a scene how we like it. It could be a new scene template or modified template with new lighting, props/assets, weather system and base for a future map. Anything that can be used as a starting point.

With the previous tutorial you should be able to set up your own custom scene, modifying various properties to how you would like your template to be.

Saving the Template

Open up the map file that you want to use as a template.

Save the template by going up to

Save -> Save As

Save the map template file as any name you want. For this example I will use CustomTemplate.

  • The extension needs to be .umap


You will need to type in this extension after the map name.

Make sure to save this in the:

  • Installation Drive:\UDK\UDK-2011-08 (Your UDK Version)\

This directory may differ if you are using June or July 2011 version.

The important thing you want to pay attention to is that the folder should contain the 4 map template examples that are used in UDK. Templates folder should already be an existing folder after the UDK installation.

That is where you want to save your CustomTemplate.umap

Map Template Index

Go to Content Browser and search for MapTemplateIndex package. This package is auto-loaded every time UDK starts. We are going to create a new entry for our CustomTemplate map.

You should see all four examples used in UDK in this package.

To add your custom template in this package Right Mouse Click on the empty space and choose 'New TemplateMapMetadata'

Name it as: CustomTemplate

Name needs to match the .umap file name

Do not enter the file extension, just the template name. Save the package by right clicking on the package and choose Save.

Preview Image

Take a screen capture of your template map and open it up in Photoshop. I used Print Screen and pasted it into Photoshop.

Crop it to 256x256, 512x512 or 1024x1024 any texture size with power of 2 will work.

Save it as .tga 24 bit.

Save the .tga somewhere where you can find it to import. For this example I just chose Desktop.

In the Content Browser Click import and using all defaults properties to import the .tga texture. Name it as something recognizable to your map template.

To make the custom image display, double click on the TemplateMapMetadata for your CustomTemplate to open up the properties.

There is only one field to fill in. Back in the content browser select the texture and with the TemplateMapMetadata properties still open click on Use.

Save the package again and exit UDK. Now we need to make few final text adjustments to make it show up.

Go to:

C:\UDK\UDK-2011-08 (or Your UDK Version)\

Open with notepad:

  • EditorMapTemplates.int

You should see four entries that UDK uses for current map templates.

Enter the following text after the four map templates that are used in UDK.

CustomTemplate=Custom Text Display

First entry is the map template name. After the equal sign is the display text that anyone will see to choose your custom map template.

Save it and close the EditorMapTemplates.int

Launch UDK again. You should be able to see the custom map template that we set up.

We are now done. You can begin to use your custom map template. You can set up as many as you need for your game environment creation needs.


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My name is Alex Galuzin. I am self-taught level designer, game environment artist and the creator of World of Level Design.com. I've learned everything I know from personal experimentation and decades of being around various online communities of fellow environment artist and level designers. On World of Level Design you will find tutorials to make you become the best level designer and game environment artist.

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