As developers we know how tedious the task is to create a functioning destructible environment. Previous game engines had varying approaches for destruction throughout games, however this still required a lot of work in order for the collision to occur in real time, properly with physics, or as it would in the natural world.
Today, Unreal Engine 4 has built in Nvidia APEX PhysX support, which allows developers to easily implement destruction of objects with minimal experience.
Official Unreal Engine 4 documentation:
,,Nvidia produces a tool called the APEX PhysX Lab which can be used to create destructible meshes, cloth assets, and APEX particle systems. Information on its usage can be found in the Nvidia documentation over the APEX PhysX Lab tools. However, it should be noted that currently UE4 only supports APEX Destructibles and APEX Cloth. This tool is only required for making APEX Cloth assets. (https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Physics/Apex/index.html ).
As we progress further, we will use both of the Apex features – destructibles and cloth. Destructibles will allow a player to destroy various objects within the map and update the collisions in real time. The cloth aspect will be used for certain character clothing parts (such as sash, scarfs and etc.), the physics will be completely dynamic, meaning the reaction will occur accordingly per the character’s state. It will also help us to avoid extra bones, rigging and animating work.
*Currently, this can not be displayed as the character which uses Apex Cloth is being worked on.
We also know that in the near future, UE4 will have voxel terrain support. This would allow the player to destroy not only the props and objects within the map, but also the terrain itself. These are just the basics, since it is still considered a work in progress.
The following link gives more description on voxel terrain support : https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?29873-Cubiquity-for-UE4-Voxel-Terrain-Plugin&highlight=voxel+destruction . It is uncertain of how it could be used in multi-player, but the developer of the plugin says, it should be feasible.
Test rock destruction.