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Hey guys, Whats the best practice to create games like farmville, tapzoo...Do I create a simple grid/tilemap as the background and then just have the objects (like houses and whatnot) as sprites ontop? Or can I also just use a regular image as a background and just make my sprites move on the basis of a non graphical grid? How do I go about the isometric perspective of the map? How would I increase the size of the map(for example in an mutable array i could add more locations or I could set already instantiated locations to bool:valid...)? Do I have to use a game-freindly language like cocos2d or can i just use obj-c with UIImageViews...or is very bad practice because of the amount of memory it consumes? What the best practice to create something like this?

If you can answer anyone of these questions you are friggin awesome! Thanks!

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Too many questions. –  The Communist Duck May 7 '11 at 10:03
    
well that was very constructive! –  John May 7 '11 at 10:18
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You seem to be saying 'What is the best practice for everything to do with isometric maps?' ranging from language choice (which should be what you know/target platform based) to displaying to the perspective. –  The Communist Duck May 7 '11 at 10:24
    
Thank you sir for reiterating my question in a more coherent way :) –  John May 7 '11 at 20:47
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2 Answers

The simple answer is: Do as you like. There are almost as many formulas for creating games as there are games.

If you want a more specific answer you got to be far more specific about what you want to create.

I guess that you are a beginner in game programming, in that case the most valuable piece of advice I can give you is keep it small and simple.

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If you have custom maps in your game, and want to be able to create many different maps or have map editors, having tiles and then objects like houses on top is probably the way to go. Most older strategy games follow this approach. There are RPGs like Baldur's Gate, on the other hand, which have a big image for each map. The downside of this is that you cannot be really generic in the way you create maps - they tend to end up with a fixed number of maps.

On rendering the isometric tiles - it can get somewhat tricky, but here are some ideas.

Map tilesets, or moveable areas can be represented by many different data structures. Array is one option, quad trees trade off memory-usage for performance as they allow you to compress your map representation somewhat. Both can have variable sizes.

In any case, I recommend you first define more precisely what kind of a game you want to do, and list all the requirements and goals. Try to be able to create something rudimentary first, and optionally evolve it later.

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