Generically speaking, how would you handle a huge 2D Map of which only a part is displayed? Imagine the old top-down racing games like Micro Machines.
I would know how to do something with a tile-based map, but I want to create completely custom Maps.
Target Devices are iOS, Windows Phone 7, Android, Mac and PC.
Assume the Map is too big to fit to fit into a single Texture. Would I have multiple textures, 4096x4096 each and load them all into RAM? Seems wasteful, and if textures are uncompressed I might actually run out of graphics memory.
Would I only load the max. 4 Textures that I need at any given point (when I'm at the intersection)?
Or would I have one huge image file and load parts of it? In that case, are there any image formats that make it easy (O(1)) to find the file offset and length which I would have to load?
Or is there a completely different algorhithm? Are textures the wrong idea?
How would you implement a game like Micro Machines?