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How to create the textures in games such as Dragons of Atlantis?

I was thinking about 2 ways:

  • using 2d planes to save space and memory, using the color from the 3d software
  • adding a very simple mesh and stick a detailed texture onto it in Unity

Is there a preferable way to choose between the two? The first solution could save some memory, but maybe a bit difficult to change the camera view for example at the end of the game.
As for the second solution, it would be creating a very detailed mesh in the 3d software, paint the texture, cut the texture and add it to a very simple mesh, such as cubes. Could be better, but maybe it would take more work.

What do you think?

Thanks

enter image description here

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2 Answers 2

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It looks like it's a 2D isometric tilemap with pre-rendered tiles.

Some or actually most structures are larger than a single tile, sometimes spanning large areas, one looks like 5x5 tilea, another looks like an arbitrary shape but still isometric on its outline to hide the fact that it's a flat 2D isometric tilemap composed of individual sprites/textures.

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Although I'm not sure whether this will fully answer your question, I want to point you to a tutorial series that might be very helpful to you if you want to make some kind of tilemap. The guy in the video first explains the "wrong" way (have each tile be a plane) and why exactly it's "wrong", then he goes on to explain what the "right" way and showing how he would implement it. The series in total is a bit long (~5 hours), but you'll probably be able to skip some parts where he might be explaining things you might already know.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Lokkij, I already watched this tutorial, but I agree with you it was a very good one. ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Paul
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 11:51

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