I've read a bit about creating assets for games and the consensus seems to be that 2D is cheaper than 3D in all aspects with the exception of character animation. That's caused by the need of redrawing every frame of an animation versus simply animating the skeleton of a model.
The cheapest solution seems to be making all the assets with lots of animations as 3d models and prerendering them to create sprite sheets, and leave the background and everything else that has few animations traditionally drawn.
How do I do it, what tools would be appropriate, whats the process and workflow? How does the pipeline for this work? Where could I learn more about doing something like this?
On the other hand, I'm afraid that such an approach greatly limits the available customisation of my characters - wouldnt such a thing mean that each combination of gear needs to have its own spritesheet? Doesnt that pump up my game size and memory footprint and slow it down due to slow disk access?
How viable is putting a 3d model in a isometric view 2d environment? Would that be a solution to the "lots of sprites" problem, if it exists? How would I go about that in Unity? Where could I learn about that approach?
I've looked at this question but it did'nt really help me, the answers are just vaugue suggestions, I want solutions and resources to learn how to implement those solutions.
EDIT: I'll elaborate on why that question isnt the same as mine, because some of the commenters didnt get it. That post refers to a game called hero academy that has little to do with the isometric game I'm talking about - that one has a grid, does not use the 8 directions, does not adress the customisation of a character via gear etc. All in all it's totally another beast. As for my question, think Diablo II.
Out of the answers I found there it seemed like the answer referring to project zomboid might be on the right track for me, but I had doubts about the customisation and tons of sprites. So what am I asking here? Does the "project zomboid method" fit my needs (trying it out only to find out it doesnt work would be a waste of time) and if it does, how do I do that in Unity. Why didnt i phrase the question that way in the first place? To avoid the XY problem. Hope this clarifies well enough.