I've been making a game that features 2 traditionally animated playable characters, hd backgrounds, props, and extra special effect animations. Things have gone well so far, but I have a few questions regarding HD animated sprites and the use of texture atlasing.
The first: What are some best practices to determine the total texture budget of a modern 2d game? So far, I have considered the following: The characters on their own take up roughly 256 x 256px worth of screen space, but of course that size will vary depending on the intended size of the character. I expect each character to have more than 10 - 12 unique animated sequences. The frames per animation will obviously vary as well depending on the animation length and level of detail. Assuming each animation has about 15 frames, that would mean that a single character's texture atlas could be something around the lines of 3072 x 3072px (or rounding up to the nearest power of two). Two characters would obviously require double the texture size in memory.
Basically, how do I determine if a budget is "acceptable" for modern hardware? How can I tell if it's ok that, at worst, two characters require 6144x6144px worth of memory space?
Secondly: Is it better to load all of our sprite's resources on one huge atlas texture? Or separate textures for each animation? For example, instead of one big "character.tga" file with every animation, you could have "character_idle" and "character_attack" and "character_win" which could be loaded as separate resources. On one hand, it would probably both be slower to load and harder to manage if every animation was a separate texture resource. On the other hand, if you only needed to have a characters "idle" animation, you could choose to only load that animation.