I'm planning a game that will have huge world, but not much in detail. World would be viewed from above, like tile based games. It should have ability to zoom in/out very much. Similar to GTA2 or Shogun when in the battle view. Lots of small things in large area (but not necessary 3d).
So, I'm wondering how to display all that. To go full 3d with small models, or to go 2d with tiles and images, or some mixture of both. I think 2d only would be enough if I could somehow solve the height problem, as there would be mountains and valleys and if you zoom out you should see height difference. So how to make a hill look higher then a valley if they are in same screen?
I was thinking of scaling pictures so pictures of high places would be bigger and pictures of not so high places smaller, that would give some illusion of height, but I don't know is it worth it or will it work at all (will it look good).
My second thought is going full 3d, using 3d for surface, so I can give height to all surfaces and such but for objects just to draw images (textures) on surfaces, nothing more.
So anyone has some good ideas? Could I pull it of with Kev's Slick 2d engine? Is going full 3d more complicated then it's worth? How about performance also?
... lot's of questions and I do not know the answers
I'm also wondering how did they do it in GTA2, everything looks 2d drawn, but as you get close to high objects like buildings they give illusion of 3d, very nice.