My map is just one big flat surface, although the real game will be pretty large. Should I use the terrain system for quads?
Should you use the terrain system for… quads… I am not sure if I am following… If your entire map is one big flat surface why not just use 1 big quad?
If you mean splitting up the quad in a grid then yes that is probably a good idea. If you attach the geometry (static) on the terrain to the their respective quad (in the grid) then you can cull them much faster.
Could you please explain, Haladria what you mean by:
If you attach the geometry (static) on the terrain to the their respective quad (in the grid) then you can cull them much faster.
Are you suggesting making the quad into a larger mesh consisting of more than 2 triangles... or are you suggesting using numerous separate quads?
I am slightly confused by what you say because making one larger mesh would still mean that the ground is treated as 1 object and would not be culled in smaller parts. And making numerous smaller quads seems like a waste and will have a performance impact (depending on the grid size of course). I am asking as I have tried this myself and witnessed a considerable performance drop on a large map.
Or did I misunderstand something?
I mean splitting up the big quad he has in a grid of smaller quads. But the size of these small quads should be around the size of what i visible on the screen for optimal speed from my experience. I've used it in a strategy game and also in a dungeon crawler game. By splitting in grids I could have tens of thousends of objects culled for nearly no speed cost.
When I used quads as tiles I made the mistake of filling an open area with them. Which meant that when I looked over this area, the frame-rate dropped like a stone… but while I was looking at a small region, it was very fast and culled with minimal performance loss as you described.
In this situation it might be cheaper to just use 1 big tile that is textured so that it seems to contain smaller tiles. But if you only render a small area at a time, I agree, quads are nice.