So currently I'm working on a project where I'm making a semi-clone of an already existing game so I can grasp the technical aspects of creating the 3D backbone from scratch in C++ (using SDL to create window and load images, but that's about it, I want to learn most of the game-coding stuff from scratch, which is fun for me), and already have a template to follow for how the game, map, events, etc. should be planned out. Right now, I'm pretty well into making the engine, but I am catching one snag -- I'm working on creating mesh-making tools, which isn't so bad right now because most things are squares/boxes and stuff, so I made tools to put in squares, select textures, etc. to make those run smoothly.
My current problem comes when trying to do terrain that deals with mountains, caves, and more complex terrain than just a straightforward flat town and box buildings. I sort-of understand how to make terrain based on noise or hight maps and such, but I was wondering what you all have in ideas for developing mostly pre-planned terrain?
I want to take the terrain from the first game that I'm semi-cloning and recreate it in 3D (the previous game is in 2D). So I have a bit of open room to maneuver with that change in display from 2D to 3D, but I still want the land to roughly follow the land in the 2D game. Any ideas?
Basically think of making a clone of zelda or harvest moon, from one of their old gameboy games (2D top-down game with an expansive world). It's that type of conversion.
--> instead of "ladders" and scene changes (screen goes black when you enter building, then reappear inside), I want everything to work as a 3D world; everything should not need those transitions.
NOTE: Sorry for being so secretive. I just want to keep my project a surprise for when I release it for people to test out and enjoy