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on making terrain

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so how does this work? im working on a large project, and i eventually want a terrain-building program, but i don''t have the time or expertise to do this at this precise moment. right now i''m focusing on making a small demo with small section of the larger map. do i need to make a terrain engine first? can i just model this map (in maya) as a whole for the purposes of the demo? do i need to make tiles, and are tiles the only way to go in a terrain engine? im still learning the programming aspect of game development, so i can''t really make a terrain engine right now. if i do need a terrain engine are there any free ones that i could download to use until i can make my own?

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first i would suggest slowing down and getting a good idea of what you are trying to accomplish, then after thinking about it start thinking of ways to accomplish it. Theres about a million and one ways you can write a terrain engine, it all comes down to what your needs are. As for most of your questions, as i have no idea what you are trying to do, i cannot answer them, please post more information.

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