I'm new to game development, despite having always been coding something or other for years. I'm a noob to intermediate programmer and a relatively fast learner (I *may* be going to study CS at uni next year if I get the grades). Anyway, I've turned to game development and after playing around with a 2D game engine for andengine, I'm looking to start playing around in 3D. I've got no targets on creating a big game or anything, I just wish to start experimenting and see what I can do. Waffle over, I've been looking at JMonkeyEngine (a java game engine) for a little while and I like the look of it, especially as I'm most competent with Java than any other programming language. However, after I began reading over the introductory documents etc and I figured I would start working on maybe creating some cool terrain, scenery and stuff like that.
I've already waffled a lot, so I'll try and keep my questions brief;
- What's the best way to create heightmaps? I've tried Terragen which was pretty awesome, but Terragen costs and I haven't found anything else that compares.
- How is terrain often handled in industry? Do they really use heightmaps or something else?
- How then should I go about developing my 2D world? Manually loading and placing 3d models of houses etc?
- What about other scenery such as grass and trees? Should trees be individual 3D models?
I'm not trying to become a 1 man band in creating all aspects of a game, but I feel that learning some basics in modelling etc may at least help to understand the different roles involved in creating a game.
Any replies are appreciated