Thanks for the insights Olrox, I definitely agree, having actually been doing this for 4 years now
Guess I'm just used to building toward engines like Unreal, Source, etc... forgot to optimize for the much older WZ engine. Well, optimize isn't the word- more like, entirely rebuild!
Faking geometry through textures is the best of all tricks, no doubt- without that there is just no way to create good game models, period (not with today's technology, anyway).
Although, they are getting close- have you seen the new DX11 games that feature full in-game tessellation of the models? It's a amazing, really.
Polycount is something I tend to debate with LOTS of people about- personally, I believe it is much better to error on the side of higher poly than lower, and am in general rather, well...lets just say I'm sick of new games looking like UT2004. I mean, if an artist wants to put a curved object in their level, they need to MAKE IT CURVED (not shouting at anyone in particular, just generally disgusted with this issue). If the game can't handle the extra polys it would take to make it COMPLETELY curved and not a chunky mash of obviously force-cut polys, then the artist needs to re-design that level, or simply not put in that curved object.
There is nothing, simply NOTHING, that turns me off in-game more than a simple object or scene, ruined by a circle made with 8 sides, or some other such ridiculous joke...
Lol, sorry- there is a lot of rant pent up in me about this
I agree with all your thoughts, and thanks for the insights, but it just brought to the surface old grievances...
btw, more of my work at www.ofgabriel.com