Plane grid system resource demanding

Hi! I’m developing a game with a grid system, and the grid system I used was the one provided by cgcookie, in their tower defense game tutorial. (This one to be exact). Basically what you do to create a grid system like that is to have planes with a texture and that is your grid. Now, my game is not like a tower defense game. It’s a game in a big world (right now 1000x1000 units) and a grid is 1x1. I personally think that using this technique is not that great for this type of game. I also imagine it will be very resource demanding to have a plane for each grid. Is it this resource demanding as I think, and what would be a good way to make a simple grid system which you’re supposed to highlight a grid and place an object like this without using resource demanding ways?

Thanks!

On your previous question @alucardj’s second link provides a video series on how to create a grid-based system. The first video showing how to do it “wrong” is equivalent to the system you are using above with one game object per square. But the rest of tutorial series that goes into depth on how to create a grid system the right way. It is involved because you have to construct a mesh for the grid. In fact for 1000 by 1000 it is even more involved because you cannot create a single grid of that size. Meshes are limited to 64k vertices and for uv mapping you need 4 vertices per square, so the maximum number of grid squares you can have is around 125 x 125 (125 * 125 * 4 = 62500).

Note if the base texture is fixed and you are placing elements on the texture (i.e. you are not assign textures to individual squares), then you can create a mathematical system. No mesh involved. But if the texture of individual squares is changed, you will need to create meshes to be efficient.