When making a large scene/map/level, is graphic/quality compromise inevitable?

I mean as far as texture quality, model quality, etc. What workarounds are there the minimize this?

The quick answer would be look into LOD (level of detail) which is part of Pro or you can code your own, there may be something in the Asset Store for Indies. You can only have so much in memory at one time, and using LOD as well as smart load/unload of assets as you move about, you can keep visual quality up. But don’t be ridiculous on textures etc that don’t need all that detail either.

while this is pro… you can likely do similar things without it. Level of detail… simply put… makes the models and textures simpler the further you are away from them. for example… a tree turns into a billboard when more than 100 feet away from you.

aside from general performance things though… design your levels so they seem bigger than they are. Keep your areas small… and i dont mean the map itself… but the actual area that the player can see. the camera will only render what it can see, so you can design levels so viability is limited. It depends on the style of game to whether this is possible or not… but if it can be done it should be.