Advice for designing Construction Toy style game?

(Apologies, I wrote this whole post but it doesn’t seem to actually worked. So I’m typing the whole thing out again, please delete if the previous one appears).

Howdy, I’m a Blender artist and I’ve been playing around with the the idea of creating a game based on classic Construction Toys. But I’m unsure what the best method for creating the interlocking elements meshes is. So I’ve made a few examples to help visualize my ideas. Sorry in advance since I haven’t actually created a game before my vernacular may be a bit off:
2x4 designhelp1.png
2x4 designhelp2.png

So the first big question, is this a reasonable endeavor to begin with? I was thinking that a Line of Depth could be used to make it so that lower poly briks would be displayed the further they are from the camera. Levels won’t be made ENTIRELY out of these, instead vehicles, and destructible building sections could be made using a bunch of different elements like this 2x4 Brik. I’ve thought of a few ideas for how the performance of game with these might be improved, but since, again, I haven’t made a game before I could just be spouting nonsense with this post:
2x4 designhelp3.png
In this idea, each face of an element would be hidden depending on the camera angle. Here you can see that the Red, Blue, and Yellow sides are visible, whereas the others are not.
2x4 designhelp4.png
In this idea here, each Stud would be a separate piece of geometry, and only the ones that are visible would be displayed. Like so:
2x4 designhelp5.png
As you can see, the Blue studs are hidden underneath the second Brik, so could these be hidden in game completely to improve performance of lots of connected bricks?

The Unreal Engine 4 game “Brick Rigs” uses a lot of construction brick pieces to make custom vehicles that can be smashed apart, so I would like to think this idea can work. What do you guys think? How should I design the plastic elements for this game idea?

Update 5-19-17: So after searching around, I deduced that I was majorly over complicating things.

(Ignore the fireflies, it doesn’t need to be pretty for a test.)

Here are the Briks I’ve currently modeled for the game. The models themselves are very simple, with an Edge Split on the sharp edges. The only UV mapping they have is on the top Studs of the Briks, I did it this way so that the same material can be used for a LOT of different shapes. The Skull emblem on the studs are just placeholder, but it gets the point across what I’m trying to accomplish.

The most complex of model here is the 2x6 Brik, at 810 Tris. MUCH of the time those models will be viewed from a good distance, since the focus of the game is an RTS. So I could create the LODs such that when zoomed out the Studs (The most complex part of each model) were reduced to simple Hexagons. Vehicles that will be made using these elements will also be less common than regular soldiers, so even if each vehicle clocked in at 100k Tris, that is childs play with the technology we have nowadays.

The next important task is modeling a modular mini figure for the game, in such a way that when someone looks at it people go “Hey that looks kinda like [Insert brand name here]!” without them going “This game was created by [Insert brand name here]!”

Your asking for advice for a Lego inspired(knockoff) game…

What was the question?

Apologies, my post was kind of a mess.

After much research I was kind of able to answer my own question. I was wondering if I could get some suggestions on how efficiently model these Briks so that many of them could be on screen without massive performance requirements. My conclusion is that since they aren’t very high poly, and LODs can be used for the most part since half the time you will be seeing everything from a birds-eye view, I need not do anything else.

A new question has come up though. After attempting to put one of my models into an Unreal example scene, I forgot that Unreal needs Light Maps in order for shading to work. Currently I have these Briks set up such that one material could be used for LOTS of them, but can Static meshes use files for light maps, SEPARATE from the Material that is attached to it? So if I created a bunch of light maps for each individual Brik shape, could they still use one Material?


I have a question. How do you join the bricks in your level?

im looking to do a brick type thing like this but dont know how to best join a complex shape like a LEGO Brick. any suggestions…?