That's primarily a question of memory and also how big is big enough (there's only so much interesting content you can create with a team of two). I think the bigger maps in the campaigns will be around 128x128, I also did tests with 256x256 without a problem, so maybe some of that scale will be added for sandbox modes. 512x512 would probably work too but that's just a useless size for our game.
If anything, memory could become an issue. The map and all tile related data is stored in arrays, i.e. so no per tile table but a table (array part) per datatype for the whole map, struct of arrays in DoD terminology. I could reduce memory dramatically when using ffi allocated memory but, for now I use just Lua tables in case I want to make a version for iOS/Android (or even just a reduced/simplified version of the game).
But basically it doesn't matter as rendering is limited to what's visible anyway and simulation is handled in a distributed way over multiple frames. I.e. building logic doesn't need to run at 60fps, not even close. Pathfinding f.i. does a limited amount of iterations per frame, requests are in a fifo queue (will be moved to a separate thread in the future) and worst case a char does not start walking for a few frames.
Final fps will still depend on the used PC specs and number of objects on the map (at some point even with a optimized distributed sim, you'll reach the limit), so it's more or less a question of what the recommended specs will be once the game is done. Given all the potential optimizations I can do I'd say that 60fps on a 5 year old midclass system should be realistic.
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