« on: August 09, 2010, 08:56:41 AM »
Not that I'm saying it's necessarily the right approach here, but for a similar requirement of mod-friendliness vs. load performance on a bit of software I worked on, we just checked the last modified stamp of the resources folder at startup. If it changed, then we ran a compilation step over all the small easily user-modifiable files to produce a single non-modifiable file, then loaded that. Every time the files in folder changed it would take a comparatively long time to launch, but after that was much quicker. Resources did not change often (unless you were working on a mod, of course!)
It wasn't for loading graphics files, though, so who knows whether it would have any beneficial effect with those. With web development there's a technique for loading a single large graphics file then clipping the smaller images out of it as needed, but whether that's helpful or not with Unity I've no idea.
When you get right down to it, though, if Tidalis has about 4x the resources to load, and is loading about 4x slower than AI-War, then that sounds about right to me.