I'm sure that this is more than likely a known thang' to most of you enviornment artists out there, but I'm reletively new to scene building.
This all came to mind after working with the Halflife2 SDK, and seeing the way they created their textures. If you break it all down, there is a very simple system they used, which makes all the textures look great in-game. In the Hammer editor, each unit is equal to 1inch of world space. A wall for example, is supposed to be 128units tall, 128 units wide. If you divide that by one foot (12units), you get 10.6 feet. For that area of space, they use a 512x512 texture. If you then take 512 (texture size) and divide it by 10.6 (feet), you get 48.3 (round down to 48). The value of 48 is the pixels-per-foot of world space. This breaks down their pixel resolution to 4 pixels-per-inch of world space.
From here, I took it further down, into the console world. I figured, Xbox should get 1/2 that resolution, and PS2 should get 1/2 of that. So for a 10ft square area, the PC gets a 512x512, Xbox gets a 256x256, and PS2 gets 128x128. After applying this to simple holding textures (based on Valve's "orange maps"), I found that everything looked amazing in-game, and mip-maps were working perfect. Even on PS2, there was no need to tweak to the auto-generated mipmaps. You can still create texture pages as well, as long as your pixel-per-inch ratio remains the same to it's world space counter part.
It's entirely possible that I'm reading too much into this, but it surely works, and damn well. If this is something you guys all know, please slap me around a bit. I'm stuck in the unfortuneate position of NOT having an experienced person to learn from at work, particularly with consoles. In fact, I'm the soul enviornment artist at our studio. So when I think up a theory like this (which sounds so simple), I feel like I've done something great; when in fact, it's standard knowledge.
Thoughts? Foul language? Let it rip.
I'm going to sleep.