I basically have a texture atlas for each level.
I load the atlas in my init method and store my textures in arrays.
For example, in one atlas I have a bunch of different colored blocks and in order to randomly choose a different color I put all of these textures in an array and choose a random index.
I do this for several things in my game. I have an array of blocks, an array of trees,
an array of platforms and so on.
As it is now, the atlas gets autoreleased while my texture arrays are retained for later use when I want to display stuff on screen.
Does this defeat the purpose of having a texture atlas?
I could instead retain the atlas and store the names of the textures in arrays which I could then use to reference the atlas and randomly create images. I suppose arrays of strings will take up way less memory than arrays of textures.
Either way in the init method I am still pulling the textures from the atlas as opposed to loading each one from a separate file.
I don't fully understand how the memory storage works. Is it better to have one big atlas in memory all the time or to have arrays of small textures in memory?
I think I answered my own question but I need some clarification.
As always any advice is greatly appreciated!