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Level Streaming vs Level Loading - Performance & Immersion

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    Level Streaming vs Level Loading - Performance & Immersion

    (First posting so please bear with any possible n00bish info asked or if its the wrong forum)

    Having played around with UDK for a few weeks now I came upon the lovely feature of "Level Streaming" and while I can get the basis to work, I came to think about the advantages and disadvantages of this feature versus normal "Level Loading" for the demo I am working on, both performance wise and immersion wise.

    Let us outline the scenario:
    The entire area is one single island divided into 5 different areas:
    - A Coastal Region with the main city and a castle
    - A Forest Region with trees, waterfalls and all the nature stuff
    - A Rural Region for farmlands & fishermen
    - A Highlands Region with cliffs, ruins and swamps
    - A Central Region working as a "buffer" between the other areas

    Planned size of the island: 1250 by 850 UDK Units (standard setup, where 1 UU = 1 Meter)

    The "Player" is able to enter any of these regions at will and in any order with freedom of movement and for this it sounds like level streaming is the best choice for immersion, but level loading might be best for performance & "easier" design.

    Creating this in a single level is doable but would IMO would impede performance both for the endgame product and during the design phase - Please correct me if I am wrong on this account.

    Now to my question list: (Pro & Con's please )
    - Which "solution" would be the best? Loading a single Region or streaming the entire island
    - If using level stream what would be the "ideal" size for the Terrain size per "Quad" (like 100x100 UU)
    - If using level streaming: Any tips on "aligning" the various parts edges to ensure they together? (Seamless)
    - Is using level loading of a region and using level streaming within it a solution?
    - What type of level streaming is "the best": Standard, Kismet or Distance?

    That should be it. Please consider both overall Performance and Immersion