How to make convincing top down 2D water / beaches

edited in Questions and Answers

Does anyone have ideas for making nice top-down 2D water? For Grave Days, my outside terrain is generated from overlapping flat meshes. In the attached image you can see what I mean. I've got a huge, flat, grass textured mesh on the layer below, and another texture mesh slightly above it for the path - so I can generate these on level load which is what I am after.


Currently my world is constrained by blackness / the void - with nothing happening at the edges. I'd like to perhaps generate some ocean or something around to make it feel like you are trapped on an island. If this seems too challenging I might just go for something else. Any ideas though on techniques to get this right? I think I should be able to get some decent waves and shimmer in a fragment shader but how do I handle the boundaries between the water and the beach? Currently at best I'll be able to get a hard edge between the water and the beach like I do with my road and the grass. Should I rethink my approach of using meshes to generate terrain geometry?

Something that looks like this would be beyond awesome:
1920 x 1080 - 839K
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