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1 decade ago by LaserBeam


I have some questions regarding graphics.

What is a regular sprites with smooth alpha transparency suffice? Should it be used instead of 8bit?

Regarding the largness of the entity sprites in pixels. What is the normal size what most people use? How high it has to be for iPhone, iPad, or for a Mac (13'', 15'', 17'')?

What's the best way to figure out the tile size or the size of a single image at is needed? Again regarding what system is used.

Are there any rules of thumb?

1 decade ago by Arantor

What is a regular sprites with smooth alpha transparency suffice? Should it be used instead of 8bit?

Should make little or no difference; I've been using regular PNGs with alpha transparency and haven't noticed any issues. A canvas is a 32 bit bitmap in any case.

What is the normal size what most people use?

Most people tend to go for 320x200 (scaled up) for non mobile stuff and 320x480 (non scaled) for mobile stuff because that's the typical resolution on an iPhone. iPad runs at 1024x748, but like iPhone that's without taking into account the header area.

Mac... like any other desktop, it's what looks and feels right but 640x400 (as a result of scaling) is pretty common.

Some games just need more space, some need less, it's really about what the game is.

Best way to figure out the best tile size is what works best for your game - but tile sizes themselves must be square. You can use whatever you want or need to (barring massive tilesets that don't fit on the editor screen properly), bearing in mind that your images will have to be downloaded to users.

Really, though, the tiles themselves are going to be dependent on what you're doing and how much tile reuse you can get away with. Biolab's entire 3 levels are made up of a tilemap of 110 tiles, in 8x8, because that's what's needed to convey the different effects (all of them, including the background layer)

As a rule, try to limit your map design to make good reuse of tiles - if a tile is only used once or twice, do you really need it, or can you use it more? Sometimes you're not going to have the luxury of reuse (e.g. the desks at the start of Biolab) but very often you can effectively reuse tiles well - it's normally best if you can talk to the artist when doing so.

There aren't really any rules of thumb or hard and fast rules other than more tiles = bigger files = potentially more work in drawing, especially if you have smaller tiles so that you're drawing more of them.

1 decade ago by LaserBeam

So, what do you think about the idea to make all the graphics for a level as one image - just the part is on screen where the player is at that current moment (and add the collison from Weltmeister at the right places) and place on the map the entities?

1 decade ago by Arantor

I think it's technically feasible, however it's going to be impractical. The editor isn't gonig to like it much because it's designed for tiles.

The real killer is going to be the size of the image required to do that - the reason for using tiles in the first place is to avoid having to contain very large images, which are a bandwidth hit and there will be performance issues to contend with because canvas isn't really designed to push massive bitmaps around. It can do it, but it's not as efficient as dealing with smaller ones - as I discovered recently, 512x512 tiles work better than a single 1920x200 image being drawn.

To put it into perspective, Biolab's level tileset is an 8KB image - total, then there's 128KB or so of level data, which includes tile positioning and the collision map. In your relative case you could consider half of that to be a more accurate measurement, since you wouldn't need the tile data, just the collision data. But even then for a game of Biolab's complexity, you're talking 3 levels totalling 128KB data + 8KB image, vs maybe 64KB data and a much larger image to deal with.

Oh, and mobile performance is truly going to suck, because mobiles (especially iPhone 4/S) have issues dealing with chunks much larger than 256x256 in a single draw hit.

But, you can make it look totally unique throughout, and if that's more important to you than the performance cost, do it.

1 decade ago by LaserBeam

Thanks Arantor for your help!
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