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Cell phone display dimensions / screen sizes

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I just started to learn programming games for phones using MIDP, and I have a question regarding cell phone display dimensions. What types of differences exist among the various cell phones on the market? How should I go about addressing this issue when developing games? Is there a typical size for images used, and expanded/contracted to fit as required, or are there better methods? Also, are there any existing articles on the web that might discuss this? (I couldn't find any in my searching...) Thanks to anyone who can help lead me in the right direction! :)

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This is one of the big issues with mobile phone development, there are SO many different screen sizes out there!

Most of the manufacturers (Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola etc) will all have different screen sizes, and then even within manufacturers different phone will have different screen sizes (there is a difference between nokia series 40 and series 60 for example).

My advice would be if you are simply developing for a hobby and not to a client specification, just develop for the phone that you will be testing on. Get something working on that phonea and then worry about porting later.

Welcome to the wonderful world of mobile programming [grin]

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I'm programming a side scrolling shoot-em-up for fun on my new phone, but I specify all my coordinates as relative to multiples of the screen width and height. Of course, the game will play very differently on different phones but at least it will run. I.e., spawning four enemies evenly spaced on a vertical line on a 128 pixel high screen makes game more difficult than the same event on a 200 pixel screen. (Reason being sprites obviously aren't scaled as well.)

I think the effects of a tile based game would be even smaller, because then there's the absolute world scale in the map cells. The only thing dependent on the device would then be the view range, which is of even less concern for a strategy game than a tiled side scrolling platform game.

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Yeah, I can see how for some games screen dimensions can easily be worked around: such as in asteroids, where you just wrap around the screen no matter what; or in a side scroller where the player will always be drawn at the center of the screen, and however many number of tiles that will fit on the screen around the player.

Some games, however, sound like they'd have to be specific to the phone's dimensions with porting to work with other dimensions, or something like that... well, I guess that answers my question.

If anyone has any further suggestions on working around this issue or any links to detailed articles, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

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