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Choosing resolution

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Hello, GameDev people!


I'm developing my first game for tablets and cellphones in Actionscript 3, but i'm having a problem with the resolution. Each dispositive, specially Android ones, seem to have many resolutions, but the worrysome part is the proportions. Some Android have 16:9, others have 16:10, some have 4:3, and, luckily, Mac products seem to all have 4:3.


The thing is, I don't know how to deal with the many resolutions there are, and how to develop accordingly. Should I develop for the biggest resolution and then, according to the device, adjust it? Or is there another way? I can really use some help with this.

Also, sorry if the question has been answered somewhere else already. I looked around but couldn't find anything.

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For the aspect ratio, I guess it would depend on the type of the game. In some genres and most 3D games, you can just cut the surroundings in 16:9 to get 4:3. In some cases you might want to just display 4:3 with black bars on the sides on 16:9.


Otherwise you should make specific changes to your game and gameplay to make it work in both aspect ratios.


For screensize, I think you can get the devices resolution and then rescale your output to that. At least that's what I do on PC.

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luckily, Mac products seem to all have 4:3.

Nope, you get 4:3, 3:2, and the iPhone 5's wonderful 71:40 ratio. Or the inverse, if you go portrait mode.


Each dispositive, specially Android ones, seem to have many resolutions

Hit each of these ratios: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 16:10, 5:3. 

That covers virtually all modern Android devices.

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I fear that is a headache for any mobile developer ...and there is no silver bullet as far as I know.


The mobile world is spammed with very different aspect ratios and very different resolutions. That is a fact, now we as developers have to deal with that crap.


For the aspect ratio, you can either:


a) develop for a specific aspect ratio, and either

* stretch the content to fill the screen

* zoom out and leave black borders

* zoom in and cut part of the scene

...that doesn't deliver an ideal experience but is by far the easiest to do


b) use various sets of graphics and positionning/UI depending on aspect ratio

That's what you ideally want but is usually a huge chunk of work. Usually, a good thing is to focus on 3:2, 16:9 (and 4:3 if it is desktop too) since they are the most common ARs.


The resolution can be another issue. If your game is not action intensive, pick the highest. If it's action packed, plan to have a hi-def and a low-def version, or even a serie of resolutions. Otherwise, it would look ugly and pixelated on a high-end tablet, and unbearably sluggish on a low-end phone. Ideally, make an FPS test during the loading phase to detect the FPS and pick the graphics resolution accordingly.


...welcome to hell! ;)

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