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My game relies heavily on textures of various sizes with some being full-screen. The game is targeted for multiple resolutions. I found that resizing textures (downsizing) works quite well for this game’s art type (it’s not Pixel Art or anything like that). I asked my artist to ensure that all textures at the edges of the screen to be created in such a way that they can safely “overflow” off screen; this means that aspect ratio is not an issue.

So with no aspect ratio issues, I figured that I would simply ask my artist to create assets in very high resolution, and then resize them down to the appropriate screen resolution. The question is, when and how do I do that?

Do I pre-resize everything to common resolutions in Photoshop and package all assets in the final product (increasing the size download that the user has to deal with) and then select the appropriate asset based on the detected resolution? Or do I ship with the largest set of Textures, detect the resolution on load, set a render target and draw all downsized assets to it and use that? Or for the latter, do I use some sort of a CPU-sided algorithm to resize on game load?

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1 Answer 1

Generally you do what you need and that requires testing and/or some thought:

  • Does your platform allow pre-rendering all different sizes, perhaps with manual touch-up when needed, or will the distribution simply be too big?
  • Does your platform incur too much of a performance hit using the largest assets at all times?
  • Can you do a platform-based resize during initialization of the game (pre-render on load) to avoid the above if it applies?
  • Does your platform allow you to resize assets in a way that looks acceptable to you?
  • If it looks good and performs well enough - just go with it

Sometimes having a few different major sizes pre-rendered is a good idea - a 256x256 pixel bitmap won't resize favourably to 16x16 or even 32x32 unless an artist does it by hand - so perhaps you should have two or three vastly different sizes from your artist and pick the one that's the best fit at run-time.

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Is there a systematic approach to determining what the downsize threshold is? For example, going from 256x256 to 12x128 is ok, but to 16x16 is not. Is this pretty much limited to a visual inspection? –  RecursiveCall Jun 26 '13 at 15:26

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