I'm developing a Android board game and have a question regarding creating a board that is zoomable and scrollable. The board contains a static background, characters (players) and the actual "level" which is drawn using tiles.

My solutions is to have a collection of elements (tiles, figures, all game elements - all have x,y coordinates and width + height), a camera and a renderer that draws the collection according to cameraX,cameraY, cameraWidth and cameraHeight. So if a user would scroll to the right, the camera would just set the cameraX appropriately - and the surface is scrollable. And if a user would zoom in/out the renderer would just scale every element image appropriately.

Example code for the renderer with scrollable surface and zoom in/out

    protected function draw(Canvas c){
      Collection elements = collection.getElements(cameraX,cameraY,cameraWidth,cameraHeight);
      if(elements.size() > 0) {
         for(int i = 0; i < elements.size(); i++) {
    // element class drawElement function
    protected drawElement function(Canvas c) {
        if(this.image != null) {            
          int w = this.width;
          int h = this.height;
          if(this.zoomFactor < 1) {
  • Is this the best solutions?
  • Could it be achived somehow else?
  • Could scrolling be achived using a ScrollView?

I dont wanna use any engine, because this is for a school project.

  • \$\begingroup\$ first c.drawBitmap(...) should be changed to c.drawBitmap(this.image,(this.x - camera.x) / camera.width, (this.y - camera.y) / camera.height,w,h) and besides that, it seems in that code you are relying on cpu power too much, I think it would be faster if you try opengl and gpu power. besides that you code should work fine. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ali1S232
    Jun 3, 2011 at 16:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ The code i wrote is basicly just a an example, so it is not the actual code. The game isn't really that demanding (gpu wise) it's almost a turn based game with animations.. that's why i chose android canvas over opengl. If the game wont be as responsive as i want it to be i will switch to opengl. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jernej
    Jun 3, 2011 at 18:35

1 Answer 1


Good logic but use Matricies with scale transformations to implement zoom, do not try and calculate it everywhere yourself.

That way you could write the following code:


// TODO write the rest of the drawing code here using map co-ordinates


Where myMapMatrix is the matrix that lets you go from the screen viewport to the board game map. And if you get the inverse matrix then you can transform a map co-ordinate into a screen co-ordinate. I know because this is the way that I am currently doing it in my game.

I will leave how to create the Matrix as an exercise for you but let me give you a hint.


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