I've been working on Top-down 2D pixel art project for quite some time. When I first started my project, I actually set application surface, display and game window to match 1:1 - with that said, the game performed well and project looked pixel-perfect without tearing or anything... BUT, I'm not making Age of Empires or Sim City clone, where as bigger display you got, as more you see, but as smaller things get. So, I rewrote my resolution script completely to a fixed size...

Now, the thing is:

  • Images/sprites are mostly between 32x32 and 64x64
  • I need to figure out a good base resolution for bigger audience (like Steam, community etc.)

    The game can't have infinitely large view, because character shouldn't see too far and at the same time be barely visible on large monitors

  • With that said, it has to look +/- ok on different display resolutions, but attain best quality using aspect ratio function, even if that means black borders around the view
  • Game has a configuration page for different resolutions, but that will affect only how much the stuff has to stretch etc. and is not currently used from user interface (testing from in-game console only)

The question basically is:

  • Best - 640x480 VS 800x600?
  • What base resolution "Hotline Miami" videogame might be considered to have?
  • Does the whole resolution concept really matter and I should worry about user experience with this?

This whole thing a bit reminds me of Fallout 2 with locked "2x scaling on" on high-res, which basically did similarly to what I'm going forward to...

For a better understanding of what I'm trying to say, here's a visual aspect of this (Green line is basically the border of the room, but due to the display resolution, you can see past the border):

BEFORE Infinite view

AFTER Fixed size view

** The "after" image doesn't use aspect ratio in this picture, but instead shows past the actual supposed viewing frame, this is why you don't see black boxes on sides... this was later on fixed though

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There isn't really a "best" resolution - it's a judgement call you'll need to make for yourself based on your game's needs and your target hardware. You can do research like consulting the Steam Hardware Survey to find what resolutions are popular (1920x1080 & 1366x768 currently dominate, but neither matches my device for example), then do the math to work out an asset size that lets you hit the resolutions you want with integer scaling and acceptable cropping for your particular goals. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Jul 7, 2017 at 6:10


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