I want to develop a game on multiple devices such as PC, Android or IOS. Want it to be in 1080p, but that means a massive scale down for the smartphones.

I know how to do that, just render everything on a 1080p rendertarget and then render it on the screen smaller.

But what should I do so that the scalling down doesn't look bad and blury? I can't do it vector based or anything because the sprites simply need a specific size. Should I make the sprites power of two size to get some nice mipmapping? And which other settings can I do?

Or should I rather go with a lower resolution but then having a little bit worse look PC version? The performance seems not to be a problem for me, so would be sad not using 1080p because of other problems.

  • \$\begingroup\$ A general rule of thumb is to make the art size power of 2 when you need to up or downscale. Besides, to my knowledge there are not a ton of phones that support 1080p any way. It would be 720p. \$\endgroup\$ – OmniOwl Aug 2 '13 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you mean they do not support it by performance? It should work when I just render the renderTarget to the screen, which gets its size adjusted by whatever the phone has (and keeping 16:9) \$\endgroup\$ – t0rb Aug 2 '13 at 7:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Performance, yes. I am not sure how many mobile devices (maybe except for tablets and the newest Android/iPhones) can actually pull 1080p without killing the battery and processor very fast. I am pretty sure the standard is usually 720p and 1080p is only getting in now. But I'd suggest you make some research on that. Generally speaking though, I'd suggest you to make 1080p on the computer and downscale it to 720p on phones. Phones are small so 1080 or 720 will most likely have very little difference. \$\endgroup\$ – OmniOwl Aug 2 '13 at 7:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ But the sprites and other graphics need to have a specific size. Do you mean I should scale them down manually from 1080p to 720p and then insert in the game? \$\endgroup\$ – t0rb Aug 2 '13 at 8:05
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You never make small sizes and upscale. You make the intended max size and then downscale :) \$\endgroup\$ – OmniOwl Aug 2 '13 at 8:15

Design the game for the lowest resolution, not the highest. The only benefit you get from designing for a high resolution in a game with 2D graphics is that you can display more at once while maintaining the same level of detail. There are plenty PC games that are designed for lower resolutions some games using Pixel art even go as low as 320x240 or even 160x120. They still look good on modern HD monitors.

Art wise, unless you making pixel art, make the assets in the highest resolution, and always render in the highest native resolution, but design the game/the UI in a low resolution.

A game that works well with a low resolution will work well on a high resolution screen, the other way around that is not the case.


If you are trying to create an ultra portable game for Windows, IOS, and Android from one code base, you are going to have a bad time.

In terms of Android see here.

In order to port your bitmaps to multiple devices on Android it is best practice to create each bitmap for each of the target densities. This translates into about 4 or 5 png files for each image.

When it comes to portability on Android mobile devices - different devices have different screen sizes. Some have more some have less, which means that you have to account for this extra and missing space.

It is not quite the same on iOS. iOS densities just scale by a factor of two (so I've been told) which makes it slightly easier to manage than Android.

I recommend picking a single target platform, or ideally use C++ and program your game. Worry about porting your game after you have it completed.

If portability is ultra important, make it a web based browser game, or try using an engine.


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