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I don't know if this question is too broad but I am finally working on a game I want to release and I find that questions like: "can I really add another 10 frames?", "Do I really need that animation?", "Can I add more background effects?" etc. are always on my mind and limit my creativity.

I am trying to find an answer online without success, and as a hobby developer with no real training it is hard to know what is considered "too many" resources.

I suppose it differs depending on what you plan to release it for etc, but is there a general rule of thumb? I want to release for Android and ios.

For example I have a main character, and right now he has these animations:

 atlas = Assets.manager.get(Assets.runner, TextureAtlas.class);
        tallAnim = new Animation(1/10f, atlas.findRegion("runner1"), atlas.findRegion("runner2"), atlas.findRegion("runner3"), atlas.findRegion("runner4"));
        shortAnim = new Animation(1/10f, atlas.findRegion("short_runner1"), atlas.findRegion("short_runner2"), atlas.findRegion("short_runner3"), atlas.findRegion("short_runner4"));
        hitAnim = new Animation(1/10f, atlas.findRegion("runner_hit1"), atlas.findRegion("runner_hit2"));
        flyAnim = new Animation(1/10f, atlas.findRegion("runner_fly1"), atlas.findRegion("runner_fly2"));
        animation = tallAnim;

I want to add more but I am stopping my self because I don't know if this is too much. Right now he has 12 frames, and I am rendering a scrolling background and 2 different enemies (each with 3 frames) and a few other objects. Do I need to start limiting my game or is it hard to reach a point of "too much"?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have a config to disable such effect/frames? \$\endgroup\$ – Ace Caserya Apr 19 '15 at 8:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a user, if I was downloading a non-game, I would only download a maximum of 100MB. \$\endgroup\$ – joehot200 Apr 19 '15 at 9:36
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No, it is not too hard to reach the point of too much. The problem here is that you never know what devices your users will have.

But, don't start limiting your game just to start limiting it. You should know what and why you are doing and what goal you want to achieve.


At first, you should care about the amounts of RAM and VRAM on a target device. All your resources that should reside in the RAM/VRAM simultaneously should fit into that amounts. And don't forget that:

  • The images could be decompressed on a device unless you use special hardware compression.
  • Your program itself uses some memory.
  • Other programs running in background use some memory.
  • OS uses some memory too.

Of course, old devices mostly don't have enough memory to handle modern games, so you should choose a minimal device for your game. Next step is to find out the amounts of RAM/VRAM available on that device and how much memory is used by the OS. The rest is mostly yours.

The best idea is to buy such device and test the game on it.


Another thing you should care about is the size of the game bundle. Two problems may appear here:

  • Stores may have some restrictions for large bundles.
  • It is wise to save the user traffic and disk space.

This is less important than fitting into RAM/VRAM, of course.


Finally, there is the CPU usage. It is really difficult to predict how fast a game would run on a particular device, so, again, you need to choose a minimal device(s) (with the worstest CPU and GPU) and test the game on it.

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