General questions about iOS with retina displays

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:01 pm

Hello all,

My company is looking at developing a few small HTML5 games with Construct2 that are meant to work on desktops and iPads (specifically).

We're wondering what approach we should take with regard to retina displays. If anyone can answer the questions below it would help us out tremendously:

1 - Our understanding is that retina support is either 'on' or 'off' so all iPads will render retina level detail even if they don't support it. Is this correct?

2 - If (1) is correct, has anyone experienced performance issues with iPads that don't support retina displays?

3 - Our experiments seem to suggest that file size and load times are related directly to the size of the games assets. Is there any other increased overhead when we support retina displays?

3 - Can construct 2 support transparent backgrounds? If so we could use media queries on the page to load in background images at the right resolution to offload it from the game. Would there be any issue with that in terms of performance?

Any help is appreciated. BTW We have started digging into Construct 2 and are very pleased with the product so far.

Cheers.
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Post » Wed Oct 23, 2013 4:41 pm

[QUOTE=moonraystudios] Hello all,
1 - Our understanding is that retina support is either 'on' or 'off' so all iPads will render retina level detail even if they don't support it. Is this correct?
[/QUOTE]iPad 1 and iPad mini both aren't retina. Those devices will render at a lower resolution with noticeably larger pixels. [QUOTE=moonraystudios]
2 - If (1) is correct, has anyone experienced performance issues with iPads that don't support retina displays?
[/QUOTE]You may get performance issues with Construct 2 games with retina support enabled, but only on hardware that supports it. More pixels requires more power. If that happens I'd consider disabling retina support or trying alternative optimisations. Always test early on hardware![QUOTE=moonraystudios]
3 - Our experiments seem to suggest that file size and load times are related directly to the size of the games assets. Is there any other increased overhead when we support retina displays?
[/QUOTE]You'll be downloading the same assets on retina and non-retina devices, so there's no additional overhead.[QUOTE=moonraystudios]3 - Can construct 2 support transparent backgrounds? If so we could use media queries on the page to load in background images at the right resolution to offload it from the game. Would there be any issue with that in terms of performance?
[/QUOTE]You *could* do this, but it would quickly become hard to maintain. Realistically, in the context of a complete game with multiple assets, the savings would be nominal if images are heavily optimised to begin with.

Our game Mortar Melon is artwork heavy, but only weighs in around 5mb. Your best bet is to properly research PNG-8 optimisation as that is by far the biggest way to reduce download overhead.thehen2013-10-23 16:42:09
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Post » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:03 pm

Thanks so much.

Regarding (3) - I meant to ask if choosing to create a game that doesn't support retina displays will have smaller footprint than a game that does support retina displays aside form the fact that the assets would be half the size.

Thanks again.
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Post » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:06 pm

@thehen

what C2 "retina support" exactly do? if I have 300x200 sprite (on 1280x720) then I guess it will not - automagically - look like 600x400 when played on higher resolution etc. :)
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Post » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:24 pm

@moonraystudios yep, not supporting retina will use less resources. If you want crystal-clear artwork though, it may be worth considering. Personally I only notice lack of retina support on 3D games with aliasing.

@szymek it just increases the resolution of the canvas. So if your assets are 600x400, then scaled down to 300x200 in Construct 2, you'll still get the definition of 600x400 on retina. It all depends per-asset and what its dimensions are.thehen2013-10-23 17:25:05
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Post » Wed Oct 23, 2013 5:45 pm

@thehen

I have sprite 500px x 500px, I use it on 1280x720 layout but downsized to 250px x 250px in Construct 2. Using "retina" means that app will use i.e. 500px x 500px on resolution higher than 1280x720?szymek2013-10-23 17:45:59
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Post » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:00 pm

@szymek Not exactly.

The sprite will probably scale proportionally with the resolution. So if your layout is 800x640, and you target a 1600x1280 resolution, you'll need an image twice the resolution of how it appears in Construct 2, for it to be fully crisp.

iPad 1 (non retina) = 1024 768
iPad 3 (retina) = 2048 1536

The same sprite is always used, it's just the maximum resolution of a sprite is determined by the image resolution.
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Post » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:10 pm

@thehen

thanks, now I get it

so what would you do to make game looks good both on iPhone 5 and iPad with Retina?
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Post » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:30 pm

@szymek if you really wanted no loss in quality, then designing assets for 2048 1536 would be the way to go.

To me that's OTT though, so I just design for 1080p.
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