AuthorTopic: Question: What to think about graphic-wise when making games for mobile phones  (Read 2676 times)

Offline Greenthorne

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... What the title says.

If anyone could give me the specs for handling graphics when making mobile-phone games Id appreciate it.  ;)

Offline Dogmeat

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Well, I worked for a company as their lead production artist for cell phone games. The thing about cell phone games, is when making art assets, the hardest thing to do is make assets that work on a large variety of phones, not just 1 specific phone. Carriers aren't interested in having someone release a game that only works on 1 phone. Because of this, you loose quality big time, unless of course you're good. Certain phones though, have to have their own assets for technical reasons. Then you have to take in the fact that all phones have certain caps that a game can't go over, so if all you're assets for a LG-6000 are 150k, but another phone only supports up to 100k in total size for the entire game, you have to tweak your assets, sounds, etc..

Graphic wise, it really depends on the phone, theres really no max on colors on a phone, although, you're going to want to keep them very low, and you're going to want to have everything clipped down to the very edges, use of tiling techniques comes in handy here, for sidescrollers or other, animating depends on the timing on the phone, some phones a animation will look perfect, where as other phones it will be too slow, but that's up to your programmer to solve. Another thing about animations, you're never animating anything, you're creating strips and the programmer is the one who animates them with code.

I'd have to say the worst thing about cell phone games, from an artists standpoint is doing co-ordinates. When creating screens, you have to come up with screen co-ordinates for EVERY single asset you create, for EVERY single screen or situation, it's tedius, and boring, especially for an artist. Don't rely on your programmer to do this either, you're the one with the vision, you have to tell him where things need to be.

if you want to see some actual cell phone assets, I have some in my portfolio, all the fish/bassmaster stuff, the bmx extreme or whatever the hell it was called, xgames, etc.. I'd say the worst is the rolling stones trivia game on there, not much of an art game, but it was the WORST ever to do co-ordinates for.

http://www.mindcrank.com/port/

if you have any other, more specific questions, feel free to IM me or whatever.

- Dog
Daisuke Nagano Yokoyama

Offline big brother

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I thought I'd share some experience.

With some pre-planning, you can outline what assets will work most commonly for about 3 different screen sizes. This cuts down on the artist's workload so you don't have to redraw all the graphics for each version. In the same way, the design has to be based around what most phones can handle. Better to design the game to fall short of the size limit than to cut it down to size, wasting work/time.

Most companies use proprietary software to handle the sprite animations and coordinates. Doing it manually will waste a lot of time in the course of a project. It's better if the programmers make design tools before coding the game. Plus, you can use the tools on the next project.

A lot of projects are outsourced for porting. It wears out a creative development team if they have to make more than 3-4 versions of a game.