Size does matter

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  • Hello everyone,

    I am here to talk about size. And when I say size, I want to talk about relation between screen, window, layout, margin and sprites size.

    Until now I was always grabing sprites from somewhere, buying it or asking it. My project were based on Construct 2 Start Project.

    I want to understand relations between all of that. Is there a good ratio to keep between sprite size and window ? When I am playing pixel style games, I always ask myself: "is each square are pixels?" "Has this sprite been resized?" "Did they work on this window size?"

    But now that I am trying to make game, other questions are coming. "What is the best sprite size, for what windows size?" "Should I work on big sprite and then resize it?"

    Let see two games. I let my desktop size to see how the game is from a 1080px screen:

    Pixel seems a bit shady, is it an effect, or is size is bigger than the original pixel size?

    Then this game:

    Now I can clearly see pixels, but, is one square = 1 pixel?

    Game's window is slightly the same but pixels seems different.

    To make simple, for a 2d pixel style game, what is the best ratio window, layout / sprite size? Any ideal grid?

    Thanks a lot for reading my topic!

  • yeah, 1 square = 1 pixel. as far as size goes its just depends on what you personally want to see. i would recommend looking at your favorite games and see what they do. super metroid has the player about 1 tile wide and 2 tiles high (more or less) and the camera size is 16 tiles wide and 12 tiles high (more of less) and then for mario bros the camera is farther away so you can see more of the level so it depends on what you personally want. when you play around with character design/programming in construct you can try it several ways until you get something you like.

  • I see,

    so no matter your window size, everything start from your grid size (Xeodrifter is for example, 42x42 for a 1200x720 window, so no relation). Everything is just a question of style then. Sprite of the player / sprite of level.

    So to make it sure, when you say "the camera is farther away" technically, it means that the tile is smaller, right ? (and so the player sprite) Because both games have same size (256x239)

    hum, really hard to find a good identity!

    3 examples of different character size, yet same window. I think I will focus on programming and try to find a partner ahah

    Thank you for your answer !

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  • ya farther away would mean the tiles look smaller.

  • The size of sprite really depends on the platform your game is for, and type of game.

    You can get away with having smaller sprites on PC than console because you are closer to the screen and can clearly see more of the smaller details, making the smaller sprites easier to see. UI elements are another thing that is generally smaller on PC, as the small text is almost unreadable on console but perfectly fine on PC.

    As for game type, fighting games tend to favour larger sprites because the backgrounds are usually not important, but seeing the minute details in the character is.

    For a platform game, knowing what is coming and having time to react is more beneficial, so the characters are smaller and the environment takes priority.

    Handheld games tend to have a smaller screen and less resolution, so the characters are slightly larger than they would be for a given game type, which makes it easier to see the characters moving around.

    A method I use is to take a screenshot of a game of the same type and platform that I am making, measure things like hud elements and character sizes, and use that as a base measurement for my game. You can take some creative liberties of course, but usually those sizes feel pretty good.

  • As a quick guide to sprite and tile sizes your best using binary numbers. 16x16, 32x32, 64x64 etc. You'll find that most pixel art games will use one of those.

    One benefit of this is when you use tiles, just make them/the layout a binary number (512x1024 for instance) and you won't be left with any gaps at the edges.

    As for window size, I just stick it to scale outer and again use some binary numbers. I also advice using equal measurements (128x128 for instance). Think of it more like zooming a camera

    My go-to setup these days, at least for rapid prototyping is:

    • 16x16 grid for sprites and tiles
    • 128x128 for window size
    • 1024x512 for layout size

    Obviously, the bigger you go the more detail you require. That's why I'm a fan of 16x16 for prototyping.

    As a final note, try to NOT scale your pixels. Keep everything to 1 square to 1 pixel where possible.

  • Thank you so much for all of your informations, I really appreciate. Also, I guess, working on a 128x128 then reduce it to 32x32 (for example) to get more details is acceptable?

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