Graphics Designing a Game for Nintendo Switch (Resolution/Aspect Ratio)

Discussion in 'Game Design, Development And Publishing' started by Biddum, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Biddum

    Biddum Member

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    While the Nintendo Switch module is on the horizon, I as wondering how developers may plan to prioritize their game resolution/sprite sizes? If someone is making a game only for the switch, we already know that the end-user will have a device with a 16:9 aspect ratio (handheld switch).

    Should developers focus on getting their game perfected in a handheld state 1280 x 720 (undocked) or a typical docked state (1920 x 1080)? The aspect ratio is 16:9 but I was wondering if its more preferred to have a 1920 x 1080 and scale down opposed to scaling up?
     
  2. Shadowblades

    Shadowblades Member

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    I was just about to ask this exact question.

    Also, would it be possible to display the game docked at 1920x1080, but when undocked/handheld, keep the 1920x1080 scale, but limit the camera to 1280x720 of the room?
     
  3. kupo15

    kupo15 Member

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    I would say focus on the docked 1920 state personally because when undocked, the screen is smaller than that of a tv screen, so the lower resolution shouldn't look as bad. If you developed for the lower resolution then upscale things to a bigger resolution and tv it could look worse.

    This all depends on the art style as well. If you have a pixel art game, you can develop at 360x640 and it'll scale perfectly to both resolutions no problem.

    Sure, you can do pretty much anything you want, just your application surface can't exceed the resolution of the device. If your game is at 1080 then you go undocked, the switch will scale down your app surface from 1080 to 720 anyway. In this case, you should make sure you resize your app surface down to 720 as well this way you aren't rendering things bigger than they have to be and it gets downscaled. Its just wasting processing power if you keep your app surface greater than the resolution of the device
     
  4. Yal

    Yal GMC Memer GMC Elder

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    Most of the technical details of the console ports are only released to certified devs (and under NDA), so you might never get official answers to these forum questions. Kupo15's advice is pretty sound, though.

    Apart from the upscale/downscale option, you could always have 1280x720-always as an option, and then use the Draw GUI event to draw a pretty border around the main game screen when in TV mode.
     
    kupo15 likes this.
  5. Shadowblades

    Shadowblades Member

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    Thank you kupo15 and Yal.

    I don't really understand how surfaces work as I haven't experimented with them before, but it sounds like the next step for me.​

    That's actually not a bad idea at all.​

    I'm not sure if it would warrant a separate post, but I'm trying to figure out what resolution/s to use going forward with my project. I'm not so sure about 640x360 and scaling up, when my character sprite is 140 pixels tall right now. It's pixel art, I'm not going for a retro-style or anything, but having a character almost half as tall as the screen doesn't sound like a good fit, haha. I've currently been working with 1920x1080 in Gamemaker and outside (creating sprites etc), but I figured I don't know nearly enough about resolutions/scaling/surfaces/etc, and in this case, specifically how that would apply to the Switch.

    In short: I don't know what I'm doing in this regard and need to investigate/try out both of your suggestions. :p
     

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