Take the 2-minute tour ×
Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am going to make a design for a smartphone game, now I have seen that there are MANY resolutions around. Luckily iPhone has only a few, but Android contains already more, not to speak about upcoming tablets..

Is it just a matter of designing for the right resolution or do I have to look at the DPI aswell?

If you had to make 2 designs for low and high resolution, which ones would they be?

Thanks.

share|improve this question
2  
There is a User Interface SE site you'll find best suitable answer there, You should ask it there... –  Jack Aug 30 '11 at 6:41
    
UI is now part of UX. This question could be asked there, though it seems fine here, too. –  DA01 Aug 30 '11 at 13:23
    
Just to be clear, the iPhone has two size—Retina Display and not—and the iPad is another non-related pixel size. –  Philip Regan Aug 30 '11 at 17:45
add comment

2 Answers

Is it just a matter of designing for the right resolution or do I have to look at the DPI aswell?

You always have to consider screen density in addition to resolution. How else can you be sure that users are able to easily absorb the information you display? I'm not sure if you've done any web design but there used to be a problem with sites specifying fonts in pixel sizes because it looked good on the designer's monitor. Unfortunately when viewed on monitors set to higher resolutions the text would become illegibly small.

Do you know for sure that your app will be on iOS and Android?

If so, your budget should have room for more than 2 sets of assets. It is non-trivial to port an iOS app to Android (and vice versa). Because of this, the cost of reworking art should be significantly less than the cost of porting/testing code. You really need to talk to the project lead about this.

If not, you don't need to consider all the extraneous screen dimensions.

If you had to make 2 designs for low and high resolution, which ones would they be?

If you can only make 2 designs, you need to talk to your project lead and find out where you expect to move the most units. Prioritize your platforms and design for the biggest target. There is no magic resolution/density so you must pick your target based on your users, not arbitrary devices in the wild.

share|improve this answer
add comment

It depends on the game, really, but yes, you'd normally need to design for the screen itself.

DPI isn't the term you are looking for but PPI, which is a measurement of screen density. Hopefully, the higher-density screens on other devices will adopt the iOS model where the screen is double-density (retina display) but still uses units of measurement that are akin to the low-density devices. In other words, an iPhone screen is 460x320 'pt's even though the iPhone 4 has 960x640 actual pixels.

But...not all devices do that. For instance, there's a handful of BlackBerry devices that are higher density, but you can't easily accommodate them without doing specific device detection.

As for your second question: "If you had to make 2 designs for low and high resolution, which ones would they be?" it would be entirely dependent on the platforms you are targeting.

If you are aiming for ios, then that's easy. Design an iPad layout and an iPhone layout. For the iPhone version, you'd create two sets of image assets (standard and retina).

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.