I'm working on the sprites for a 8bit game. The game is made for iOS so I'm working on a 16:9 radius.

What I'm not sure is whether I should make the sprites on a 1920x1080 canvas or if I work with a smaller canvas like 192x80 (which would be a lot easier) will we be able to scale them without losing quality (on Photoshop or the developer on Unity)?

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    If you make them as vectors, yes you can scale them. If you don't, then no they won't scale. I'm not sure what your actual question is here... – Zach Saucier Mar 17 '15 at 17:45

Set your canvas size so it correlates to the pixel size you want to use. That way you can use 1:1 pixel tools in photoshop. When it comes time to use the actual images, you can then re-scale in Photoshop or possibly in the app framework itself.

For example, if the physical device is 1920x1080 and you want your virtual "8-bit" pixels to be 8x8 device pixel, then divide everything by 8 and use a canvas of 240x135.

If you decide to scale up in Photoshop in the end, be sure to use the 'nearest neighbor' option in the resize dialog to prevent any anti-aliasing.

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  • This is definitely the way to go. If vector is required, it can easily be converted. – JohnB Mar 17 '15 at 17:52
  • @JohnB you typically wouldn't want to be using vector image formats for 8-bit styled art. – DA01 Mar 17 '15 at 17:53
  • I think what @JohnB means is that you could do a vector grid in illustrator. This is how I would do it incase you ever needed to use the designs for print, vector would be the best way to start or else you'd need to recreate it at a higher resolution. – Eddie Adolf Mar 17 '15 at 18:09
  • @EddieA. no, not in this case. This is 8-bit art--meaning it's aliased and low-res by default. You wouldn't need a vector or high-res raster version at all. 8-bit art scales. – DA01 Mar 17 '15 at 18:11
  • There is no such thing as 8-bit anymore so you're going to simulate that look in either photoshop or illustrator. – Eddie Adolf Mar 17 '15 at 18:14

In a basic sense, there is no right choice.

However, in game programming (and libraries), there is or was a standard where you use powers of 2 for textures (e.g. 256 x 256, 512 x 512, 1024 x 1024 [...]). If you decide not to do this, there may be repercussions from a programming perspective (no mipmaps, limited filtering, massive memory lossage (1024x256 consumes 1024x1024 memory space) etc).

See for example: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/11069441/non-power-of-two-textures-in-ios

Check in with the programmer, if that is not you. If you are the programmer, check in with https://gamedev.stackexchange.com/

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