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Context/Intro

I'm developing a mobile game that is played in portrait orientation. The player is at the top of the screen (unable to move vertically) and flying objects that either need to be picked up or dodged, move towards the player from the bottom.

Question

Determining the size of the assets/sprites or how much the camera is zoomed in has been a struggle for me and I was wondering if there is maybe a good guideline to follow to avoid common mobile device mistakes like eye strain, touch screen precision, and analyzing whether the approaching object is to be collected or avoided? e.g. if a moving object is too small, the player won't have enough time come to a decision on what action to take.

  • Only a comment (and someone will probably find a counter-example), but all of "that sort of game" I can think of have the player-sprite at the bottom of the screen with things coming down the screen towards both the sprite and the person holding the phone. My first reaction is having things go up the screen to the sprite and away from the player may cause confusion. – TripeHound May 1 '18 at 15:14
  • @TripeHound I understand 100% what you mean and I support the thought. However in this specific case the theme/story of the game doesn't allow me to change the direction. (player is falling from the sky) – Fanus du Toit May 1 '18 at 19:00
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There's not a simple answer here. Saying, "oh, each sprite should be 32 pixels wide!" isn't how things work. You need to consider three things:

  1. Take a look at what the successful guys are doing in similar games

  2. Run some A/B tests and see how a single change effects gameplay

  3. Define your style and choose what best adheres to it visually and motion-wise

You're going to have to do some research yourself to see what works best. That's how good games are made. Very rarely (though we focus on these flukes) are good games made on accident.

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