Deciding optimal screen resolution

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Kes

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Please note, I am only thinking of screen resolution for a PC/laptop, I shall not be developing for mobile.

IN VX Ace the largest resolution you could get was 640 x 480, so discussions about the pros and cons of different sizes passed me by. I shall be moving toMZ when I have finished my current project, but am trying to get a few basics organised before then. One such basic is the screen resolution.

I vaguely remember that there are differing views on optimal size, with advantages and disadvantages, so I was wondering if people would mind going over what they are.

Thank you.
 

bgillisp

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I myself would try to find a size that upscales to 1080p well if possible. I think 960 x 720 would work semi-well for that due to the 1.5 ratio (1080/720 = 1.5), and it would still be 20 x 15 tiles like you are used to for screenspace.

Sadly due to the 48 x 48 tile size there aren't many good options for getting a perfect integer and not having fractional tiles on screen if you want to upscale to 1080p that I've found yet, as 960 x 540 (exactly half of 1920 x 1080 that some like to use) results in a fractional tile on the height due to 540 / 48 = 11.25
 

Kes

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@bgillisp Thank you for that. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but why is scaling up to 1080 so important?
 

orochii

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In most cases you'd like a standard resolution, like a "real" and common 16:9 or if that's your thing a standard 4:3. Things like 1080p (1920x1080), 720p (1280x720), 540p (960x540). Or good old 4:3 1024x768, 640x480, 800x600... Something standard so most screens like it, especially in full screen.

But yeah, totally agree with bgillisp in that 48x48 makes the decision a bit more difficult, as I think most "standard" resolutions end up not fitting correctly. I mean they work, but if you want a map be the size of the screen, you either leave a bit of a black space or deal with minimal scrolling of less than a tile. That irks me.
 
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This is probably one of the biggest issues with the newer Rpg Makers. Before it was announced that it would retain resource compatibility I hoped that the next Rpg Maker would switch to something like 64x64 pixel wide tiles.

I'm myself rather uncertain about that. So far I've been trying to use 1104x624 after I saw it mentioned in a thread about Rpg Maker Mv resolutions, combined with a 814x624 resolution for the menu. Though I don't like that much using a weird resolution. On the other hand when using bigger or smaller resolutions the menu ends up looking weird, with large amounts of empty space and the placing of elements looking off; theoretically that could be fixed by messing around with the code for the menu, but I hate messing with Javascript more than absolutely necessary.
 
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??????

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im writing all my plugins with 1280x720 resolution as the ideal target. I'd be concerned about performance for other users if i was to push 1080p or 1440p, but its certainly possible on a decent enough machine.
 
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bgillisp

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As to why scaling to 1080p...most new computers seem to have that as the monitor default settings so most use it, so if someone full screens your game it will need to scale to it somehow.

Granted I run mine at 1600 x 900 so the upscale isn't as big a deal for me. 1920 x 1080 and a 17 inch monitor don't mix well for me.

On the other hand, I have heard of some still running on computers that can't go higher than 768 for height, so may want to check if that is true for those who play your games (which is another reason I'd suggest 960 x 720 actually!)
 

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Originally, I went with 1111x624, which is the default resolution scaled to 16x9. But then Yanfly pointed out something. His preference was 1104x624 which is almost the original resolution scaled to 16x9 but doesn't contain any partial tiles. So you only have whole tiles displaying on the screen, which is supposedly slightly better for performance, and it's very close to the aspect ratio of most monitors. And because you maintain the original height, it doesn't make everything larger or smaller. For instance, if go with 1920x1080, all of the tiles and events become a lot smaller. That can be a good thing if it's what you're going for but if you want to maintain the default sizes scaled up to full screen, it's best to stick with a height of 624.
 
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ImaginaryVillain

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Recently I switched to 1920x1080 due to the additional space improving the action, and because I use larger models. But not going to lie, unless you're going to do a whole lot for optimization, RM really doesn't handle greater resolutions very well. It's much better to go middle of the road, especially given that the usual RM sprites are quite tiny, and look way too small for 1920x1080.
 
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Kes

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@Frogboy Thanks for that info which does address my problem of not liking the way things get bigger/smaller when scaled up to full screen.

@ImaginaryVillain You're absolutely right, those tiny sprites are a complete nuisance and if I can get myself organised, I'm going to try and have only taller sprites. But even with them, the problem of their size with a larger resolution would remain, just be less blatant.
 

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Yeah I found graphics have a way more artistic appeal if the resolution was smaller. Tiny details start to become noticeable, leaves on trees, boards on houses, facial features. The only time something like 1920x1080 shines graphically would be if you have huge vistas.

Otherwise you need giant sized graphics to even show details like that in 1080p. After all the jump from 720p to 1080p is 921,600 pixels to 2,073,600 pixels, over twice the size. Contrast that against MV's default 816x624 being only 509,184 pixels and you can definitely see not only why the graphics would be tiny but why RM tends to have issues at the higher resolutions.

I really think with "tall" sprites such as the ones that are 96pixels high, I like somewhere below 720p. For perspective the PVG characters I use are 160 pixels tall, and they look at their best around the 720p mark. That seems to be about where the details are crisp, and you feel like you're up close watching a story. But they're quite large in comparison... At 1080p (as my game shows)... They're bordering on being RM "Chibis". Just imagine how tiny regular RM graphics would actually be at that resolution. :kaoswt:
 

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OK, let's recap the basics

1) modern display drivers can only handle the official Windows screen sizes.
That is what the "black borders" on fullscreen are about - the display driver switches to the next higher number of pixels and fills the missing parts with black. There was a time when cards could handle any screen size on CRT monitors, but since TFTs have fixed pixel sizes the display card companies dropped those options from their drivers.
So whatever screen size you choose, you want to stay at or slightly below the official window resolutions to make those black borders as small as possible on fullscreen.

2) the engine has a problem with displaying partial tiles
I don't know if they improved this for MZ yet, but up to and including MV there were always distortions and sometimes massive display problems if the screen size was not a multiply of the grid size (48x48 for MV and MZ).
That is why most people go to screen sizes that are slightly below the regular Windows numbers. They are targeting the numbers that are barely below the official sizes but divisible by 48.

3) upscaling is easy, downscaling is NOT.
If the game screen size is smaller than the pixel numbers of the monitor, then everyone's display driver can upscale to monitor size.
If the game screen size is larger than the pixel numbers of the monitor, many display drivers will fail to display anything at all because they can't downsize.
And even if downsizing is possible, it usually comes with a heavily distorted menu that is missing info or unreadable.

So going for a too large game screen size means that you'll prevent some potential customers from ever playing that game.

4) larger screen size means larger part of the map visible
You can change the grid size with a plugin, but that makes mapping much more difficult to handle and will require either custom or resized tilesets.
And if you stay with 48 grid size, then increasing the game screen size will increase the number of tiles on the screen while making the sprites smaller on fullscreen.
And that will cause some gameplay problems in addition to everything being smaller: a labyrinth is easier to navigate if you can see the map completely.


The four points above are what everyone has to decide their screen size around.
Usually you pick a screen size that is the full 48-multiplier just below the windows screen size where your menu and map sizes are comfortable to you and not so large that most people's monitors can't handle them.
 

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I'm going to be just one more person chiming in to recommend 1104x624. It's the best way to get a proper widescreen resolution with as little fuss as possible since it's so close to RM's "native" resolution. I could go into the details, but it looks like everyone else has already done that probably better than I would've.
 

duty

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I could be the weirdo here, but I prefer to go with a 960x540 resolution. The chibi graphics feel about the right scale with the rest of the screen, and the UI adjusts well to that format.
 

Kes

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@duty I can see your point, but I personally loathe MV/MZ chibi sprites, so will not be using them unless desparate. As I intend to be using slightly taller sprites, I'm hoping that everything will scale together.
 

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How can you set the resolution for a game even?
 

Kes

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@Home In MZ you will find it.on the Systems 2 tab of the database.
 
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