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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Neon Jet-Girl

I'm building Jet-Girl with a 320x240 resolution in mind.

Or I at least I was.

See that first white block? Proportionately, that's the screen Jet-Girl is currently played on.

But, proportionately, not all monitors are so close to being box-shaped

This other white block is widescreen format. Very rectangular. Very appealing.

So, on a whim, I'm tearing out the flooring on my game to accommodate this new resolution.

Shouldn't I just support multiple resolutions?

Ha! Very funny.
Let's not get silly, now. I have perfectly illogical, irrational reasons for switching exclusively to widescreen that has absolutely nothing to do with the hardware available in my house.

And widescreen is the perfect opportunity for a vertical GUI.

Here's the tricky part about designing a vertical shooter with a widescreen format: Almost everything is popping out of the top of the screen and there's less room for the player to maneuver.

Also, my GUI was all centered at the bottom of the screen, which has just become very expensive real estate.

The best solution would be to take advantage of the never-ending horizontal screen and shove the GUI (health, ammo, info, data, etc) onto the sides of the screen. And you know what? How about a NEON GUI. (Too much Gravitron, Justin?)

If you think this is messy you should see the thirty other layers I turned invisible.

So now we're back to a more box-like format which works much better for a vertical shooter. There is another problem, though, that comes with widescreen, and that's choosing a proper resolution. It's not like you can just choose any number you want. The height and width has to work together proportionately.

Jet-Girl was 320x240, right? Well, I'd have to drop the res down to 320x180 if I was going to stick with the same basic proportional resolution, but 180 pixels vertical is very, very small.

So instead I bumped the game to 640x320, but I kept the sprites all the same size. This means that Jenny is smaller on the screen, which works just fine. I can make the enemies larger, which makes them more comfortable targets for players to hit.

You see, there's feature creep and then there's a total god-damned redesign. Totally worth it, though.

(I should write all my blog posts at 4am)


  1. Creepydude597244May 26, 2011 at 10:18 AM

    You're still aiming to get this on xbox indie, right? Don't they need to be designed to adjust depending on the player's aspect ratio?

  2. Hmm. I just read that stuff over.

    This might be an issue since I'm using a low res that doesn't count as one of the defaults.

    I should be able to fix this without a headache.

  3. This one's not going to require a 2gig download, right?

  4. Yeah. Ha ha. Very funny.
    No test version this time.
    Straight to XBLI.


    ...Where it will be tested.