So I'm prototyping a 2D game engine to test out some concepts. One of the issues I have to deal with is the multiple resolutions and aspect ratios computer screens come in today.
How do you ensure that a game looks good on different resolutions such as 800 X 600 and 1600 X 1200? And what to do about different aspect ratios where more horizontal screen place is suddenly available?
How do you tackle this problem (This is one of those times where it would be easier to do 3D)? What thoughts have you done on this issue? Or do you just ignore this and't care at all?
These are some of the thoughts I've done so far:
A) Choose a resolution and stick with it. Then change the screen's resolution to match your game's resolution. Personally I think this is a no-go. I curse programmers when they change my resolution.
B) Choose a minimum resolution and make the game windowed. This sucks as well. Works ok for small resolutions but the game will likely be to small on large resolution screens.
C) Choose a (high) resolution and render to a buffer. Then render the buffer scaled so it fits the screen's resolution. This is the way I'm thinking about going right now. I'm going to render multiple layers to multiple rendertargets and combine them in the end anyways so it would be easy to scale them in the end.
D) Create assets for different resolutions. Will give the best result for supported resolutions but it requires a lot of work creating the assets. The issue still exists for the resolutions not supported.
E) Use vector art. Vectors can be rasterised at the beginning or during loading. I'm not sure how much expensive it will be do this conversion. Vector art has great potential but there are some images that can't practically be created by vectors.
F) Use procedurally generated content. Like vectors it can be created at runtime for the specific resolution. However it is time consuming to design algorithms for generating images and it obviously won't work in all cases.
Regarding the aspect ratio:
A) Choose 4:3 ratio. Stretch the canvas for wider aspect ratios. The drawback is obvious. The wider aspect ratio the wierder distortion.
B) Choose 4:3 ratio and draw black bars around the sides. Better than A) in my oppinion but we're wasting screen estate.
C) Show more of the game world depending on the aspect ratio. For some games this will work. For other games it can completely destroy gameplay.
Are there more possible solutions or do you any additional thoughts on the ones listed by me?