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iPhone 5: 16x9?

05-31-2012, 11:48 PM
#1
iPhone 5: 16x9?

What do people think of the latest rumors pointing to the new iPhone having a 16x9 aspect ratio? If true, the screen will indeed be bigger, but it's all going into a taller screen. Does anyone actually see this as positive? I dont. More fragmentation, more complication for developers, and only seems to benefit video playback of 16x9 content.

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06-01-2012, 02:36 AM
#2
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: London
Posts: 68
Don't really see it a problem at all.

For some developers, the addition of a fraction more screen estate 'could' open possibilities of having the on-screen controls moved into that extra estate thus not overlapping the main game screen. Or even statuses such as highscores, lives, countdowns, information could be moved into that area, again giving the actual game screen less information and more of the game itself.

Really really don't see it being a problem what-so-ever; sure some will complain, others will see it as the end of the world but if it happens, we'll have to embrace it, use it to our advantage or get stuck in the past.

I'm pretty sure it's going to go the same route as 16:9 / 4:3 monitors in that once it happens, going back to an older screen just isn't going to feel 'right' like most people feel when they've gone from a widescreen to a 4:3 monitor. That extra DOES make one hell of a difference!

06-01-2012, 04:00 AM
#3
My only concern when new hardware arrives is how few developers seem to care about supporting it in their existing games.

A few devs will update their existing games to support the 16:9 aspect ratio really quickly, but many will be happy to just let it auto-pillarbox, and will probably never bother updating. Not nice for the user.

The Retina update proves this - I still have lots of iPhone apps without any Retina support (not even a Retina icon). The Retina iPhone has been around for TWO years - there's no excuse. These apps will soon be deleted from my iTunes library never to be played again (I'll give iPad apps a little bit more time...)

Even the big names with no financial excuses don't update Our Gaming Brand 1 as they think it's a great reason to upgrade to Our Gaming Brand 2 HD. This just makes me avoid annual release shovelware from big publishers. Indie will be king once again

So yes, for the non-lazy developer a 16:9 iPhone should not be a problem. And if the iPad one day goes 16:9 too then it will actually ultimately simplify things. Rest assured that Lead Wars will support 16:9 as soon as possible.

Apps: Lead Wars (TA Thread) | Super Grav (TA Thread)
DemonStudios Ltd | Indie Game Dev
www.demonstudios.com
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Last edited by DemonJim; 06-01-2012 at 04:04 AM.
06-01-2012, 05:06 AM
#4
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 240
Don't call lazy a game developper that don't want to spend more of their time to maintain a .99$ game...
Developper usually prefer working on the next game instead.

I'm making an universal app with icloud an gamecenter and that's my choice.
I understand dev that don't want to do that.

Lead wars seams to be a great game, and it seams to be easy to adapt it on 16/9.
That's not the case of most other game concept with pixel perfect GFX (no zoom system or 3D), where you may need to redo most GFX works.
06-01-2012, 05:36 AM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hercule View Post
Don't call lazy a game developper that don't want to spend more of their time to maintain a .99$ game...
Developper usually prefer working on the next game instead.

I'm making an universal app with icloud an gamecenter and that's my choice.
I understand dev that don't want to do that.

Lead wars seams to be a great game, and it seams to be easy to adapt it on 16/9.
That's not the case of most other game concept with pixel perfect GFX (no zoom system or 3D), where you may need to redo most GFX works.
Agreed yes a fair point, sorry, I was generalising a lot. But your point only really applies to the Retina update. A bitmap based game won't have an issue updating to 16:9 as it will mostly be a UI alignment issue (and some reworking of background images), yet so many old games won't be updated, this was my point (and so many 3D games still don't support retina).

Even though I'm a dev I look at it from a gamers perspective - they quite rightly don't care what reasons we have for old games not supporting the new hardware whether valid or not. They don't care we made a game before Retina was even announced. They want great games, simple as that. They might be old games to us but if they're still for sale on the App Store then in my opinion they should support the latest hardware.

Apps: Lead Wars (TA Thread) | Super Grav (TA Thread)
DemonStudios Ltd | Indie Game Dev
www.demonstudios.com
Follow: Facebook | Twitter
06-01-2012, 06:31 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 195
I agree with DemonJim the switch to 16:9 should not be a big deal for developers to deal with (even those games using pixel based sprites should theoretically be able to adjust the GL projection matrices without any loss in detail) but I disagree all developers are expected to update their entire library of games to coincide with each new system change

For "great" games, sure.
But each gamer has their own opinion on what a "great" game is, and there will always be someone who thinks a game is great when the developers themselves dont care about it anymore, usually because they have since made tens of new games or sequels of the original

If a developer really wants to keep their entire games library updated to the latest hardware or API changes, that is their decision only and cannot be expected of everyone in the industry because in many cases it just is not possible.

I'm a gamer myself so I know how frustrating it is when developers seemingly abandon their games, yet I almost always forgive them for it when I see those same developers continue to create better and greater games.
06-01-2012, 01:42 PM
#7
I see some people here suggesting that this will be an "easy" thing to deal with, but that misses the point. Adding new resolutions and aspect ratios adds more work in terms of development and testing/debugging time. It's more code and more art to create and support over time. And, if dealing with it means changing the camera aspect ratio of the game, then it can also lead to gameplay changes, which can bring their own set of problems. Whether one particular change is easy to account for or not isnt the point. The point is that as fragmentation accumulates, development and maintenance of a game becomes harder and harder. This is why many games still dont support retina displays. Making changes, no matter how small you think they are, isnt free. Especially for small developers, you can spend your time supporting new fragmentation and the problems it causes, or you can spend your time making new games.

That would be the advantage of having a larger 3x2 screen with the same resolution as now, it'd be next-to-zero difference from the developer point of view. All existing games would just continue to run as they do now, natively, and in most cases the developer wouldnt want to do anything for the larger screen size.

And for apps other than games, I think a larger 3x2 aspect ratio screen would be better. For things such as reading books, web pages, maps, and most everything else I can think of, 16x9 isnt that great.

Independent developer of Alien Space, Alien Space Retro, and now Annihilate

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06-03-2012, 12:55 AM
#8
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 158
The one good thing about starting to develop for Android (certainty hasn't been sales up to this point) has been to force me to make my games resolution independent. Sadly Haunted Hallway wasn't designed this way so I'll either have to have a hacky letterbox solution, or it'll be a lot of work to make it 16x9.
06-03-2012, 05:40 AM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncade View Post
The one good thing about starting to develop for Android (certainty hasn't been sales up to this point) has been to force me to make my games resolution independent. Sadly Haunted Hallway wasn't designed this way so I'll either have to have a hacky letterbox solution, or it'll be a lot of work to make it 16x9.
Indeedy - and the iPad being 4:3 has helped iOS-only devs think aspect-independantly too. At first I was one of the people cursing the extra work caused by this new hardware fragmentation but it really hasn't been an issue.

Haunted Hallway is Universal though too I see, so you've already got it accounting for 3:2 and 4:3 aspects so shirley it really won't be a hacky solution to add 16:9?

Of course no dev is obliged to support it right away, or ever even for old games. As has been pointed out there are sometimes very valid reasons not to (e.g. game uses middleware that doesn't support it, or a coder who knows the codebase is no longer available, or sales are too low to be deemed worth the time+effort).

All I know is if you do support the new 16:9 aspect your customers will thank you for it, and the game will sell more as a result.

(and supporting new hardware right away vastly increases your chances of getting an Apple feature)

Apps: Lead Wars (TA Thread) | Super Grav (TA Thread)
DemonStudios Ltd | Indie Game Dev
www.demonstudios.com
Follow: Facebook | Twitter
06-03-2012, 07:48 AM
#10
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by DemonJim View Post
Indeedy - and the iPad being 4:3 has helped iOS-only devs think aspect-independantly too. At first I was one of the people cursing the extra work caused by this new hardware fragmentation but it really hasn't been an issue.

Haunted Hallway is Universal though too I see, so you've already got it accounting for 3:2 and 4:3 aspects so shirley it really won't be a hacky solution to add 16:9?

Of course no dev is obliged to support it right away, or ever even for old games. As has been pointed out there are sometimes very valid reasons not to (e.g. game uses middleware that doesn't support it, or a coder who knows the codebase is no longer available, or sales are too low to be deemed worth the time+effort).

All I know is if you do support the new 16:9 aspect your customers will thank you for it, and the game will sell more as a result.

(and supporting new hardware right away vastly increases your chances of getting an Apple feature)
With Haunted Hallway the problem isn't so much the GUI, but the level generator. The level is procedurally generated as you're playing. The problem is when I made it I didn't compensate for a skinnier aspect ratio than 3:2. If the game is played at 16:9 you can see parts of the level pop in as it's being generated. Bone headed move on my part, but now I know better.