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First-Gen iPad acceptable FPS

07-20-2012, 11:05 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 82
First-Gen iPad acceptable FPS

Hey guys,

We are nearing completion on a highly visual game that utilizes quite a few large assets, both in size and resolution.

I'm working on performance optimization at the moment for older devices, and am starting to split some of these assets up into smaller sprites to yield better frame rates.

For iPad 2 and 3, things run great at a solid 60 FPS most of the time.

I'm wondering if I could get some opinions on what gamers today expect in terms of performance for a first-gen iPad, though, as after some analysis, it's starting to look like things are going to be hanging out around 40-45 FPS.

Thanks!

RAMPS!! Previously iPhone Game of the Week on the App Store.
"... a simple and stylish physics puzzler that you won't want to put down." - Apple

COMING 10/11/12: Lotsa Blocks!

http://lotsablocks.com
07-20-2012, 11:41 PM
#2
"Acceptable" framerate will depend a lot on the type of game. Without even knowing this it's pointless to give advice.

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

For more information and latest updates, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlienSpaceGame

07-20-2012, 11:55 PM
#3
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 82
Asking a question like this in a public forum allows others to benefit from the answer.

Having a perspective in general, or for a specific genre of game, doesn't just benefit me, but also anyone else who discovers this thread in the future who have a similar question.

So, I disagree. It's not pointless to give advice.

In my specific case, it's a game that doesn't require a great deal of time-sensitive, tactile response. In short, it is not in the same genre ballpark as your games, for example.

RAMPS!! Previously iPhone Game of the Week on the App Store.
"... a simple and stylish physics puzzler that you won't want to put down." - Apple

COMING 10/11/12: Lotsa Blocks!

http://lotsablocks.com
07-21-2012, 01:30 AM
#4
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 55
Fps

FPS isn't the important measure. Does it still look good and play well?

I couldn't even render JiggleSaw at 30 fps on the first gen iPad. I simplified the graphics because it was effecting the responsiveness of the interface but never got the iPad 1 to hit 30 fps. It's still playable and looks very close to the other versions, so I shipped with iPad 1 support.

Matthew

My iOS games: JiggleSaw
My Blog: JiggleSaw development

Last edited by MHille; 07-21-2012 at 01:32 AM. Reason: spelling error
07-21-2012, 02:04 AM
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by u2elan View Post
Asking a question like this in a public forum allows others to benefit from the answer.

Having a perspective in general, or for a specific genre of game, doesn't just benefit me, but also anyone else who discovers this thread in the future who have a similar question.

So, I disagree. It's not pointless to give advice.

In my specific case, it's a game that doesn't require a great deal of time-sensitive, tactile response. In short, it is not in the same genre ballpark as your games, for example.
You need to give more context because otherwise when you get replies, those will be incomplete and also without context. Then when someone comes for answers and reads an answer to a vaguely worded question w/o context, they may go away with the wrong conclussion.

If you're specific on what you're asking and give context, then the answers can be specific to that and hence helpful to others.

From what you describe, 30 fps will likely be quite acceptable. It might even be that 20 fps will also do. But, you need to test and get a feel for how the game feels and responds. If you can give it to a new tester and he/she doesnt mention a problem, then you're probably fine.

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

For more information and latest updates, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlienSpaceGame
07-21-2012, 08:28 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 194
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It really depends on the type of game you're making. For a fast paced game, like an ego-shooter or a jump&run game a high FPS is much more important then in a puzzle or card game.

Developer of Practice Pro for musicians.
07-21-2012, 11:25 AM
#7
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
well if you can't keep it at 60fps maybe stick to steady 30fps lock on the ipad 1.. should give the use a smoother experience than if the fps are jumping up and down

of course the ipad1 is already an "old" device and support for it is slowly fading by apple them self.. like its not getting an ios6 update.

so while there are still a lot of ipad1 users out there the general focus is to "move one" at some point it just don't make sense to support legacy devices anymore, especially if you are a small indie outfit.

but then of course like on older iphones those users are "used" to, that never games if they run, that they do not perform as well as on brand new ios devices.. often have reduced details etc.

if your resources allow you to support it do it.. if not.. well then not
07-21-2012, 12:27 PM
#8
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 82
Great, thanks guys.

I totally understand where you were coming from now with regards to the context.

I'm so spoiled from having it run well on newer hardware, that perhaps I'm too hard on myself trying to over-optimize for older hardware.

I think Mr. Ugly makes a good point that users on older hardware don't always have a frame of reference. If the game is playable and the experience is still good, they won't necessarily be frustrated that things run much more smoothly on newer hardware, because they don't have that hardware to compare to side-by-side.

It sounds like 45 FPS is probably acceptable for two-year-old hardware, given that our gameplay mechanic is more passive.

RAMPS!! Previously iPhone Game of the Week on the App Store.
"... a simple and stylish physics puzzler that you won't want to put down." - Apple

COMING 10/11/12: Lotsa Blocks!

http://lotsablocks.com
08-21-2012, 11:13 AM
#9
Joined: May 2012
Location: london
Posts: 3
Agree with others in the thread- context is key.

Any sort of reaction game if you're serious about supporting iPad 1 should try to be 30fps or better.

I have a puzzle game that I am struggling to get about 20fps (multiple layers of transparency that plagues iPhone4 and iPad1) .. but since not much moves, it doesn't feel significantly degraded.

Just bear in mind that while ignoring iPad 1 may be an option, iPhone 4 is still a huge chunk of the iPhone market, and suffers the same limitations of speed, so I think we'll be stuck supporting iPhone 4 for a good while yet.

Heck, even iPhone 3GS is becoming quite common as it's being plugged as the sort of IOS alternative to the cheap/free android handsets.

Mike
@runonthespot
08-21-2012, 06:31 PM
#10
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 15
Just one datapoint, but a lot of the companies that make sim-style games for iOS have settled for 10-20 FPS, especially in some older games, and still done quite well.

Check out some older games in that category. If you know what to look for (and YOU probably do) you can see the jerkiness. But the typical user of one of these games doesn't even know what FPS is, and after a few play sessions they won't care, even if they learn the difference.

For anything that's relatively static 30 FPS / not twitch-based 30 FPS is probably the margin of what most users could sense.