Screen resolutions are getting a little bonkers. There's a lot. New iPad and iPad with Retina display both support retina; iPhone 5 rocks a wide-screen retina display; older phones and iPod touches support a mixture of retina standard high-resolution; And now there's the iPad mini screen, which sits in the middle. Its screen isn't retina level, but the pixel density is quite high considering.

You've got to wonder: how is this screen going to be handled in future releases? Are game makers going to start throwing up "standard" versus "HD" releases? Or are they going to pack in everything that they can into one, lone Universal build? And if that's the route, how will the file size impact creators' ability to hit the over-the-air cap?

We've been considering these questions since earlier in the week and decided to hit up a selection of developers about them. Here's their thoughts on potentially breaking games into different versions, the over-the-air cap, and the mini as the kinda in-between iOS device.

Glenn Corpes, Topia World Builder, Forum Username: GlennX

"These days, HD versions only exist for commercial reasons. Luckily for us, Topia uses a lot of generated graphics and fits in well under the over-the-air cap. It'll be getting bigger soon but it'll be new features driving that size increase rather than Apple's variety of hardware."

Simon Flesser, Simogo, Forum Username: Ninjagorilla

"We will continue to do what feels right and honest. Up until now we've made our games universal and I see no reason for us to change that.

"It's what we want ourselves when we buy games, and we are not going to start to squeeze out money from our fans just because we can. We have stopped being concerned about the over-the-air cap. With Bumpy Road we realized we could not make the game we wanted to make below the cap, which was 20MB at the time.

Hopefully, people care more about experiencing our games the way they were intended to be, rather than having needs instantly satisfied."

Jani Kahrama, Secret Exit, Forum Username: Frand

"Our latest game, Eyelord, is a Universal build which has high-resolution assets where they matter the most, and still manages to pack a rock opera soundtrack into the game.

"The 50MB cap for over-the-air is regrettable, but nothing that can't be managed with careful technical content design."

Rami Ismail, Vlambeer, Forum username: Vlambeer

"Actually, the resolution of the iPad mini is one of the things we're really happy about: it's exactly the same resolution as the iPad 2. What is a problem is that we'll definitely need to test Ridiculous Fishing on the new iPad mini as well, because the new size of the screen might lead to the normal usability guidelines being different on the mini.

At this point, I think the iPhone 5 was the only real problem we've had so far -- through our crazy schedule of being two guys at Vlambeer, working on four projects at once -- we haven't had time to update Super Crate Box to the new aspect ratio yet. Since we can plan for it with Ridiculous Fishing, you can be sure that that'll launch with the correct aspect ratios."

Nathan Vella, Capybara Games, Forum username: Capy_Nathan

"My single biggest joy in the iPad Mini comes from the fact that it shares screen resolution with the iPad 2. This means that it is automatically supported, and developers don't need to update their games to support it.

The more screen resolutions there are, the more work needs to be done -- either upfront to automatically support it, or on the back end via updates for continued support. Apple releasing the iPad Mini with iPad 2 resolution definitely resulted in a collective sigh of relief, which resonated across twitter the instant they covered it in the presentation."

Josh Presseisen, Crescent Moon Games, Forum Username: JoshCM

"We have many different games, some of which do universal, some do HD and SD. Very few of our games were ever under 50mb. I believe most people are now downloading over Wi-Fi, especially for premium games that are nowhere near 50MB small."

Luke Ryan, True Axis, Forum Username: luketrueaxis

"We prefer to do universal builds and use the HD assets for everything where possible. It hasn’t impacted our over the air deliverables so far, but we have been lucky."

  • JesseeA

    This post's content really doesn't make sense.

    The iPad mini's screen density is "quite high considering"? It's the same as the iPhone 3GS. So no, it's really not quite high. Similar tablets have higher density displays.

    "...how is this screen going to be handled in future releases?" What does this even mean? It doesn't need to be handled in future releases -- it's already been handled by non-Retina iPad assets, which every single iPad app has.

    Basically, the release of the iPad mini changes absolutely nothing about how developers will approach their builds in terms of assets. This whole thing about the iPad mini as an "in-between" device is pointless. That's quite obvious by the responses from the developers you quoted.

    I appreciate the article on developers handling performance discrepancy across devices and the other on what the mini brings to the table, but this article is ridiculous. And yeah, I'm calling Touch Arcade out on it because it's either meant for link grabbing or it simply lacks solid journalistic research (or both).

    • araczynski

      i'm with you, the title and half of the initial paragraph is a joke.

    • ltcommander_data

      Tablets are generally held further away from the eyes than a phone so while it may have the same dpi as the iPhone 3GS that's not a good comparison point to assess how good the screen density is for a tablet. In any case "quite high considering" is a very general and subjective term so it's hard to argue definitively one way or another and would have probably been better not to mention at all.

      • JesseeA

        I agree, it is general, especially since the article doesn't state what we're "considering". So I took the leap to consider other tablets of a similar nature, and they have better screen density.

        I've been playing with the iPad mini and Nexus 7 side-by-side today. The mini's pixelation is certainly more apparent.

  • TimT2011

    I hope the Mini doesn't drive file sizes up again.  I can't even do updates any more without deleting other apps.  Can't even imagine the thought of putting videos or music on my devices anymore, it's just ridiculous.

    • JesseeA

      It won't drive up file sizes. This article is very misleading. App sizes won't escalate on behalf of the iPad mini.

  • ltcommander_data

    On the topic of app sizes, previously the maximum app size was 2GB. Now that the OTA app size has increased to 50MB and Universal apps with Retina iPad support are more common, as the maximum app size cap also increased? Quite a few games are already approaching 2GB, so presumably that will be a big limitation if it isn't increased. It's a good thing Apple is no longer introducing new iDevices with only 8GB of storage.

  • http://twitter.com/Leonick91 Hampus Jensen

    Well, the quotes in the article sound good. I for one would not buy a single title from a developer I saw making two iPad versions, a normal and a retina, that would just be silly. If the retina transition of the iPhone is anything to go by though there won't be many cases of that happening.

    • JesseeA

      I don't think that's ever happened, nor will it. Apple wouldn't allow such a thing.

      Just so we're clear, an example like Galaxy On Fire 2 having an SD and HD release isn't the same thing. Both apps supported Retina and non-Retina.

      Because the iPad mini uses non-Retina iPad assets (and will eventually use Retina iPad assets), this article is essentially asking a question that has no premise for being asked.

  • http://animaltrackers.wordpress.com/ DAiv Games

    A control sensitivity tweak may be all that is needed for many games. I've not yet looked into whether the iPad mini is programmatically distinguishable from a regular-sized iPad, but if not, I'll just add a new sensitivity adjustment to the control options in my games.

  • JPhilipp

    Usability might subtly change for some games. For instance, I've got one iPad-only game out where you need to press combinations appearing on the screen with your full hand (The Signal), and this pretty much requires testing to see how it fares on the smaller screen. Most of my games are made for two players on one iPad (Free the Fobbles and a half dozen others) and a smaller size could make the room more crammed for two. Might need to buy one to know for sure!