I feel stupid asking but...do non retina support games....

Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by Slothy, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Slothy

    Slothy Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2010
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    I searched and searched for an answer on google to no luck. My question is: Do non supported retina games look the same as they do on an older device? Are they scaled the same? Or do they look just a little better? Very curious about getting a 4th gen, but only a handful of my games support retina display.
     
  2. PhagoCychotic

    PhagoCychotic Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    They look a bit pixelated. Or very pixelated. You definitely can see the difference. Sorry I'm unable to show you an example, I'm posting on my samsung epic
     
  3. madmud101

    madmud101 Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2009
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    I don't think you asked the right question. Do you mean, do non-retina support games look worse on a 4g device?

    The answer is yes and no. The resolution is the same as what you get on an older device but you notice the pixels more on a 4G device, especially when compared with your home-screen or other RS games. You can still play them.
     
  4. Chocolate

    Chocolate Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2010
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    My 4th Gen Touch hasn't arrived yet, but from what I've read, basically non-retina apps are scaled so that each pixel is made from 4 retina pixels. So non-retina apps will look the same, but maybe a little blockier because the scaled pixels will be much sharper looking.

    I think it's one of those things that some people notice more than others. Me, I'm an oldschool gamer from the 80's, so pixellated graphics never bother me much. ;-)

    And your apps may not have retina support now, but in the future, they could get it. Not all of them, but some of them definitely. As more and more people upgrade to retina-screened devices, devs will feel increased pressure to add at least some retina support (i.e. smoothed text, some higher res elements etc.) if they want to see their existing apps continue to sell.

    It's kinda like when TV's went from SD to HD. A lot of gamers expect HD graphics in their games now (let's not mention Wii...).
     
  5. Hmar9333

    Hmar9333 Well-Known Member

    Jul 11, 2009
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    Book Salesperson/Student
    Melbourne, Australia
    To me they look worse, but that's possibly because the rest of the OS is so beautiful.
     
  6. ipod_david

    ipod_david Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2010
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    is there anywhere a comparison made by someone who took a (good) foto of both? I once saw a DSLR Shot of safari with and without retina. Oh man, the effect hooked me. stunning, you acutally cant see a pixel as steve told...
     
  7. sticktron

    sticktron Well-Known Member

    If the upscaling was exactly doubled the display would look identical.
    In reality there seems to be some kind of smoothing filter, because games look worse.
     
  8. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie

    This is actually the truth. I am very surprised no one else mentioned and noticed this.

    Any game using OpenGL and will look smoothed over and lightly blurred on the iPhone 4 (and now the iPod Touch 4). Games that use CoreGraphics/Quartz drawing are unaffected.

    This blur/smoothing is easiest to see with a "Pixel Art" game, such as my upcoming Spirit Hunter Mineko, where I discovered the problem. Ideally with pixel art you want hard lines and well defined dots. Mineko looked great on my 3GS, but once my iPhone 4 arrived, it almost looked out of focus despite the screen being so amazing!

    It is a bug in handling of EAGL layers in iOS 4. I have found a work-around to kill that smoothing filter and get crisp graphics back. Apple is aware of the problem, but as far as I know it has not been fixed in 4.1... Also not fixed in 4.1 is the crippling slow CGContext draw speed that was introduced in iOS 4. Being a developer is tough when you have to keep jumping through hoops to compensate for bugs in the operating system :eek:
     
  9. PhagoCychotic

    PhagoCychotic Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Is this bug you explained the reason why some game icons, when actively downloading/installing look crisp and "Retina-ey" but when finished are blurry or pixelated?
     
  10. CommanderData

    CommanderData Well-Known Member
    Patreon Indie

    The icon problem is an odd one, unrelated to the OS bug I mentioned for "in-game" graphics smoothing/blurring. I think the problem is that during download and install that iTunes transmits the high-res 512x512 icon that developers submit for use in iTunes, and when the install completes it switches to the built in icon default.

    If the app is set up correctly there will be a 57x57 icon for all non-retina iPhones and iPod Touches, a 72x72 for the iPad, and a 114x114 for the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4. The device should auto-select the best one.

    Now I have actually seen a game that actually has 114x114 icon show the ugly 57x57 version before on my iPhone 4, but a full reboot of the phone fixed it and made it pick the high res one. Not sure if that's an official bug or not :)
     
  11. ipod_david

    ipod_david Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2010
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  12. chickdigger802

    chickdigger802 Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2009
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    Atlanta GA
    [​IMG]

    Probably on the lowest of the spectrum of nonretina games on a retina display but heres a pic =P
     
  13. sticktron

    sticktron Well-Known Member

    #13 sticktron, Sep 15, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2010
    Apple specifically mentions the "blockiness" (their term) in the dev notes regarding updating OpenGL ES apps to be retinasized:

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    Drawing High-Resolution Content Using OpenGL ES
    If your application uses OpenGL ES for rendering, your existing drawing code should continue to work without any changes. When drawn on a high-resolution screen, though, your content is scaled accordingly and will appear more blocky. The reason for the blocky appearance is that the default behavior of the CAEAGLLayer class, which you use to back your OpenGL ES renderbuffers , is the same as other Core Animation layer objects. In other words, its scale factor is set to 1.0 initially, which causes the Core Animation compositor to scale the contents of the layer on high-resolution screens. To avoid this blocky appearance, you need to increase the size of your OpenGL ES renderbuffers to match the size of the screen. (With more pixels, you can then increase the amount of detail you provide for your content.) Because adding more pixels to your renderbuffers has performance implications, though, you must explicitly opt in to support high-resolution screens.

    To enable high-resolution drawing, you must change the scale factor of the view you use to present your OpenGL ES content. Changing the contentScaleFactor property of your view from 1.0 to 2.0 triggers a matching change to the scale factor of the underlying CAEAGLLayer object. The renderbufferStorage:fromDrawable: method, which you use to bind the layer object to your renderbuffers, calculates the size of the renderbuffer by multiplying the layer’s bounds by its scale factor. Thus, doubling the scale factor doubles the width and height of the resulting renderbuffer, giving you more pixels for your content. After that, it is up to you to provide the content for those additional pixels.
    ----------

    It would be interesting to whip up a little tool that overrides the scale factor of a running app.
    Better yet would be Apple swapping in a better upscaling algorithm. The potential is there for games to be better looking than default, like in an N64 emu (whose advanced graphics filters make the games bigger and much better looking than the N64's hardware could at the time).
     

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