August 23, 2011

Tablet play

We have succesfully ported most of Family Farm code to Android and iOS platforms recently! User interface is not fully adapted to multi-touch, but you can play it with your finger already. Framerates on iPad and Asus Transformer were initially very low (like 1 - 3 fps). Such performance quite ruined that great feeling of the first run. We were little bit disapointed, because nvidia's Tegra 2 seems powerful enough. Hype? To put long story short, we needed to try numerous optimalizations and it sometimes helped to gain extra few frames per second. Offloading pixel shaders in favour to vertex shaders, resizing textures and limiting use of alpha channel, etc. It's not always about lower quality, but just doing things differently on a specific hardware. It looks really nice on a smaller screen anyway.

The game is now playable on Tegra 2 tablets, which is a major platform for 10" and maybe some 7" Android tablets. Because of very different controls, we have to tune content and even some mechanics, so you can enjoy it comfortably as regular tablet game.

Tegra 2 is comparable in terms of performance more to A5 (in Pad 2) than A4 (iPad). For this reason, framerate was really not picking up on iPad in the same pace as on Tegra. Maybe we are missing knowledge how to overcome certain bottlenecks, but we aren't seeing many complex 3D games there. I think iPad is going to stay as low-end tablet, if Apple plans to revive iPhone 3GS to catch up with Android phones. Hope they offer developers choice to support high-end devices only.

That's all for now. More info next time!

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