RESOLUTION guide for game devs & GameMaker may be compensated when you make purchases after following affiliate links on this website. For more information, click here. Thank you!

What *is* resolution, what should you pick for your game? What is aspect ratio? How do you manage it across different devices? These questions answered with some advice that’s both general and also some GameMaker specific tips.

▶ Edited by Vossel:
▶ Smooth pixel camera guide for GameMaker:
▶ Pixellated Pope resolution guide:
▶ Support my work:


20 thoughts on “RESOLUTION guide for game devs & GameMaker

  1. Thank you for your insight, I'm struggling with aspect ratios and screen resolutions now. Positioning GUI sprites is hard because the width and height of my sprite does not match when running the game, so I'm trying to understand how it works before hard coding values.

    Pixelated pope's tutorial is very good too. Definitely relevant even today.

  2. Hi shaun!!! Thanks for the great video. After watching the video, I'm very curious about how you created the scene where the player acquires the gem at position 3:16, pauses the game and acquires the gem. When I researched other examples, I found one way to do it is to use a while statement and another way is to use a time setting variable, but neither of them are reliable, hence my question.

  3. I found this super helpful, I've only been using game maker studio for about 2 months now and YouTube keeps bringing back to your channel. I appreciate all the hard work that has clearly been put into the channel over the years. With newer version in mind, should most of your latest tutorials function correctly?

  4. Shaun, any chance you could do an updated gamemaker android tutorial, maybe a breakdown of the differences and the basics of porting to a mobile device? Haven't seen many good tutorials for gm mobile, not sure if it's even worth it to develope for

  5. AWESOME Tutorial as always.I would like to see draw Gui layer tutorials for mobile and PC. How to use each gui function correctly to keep buttons and hud in same position and proportions no matter the device game is showing on.

  6. Heya Shaun! love your work on these Game maker guides!

    Can you help out on a beginner friendly guide on using Input 5 ? like how to setup multiplayer using gamepads ?

    Thanks man!

  7. Some good information here.

    The parts about pixel art resolution are a bit misleading though. The resolution you render at does not need to be small at all, instead the camera "view" is what should be smaller to match the art style and what the player sees of the world. Its aspect ratio should match that of the target window, viewport, or render target (FBO or GameMaker surface). Many of the issues mentioned about weird stretching and skinny pixels at sub-pixel movement and zoom levels goes away when your render target is still a high resolution.

    For example in game maker you would set your window and application surface to 1080p, and then your camera view could be something like 426×240. That would give you much more resolution, then along with the proper filtering and sampling you'll have clean looking pixel art that still uses sub-pixels and fractional zoom values.

    I get that this video is targeted for beginners, but it really helps early on to understand that the dimensions of your game's camera view can differ from the actual render target. Rendering is done in "normalized clip space", not some hardcoded dimensions like 1920×1080, etc.

  8. I was going to have a question about working in a vertical based game, and then your first example is Downwell, and… well… I think I just solved my problem. Cheers.

  9. Maybe it's not resolution but I suppose screen-space, so perhaps relevant…I'd like a video on how to better control a camera so levels are displayed the way I want them to be, regardless of how I have my rooms laid out.

  10. I have a question – I see 640×360 recommended frequently, but what I never see addressed is using 16×16 tiles, which I understand to be quite common. With 360, you're going end up with one column of half grid squares (360/16 = 22.5). Does this matter? (Maybe it doesn't and that's why I never see it mentioned.) If it does, how do you address it? As noted in the video, this is the type of thing you need to get right early in a project…

  11. I followed the recommended tutorial on smooth cameras, but I don't seem to be getting the results shown at 4:22.
    The camera does move smoothly horizontally and vertically, but scaling the camera still looks off at non integer scaling.
    Scaling wasn't a part of the mentioned tutorial video so it's likely an error on my part. Do you think you could make a follow up tutorial for scaling?

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