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The perfect size for a Flash game

When you are about to design a Flash game, one of the first things you must consider is the size of the stage.

Those “width” and “height” parameters must be set carefully. A size too small allows limited gameplay, while a big one can cause problems to users playing at not-so-high resolutions on not-so-powerful computers, such as netbooks.

While you should set the stage size according to the gameplay (a Tetris clone should have a portrait size, while a Metro Siberia Underground clone should have a landscape size), it’s interesting to have a brief overview about other games’ size.

Thanks to my MochiAds plugin for WordPress I collected the sizes of 7,873 games and made some queries to obtain some interesting stats.

This won’t tell you the perfect size for a Flash game, but it will help you to know the most used game sizes

Width Height
Average 617 469
Max 1280 900
Min 300 207
Most used 550 (23%)
600 (15%)
640 (13%)
400 (31%)
480 (12%)
600 (10%)

And this is the top 5 chart of the most used resolutions:

1) 550×400 (18%)
2) 640×480 (11%)
3) 600×400 (6%)
4) 800×600 (5%)
5) 750×530 (2%)

What’s your favorite Flash game size?

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This post has 27 comments

  1. Xodus

    on April 20, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    Well, i usually base my flash game size (unless it is a tetris or metro game or the like) by the golden ratio, which is the most comfortable size for the human eye. if the height is x, the width is 1.61x

  2. perfekte Auflösung für ein Flash Spiel | kernreaktor

    on April 20, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    [...] Emanuele Feronato hat sich Gedanken darüber gemacht was wohl die perfekte Auflösung für ein Flash Spiel ist. Dazu hat er die Auflösungen von über 7,873 Spielen gesammelt und ausgewertet. Seine Analyse hat folgendes ergeben: [...]

  3. Seven Common Flash Game Complaints (and How to Avoid Them) | Michael James Williams

    on April 20, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    [...] Update: Emanuele Feronato has posted a breakdown of the most commonly used game sizes on his blog here. [...]

  4. Lawrie

    on April 20, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Nice idea Xodus, I’m going to try that with my next game I think.

  5. New

    on April 20, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    What’s with the music on the mainpage oO

  6. stupid

    on April 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I use 750×500

  7. Gabriel Cuesta

    on April 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    Mine is 640px width * 480 px height.

  8. RedRail

    on April 20, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    If you want more resolution data, check out http://mochiads.com/zeitgeist

  9. kyong

    on April 20, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    The music is from the “Designing the structure of a Flash game – AS3 version – Part 6″ post.

  10. hatu

    on April 21, 2009 at 12:06 am

    No surprise that 550×400 is at the top. Lazy people :)
    I use 640×480 almost exclusively.

  11. Iain

    on April 21, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Thanks for doing this research. It’s spooky – I just posted this analysis of the topic on my blog today:

    http://blog.iainlobb.com/2009/04/flash-games-dimensions-resolution-and.html

    I like a size of about 700 x 400 – but read my post and let me know your thoughts.

  12. Devon

    on April 21, 2009 at 6:03 am

    The bigger it is the worse, both for Websites and users. This has not occured to some people, but maybe your guide will help. Thanks!

  13. flashbynight.com

    on April 22, 2009 at 7:53 am

    I’m 780 x 600 and 35 fps all the way.

    There are two trends:

    1 for users to have bigger monitors for desktops
    2 for users to have laptops instead of desktops

    I find 780 x 600 is suitable for laptops (as long as the user doesn’t have five toolbars). And also, I’m personally not a fan of small-stage games. As a developer, I find the small stage limiting.

  14. PBMCube

    on April 23, 2009 at 1:32 am

    I am surprized! Not one of the popular dimensions follows the “Golden Rule – 1:1.6″ … maybe moderns prefer unbalanced instead of nature’s perfect shapes?

  15. FrozenHaddock

    on April 24, 2009 at 10:36 am

    I’m a fan of 500×400, 400×400, 400×300, 300×300 and of course the lovely, lazy 550×400.

    Of course, the stage size is something to expermient with. A smaller stage size leaves less blankspace you’d otherwise have to fill. Less clutter!

  16. Ezion

    on April 25, 2009 at 1:17 am

    I was looking for common resolutions a couple weeks ago when deciding the resolution for a new project. In the end, I settled for 480×600 because it fit best with the type of game and seemed to be a somewhat common resolution. Looks like I might’ve had that backwards, though.

    A question about resolution; does processing required for a flash movie go up linearly or exponentially as you go up in pixels? An 800×600 flash seems like it would be very intensive.

  17. Arby

    on January 10, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Ezion: Yes. Bigger dimensions = slow rendering for the Flash player. However, if you code in AS3, this is less of an issue.

    550×400 is most popular eh? That’s the default stage size in Flash. Haha

  18. Minie

    on March 5, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    I am making a dress up game.It has quite a lot of parts so 1024×748 works best for me since all images are photoshop imported and have their own dimensions and resolution…I could go smaller but not too much.
    I have trouble when testing flash movie because it only shows part of a whole thing, like 1/4. I can expand it a little with window expanding but not nearly enough.
    What to do?

  19. Resolutie van een Flashgame « Indie game design

    on March 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    [...] mijn research naar resoluties van Flashgames stuitte ik op deze blogpost van de Italiaanse Flashprogrammeur Emanuele Feronato. Hij presenteert een aantal statistieken over [...]

  20. Jumpkut

    on February 10, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I like to use 720×480.
    It just seems appealing to me!

  21. Pat

    on February 17, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Haha! That’s the standard DV NTSC resolution for video! Why not just go HD 1080p? :P

  22. Anonymous

    on February 27, 2011 at 7:14 am

    640 x 400 fits the golden ratio.

  23. nadav

    on March 10, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    hi guys,
    the frame size is fine, lets say 640*480. but what DPI do i set if i want to build the stage in photoshop?

  24. malu

    on August 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    nadav, for digital applications, you should use 72 dpi photoshop templates
    hope it helps!

  25. Id?ja, “stage” size « Žaidim? projektai/Programavimas

    on April 9, 2012 at 11:24 am

    [...] viena problema iškyla kuriant žaidim? – kok? žaidimo/scenos dyd? pasirinkti? Pasak http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2009/04/20/the-perfect-size-for-a-flash-game/ populiariausias dydis yra 550×400 (“defaultinis” flash scenos dydis, haha), [...]

  26. Phi itself

    on December 12, 2013 at 2:39 am

    What ever happened to good old Phi (AKA the Golden Ratio AKA the half of the sum of root 5 and 1)?
    Choose a height, and multiply it by 1.61803398875 (or choose a width and divide it by Phi).

    580×360???

  27. ?âu là ?? phân gi?i t?t nh?t cho game c?a b?n? | MÙA HOA S?A

    on March 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    […] l?n các trò ch?i Flash c?ng ch?y ? ?? phân gi?i th?p h?n (Emanuele Feronato , Kích th??c hoàn h?o cho m?t trò ch?i Flash) , có ngh?a là ?? phân gi?i 640x480px nh? s? ?áp ?ng ???c r?t nhi?u ?i?u […]

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