The perfect size for a Flash game

Emanuele Feronato Flash, Game design

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?

Want to learn more? Learn by example!

Get the full commented source code of an actual commercial cross platform HTML5 game!!

Comments 28

  1. Xodus

    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

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    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.

  5. PBMCube

    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?

  6. FrozenHaddock

    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!

  7. Ezion

    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.

  8. Arby

    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

  9. Minie

    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?

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  12. Phi itself

    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).


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  14. Nyle

    very nice of you to label this post as the perfect size for a flash game only to tell us there is no perfect size!

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