One aspect of Nia that I've spent far more time on than I anticipated, is the game resolution. By default, RM will push out a game at a dimension of 816x624. This was fine back in the year 1802, but only using a portion of screen real-estate today is a huge waste, and a turn off to many gamers too. The current trend in game production is to go for realism so a retro 2D JRPG isn't going to appeal to a very large audience, today this is certainly a niche market. That doesn't mean that you can't break free of that niche and create a game that appeals to a broader audience, just look at Stardew Valley with an all-time peak of 64,000 players, that's excellent for a 2D RPG in 2018. But retro games don't have to be made for retro specs, retro gamers like for their games to work on modern computers, browsers, and consoles too and there is a huge modding community that works hard to make old classics play on modern machines.

image letterbox version versus widescreen version

Screen resolution was one of the first issues that I had to solve. I wanted this resolved as early as possible and before building the world and the GUI so that I had a clearer picture of how the game will look to players which in turn lends some factors into map design. I've gone as far as to factor in the overworld size and display into screenshot and wallpaper opportunities. I have no idea if seasoned developers do this sort of thing or if this is just a total newb move on my part.

One thing I learned during this stage, was that resolution and screen size are not the same thing. For example, you can play an 816x624 resolution game inside of a 1920x1080 window. In fact, this is exactly what was happening early on with Nia and it was no small task to fix this until I found some code that someone else had already developed. Once I fixed it, I instinctively went with a 1920x1080 resolution inside of a 1920x1080 window. But the general public seemed to dislike how small that made everything appear, even though it also gave everything a more polished and crisp look. I also considered an odd resolution of 1104x624 which kept the size, but extended the sides to fill in the screen on 16:9 displays. I eventually decided to go with 1280x720 because it is a very common display type, looks decent, and fits well both on 1920x1080 displays as well as 1366x768 displays which to my surprise, is still the most commonly used resolution on PC's world wide, though 1920x1080 is the most common in the United States. Although I'm still not 100% sold on the default resolution and continue to experiment. Currently I'm trying out 1296x720 due to the fact that it is divisible by 48 (as well as 8 for lower performance cards) which means that I can create a 27x15 room that will fill the screen without scrolling where as the same room size with 1280x720 will result in a slight horizontal scroll.

screenshot of that

One great thing about RM is that games made with it will automatically ignore windows scaling so that's one less issue to contend with and all testing so far renders the game in full screen (optionally, you can toggle fullscreen on/off with F4) and at what I think is a decent resolution.

I still have a couple of issues to resolve but for the most part, I think the current settings will work for the vast majority of most screen sizes user today. One of those issues is for the browser version of the game, for some reason I can't seem to get the game to fill the entire browser screen, even when pressing F11 to push the browser into full screen.

screenshot of browser version of game

I've narrowed down the culprit to windows scaling as I can fill the screen at 16:9 (1280x720 resolution) within a browser when windows scaling is at 150% but anything less than this ends up with the game appearing inside black borders. I believe that the reason for this is because browsers utilize windows scaling. Attempts to use Javascript to fill in the entire browser has thus far not worked but I'm hopeful that a solution will present itself and when it does, it should also repair view issues for people that want to play the game through a browser on a mobile device as well.