The mobile gaming market is massive and having the ability to have your game downloaded in those quiet moments such as on buses or waiting for your girlfriend in a changing room is great, but by not being inside that 20mb download limit you lose a whole slice of your potential market.
Some games, like Street Fighter 2 are huge and weigh in at over 500mb which requires you to be on wi-fi in order to download it, which is fine for the big players. However, a lot of indie developers have much smaller games and the 20mb download limit can be a real problem when trying to expose games to the largest audience.
Many games find that image size can be a huge drain on space and if you are using game engines such as Gamesalad, Corona or Stencyl then you can find that using png’s all the time means it doesn’t take long to fill out your 20mb allowance.
As part of the game making process you should always try and optimize your game in order to make it as fast as possible whilst being as small as possible. Below I have highlighted a couple of ways to reduce your images down in size and in some cases save over 50% of the file size whilst retaining the same quality as it was when it went in.
Online Game Graphic Compressors:
TinyPNG uses clever lossy compression techniques to shrink the file size of the PNG files. By selectively decreasing the amount of colors in the image, fewer bytes are required to store the information. The effect is almost invisible but it makes a huge difference in file size. The site allows 20 images at a time you can download the altered images to any location
JPEGmini is a photo recompression technology, which dramatically reduces the file size of photographs without affecting their quality. The software works in the area of baseline JPEG, resulting in images that are fully compatible with any browser, photo software or device that support the standard JPEG format.
Smush.it is another popular image optimization site that allows users to instantly shrink the image size while preserving quality and pixels. Currently you can ‘smush’ five images at the same time, and you can also install a cool Fire-Fox plugin called Y-Slow to help you optimize images from the comfort of your browser.
Mac App Graphic Compressors:
If you prefer you image compressors on your computer then I have listed a couple of contenders which are both FREE, which is nice.
JPEG Mini App:
Exactly as above but on your desktop. The free version allows you to do 20 images a day so try and remember that if you are using JPEGs in your games (usually better for photos) then optimise as you go.
This app is really simple to use and it does JPEG, PNG and GIF which is really useful. If you are just trying to save 10% on everything then this is the app for you as its fast (drag and drop) and replaces the images. The only ‘but’ is that it doesn’t reduce the file sizes as much as the above.
I hope these help shrink the size of your games and if you have any other tips and tricks I would love to hear them