Sprite based games like Dare the Monkey are typically memory hungry. In addition, textures that aren’t GPU optimised can really drag your game’s frame rate down. While it’s great to strive for the best visuals possible, performance is king and you really should do your very best to reach the gold standard that is 60 frames per second. Oh and if you can get your memory footprint as small as possible then you’ll be opening your game up to a much larger range of devices.

The good news is that it’s possible to optimise your graphics without having to sacrifice too much in the way of visual quality. So over the coming weeks I’m going to be sharing useful tips from my own experience working on Dare the Monkey. So let’s get the ball rolling.

Background Images

Level backgrounds will often be the largest images in your game and can rapidly eat up vital texture atlas space.


All four textures are scaled-up to create the final background layers.

A simple trick is to massively reduce them in size and then artificially scale them up in-game. What you’ll find is that rather than looking pixelated, the backgrounds will now look slightly soft and out of focus, which in turn helps to draw the user’s eye towards more important things such as the player, platforms, and enemies.

The more distant a background layer is, the smaller you can make the image. This is illustrated in the screen above.