¿how risky is it for battery life to make a mobile game in 3D?

SosaseesSosasees Posts: 220Member
edited December 2021 in General Chat

I consider making a mobile game in 3D.

so far i have made mobile games only in 2D, because with 2D i am Very confident that i can make a game that runs really well and doesn't drain much battery.

but 3D is a different story:

i have concerns that my game will drain more battery than is practical because 3D rendering is much more complex than 2D.

But on the other hand:
~4 years ago on a then-current mid-range phone, i could play Minecraft at 10–30FPS, and on a long day of playing (i have to charge the phone after ~2 hours) the game itself would use only ~10% battery, with most of the battery (~80%) being drained actually by the screen because i have to turn up the screen brightness all the way (much higher than the lower half that i put for all other apps) because of the dimmer visuals (especially when it's nighttime in the game world).
On my current phone, the results are very similar, expect that Minecraft now runs at 30–60FPS.

so maybe i Can actually make a 3D game that barely consumes any more battery than a 2D game, especially as the planned 3D game is Super Runner 2, with visuals that are roughly as bright as in the first Super Runner so that you don't need to set a higher-than-normal screen brightness.

based on this post and your own experiences, please tell me what you think about making a 3D mobile game, be it generally or about Super Runner 2 specifically.


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  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 5,341Moderator

    I haven't measured this, but there are lots of 3D mobile games, even super demanding ones like Call of Duty and PUBG. So I don't see why doing 3D would be an issue. Definitely will drain some battery, but I think users will understand. And the newer phones are much more efficient, it's like your phone will die after playing for 30 minutes. Depending on the phone, you could get several hours of play on a demanding 3D title.

  • SosaseesSosasees Posts: 220Member

    @cybereality this sounds really good.
    now the question becomes "will the target audience of Super Runner 2 appreciate the deeper gameplay that's possible because of 3D enough to happily pay the slightly increased battery cost?",
    and i think the answer is "Yes".

    Super Runner's main inspiration "Google Chrome Dinosaur Game" already perfected the instant-play instant-quit design with the really short rounds and the pick-up-and-play nature, and Super Runner could only slightly improve (in my opinion) this design by adding another movement dimension to the game.

    Now that i don't know how to improve this kind of design even further than i already improved it, it makes sense to switch to a different philosophy for the sequel, with the startup (the time it takes to boot up the game and to press Play and to start the game after pressing Play) being still reasonably fast but not as blazing as in the first game, the rounds still being relatively short but a bit longer, and most strikingly there'll be quite a bit more to think about than just jumping over sand pits, which turns this into much more of a rich arcade game rather than the simple wait-over game niche that the first game already fills.

  • cyberealitycybereality Posts: 5,341Moderator

    Well 3D in general is going to take more power, but you could in theory have a 2D game that was more intensive than a 3D game. It just depends on that game. If it is well optimized for mobile then it should be fine and I don't think battery life should be a major issue.

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