Jump to content

Best Practices for Mobile Game Developers and Artists

Recommended Posts


The Samsung Developers team works with many companies in the mobile and gaming ecosystems. We're excited to support our friends, Arm, as they bring timely and relevant content to developers looking to build games and high-performance experiences. This Best Practices series will help developers get the most out of the 3D hardware on Samsung mobile devices.

Developing games is a true cross-disciplinary experience for developers, requiring both technical and creative skills to bring their gaming project to life. But all too often, the performance and visual needs of a project can be at odds.

Leading technology provider of processor IP, Arm has developed artists’ best practices for mobile game development where game developers learn tips on creating performance-focused 3D assets, 2D assets, and scenes for mobile applications. Before you cut those stunning visuals, get maximum benefit from Arm's best practices by reviewing these four topics: geometry, texturing, materials and shaders, and lighting.


To get a project performing well on as many devices as possible, the geometry consideration of a game should be taken seriously and optimized as much as possible. This section identifies what you need to know about using geometry properly on mobile devices.

On mobile, how you use vertices matters more then almost any other platform. Tips around how to avoid micro triangles and long thin triangles are great first steps in gaining performance.

The next big step is to use Level of Details (LOD). An LOD system uses a lower-poly version of the model as an object moves further away from the camera. This helps keep the vertex count down and gives control over how objects look far away to the artist. This otherwise would be left to the GPU, trying its best to render a high number of vertices in only a few pixels, costing the performance of the project.

To learn more, check Real-time 3D Art Best Practices: Geometry.



Textures make up 2D UI and are also mapped to the surface of 3D objects. Learning about texturing best practices can bring big benefits to your game! Even a straightforward technique such as texture aliasing, where you build multiple smaller textures into one larger texture, can bring a major performance gain for a project.

You should understand what happens to a texture when the application runs. When the texture is exported, the common texture format is a PNG, JPG, or TGA file. However, when the application is running, each texture is converted to specific compression formats that are designed to be read faster on the GPU. Using the ASTC texture compression option not only helps your project’s performance, but also lets your textures look better.

To learn other texturing best practices, such as texture filtering and channel packing, check Real-time 3D Art Best Practices: Texturing.


Materials and shaders

Materials and shaders determine how 3D objects and visual effects appear on the screen. Become familiar with what they do and how to optimize them.

Pair materials with texture atlas’s, allowing multiple objects in the same scene to share textures and materials. The game engine batches this object when drawing them to screen, saving bandwidth and increasing performance.

When choosing shaders, use the simplest shader possible (like unlit) and avoid using unnecessary features. If you are authoring shaders, avoid complicated match operations (like sin, pow, cos, and noise). If you are in doubt about your shaders’ performance, Arm provides tools to perform profiling on your shaders with the Mali Offline Shader Compiler.

There is a lot more to learn, so check out Real-time 3D Art Best Practices: Materials and Shaders for more information.



In most games, lighting can be one of the most critical parts of a visual style. Lighting can set the mood, lead game play, and identify threats and objectives. This can make or break the visuals of a game. But lighting can quickly be at odds with the performance needs of the project. To help avoid this hard choice, learn about the difference between static and dynamic light, optimization of light, how to fake lighting, and the benefits of the different type and settings of lights.

Often on mobile, it is worth faking as much as possible when it comes to shadows. Real time shadows are expensive! Dynamic objects often try using a 3D mesh, plane, or quad with a dark shadow texture for a shadow rather than resorting to dynamic lights.

For dynamic game objects, where you cannot fake lighting, use light probes. These have the same benefits of light maps and can be calculated offline. A light probe stores the light that passes through empty space in your scene. This data can then be used to light dynamic objects, which helps integrate them visually with lightmapped objects throughout your scene.

Lighting is a large topic with lots of possible optimizations. Read more at Real-Time 3D Art Best Practices in Unity: Lighting.


Arm and Samsung devices

Arm’s Cortex-A CPUs and Mali GPUs power the world’s smartphones, with Mali GPUs powering mobile graphics. This means you can find Arm GPUs in an extensive list of popular Samsung devices, including the Samsung Galaxy A51 and Galaxy S21. Arm provides practical tips and advice for teams developing real time 3D or 2D content for Arm-based devices.

Mobile game performance analysis has never been more important

Every year mobile gaming grows! It is now worth 77.2 billion US dollars in revenue in 2020. Growth in this sector is expected to continue in 2021 and beyond. With more mobile devices coming out each year, it is important for your content to be able to run on as many devices as possible, while providing players with the best possible experience.

The Artist Best Practices is just one part of the educational materials from Arm. Alongside these best practices, you can explore the Unity Learn Course, Arm & Unity Presents: 3D Art Optimization for Mobile Applications. This course includes a downloadable project that shows off the many benefits of using the best practices.

For more advanced users, check out Arm’s Mali GPU Best Practices Guide and learn about performance analysis with Arm Mobile Studio.

Follow Up

Thanks to Joe Rozek and the team at Arm for bringing these great ideas to the Samsung Developers community. We hope you put these best practices into effect on your upcoming mobile games.

The Samsung Developers site has many resources for developers looking to build for and integrate with Samsung devices and services. Stay in touch with the latest news by creating a free account or by subscribing to our monthly newsletter. Visit the Marketing Resources page for information on promoting and distributing your apps and games. Finally, our developer forum is an excellent way to stay up-to-date on all things related to the Galaxy ecosystem.

View the full blog at its source

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Days

Top Posters In This Topic

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Similar Topics

    • By Alex
      It’s that time of year again. You’ve got the biggest game in the NFL, and you’ve got your Samsung TV. All you need now is to know how to watch Super Bowl 2022 on your Samsung TV.
      If you’ve done any searching for a new big-screen to ring in Super Bowl 2022, one brand that we’re sure is dominating the ads of your browser is Samsung. Nestled comfortably in the top-five brands, Samsung Smart TVs are one of the best ways to experience any sporting event. Packed with industry-leading picture features and an intuitive streaming portal, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat the way the Super Bowl looks and feels on a Samsung set.
      If you’re all about the big game and want to know how you can watch it on that Samsung set you’re close to buying (or already own), we’ve put together this explainer to show you where and how you can catch Super Bowl 2022 through Samsung, and what settings you can use to maximize game. from the kickoff to the post-game celebration.
      This year’s Super Bowl takes place on February 13, 2022, with an expected kickoff time of 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The annual event is taking place at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, with NBC holding the exclusive rights to all Super Bowl 2022 live and streamable coverage.
      How to watch Super Bowl 2022 on a Samsung TV
      Year to year, coverage rights to the Super Bowl are handled by the four main network-TV broadcasters — NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS. In 2022, the golden contract rests in the hands of everyone’s rainbow-colored station, NBC. So what does this mean when it comes time to stream the game on your Samsung set? Well, you’ll need to do your Super Bowl watching through some kind of NBC-supported streaming app. And not to worry, there are plenty of paths to take.
      For starters, there’s Peacock, NBC’s go-to streaming service. While the basic version of Peacock is actually free, you’ll need to be subscribed to the service’s Premium ($5/month) or Plus plans ($9/month) to be able to watch Super Bowl 2022. Similar to other NBC-hosted sporting events, Super Bowl 2022 streams live through Peacock while being broadcast at the same time on NBC stations.
      Another great gateway to Super Bowl 2022 is through a Hulu + Live TV subscription. The cord-cutter’s dream, Hulu’s Live TV add-on runs $70 per month and will net you a big bounty of paid-cable channels and major network stations, including NBC and your local NBC affiliates. Best of all, before and after the big Bowl, you’ll be able to experience the many other benefits of your Hulu + Live TV subscription. This includes access to Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu’s entire library of movies and shows. Hate ads? For only another $5/month, you can bump that Live TV subscription up to an ad-free package.
      NBC affiliate access is also available through FuboTV, whic is an excellent sports-streaming service, YouTubeTV, both Sling TV packages, and DirecTV Stream.
      How to watch Super Bowl for free on a Samsung Smart TV
      Without getting into the nitty-gritty of mirroring web browsers to your TV (which can have mixed results for live events), the-tried and-true means of getting Super Bowl 2022 for free is through an over-the-air (OTA) antenna.
      Available in a number of shapes, sizes, and applications (primarily indoor/outdoor use), an OTA antenna is manually connected to the coaxial input on the back of your TV. Once plugged in, you’ll run a channel-scan that  will pick up whatever TV stations are being broadcast within a certain mile-cap. Basic indoor antennas can typically grab stations within about a 25-mile range, while more advanced outdoor models can often muster up to about 75 miles or more.
      Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-theater/how-to-watch-super-bowl-2022-on-samsung-smart-tv/
    • By Alex
      Samsung TV Plus offers free tv channels to all Samsung TV owners., over 190! How do you like it? Do you use it? What channels do you like most?
      What is Samsung TV Plus?
      Your Samsung devices come with Samsung TV Plus – Samsung’s free ad-supported Smart TV video service, delivering instant access to news, sports, entertainment, and more. No subscription, additional device, or credit card needed.
      Samsung TV Plus is 100% free. When we say no strings attached, we mean it. No subscriptions, no new fees, no credit card, just free TV.


    • By Alex
      I have been using Sling TV for the $35 blue bundle here in the US. I tried FuboTV but dropped it because there wasn't enough to make up teh price difference from Sling TV. I have not tried Youtube TV, Hulu Live, or philo. I'm curiuous what you are using for live tv and how you like it as a Samsung TV Tizen app. Not throuh Roku, FireTV or Apple TV.
      How do you like the app mostly, channel surfing, loading ,etc. There's a significant price difference between Sling, Philo, and the others.

    • By Autoguy
      I recently signed up to sling tv streaming and have to say its better on apple tv. On my samsung tv it seems to be slower loading between channels. Apple tv the channels change as if its cable.  If I'm in the guide and click on a channel, I have to then click the "watch" button. I wish they would just remove that park, ON apple tv you click right into the channel for immediate streaming. I think its the way its designed, they should tweak it. Amazon Fire tv is not bad but the samsung Sling TV app needs some updating.
    • By regenitin
      Hello everyone.
      I recently purchased Samsung The Frame 2020 (QA55LS03TAKXXL) in India 2 very important observations from my end.
      I am planning to purchase the Samsung Q600A Soundbar to pair with my TV and wanted to know if my TV supports Q-Symphony. I reached out the support team and they confirmed me that the Q-Symphony function is not a feature of my TV. I wanted to know if Samsung plans to update the operating System to support Q Symphony as this feature is present in Samsung The Frame 2021 which has exact same hardware as Samsung The Frame 2020. Since the support did not have any idea i thought of reaching out to folks on this forum. I am not able to find Amazon Prime Music & Youtube Music apps on the Samsung App Store. These are supposed to be pretty necessary and widely used apps and I am not able to figure out the reason they are not in the store. I would like to know if there are any plans to launch these apps soon. Also let me know if there is any work around to get the apps installed. Thanks in advance for your inputs.
      Best Regards

  • Create New...