Supporting multiple resolutions in flash game
I'm working on a little flash game that has a couple of GUI components. I'm having a bit of trouble coming up with a good design that can support a min spec of 768x1024 and a max spec of 1200 x 1920.
An example of my design: I have a List component that hugs the top right corner. When the browser is resized I slide the component over, keeping it always 5 pixels from the edge of the browser. Once the stage has hit a minimum size (1024 for width) I stop sliding the GUI over otherwise it will start overlapping with other GUI's that are on the left side. This seems to be a similar fashion to how Farmville and other popular flash games handle their GUI's (they keep them the same scale for all resolutions and only translate them to keep them centered and what not)
If I knew the min spec would always have 768x1024 then I could deal with that, but the problem is that is rarely the case. It seems like the url bar, and other browser menus cut into your height space. Also when I'm running Ubuntu (my version has that menu bar on the side) I lose some width to my stage. I'm guessing the windows menu bar on the bottom also cuts into a browsers height space. This ends up cutting parts of my GUI out and can make the game unplayable.
I believe I can only truly expect 768x1024 when in full size mode.
My question is: What is a safe min spec of resolution, including what windows/ubuntu menu bars and browser menu bars will take up?
The safe area varies a lot depending on the browser/OS: http://designerstoolbox.com/designresources/safearea/
Back in the day (when full flash sites were popular) the usual way to deal with this was, as bokan says, to make your SWF to always fill up the browser's viewport, unless the viewport was smaller than a certain limit, then show scrollbars. swffit was a quite popular script to help with this. The typical minimum safe area used to be around 990x600 (to support 1024x768).
Being a game though, I'd recommend defining the minimum area where the game is playable, and if you detect a smaller viewport, require the user to go fullscreen (I wouldn't rely on scrollbars for any game, unless it's a super-cool-parallax-html5 game, of course :P).
There is no safe minimum size. Some users have 6 bars (favorites, yahoo, google, stumble, +2 spyware).
What You can do is resize your flash animation to 100% of a div and set a min-with min-height for this div. This way, users will see that they need to make the windows bigger.
The resolution depends on your target audiance. Do you want user to play on netbooks ? Just check your game with a typical netbook resolution.
You should take a look at http://www.greensock.com/liquidstage/ it's what you need. Greensock api are awsome.
I think 1000x600 is a good choice.
We use width x height, so your 768x1024 would be tall.