Apr 19, 2021
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
Games are the biggest revenue generator — more than 72 percent as of late last year — of all apps on both Android and iOS. If you want a slice of that pie (or a bigger slice of it than you already have), you’d better crank up the experience you’re giving your users.
Sure, you could write your game in one-size-fits-all Java or C++ and be done with it. But with mobile devices powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile platforms that number in the billions worldwide, you’d do better to include enhancements that exploit the strengths of our computing cores.
That’s why we’ve rolled more than a decade of mobile gaming expertise into our Game Developer Guides. We’ve made available a collection of documents and tutorials designed to help you create console-quality experiences for a multitude of our mobile platforms. Whether you’re a long-time developer or you’re just starting out in mobile gaming, we’ve got useful content for you.
Here’s a preview.
Guides — Get the most out of our hardware
Our mobile platforms are designed for heterogeneous computing, and the Guides section explores the compute cores.
- Qualcomm Kryo CPU: This is an overview of the big.LITTLE architecture of Arm processors, with CPU utilization and power considerations.
- Qualcomm Adreno GPU: Because graphics are at the heart of the gaming experience, we’ve pulled together a huge section on getting the most out of our graphics processing unit. Take a deep dive into rendering, texture features, tiling architecture, vertex processing and two dozen articles on shader support alone — all specific to Adreno. If it’s not in here, we don’t know it. And if we don’t know it, who else would?
- Qualcomm Hexagon DSP: Many game developers ask, “you mean my games can use digital signal processing?” Yes, some games can. Read this section for ideas on offloading tasks to our DSP to take advantage of its high work-per-cycle ratio and lower clock speed. Your games can also use the co-processor in Hexagon that allows for single instruction multiple data (SIMD) vector operations for maximum compute with low power consumption.
Components — Get the most out of our software
Several of the utilities, SDKs and profilers we’ve released on the Qualcomm Developer Network are also useful in game development.
- Adreno SDK for OpenGL ES and Adreno SDK for Vulkan: OpenGL ES and Vulkan expose the Adreno GPU to you and these SDKs let your games take advantage of it. We highlight the tutorials and sample code available in each SDK.
- Snapdragon Profiler: Use our profiler to find performance bottlenecks in your games. We describe the three modes — real-time, trace and snapshot — that Snapdragon Profiler offers for examining how your code affects rendering in each frame.
- Vulkan Adreno Layer: See how you can optimize Vulkan running on Adreno.
Tutorials — Get the most out of the platforms
We’re adapting presentations from our engineers and product managers into tutorials on a few platform-related topics.
Android — Not all fundamentals are obvious. The tutorials on Snapdragon Profiler walk you through finding graphics memory (GMEM) loads in your code and identifying application bottlenecks. Also, have a look under the hood at the our True HDR (high dynamic range) solution for mobile displays.
Windows on Arm64 — Ready for a new target platform? OEMs are shipping Windows-on Snapdragon laptops, and you can build your games to Arm64 targets. Microsoft and QTI have streamlined the porting of software to Windows 10 on Arm. These tutorials walk you through enabling Arm64 development in Visual Studio and producing a project build in Unreal Engine that can run on a Windows 10 Arm device.
Are you ready to have your games access the high performance and low power consumption of Qualcomm Technologies mobile platforms? Spend a few minutes looking through the Game Developer Guides and see what you can use. Let us know what you’d like to see there next.