Epic Games explains in a blog post the challenges it had to overcome to make a working Fortnite Android port. Mainly memory management and and the focusing of the game on the many different Android devices are a challenge.
They publish the report following the achievement of 15 million installations on Android in three weeks. They tell us that different Android devices make different amounts of working memory available, without any clear logic behind it. On a Samsung Galaxy S8 Fortnite could address up to 3GB of the 4GB ram before the system was turned around. With a Pixel 2 that was 1.8GB of the 3.6GB. In addition, the team denounces applications that ignore the garbage collection of Android and regularly restart it on their own initiative. “That kind of situation therefore costs cpu time and does not provide extra free working memory.”
In addition to memory management, fragmentation is a big challenge for the developers. Android versions, cpu’s, gpu’s, driver versions, energy management profiles and schedulers can vary considerably per device, so smartphone models each require a different approach and unique bugs. In order to tackle this, Fortnite maps these variables and select one of 4 graphical presets that should work best. In addition, it chooses a specific gpu profile and a device profile . Despite the fact that there are so many hooks and eyes to Android compatibility, in the future Epic also wants to give users the option to choose image quality over performance or vice versa.
The American game developer continues to say that Google engineers, among other things, have visited the studio to assist with the optimization process. This is somewhat striking, since Epic Games deliberately does not offer Fortnite in the Google Play Store , so it does not have to give any share of the revenue to Google. Samsung, ARM, Qualcomm and Hisilicon also contributed.
Although Epic Games admits that it is going through a long, difficult process with the Android release of FNBR, it is optimistic about the future performance of the game. “On the best phones today, the game is going great. Every year, the high-end smartphones are 50 percent faster than the year before, so imagine how Fortnite looks like next year’s phones. ”
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