Author Topic: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.  (Read 2211 times)

Offline x4000

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Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« on: June 13, 2013, 08:14:40 AM »
Hey all, so it was brought up in late beta that some folks really don't like the font we use in this game.  I do like it, but that's a bit beside the point.  I previously said we could not change the font because it was too close to release, and the trailer was already done and etc etc.  All true back then, but no longer applicable.

My reasons for wanting to consider changing the fonts in the game are (in order of priority to me):

1. To get a font that is really legible, but more horizontally compact than Casino Hand (which is the one most used in the game currently).  This will be a big deal, because it means less wrapping of text and more that can fit in a smaller tooltip, etc.  A lot of things will auto-resize themselves, but many others will not.  So I'll have a fair bit of manual hunting to do to fix up stuff, but still.

2. To make the fonts look more distinct from our other games (particularly Valley 2, which this game uses the exact fonts of; but it even shares some with Valley 1 and Shattered Haven).  Not to distance this game from those, but just to give it's own feel a bit more.  AI War and Tidalis both have completely unique fonts compared to our other games, and I like that.

3. Kind of dovetailing off #2, to give the game yet a bit more personality that is specific to it.  In other words, ignoring the other games I'd still like to nail the tone slightly better with this.  The tone is close as it is, but could be better.

4. Since some folks don't like the font, it's at least worth looking at a tad.  I'll never please everyone, so this on its own isn't really worth pursuing since some folks will just hate the new font as well.  But hopefully fewer people do, and anyway the other benefits higher up the list make it worth it.


All that said, I really hate trawling through font libraries trying to find something that would work.  It's hard and tedious, and a big reason why we don't always rush to change fonts between games. ;)  I have an account on myfonts.com in particular, so if you want to look through their libraries that's preferred all things being equal.  There are fonts that are open source, and some of them are good, but a lot are kind of rough around the edges or else the standard serif and sans-serif fonts without much personality.

AI War itself started out using the Arial font, which as one reviewer noted had "the personality of a spreadsheet" and another noted "it's like coming in a cardboard box."  Those were Alec Meer and Tom Chick, incidentally, who loved AI War and put it on the map.  But obviously they weren't won over by the presentation. ;)  That sort of sentiment is a big part of why I want fonts that have at least some personality to them.  But maintaining legibility and also trying not to have too wide of characters or kerning.  Always a really tricky thing.

Anyway, so if people have fonts they want to suggest, here's a place to do it. :)
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Offline Breach

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 11:07:15 AM »
Hello there, nice to see you giving fonts some thought. I had a quick look through that site you mentioned and found a couple you may like. I tried to focus on narrow fonts as you mentioned horizontal space was at a premium.

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/mti/albertus/ This one looks pretty nice, especially the variants with MT in the name (the three at the bottom). It somewhat fits the theme of SC as well I feel.

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/woodentypefonts/gothic-narrow/ Perhaps less thematically suitable but I still think it would appear nice. However readability does suffer at the smaller point sizes.

Offline x4000

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 11:14:47 AM »
Albertus Std Light or Albertus Std Roman would probably work well, yeah -- by the by, one note is that for the sake of visibility I have to give each font a black border around it so that it can be seen on a variety of backgrounds; otherwise these things get lost in the shuffle.  So something ultra-bold like gothic narrow tends not to work too well, because then it becomes bold on bold on bold, heh.
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Offline Mick

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 12:09:34 PM »
I like Albertus. It fits the criteria of a font I'd like.

I like this one as well: http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/sudtipos/esmeralda-pro/

I'll admit to being one who doesn't think the font being used now is a good choice. It's a bit too 'whimsical', and I'm glad you're considering changing it.

EDIT: Here is a handy guideline for font choice: http://adesigndive.blogspot.com/2010/12/more-on-fonts.html

« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 12:13:05 PM by Mick »

Offline doctorfrog

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 03:06:43 PM »
That's a great little thumbnail image above!

I have to say that I like Albertus, it is readable, is very complete with light and heavy variations, and fits the theme of the game IMO. Great suggestion!

x4, is it easy to come up with a mockup?

Offline Billick

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 03:11:05 PM »
Comic Sans all the way  :P

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 05:48:02 PM »
Comic Sans all the way  :P
If only it had a sense of humor.
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Offline Castruccio

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 11:01:59 PM »
Any progress on this front?  When you narrow it down, maybe you could propose a couple for us to vote for or something.

Offline mrhanman

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 09:00:39 AM »
Of the ones mentioned here, I like Albertus the best, but it's hard to judge without seeing it in game. 

Digging through MyFonts.com, Core Sans M looks awesome, but would probably be better suited to AI War.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 09:24:24 AM »
I was hoping there would be a bit more discussion and a few more recommendations, but Albertus looks pretty cool of those mentioned.

Offline vehementi

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2013, 10:35:49 AM »
Just butting in to beg for UI scaling

Offline Breach

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2013, 01:28:10 PM »
Glad to see the support for Albertus!

I have another possible suggestion: http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/fontbureau/antenna/ Antenna Cond Extra Light specifically.

Offline Coppermantis

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2013, 04:25:52 PM »
How about Wingdings?



But Albertus is nice, I like it. Seems to fit Skyward pretty well.
I can already tell this is going to be a roller coaster ride of disappointment.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2013, 04:26:55 PM »
How about Wingdings?
I say go for it!
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Offline x4000

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Re: Developers requesting feedback: font suggestions.
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2013, 08:17:22 AM »
Any progress on this front?  When you narrow it down, maybe you could propose a couple for us to vote for or something.

I'm giving Albertus Std Roman a go -- it's not very easy to do mockups at all, because things don't look the way they really will in-game until I put it in-game.  Things like spacing, the borders, and so forth can make a big difference.  So I'm giving that one a shot for now, as I think it has a good chance of looking right, and there's no other way to really find out.

Digging through MyFonts.com, Core Sans M looks awesome, but would probably be better suited to AI War.

I like that one also, when it's shown at the top of the view there.  That said, the actual fonts when viewed small (as for in-game purposes) don't look very clear or very unique.  I think this looks much better for larger things.

If there are any suggestions for sci-fi fonts, though, I'm all ears.  We may do something with AI War at some point, although no promises because we have to retrofit the UI on that still before we can do it, IIRC.  But for Bionic Dues, we need some good fonts for it.

I was hoping there would be a bit more discussion and a few more recommendations

Yes, me too, to be honest.  I think that Albertus will do really well as our "thin font" for the game.  We still need a second font that is more thick, though.  I may try the cloudsplitter font from Nick's comic, we'll see.  I really like it, and it's compact and clear.  It also underpins the humor of the game pretty well.  Since we're in a beta period, I can try that without upending everything, too.  Particularly if it doesn't work and we need to try something else; we already have that font, so it's low risk to try.

Just butting in to beg for UI scaling

Sorry, I doubt we'll ever do that.  It's quite complicated and would require a huge addition to our entire GUI library.  It would also require us to make our button and so forth assets in a larger resolution than we currently have them, so we'd have to redo all of the GUI and button graphics from scratch.  Some of them we have larger, many of them we do not.
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