Font Discussions

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Roots
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Font Discussions

Postby Roots » Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:24 pm

There's been recent discussion on selecting an appropriate, free font to replace our current vtc_switchblade_romance font. I figured we should dedicate a thread to it and decide which one(s) we should use in Allacrost. Yes, it is fine to use multiple fonts as long as we keep things reasonable (ie, don't have a separate font for every type of text).


Desired Font Properties

1) It must be "free" in the sense that it can be GPL distributed and thus meets the DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidelines).

2) Must be a true type font

3) If possible, it would be nice if it was a unicode font that supported as many languages as possible (including asian glyphs; Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.)

4) It has to look good in the game :cool:



Two suggestions so far have been:

1) Junicode: http://junicode.sourceforge.net/
2) Libertine: http://linuxlibertine.sourceforge.net/


Lets put together a little list of proposed fonts and when we have one, I'll add a poll and we can all vote. Any other font-related issues should be brought up in this thread as well. :)

---

One final thought: it might be nice to use one font specifically for distinguished titles (location names, character names in dialogue, possibly even enemy names in battle), and to use a second font for most everything else.

Oh and remember we also use a simple courier font for printing debug messages to the screen (like FPS).
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Postby prophile » Sun Jun 17, 2007 2:05 pm

I'll just highlight a site I use to find fonts for my games called http://www.dafont.com, which also tracks the licenses for the fonts.
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Postby Roots » Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:55 pm

I think I would like Junicode for most text and Libertine caps for titles (menu categories, character names, etc). BTW I could tell no difference between junicode and regular libertine -- they appear exactly the same. :uhoh:
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Postby fydo » Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:23 pm

My vote goes to Libertine Caps for titles and menus, and regular Libertine for everything else.

I'm surprised you can't tell the difference between Libertine and Junicode, roots :cool:
Check out the capital W's for the biggest difference. Also, I think Junicode's capital T is a little too wide. Libertine just feels much sharper and crisper to me.

Also, ettin, you did a good job setting up these screenshots to compare font choices. :)
I hadn't realized there were so many open fonts out there.
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Postby Jetryl » Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:50 pm

fydo wrote:My vote goes to Libertine Caps for titles and menus, and regular Libertine for everything else.

I'm surprised you can't tell the difference between Libertine and Junicode, roots :cool:
Check out the capital W's for the biggest difference. Also, I think Junicode's capital T is a little too wide. Libertine just feels much sharper and crisper to me.


I have exactly the same opinion. There is a subtle but very significant different between the two, and libertine just feels much, much sharper/cleaner.
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Postby Roots » Fri Jun 22, 2007 4:54 pm

Jetryl wrote:
fydo wrote:My vote goes to Libertine Caps for titles and menus, and regular Libertine for everything else.

I'm surprised you can't tell the difference between Libertine and Junicode, roots :cool:
Check out the capital W's for the biggest difference. Also, I think Junicode's capital T is a little too wide. Libertine just feels much sharper and crisper to me.


I have exactly the same opinion. There is a subtle but very significant different between the two, and libertine just feels much, much sharper/cleaner.


I can see the difference now. Maybe I accidentally opened the same image twice and was comparing the same image pair. :heh: Anyway, I completely agree with you about the libertine + libertine caps combo being the best. Do we want to look around for any other free fonts?

Also what char sets does Libertine support? It would be awesome (but probably unlikely) if they had asian characters in addition to extended latin. My guess is we might have to do what Wesnoth did and use a separate free font for asian language support.
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Postby gorzuate » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:07 pm

Roots wrote:Do we want to look around for any other free fonts?


Yes, I will go looking for some this weekend. The choices so far are okay and will do fine if we can't find anything else, but I'd still like to look for some more.
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Re: Font Discussions

Postby ettin » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:37 pm

Roots wrote:1) It must be "free" in the sense that it can be GPL distributed and thus meets the DFSG (Debian Free Software Guidelines).

This list has samples of truetype fonts that are already included in Debian (not sure how up-to-date it is though).
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Postby eleazar » Fri Jun 22, 2007 5:38 pm

Jetryl wrote:
fydo wrote:My vote goes to Libertine Caps for titles and menus, and regular Libertine for everything else.

I'm surprised you can't tell the difference between Libertine and Junicode, roots :cool:
Check out the capital W's for the biggest difference. Also, I think Junicode's capital T is a little too wide. Libertine just feels much sharper and crisper to me.


I have exactly the same opinion. There is a subtle but very significant different between the two, and libertine just feels much, much sharper/cleaner.

Well, yes Libertine is better than Junicode, but neither is very good for much on-screen reading. I strongly recommend a sans-serif, or at least something with very minimal serifs. You'll notice that san-serif fonts are almost universally chosen (websites, applications, OSs) when type is displayed at a relatively small size. The legibility advantages of serifs don't function at the relatively low resolutions of screens— compared to printed paper.

For titles and headings i'd hope for something with more character/flavor, while still being readable. There's no reason to use a pure vanilla Times New Roman type font there.
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Postby Jetryl » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:03 pm

Roots wrote:Do we want to look around for any other free fonts?


Yes, but for a different reason that you might think; we should do so because we might want to use a good "compressed" font in certain menus, like in nunuvuru's original mockups.
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Postby MindFlayer » Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:02 pm

I think Libertine looks better overall but somehow the numbers seem to look better on Junicode. :huh:
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Postby gorzuate » Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:14 pm

I do like ttf-isabella on that list, but I'm probably the only one.
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Postby Roots » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:12 am

eleazar wrote:Well, yes Libertine is better than Junicode, but neither is very good for much on-screen reading. I strongly recommend a sans-serif, or at least something with very minimal serifs. You'll notice that san-serif fonts are almost universally chosen (websites, applications, OSs) when type is displayed at a relatively small size. The legibility advantages of serifs don't function at the relatively low resolutions of screens— compared to printed paper.


I don't really know what a sans-serif/serif is, so could you recommend some fonts for us to look at that have these qualities that you are promoting?


I'd like for us to begin to use our new fonts somewhat soon, since they may require slight adjustments and tweaks to our menus.
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Postby Jetryl » Mon Jul 02, 2007 5:40 am

Roots wrote:I don't really know what a sans-serif/serif is,


You do now. :devil:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serif

Sans- means "without"; it's originally french, afaik. Serifs are those little notches that jut out at the end of strokes in a letter. If you write the capital letter "I" in a sans-serif font/script, you will use a single pen stroke. If you write it in a serif font, you'd probably do two little cross-strokes, one at the very top of the main stroke, one at the bottom.

Sans-serif:
[img:209:59]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a0/Serif_and_sans-serif_01.png[/img]

Serif:
[img:209:56]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8c/Serif_and_sans-serif_02.png[/img]


Supposedly, serifs enhance readability by guiding the eye along horizontal paths, and by offering increased visual cohesion within a word, making the spaces between them more clear. There are other theories - really when it boils down to it, I just think serif fonts look cooler.


My suggestions:
- A sans-serif font wouldn't kill us, but does look slightly out-of-place, or anachronistic in a medieval/fantasy setting. If you go to small sizes, a sans-serif would be more readable, as Eleazar said; however I don't think it's going to make much difference at our current text size - it would only become a problem if we dropped below 12pt text. Wesnoth uses a sans-serif font; it doesn't really break the immersion. Our text sizes are much larger than wesnoth, though, and I do think a sans-serif font looks cooler.

- The only suggestion I would give regarding readability would be to not make the same mistake that Diablo made. The only "fatal flaw" is to use a font wherein you can't tell what certain characters are (e.g. you can't tell if you're looking at a G or an S, as might be the case in some far-out "fantasy" font). For letters, it's not such a huge deal, since you can judge from context (the word they're part of, and the sentence they're in) what they are. But for numbers, it IS a big deal, numbers have no context to judge them in. Diablo used a really offbeat font; it looked really cool, and was generally no problem, except for one thing: You couldn't tell the difference between a 5 and a 9. Even with extensive familiarity, it was hard. So in short; Make sure it's trivial to tell the difference between any number in the font we use. This should only be an issue if we pick a "fantasy" font for our text.
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Postby Jetryl » Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:26 am

Also, a short dump of info related to "how to build a font":
http://www.applegeeks.com/blog/2007/08/ ... /#comments
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Postby Roots » Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:47 am

BTW, who is willing to take on the task of adding these fonts to the game in place of our existing ones? And are we planning to make this switch prior to our next release, or after it?
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Re: Font Discussions

Postby rujasu » Tue Jan 12, 2010 4:46 pm

I'm not sure which font we're using in game; I think it's Junicode at the moment. Based on consensus, we should be using Libertine for regular text, and Libertine C (the "small caps" font) for menus/headers. I'm going to look into this later tonight to see if we can get this implemented in the game, because I do think the small-caps font would improve the look and feel. Also, Libertine is a better-looking font and easier to read, though the differences are subtle.

I'll also look into the internationalization aspects of the font. I recall that being a shortcoming of Libertine, so we may have to note that for whenever we find translators to languages with non-Latin alphabets.
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Re: Font Discussions

Postby Roots » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:00 pm

Oh my mistake, I thought we had decided on junicode for regular text but after reading the thread again I see I was wrong. I'm pretty sure Junicode is what the game is using now as well. Rujasu, let me deal with getting our desired fonts into the game. I was already planning to do so and I found the proper capital letter font file last night too (its not currently in the repository). This will be a good thing for me to do to get myself familiar with the GUI code again.
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Re: Font Discussions

Postby rujasu » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:20 pm

Roots wrote:Oh my mistake, I thought we had decided on junicode for regular text but after reading the thread again I see I was wrong. I'm pretty sure Junicode is what the game is using now as well. Rujasu, let me deal with getting our desired fonts into the game. I was already planning to do so and I found the proper capital letter font file last night too (its not currently in the repository). This will be a good thing for me to do to get myself familiar with the GUI code again.


Okay, sounds good. Thanks!

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