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Creating a new In-Game Font


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#1 Corvias

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 06:52 AM

One thing that has plagued me since the BG series began is the damn in-game font. At first, it was just hard to read. Tortured Souls helped this immensely, as it comes with a MUCH more readable font.

However, with the advent of High-res LCD displays, and the Widescreen mod over at G3, even the TS font is just becoming too small for those of us with crummy sight to handle.


Version 2 of this mod has been released! Get it here:
http://www.shsforums...showtopic=38626

Orginal Large normal.bam
Attached File  normal.BAM   34.15K   388 downloads

Edited by Corvias, 25 January 2009 - 11:00 AM.


#2 WizWom

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 04:35 PM

This is the NORMAL.BAM replacement from ToSC; it is larger than the original.

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#3 Corvias

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 04:44 PM

This is the NORMAL.BAM replacement from ToSC; it is larger than the original.


Hey! I just replied to you on BWL!

Thanks, WizWom. This is a little better, but not what I would call "Large Print." I do appreciate your response though. I will probably use this font as the replacement for the journal/item description/tooltip. (I'm basically putting together a "font mod" to replace all the fonts in-game with large print versions).

#4 WizWom

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 11:52 AM

The GUI fonts (buttons, etc) can be set with the FONT= line to any font installed in Windows, I'm not sure what it does on Mac.

#5 Corvias

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 06:30 PM

The GUI fonts (buttons, etc) can be set with the FONT= line to any font installed in Windows, I'm not sure what it does on Mac.


Yes, I know about the "font name=" line. The problem is there is no "font size=" line. No matter what font you usen, BG just adusts it to a hard coded size. Thanks, though.

#6 Corvias

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 10:24 PM

I figured out how to make fonts for bg2. It sucked, but I did it. I'll probably put together a tutorial at some point. Is *anybody* improving BAM workshop? Cause it could seriously use some batch import/export functionality. After this experience, I would KILL for a photoshop plugin for BAM files. Or a stable, up-to-date BWS.

Anyway, I've uploaded a new Normal.bam for high resolution screens It's quite large and easy to read for folks with bad sight (like me). It's big enough that is overlaps some parts of the interface, but it looks great in the dialog window on the main game screen. Just place it in your override folder.

Keep in mind that I mostly did this for my own usage, so I only did the English characters and punctuation. The other lingual characters have frames and sequences in the bam, but they will need to be aligned in order to display correctly. (hint: its really really tedious)

The font itself was created from the open source DejaVu Serif TrueType font, so there should be no legal issues in distributing it.

Attached File  fontmod.5.zip   24.27K   403 downloads

#7 -LP-

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 03:55 PM

Great work! Now that's really big :)
I have a small problem though:
The font seems to cause some "artifacts" between the lines of text. just small lines where there shouldn't be any, but it's really irritating. Probably just takes some getting used to, but still, it's kind of annoying ;)
Do you get those "artifacts" too and are they normal? Or can something be done about them? I'm getting the same artifacts with the ToTSC-font, but on a much smaller scale, nicely scaled down with font size it seems :)

#8 Corvias

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 04:38 PM

Great work! Now that's really big :)
I have a small problem though:
The font seems to cause some "artifacts" between the lines of text. just small lines where there shouldn't be any, but it's really irritating. Probably just takes some getting used to, but still, it's kind of annoying ;)
Do you get those "artifacts" too and are they normal? Or can something be done about them? I'm getting the same artifacts with the ToTSC-font, but on a much smaller scale, nicely scaled down with font size it seems :)


Hmmm. You shouldn't get any artifacts with either font. Are the lines the same color as the text? I could understand if it was just happening with my font, but not the tales font (its from bioware). What is your screen res? I never tested this on anything less that 1024x768. I think I mentioned earlier that this was mostly meant to compliment the bigg's widescreen mod on G3. Also, could you post a screenshot? Just hit PrintScreen on your keyboard, open paint, paste, and save.

#9 L_P

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 02:27 AM

Hmmm. You shouldn't get any artifacts with either font. Are the lines the same color as the text? I could understand if it was just happening with my font, but not the tales font (its from bioware). What is your screen res? I never tested this on anything less that 1024x768. I think I mentioned earlier that this was mostly meant to compliment the bigg's widescreen mod on G3. Also, could you post a screenshot? Just hit PrintScreen on your keyboard, open paint, paste, and save.


Ok, here are the screenshots. It's 1024x768. Afterwards I started tinkering around a bit, installed the widescreen mod and voila, the same problem as without it. Tried 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x800 windowed and fullscreen, always the same problem.
But then I remembered something from Freespace 2. It has those strange artifacts as well, but only if you enable antialiasing! So I disabled 3D-acceleration and everything looks like it should now.
I'll try deactivating aa somewhere driver-side now and report back.

EDIT: Hm, seems like there is no such option for my old Intel integrated.

EDIT2: If you are interested in a small glitch, "/" and "+" are about half too low, ";" too high. Nothing else I've found though :)

Attached Images

  • totscfont.jpg
  • bigfont.jpg

Edited by L_P, 09 March 2008 - 12:47 PM.


#10 Corvias

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 06:57 AM

Hmmm. You shouldn't get any artifacts with either font. Are the lines the same color as the text? I could understand if it was just happening with my font, but not the tales font (its from bioware). What is your screen res? I never tested this on anything less that 1024x768. I think I mentioned earlier that this was mostly meant to compliment the bigg's widescreen mod on G3. Also, could you post a screenshot? Just hit PrintScreen on your keyboard, open paint, paste, and save.


Ok, here are the screenshots. It's 1024x768. Afterwards I started tinkering around a bit, installed the widescreen mod and voila, the same problem as without it. Tried 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x800 windowed and fullscreen, always the same problem.
But then I remembered something from Freespace 2. It has those strange artifacts as well, but only if you enable antialiasing! So I disabled 3D-acceleration and everything looks like it should now.
I'll try deactivating aa somewhere driver-side now and report back.

EDIT: Hm, seems like there is no such option for my old Intel integrated.

EDIT2: If you are interested in a small glitch, "/" and "+" are about half too low, ";" too high. Nothing else I've found though :)



Great! I'll fix those misaligned chars. I can't speak for the tosc font, but the lines on my font occur from misaligned chars elsewhere in the font -- namely the non-english chars. It's odd though that they would be showing when 3d acc. is on. I'll confirm it later, and maybe I'll just blank out the other non-english characters. Too lazy to align them too! (aligning is very tedious with the tools we have).

#11 Corvias

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 06:11 PM

Fixed it!. Turns out it wasn't necessarily the char positioning. the first two frames in the bam are sort of a mask for the line height of the font. The first frame is used if 3D accel. is off, and the second if 3D is on. When the mask is too short, it causes the line to wrap, and thus cause the artifacts. The first one was fine, but the second needed to be adjusted. So that has been fixed, and i guesstimated the positioning of all the remaining unpositioned characters.

Attached File  normal.BAM   34.15K   343 downloads

#12 SirLancelot

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 06:00 AM

Can you tell us your monitor length (inchs) and the resolution of each one of the screenshots posted above, L_P?

Thx
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#13 L_P

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 08:48 AM

Fixed it!. Turns out it wasn't necessarily the char positioning. the first two frames in the bam are sort of a mask for the line height of the font. The first frame is used if 3D accel. is off, and the second if 3D is on. When the mask is too short, it causes the line to wrap, and thus cause the artifacts. The first one was fine, but the second needed to be adjusted. So that has been fixed, and i guesstimated the positioning of all the remaining unpositioned characters.

Attached File  normal.BAM   34.15K   343 downloads


Looks great, no glitches or what so ever! My eyes can't stop thanking you ;)


Can you tell us your monitor length (inchs) and the resolution of each one of the screenshots posted above, L_P?

Thx


It's set to 1024*768 in windowed mode on a 14" widescreen notebook display.

Edited by L_P, 14 March 2008 - 08:50 AM.


#14 SirLancelot

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 09:59 AM

Can anyone put a 800x600 or even 640x480 screenshot on a 22' or bigger monitor?
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#15 Jarno Mikkola

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:34 AM

Can anyone put a 800x600 or even 640x480 screenshot on a 22' or bigger monitor?

Why, if you have a 22' monitor, you probably have bigger resolution constraints than those, so why not use the graphic mod(not only for widescreen use)

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#16 L_P

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:39 AM

Can anyone put a 800x600 or even 640x480 screenshot on a 22' or bigger monitor?

Why, if you have a 22' monitor, you probably have bigger resolution constraints than those, so why not use the graphic mod(not only for widescreen use)



And why should a 640x480 screenshot on a 22" monitor look different from a 12" monitor screenshot of the same resolution? It's still 640x480 pixels.

#17 SirLancelot

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 12:51 PM

Why, if you have a 22' monitor, you probably have bigger resolution constraints than those, so why not use the graphic mod(not only for widescreen use)


Because i'm planning to buy a 22' TFT and like to play at 640 or 800 to see characters animations bigger, and therefore, more detailed. I know i will need Widescreen mod to properly fit the screen.

And why should a 640x480 screenshot on a 22" monitor look different from a 12" monitor screenshot of the same resolution? It's still 640x480 pixels.


AFAIK, theorically TFT monitors have a substantial image loss of quality when forced to work at lower resolutions than their native one. However, it is true that since i'm not using a 22' TFT yet, i will probably don't notice anything different...

But i feel this is a bit offtopic so i will ask about it in another place.

Edited by SirLancelot, 14 March 2008 - 01:01 PM.

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#18 Eric P.

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 10:14 PM

How can anyone fit a 22' monitor through the front door, anyway? ;)

Seriously, though, this concept is great, but the characters are too tall on some of my game screens now, such as the character record. Any chance of getting a version of normal.bam that will show the text slightly shorter? Or, is there a way to set that, perhaps in baldur.ini? Are the two related?

If the answer to the above is "no," does anyone have the unmodified version of normal.bam that they could send me? I stupidly added the modified file to my override without first saving the original somewhere else...but I don't find any such "original" normal.bam in any of my game back-up directories.

Thanks,
Eric

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#19 --Styphelus--

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Posted 13 April 2008 - 09:37 AM

I like the font, but it's way too big. Anyway to make it a bit smaller?

It went from really small (default BG font) to really really big. I'm not blind!

#20 Corvias

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:35 AM

I like the font, but it's way too big. Anyway to make it a bit smaller?

It went from really small (default BG font) to really really big. I'm not blind!



Not easily. I've been away for a few months, but I'm thinking of picking this project back up, and making another, smaller font. It is a really tedious process, though. First, you have to pick a truetype font, then use "Codehead's Bitmap font generator" to create a bmp containing all the characters of the font. After that, each character in the bmp needs to be cut into a seperate slice with Photoshop/ImageReady, and have the proper masking colors set. (this part wasn't too bad, I just created a photoshop macro to do it for me) Then, each character (255 of them -- foreign ones too). needs to be imported as a seperate single-frame sequence into an empty BAM using bam workshop (BWS). Since BWS is such a usability nightmare, there is no batch import feature, so each of those 255 frames needs to be added by hand. THEN you get the pleasure of selecting each character and trying to deduce through trial and error, its proper X/Y alignment so it displays correctly in the game. And you can't just do the english characters, because you will see artifacts in the game from the other misaligned characters (as I learned earlier in the thread).

Uggh Forget what I said earlier. I'm probably not going to make a smaller one after all. I wore myself out just thinking about the process...