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Bigger fonts for Baldur's Gate

baldurs gate bigger fonts mod

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#1 Delfosse

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 07:54 AM

Hi. This is a fonts mod for Baldur's Gate that I made for myself and I'd be happy if somebody else enjoyed it as well. I suppose it'll work for other IE games as well.

As you know, there are already 2 bigger font mods out there. Not to belittle the authors' efforts at all, but I never felt quite satisfied with them for 2 reasons:
1) They are way too big for my taste
2) They don't have the BG2/fantasy spirit in them (in my opinion anyway), stylistically speaking.

So I set off on a quest to find a font that would look like BG's original one and after days of font-hunting I ended up finding one that I truly like. It has some interesting features that are akin in style to those found in the BG font.

So, enough with the preamble! Now you can chose from 3 fonts and take whichever you like most. Here's a comparison:

http://rien-ici.com/...mparison-v2.jpg 

bg-fontcomparison-v2.jpg

 

Now, if you happen to like some other font, here they are:

Ghostdog's mod: http://www.shsforums...baldurs-gate-2/
Corvias' mod: http://www.shsforums...other-ie-games/

 

If you happen to like this mod, here are 3 font sizes to chose from:

http://rien-ici.com/wow/bg-fonts1.jpg (click on this link to see the image in real size if the forum makes it smaller!!!)

bg-fonts1.jpg

 

 

Installation: Courtesy of ljbo  this is now a WeiDU-based mod, so just download Baldurs-Gate-Bigger-Fonts-Weidu.zip, unzip the contents into your BG2 directory and run the executable file.

 

In case you want to improve something or convert it to some other code page and whatnot, I've also included the .otf files in Baldurs-Gate-Bigger-Fonts-Non-Weidu.zip.
Special thanks to haen for his bam generator.

Attached Files


Edited by Delfosse, 17 September 2014 - 02:40 AM.


#2 Mephisto

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 08:39 PM

This is truly amazing! I was just going to revist BGT and stumbled upon this wonderful mod. A thousand times thank you.



#3 -Guest-

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Posted 29 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

I was just comparing all the font mods I could find to finally start playing... but yours is the best. Thank you alot!



#4 ljbo

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:10 AM

I took the liberty to make a Weidu mod to install your fonts. It can be found here



#5 Delfosse

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 09:31 AM

Wow! Thanks, I've added your .zip file (and a link) into the first post so people don't miss it.

 

Such a coincidence, too. Started playing BG2 again just yesterday and I've also been looking into how to make it into a weidu mod since this morning, I was literally reading packaging tutorials right when I saw your post. Guess now I won't have to.  :ermm:


Edited by Delfosse, 29 June 2014 - 09:36 AM.


#6 ljbo

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 09:49 AM

Wow! Thanks, I've added your .zip file (and a link) into the first post so people don't miss it.

 

Such a coincidence, too. Started playing BG2 again just yesterday and I've also been looking into how to make it into a weidu mod since this morning, I was literally reading packaging tutorials right when I saw your post. Guess now I won't have to.  :ermm:

Even more amazing considering that I put together that Weidu mod over the Christmas break, and I suddenly felt like sharing it!



#7 Cahir

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 11:53 AM

@ljbo will this package work with BG(2)EE?



#8 ljbo

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 12:39 PM

@ljbo will this package work with BG(2)EE?

I don't know for sure as I haven't tested but I'd say it's pretty unlikely. Even if BG(2)EE uses the same font file names, that mod of mine borrows a hack from Ghostdog that would certainly not work with anything but the original BG2 engine.


Edited by ljbo, 29 June 2014 - 12:51 PM.


#9 Delfosse

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:28 PM

I remember looking into it a year ago. BG2EE doesn't load font files from the override folder, they have completely overhauled the way fonts are loaded. You could replace their font with any other, except they're packed in a format I couldn't figure out how to use. Letters are drawn in a simple bmp image file, and there is an additional .FNT file that probably describes the coordinates for each glyph.

 

I asked Trent Oster on twitter to provide the utility to convert standard font files to bg2ee format, he said he's going to consult his "font meister" and then I never heard back from him again. Unless someone comes up with a way to convert fonts to this format, the bg2ee font situation is going to remain rather grim.

 

I couldn't open the .FNT file, and this is how the bmp files look like:

bg2eefonts.png


Edited by Delfosse, 29 June 2014 - 04:38 PM.


#10 The Imp

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:44 PM

I remember looking into it a year ago. BG2EE doesn't load font files from the override folder, they have completely overhauled the way fonts are loaded.

Well, have you tried putting the replacement file to the movies folder ? The reason is this, the langxy folder has the font files, and that can't be replaced by going to lower override folder in order, as you need higher one.


Edited by The Imp, 29 June 2014 - 04:44 PM.

Yep, Jarno Mikkola. my Mega Mod FAQ. Use of the BWS, and how to use it(scroll down that post a bit). 
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#11 Delfosse

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 04:46 PM

Huh, I'm going to redownload BG2EE and see if I can make it work this way.

 

Also, their font files might have been created by this program http://www.angelcode...roducts/bmfont/ (couldn't find it a year ago, but now it's high on google, so I'll give it a try as well)



#12 Delfosse

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 06:58 PM

So about bg2ee... it's been a year and pretty much nothing has changed other than that they've biffed those files.

 

1) Their game simply doesn't use normal.bam anymore, wherever you put it.

2) You can find NORMAL.FNT and NORMAL.BMP in the bifs. You can unbif them, put them into the movies folder, then slightly modify the .bmp file in photoshop (like cross a few letters) and you will see the effect in the game - which means their fonts can be overriden. However, we still need to find what software they used to create the correct .FNT file. The game simply crashes if you try to use a FNT file created by any other program. They seem to have used some unusual font descriptor... I've asked Trent Oster again, but I doubt he'll reply.

 

Tomorrow I'll have a go at every possible bitmap font generator I can find - maybe they used one of those. But I doubt it, they probably wrote something of their own (for whatever reason...).


Edited by Delfosse, 29 June 2014 - 07:07 PM.


#13 ljbo

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 01:26 AM

@Delfosse are you testing with the beta 1.3 of BG:EE? From what I read on forum.baldursgate.com, I am under the impression that there is a new slider to change font size.

#14 Delfosse

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Posted 30 June 2014 - 08:00 AM

No, only the people who got the game on Beamdog's site can access the beta. I got it on steam.

 

I've read it too about the new font size feature. I'm not completely satisfied with their font unfortunately. It's not that bad, but it's quite different (too thin) from the original one (because bio lost all assets). If nothing changes, I think I'll just substitute their glyphs with mine in the bmp files manually when the slider feature arrives.


Edited by Delfosse, 30 June 2014 - 08:19 AM.


#15 ljbo

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 12:49 AM

I have access to BG:EE betas, having participated in the public testing phase of patch 1.2. If you explain your trick to me, I could give it a go during the coming weekend. I intend to play BG:EE when the BG1 NPC mod becomes ready and I would rather use your fonts!



#16 Delfosse

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 05:51 PM

I've been redirected to this person (Cam the Font Meister that Trent was talking about), maybe he will end up answering my question. It's the most promising route so far.

 

As to the the substitution technique, I'm going to try it right now to see if it works. If it does, I'll explain it here in details.


Edited by Delfosse, 02 July 2014 - 05:52 PM.


#17 Delfosse

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 08:26 PM

So I just tried substituting the glyphs and it needs more tinkering to see if it would work out in the end, because right now there is a problem.

 

I can change any glyph successfully, but I can't change the coordinates for the glyph box in the FNT file. This results in problematic situations. For example, my font's "Q" letter is very different from theirs - it's takes much less space horizontally. Their Q is well rounded, mine is more oval. And so since I can't change the box's size in the FNT file, I'm stuck with their Q's box, and my Q simply doesn't occupy the box completely. It results in empty space to the sides of my Q.

Visual explanation of the problem:

 

Q-problem.jpg

 

In game it looks like there's too much space between letters.

 

This can be redeemed by stretching the Q horizontally, but then the Q looks stretched, which doesn't look good. So this isn't an option.

 

Now the good thing is that there are other fonts in the bifs. Some of those fonts may have boxes that are similar to the ones I need. And maybe it's possible to use other glyph's boxes by tinkering with the FNT file. I'm going to try those things out, but hopefully Cameron Tofer will respond soon...


Edited by Delfosse, 02 July 2014 - 08:37 PM.


#18 Delfosse

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 08:32 PM

If you explain your trick to me

This is what I'm doing right now.

 

1) Extract BMPs with WinBiff from data/fonts.bif

2) Extract FNTs with NearInfinity.

3) Open BMP files in photoshop, flip vertically if the image is reversed, and manually replace letters. This is quite cumbersome since they have shuffled the glyphs in certain BMPs in order to pack them as tightly as possible.



#19 Delfosse

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 02:56 AM

Ok, well, this is as much as I could achieve through substitution: 

 

bg2eefontmod.jpg

 

You might notice that the font had to be slightly modified to fit the predetermined glyph boxes, so it lost some of its features and most of its finesse, unfortunately. It's clumsy now. Can't modify the width of the space character either. Can't modify size...

 

Well, if anyone's interested, I'm going to attach the files, just drop them into the "override" folder (create it if you don't have it).

 

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed to get an answer from the Tofer guy, cause I'm not satisfied with this...

Attached Files


Edited by Delfosse, 03 July 2014 - 03:07 AM.


#20 ljbo

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 06:42 AM

Thanks for your detailed explanations! Spacing does not look nice indeed. Your font looses a lot of its beauty as a result. Oh well… let's see if I can gain some insight into the fnt file format they use over the weekend. 







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