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Game Design 2 (2010): Lecture 4 - Text
 

Game Design 2 (2010): Lecture 4 - Text

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This week we look at how text is used in games. We discuss the technical aspects of rendering fonts (such as kerning, ligatures etc), the opportunities to use text to meet design goals (choosing an ...

This week we look at how text is used in games. We discuss the technical aspects of rendering fonts (such as kerning, ligatures etc), the opportunities to use text to meet design goals (choosing an appropriate font) and the data visualisation uses of text in games.

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Game Design 2 (2010): Lecture 4 - Text Game Design 2 (2010): Lecture 4 - Text Presentation Transcript

  • 2010 Game Design 2 Lecture 4: Text http://www.comu346.com dfarrell@davidlearnsgames.com
  • Reading • Duarte 140 - 155 • Fox 87-98
  • Two Questions • How can you use text visually to accomplish design goals? • How can text help you visualise data?
  • Anthropomorphised Fonts • Fonts have personality. • Serious • Playful • Friendly •Tense • Annoying • Distressed
  • Functional Fonts •fixed width fonts { useful for programming; because characters line up; } • Other fonts are suitable for OCR • (0 vs O)
  • Font components play
  • play Cap Height
  • play Cap Height X Height
  • play Cap Height X Height Baseline
  • play Cap Height Ascender X Height Baseline
  • play Cap Height Ascender X Height Baseline Descender
  • Serifs play Cap Height Ascender X Height Baseline Descender
  • Serifs play Cap Height Ascender X Height Baseline Descender Counter
  • Serifs play Cap Height Ascender X Height Baseline Descender Counter Kerning
  • Serif Fonts • The serifs connect letters • useful at small point size • or in large paragraphs • problematic for dyslexics
  • Sans Serif Fonts • Sans means ‘without’ • generally accepted as easier to read • work better on computer screens
  • Ligatures • firefly • note how the ‘f’ and ‘i’ interact without ligatures • firefly • Apple apply ligatures to ‘fi’ but not to ‘fl’
  • Kerning • Fixed width fonts look strange because they force equidistant spacing between letters. • Kerning is the process of adjusting space between letters to soothe the eye.
  • Mixing Fonts • Paired fonts can be effective. • one for header • one for main text • Have a really GOOD reason before going to three or more fonts
  • Colour & Contrast • Essential in menus & HUD • If game is dark, use light text • If game is light, use dark text • If cannot guarantee background, add a border to text • can be x pixel border or container space
  • Animating Text • Only animate if it adds meaning • Nintendo style of conversation is to animate blocks of text • Colour change for rollovers == OK • Colour change to make GUI shiny == bad
  • Using Text • Where possible, show don’t tell • but where necessary tell • Tufte: “to clarify, add detail” • Use little text • Even in adventure games, people don’t read • WOW - http://bit.ly/wowtextlimit • Avoid UPPPERCASE
  • Using Text • Sparing use of colour or emphasis can pass on important information • If you allow resizing of text, test extremes to see how your design holds up (especially true of web browser based games) • Consider fully justifying blocks of text
  • Text as visualisation • Word Clouds
  • Internationalisation • Not all fonts are compatible • UTF-8 fonts should work • Much care needed if copy / pasting • If using dynamically loaded text, often text effects cannot be applied.