Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 3 - Use of Text in design.

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Text isn't just about words. The fonts, colours, and places you use text have a huge influence your game's design.

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Game Design 2 (2013): Lecture 3 - Use of Text in design.

  1. 1. 2013 Game Design 2 Lecture 3: Text http://gcugd2.com david.farrell@gcu.ac.uk
  2. 2. Reading • Duarte 140 - 155 • Fox 87-98
  3. 3. Two Questions • How can you use text visually to accomplish design goals? • How can text help you visualise data?
  4. 4. Anthropomorphised Fonts • Fonts have personality. • Serious • Playful • Friendly •Tense • Annoying • Distressed
  5. 5. Functional Fonts •fixed width fonts { useful for programming; because characters line up; } •Other fonts are suitable for OCR •(0 vs O)
  6. 6. Font components play
  7. 7. Cap Height play
  8. 8. Cap Height X Height play
  9. 9. Cap Height X Height Baseline play
  10. 10. Cap Height X Height Baseline play Ascender
  11. 11. Cap Height X Height Baseline play Ascender Descender
  12. 12. Serifs Cap Height X Height Baseline play Ascender Descender
  13. 13. Serifs Cap Height X Height Baseline play Ascender Descender Counter
  14. 14. Serifs Cap Height X Height Baseline play Ascender Descender Counter Kerning
  15. 15. 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.
  16. 16. Serif Fonts •The serifs connect letters • useful at small point size • or in large paragraphs • problematic for dyslexics
  17. 17. Sans Serif Fonts •Sans means ‘without’ • generally accepted as easier to read • work better on computer screens
  18. 18. Ligatures •firefly • note how the ‘f’ and ‘i’ interact without ligatures •firefly • Apple apply ligatures to ‘fi’ but not to ‘fl’
  19. 19. 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
  20. 20. 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
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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 in large quantities
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24. Text as visualisation • Word Clouds
  25. 25. Internationalisation • Not all fonts are compatible • UTF-8 fonts should work • Much care needed if copy / pasting • If using dynamically loaded text, sometimes text effects cannot be applied.
  26. 26. Questions?

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