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I made an attempt to make the font more readable... here are my results!

Discussion in 'Starbound Discussion' started by LightPhoenix, Oct 19, 2013.

  1. LightPhoenix

    LightPhoenix Void-Bound Voyager

    Like some others, I'm not terribly pleased with the readability of the font. On the July 22nd update, I made a series of suggestions for improvements. A couple of weeks ago on (I think) bartwe's stream someone brought up the font, and I mentioned my suggestions. That person (my apologies, I don't remember your name!) asked if I had a sample. I didn't, so today I whipped up a quick one; this only took about an hour to do.

    The original text block from the July 24th update:

    And now with my changes:


    The main idea is to increase the flow of the text while retaining the pixelated style. I'd be interested in getting some thoughts and to talk about some of the changes (which are outlined in the imgur album here). Also, I posted this to the Starbound subreddit, which I'm honestly more likely to check more often.
    NateDiemer, Bothria, mxpsych and 26 others like this.
  2. Jonesy

    Jonesy Sarif's Attack Kangaroo Forum Moderator

    I can read them both perfectly. Not sure what the deal is with people saying the font is hard to read. Admittedly, your interpretation is still more readable, so props for that.
  3. Pentarctagon

    Pentarctagon Over 9000!!!

    I'd say yours is more readable, though personally I'm not a fan of pixelated text in the first place.
  4. SteelSoldier

    SteelSoldier Existential Complex

    I think pixelated text adds a lot to this game in particular though, but I kinda agree with OP, it is kinda weird that the upper-case letters are almost the same size than the lower-case ones, they should have a distinct sizes so they are easier to read.
    Corrupt Ai and WoxandWarf like this.
  5. VorpalGaming

    VorpalGaming Star Wrangler

    I think you did a good job with your changes. I can read both just fine, but yours is a bit more pleasing to the eye
    MoonyJello likes this.
  6. Sir_Paddles

    Sir_Paddles Void-Bound Voyager

    That one pixel adds heaps.
    WoxandWarf and Sklobington like this.
  7. Renstash09

    Renstash09 Big Damn Hero

    I can read them both fine, but the original strains my eyes a tad for some reason. Might be the lighting in my room.
    However, I like yours much better. It's clearer. :up:
    WoxandWarf and nababoo like this.
  8. c2h5oc2h5

    c2h5oc2h5 Phantasmal Quasar

    In your version highlighted text stand out more, but I personally prefer toned colors of unchanged version. It is more visually coherent and more natural/less disturptive... Still, I'd be happy to see highlight used in a word "beamaxe" a bit less whiteish.
  9. LightPhoenix

    LightPhoenix Void-Bound Voyager

    Not everyone has a problem with the old text. Personally, I didn't really pick up on the hard to read stuff until the large blocks of text. Against the black background it's not too terrible, but it definitely looks a little too busy. Against the original picture, which was on the 24th, not the 22nd (oops) it's way too busy to be read easily and quickly. In a dynamic situation, such as guards yelling stuff at you while trying to kill you, in my opinion it's too difficult.
    WoxandWarf likes this.
  10. IOScream

    IOScream Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Black Background / White Text. Makes my eyes hurt. I know this is going to sound odd, but although I prefer the second one, the vibrancy of it makes it a struggle to read.
  11. LightPhoenix

    LightPhoenix Void-Bound Voyager

    Yeah, the colors are a minor thing; I basically chose whatever color was relatively close. The big problem was the aliasing of the green and lavender text, which at low-resolution (or pseudo-low-resolution) just serves to make the text hazy and difficult to read. Paler colors will probably work better due to higher contrast with a black/shaded background.
  12. Mostlyjoe

    Mostlyjoe Orbital Explorer

    The reason why your's is easier to read is good old Kerning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerning). You have a more natural spacing with your letters. What was the formatting changes you made? Can you try it with other tool tips?
  13. Pentarctagon

    Pentarctagon Over 9000!!!

    I mean it "fits" in that it goes with how the game looks, but having characters missing pixels slows down my reading since they don't look quite like they're supposed to.
  14. Serenity

    Serenity The Waste of Time

    I like the pixel text, not really hard to read.
  15. LightPhoenix

    LightPhoenix Void-Bound Voyager

    The only spacing I changed was to increase the line spacing one pixel; this separates the tails (j/g/p) from the stems (h,t,l). I also extended the cross on the upper-case 'T' to give it more emphasis (I did not shift the rest of the line right... this was a quick mockup). Otherwise all the spacing (between letters, spaces) is the same.

    The basic formatting changes:

    • Character height increased to six pixels; this allows greater distinction between upper and lowercase letters, as well as tall and short lowercase letters.
    • Uppercase letters (what few there are) are six pixels tall. This is important as it visually indicates the total height of a sentence.
    • Lowercase letter bases are all four pixels tall. For example, the old 'i' had a bottom that was three pixels, and was increased to four. This puts all the letters on the same line, improving flow.
    • On that note, the crosses of the 't' and 'f' frame the lowercase letters. Again, this improves flow by placing important stuff on the same line.
    • All of the "tall" letters were made six pixels high, mostly by adding a pixel to the "stem." This is most notable with 'h' and 'n', which were only different by one pixel in the old version.
    • I re-did the 'k' to make it less clumpy and keep the legs in the four pixel area. Given time, I would probably redo the 'e' as well for similar reasons. Not a big difference, but it makes it cleaner and thus easier/faster to read.
    • There was aliasing around the green and lavender text; I removed it. All it was doing was making it blurry (thus more difficult to read) without any benefit. With a pseudo-low-resolution font like this, you don't want the smoothing that aliasing provides.
    DeadlyLuvdisc, nababoo and Mostlyjoe like this.
  16. keenow

    keenow Star Wrangler

    Nice! I like your changes. It's much easier on the eyes somehow. While I can read them both, yours is much easier to read. :up:
  17. cyberspyXD

    cyberspyXD Tiy's Beard

    Your fonts cleaner and easier on the eyes +1.
  18. DaviDeil

    DaviDeil Ketchup Robot

    I like yours better. Using the imgur album and alternating the arrow keys will show the difference much better than the forum format.

    P.S. Maybe add a link to the reddit post to your OP?
  19. Skippy3

    Skippy3 Pangalactic Porcupine

    What's the difference?
  20. DaviDeil

    DaviDeil Ketchup Robot

    Check out the imgur album and use the arrow keys. OP also posted the difference near the bottom of the thread.

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