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Mechadon

New font candidate (09/06/2014 update)

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A while back I volunteered to make a new font (in this thread). Since then I made a font for Joshy's megawad called Resurgence. After finishing it, I thought it would be a good fit for Freedoom. Joshy was cool with letting me contribute it to Freedoom (even though Resurgence isn't released yet).

Here's the font in question; I've named it Denex.

Bigfont


Smallfont


Compiled Wad (DBIGFONT.lmp and STCFN***)
http://mekworx.the-powerhouse.net/mekastuff/wads/freedoom/font_denex.wad

Statusbar Font
http://mekworx.the-powerhouse.net/mekastuff/wads/freedoom/freedoom_denexfont_statbarnums.wad

Menu Graphics and misc. (out of date + wrong difficulty names!)
http://mekworx.the-powerhouse.net/mekastuff/wads/freedoom/menusonly_freedoomver.wad

Imagetool .pcx

Example Image


The font is a re-imagining of an older set called Deneb. It's completely from scratch and by my hand. I haven't gotten much feedback for it since Joshy is the only other person who has seen it. But it seems to be pretty legible to me without making it a straight rip-off of the vanilla Doom font. The bigfont is bold and chunky much like the vanilla font though.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think.

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It's about 100x better than the existing FreeDoom font.

Should be added a.s.a.p -- i.m.h.o

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Hooray! Now I'll be able to actually see what the game's messages are saying in ZDoom/SkullTag/Zandronum!

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That's awesome! It's also great that there's a small font as well, though it looks rather eerily like the original Doom font in some places. Just to confirm: it's completely drawn from scratch, right?

Mechadon said:

Oh also, the font wasn't optimized to work with the Text Generator that fraggle made.

Don't worry about this; I'm sure I can write something that will take the .pcx file you've provided and divide it up into individual characters.

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Yup, both the big and small fonts are 100% original and from-scratch. It's fairly difficult to create a small font set that's bold~ish and easy to read without it looking somewhat like Doom's smallfont (in my experience at least). There's not a whole lot of room to work with :P

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Thanks, that's what I figured. I just thought I should check.

I'll start work today on converting the big font over to the appropriate form.

Thanks again for this, it's really great work.

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New font is now in Git and looks awesome!



I haven't added the small font yet but that's next on my list Committed as well. Maybe I should also use the new font characters to replace the status bar number graphics while I'm at it?

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Oh that reminds me, I've made some statbar numbers with this font already. I was going to post them as well but I forgot all about them.

http://mekworx.the-powerhouse.net/mekastuff/wads/freedoom/freedoom_denexfont_statbarnums.wad



There's a dark grey shadow drop on each character, much like the vanilla numbers. They line up fine with the vanilla bar so hopefully they'll work with the freedoom one too. And they should also color translate properly in ports that use those features.

I also replace most (maybe all) of the menu graphics when I make a new bigfont set. Though sometimes they are a bit more customized than just red letters. It may be better for consistency if you make the menus lumps with your text generator tool fraggle. But if you'd like me to send you the menu lumps I've made, just let me know.

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Try playing Zandronum with this. Reading chat messages is incredibly painful, takes about 2-3 times longer than with the standard font. Same problem as with the Unholy Realms font.

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Mechadon said:

This gives me a DBIGFONT lump which is used by ZDoom.

Would it make sense to include it in the freedoom wads too?

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Memfis said:

Try playing Zandronum with this. Reading chat messages is incredibly painful, takes about 2-3 times longer than with the standard font. Same problem as with the Unholy Realms font.

Sorry your having a hard time reading it. The current freedoom smallfont is very plain and as such is definitely easy to read. While this font is a bit more stylized, personally I don't think its quite that difficult to make out. If you have any suggestions to make it more legible, let me know.

Gez said:

Would it make sense to include it in the freedoom wads too?

I know there are a few menu headers that make use of the DBIGFONT lump in ZDoom. So it couldn't hurt I guess.

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Lol, I always found the original FreeDoom font extremely hard to read (as previously mentioned), and how this one is way easier (also previously mentioned).

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Mechadon said:

Oh that reminds me, I've made some statbar numbers with this font already. I was going to post them as well but I forgot all about them.

Awesome work, thank you. I'll try to get these in as soon as I have time.

I also replace most (maybe all) of the menu graphics when I make a new bigfont set. Though sometimes they are a bit more customized than just red letters. It may be better for consistency if you make the menus lumps with your text generator tool fraggle. But if you'd like me to send you the menu lumps I've made, just let me know.

This sounds interesting, but what is it that you do manually that's special?

If it's about aligning letters, the textgen tool already supports kerning rules so that you can control the spacing between individual letters. For example you can configure it so that "L" and "T" overlap slightly. I had a bunch of rules set up for the old font but I need to play around with the new one to come up with some good rules.

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Did you make sure these work with the default BOOM translation lumps? If they do not, they are going to look bad in BOOM, MBF, PrBoom(+), and EE. Only ZDoom automatically creates translations, and it can only do this by sapping the graphics of any hues other than pure red.

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AFAIK they're the same colours as the original Doom ones, so I don't think this should be a problem?

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fraggle said:

This sounds interesting, but what is it that you do manually that's special?


What I meant was that, depending on the project, I may color menu graphics differently instead of going for the usual red. Occasionally I will add extra details, again, depending on the project. I was a bit too lazy to check and see if I had made vanilla-like menus already while making them for Resurgence. It turns out that I did :P

http://mekworx.the-powerhouse.net/mekastuff/wads/freedoom/menusonly_freedoomver.wad

Example image of the difficultly selection menu:


That wad should contain the majority of the menu graphics used across many of the big ports (ZDoom, Eternity, PrBoom+, Zandronum, ZDaemon, and even Skulltag). There's offsets for the menus that need it (these may need tweaking of course). There's also a FONTB** set, which Eternity uses (I think).

I whipped up a quick stylized NIGHTMARE skill level graphic and also a HU_FRAGS graphic using the Freedoom marine in the background. That's about all I did to Freedoom~ize the menu lumps though. So if there's something that needs fixing/chaging, let me know.

Anyway, the problem I thought we might have is inconsistencies between my menu graphics and the ones that Text Generator creates. I don't usually mess with font kerning since I do these by hand (well...sort of). Also I thought the coloring might not be consistent between my method and Text Generator. What I do is use the DBIGFONT lump and an ACS script to create my menu graphics. The script prints each menu on the screen with the coloring I want, and I take a screenshot of that. Then I use the screenshots of the text, crop out each menu, make some minor adjustments, and then viola.

Quasar said:

Did you make sure these work with the default BOOM translation lumps? If they do not, they are going to look bad in BOOM, MBF, PrBoom(+), and EE. Only ZDoom automatically creates translations, and it can only do this by sapping the graphics of any hues other than pure red.


Yup, no worries! I've made the mistake of not using the correct color range for translation enough times in the past to remember and double-check my work. Here's how the smallfont looks in PrBoom+ in a few different colors:



The smallfont, along with the statbar numbers, should all color translate correctly. If they don't, then I've made a mistake :P

*edit*

I added links to the statbar numbers and the menu graphics in the first post.

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joe-ilya said:

Was the previous number font from HR2?

Huh, that does indeed look very familiar. Interesting...

EDIT: Checked some old backups, and those status bar numbers have been in Freedoom since September 2001. HR2 was released December 2003. So I guess it's the other way round?

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Hey just a heads-up; I'm going to attempt and make a low-case set for the bigfont sometime next week if you guys still need it.

Are there any special characters or anything else that should be made?

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It's a nice font but I do find that the "/" character looks a little confusing in screens like this:



I know it's not that bad but it can be confused with the numbers on a quick glance.

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Mechadon said:

Hey just a heads-up; I'm going to attempt and make a low-case set for the bigfont sometime next week if you guys still need it.

That's awesome! I kind of wanted to ask for this, but it already looked pretty nice just in all-caps.

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Enjay said:

It's a nice font but I do find that the "/" character looks a little confusing in screens like this

Yea good point Enjay! I'll tweak it a bit while working on the lower case letters :)

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I finished up the lower-case letters for the bigfont for you guys. In addition, I included some extra characters just in case they might be useful. The extra characters are { } | ~.

Basically I just lowered each character by 1px and narrowed them by 2-3px (with extra edits where necessary). These are small caps lower case by the way, not traditional lower case letters.

I also updated the / and \ glyphs per Enjay's feedback. They should look more like normal slashes now.

While I was at it, I made some minor alterations to the smallfont, specifically the D, 4, \, and /. The slashes match the bigfont versions. I thought the D might look a bit too much like a B, so I tweaked it slightly. And the 4 looked a bit off as well, so I fixed it.

Updated BIGFONT:


Updated Smallfont:


Here is the .wad with the updated DBIGFONT lump and updated smallfont.

Here is the updated imagetool .pcx image.

The statusbar numbers should still be useable since none of those glyphs were changed. However the menu lumps are out of date now that none of them are using the lower-case letters. (I realized the other day that FreeDoom uses its own difficulty names, so the updated NIGHTMARE graphic I made is a bit useless here...oops).

I'll update the first post with this new stuff. Let me know if there are any problems or if you guys have any more feedback :)

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