In Game Design and Development, you often need fonts that match very specific criteria. For example, you might need a 9 pixel high font with monospaced cyphers to display numbers in tables at a high resolution. In linear media, you can get away with using a standard font and just tweaking everything by hand. In games, fonts need to work dynamically and tweaking kerning is not an option (or at least difficult). Designing you own fonts used to be expensive, difficult. Game designers often had to rely on their own custom-made font systems. Recently, I found this:

Introduction to FontStruct from fontstruct on Vimeo.

It is basically Flickr for Pixelfonts with an online-editor. And then they went even a step further by allowing not only to use square pixels but also different elements to construct letters from. I think the video shows it quite well. It is awesome! And highly addictive too! The Editor is simple, slick and very fast to use. Because of the pixel-based approach, creating custom fonts takes just a few seconds per letter. I spontaneously made a Arial 9pt (Size=”1″) clone

Also, I realized this is the first serious Web Application I used and I enjoy it very much. Having a specialized Pixelfont editor on my Hard Drive seems not a smart thing to do if I would use it only a few times. This way, I save resources, sharing is easier and the Fonts will remain saved even if my computer system is re-installed. It made me re-consider that working this really might be what computer software will evolve into. More about this idea in a recent TED Talk.

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

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The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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