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Author Topic: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype  (Read 4510 times)

Pilcrow

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New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« on: August 03, 2017, 04:49:12 PM »



This is my first post here, so appologies for any mistakes. I've made my own custom font/tileset (in many different sizes) for the old Cogmind 7DRL prototype and thought I'd share it with other fans of the game. I've been working on this for a while now, but I've mostly only been spreading it through Reddit (on the /r/roguelikes subreddit). At the encouragement of Kyzrati, I finally got around to making an account on this forum to share my work. Maybe some of you are like me and still playing the old prototype, eh?  :P

I made the ASCII symbols/letters in this set entirely by hand, and did not render them from any existing fonts (though I did have some help from scale2x, especially for the larger sizes). The graphical tiles are a 'hybrid' tileset, in which the enemies are represented by stylized ASCII (derived from the cosmic_alien font originally included in the prototype) while the world around them is graphical. Many of the other tiles were derived from the simple ones included in the prototype (most notably the walls, doors, and debris), but all were modified in some way or another. The item graphics are all my own and were not modified from any existing art (though the guns were inspired by those of unknown artist L ShroomArts in Kyzrati's old ASCII vs. Tiles writeup).

Here's a direct link to the zip file, as well as one to the Github page. Both include a full readme with credits and usage instructions. The above screenshot is of the default 12x12 size, but many other sizes are available (including a couple of widescreen ones). I've also made no-gradient versions for those of you that dislike the text shading. You can view more screenshots of the various different sizes here (note: all the ASCII and Tiles screenshots are of the same scenario so that they can be easily compared). There's even some (kind of ugly) graphical tiles in the 6x6 size, which means a player could potentially play the game graphically, windowed, on a 640x480 screen (with room to spare, even)!  :P

I hope some of you will be interested in this, and I look forward to any feedback you may have.

Update 2017.Aug.04: Added a 24x24 font, bumping the maximum resolution up to 1920x1440.
Update 2017.Aug.30: Revised all sizes of the number 2, to fit better with the other numbers.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 10:31:43 PM by Pilcrow »
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Kyzrati

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Re: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2017, 07:41:57 PM »

Thanks for posting it here--I've been following your work as you occasionally shared progress elsewhere over the past months :)

I really like the text font in your sample screenshot there, with the way its subtle gradient helps distinguish separate lines while still allowing for large, thick fonts. It also adds a lot of sci-fi character. Really nice job!

And wow that's a great page of summary screenshots, kinda like what I did with the new previews <3. The map ASCII with gradients look cool, too. (And I wouldn't call the 6x6 version ugly, just tiny :P)

I recognized those weapon art influences--"unknown artist L" is ShroomArts, by the way.

I've linked your work from the 7DRL site's files page. (Directs here to give it a little more context than just the github page.)
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Pilcrow

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Re: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2017, 09:38:51 PM »

Ah thanks, Kyzrati (for the info and for adding a link on the site's files page; didn't really expect that)! I edited the first post to mention ShroomArts by name. Probably should've just asked you from the beginning, but I didn't think of it until I was writing it up. Upon looking at that ASCII vs. Tiles page again, I'm actually surprised how close my SMG is to the pink gun in that picture; mine was made without reference, but with ShroomArts' style in mind. Oh, it should be noted that there are only 2 gun tiles in my sets: Energy Guns, Energy Cannons, and Special weapons all use the laser gun tile (which faces right), while Ballistic Guns, Ballistic Cannons, and Launchers all use the SMG tile (which faces left). Those tiles were also redrawn for the 18x18 and 20x20 sizes. I'll add more if there's any demand, but haven't really found a need to distinguish between them in my own play (since I'm constantly mousing over guns to check their specs anyway)...

The subtle gradient was actually something I only did with the 6x6 font at first, specifically because given its size, the bottoms of lowercase g and y actually touch the tops of the uppercase letters (see the log window in the example screenshot, where the g in "Dropped Lgt. Assault Rifle" is touching the C in "Acquired Compact Wheel"). I find those cases kind of unpleasant without shading, and wanted more of a difference between the tops and bottoms of letters. On a whim, I decided to apply similar gradients to the rest of the sizes as well, and discovered I really love it! I'm still maintaining the unshaded versions too, though; not only will some people probably prefer them, the unshaded ones are also much easier to make changes to...

It's funny, it seems we had the same idea for screenshots, but I didn't actually remember your UI preview was set up that way. I just wanted my screenshots page to be simple and organized, so I used html tables.  *shrugs*

Oh, and as for your comment on my 6x6 tiles, I'd probably use the ASCII myself, as the letters look fine, but I think the graphical tiles are pretty ugly. Still, I impressed myself by making graphical tiles that are actually readable in such a tiny size, lol. Just wanted to push that size boundary and see how small I could go. any smaller and the text itself just wouldn't be readable. There are already a couple of compromises in 6x6: I used some shading tricks with lowercase e (which has no 'hole' in it) and s (which is very muddy in the middle), but they're readable anyway. Just for kicks, I did also made a 4x4 binary font, but didn't include it in this pack for obvious reasons (imagine trying to play that)...  :P
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 10:01:42 PM by Pilcrow »
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Kyzrati

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Re: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 10:17:15 PM »

Hahaha, a binary font?! That'd be pretty awesome if someone picked that up. At a larger size even, just so it's more readable (though one would still have to get used to interpreting it). That sounds like an interesting challenge, and a fun way to confuse the hell out of people while streaming :P
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Pilcrow

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Re: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 10:36:13 PM »

Haha, alright, I scaled the binary font to 12x12 for anyone brave/crazy enough to try it (screenshot). Everything has its own pattern, so it should be perfectly playable (in theory), but you'd seriously need to retrain your brain to read that UI...   ;)

At least capital and lowercase letters are identical in that font, so that's not an added complication...  ;D
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Kyzrati

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Re: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 06:02:16 AM »

Oh man that looks really neat, as expected. Now I really want learn to play with it just for fun. (We can get a version for the new Cogmind at some point as well :D)
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Pilcrow

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Re: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 12:51:23 PM »

We can get a version for the new Cogmind at some point as well :D

Oh, I know you were talking about the binary font, but I'm reminded of something now that you mentioned the new Cogmind: it'd require more work on my part if you wanted to add my full (non-binary) tileset to the commercial game since I think there are less tiles in the prototype, but feel free to include my shaded lettering in the newer Cogmind releases if you feel like it (that's up to you). I'll make other sizes if you want, as well (especially since I'm not sure how well the new Cogmind handles square letters any more). Being credited for making them is all I ask...  :)
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Kyzrati

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Re: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 07:00:12 PM »

Oh for sure, I was also considering having a version of your gradient font in there, too, though I've already added so many fonts--plus it's yours--that this is probably not something I'd do on my own anyway.

I'd wait until I make a public guide about adding new fonts/tilesets and you can add it yourself :P. In that case it would be an external add-on, anyway (separate download), and you can credit yourself any way you like. (I prefer not to add stuff by other people to the official game package because it's a commercial project and I'd need a contract and other boring things.)

But yeah the current Cogmind only uses square fonts for the map, and all other text is rectangular for easier reading, so the font as is wouldn't be usable for text (which kinda defeats the purpose xD). Might be interesting to apply a gradient to one or more of the existing text fonts, though. That style seems to work best on thick fonts, especially those that take up a lot of vertical space within their cell.
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Pilcrow

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Re: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 10:22:58 PM »

Yeah, that's fine too. Making it myself and distributing it separately might be better anyway since I'll be able to make the half-width(?) fonts for the interface and create any missing tiles. Speaking of missing tiles, is there (or will there be) a tile location/description list for the commercial game, similar to the prototype's list?

Oh, but just so you know, there wouldn't be (or at least shouldn't be) any legal hoops to jump through because of the license I used: I released my art as Creative Commons CC-BY (as stated in the readme.md file), which is a very permissive license similar to the general understanding of 'public domain' but more official. Literally the only limitation is that the creator of the work (myself) must be credited if that work is used, with or without modification, in other projects (well, I also have the right to tell someone to remove that credit in case I don't want my name associated with vulgar/disagreeable modifications others might make, as described in section 3(a)(3) of the full legal code, but I would not have the right to stop them from distributing such a modified work altogether). No payment or royalties are needed, and no other licensing restrictions apply whatsoever. Unlike the GNU GPL, CC-BY doesn't even have a 'share-alike' clause (that is, that derivative works must be released under the same license as the original)! That's why I said it's "up to you"; the license literally sums up to "do anything you want to, including modifying my work, as long as I'm credited for what I've done"... Still, as stated before, making it myself for the commercial game and distributing it separately is probably better anyway, if only to avoid legal headaches...  ;)

DISCAIMER: I am not a lawyer, therefore my understanding of the licensing may be incorrect.
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Kyzrati

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Re: New fonts/tiles for the old prototype
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2017, 04:25:04 AM »

Speaking of missing tiles, is there (or will there be) a tile location/description list for the commercial game, similar to the prototype's list?
Something like that eventually, yes. In fact it already exists (of course the pixel artists needed one!), it's just not public because I would have to write up more instructions, and it'll still be expanding somewhat as well (plus it contains spoilers!). It'll become available at some point, perhaps not until after 1.0, though it also depends on Steam community reception.
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