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Exorph

Low-res graphics with high-res text. A big no-no?

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Exorph    105
I'm working on a game with very low-res graphics. 16x16 pixels per tile with a playing field of 12x12 tiles, rendered in four times the size so as to not look extremely small.
I'm trying to get it all to look a bit Game Boy-ish, only with more colors.

Now, the problem is that it's an RPG and so will feature a bunch of text. I've found a good low-res font, but when I try to display the damage I do to enemies on screen it almost covers the enemy completely. Also, with low-res text I can't have any sort of border around the text, which will be problematic in areas of the game world where the text might blend into the background.
So I'm thinking of not scaling the text like I do with the rest of the graphics, but I'm worried it'll stick out too much.
I'm not an artist myself, so I don't really trust my own judgement, so I'm asking you all. Would it bother you? Have you seen other examples where this has worked, or where it hasn't?

[img]http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/2917/bigtext.png[/img]


vs.

[img]http://img692.imageshack.us/img692/4383/smalltextz.png[/img]

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BlueSalamander    966
High-res text is perfectly acceptable in a low-res game. Try this for an example: [url="http://www.realmofthemadgod.com/"]http://www.realmofthemadgod.com/[/url] or my own game at [url="http://www.heroicfantasygames.com"]http://www.heroicfantasygames.com[/url].

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Exorph    105
Well, Realm of the Mad God doesn't use a fixed pixel size or even scale and transformation, so it's understandable that it works there.
Your game was a better example as it definitely works, but I'm not entirely convinced I wouldn't have prefered a low-res font.

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Kryzon    4627
 I don't think you should use a higher-resolution text. This would break the immersion - it would remind the player that the low-res graphics are running under a modern engine, that it is being 'faked'.
Keeping it all under the same resolution is much more consistent in my opinion, even if you 'have' the capability of displaying certain graphics in a higher resolution.

If your font is too big, draw it smaller but always using the same pixel grid as for the other graphics - I think this will solve your size-problems most of the time. Also realize that the positioning might suppress this issue - perhaps placing the damage graphic on top of the sprites that took it.
Still not satisfied? play emulator games with similar RPG graphics, and see how the artists dealt with this.

Also, is that damage text always displayed? If it just flashes for a brief moment (sliding up while fading-out when damage is done, like in many games), it might not even bother players that much, as when playing and taken by the atmosphere of the game with music, sound and animation, you are naturally a bit more forgiving\acceptive than when developing or having a highly analytical view over it. 

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Exorph    105
Thanks. I think I'll keep it high res at the moment, and consider changing it later on. I'd rather focus on making a fun game right now than to have it look pixel perfect.

I am looking at other games. Problem is my game looks like it's on the gameboy, and the damage text is inspired mainly by Secret of Mana, so it doesn't mix all that well. I might have to simply reconsider my art style completely at some point.

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In my opinion, you shouldn't probably mix the graphics, it's a serious art clash. But then again, I'm horribly mean: for example, in your first screenshot the sizes of the pixels is always the same, but even in that case pixels aren't aligned to the grid of the fake resolution, and I don't like that either for the very same reason (it makes it obvious it's faked).

EDIT: also, the font there is 8×8, you can probably get away with a 5×5 font for those numbers if size really bothers you.

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Exorph    105
I know about the alignment problem, that's something that really bothers me too, and something I'll fix eventually (Edit: I just did, easier than I thought). I might try going with a smaller font. Problem is, I'm terrible at making them myself, so I have to find a free font and then resize it using a tool for my graphics API, and when it comes to resizing, it's not very user friendly..

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Firestryke31    350
As far as the text blending in, basic drop shadows do wonders and are simple: Just draw the darker color offset 1,1 before drawing the normal text. It also wouldn't surprise me if GameBoy games that had drop-shadowed text had the shadow built-in to the font data.

I used to have a 5x5 font that I made myself around here, but I think it got deleted when I cleaned up my computer. I'm sure I could remake it if you really want it.

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Exorph    105
[quote name='Firestryke31' timestamp='1310613118' post='4835108']
As far as the text blending in, basic drop shadows do wonders and are simple: Just draw the darker color offset 1,1 before drawing the normal text. It also wouldn't surprise me if GameBoy games that had drop-shadowed text had the shadow built-in to the font data.

I used to have a 5x5 font that I made myself around here, but I think it got deleted when I cleaned up my computer. I'm sure I could remake it if you really want it.
[/quote]

Yeah, drop shadows are a must. I was hoping to have a complete black border around the font too, but that's not really a possibility with very small fonts.

Edit: I found a font on my own. I was a bad googler before. Thanks for the offer though. :)

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