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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:12 am 
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I found some free fonts today, some are from NES and Spectrum games, over at Ste's Bitmap Fonts. His site states "As so many people have trouble designing nice looking game fonts I thought it would be helpful to include all my old bitmap game fonts here (or all the ones I can find), in a usable, downloadable format for homebrew or indie game developers. Feel free to use any of these fonts for whatever purpose you see fit."

Anyone else have good font links? It's nice when people state they are free to use. It's not a huge deal for me because here in the US you can't hold a copyright on a simple monospace typeface (I'm simplifying, because IANAL) so I pretty much rip whatever font I feel like using from old C64, Atari 800, NES, PC VGA fonts, etc. But for people in other places where the laws are different, I assume there is some demand for free bitmap fonts.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 2:54 am 
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here's some DOS and Windows ASCII character sets i came up with recently :)

http://supermariounlimited.com/wiki/Character_Sets

100% free for any use


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 5:33 am 
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Obligatory link to 8x8 fonts ripped from various games

Fonts can be design-patented in the United States and elsewhere. But this is rare, and in any case, it expires within 20 to 25 years, long enough that any exclusive rights in fonts from the NES's commercial era (as well as Apple Chicago, the basis for the "who's cuter" font shown in my rip pic) will have expired.


Last edited by tepples on Fri Nov 11, 2011 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 10:08 am 
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Those are some pretty good fonts. And here's a significant portion of my own collection.


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:16 am 
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I always thought that the best looking font was taking the capital letters from any early Nintendo-made game, and using lowercase letters from the Final Fantasy III fan translation.

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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 11:44 am 
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Honestly, I was always a fan of this font:
http://qtchicks.hp.infoseek.co.jp/fonts.html

You see it everywhere in the 80s, really. Hudson Soft loved it. :P

I'm such a fan of the font that I have each letter memorized. :S


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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 1:32 pm 
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I like making my own fonts, altough the lowercase g often gives me headaches.
But yeah it's great to have a library of fonts, anway. Altough I guess it would be bad to copy a font that is obviously reconizable, like CV3's gothic font.

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PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 6:04 pm 
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I am with Bregalad about making your own fonts. It can be fun, but I usually alter an existing font (or use one as a reference) to make my fonts. Actually, I have made a font that I will use for every game I make on the NES, and it will be my signature font. Though it may change in some cases. It's more of an SNES style font where each character is outlined. It may be a little cartoony, but it works in most instances.

I also agree with Dwedit about using the lowercase letters from FF3. I wasn't sure if any other game used that font, but I totally use them. They look really nice, I think, especially since there are two-in-one characters included. Though for my font, I think I might ditch lowercase letters, as upper case might look better.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 3:08 am 
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I also agree with Dwedit about using the lowercase letters from FF3.

I'm pretty sure they were from the US version of FF4 originally, the FF3 translator just converted them on NES format and insterted them in FF3's ROM. Not 100% sure tough.

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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:01 pm 
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The font I used for FF3 was based on the one used in Square's US-released games from the early 1990s--SNES "FF2", FFL2, FFL3, FFAdventure, and the unreleased FF2 NES prototype (which of course wouldn't be "discovered" until much later) I drew the combotiles myself ("Status" squeezed into 5 tiles for the menu screen, etc.) and I changed a letter or two because I thought they looked better that way--the lowercase "q", and I can't remember which others, if any.

If I were to redo the translation today, I'd probably use FF1's font, which I feel is a lot more distinctive than the "1991 font" (though that may just be because it was used in fewer games--just FF and FFL).

Didn't Square's WonderSwan games (FF1, FF2 and Makaitoushi SaGa/FFL) contain a Latin font very similar to the FF1US font with shadows added?


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 10:58 pm 
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Hey, nice job on the translation :) .

I personally think the font you used is perfect. I think FF1's font is cheap looking and also cheesy. The letters are too thin, but yours seem to be nicely spaced. Especially with the combo letters. Sometimes with tiling fonts a letter like "i" will look like it's too far apart from the other letters (kerning or tracking is what I'm thinking of), but if you have the "il" tile, it looks really nice. The only thing I would have changed is in some tiles I recall there being black pixels on letters in strange places, but I could be wrong.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 11:17 pm 
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Celius wrote:
Hey, nice job on the translation :) .

I personally think the font you used is perfect. I think FF1's font is cheap looking and also cheesy. The letters are too thin, but yours seem to be nicely spaced. Especially with the combo letters. Sometimes with tiling fonts a letter like "i" will look like it's too far apart from the other letters (kerning or tracking is what I'm thinking of), but if you have the "il" tile, it looks really nice. The only thing I would have changed is in some tiles I recall there being black pixels on letters in strange places, but I could be wrong.


When I look at FF3 now, on the whole I'm just embarrassed at how crude a job it was (the tools I used were all written in Microsoft QBasic!), but I'm still rather pleased at how good the "ill" and "ili" three-in-two tiles look. IIRC some people didn't like them and wanted me to use the "1991 font" untouched, but in retrospect I'm glad I stood my ground!

Random black pixels on letters sounds like you have a bad ROM--most likely, one with our translation patch applied on top of one of the earlier partial translations. Some of the partial translations used fonts with shadows, but the problem is that sprites (and on the SNES, BG layers) end up showing through them. This can be seen with item icons in both FF2 SNES and the FF2 NES prototype--check out the magic shop in the first town.


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PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 11:50 pm 
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AWJ wrote:
When I look at FF3 now, on the whole I'm just embarrassed at how crude a job it was (the tools I used were all written in Microsoft QBasic!), but I'm still rather pleased at how good the "ill" and "ili" three-in-two tiles look. IIRC some people didn't like them and wanted me to use the "1991 font" untouched, but in retrospect I'm glad I stood my ground!


Well I'm not really going to complain. I'd love to complete my learning of the Japanese language, but in the mean time I only speak English, so having an English version of this game is wonderful. QBasic is pretty low-tech, but it's better than nothing. Especially considering how easy it is to draw pixels.

AWJ wrote:
Random black pixels on letters sounds like you have a bad ROM--most likely, one with our translation patch applied on top of one of the earlier partial translations. Some of the partial translations used fonts with shadows, but the problem is that sprites (and on the SNES, BG layers) end up showing through them. This can be seen with item icons in both FF2 SNES and the FF2 NES prototype--check out the magic shop in the first town.


Well when I picked up the ROM, it was back when I didn't know much about emulation/ROMs, so I picked it up from a really random site. So it's possible it could be corrupted.

When you say FF2 SNES, are you referring to an underground port of FF2j or the US version of FF4? But I remember some sprites showing through the black on FF3. But it's understandable, and really not that big of a deal. I was too distracted by FF3's awesome enemy drawings to notice :) .


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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 1:44 am 
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NES FF games does just set the "behind background" flag of sprites that are under a textbox instead of completely disabling them. This is kind of dumb because it makes glitches happen if you use the black color in textboxes.

In FF4 (FF2 us, but why there is STILL people calling it FF2 in 2009 after it was re-realeased at least 4 times as FF4 is beyond me), and that includes the japanese verison as well, some tiles uses the "black" that is in fact transparent, including the black magic symbol, and various weapons symbols. When you open a chest that contains an item with such a symbol, the background is shown instead of black into the symbol. Often the background is darker than the color you choose for your windows so it's okay.
On the EQUIP menu this is really noticeable as the color you choose for the windows is seen instead than black.

And yeah FF3's font is perfect I think. The il, li, ll, ili and ill combos are great. Somehow I remember also seeing them on FF4, but maybe that was one of the hacks or re-translations availble.
FF1's was hard to read and I didn't like it much.

EDIT : Oh and it's also common to see the same font from two games by different developpers. For example the font used in SMB is used in a lot of NES games. The font used in Pokemon and GBC Dragon Warrior games seems to be the same.

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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2009 6:11 am 
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Bregalad wrote:
In FF4 (FF2 us, but why there is STILL people calling it FF2 in 2009 after it was re-realeased at least 4 times as FF4 is beyond me)

Probably somebody who owns a Final Fantasy II (U) cartridge and hasn't bought any of the remakes.

Quote:
EDIT : Oh and it's also common to see the same font from two games by different developpers. For example the font used in SMB is used in a lot of NES games. The font used in Pokemon and GBC Dragon Warrior games seems to be the same.

I seem to remember a couple fonts that came with MS-DOS ANSI.SYS that looked like the one in Pokemon.


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