Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Reader input wanted - Dialog font

I haven't been working on this that much lately - was taking a break for the second half of last week, and then over last weekend I was down in Northwest Bronyfest having a good time meeting some of you awesome folk!  However, now I'm back, and about ready to get back in business.  First off, however, I want to talk about, and get input from you on, a topic that keeps coming up in viewer feedback: namely, the font choice for the dialog in the game.

Currently, it looks like this:


(If it's not clear, I'm talking about the font for "Apple Bloom, your...")

Now, let me be clear: I still like this font.  I chose it rather than a font more closely approximating the Ace Attorney font because I felt that Friendship is Magic is much softer around the edges than Ace Attorney was - both in terms of dialog and in terms of content - and I felt that I should pick a font for the dialog that reflected that.  And this comic book-style font seemed to fit nicely.

However... if there's one single thing that the entire MLI fan base seems to be united against, at least as far as I can tell... it's this font.  Every time I check on people talking about MLI, the one thing that always seems to come up as the thing they don't like is that font.  I've already accepted from the outset that I can't please everyone... but something that pleases no one is, well, a little different.  So, I'm officially giving you the chance to have your voice heard on this topic, since I'm quite seriously pondering changing that font to a different one.  (Alternately, if you do like the font and would like to keep it the way it is, please tell me - I've literally had no one say so, so if you're in that boat, please let that be known!)

More info after the break!



I will say up front that I won't promise to change the font.  If one of the following things are true, I'll leave the font as is:
  1. As many people tell me to keep the font as tell me to change it to a particular font; or
  2. There is absolutely no identifiable consensus regarding which font would be better.
To facilitate this exercise, I've put together seven mockups of the same scene as the above, but with a different font.  Basically, what I'd like from you, the reader, is to tell me three things:
  1. Whether you think the font should be changed at all.  If you don't, then no need to answer the next two questions.
  2. Which font (just say its number; I'll number the images) is the closest (although not necessarily perfect) to what you envision as the perfect font for the dialog; and
  3. (Optional) If you have a particular one in mind, which font specifically you would choose for the dialog if you were making the game.  Can be a free or a paid font; I'm more than happy to pay a little if it'll make the game significantly better.
So that's what I'd like you to do - basically, I'd like to get just a sense for the general idea of what you think the font should look like, in order to let me know what to specifically look for.  Now without further ado, here are the fonts in question; I've gone through all of the fonts on my computer and picked out seven that I think could potentially work:

#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


#6


#7


Thanks in advance for the assistance!

-Gabu

47 comments:

  1. Well, to be honest, I'm fine with the current font, but if I'd have to choose it would be #1.

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  2. I really like the one you are using right now. #1 seems to be quite good too, the others not really. You might not know about it so, I'll link to it. Google released over hundred free fonts, created for use on the web. They are often of a very high quality.
    http://www.google.com/webfonts#ChoosePlace:select

    A few example ones.
    http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Architects+Daughter
    http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Gloria+Hallelujah
    http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Delius
    http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Patrick+Hand

    I hope this helps.

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  3. Err, "over two hundred", I ate a word, silly me.

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  4. I concur with #1 looking good (I would recommend choosing one with lowercase letters available, just in general). Just, ergh, please don't go with 2 no matter what anyone says- it looks just ghastly for this type of game.
    As far as recommendations go, "123 Marker" is quite cute and even includes accented characters & symbols (also, is free!). I'd suggest at least taking a look at it.

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  5. The biggest problem current font is that it's in all caps. Reading long stretches of text without lowercase letters isn't nice. Something simpler and easier to read would be better.

    #7 seems like the best choice for the game. Considering that the game will have lots of text to read, it'd be nice to have it in something simple like that. It isn't very decorative, but it's easy to read.

    #3 looks better, although the letters are spaced a bit too far apart from each other. It'd also be a good choice.

    If you want to stick to the comic book look, #1 is better than the current one. It includes lowercase letters and doesn't lean as much as the current one.

    Overall, any of those would be fine, except for #2 and #5. They don't fit the style of the game at all.

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  6. Interesting. I'd never actually noticed how much font style affects my interpretation of a sentence.

    I like the original best, of these. Second choice would be #6. It's a little ornate - not Gothic, by any means, but it kind of fits the 'storybook world' feel.

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  7. I think the one you were already using was good enough. But if you must change it, I'd suggest #5, the bold-looking one.

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  8. I'm fine with the font as it is, but if you're going to change it then 6 would be a nice choice

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  9. How about this one?
    http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Schoolbell

    Preview with your image ;)
    http://i.imgur.com/ybVpt.png

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  10. It's not a big deal to me, but I like #1 too. The original is perfectly fine, but #1 would be my favourite probably.

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  11. How about Wingdings

    Seriously though, i like #1, its not all caps and it just fits in

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  12. I wouldn't mind #1, #4, or #7 (ordering... 7 better than 1 better than 4). But honestly, I don't mind the current font at all.

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  13. I really like #3 and #6, they are both clean, respectable, and easy to read. However if you want something less serious(more cartoony) I would have to recommend #1.


    All that aside allow me to also offer some negative votes. Don't use #4, #5, or #2, they all just look awful in the game.

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  14. Hey Gabu. I have to agree with Anonymous 5:00 AM here. While the original font is cute and fitting for this universe, having each letter be capital could cause problems/weirdly spaced words in the near future. I really don't like any of the choices you put up except for 1. I much rather see something like 123 Marker.

    Otherwise, just keep the font as it is.

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  15. Despite the all-caps "issue" (I have no problem with it), I also really like the original font you picked. With the exception of #1, the others feel way too stiff. #1 just doesn't have that comic book feel that fits with the setting like the original does. Also, no serifed font nor handwriting font seem appropriate either, in my opinion.

    My vote: change nothing. And keep up the awesome work!

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  16. I didn't have too much of a problem with the current one, but very well! If you have to change it, #1 looks nice...

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  17. The current font does bug me slightly but not enough to complain about it. I do however like #1 better than the current one because of the lower case letters and less leaning. #7 is clear as well, but it's a bit on the boring side.

    So to just to be more clear, yes, you should change the font to #1 in my opinion.

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  18. I like #5 the best because its simple, but fits MLP at the same time.

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  19. I prefer the current font, but #1 definitely has the advantage of both looking good and having lowercase letters. So that might be good to use.

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  20. i like the current font the best but id go with 1 as it has lowercase letters as well

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  21. A guy who like poniesAugust 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    I'm fine with the current font, but if you change it, I'd probably like the the first one the best. Put me down for Don't change and/or #1.

    Also, I just thought of something that would probably take more work than it's worth but might be pretty cool. What if characters had their own fonts for when they talked? Like Twilight would be a simple straight font, while Apple Bloom would be much more rounded for being a filly. Then Rarity would have a much more elegant or perhaps cursive style of font, and Big Macintosh would be much more bolded and straight. Pinkie would have some sort of silly looking font, while rainbow has an always italicized slightly curved sort of font, and so on. I think it would be a cool way of representing different character's personalities. They wouldn't all have to be different fonts, like Big Mac's could be just like AJ's, but bolded.

    Anyways, just a random idea I had. I'm sure there's so many fonts out there that it could be done, but I'm not sure how hard it would actually be to implement, so I'll just shut up now.

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  22. I like the current font; I always have. If I had to pick a different font though, I would probably pick #1.

    I do like the idea of different characters having different fonts to give the idea of varying voices, though.

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  23. I like 7 and 1 the best. Would it possible to include a few font choices in the settings? The original, 1 and 7 seem to have the most support, so if you could change them around I'd imagine most people would be content with that. You can then pick whichever font you like as the default, for screenshots, videos and the like.

    As for the suggestions in the comments, Patrick Hand is pretty good, I think.

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  24. I like #5, but un-Bolded (if it's actually in Bold)

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  25. I don't see the need to change (although I do understand those who bring up the all caps argument, not saying I side with them). However, if the font were to change, I would vote #1. If the games intent is to be rather lighthearted, then you should pick a fitting font. All the other options make the dialog text too serious and kind of ruin the mood you're trying to create (take the video preview in the previous blog post (the image of Twilight going 'WHAT!?') and put that in #6 font - it kind of ruins the effect, does it not?)

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  26. http://i.imgur.com/xMaiL.png
    Patrick Hand looks quite good.

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  27. I vote no change, but if you must, go with #1.

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  28. The one you've got now easily wins my vote. It's fun and easy on the eyes. The others seem really... I don't know. Boring.

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  29. I agree with LordDavius, the current font is more exciting to look at than the others.

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  30. I've found a handful more that you may be able to try - all "handwritten" (which I think all the comments agree), with Upper/lower case distinction, and all "playful" that matches the show's spirit.

    http://www.searchfreefonts.com/free/markerfinepoint-plain.htm

    http://www.searchfreefonts.com/free/39-smooth.htm

    http://www.searchfreefonts.com/free/fennario.htm

    http://www.searchfreefonts.com/free/hiccups.htm

    http://www.searchfreefonts.com/free/franciscan.htm

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  31. I love the spacing on number 3, but number 1 fits the tone of My Little Pony more.

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  32. I'm definitely liking #1 the most; I didn't really mind the original font but I'd prefer the font in #1 to what you currently have after seeing the differences.

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  33. #1 or #7.

    Also, good luck with the game. I look forward to it!

    Doubt you could respond to this, but if you could, cool: Any plans on self-composed music?

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  34. Thanks for all the feedback, all! I'm floored by all the enthusiasm! I'll be putting up a new blog in the near future to announce the results.

    To respond to a few specific posts:

    @A guy who like ponies

    I thought about that idea (having different fonts for each character), but the more I thought about it the more I started feeling that wouldn't be feasible. Your average Ace Attorney game has tons of characters, and picking out a new font for every new character quickly started making me feel like that would get unreasonably difficult to keep the quality bar high enough. As such I'm going to keep it to one font.

    @CrispyYoshi

    That's still an open question, but ideally I'd like to recruit someone from the the fanbase to compose music for the game. I have very limited artistic abilities, myself, so I don't think it'd be a good idea to compose my own music. :P

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  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  36. #3 and #7 look appealing. Use a font that's detailed, but nothing overly regal looking; clean and easy on the eyes. If I may, this font looks pretty nice,

    http://www.mfgg.net/index.php?act=resdb&param=02&c=6&id=20041

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  37. Of these, I like #1 the best, followed by the current font. I do think that the current font is a little loud with the large size and ALL CAPS, but I like the slightly playful feel of it. #7 is best after those.

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  38. I've got to say that I like your current font best.

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  39. I'm fine with the current font, but if a similar one with lowercase could be found, I would be happy with that too. I'm going to send a link to a person I know (and also is a brony), who sometimes seems to know as much about fonts as Fluttershy does about sewing.

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  40. I am fine with the one you are using. It's really nice in my opinion. If I HAD to chose another then I would probably pick 1...

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  41. I like current font.

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  42. #3 is defiantly the easiest for me to read. I'd pick a serif if it were up to me but a san-serif may be more with the style in which case I would choose #4.

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  43. I like the current font. If I must chose, though, I'd go with 1. As for a suggestion, how about Segoe Script? It's nice and has a cursive handwriting feel to it.

    It might not fit the speech but it would be handy for written things like certain pieces of evidence.

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  44. I really like #7 and #1. But #4 is good too.

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  45. I like 2, 4 and 5, but I also like the original font.

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