Fonts, KONSPIRACJA and ARPGs

Way back when I started creating KONSPIRACJA the webcomic, I found out that lettering my dialogue by hand, without making any mistakes, typos or simply letting my hand slip was a rather futile endevour. Within a few months of meticulous handwriting I decided I needed my own font. This is when the original KONSPIRACJA font was born. Sample below:

 

When I started my work for a book publisher, I discovered a very similar comic/handwritten font has been created since then, one that closely resembles my work. Should have released the thing way back when I made it!

But I digress.

 

The main font I would strongly associate with ARPGs is the classic (although its creator would use the term ‘infamous’) 1990’s font EXOCET, created by David Bowie collaborator, graphic designer Jonathan Barnbrook. The font seems to have come a long way, from being ubiquitous in the early 90’s to being only associated with Diablo, to becoming passé to an extent such that Blizzard decided to minimize its presence in D3. While we used the font in the Beelzebox prototype, a full-fledged, commercial release would require fulfilling licencing fees we just can’t afford as an indie team.

So my font-development skills have to be used once again, almost a decade after I learned them.

The original Exocet, while a true modern classic, has its flaws, the main being the fact it’s hard to use at smaller DPIs. In 2001 a font was released that tried to remedy some of its problems. It was called AvQuest. This is the font Diablo II used and which allowed for more text (item descriptions for example) to be displayed.

But the free font is not in any way perfect either… With modern in-engne rendering, AvQuest seems to be even less visible than Exocet when using small print, despite all the good ideas it tries to implement, including use of initials and improved characters. Comparison between Exocet (above) and AvQuest (below):

The font is quintessentially 90’s. And this is the most 90’s thing I could think of

 

So… Why not try to mix and improve the two? Why not try to modify some characters to be more readable? The current concept for the Beelzebox font is to create a typeface that goes back to the original KONSPIRACJA font (that it will be hand-written), while maintaining the basic shape and thickness of Exocet Bold and including changes and solutions borrowed from AvQuest.

Will it work? We’ll see. The current state of development of the font is shown below (with only characters up to j having been created):

There’s a lot of tweaking to be done but it’s a fun little project. Read about its completion here.

Shodanon

Gamedev, /agdg/ enthusiast, translator, teacher, biologist. On his way to fulfilling the dream of creating entertaining, quality indie games.

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