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Fonts are killing me

 
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Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 3:01:43 PM   
StarWolf


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I'm loving the Legends expansion. It adds a lot to the base game and RoTS expansion. I think at this point Distant Worlds is one of the best 4X space games I've ever played and once the ship design part of the game gets a little love in the second update as Erik had mentioned, it's going to be just tremendous.

However, there is one thing that is a constant distraction and annoyance to me as I play the game and that is the fonts. On a lot iof the screens I can barely read them. I have to really squint sometimes to try and tell if it is a plus or minus (+-) in front of some of the numbers. Reading the encyclopedia can be painful. I have a 22 inch monitor and the native resolution is 1680x1050. That's about average these days and many people have a lot higher resolutions for their setups. Surely I am not alone in my plight? Looking at the "how old are you" thread, many DW gamers are in their 40s, 50, and 60s. It's got to be hard on that demographic.

Is there any chance at all that something, ANYTHING could be done about this in the future? Perhaps you could allow a lot of the in-game windows to be maximized with the fonts scaling up when they do? Many of the current game windows are very small and only take up a third or less of the space on my monitor, if they could be maximized, I could easily read them.

If that's not possible, how about introducing a graphics option to allow you to change the resolution in game? I know that I can change it outside of the game but that totally screws up my desktop and it takes forever to fix it afterwards. Most games allow in-game changing of resolution, is this impossible/hard to do for some reason?

Please understand that I totally love the game but the fonts really are an issue for me. I really hope Matrix and Codeforce can come up with a viable solutions to this at some point in a future update.

< Message edited by StarWolf -- 12/3/2011 3:05:22 PM >
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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 3:18:40 PM   
comsolut

 

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+1

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 3:25:26 PM   
MasterChief


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+ 2

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 3:37:24 PM   
Francoy


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+3

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 3:39:44 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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+4

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 4:15:44 PM   
adamsolo


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+5.

I've been reporting the font issue (and the bluriness) constantly in my reviews and in the forums but for some reason this is never fixed. I have a feeling that the bluriness is slightly improved with Legends but it's still hard to read. Everytime I play DW the first thing I do is put my reading glasses on. Why can't this be improved Erik? I run a pretty standard 1280x1024 resolution on my 17' LCD.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 4:22:24 PM   
WiZz

 

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-1. Fonts are fine on my 1280x1024-display (19")

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 4:24:53 PM   
StarWolf


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After further review, actually many of the game windows are okay, it's only some of them that are particularly harsh on the eyes. I was just playing again and took a few notes. The ones that have the most problematic fonts for me are:

The Diplomacy screen
The Ship Design screen
The Galaxy Map screen (this one is really one the worst for me since I use it so much. I wish you could zoom in and out on it, that would help, especially when trying to select something).

The one section of windows that are the most consistently problematic for me are all the ones from the vertical shortcut bar along the left side of the screen (Potential Research, Potential Colonies, Potential Resorts, Military, etc.) All of those have some really, really teeny fonts in them. Especially the numbers.

After looking at it again, I think the encyclopedia is fine in most places. I do wish there was an offline version provided in something like a windows help file format or even a PDF.

Most of the rest of the game fonts/windows are just fine. If they could just improve the visibility of the ones mentioned above, it would go a long way.


< Message edited by StarWolf -- 12/3/2011 4:25:45 PM >

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 5:44:16 PM   
WoodMan


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Fonts have always been fine for me, but I've been playing on a small screen.  I have a new much bigger screen arriving next week, I'll guess I'll find out then if it makes the text harder to read.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 6:03:50 PM   
Webbco


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I'm 26 and I've got to be honest - after longer games I feel like my eyes are exhausted

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 6:04:39 PM   
freeboy

 

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i am supprised no one has modded this ..

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 6:07:23 PM   
blastpop


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+1 for font changes to make them readable...

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 6:10:13 PM   
Fetrik Snubbe


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So is font size complaints the drawback of having a elderly userbase?

Jk of course. Some screens make me lean forward to read them.
Playing in 1920*1080.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 6:14:21 PM   
ASHBERY76


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It needs to scale with higher res.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 6:26:35 PM   
frugaldude

 

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I bought DW on the day it was released.  ROTS too.  One of my favorite games.  I finally had to quit due to the eye strain.
I had hoped this one issue would have been resolved in this release.
Maybe the next release will resolve this issue.  I would surely love to play again.

I am enjoying all the posts though.  It is a great game even through others eyes.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 6:30:04 PM   
Grotius


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I agree -- the font should scale to higher resolutions.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 6:36:54 PM   
adamsolo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fetrik Snubbe
Some screens make me lean forward to read them. Playing in 1920*1080.

Yep, I'm leaning sometimes also, even with my reading glasses. I also had to approach my monitor a bit more than it was before.


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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 7:16:28 PM   
badken

 

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The text has always been a problem for me in this game, too--to the point that yes, I will stop playing sometimes because my tired old eyes are having trouble making out the text.

There are a couple of problems with readability with the game. The most important one is obviously font size, but also the design of the font and the contrast of the colors used could be improved. The specific font that's used has a lot of densely packed vertical lines, which makes letter forms difficult to distinguish. Notably, the bold version of the font is *much* better than the thin version that is used for most text in the game. Color contrast, the other issue, can be really bad in some cases: for example, dark blue on gray or dark blue on black are VERY hard to read because of the way the eye perceives the color blue. If you're going to use blue on a dark background, you need to give it a lighter high contrast shadow to make it legible. The default text color in the game is not very readable either. It's a medium-dark grey on black, and there just isn't enough contrast to make things out clearly.

I have a feeling that merely adjusting the text color, making it brighter, creating higher contrast between text and background, would help a lot of people. A bigger font (or using the bold font, which has better spacing built in) would help more, but I realize that might cause some screen layout headaches. An alternative to resizing screens would be giving players the option to use a different font which was better designed for reading at small sizes.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 7:28:10 PM   
Harry2

 

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+1 for bigger fonts

I tried using the Windows Magnifier app but it did not function very well inside DW

The other issue I have is red lettering on black or dark grey. Of course this only gets used for very important messages indicating that something is wrong or dangerous...and it's almost invisible to me!

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 7:39:57 PM   
Bingeling

 

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Fonts are indeed tiny, but with good glasses I do manage since I sit close to the screen. Some larger option to the tiniest would not hurt.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 7:48:58 PM   
martok


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Personally, I've not really had an issue with the font size.  However, I can easily see why others might, so I'm not going to be one of those guys who responds "just suck it up and live with it".   

Seriously, though:  Given how many folks have complained about the font size since vanilla DW was released -- and there's definitely been a lot of you! -- I'm honestly baffled as to why it's not been improved already.  It seems like it ought to be a relatively simple thing to fix. 





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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 8:10:49 PM   
StarWolf


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My suspicion (and greatest fear) is that they may have hardcoded the screens and fonts, making it almost impossible to fix this without a major rewrite of that part of the game code. That's maybe the most likely reason they haven't addressed it. Because surely they do know what an issue it is at this point. Man, I sure do hope I'm wrong about that though.

< Message edited by StarWolf -- 12/3/2011 8:12:41 PM >

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/3/2011 9:33:51 PM   
adamsolo


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@badken

Completely agree with you on the contrast issue.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/4/2011 2:30:13 AM   
Baleur


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The main font issue i have is the scrolling text at the top of the screen.
Not so much because of the font but because of how CLUTTERED it gets.. Most messages cant even be read "Due to blabla your Blabla scientist increased their energy research skill to.."

In the spirit of readability, i suggest ALL scrolling notifications in the top to be condensed to show quick and easy info.
They need to have a shorter version of the explanatory text you get when you open the actual event log. It makes no sense to clutter the top infowindow with walls of text.
Examples;

"Scientist Bob Kerbal improved Energy Research to +51%"
"Ruins encountered, Kaltor swarm unleashed!"
"Colony ship failed to colonize, enemy territory."
"Human Dominion offers Trade Treaty"
"New Scientist has arrived!" <--- (beats the old wall-of-text "because of something you did in a battle with fleet fifteen, a new troop general has appeared at your world homeworld two")

Basically, any message that takes up TWO rows needs to be shortened, as do any message that does not leave at least 50-100 pixels free space at the sides.
Less clutter, more quick easy info, that's what the window is there for! :)

< Message edited by Baleur -- 12/4/2011 2:31:21 AM >

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/4/2011 4:01:42 AM   
Neotheone

 

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Same here I have to agree the fonts are just too small for these old mans eyes. There should be selection sizes and the font should be at least THIS BIGnot this size.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/4/2011 2:38:52 PM   
hewwo

 

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I agree, fonts are not functional sometimes. Why not make most of the screens full-screen? On my resolution (1680x1050 @ 15 inch) it doens't really scale well.

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/4/2011 4:05:41 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fetrik Snubbe

So is font size complaints the drawback of having a elderly userbase?

Jk of course. Some screens make me lean forward to read them.
Playing in 1920*1080.


Bah!

Also playing in 1920*1080, and have several decades under my belt. And even being nearsighted with 20/80 in the good eye I can read it fine WITHOUT wearing my glasses.

Honestly, I think the higher resolution your screen is capable of, the clearer it is. However, actual font size might be a problem for some. Perhaps the solution is not to change the font style, but to give accessibility options that resize all fonts to be larger?

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/5/2011 4:11:21 PM   
StarWolf


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I found a program that allows you to change resolution when running a game and switch back afterwards, saving/restoring your icon positions on the desktop. So, I tried running the game at a lower resolution and guess what? It really didn't do much at all the resolve the font issues. The one really thin font that is used in some places (it appears to be about 1 pixel wide) is still really, really hard on the eyes. So, I don't think adding game resolution settings is really going to solve anything.

I did a lot of searching to see what's been said about this issue in the past and found out that it's been a problem reported here over and over again and mentioned in many of the game reviews. From what I could find, Matrix has been pretty much silent on the issue but I did see where a beta tester said that the fonts were hard coded and don't expect a fix anytime soon. That was some time ago.

Given the above, we can eliminate some sugested potential fixes that Matrix/Codeforce might reasonably employ:

1) Font scaling is not going to be an option due to the hard coded fonts.
2) Adding the ability to change game resolution will not really help due to problematic readibility with some the fonts themselves

So what does that leave us with? I actually think Badken hit it pretty much on the head with his post:

quote:

ORIGINAL: badken
There are a couple of problems with readability with the game. The most important one is obviously font size, but also the design of the font and the contrast of the colors used could be improved. The specific font that's used has a lot of densely packed vertical lines, which makes letter forms difficult to distinguish. Notably, the bold version of the font is *much* better than the thin version that is used for most text in the game. Color contrast, the other issue, can be really bad in some cases: for example, dark blue on gray or dark blue on black are VERY hard to read because of the way the eye perceives the color blue. If you're going to use blue on a dark background, you need to give it a lighter high contrast shadow to make it legible. The default text color in the game is not very readable either. It's a medium-dark grey on black, and there just isn't enough contrast to make things out clearly.

I have a feeling that merely adjusting the text color, making it brighter, creating higher contrast between text and background, would help a lot of people. A bigger font (or using the bold font, which has better spacing built in) would help more, but I realize that might cause some screen layout headaches. An alternative to resizing screens would be giving players the option to use a different font which was better designed for reading at small sizes.


I agree that it is the design of at least one of the fonts that is more the issue than the size. Some of the fonts are extremely clear. There's only one of them, the really thin one, that is really hard to read. If they could just try to address this one, really narrow issue by replacing/improving that one font and maybe some of the contrast issues and not get into any kind of massive overall font fix, I'd be happy.

I guess my questiion is if someone from Matrix or Codeforce could please comment here on this just to let us know if a limited fix like that is even possible? I did a lot of searching but didn't see where anyone official had ever weighed in on this. Even if the answer is "no, we can't do anything" that would be fine. I'd just accept it and move on. But it would be nice to hear at least something.

< Message edited by StarWolf -- 12/5/2011 4:38:11 PM >

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/5/2011 4:18:18 PM   
willgamer


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(just bought the game yesterday ) +1

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RE: Fonts are killing me - 12/5/2011 5:15:43 PM   
Missouri_Rebel


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I agree with the orig poster as I have a 24 inch monitor at 1920x1080 with near perfect sight and my eyes are really straining after playing for any amount of extended time. Probably not an easy fix though changing the font.

+30


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