Graphics were pretty tough in the 8bit Atari days. It took a lot of work to get things rolling, a lot of plot and drawTo and Player-Missile graphics. That is until I discovered the method programmers were using to re-define character sets and create graphics using extra characters in the fontset. The only way to do this effectively was to use a program that reordered the bytes for you, saved out that data and loaded it back in. One such program that would load and save fonts was called Superfont.
This program allowed the user to edit characters of the font in the checker board area and then save out the font to be loaded into a program later.
These programs came from BBSs(dial-up online bulletin board systems, pre-internet) and in magazines like I have mentioned previously in my Gamasutra Blog, Compute!. Needless to say, I spent mountain growing
amounts of time making my own fonts and experimenting with fonts and creating my own. During the 16bit erra graphics were stored in different formats and most of my art moved away from assembled redefined characters. However, to this day I love the beauty and magic of fonts and font making. And I have become quite adept and timely when it comes to building my own font from this experience.
So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled across iFontMaker for the iPad
. How I ever got along without such an excellent font editing tool for so long is beyond me. This program has everything you need to quickly make a font, upload it to their ttf converter, share it with everyone etc. Infact today I created a font for an 'art test' I am doing for a potential employer.
I based my font off light bulbs that make up letters as in an older marquee but it really look very dot-matrix like when you look at it in a smaller printout. Feel free to look at the 2ttf webpage of it, Download & use it if you like.
Uploading a font is not only easy, but it is a requirement in 2ttf's conversion process to make it usable. This promotes sharing which I like.
I highly recommend this program, and I highly recommend artists (especially UI,UX artists/designers) to use their own fonts and not hunt all over the internet to use someone else's.
Learn the craft of font making. It's a real joy !
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