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Blurry text?

T8TRG8TRT8TRG8TR Posts: 120Member
edited December 2011 in Working with GS (Mac)
The text I'm using for my game looks really blurry? It's just one of the default fonts is there any way around this? I'm using retina graphics so everything looks really sharp except the text.

EDIT: Blurry might not be the best way to describe it. It just looks kind of dull.


  • mynameisacemynameisace Hull, UKPosts: 2,484Member
    There's pretty much only one way to describe Gamesalad's font anti-aliasing... It sucks.

    It looks even worse on retina screens. If you can, make sentence images in Photoshop and import them in.

  • bluebyu25bluebyu25 Posts: 500Member
    Ace is right dont even go there. My app Christmas Lister had to use user input and all the feedback I got was "Why is my text blurry!?!?" and all I could say is, "My engine sucks at AA".

    Until they change it, move on!
  • entersimonentersimon Posts: 269Member
    I'm still amazed that this hasn't been resolved yet. GameSalad is using iOS native fonts, which support retina resolution automatically, and somehow it still comes out blurry. If you have a Pro Account, please write to GS and request that they fix this.

    Check out my daily app development blog at

  • EthanZarovEthanZarov Posts: 156Member
    @mynameisace agreed. thats what I do.
  • gyroscopegyroscope I am here.Posts: 6,577Member, Sous Chef, PRO
    So much agree too. Text could look so much better with proper anti-aliasing. Here's hoping it's on GS HQ's to-do list before 1.0...


    ""You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike." - Zork        temp domain

  • calvin9403calvin9403 Posts: 3,190Member
    I just dump my text in art text 2 and import as image

    but then the file becomes big


  • gyroscopegyroscope I am here.Posts: 6,577Member, Sous Chef, PRO
    Hi Calvin, yup, that's the trouble isn't it; a trade off of big files for nice-looking text; whereas if anti-aliasing was applied properly all text use via the Display Text behavior would not only look good but take minimal RAM.... but you know that.... :-) Here's hoping they sort it soon; the prob's been around for too long...

    ""You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike." - Zork        temp domain

  • T8TRG8TRT8TRG8TR Posts: 120Member
    I'm using it for a score so I can't just import an image :/. I've seen some of tshirtbooth's games and they look like they have custom fonts. Is there any way to implement them fairly easily?
  • calvin9403calvin9403 Posts: 3,190Member
    text are vector images, so that is not big at all

    btw I hope we can import vector image to gs

  • CloudsClouds Posts: 1,599Member
    edited December 2011
    Antialiasing in Gamesald is unusually poor, I am working on text based apps, mostly children's books for well known UK publishers, and without a doubt if I were to insist on using the built-in antialiasing I would lose them as clients fairly quickly. Generating text external to GS works just fine, it might be less memory efficient, but it's a price worth paying and is not difficult, for anyone serious about the quality of their text GS effectively has no text generation - although saying that I think for most games GS can handle text fairly well.
  • The_Gamesalad_GuruThe_Gamesalad_Guru Posts: 9,914Member
    Tshirtbooth video on how to use custom fonts for score keeping.

  • HymloeHymloe Posts: 1,651Member
    One thing that you can try, if you want to crisp up your fonts a bit, is to make your scene larger, and your fonts use larger font size, and zoom the camera out.

    If you make your scene 960x640, and zoom the camera out to that, the fonts look pretty good.

    If you make your scene 320x480, then zoom the camera in, the fonts look really blurry.

    Hopefully Game Salad will add support for a more intelligent anti-aliasing for fonts, with retina support soon.

    Ideally, fonts would look crisp, even if the player zooms the camera to show a 320x480 scene on an iPad 2. The graphics can handle it, if they're high resolution, but the fonts are not aware that you're looking at them close up. Would be ideal if they were aware of how closely they're being viewed relative to the camera and the scene.

  • HymloeHymloe Posts: 1,651Member
    You can download a test project that I put together to show what happens to fonts when you zoom the camera in and out. Grab it here... (20kb)

    The main thing you will notice is that at 320x480, the text is blurry when viewed on a retina device (such as iPod Touch 4), but that the game is running at 60fps. This sort of makes sense that it's blurry, because the device is effectively running the game at 640x960, but the font is not acting according to that fact. Let's hope Game Salad support that ASAP.

    By tapping the right arrow in the test project, you can increase the scene size to 640x960, and the font becomes nice and sharp (pretty much optimal), because I've doubled the font size, and it's now being displayed at the proper resolution that the game is actually running at. BUT the framerate drops to 30fps! Gulp. Why?

    (Reminder, I am using Game Salad 0.9.92. I'd like to know if this performance hit is just as bad in 0.10.0?)

    You will notice that the font generally becomes crisper as you keep zooming out (by tapping the right arrow in the test project), and enlarge everything in the scene to match. But the framerate also slows right down as you increase the size of the scene, losing about half the framerate each time (even though the actors are performing the same behaviours).

    I can only assume this massive drop in framerate is to do with the device's limited VRAM or memory, but this doesn't really seem enough to explain such a hit.

    If you zoom out too far, the font starts to become "bitsy", especially on iPad 2 where the device isn't actually a retina display, and the framerate becomes extremely unresponsive if you go beyond a zoom factor of 4, so I've locked it at 4 in the test project, but you can fiddle with that (in the "right arrow" actor), if you want to experiment more.

    The bottom line of my experiment, is that until Game Salad make fonts anti-alias based on how close the camera is to them, you'll just need to make your scene larger, and zoom the camera out manually.


  • HymloeHymloe Posts: 1,651Member
    On my Android phone ( an HTC Desire HD), the font looks jagged on all settings, whether it's running the scene at 320x480, or 640x960, or above. It always looks bad. Shame.

    Also, this test project I linked to above was totally killing the Desire HD, and crashes whenever I take it up to zoom level 3 (960x1440).

    Framerate for 320x480 was 10fps, and at 640x960, framerate dropped to 2.3 fps.

    I've just had 10 Constrain rules in there, to resize the camera, and to resize and reposition the two actors that display the readout text. That seemed to be totally killing the game. Oh well.

    Here's a new project that just resizes things once every second... (20kb)

  • HymloeHymloe Posts: 1,651Member
    I'd love to know if performance on that project is quite jerky in the latest Game Salad, or whether it's perhaps been improved?

    I'm sticking with 0.9.92 for now. Would love to hear whether this project has provided any useful information for people. Would also love to know how to stop this project from being jerky, because it seems as if the actors and behaviours are really very simple.

    All the best.
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