Author Topic: Fonts in Flixel iOS - source/example included!  (Read 4983 times)

IQpierce

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So I just released Connectrode (http://www.connectrode.com) this month and it's doing well on iOS, currently featured by Apple and #10 in puzzle games, yay! It was made in Flixel iOS... someone on the "Games" board asked me how I handled the fonts/text in it and I thought I'd give a detailed answer here.

Okay so, custom fonts. Text and fonts were DEFINITELY the biggest pain in the ass of making this game. I probably spent over 12 hours just messing with font stuff, figuring it out and trying to get it to work (also counting wasted time of trying to do all the text embedded in images and headaches around that).

Long story short, to get my own font working, I had to go copy the FlixelFont.m file, look at its long array of glyphs (flixelUnicharToGlyphMap), and then basically use trial-and-error to try switch over the font glyph indeces in that array with the font that I had imported instead. It was horrible and took forever.

Some advice if you try to go down this road yourself:
1. To figure out what the indices for the characters you want are in the font you're trying to use, I heard someone recommending using "FontExplorer X Pro" (for Mac at least) which lets you see what all the glyph indices are for your font.
2. To clarify what's going on here: this array is a way of saying, for each and every possible Unichar character, where it can find the glyph for that character inside the font's data. Fonts can have a completely different ordering for this data. But that's what flixelUnicharToGlyphMap is for: each entry in that array is for a possible Unichar character, and if you want that char to show up, you put an entry at the right point in the array for the index of that character in your font.
3. The difficulty is knowing 1) which unichar index corresponds to the actual characters (this I believe can be easily determined by looking at the unichar character-code definition I believe), and 2) where that character is within your font (this is what you would find out with FontExplorer X Pro... or, if you're a masochist like me, with hours of trial-and-error, plugging different indices in at random, seeing what shows up on screen when you try to render text with that font, and trying to figure out patterns).

So to hopefully save you guys a bunch of trial-and-error, I will attach here the font file we used (it's a publicly-available font called OCRA), as well as my ConnectrodeFont.h file (which is again a copy of FlixelFont.m, except thatI have my own version of the flixelUnicharToGlyphMap in which I've made it more readable for recognizing where things go, and have commented the indices of some important alphanumeric and punctuation characters).

Fonts are clearly not the strong point of this iOS engine, but if you really want to try to do them, you can dig into all this stuff, and hopefully the digging I've already done will save you a ton of time in getting it up and running!

Post in this thread if you try to hook up your own fonts following this example and get stuck or can't figure out what's going on, I'll be happy to try and help!

UPDATE: Looks like I can't attach fonts, check out the font at http://www.DeepPlaid.com/Connectrode/font/OCRAEXT.TTF
« Last Edit: Sun, Jul 24, 2011 by IQpierce »
I'm just one guy trying to make some interesting decisions!

initials

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Re: Fonts in Flixel iOS - source/example included!
« Reply #1 on: Sun, Jul 24, 2011 »
You sir, are a gentleman.

I got to the point where I had the font I wanted to use working inside FlxTexts, but the text was all jumbled. Obviously I didn't understand the whole indice thing. I had a hunch that the array was some kind of character mapper, but no idea how to go about using it.

IQPierce, you've just worked your way into the thank you credits for my game.
« Last Edit: Sun, Jul 24, 2011 by initials »
Initials: Super Lemonade Factory, Super Lemonade Factory Part Two, Above The Clouds, Revvolvver, Four Chambers of the Human Heart

IQpierce

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Re: Fonts in Flixel iOS - source/example included!
« Reply #2 on: Sun, Jul 24, 2011 »
Haha, awesome... I had felt a bit guilty for using an open-source engine like Flixel and yet not really contributing much back to the community... glad to know my wall of text above (and the source code snippet) has already been of practical use to someone. :)
I'm just one guy trying to make some interesting decisions!

initials

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Re: Fonts in Flixel iOS - source/example included!
« Reply #3 on: Sun, Jul 24, 2011 »
It's a huge gift back to the community. Good work. I spent a good few hours myself doing the steps you mentioned but when I saw the jumbled text I didn't have the patience to go the extra mile like you did. The standard Flixel font is pretty cool, but after seeing your game and how much a custom font makes it stand out I re-evaluated my thinking.

Speaking of giving back to the community I can offer these:

I've implemented a different kind of tilemap builder for iOS. Flixel builds tilemaps using one tile every time is sees a 1 or black pixel on your png map. Flixel iOS is too slow (on my 3GS anyway) to handle all those little blocks. So I built a system for creating a map as a png, and then making blocks a long TileBlock that repeats the tiles, and the more important thing is that is does the AUTOTILE. It also includes parameters to to make a speech bubble or a repeatable gradient.
It ends up looking like this:

Code: [Select]
- (id) loadGraphic:(NSString *)TileGraphic empties:(unsigned int)Empties autoTile:(BOOL)AutoTile isSpeechBubble:(int)LocationOfPoint isGradient:(int)repeats arbitraryID:(int)ArbitraryID index:(int)Index {


Virtual Control Pad for Flixel iOS - This adds the following functions to FlxG.touches:
Code: [Select]
@synthesize touches, numberOfTouches;
@synthesize swipedDown, swipedUp, swipedLeft, swipedRight;
@synthesize vcpButton1, vcpButton2, vcpLeftArrow, vcpRightArrow, newTouch;

One thing this allows is multiple touches at the same time, which Flixel didn't do out of the box. And you kind of need it if you want a control pad.

I think I put in a FlxG.level or FlxG.lives too, but that's straight forward.

Mode has been ported and released.

If you want any of this stuff shoot me an email. I haven't released it yet because it's all tied up in my new game which isn't ready to be released.
Initials: Super Lemonade Factory, Super Lemonade Factory Part Two, Above The Clouds, Revvolvver, Four Chambers of the Human Heart

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Re: Fonts in Flixel iOS - source/example included!
« Reply #4 on: Mon, Jul 25, 2011 »
In case this helps anyone. Here's what the character list is for the Nokia font:

Code: [Select]
static const unsigned flixelMaxGlyph = 8365;
static CGGlyph flixelUnicharToGlyphMap[8365] = {
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
3,  // SPACE
64, //!
65, //""
66, //#
67, //$
68, //%
69, //&
70, //''
71, // (
72, // )
73, // *
74, // +
75, // ,
76, // -
77, // .
78, // /

157, // 0
124, // 1
4,   // 2
6,   // 3
7,   // 4
8, // 5
9, // 6
10, //7
11, //8
5, //9

79, //:
80, //;
81, // <
82, // =
83, // >
84, // ? (Question Mark)
123, //@
16, //A
12, //B
13, //C down to Z
14,
37,
15,
17,
18,
19,
20,
21,
22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,
36, // Z

85, // [ could be {
86, // \\
87, // ] could be }
113, //^
88, //_
160, //

38, //a
39, //b
40, //c down to z
41,
42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,

53,54,55,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,

63, //z


89, //[
90, // |
91, //}
114, //~

0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,156,127,0,
130, // pound (english currency)
135, // funny o
128, // YEN
165, // Long bar |
129, //snake thing
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
159,
0,0,0,0,
134, // upside down ?
92,
93,
94,
95,
136,162,137,103,139,105,106,140,109,110,144,143,0,101,147,115,116,117,126,0,154,150,121,149,132,170,0,153,96,97,98,99,100,163,138,104,141,107,108,142,111,112,145,146,0,102,148,118,119,120,125,0,158,151,122,152,131,171,0,164,0,
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0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,133,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,0,
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Initials: Super Lemonade Factory, Super Lemonade Factory Part Two, Above The Clouds, Revvolvver, Four Chambers of the Human Heart

tokyotron

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Re: Fonts in Flixel iOS - source/example included!
« Reply #5 on: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 »
I'm not familiar with TTF/OTF format, or any other font format, but you'd think the glyph mapping table would be included in the font itself?

Anyway iOS has custom font support (since 3.2) which makes it pretty easy to add another font, and use that with UILabel etc. I really never needed to use that. However thinking about this, and that you can create FlxSprite from UIView:s (UILabel is subclass of UIView), it should be more or less easy to create FlxSprites from any ttf/otf (that you also can get working with UILabel, I guess some fonts aren't compatible for other reasons).

I tried this of course. It kind of works, but I ran into some problems with the retina scale (again... always...) that made the FlxSprite render in low res. But it does work, just gotta fix those last bits. If using Canabalt 2x sized graphics it might just work out of the box. Not sure what you need Flixel's font classes for really...

tokyotron

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Re: Fonts in Flixel iOS - source/example included!
« Reply #6 on: Sun, Jul 22, 2012 »
Okay here are bits of the code that I use to put any font in there... you can add any (that you have rights to ;-) ) font and use that. So you can use any font bundled with iOS or your own font. No need to work hard with mapping tables :-)

This code could be put in some categories or built into the FlxSprite class or even FlxText maybe... I just copy these functions into the state controller though... then add some stuff to FlxSprite and SemiSecretTexture.

First the code in state class:

Code: [Select]
-(void)createMylabels {
FlxSprite* spriteLabel1 = [[self class] spriteFromString:@"My text!" color:[UIColor whiteColor]];
spriteLabel1.x = 5;
spriteLabel1.y = 15;
FlxSprite* spriteLabel2 = [[self class] spriteFromString:@"Something else..." color:[UIColor whiteColor]];
spriteLabel2.x = 5;
spriteLabel2.y = 50;

[self add:spriteLabel1];
[self add:spriteLabel2];
}

+(FlxSprite*)spriteFromString:(NSString*)string color:(UIColor*)color {
FlxSprite* sprite = [FlxSprite sprite];
UILabel* label = [self labelFromString:string color:color];
[sprite loadGraphicFromView:label animated:NO reverse:NO width:label.frame.size.width height:label.frame.size.height unique:NO modelScale:[FlxSprite deviceScale]];
return sprite;
}

+(UILabel*)labelFromString:(NSString*)string color:(UIColor*)color {
NSString* theText = string;
UILabel* label = [[[UILabel alloc] initWithFrame:CGRectZero] autorelease];
label.font = [UIFont fontWithName:@"CourierNewPSMT" size:25]; // Change to any font (need at least iOS 4.x something probably. CourierNewPSMT is monospace and thus easy to use for layout.
label.textColor = color;
const CGSize TEXTSIZE = [theText sizeWithFont:label.font];
label.text = theText;
label.frame = CGRectMake(label.frame.origin.x, label.frame.origin.y, TEXTSIZE.width, TEXTSIZE.height);
return label;
}

Then add to FlxSprite.h/m:

Code: [Select]
-(void)loadGraphicFromView:(UIView*)View
  animated:(BOOL)Animated
   reverse:(BOOL)Reverse
width:(unsigned int)Width
height:(unsigned int)Height
unique:(BOOL)Unique
modelScale:(float)ModelScale {
//DLog(@"loadGraphic: %@ ModelScale: %f", Graphic, ModelScale);
modelScale = ModelScale;

//reset colors to all white...
[self fill:0xffffff];
filled = NO;

_bakedRotation = 0;

[texture autorelease];
texture = [[[self class] getTextureFromView:View param2:Unique modelScale:ModelScale] retain];

if (Reverse)
_flipped = ((int)(texture.size.width)) >> 1;
else
_flipped = 0;

if (Width == 0)
{
if (Animated) {
Width = texture.size.height/modelScale;
}
else {
Width = texture.size.width/modelScale;
}
}
width = frameWidth = Width;
if (Height == 0)
{
if (Animated)
Height = width;
else
Height = texture.size.height/modelScale;
}
height = frameHeight = Height;
if (Animated)
texture.animated = YES;
[self resetHelpers];
}

+ (SemiSecretTexture *) getTextureFromView:(UIView *)View param2:(BOOL)Unique modelScale:(float)ModelScale {
SemiSecretTexture* texture = [SemiSecretTexture textureWithView:View modelScale:ModelScale];

return texture;
}

And add to SemiSecretTexture.h/m:

Code: [Select]
+ (id) textureWithView:(UIView *)view modelScale:(float)ModelScale {
return [[[self alloc] initWithView:view modelScale:ModelScale] autorelease];
}

- (id) initWithView:(UIView *)view modelScale:(float)ModelScale {
if ((self = [super init])) {
[self prepareWithWidth:view.bounds.size.width * [FlxSprite deviceScale] height:view.bounds.size.height * [FlxSprite deviceScale]];
if (data == NULL) {
[self release];
return nil;
}

CGColorSpaceRef colorspace = CGColorSpaceCreateDeviceRGB();
CGContextRef context = CGBitmapContextCreate(data,
paddedSize.width,
paddedSize.height,
8,
paddedSize.width*4,
colorspace,
kCGImageAlphaPremultipliedLast);
CGColorSpaceRelease(colorspace);


//why the two of these back to back? can be replaced with one? (copied from previous implementation)
CGContextTranslateCTM(context, 0.0, paddedSize.height-size.height);
CGContextTranslateCTM(context, 0.0, size.height);
CGContextScaleCTM(context, 1.0, -1.0);
//
UIGraphicsPushContext(context);
// size.width *= [FlxSprite deviceScale];
// size.height *= [FlxSprite deviceScale];
[view drawRect:CGRectMake(0, 0, size.width, size.height)];
UIGraphicsPopContext();

CGContextRelease(context);

[self createTexture];
[self setupVerticesTexCoords];

free(data);
}
return self;
}

Btw you could probably replace [FlxSprite deviceScale] with FlxG.screenScale
« Last Edit: Sun, Jul 22, 2012 by tokyotron »

tokyotron

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Re: Fonts in Flixel iOS - source/example included!
« Reply #7 on: Thu, Jul 26, 2012 »
^ There was a problem with the scales... Basically retina displays render the text half size. I finally managed to fix that by not using initWithView... but by properly converting to UIImage and going from there. :-P