Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Short Cuts Make Long Delays

The line is, of course, from Lord of the Rings. Where exactly it's used, and by whom, is left as an exercise for the reader. Answers by comment or email.

In my case the phrase applies to the work I did before on a bitmap font routine to replace a system routine as I convert this game from classic Mac OS-only to system-independent (portable).

Originally I thought I could get away with a much simpler mono-spaced font routine - effectively a programming short cut to avoid the extra work of variable width fonts. Sadly it's too wide in many places it's used (DOH!). I then had two choices: alter all the text phrases or re-code the routine. Altering all the phrases is probably impractical and will definitely be slower to do than just adding variable width font support.

Re-coding the routine actually means re-doing the graphics with markers. This is a technique we recently used on another game project. Pretty neat and, apart from scanning code, it's pretty easy. Sadly I can't easily use the routine that was written before because I need 8-bit colour and the previous version is for 32-bit colour.

The longest part is drawing the dots for the spacing metrics on the graphics for each of the four font sizes. Which is what I spent last night doing. Tonight is converting the graphics to a data file and starting to write the input routines. Luckily all the conversions are done by programs I'd written before.

Ah well, you can't win them all.


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