Text and the Importance of Font

Something I have known I would need to do, but had been putting off, is to find a new font for my game’s text. I had for most of the development been using a “default” font that came with Unity, perfectly functional and great for experimenting with to learn the ins and outs of TextMeshPro… but that is the only good thing I could say about it. It wasn’t an interesting text.

The first step is one I didn’t consider until I started getting into it: What fonts can I legally use? After some digging I found a few sites that listed if the font was free for commercial use. But digging around a bit more I found what should have been obvious: Google has a repository of free fonts submitted by various people. So that is the source of my font settled, but there is another problem.

But, when it comes to picking artistic styles and the such I don’t have much confidence. As such I asked for some advice on fonts I should use… and got instruction on how many fonts I should grab. And so I sought out 2-3 fonts. The minimum being 2 fonts, one for the buttons (aka the text that the player will directly interact with) and another for instructional text (aka the text that just sits on screen giving information), with an optional third for titles and such. At first I was given to sets of paired fonts to try out, but most of those fonts had hidden issues that made them unsuitable for my game (mostly in the size of line breaks).

These initial text suggestions focused on readability and a “futuristic” feel. But once I started exploring Google’s repository I found another style I was drawn to. A more flowing style that gave a “fantasy” feel. I felt that fit better with the theme of a night sky I had created with the stars. But a new problem arose… this text sacrificed readability for a fancier form. But no problem cannot be overcome. This initial font I found would become my title font and I found two more similar, but much more readable, fonts for both the buttons and instructional text.