Archive entry by Ste Pickford on Mon, 29 Jun 2009
Subject: Death Wake
I used to love designing video game fonts, and I think I was reasonably good at it. The hand-drawn bitmap font is becoming a relic of video game history, as its much easier and quicker nowadays to rasterise one of the thousands of vector True Type or Type 1 fonts available.
I was still at school when my brother John asked me to draw a font for the game he was working on in his new job as game programmer. I think the one the proper artist had done wasn't very good or something. I came up with this fairly stylish, trim little font, and I think John wanted to show off because we made each character 6 pixels wide instead of the 8 pixels (1 byte on the Spectrum) which was the norm. The result looks really neat because of the tighter spacing.
This font (and the 6 pixel wide rendering code) ended up being used at least twice more, in the Max Headroom game, and in the Lightfarce / Zarjaz game we made in a day, probably because it had punctuation and lower case, which people didn't usually bother with in those days.