Archive entry by Ste Pickford on Mon, 06 Jul 2009
Subject: Glider Rider
This is only the second font I ever did for a game, back in around 1985. I was still at school at the time, but my brother asked me to do it for the game he was writing at work as a favour, as nobody at the studio could draw nice fonts!
Wanting to show off again, John decided to go for an extravagent 16x16 pixels per character for the font on his next game. This was quite unusual at the time and so I got a chance to draw something with a bit more character than was possible in the usual 8x8 pixels. This large font looked absolutely massive on the screen, even on the little 14 inch TVs we used, but it was a little too large for the game itself, so it was only used on the title page.
We hardly ever did full sets of punctuation back then, or ever lower case, as memory was so tight. We'd just do the very minimum possible number of characters needed for the game. It was fairly common to have to return to a font to draw a single extra punctuation character because a new circumstance had arisen in the game that needed a semi-colon or a question mark, and if things were getting really tight at the end, we'd even go back and remove an 'X' or a 'Q' once we checked that those particular characters didn't happen to appear anywhere in the game's text (saving 32 or 64 precious bytes!).