About Fonts in GemRB
Fonts in GemRB (as well as original IE games), aren’t fonts in the traditional sense. The fonts are actually a simple sprite with each glyph rendered in order (ie A-Z). Image resources for these sprites are stored in IE BAM files. Implications of this method are:
- Fonts are fixed size
- Fonts take more memory the more characters they contain
- Fonts take more memory the larger they are
- Fonts cannot effectively be manipulated after creation (aside from changing the color palette)
- You are stuck using the fonts included with the game or modding your own (meaning no extra characters)
- Fonts cannot be kerned etc. (TTF fonts support basic kerning)
TL;DR replacing fonts in GemRB
- Choose the desired fonts and which ingame fonts they should replace.
- Copy them to the game override folder or point the CustomFontPath GemRB config option to them.
- Edit the FONT_NAME column in gemrb/unhardcoded/your-game-type/fonts.2da to contain your new font names. Don’t include file extensions. The RESREF column says which ingame bitmap font each line is for.
- Change also PT_SIZE if you want the fonts to be bigger.
- Run GemRB and enjoy.
- Return to point 3. if you mapped the fonts to the wrong ingame counterpart or want to change something else.
TrueType Fonts in GemRB
Technically TrueType fonts aren’t limited in the same ways as “BAM” fonts. However, in order to support most of what TTF is capable of an that is important without having to write a new font renderer/breaking BAM support, TTF fonts in GemRB are done as Sprites in the same manner as the original fonts. What this means is that while the fonts are static once created we can supply parameters at engine start to create them in any size and any style supported by any TTF font you have available.
The TTF plugin for GemRB requires these libraries:
Inside GemRB’s “unhardcoded” folder there are subfolders for each game type which contain fonts.2da files for each game. These files tell GemRB how to construct fonts for a given “resref”.
2DA V1.0 NORMAL RESREF NEED_PALETTE FONT_NAME PT_SIZE STYLE COLOR 0 NORMAL 1 NORMAL 14 0 0xffffffff 1 INFOFONT 1 INFOFONT 14 0 0xffffffff 2 NUMBER 0 NUMBER 14 0 0xffffffff 3 INITIALS 0 INITIALS 14 0 0xffffffff 4 NUMBER2 0 NUMBER2 14 0 0xffffffff 5 NUMBER3 0 NUMBER3 14 0 0xffffffff 6 NUMFONT 1 NUMFONT 14 0 0xffffffff 7 REALMS 0 REALMS 14 0 0xffffffff 8 REALMS2 1 REALMS2 14 0 0xffffffff 9 STONEBIG 0 STONEBIG 14 0 0xffffffff 10 STONESM2 0 STONESM2 14 0 0xffffffff 11 STONESM3 0 STONESM3 14 0 0xffffffff 12 STONESML 0 STONESML 14 0 0xffffffff 13 TOOLFONT 1 TOOLFONT 14 0 0xffffffff 14 STATES 0 STATES 14 0 0xffffffff 15 STATES2 0 STATES2 14 0 0xffffffff
The columns: FONT_NAME, PT_SIZE, and STYLE are for TTF fonts only. FONT_NAME is the file name (NOT the path) of the TTF font you wish to use, and PT_SIZE controls the size of the font. STYLE controls the font style and accepts the following values:
COLOR is the RGBA hexadecimal color to use to create the color palette. It applies to BAM fonts only if NEED_PALETTE is set. It applies to TTF fonts regardless of the value of NEED_PALETTE.
If you want to see an example using TTF fonts, check the demo file
In GemRB.cfg you must specify the following option (or copy the fonts to GamePath/override):
- CustomFontPath is a string indicating the absolute path of the directory containing the non-BAM font files you wish to use. FONT_NAME must match a file name in this directory (without extension and may be case sensitive).
You may mix and match BAM and TTF fonts however you like.