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Thoughts on Hegemony Rome's UI

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Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: German-speaking part of Europe
Posted on August 16, 2013 at 1:58 am

I don't know if other players have had the same problem, but playing Hegemony Gold (again) I find some ridiculously minor thing to complain about: Playing on a 1366x768 monitor, the font sometimes isn't really what you could call easily readable (specifically the numbers 1 and 2 are hardly distinguishable in the mouseover tooltips) from a reasonable distance to the monitor. I understand that 1366x768 is what was a 800x600 resolution five years ago and you can't develop a game with the primary focus to look good in that resolution any more. But I wonder if you could add a possibility to make the UI (or the parts of the UI that include the small font) slightly larger overall, since the current option to make the font larger sometimes makes text too large to fit into the space you gave them. Which can look horrible.

And, well, am I the only one that thinks a monospaced font / sans serif serves a "Roman" UI better than these calligraphy-oriented serifs in italics, visualizing both Roman discipline with the monospaced font in some way and the efficiency-oriented culture with the sans serif?

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on August 17, 2013 at 4:39 am

Thanks for the feedback. That is something we're working to improve in Rome and I'll admit I work on a large high-res screen (see the Electric Playground interview) so it's something I have to keep reminding myself to consider. Usually, it's a trade off between making the GUI large enough to be readable versus not wanting to obscure any more of the map than necessary. We've tried to work around this in Rome by breaking the main GUI into multiple tabs so that there's less to show at any one time allowing us to make each of the elements larger.

As far as the font is concerned, Rick is the real font guru in the office and might have more to say on this, but my understanding is that serif fonts are supposed to be easier to read than sans-serif ones and may have originated in Rome in the first place.

Right now we're using the same Day Roman font in the GUI that we did in Philip/Gold and the font Wendy made for the strategy map. However, I know Rick's been practicing his calligraphy to make a new font for the strategy map but it's been relatively low on the priority list so far.

Level 7 Human gamer
Alignment: Lawful good
Location: German-speaking part of Europe
Posted on August 17, 2013 at 10:16 am

As far as I understand it, sans-serif letters and numbers are easier to identify, as there are only the forms and lines needed to show this particular letter. That's why they're used in things like manuals and many instructions on signs.

Serif fonts are more comfortable to read when it comes to walls of text or to books: They seem less "artificial", because they contain lines that are not needed to indentify that letter. Has to do with that thought that minimalistic fonts are colder and have less character...

Level 5 Human gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on August 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

ive seen games that have font options in the option windows if that would help.

Level 17 Extraplanar gamer
Alignment: True neutral
Posted on August 17, 2013 at 7:02 pm

ive seen games that have font options in the option windows if that would help.

There is an option in gold to adjust the font scale slightly (in the options/gameplay menu), but I believe it only affects the dialogs and it can't go much bigger because it causes problems with the layout.