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Harsin

Tiny Text in Games

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It's a real issue for me since I spend a lot of time playing RPGs on console, several of which are PC ports, and where the pause screens can be very detailed.  Many have the option to increase the size of text (Wasteland 2, Torment), but they don't all.  I remember sitting upright and close to my monitor to complete Witcher 3 although I have a feeling they improved the font size in later patches.   It definitely makes me less inclined to give some games like Sword Coast Legends, for example a real go.

 

So it's nice to play something with little or no reading required from time to time as a break.

 

Have to see how my new set up deals with this, when I eventually get it all set up.

 

I also have two pairs of specs on the go for close and distance sight, so that's another bother.

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I totally agree and it's really annoying in text heavy games like the Witcher 3

 

but on the positive side if you are playing on PS4, go to settings > accesibility > zoom (enabled) now in any game or app press and hold the PS button and then square and voila 2X picture size, left stick for pan and scan, can read all that annoying dialog without moving from the chair

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It pisses me off too. It's plain ruined games like Hand of Fate and Armello for me, and has largely stopped me buying text heavy games on PS4. Mordheim and Blood Bowl 2 are problematic also, but they get a free pass because I'm a nerd.  It's definitely most apparent in games designed for PC.

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I remember when the Xbox 360 first came out and people first started getting HDTVs, there were lots of complaints on this forum about the size of the text in the first Dead Rising. Although I can't remember if that was only from people playing the game in SD TVs, or from certain combinations of hardware and settings?

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1 minute ago, Nick R said:

I remember when the Xbox 360 first came out and people first started getting HDTVs, there were lots of complaints on this forum about the size of the text in the first Dead Rising. Although I can't remember if that was only from people playing the game in SD TVs, or from certain combinations of hardware and settings?

 

I remember it well.  Most games at the time were perfectly playable on SD TV but Dead Rising simply wasn't (or at least on my fairly small Sony).  I can't exactly recall if it was text, button prompts or simply the level of detail in the various mall locations (which was superb), causing most problems, but I put the game aside until I started routing the 360 though my ViewSonic (?) PC monitor of the time.

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1 hour ago, Nick R said:

I remember when the Xbox 360 first came out and people first started getting HDTVs, there were lots of complaints on this forum about the size of the text in the first Dead Rising. Although I can't remember if that was only from people playing the game in SD TVs, or from certain combinations of hardware and settings?

 

I wondered also if it's restricted to PC ports, or games with 4K options?

 

I remember when the 360 launched, I was talking about the controller draining batteries.  I was saying that the controller was down to 3 of 4 bars after an hour of play.  My friend, with an SD TV agreed and later asked what I meant by bars - either there were no bars in SD, or the bars merged into one compared to my HD Ready 720p display.

I remember noticing text in later 360 games becoming a sensible size - lots of the launch titles had HUGE TEXT,  and indeed the dashboard on the 360 becoming less child like HUGE BOXES and more using HD as time went on.

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I had to stop playing Mass Effect 2 on my 360 until I switched from CRT to LCD, as I couldn't read the text. And then it was fine for a while, but I fancy text has become smaller again, perhaps as a result of design styles du jour, and it's pretty annoying. What's more annoying is that games don't seem to pay any attention to accessibility needs, although it's good to hear the PS4 has something built in. But yeah, small, crappy fonts, often in washed out colours are a pain. I'm playing ME:A on a 32 inch TV, sat maybe 3 feet away. I have to stand up to read the UI when looking at messages on found datapads, using the whole R&D thing, etc.

 

I could buy a bigger TV for the bedroom, but still. Just like when we crossed the threshold from CRT to HD screens, it's like there's an assumption that you're on a massive, easy to read screen these days.

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Remembered another recent offender I struggled with - South Park: The Fractured But Whole.

 

3zTcUl6.jpg

 

Every time you pick up an crafting materials in the environment you get a pop-up (as above) tiny text. Likewise the minute text pop ups from their fake Instagram. Since I had to bloody squint to read them I quickly gave up looking to see what the description was. Shame, from what I could tell their were loads of unique ones, some quite funny, some poor sod spent ages writing them all,.

 

I don't remember any issues with the first one, which I played on a much smaller telly. But then, Ubisoft took over developer duties for this one and as previously mentioned they're one of the worst offenders for this.

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The problem with Dead Rising on the 360 was that you would receive updates from Otis on your walkie talkie and they would appear in TINY writing on the bottom of the screen. You could forget about reading them on a CRT unless you had your nose pressed to the screen.

 

I remember Nuts and Bolts also having tiny writing but they eventually patched it.

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A current issue for me is the item count number on item stacks on Stardew Valley. The digits are tiny! Less of an issue in Switch handheld mode, but on my TV... awful.

 

EDIT: although I don't have a HD TV so that isn't helping I suppose

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8 hours ago, Down by Law said:

I totally agree and it's really annoying in text heavy games like the Witcher 3

 

but on the positive side if you are playing on PS4, go to settings > accesibility > zoom (enabled) now in any game or app press and hold the PS button and then square and voila 2X picture size, left stick for pan and scan, can read all that annoying dialog without moving from the chair

 

Trawling through the settings options, I now see something similar for the XBOX.

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But 720p is HD! ... It's just not Full HD.

 

I still use a 720p TV too. When I got it in 2014, I intentionally went for a 720p plasma over a 1080p LCD. Admittedly it's Panasonic's lowest-end plasma, the only one still being sold new at the time, but I decided it was a better bet for my needs than the similarly-priced LCDs that I'd previously tried and found annoying.

 

(Having said that, my PC monitor is 1440x900. I've got no excuse for not replacing that screen yet.)

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I moaned about this on the PS4 thread as I am squinting at Witcher 3, No Man's Sky and Horizon Zero Dawn at the moment on my new machine. I thought it was age, but it's definitely not. I have a 42" TV and am about 10 feet from it, which I don't think is unreasonable. 

 

It's more prevalent with PC ports. On my PS3 I rarely had a problem, except with Don't Starve, which I just couldn't play. Will try the zoom thing on the PS4 later

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Menus are one thing, but what really annoys me is when the subtitles also use a tiny font.

 

Developers do this because small text looks nicer on the screen, but there's a reason for film subtitles being the size they are

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(This isn't the humble brag it probably sounds like)

 

I really struggled with some games on a crappy old telly, 

 

I then bought a 55" 4K Tv for the Witcher 3 (basically) and I realised my eyes were fine. The increase in relative pixel size makes the font bigger and obviously easier to read.

 

Average telly sizes have grown, I think Gamedev's are just working on those kinds of average screens. (Looks at 80" TV in corner of office)

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Trumpets said:

Menus are one thing, but what really annoys me is when the subtitles also use a tiny font.

 

Developers do this because small text looks nicer on the screen, but there's a reason for film subtitles being the size they are

 

The developers are wrong then. Ignoring the readability aspect, text at a decent size looks much better.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order had really small subtitles, which wouldn't normally bother me but considering most of the dialogue was in German it stopped me getting the full experience. Plus subtitles whilst there's lots of action going on? Daft.

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15 hours ago, Nick R said:

But 720p is HD! ... It's just not Full HD.

 

"HD Ready" isn't HD!

 

I've had a few devices that simply don't work because it isn't HD - they expect 1080p or higher.

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Just semantics really isn't it.

 

I'm still on a 720p Sony.  A new TV is somewhere near the bottom of the priority list.  On the plus side, it's great in terms of input options. 

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Just now, Sprite Machine said:

Which devices, out of interest?

 

A white NowTV box and an Elgato TV HD capture thingie. And my PS4 only used to work on it via my amp (which downscaled from 1080p to 720p) although an update ages ago sorted that. 

 

I think the issue specifically is devices assume it's 1080p and it doesn't argue.

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6 hours ago, Trumpets said:

 

Developers do this because small text looks nicer on the screen, but there's a reason for film subtitles being the size they are

 

there needs to be standardisation in the games industry re: subtitles

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10 minutes ago, parrapatheslapper said:

Came in expecting to see some GOW screenshots tbh.

 

maybe they forgot this thread existed? :blah:

 

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