I've been working on a small Qt application which allows you to generated fancy bitmap fonts for use in 2D game engines. Read more to find out about my latest progress.

I thought it was about time I got back to posting some updates about progress on side projects that I’ve been working on lately. One of those projects is an update to a really old C# application that I wrote a few years ago. I never really got around to finishing the ‘Fancy Bitmap Font Generator’ as it was essentially built as a means to an end, and we achieved that end and so felt no need to spend more time on the need.

Sample Sprite Font built using Sprite Font Builder

However, in an effort to revisit C++ after a number of years and to get my hards dirty with the ‘Qt UI Framework’ I felt that this was a good time to write a useful cross-platform utility for creating bitmap fonts for 2D games.

I wanted to build a utility that offers more options that other applications offering similar functionality. Many similar programs offer an outline stroke and a drop-shadow but nothing much more advanced than that. While generating my own bitmap fonts, I found myself wanting more - a few more effect layers for instance, so that it’s possible to create an inner shine without having to open the file in Photoshop afterwards.

While only a work in progress so far, here’s a screen shot of the ‘Sprite Font Builder’ in action.

The user-interface really needs some work at the moment. The application currently supports just the 5 fixed layers (which can be toggled on and off) but the underlying model is able to handle any number of effects layers. I hope to translate this across to the UI in a friendly way soon so that you can build up convoluted and awesome effects on your sprite fonts quickly and easily.

If you have any suggestions for what would make this tool useful, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Otherwise, I’ll leave you with a couple more screenshots of composite effects on generated sprite fonts;

Sprite Font Builder - Sample Bitmap Font 01 Sprite Font Builder - Sample Bitmap Font 02