Game Development Reference
Roman, and _typewriter is similar to Courier. Because the rendering of these fonts is done by
the user's computer, they'll look slightly different on different operating systems, so you won't
have much control over their final appearance. Still, device fonts are fast and can save you a lot
of performance if you need it.
Bitmap text : This option switches off all anti-aliasing. The fonts will still look like the fonts that
you chose, but they'll have pixelated edges. Sometimes it can be a good thing: text that is very
small can appear blurry and hard to read with anti-aliasing on. By using bitmap text with small
text, you can greatly improve readability, and it often looks more appropriate than anti-aliased
text in many contexts. If used well, bitmap text can give you a performance boost and win you
some style points as well.
Anti-alias for animation : This option switches off anti-aliasing when text is being animated,
and turns it on again when it stops moving. There might be some performance improvement
with this option if the text you are using isn't too big or if it's moving around a lot. But if your
text isn't moving, you won't see any performance improvement.
Anti-alias for readability : Anti-aliased, all the time. It looks beautiful, but can slow your game
Custom anti-alias : This one isn't directly performance related and is more of a specialty
option. Custom anti-aliasing is used to tweak the anti-aliasing properties so that fonts can look
You can find all these options in the Anti-alias drop-down menu of the Character pane in the Properties
panel. Definitely keep them in mind when you're building your games, and if you notice things starting
to slow to a crawl, play around with some of these options.
Embedded fonts. When you select a font to use in a text field, Flash is reading from the list of fonts
installed on your computer. It might look great to you on your computer, but if you view that same
FLA file or the published SWF file on a computer that doesn't have that same font installed, it will
look completely different. If Flash or the Flash Player can't find the font that you specified, it will try
to choose what it thinks is the next best thing. The choice might be okay or it might be awful, but it
will certainly be very different.
How then can you ensure that the fonts in the text fields you're using will look the same on another
computer that doesn't have that same font installed? Embedded fonts are a solution for this. When
you select the Character Embedding button in the Character pane of the Properties panel, a new win-
dow opens that allows you to select the font you want to use and embed it directly into the SWF file
when you publish the Flash movie.
What Flash does is to save what's known as the font outline directly into the SWF file. The font outline
is a mathematical blueprint of what the font looks like so the Flash Player can reproduce it directly in
the SWF, even if the computer that the SWF file is being viewed on doesn't have that font installed.
The only drawback is that the file size of the SWF increases to store this extra information. In most
cases, though (and especially for games, which you want to look their best), this will be a minor