Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

I used to work in the video games business. Back in 1986, I worked on an Amiga/Atari ST game you’ve never heard of called Alien Fires.

Octo the jukebox robot from Alien Fires 2199 AD

I worked on a couple of Nintendo, GameBoy and Super Nintendo games, a few PC games and some other stuff. I’ve created a lot of fonts for video games but also a whole bunch based on video games.

Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Joystix is based on the typical font used on games starting around 1980 and falling out of favor in the 1990s. A lot of Nintendo games used this font as well so it can be used to evoke wistful home gaming halcyon days as well.

 

Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Crack Man was inspired by the Pac Man logo, obviously. There’s very little consistency in the lettering through the Pac Man series. This might be due to the fact than Namco (Japan) didn’t have full control over how Bally/Midway(USA) was marketing the game. So I got to pick and choose from several game sequels.


Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Zorque was extrapolated from the Infocom logo, makers of wonderful adventure games such as Zork, Enchanter, Planetfall, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Leather Goddesses of Phobos & Suspect. I used to play text adventures on my old TRS-80. I doubt that kids today would have the steel attention span and graph paper skills required to get to the end of these.


Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Edifact is a badly scraped up Mattel handheld electronic game.


Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Astron Boy is based on the marquee graphic for a laserdisc space shooter called Astron Belt.


Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Zrnic was inspired by the original Playstation logo.


Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Orange Kid & Lilliput steps were inspired by the classic RPG parody game, Earthbound. I haven’t played it yet but I plan to someday.

update: played Mother and Earthbound all the way through.


Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Iomanoid was inspired by the cabinet graphics for Arkanoid, a paddle game similar to Breakout. In Arkanoid 2, the angular lettering style can be seen in the game itself. I’ve always admired this design for mimicking the angular path of the ball.


Video Game Fonts Through the Centuries

Chilopod is based on the cabinet graphics for Atari Centipede. I think Atari had the best looking arcade cabinets of that era. Centipede is one of my all time favorite games to play, even though I’m not a skilled player.


Thrusters, a sample showing off the use of alternate layers.

Thrusters was inspired by the cabinet graphics for Atari Space Duel. Space Duel was a sort of like a fancy Asteroids where two players’ ships could be linked together. It was a color vector game. Instead of scan lines, like a normal TV set has, the electron guns in a Vectorbeam could be moved anywhere on screen. While other types of games were limited to chunky pixels, these games were able to render smooth lines. But the background had to be black.


snasm

Snasm has some resemblance to the Super Famicom logo but ended up as something else in the final design. Still, kind of game related.


zolasixx

Zolasixx is an angular techno font, inspired by Zaxxon.


chromakey

Chromakey started life as a nod to Matrix Marauders.


Sample of the Superego font

Superego was inspired by the cabinet graphics for Stargate – Defender II.


cyclopentane

Cyclopentane was inspired by the beautiful back-glass artwork for the classic pinball game, Xenon.


Sample of the Gameness typeface

Gameness has a little bit of a Game Boy Final Fantasy Legend thing going on.