Robo Instructus devblog

Updates on the development of coding puzzler Robo Instructus

Wrangling Glyphs

I'm that guy who quit his job to sit in his house making games. I'm currently working on robot engineering game Robo Instructus. For my previous weekly posts look here.

I thought about it for several moments, but I can’t think of any interesting way to say it. So I’ll just come clean. I’ve been spending much of this week working on text rendering.

Still reading huh? Well text is not exciting, but it’s still very important. Particularly for Robo Instructus as players will be writing and poring over text perhaps much more than most games. And actually text rendering in OpenGL is more difficult to handle than you might think. My previous solution was a library based on freetype, this required external dependencies and for whatever reason didn’t seem to render quite the same way in Windows & Linux. It also performed quite poorly in debug mode, which means it just slows down my development.

To address my issues I spent a little time writing gfx_glyph; a new open source rust library for fast text rendering. This uses a pure rust alternative to freetype so eliminates external dependencies. It also performs much better than the lib I was using previously. The debug performance of Robo Instructus is now good enough to develop & test under which is very nice! I hope the library will also prove useful to many other rust game projects.

Resurveying the tools

A month ago I explained many of the tools available to the player in the upcoming alpha. Let’s check out the newer ones. These tools provide the real weapons against the puzzle the alpha will present ‘which unknown tiles are safe?’.


A big task yet remaining is tutorials for the alpha. This is a big potential stumbling block as I need to make it informative enough to those with little coding experience, and yet not totally dull (my experience of most programming tutorials). On the other hand, a tutorial should be something I can improve based on feedback from the alpha. So I’ll probably try to keep it brief and fill in the gaps later.

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