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Graphics Checklist for Missing Text Bugs

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by FrostyCat, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. FrostyCat

    FrostyCat Member

    Jun 26, 2016
    Checklist for Missing Text Bugs

    GM Version: ALL
    Target Platform: ALL
    Download: N/A
    Links: N/A

    This checklist details the most common causes of bugs involving missing on-screen text. An answer of "Yes" to any item in the list requires your attention.

    Object Setup and Code
    • Is the "Visible" box in the drawing object's properties window unchecked?
    • Is the text drawing call outside a Draw-type event?
    • Has the drawing target been redirected to a surface, and if so, did you forget drawing the surface back onto the screen where it can be seen?
    • Is there anything after the text drawing call that would draw over it?
    • Is there a control structure that may keep the text drawing call from executing?
    • Did you forget to put an instance of the drawing object in the room?
    • If the instance is generated by another call to instance_create() (GMS 1.x and legacy) or instance_create_layer() / instance_create_depth() (GMS 2.x), is that piece of creating code being skipped?
    • Is there anything in the room that would destroy the instance of the drawing object?
    • Is there anything in the room that would prevent the instance's Draw event, such as deactivation calls or assignments to the instance's visible variable?
    • Is the drawing position outside room boundaries?
    • Is the drawing position outside active view boundaries?
    • If views are enabled, are you using inappropriate coordinate references, such as on-screen coordinates in the regular Draw event or in-room/view-relative coordinates in the Draw GUI event?
    • Has the drawing alignment been set elsewhere and not set back?
    • Is the text being drawn behind something else, such as another instance, an effect created above or a foreground?
    • If drawn at a relative position, are you using inappropriate position variables, such as phy_position_x and phy_position_y for a non-physics instance, or x and y for a physics instance?
    • If 3D is enabled, did you forget to set the projection back to orthographic before drawing the text?
    • If 3D transformations have been applied, are the coordinates not geared for the current transformation matrix? In particular, is it assuming an identity transform when the current transformation is not?
    Font Setup
    • Did you forget to set a valid font before drawing the text? (This is especially important on HTML5, which does not support using the default font)
    • Does the font resource lack the correct selection/range of characters required to draw the text?
    • If the drawing font is not a sprite font, does the underlying font file lack certain glyphs required to draw the text? (Use the Character Map to find out)
    • If the drawing font was generated using font_add(), are you giving it the inappropriate parameters with respect to the export being used? (font_add() accepts TTF file names for native and font names for HTML5)
    • If the font is added from the IDE, is there a bug in GM's font-to-texture rendering that garbles the glyphs beyond use? (You can check this by going into the fonts directory in your project and looking at the generated font texture)
    • Is the drawing alpha set to 0 or a small value (usually <0.2) somewhere else and hasn't been set back?
    • Is the colour around where the text is drawn the same as or similar to the text's colour?
    • Are you colour-blind to the colour combination of the text and the area behind the text?
    String to Draw
    • Is the string to draw empty or consisting entirely of control/space characters?
    • Does the string contain spaces or line breaks that would push off non-space content where you didn't expect?
    • If the string is read from a file and it contains characters outside the ASCII range (0-127), is the file missing its UTF-8 BOM?
    • Has your string been clipped off by a premature null character?
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    TsukaYuriko, Tornado, Monsi and 2 others like this.
  2. jswmusic

    jswmusic Member

    Jun 21, 2017
    Handy list thanks!
  3. RefresherTowel

    RefresherTowel Member

    Jul 13, 2016
    Replace draw_text with almost anything else and this list would be basically just as valid. Good job.
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Regarding font setup, the manual isn't crystal clear that you need to convert your sprite strip into frames to use it with font_sprite_add(). It does say "subimages" which implies that the sprite should be converted into frames, it still might be a good addition for the list.

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