RMMV – PIXI Text vs Bitmap Text

Introduction

Today PIXI text and RMMV’s bitmap text go head to head, going through the pros and cons of both. We’re going to be more technical today and lay out the pros and cons of both choices. We’re going to see when and where they’re useful.

PIXI Text

PIXI text is an awesome solution for drawing text, but it is a sprite and not native RPGMakerMV code. It does not have the same support functions like other classes in MV have. However, it has more advantages if you want simple text to extremely stylish text and word wrap support.

Pros

  • Wordwrap
  • Drop shadow support
  • Gradient & Masking support
  • Can be updated/changed easily
  • Can swap text styles painlessly’

Cons

  • Can’t draw icons natively
  • No text code support
  • Not static
  • Can’t have multiple text styles in a single string

Bitmap Text

Bitmap text is the default drawing method for text in RPGMakerMV; each character is drawn one at a time and checked for potential text codes. It also has support for all the classes where it’s used in MV. This is a great choice for anyone who wants to do heavy text processing; adding colors to words, drawing icons in your text, searching for important information in the text.

Pros

  • Text code support
  • static (doesn’t need to be drawn every frame)
  • Can easily color text
  • Overlay on top of the bitmap
  • Multiple text styles in a single string
  • Less performance intensive when multiple styles required

Cons

  • No drop shadow support
  • No word wrap support
  • Does not support gradients out of the box
  • Not updated easily or styles easily swappable
  • Any changes to text must be redrawn completely

Details, Details

The key difference between both text options is how they’re handled. PIXI text is a sprite based solution; RPGMakerMV’s text solution is all bitmap. People say that PIXI text has better performance over RPGMakerMV’s text options, but that is subjective depending on where and how it’s used.

Being a sprite based solution, PIXI text’s actual text is a single element with a single style option; this means you can’t have multicolor text in the MV style or have to painstakingly adapt it to essentially be a bitmap option defeating the purpose. It would be a complicated process to create a PIXI text instance with multiple styles. You may have to create multiple instances of a PIXI text sprite to get the job done and that will be a huge performance hit if you’re consistently drawing them to the screen. Unlike the bitmap.

The bitmap option doesn’t have word wrap support but is not a sprite based solution. As a bitmap, you can change, modify, tint, all the text at once, or one character at a time. They do not come with an update function in the literal sense and can be drawn once and then exist on screen. The real problem with bitmaps is that they’re not easily modifiable because they’re drawn to a canvas and must be erased completely before drawing anything else.

The Verdict

Both choices have their fair share of problems. The important thing to consider is when they’re useful. In RPGMakerMV PIXI text is useful when you want stylized text for headings or a simple text solution with word wrap support for your windows. Bitmap text is suited for text that may want icon support, different colored words in a string, and more.

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