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In my game I want to have a chat room where users can enter arbitrary text. I don't think bitmapped fonts will work for me since it must include multilingual characters and emojis (could be wrong about this not working, but my assumption is that bitmapped fonts are really best suited when you have have a small set of characters that the you want to draw text with inside the game). The font rendering should be crisp and clean for high density screens.

I am using libGDX, although a solution doesn't require libGDX specifics, but be aware that this must also run in a webGL context so certain solutions may not apply.

How is arbitrary user text like this typically implemented?

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You need to check that with your game, wherever or not this is a viable solution.

Our game supports 26 languages including Chinese and Japanese. We use bitmaped font generated from Arial, cos it has all the codepages/characters and is easy to read.

Tricks we used to keep the RAM usage at bay:

  • Alpha8 texture
  • Single font-size
  • Bin-packing into atlases
  • On/Off menu option to load Chinese characters range, since 97% of our player base is not from China region.
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