GSB on Mac Steam - Text Unreadable. Help!

Hey there,

I just purchased Gratuitous Space Battles from Steam and opened it for the first time. Immediately I noticed that all the text is completely unreadable. Obviously, this is a pretty major issue. The game seems to run fine in every other way, but I can’t tell what anything is, or means, since I can’t read anything. Here’s some images of what I mean:

I’ve tried running it on fullscreen mode and in a window at every resolution available. I’ve restarted multiple times, but there’s no improvement. Here’s what I’m running:

Intel iMac w/ 2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Version 10.6.8 OSX

Graphics Card:
Chipset Model: ATY,RadeonX1600
Type: GPU
Bus: PCIe
PCIe Lane Width: x16
VRAM (Total): 128 MB

I’m stoked to play this game, but if I can’t read anything, I don’t know how I’ll manage to navigate it. Help please!

Since its through Steam, have you tried a reinstall or have steam verify the files ?

I’ve done both, but to no success. Do you have any possible work arounds? If not, would buying the game NOT through steam fix the issue? I’d love to try it out, but I’d really prefer not to have to pay all over again…

It might be possible to launch the game without steam. If you locate the installation directory and open GSB.exe the game will launch.

Currently I am wondering about the games ablilty to display the 2 fonts that come with the game
Gratuitous Space Battles\data\fonts\
Gratuitous Space Battles\data\fonts\


From what I understand, it’s not really possible to run steam games outside of steam. The best you can do it go in “offline mode”, which I have tried to no success. I found the two fonts (and they match the files you described), but I’m not exactly sure what you want me to do with them? Additionally, I’m running Mac, so there’s no .exe files (which to my understanding are windows only, no?). I downloaded the demo yesterday and that seems to be running fine/displaying the fonts just fine. This gives me hope that if I download the full version directly from you, that I may get it to work. Is there any chance of a discount code so that I don’t have to pay full price again? Thanks for your help.

While i am trying to determine what could possibly be the difference between the Demo and the Full game.

If I could quickly ask you:- have you ensured that your drivers on your graphics card are up to date ?
(Since it is a display issue)

Yea, my graphics card is up to date (at least as up to date as the Mac OSX keeps it).

Wow, okay, we’ve got a serious “fooled me once, shame on you; fooled me twice, shame on me” situation going on here. I have all afternoon free and, feeling encouraged by the demo working just fine, decided to just drop the cash and buy the deluxe version directly from your website. I figured that it must have been an issue with the Steam version, since the demo seemed to work fine, but no. Upon spending almost $30 and opening up the game for the first time, this is what I saw:

This problem is a serious bummer! I’ve now spent almost $45 on a game I can’t even read the text in…Please help me out here, or at least provide me a way to get a refund for buying the deluxe edition. Sigh.

I apologise for a solution taking this long. I had sent a request to Red Marble Games several days ago for assistance as they were the vendor that ported GSB across to Mac OS X. In the meanwhile I am trying to help as best as i can.
(Just a side note: I am only an interested forum member like yourself, so I can’t offer any refunds)

At the moment I am still trying to find out why the game is not scaling the text correctly for all the small print.

When you have a chance, could you post the debug logs:
\My Documents\My Games\GratuitousSpaceBattles\debug\


Good evening. If you have not already done so, I strongly recommend that you directly contact the two official entities who are empowered to help you.

Firstly, send a detailed description of your font-rendering problem to Red Marble Games: creator of the Mac port of GSB. Email to support +at+ redmarblegames +dot+ com .

As for any billing issues, since you bought the deluxe edition of GSB directly from Positech (via BMT Micro), please send a detailed description of that problem to Cliff Harris (GSB’s developer) via email at cliff ^at^ positech ^dot^ co ^dot^ uk . Please send your email from the same address that was used to order the game from Positech.

and that is where you are wrong, unless its a valve, or source engine game.
otherwise steam is only acts like a launcher, and adds the steam overlay.

so yes games can be launched without steam by using the method that darkstar described.


Has there been a resolution to this issue? I just purchased GTB from Steam and I’m experiencing the same exact behavior.

Mac Pro Tower, ATI Radeon 1900XT, 32GB Ram, Quad Core 2.66GHz.


I have the same issue with the unreadable text. I’m bewildered about the fact that after all of this time, there is still no answer in this thread.

Almost the same Mac setup, as well:

Mac OS X 10.6.8
2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

Have you tried an update to a later OS for the Mac (for example 10.7 ?)
Reason why i ask is that the issue seems to be related to that particular version of the OS.