Post news RSS Week 8 - The GUI - Player Controls

The last update tackled internal routine. This one finalizes the GUI and player controls and inputs. Easy control for the complicated system.

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The GUI update. This update locks down the GUI system I will be using allow the player to control the chopper, drop flags, assign troops to the flag, destroy flags and the method for executing player power ups. I wanted a system that would work equally well for PC and gamepad without compromising performance for either group of players.

I knew these mandatory routines would be quite a challenge since there were quite a few functions I needed to cover with a menu system that needed to be super simple and could become intuitive for the user in a short amount of time. In the end I'm quite happy with the results and reduced all functions to 3 simple menus that can be operated via keyboard or gamepad. Part of the challenge was creating a system that could be gamepad controlled without dumbing down the PC control functions. The functions were separated into 3 simple menus. The first contains the powerups available to the player and is displayed as the default. In combat the player will have fingertip access to the powers needed to survive. The sister menus for flag deployment and squad assignment are equally simple to use.

The flag menu only contains 3 icons - For Selecting, Adding and Destroying objective flags. The player simply drops an objective flag and is switched to a squad member menu where they can assign troops to the objective. The initial problem with the system was that I wanted the sytem to be able to add specific members without adding complexity. Dropping a flag and assigning a squad member could be completed in 2 button presses but lacked the ability to allow the player to view individual stats and create custom squads.

I loved the simplicity of simply assigning the closest member to the flag but that approach lacked a layer of squad customization that I feel this game needs. This was solved by adding 1 special popup menu that shows you the troops of a certain type (army, engineer, medic or ninja). Its scrollable and you'll be able to view the squad members XP, health, powers, etc. and pick the correct member for the squad. Now its easy. Drop flag, pick squad type then pick the individual members that you want included.

The GUI layer is basically finalized in format and has military/mech look that I like quite a bit. The remainder of the graphics are placeholders that will be replaced but the GUI is probably close to its final form. Next on the list is some code polishing for these modules then most likely the assault routines for the buildings since eventually the squads will be able to enter them to complete objectives. I'm purposely leaving the Chopper bullets/missile and sounds for last since I dont feel like listening to those sound loops for the next few months repeatedly. I'm almost done with the most important mandatory routines and am starting to get excited about getting some VS enemy action going. The march continues...

* Added Tween system for screen effects
* Added GUI Player Control System
* Added PowerUp Menu System
* Added Squad Objective Flags
* Added Squad Flag Assignment System
* Added Floating/Fading Text
* Added PowerUp/ Flags/ Squad Menus
* Added Squad Powerups TopMenu View (Squad Powers)
* Added/Testing Menu/Command Flow

Engine: GameMaker:Studio 1.4.1474

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