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The Last Boundary User Interface

UI System Overview

I’m now about 60% done on the UI system code. I’m also only about 80% complete with the design though (I was tired of design and needed to code).

I have to admit that designing everything first was something I haven’t done before and it helped immensely. I don’t know why I never did it before but I will definitely be doing this for future systems in the game.

UISystem
UISystem
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The Last Boundary

Down-Sizing to Realise the Combat

I’ve been working on the UI quite a bit and have started to get all of the components together in UML. The number of lines going back and forth is very confusing, but luckily I have no diamonds.

So as work continues steadily on this I’ve been thinking about the next steps after the UI is completed. My TODO list says that the next part is Game Logic which is essentially the largest part of the game. There’s ecomomy, combat, resources, technology which is all then followed closely by AI. Essentially, it’s the game part of the game.

In order to realise a piece of my game; I’m tossing around the idea of making a smaller, combat focused game to begin with. It would probably be focused in a single star system; maybe not even randomly generated for now (maybe even the Sol system). Something along the lines with both sides having a certain number of points that they can use to increase their Admirals abilities and their actual fleets technologies and units. Then it’s just a matter of clicking things around.

This idea also looks like it can readily be expanded to add the economic and diplomatic pieces on top; followed then by technology.

First is to complete the UI system anyway.

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The Last Boundary User Interface

UI Work Starts To Payoff

Finally, the effort going into the UI elements is starting to pay off. Behold!

ui_window

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The Last Boundary User Interface

UI Progress

I’ve made some more progress on the UI; it’s now possible to have it textured. The textures are variable dimensions and there’s a few different options on how to handle resizing (stretching textures or repeating them etc).

EDIT: I’ve got some performance problems doing this because a single texture for like the border needs to be repeated a whole heap of times. It seems like resizeable windows may not be doable, instead I will need to use statically sized windows. I’m sure there’s another way…

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The Last Boundary User Interface

Still working on a UI

I’m not surprised, but I am a little dismayed, about the amount of effort that goes into even the simplest UI. I’m using a sort of event queue to process input and hope to detach the input handling from the main loop soon.

The actual elements themselves are easy enough to program but the designing part of it is a little tricky. I’ve been playing and studying a few UI intensive games the last few weeks to see what works and what doesn’t.  If I’m honest, ive been wasting time.

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Graphics The Last Boundary

ShaderTool + Making a Sun

I purchased a really cool beta tool called ShaderTool. It let’s you visualize a shader effect.

It helped me create this:

animShaderTool 2014-10-19 21-30-47-51393

There’s more I need to do to it. But soon I will have bitchin’ suns in the game.

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Graphics The Last Boundary User Interface

Animations

Rotating planet and some bad lighting
Rotating planet and some bad lighting
GUI coming along
GUI coming along
Categories
Graphics The Last Boundary User Interface

UI + Glow

The UI is coming along nicely (I need to work out how to do animated gifs to show stuff off). It’s widget based with a good input handling system, I just need to work on using several textured quads so that the windows can be styled nicely.

UI with transparency
UI with transparency

I’ve also done a bit of work with post-processing effect shaders to produce a glow on the more luminous areas. Here’s a couple of screenshots showing the sun from the perspective of an Earth and the result of the reflection of sunlight over the desert (it’s not quite right over the ocean yet, so still need to work on that).

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The Last Boundary User Interface

Displaying Text + UI

I’ve spent quite some time investigating the various Text/Font libraries for both SDL and OpenGL. I first looked at SDL_ttf which seemed like the most obvious choice. Unfortunately I could either not get it to compile, or when I did it just threw errors when I tried to use it. I also took a look at a whole slew of OpenGL based ones, however out of the 4 or so I found, only one appeared to be compatible with OpenGL 3.3+; but it lacked some features I wanted to use. In the end I decided to roll my own using FreeType2. I didn’t want two additional dependencies, so this way I only need one. And everyone uses FreeType2, you’d be insane not to. Here’s some pretty straight-forward results.

Categories
Physics The Last Boundary

Time-Dilation

One of the things that I definitely wanted to include in the game was the effects of time-dilation. However I only really had a vague understanding of what it is and what it means, so after reading that Wikipedia article I’m suddenly confused.

The Last Boundary is, I’d like to think, going to be a Grand Strategy Game. One of my favourite Grand Strategy Games, one of my favourite games ever, is Hearts of Iron III. One of the things that makes HOI3 so good is it’s attention to detail, at least it’s attention to detail regarding waging war during WW2. Things like supply lines play a crucial role; researching advances in radio equipment is beneficial.

In this same vein I want The Last Boundary to pay close attention to similar sorts of likely problems that would affect a space-faring empire and waging space-war. For example, distances, communication and the affects of time-dilation.