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The Last Boundary User Interface

Table Layout 80% done

I spent the bulk of my available time this weekend writing the code for the Table Layout. It ended up quite a bit different from the design; chiefly because I found there was no need for an abstract row. The TableLayout class itself handles all the row…ing.

I just need to add some things like cellpadding, cellspacing, rowspan and colspan. Maybe some method to draw borders; though I might use a specialised DataTable class for that.

TableLayout is working
TableLayout is working
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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.