User Interfaces

Introduction

User Interfaces is where the developer will setup the multiple User Interface types often used in traditional RPG games.

User Interface Types


There are currently 3 User Interface Types available to the developer, Menu, Message Box, and Overlay. Menu type will cover User Interface needs like Pause Menu, Character Screens for Status and Equipment, Item Inventory, Battle Commands, and Title and Game Over scenes.



Some user interface types can use Contexts, which supply a pool of data for the developer to design lists with for inventory, equipment, abilities, and other list types.



Menu Type

The Menu type of User Interfaces will be used to assemble the bulk of pause/main menus, and battle scene menus. Menus have three basic options attached to them, Is Cancelable, Pause Gameplay, and Render Scene.

Is Cancelable defines whether or not the menu can be canceled using the default Cancel Button set in Virtual Keys. If the developer does not want a menu to able to be canceled via the cancel key, a List Element can be setup with a Script using a command to close a menu.



Pause Gameplay will pause gameplay in the background while the menu is active.

Render Scene will show the scene in the background of which the menu is currently active.

A Menu can use a Context type. Currently it can reference 3 types of Contexts, Battlers, Inventory, and Party. These will be used by the Templated List Element.
 Message Box

Message Box Type

The developer must setup Message Box templates before they can display information using the Display Static Message command. If the Display Static Message command is used, it will not display data otherwise. Sample placeholder Text and Picture Elements must be created for Header, Body, and Portrait must be created in the Message Box UI Type.



When the correct Element is made, it will populate in the Header, Body, or Picture dropdown menus to be selected as the placeholder data. The Display Static Message command will use the placeholders as reference. Input into the command will display on screen as it is in the preview window.



Header, Body, and Picture do not all need elements for Display Static Message to function. If the developer just wants a body of text to show for the message, and not a header or picture, then only placeholder text needs to be created for the Body.



Pagination Strategy is how the text will update if more than one page is needed to display a message.

Overlay

Overlay Type

Overlay menu type is used to setup HUD (Heads Up Display) user interfaces.


Data



These switches and variables are local only to the User Interface. They will activate when the User Interface loads.


Scripts



These scripts are local to the User Interface. Loaded scripts will activate when the User Interface loads, and unloaded scripts will active with the User Interface closes.



Elements



There are currently 5 Element types to choose from; List, Pane, Picture, Templated List, and Text. These will leverage the data supplied by the context used for the User Interface Type.



Elements are the backbone of the User Interface types. With Elements the developer creates background windows, portraits, bodies of text, option lists, inventory and equipment lists, message box themes and many more.

List

 Element

Lists are used to setup option/choice menus. Yes and No choice lists for a simple example. They can run scripts when they are Focused or Unfocused.

A list is made up of Items. Items are then used to run Scripts based on pre determined conditions, Execute, Focused, and Unfocused, when a List Item is selected.



Pane Element

Panes are images that are meant to be used like background windows. 


Picture

 Element

Pictures are meant to be used to show character portraits, possibly icons and other images UI related. A Picture Element can be partitioned unlike a Pane.


Templated List

 Element

Templated Lists use Contexts to display bulk amounts data setup elsewhere in the Database. Templated Lists run Scripts based on pre determined conditions, Execute, Focused, Item Focused, Item Unfocused, and Unfocused, when a List Item is selected.

Templated Lists use components to make up its contents. They can use Panes, Pictures, and Text elements to make up the list.

Text Element

Text Elements display text that can be further customized using properties.

Text Elements can also use Contexts.