One of the most central peices needed in any game is a menu. In the simplest of games this menu serves as a way to load, save and exit the overall game. However as games have become more and more sophisticated it is expected that there will be an easy to use in-game interface, usually consisting of forms/menus. The simplist form will have buttons the user can click on to launch certain screens, such as the ship construction screen or the overall map. Very quickly you develop the need for checkboxes or slide bars to configure various settings. Are you detecting a theme yet? What we find ourselves needing are Windows controls. Those of us that grew up writting windows applications are used to having an easy to use form builder and a common set of controls that can be thrown on with little behind the scenes work. In the DirectX world however this capacity just doesn't exist in any standard way. In the DirectX 9c SDK release a new sample project called CustomUI was added which demonstraits a series of Windows like controls. The code behind the scenes was a bit convoluted so I rewrote most of it, and then integrated it into my games engine.
- All of the windows common controls.
- Horizontal and Vertical scroll bar
- Radio Buttons
- Fully extendable classes
- For new or custom controls
- For new form types
- Or for extending the entire form/menu framework
- Automatic event handling (when tied to the game engine input wrapper)
- API interface closly mirrors the normal C# controls for easy implimentation
- Utility with a WYSIWYG build interface
- Ability to save and load menus/forms from a standard file
Use In Game Engine:
I use the forms engine in almost every project i've done so far. Currently i've just used the standard MS graphics for the controls but I expect in my next project i'll be overriding the graphics for something a little more appropreate for my project.
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