I spent the better part of the weekend working really hard on getting the GUI system into place. My goal was to have it completely up and running in FPSC-R by Sunday evening. Unfortunately, that didn’t exactly go as plan. However, progress was ultimately very positive and I’m much closer to having something working.
I was able to successfully prototype some critical GUI elements such as an in-game character portrait/level indicator and health and mana bars. I was first trying to find some royalty free GUI images and wasn’t happy with anything I found and I ended up making them myself in Photoshop. They turned out pretty good and should work nicely in the engine.
The bottom line at this point is that I’m going to be taking a slightly different approach to the GUI at this early stage. Instead of making a huge Lua API to create, position, and manipulate GUI elements, I’m building the GUI elements for my game within the plugin itself and then just providing a few simple Lua commands to update them. What this basically amounts to is commands like SetHealth, SetMana, ShowGUI, etc. So, setting health will cause my pre-built health meter to update and so forth. Otherwise, I’d be spending the rest of the 2 weeks just building a GUI API and I still have a lot of game to finish up. Once the contest is over and I have more time on my hands then I’ll work on crafting a more flexible GUI system that others can take advantage of.