Change in plans
Well, after 3 weeks of working on work for uni, and making one of those rediculously long job applications, I've not done anything related to spawning characters.
Instead, I spent the last week making a GUI lib. This was a big change in plans, but the mood struck me, and I need a GUI of some kind eventually. Currently implemented are buttons and surfaces to put buttons on. I'm in the middle of creating text box widgets, although for them to be of a production standard I'll need to redo my font rendering system, which currenly draws nicely kerned and antialiased text, but by brute force, with no caching of glyphs.
Building this screen took only the following code to do:
gui_manager = new GUI::Manager(0, 0, 500, 400);
GUI::Button * exit = new GUI::Button("butnExit", "Exit", 100.f, 40.f);
cmd_history = new GUI::TextBox("txtdHistory","",20,8);
cmd_line = new GUI::TextBox("txtCmd","",20,1);
gui_manager->addWidget(500 - 110,400 - 50,exit);
I'm quite happy with this for a weeks worth of work (less than 10 hours of actual work all told) and am actually surprised at how quick it was to do this. Having done it twice before may have helped.
All the widgets are drawn using vector art, generated from within OpenGL. I can customise the colours, but apart from that its pretty fixed. However, there is no reason I can't make other appearences than a coloured border, thanks to my skin system. The round corners are a mesh, and the lines between them are a single quad. I've had a lengthy discussion about alternatives to this method and ive decided that im right and everybody else is wrong... at least for now. I'm hard coding the details of each skin, with some of the properties loaded from a file such as this:
BACKGROUND Colour 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.7
NORMAL Colour 0.0 0.33 0.71 1.0
ACTIVE Colour 0.0 0.63 0.91 1.0
CLICK Colour 0.3 0.4 0.9 1.0
BACKGROUND Colour 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.0
MOUSEOVER Colour 1.0 0.0 0.0 1.0
CLICK Colour 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Once again ive decided against XML and am rolling my own.
I've also refactored my game once again, removing all traces of the old event system. I'm now using a combination of two event systems; for the GUI communicating back to its owners, I'm using an EventListener system, where the object recieving the events must inherit the interface ButtonListener, TextBoxListener, etc.
To recieve the input from that button, I need to override ButtonListener::listenButtonClick, like so:
void ZFrenzy::listenButtonClick(GUI::Button * sender, int x, int y, int button)
And there it is, a button that exits the program. Basically this is a cut down version of the observer pattern, since only one observer can be attached to each widget. There is no reason I couldnt make this more than one, but this is just a prototype GUI system, build from previous experience building GUI systems.
In the next 3 days I hope to have the font rendering sorted out enough that I can have a decent text input box, and will then create a console; this console will allow me to make interfaces for various parts of the game which are currently hard coded, and form the basics of an in-game editor.