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blaze02

Game menus

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How are menus made in professional games? Do they code every aspect of the menu, the background animations, the options, navigation, etc? My friend is talking about exporting motion graphics from photoshop into a project to make this easier (at least for animating the background). Is this possible?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Some companies code them in C++ (or whichever language is used), others have GUI engines (libraries) and simply script the animations/behaviour and skin the widgets.

It really depends on whether your game has 10-20 screens or 100-200+ screens really.

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a lot of games also use FLASH for their menu coding. They usually have a FLASH exporter in place to export all the animations into their engine. And the scripting logic is written in the engine code itself. Some people go ahead and write a simple Flash parser and feed in all the Flash scripting which is directly used in the game. It all depends what the menu system is asking for. But usually everyone has their own way of creating the menu system. There is no definate constant and popular path!

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I'm working on this right now as well, and for the graphical components of the menus, basically have a class hierarchy of

menu
menu item

where the menu is responsible for figuring out which item is selected and which is the next to be selected by keyboard actions and such, and runs the render action for each menu item... which is where you can do all kinds of graphicy stuff, like if it's selected, draw the graphic bigger, or use a different graphic, or wobble it...

The placement of all these menu items can be put in a text file and parsed, giving you essentially a scriptable menu system. Now, technically you have to hard code all the different effects, but the placement and behaviour of the menus is completely scriptable and therefore is generally less of a headache.

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