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Daniel Protopopov

Request for Tutorials Evaluation

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Hi there, I've been on these forums for quite a while, you probably knew me as HellRiZZer, and now I have another task for you (if you choose to accept it!). I'm in the process of learning how to write proper tutorials, and I'm asking you to read and tell me what you think of my starting tutorials that I'm writing about the GUI for games. Throw anything my way, be it remarks, comments and/or jealous words :) Anything will do, as far as it is constructive and informative for me to extract useful info from :)) You can post responses here, or send them to me via e-mail or by means of Instant Messengers if you wish to discuss them live. You may find those tutorials, along with other interesting information on my website. I've made it just a week ago, however, I'm maintaining constant updates to Tutorials, Resources and my Personal Blog. Thank you very much for your time and I hope to hear from you soon!

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To make an aesthetic critique, the article seems to have strange paragraph structure. Some paragraphs leave a blank line between the next, while others simply skip to the next line. Maybe I'm anal, but I found that distracting. I do like the way you've embedded the chunks of code though.

I think the topic is a great idea, as I'm working on a GUI system myself at the moment and found very little internet discussion on the matter. However, I think that this particular tutorial is not what I would have been looking for. I feel it would be more useful to examine the design concepts that exclude any implementation specific code. Make the assumption that the reader can figure out how to render GUI components on his or her own, and then talk about what classes you might need, and what their responsibilities are likely to be.

To me, the most interesting part of an article like this, would be considering different methods of providing unique behaviour to widgets/controls created from the same class. How could we create a button class where one instance will start a single player game and another will exit the game? How can we make one slider affect game volume and another gamma?

Here are some other questions I found myself asking while designing my GUI classes.

-What user input events am I interested in?
-How will I toggle between widget/control states? i.e. a textbox that isn't in
focus probably won't need a blinking cursor
-How will a widget/control *know* about application data?


Hopefully that was helpful to some degree. Good luck with the rest of the tutorial, GUIs are one of the most important aspects of any game, and some good articles would be a great addition to the game development community.

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I'd be more inclined to do more than skim if the navigation bar on the left actually worked.

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Quote:
Original post by Deyja
I'd be more inclined to do more than skim if the navigation bar on the left actually worked.
Yeah, I can confirm that the left navigation bar seems to be broken (Firefox, OS X).

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I thank everyone here for their generous input. So, judging upon being said, you are after more general concepts behind the GUI, not the code and the implementation? I see where you are coming from, however, what would you consider as an addition to them - actual code, pseudo-code or something else? Screenshots? References? Please, tell me all you can about what YOU would add to those tutorials.

Thank you.


PS:
I've fixed the links on the left,

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I agree completely with The 89 Vision (though I'm not in same position, having done it few times).

First, the tutorial doesn't say that you are talking about GUI for games, I picked it from your post, you should have introduction about what the tutorial(s) is/are for.

You say "complete list of GUI libraries", but the list was last updated in the beginning of 2005! And it definately is not complete as it's missing the first that I thought about.

First you talk about cross-platform being important and the next minute your example code has compiler specific tweaks, includes files that are not available. IMHO you should leave compiler specific tweaks out of your example code, or at least add a comment to them (what they do, why they are there).

You should focus on more generic approach for this to be of more help for someone who really needs help writing GUI stuff. Especially important would be to present few different approaches, do comparisons and have examples of all of them, maybe even a small game with all the types you come up with implemented. If you don't go that route, it would be more valuable if you just had a working source code that didn't require anything special to download, compiles and is a self-contained working example that can be played with.

Some inconsistency in your writing, tutorial 1 says "Use OpenGL as graphics API of choice", tutorial 3 says "As you've probably guessed, we are going to use a cross-API renderer that will allow us to use either OpenGL or DirectX as rendering API of choice."

What and where is the "cross-API renderer" that you talk about? ("cross-API", do you mean "cross-platform"?) And if you don't give the implementation, why not simply write

void CGUIElement::Draw(void)
{
if(!Visible())
return;
/* here we draw quad using m_Rect.Left(), m_Rect.Right(), m_Rect.Top() and m_Rect.Bottom() using green colour */
}



Some pictures would be nice. An example of the use of your newly created GUI class would also be nice.


The biggest problem of above to me is the use of specific stuff making one type of GUI when you are talking about "GUI for games".


I just read it quickly and all above are of course only my opinions. Good luck with it! There are never too many tutorials around :)

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I agree with AP. At the start, I wanted it to be some sort of the User Guide that is somehow coupled with introduction to my GUI without the need of reading the documentation. However, by reading your points, I agree that those tutorials have to be more generic and give the reader an ability to create his own, unique GUI with the facts and resources that they provide.

Thanks to everyone on positive (and negative!) feedback! Much appreciated!

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Sorry I don't have anything more constructive to add, but the design is totally at odds with my own GUI framework.

The AnimthVG link is broken. :)

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So, do you think its to the point and written good enough to be considered as a pass? (or maybe a credit?) :)
I'm still working and re-reading them to catch something that I may've missed. More are to come, however I'm not sure about the whole usage of pseudo-code and C++ excerpts.

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