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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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occams_razor

how to make In-Game command and control panel?

5 posts in this topic

Hi all,

 

I'm programming the beginnings of an RTS game. Right now, I have a rudimentary 3D plane where units walk around on it and when they get within range, they shoot each other (without a shooting animation, but they have a walking animation). There are only units and walls for now.

 

Anyways, I thought it would be nice to have a 2D command and control panel on the bottom third or so of the screen. I'm using windows 7 and directx 9. I don't think this question requires me to show code because its more of a "general concept" question. I'm not sure what the general practices of posting code are but I would prefer to keep the code private for now, and just ask for a general answer.

 

Basically, I want to make a panel so when you select one or more units a bunch of command options come up, it has a little close up picture of the unit type and there is always a mini map in the right hand side of the control panel. Does anyone know of the general techniques people use to do this? Thanks!

 

occams_razor

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In general, you would define a shape at the bottom of the screen (say, a rectangle) and then dedicate specific parts of it to do what you want. So in the panel, you have a rectangle in the lower left which loads a portrait when a unit is clicked, a set of shapes that respond when clicked for command buttons, and so on.

 

So you'll have to define the screen areas, draw the shapes, set up event hooks to populate the shapes with the correct pictures when a unit is clicked, and set up event hooks to carry out the right commands when buttons are clicked. It's not really any different than setting up any other graphics on the screen that the player can interact with, and if you've ever coded a menu or any graphical interface you've probably already got the techniques that you need.

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Hey, thanks guys! I got really useful info from your responses.

 

Khaiy: So yeah, what i had in mind was a rectangular region, it just didn't occur to me to make it a rectangle in 3D space that looks 2D because it moves with the viewer. So, I'll implement it in that way that you pointed out to me.

 

JTippetts: It's really challenging for me to use software design, the way I've been doing it so far is just coding without design at all a little bit every day. The result is that it grows sort of amorphously smile.png  and I end up going back and tweaking a lot of stuff. Even though I use C++, I don't use object oriented design because I think to myself "linux is written in c" and so I have used that as an excuse in the past. This UI will be a good opportunity for me to design it clearly and then implement it based on a blueprint. So from your reply where you talk about "proxy type of component for the camera" you mean that all the buttons on the UI have an object oriented class object (or as I would have used in the past, a struct) that the buttons talk to when they are clicked and then the proxy objects talk to whatever unit receives the command. I'll design a little bit every day for a while before I start coding the UI.

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JTippetts,

 

That is a lot of good information and I'm thinking about how to do all these different things (component systems, design patterns, and proxies) to prevent it from being brittle and not have the whole system sensitive to a change in a single part of it. It's not trivial. Thanks for the help.

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