Friday, 21 June 2013

HUD and other developments

I've been working solely on the HUD these past couple of days and I have 1 things to say about it...


I think that pretty much sums up my frustrations. In short, things that should be working arn't and things that are working arn't doing what their suppose to be doing.

The idea:
My menu will have 5 basic 'zones'
-Upper left hand corner holds your resources and such in an optional drop down box.
-Upper right there will be a menu button, a small tiny boz to click to bring up the 'save' 'load' 'quit' etc with room for other boxes to fit along side it should I want to add more menus.
-The bottom right will have an expandable inventory with tabs for research so you can upgrade components and new build options (limited by resources).
-In the bottom left is an expandable box for building, which is a simple click and place system (limited by resources).
-Now in the middle of the building and research tabs I placed my crowning achievement, the mini-map. An interactive display that will show your starbase (and it's components), friendlies and hostiles. It also shows weapons fire and damage in the form of red rings. It is interactive in the sense you should be able to click on it and it will take you to that location on the map relative to the mini-map main map ratio.

The Problem:
The problem is that the mini-map doesnt at this time do any of those things. Atm the Mini-map instead of displaying components relative to their positions on the map it actually removes them from the map entirely... so that was the first dramatic reversal. Second problem is that the mini-map is ridiculously inaccurate when it comes to clicking on the map to go to a location (though atm that's a bit hard to judge as well because there is nothing on the mini-map that serves as a point of reference besides the map walls.from what i can gather it doesn't matter where I click the mini-map keeps referring me back to somewhere near the bottom of the map.

At the moment I really want to get the mini-map display working so that when I start working on the rest of the game I can just add them to the mini-map as I go. But the mini-map requires some ridiculously precis numbers in-order to function correctly, 1 miscalculation can lead to the entire screen dis-proportioning. I haven't even begun on the rest of the tabs yet and so far the mini-map has taken 2 days of preparation to reach a stage where it's not working.

 I was really hoping to release some footage of the new mini-map today but in it's current state it's nothing but a fancy graphic. Because the Mini-map needs to be precis in it's mathematics I had to create the final graphics ahead of anything else, meaning the mini-map will be the first thing in starbase that has a 100% complete graphic for it. But that's assuming of course that the mini-map will cooperate with me.

On a little drawing pad I did a sketches of what I hoped to achieve with the HUD, a practical, easy to use/read design:

If only things were as simple as they are on paper.

On a side note I recently came down with a bit of a cold, which has slowed down my work a considerable amount (possibly might be why I cant seem to solve my mini-map problem). I've been sneezing a bazillion times, maybe some of my brain decided to make a run for it.
Either way I'm aiming to get well so work over the next week may be slow. I'm sorry I don't have more to show you at this time, Monday coming (assuming I'm well again) I'll redouble my efforts to nail this mini-map sucker and bring you guys some awesome updates.

Sincerely TinnedEpic - A Robots Game

Also while making the Interface I made these health 'dots' which look pretty cool.

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