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IfThen Software

Development log for IfThen Software. IfThen Software is a family owned and operated indie game development company. http://www.ifthensoftware.net/

Author: InvisibleLf

Newsletter #45

Posted by InvisibleLf Thursday August 27 2009 at 9:24PM
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News

Sorry, there isn't any news this week.


From the Programmer
Written by Invisible

I made a couple of systems (focus and foremost) simpler. This was possible because of the new mouse hover system I described in the previous issue. Instead of having "system focus" and "system foremost", each element keeps track of whether or not it has focus from its parent, and if it is its parent's foremost child. If an element wants to be brought forward when it is clicked on, it requests that it becomes its parent's foremost child when it detects that the mouse has clicked on it directly, or one of it's children. Focus will also be set. An element far down in the tree can be brought to the foreground in this way by its parents detecting the click and bringing themselves (and thus all lower elements) closer to the foreground.

I have finally finished the general GUI system designs, and I was actually able to work on code again. The root GUI element is finished, and I plan on getting most of the window GUI element finished tomorrow. Unfortunately, all these elements also require their own designs. Hopefully I will be able to spend more time coding and less time designing this time around though.


Artist's Easel
Written by GreyKnight

iScribble Sketches #3

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

 


Community Spotlight
Written by Invisible

Congratulations to Dead8000 for reaching level 52 in Stick Adventures Online! He is currently the highest level player in the Unofficial Top 10.

Noxxet has released a mod for SAO titled "Magic Punch".

Newsletter #44 - New Clan

Posted by InvisibleLf Friday August 21 2009 at 1:06AM
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News

Sorry, there isn't any news this week.


From the Programmer
Written by Invisible

I think the drag and drop system design is finished, but I am creating flowcharts for it to be sure. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but this system ended up being more complicated than I was expecting.

In order to get part of the drag and drop system to work, I had to change the mouse hover system. When it is found that a child element has the mouse hovering over it, the parent flags that child as being hovered over. This way the element chain that is being hovered over can be easily passed messages. Right before the root element sends the mouse input message, it removes the hover flag from the child that had the mouse hovering over it in the previous frame. That child will do the same if one of it's children has the hover flag. This makes updating the GUI system a little slower, but ends up making other systems run faster, so it should be worth it.


Artist's Easel
Written by GreyKnight

iScribble Sketches #2

(Click to enlarge)


(Click to enlarge)

 


Community Spotlight
Written by Rector and Invisible

Congratulations to InvaderKED who is now the 5th highest level Stick Adventures Online player in the unofficial Top 10!

Lately in response to a giant spike in SAO "noob" (a lesser form of the internet "troll") activity, Odin formed a group which was made to combat the rising threat. They're called the Anti-Noob Squadron and dedicate themselves to fighting... Well... Noobs, of course. Commander KED and Commander Miotatsu have both started picking members of their squads and everything is shaping up nicely.

Newsletter #43 - Artist's Easel Returns

Posted by InvisibleLf Thursday August 13 2009 at 8:59PM
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News

The Artist's Easel has returned! See the article for further details.

Overall progress for the Loradon 3.0 Preview has reached 88%!
www.ifthensoftware.net/loradon_online/progress/


From the Programmer
Written by Invisible

I have decided to make modal elements darken and lock all the elements behind it. The code will not block when the modal element is created, so it is not a "true" modal element, but it will work well for things such as the menu, amount window, and message boxes. Making this a feature of the GUI system will greatly help to clean up the user interface code, since darkening and locking is currently handled by the GUI user code.

After attempting to continue coding the GUI system, I realized that I needed to redesign a couple other features, namely drag and drop, and bringing an element to the foreground when it is clicked on.

Before I describe the user-set foreground element feature (clicking on a window to bring it to the foreground), I should describe something else which it relies on; the "System Foremost" feature. An element has system foremost status when all the parent elements between it and the root are the foremost children of their own parent. The foreground element is the GUI tree leaf node that has system foremost status. The foremost child of an element always has system foremost status when its parent has system foremost status. If an element does not have system foremost status, none of its children can.

Now that I have explained that, the user-set foreground element feature works as follows: If an element is clicked on, and does not have system foremost status, it can request for this status from its parent. If its parent doesn't have system foremost status, the parent requests its own parent for the status. This continues until a parent is found which has system foremost status, at which point the child that requested for it is made the foremost child and is thus given system foremost status. If the child was making the request in response to a request from one of its own children, it makes that child its foremost child and this process repeats until the original child that requested it is given system foremost status.

Keyboard focus is handled in a similar manner, and there is even a "System Focus" feature which works as you would expect.

Drag and drop is proving to be somewhat complicated, however I am making steady progress with it.


Artist's Easel
Written by GreyKnight

Since I finished the town, I have started an iScribble board where I will be drawing various sketches, some of which are related to our projects. I will be showing them in this article from now on.

Here are some of the drawings I did this week:

This is the first drawing I made on iScribble. It took me about 6 hours to complete.
(Click to enlarge)

Here are some various sketches.
(Click to enlarge)

 


Community Spotlight
Written by Acaceol

After the aforementioned sketches by GreyKnight, hype for "Loradon 3.0" has been higher than ever. I even decided to get on Loradon Online for a bit, and it's been a topic that's come up quite a lot recently. On the more technical side of things, InvisibleMan recently attempted (to no avail) to remove message throttling from the IRC server. This would make HAL perform better, and not lag when moderators clear the screen. However, the server InvisibleMan uses can only be compiled with an old version of VC++, which can't be downloaded anymore. Looks like the swearers in SAO will be annoying still.

Newsletter #42 - Modal GUI

Posted by InvisibleLf Friday August 7 2009 at 4:11PM
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From the Programmer
Written by Invisible

I have decided to use a diagramming program called "Dia" to make the dependency graph and various flowcharts. The program is easy to use, and works well for what I need.

The GUI system's design is nearly finished. The only thing left to figure out is how "modal" elements will work. I have considered using threads to allow for "true" modal elements, but that would probably be overkill. I will most likely stick with modal elements "locking" and darkening the GUI elements behind them, but nothing more.


Community Spotlight
Written by Jay and Invisible

Congratulations to Dead9000 for being the second player to have two separate accounts on the SAO top 10 leader board! Also, Materger1, a player mentioned in issue #39, has reached the top 10 even though he is a newer player. Materger1 is already a respected player in the SAO community.