Tuesday, April 09, 2013

RPG Textboxes

The "How To Make Your RPG" book is progressing quite nicely and I've just started the chapter on GUI. jRPG menus are about 80% textbox so that's the first element covered in this chapter. The below box, in the screenshot, is a standard resizable textbox made from 9 different pieces (4 corners, 4 side panels, 1 back panel). The side panels and backpanel are scaled according to the size of textbox required. The border decoration for these type of textboxes is determined by the texture. The code is simple and flexible.

A basic jRPG inspired textbox (Scaled 2x)

The next order of business is to build on the textbox and add support for dialog boxes. A dialog box allows a lengthy piece of dialog to be split into multiple textboxes with a prompt to advance between them. I'll also cover additional elements at this point like an avatar portrait and title for the person speaking. Then a few examples that show how versatile these boxes are and then moving on to other elements such as the ProgressBar.

GUI isn't the most exciting topic but it's quite essential for any large RPG and there's definitely an element of enjoyable craftsmanship in doing it well. The GUI section also has the benefit of being rather small, we build a toolbox of useful elements that are then used throughout the rest of the book.


Денис said...

Although I don't like Final Fantasy IX very much, the way how dialog boxes are drawing is interesting, though fairly simple.

balaam said...

Yeh they have a slight comic bubble effect right?

I think there's lots of interesting variations with textboxes. They work best when they bolster the theme of the game. I like the Persona ones. I remember the Vagrant Story ones being quite distinctive too.