T2D: The GUI Editor
June 10th, 2023
By Peter Robinson
I try to do a big update with Torque2D every year. This year the big update will center around the GUI Editor. I started rebuilding the entire GUI system years ago. Building a fully functioning editor is the final step in revamping the GUI system because it allows other to easily tap into the changes that I’ve made. In fact, it allows me to easy build GUIs as well. Before the editor, I’ve had to devise complex systems of classes to create dialogs, but now I’ll be able to drag components into place with ease.
About 30% Done
At the time of this writing, the Editor is probably about 30% done with all the basics in place to build GUI by dragging controls on to the screen. Some controls still need some more support, like menus and tab books which should make it easy to add menu items and tab pages respectively. Scroll bars also need to interact with the user despite being in edit mode so that you can scroll to see hidden controls. The Inspector allow editing of almost any value of any control and the Explorer allow you to select controls that are otherwise out of view. The most critical feature that still needs to be added it saving and loading. And of course, editing profiles.
A major target of building the editor includes building a profile editor. Right now the profile editor is just a twinkle in my eye, but someday I hope to have a window that shows the target control and let’s you make any changes to the profile and see them on the target control in real time. I hope to group these profiles into themes so that you can build a set of profiles as a theme. When creating a control you can just select the theme you want for the control and the correct profile for that type of control will be selected from the theme. Of course, if you have a profile you want to cross multiple control types you can still do that.
The GUI Editor is still in development, but when it’s finished I think it will greatly speed up development of games in T2D. The GUI system has always been over-looked in T2D since you can always build user interfaces with sprites, but with this coming update, I hope to give you the opportunity to build something better.