Introduction to Scripting the GUI

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Revision as of 18:45, 6 June 2008 by Atti (talk | contribs)

One important feature in MTA:DM is the ability to script customized GUI (Graphic User Interface). The GUI consists of windows, button, edit boxes, check boxes... Almost every standard form components in graphical environments. They can be displayed while the user is in game, and used for inputs and outpus in place of traditional commands.

Admin Console GUI

A tutorial to make a login window

In this tutorial we'll make a simple login window, with two input boxes and a button. The window appears when the player joins the game, and once the button is clicked, the player is spawned. The tutorial will continue the gamemode we made in Introduction to Scripting. We'll also take a look at client-side scripting.

Draw the window

All the GUI must be made client side. It is also a good practice to keep all the client scripts in a separate folder. Browse to /Your MTA Server/mods/deathmatch/resources/myserver/ directory, and create a folder named "client". Under /client/ directory, create a text file and name it "gui.lua", and in this file we will write a funtion that draws the window:

function CreateLoginWindow()
	local X = 0.375
	local Y = 0.375
	local Width = 0.25
	local Height = 0.25
	wdwLogin = guiCreateWindow(X, Y, Width, Height, "Please Log In", true)
end

You may click on the function's name to read its documentation. Note that the coordinates of the window is in percentage of the screen. It means that if the screen is labelled with 0 on the left end, and 1 on the right end, and if "X" is 0.5, it represents the middle of the screen. It applies to Y, window width, and window height as well (if "width" is 0.5, the window will be half as wide as the screen). Next we'll add the text labels (saying "username:" and "password:"), edit boxes and a button. Replace the function with its complete version:

function CreateLoginWindow()
	local X = 0.375
	local Y = 0.375
	local Width = 0.25
	local Height = 0.25
	wdwLogin = guiCreateWindow(X, Y, Width, Height, "Please Log In", true)
	
	X = 0.0825
	Y = 0.2
	Width = 0.25
	Height = 0.25
	guiCreateLabel(X, Y, Width, Height, "Username", true, wdwLogin)
	Y = 0.5
	guiCreateLabel(X, Y, Width, Height, "Password", true, wdwLogin)
	
	X = 0.415
	Y = 0.2
	Width = 0.5
	Height = 0.15
	edtUser = guiCreateEdit(X, Y, Width, Height, "", true, wdwLogin)
	Y = 0.5
	edtPass = guiCreateEdit(X, Y, Width, Height, "", true, wdwLogin)
	guiEditSetMaxLength(edtUser, 50)
	guiEditSetMaxLength(edtPass, 50)
	
	X = 0.415
	Y = 0.7
	Width = 0.25
	Height = 0.2
	btnLogin = guiCreateButton(X, Y, Width, Height, "Log In", true, wdwLogin)
	
	guiSetVisible(wdwLogin, false)
end

Note that every GUI component created is a child of the window, this is done by specifying the parent element (wdwLogin, in this case) when creating the component:

guiCreateLabel(X, Y, Width, Height, "Password", true, wdwLogin)

This is very useful because later when you need to control the entire set of GUI, you can just refer to the parent element. For example:

guiSetVisible(wdwLogin, false) --hides all the GUI we made so we can show them to the player at the appropriate moment. 

Using the function we wrote

The CreateLoginWindow function is done, but it won't do anything until we call it. It is recommended to create all GUI when the client resource starts, hide them, and show them to player later when needed. Therefore, we'll write an event handler for "onClientResourceStart" to create the window:

addEventHandler("onClientResourceStart", getResourceRootElement(getThisResource()), 
	function ()
		CreateLoginWindow()
	end
)	

We would like to show the window when the client joins the game, using the same event "onClientResourceStart". Now the event handler looks like:

addEventHandler("onClientResourceStart", getResourceRootElement(getThisResource()), 
	function ()
		CreateLoginWindow()

                outputChatBox("Welcome to My MTA DM Server, please log in.  ")

	        if (wdwLogin ~= nil) then
		         guiSetVisible(wdwLogin, true)
	        end 

	        showCursor(true)
	        guiSetInputEnabled(true)
	end
)	

Note that we have a security check before making the window visible, so that in case the window had not been created, in which case wdwLogin is not a valid element, we don't get an error. The showCursor function gives control to your mouse, and guiSetInputEnabled makes sure when you type in the GUI, certain letters like "A", "S", "D", "W", "T" don't move your character or bring out the chatbox input. In the next step, we'll make the button work as desired.

Scripting the button

When the player clicks on any part of the GUI, the event "onClientGUIClick" will be triggered for the GUI component you clicked on. For instance, if you click on the button, you can add the event handler attached to the button:

addEventHandler("onClientGUIClick", theButtonElement, theHandlerFunction, false)

In our script, we only need the event handler attached to the button. When it's clicked, the client will tell the server to spawn the player. Find the event handler code for "onClientResourceStart" from the previous section, and add the following line right AFTER CreateLoginWindow() is called:

addEventHandler("onClientGUIClick", btnLogin, clientSubmitLogin, false)

The event handler must be added here because it makes sure variable btnLogin contains the actual button. You cannot attach an event to an non-existant element. You should have noticed that we need the "clientSubmitLogin" function, as stated in the line above.

function clientSubmitLogin(button)
	if button == "left" then
		
		triggerServerEvent("SubmitLogin", getRootElement(), guiGetText(edtUser), guiGetText(edtPass))
		guiSetInputEnabled(false)
		guiSetVisible(wdwLogin, false)
		showCursor(false)
	end
end

The variable "button" is passed by the event handler, and it's a string with the name of the button (either "left" or "right"). Here we also hit a new concept, which is custom events. Custom events can be triggered by script from the same side (server to server, or client to client), or from the other side (server to client, or vice versa). Here we use the triggerServerEvent function to trigger a custom event on the server, "SubmitLogin".

At this point we have all the code needed on the client side. On the server side, recall that we are spawning the player as soon as they join, as shown below:

function joinHandler()
	local x,y,z
	x = 1959.55
	y = -1714.46
	z = 10
	spawnPlayer(source, x, y, z)
	fadeCamera(source, true)
	outputChatBox("Welcome to My Server", source)
end
addEventHandler("onPlayerJoin", getRootElement(), joinHandler)

However, since we are going to spawn the player when the button is clicked, we must replace the "onPlayerJoin" event with the custom event triggered by the client script. Replace the above code with the following:

function joinHandler(username, password)
	local x,y,z
	x = 1959.55
	y = -1714.46
	z = 10
        if (client) then
	      spawnPlayer(client, x, y, z)
	      fadeCamera(client, true)
	      outputChatBox("Welcome to My Server", client)
        end
end

addEvent("SubmitLogin", true)
addEventHandler("SubmitLogin", getRootElement(), joinHandler)

Note that the second arguement of addEvent function (the one with value "true") specifies whether the event can be triggered by the other side, therefore we need to turn it on since the client is triggering it. Also note the variable "client", it's an internal variable used by MTA to identify the player who triggered the event.

Finally, do not forget to include the new gui.lua file in the meta.xml of the main resource, and label it as a client script:

<script src="client/gui.lua" type="client" />

As to this point, we have a basic login window that spawns the player when the "login" button is clicked. You can also use the username and password submitted by the triggerServerEvent function to verify the player's identify before spawning him.