Monday, September 16, 2013

Another Roadblock Avoided - PrepHelp

Hey guys!

In my last post I talked about the code project I was working on called PrepHelp. Over the past week and a half I have figured out most of the functionality for it. I have adding items, removing items, and am working on saving/loading inventory items to/from a config file.

To add an item I created a popup where you can enter any name, quantity, and expiration date. I also had to create a custom dropdown menu since I ran into issues when I tried the default component menu, as well as the Scaleform CLIK menu. With the default menu that comes with Flash it turns out it is not compatible, so while it works great in a strictly Flash project it throws errors when used with Scaleform. The CLIK one on the other hand has some issues where the dropdown part of the menu gets drawn over all other things in the swf, including the cursor(If you have the cursor in the same file). There are several workarounds, but I wanted the challenge plus this allows me to have more control over the graphics when I get to that part.

Also, if you forget to fill in all of the textfields on the Add Item popup then it will display an error and won't let you add the item till you fill the empty field.

When it came time to work on getting the saving and loading I ran into a pretty big problem...You can't save arrays to a config file. This should have been the first thing I checked before I started on this project, not after I have almost all of the framework done. Since the main reason I chose UDK over a strictly Flash based project was to utilize the config files.

Luckily, I found a post on the forums alluding to using a function to append/split a string and use that variable since you can save a string to a config file. Intrigued, I scoured the internet to find this magic function. After trying the wrong function I found the correct one. It is called SplitString. It is pretty handy. The first parameter is the string you wish to split. The second parameter is the delimiter, or what it looks for to know where to split it. The third is optional and it just asks if you want to cull empty elements. All of these broken up chunks are then stored in an array that is returned by the SplitString function. Here is an example of how I am using it to load my test inventory:

var config string FoodName; function LoadFoodInventory() { local array<string> FoodNameArray; FoodName = "How,now,brown,cow,this,goes,around,the,world"; FoodNameArray = SplitString(FoodName, ",", false); for(i = 0; i < FoodNameArray.length; i++) { FInv.Length = FInv.Length + 1; FInv[i].N = FoodNameArray[i]; } }

And as promised here are some screen shots of PrepHelp:

The test inventory using the SplitString function,
loaded from a config file.

The Add Item popup with custom dropdown menu.

Inventory after new item has been added.
From here I think it will mostly be copying existing code and fitting it for the medical inventory. and getting the search function all set up. I also have to get the expiration date thing implemented as well. I have a plan to tackle that, but it will just be a matter of plugging it in and seeing how it goes.

Well, that is all I have for now. Hopefully by next week I'll have the code wrapped up and started working on the visuals for it.

No comments:

Post a Comment