Dev blog: What the heck are UIEntities anyway? AND WHYYYY!?

Worked on creating a UIEntityTester that tests simple UI Entities–as opposed to Complex UI Entities, which are tested in a different way.  Then I worked on the ability to change parts on a part card.  Backing up, basically Part Cards are a UI Entity.  UI Entities are what I’m calling “stuff that you can render onto a screen.”  This means everything from a basic image to a complicated interactable thingy (technical term).

See, Monogame, the code framework I’m making Mech Retriever in, can render textures and models to the screen.  For non-graphics-programmers, Models are 3D stuff.   Textures are 2D stuff, and are sometimes wrapped around a model like a “skin.”  But Mech Retriever doesn’t use 3D modeling, so textures just get rendered flat onto the screen.  But I created a higher-level concept of UIEntities to make coding easier.

A UIEntity is  a code object that knows how to render, load, and update itself.  It also knows how to change it’s position and size on a 2D screen.  What’s great about that is I can make subtypes of those objects that can do specific things, like visually display the data for a part.  Better yet, I can make UIEntities that have UIEntities in them–for example, a PartCard that has TextBoxes and StatDisplayBoxes and Images, etc.

Now, I’ve created two classes that help me test them, UIEntityTester and ComplexUIEntityTester.  The next post will talk about how I use these and the Visitor pattern to do automated testing in Monogame.


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