A Haxeflixel textbox that does a bit more than showing text.
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README.md

README.md

A Haxeflixel unnamed textbox library

NOTE : Even though the API shouldn't change a lot for now, this project is still a bit in WIP.

Demo

Features

  • "Character-per-character"-style textbox for Haxeflixel.
  • Correct word-wrapping : a being written word won't jump from a line to another if it's too big for the current line
  • Per-character effects : allows you to have dynamic text.
  • Extendable and customizable : There is a way to add new effects to your textbox, change the font, color, size, etc...

Usage

Known issues or quirks

  • On HTML5 we have to deal with an incorrect dimension report for space characters, thus letter spacing and space size are incorrect. There is a character spacing hack setting to make up for it, characterSpacingHack in the Settings class.

Installation

Include the library's root folder as classpath in your project node. Something like (as 2018-04-16)

<project>
  <!-- Here goes some of your configuration -->
  <classpath name="path to the library's folder." />
  <!-- Here goes some of your configuration -->
</project>

Now you should be ready and able to require classes such as textbox.Textbox.

Textbox functions

  • new (Float, Float, Settings) : Creates a textbox where top-left corner is placed in (X,Y). Additional settings are stored in the given Settings object.
  • bring () : activates the textbox and its process, making it appear in-game.
  • dismiss () : deactivates the textbox and makes it disappear in-game
  • setText (String) : parses the string's content and prepares itself for the next use.
  • continueWriting () : if the textbox is full, this function acknowledges it and asks the textbox to continue writing text (by moving up the text and writing in the newly empty last line)

Callbacks

NOTE : This is under WIP as it might change between versions.

Why callbacks?

Callbacks are useful as they allow you to extend the textbox without touching its logic. It allowed me to extract the textbox's logic from my now-dead project and make it easy to add features over it, features like effects, triggering a sound per character added to the box or change how it deals with the siutation when the textbox is full.

A few callback ideas (chaining boxes, sound-per-character, text character) are shown in the given sample project, in the form of simple callbacks or plugin classes.

List of available callbacks

  • statusChangeCallbacks (Status) : if the textbox's state changes, this callback is called. Here a list of the expected behavior to be notifed of:
    • FULL : the textbox is full. Coupled with continueWriting you can make stuff like waiting a button press to resume writing.
    • DONE : the textbox finished writing its content. You can dismiss it or set it with new text.
  • characterDisplayCallbacks (textbox.Text) : This callback is added each time a character is added to the box. Use this if you need features like an audio sample played for every character, a text cursor following the input, etc etc...

Those textbox callback facilities are just callback arrays, to add or remove your own callback, just use push, pop, remove, etc... on those members. There is no control from the textbox's part, so take care of which callbacks you're manipulating.

Settings object

(Check for textbox/Settings.hx to see what kind of parametters you can override.)

font:String             // Font location, default = HXFlixel's default font
fontSize:Int            // default = 12
textFieldWidth:Float    // default = 240px
color:FlxColor          // default = White
numLines:Int            // How many lines the textbox will display, default = 3
charactersPerSecond:Int // default = 24

Text effects

This textbox allows for per-character effects such as (but not limited to) rotating characters or making them wave, coloring text or making an animated rainbow. Those effects are enabled and disabled by in-text code sequences that are small and human-writable. The system that links effects and the textbox is also user-editable to add new effects for your own projects.

Code sequences and effects.

Having a textbox is fine. Having a textbox that can make letters change their color or move easily is better. To apply effects easily, this library looks for code sequences while parsing to determine which effect and how to trigger it. A code sequence is composed of an arobas (@) and 3 or 7 hexadecimal numbers determining which effect to enable or disable and its parameters. It looks like @00105DEFF or @050. The first sequence turns on the effect n° 00 with as arguments the values (5, 222, 255) while the second disables the effect n°05.

Enabling an effect

   ┌ Enable this effect
   ▼
@MM1AABBCC
▲│  ┃ ┃ ┃
└┼ Sequence start ()
 │  ┃ ┃ ┃
 └ Effect n° 0xMM
    ┃ ┃ ┃
    ┃ ┃ ┃
    ┗ Argument 1 : 0xAA
      ┃ ┃
      ┗ Argument 2 : 0xBB
        ┃
        ┗ Argument 3 : 0xCC

Disabling an effect

   ┌ Disable this effect
   ▼
@MM0
▲│
└┼ Sequence start ()
 │
 └ Effect n° 0xMM

Usage example

var textbox:Textbox = new Textbox(...);
textbox`.setText("
I'm enabling effect n°00 with arguments (0x00, 0x00, 0x00) : @001000000
I'm disabling effect n°05  @050
I'm enabling multiple effects : @0010A0C0E@0510DCCDE...
It even works inside wo@001000000rds, even if it's a bit unreadable...
");

Create new effects

NOTE : This is under WIP as it might change between versions.

To add an effect to the effect list, you have to create a class implementing IEffect and add it to TextEffectArray's effectClasses variables. Two effects currently are already implemented : coloring some text and an animated rainbow effect. The effect's position index in the array will be it's code sequence's ID.

Effect interface

  • reset(Int, Int, Int, nthCharacter:Int):Void : called when the effect is enabled on a character. (It's named reset as an effect can be set multiple times.)
  • update(Float) : the good old classic update function, called by the textbox on a FlxState.update() tick or manual update.
  • apply(Float) : called on a character's own update function to update the character's look if needed.
  • setActive(Bool)/isActive():Bool : (WIP) implement those to correctly manage the effect's activated's state. A simple get/set is enough.

Testing

There is a test folder containing tests using munit. Run lime test <platform> inside the test folder to test on the given platform.

NOTE : Currently, test on JS/HTML5 platform is broken as munit fails to find a haxe:trace element. This is currently being looked on to see how to fix it.

Roadmap

The library's pretty much functionnal and gives the barebones features as now (the current effects comes from my dead project as freebies). Here's a non-exhaustive list of what could be added or changed to make the users' life easier :

  • Change the callback types into arrays or a class that acts a bit like C#'s delegates.
  • On JS, there is a quirk on how to calculate a space's width and a magic cookie is used instead. Maybe make this variable part of the settings class.
  • Implement helper example classes such as a status icon or a "Press a button to continue" helper class. Note : Due to various kind of interactions with a textbox, I prefer making small examples as there is no canonical way to make them, only ways that works with your own projects.
  • Add more effects
  • Add more examples
    • For tween-based character, factorize tween selection code?
  • Document the code as well as this file?
  • Unit testing (in progress)
    • Fix broken unit tests on JS or swap to haxe's bundled unit test library.