A flexible UI engine for video games

by Thijs Kruithof

Thesis abstract:

This project focused on the design and implementation of a novel user interaction management system aimed at being used in video games. Two types of interactive elements often found in video games are interactive menu structures and interactive objects that are part of the virtual world. A system has been designed that is capable of handling user interaction with both of these types of interactive elements in a generic manner. This system, named Glaze, uses statecharts for the representation of object behaviour and utilizes a separation between object behaviour and object presentation.

Glaze has been designed to operate as a subsystem of a video game framework. As part of this thesis we present an implementation of the system, including the integration of Glaze into a commercial video game framework: Unreal Engine 3.

To enhance the usability of Glaze a separate designer application has been designed and implemented that functions as a front end. This application makes it possible for interaction designers to implement interactive objects in a video game, without the need for specific technical knowledge or programming skills.