Heads up display

The final piece our game needs is a User Interface (UI) to display things like score, a "game over" message, and a restart button.

Create a new scene, and add a CanvasLayer node named HUD. "HUD" stands for "heads-up display", an informational display that appears as an overlay on top of the game view.

The CanvasLayer node lets us draw our UI elements on a layer above the rest of the game, so that the information it displays isn't covered up by any game elements like the player or mobs.

The HUD needs to display the following information:

  • Score, changed by ScoreTimer.

  • A message, such as "Game Over" or "Get Ready!"

  • A "Start" button to begin the game.

The basic node for UI elements is Control. To create our UI, we'll use two types of Control nodes: Label and Button.

Create the following as children of the HUD node:

Click on the ScoreLabel and type a number into the Text field in the Inspector. The default font for Control nodes is small and doesn't scale well. There is a font file included in the game assets called "Xolonium-Regular.ttf". To use this font, do the following:

Under "Theme Overrides > Fonts", choose "Load" and select the "Xolonium-Regular.ttf" file.

../../_images/custom_font_load_font.webp

The font size is still too small, increase it to 64 under "Theme Overrides > Font Sizes". Once you've done this with the ScoreLabel, repeat the changes for the Message and StartButton nodes.

../../_images/custom_font_size.webp

Note

Anchors: Control nodes have a position and size, but they also have anchors. Anchors define the origin - the reference point for the edges of the node.

Arrange the nodes as shown below. You can drag the nodes to place them manually, or for more precise placement, use "Anchor Presets".

../../_images/ui_anchor.webp

ScoreLabel

  1. Add the text 0.

  2. Set the "Horizontal Alignment" and "Vertical Alignment" to Center.

  3. Choose the "Anchor Preset" Center Top.

Message

  1. Add the text Dodge the creeps!.

  2. Set the "Horizontal Alignment" and "Vertical Alignment" to Center.

  3. Set the "Autowrap Mode" to Word, otherwise the label will stay on one line.

  4. Under "Control - Layout/Transform" set "Size X" to 480 to use the entire width of the screen.

  5. Choose the "Anchor Preset" Center.

StartButton

  1. Add the text Start.

  2. Under "Control - Layout/Transform", set "Size X" to 200 and "Size Y" to 100 to add a little bit more padding between the border and text.

  3. Choose the "Anchor Preset" Center Bottom.

  4. Under "Control - Layout/Transform", set "Position Y" to 580.

On the MessageTimer, set the Wait Time to 2 and set the One Shot property to "On".

Now add this script to HUD:

extends CanvasLayer

# Notifies `Main` node that the button has been pressed
signal start_game

We now want to display a message temporarily, such as "Get Ready", so we add the following code