Options Menu

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Overview

Using Show - Message, it is possible to make an options menu with any number of buttons and/or levels. This is enabling as one can maintain but a single plugin with an options menu offering multiple configuration setting rather than necessitating multiple versions. In these examples, we'll use apparel items and a book, but a menu can be prompted and managed in a number of ways. First, create a message(s) form(s) and add/fill the buttons with the options you'd like to offer. Note that no more than ten buttons can be in a message box and that the button indices are offset by one such that the first option's index is 0 and not 1. If offering a lot of options, it's best to think ahead regarding how you want to organize your options, making the message forms first, then plugging them into the script.

Examples

Single Level Menu

For the first examples, we'll have only three options: "Mage", "Thief", and "Warrior". An options menu can be accessed many ways, a few of which will be demonstrated below.

  • First, we'll attach the script to an unplayable armor item. When the item is added to the player, the menu will be prompted and will exit as soon as a button is selected, executing the appropriate code right after the token is silently removed.
ScriptName OptionsMenuScript Extends ObjectReference
 
Actor Property PlayerREF Auto
Armor Property MenuARMO Auto
Message Property OptionsMESG Auto
 
Event OnContainerChanged(ObjectReference akNewContainer, ObjectReference akOldContainer)
	If akNewContainer == PlayerREF ; Only the player
		Int iButton = OptionsMESG.Show() ; Shows your menu.
		PlayerREF.RemoveItem(MenuARMO, 1, True) ; Silently remove token. 'Self' does not work in this context, thus the property
		If iButton == 0  ; Mage
			Debug.Notification("Mage selected")
		ElseIf iButton == 1 ; Thief
			Debug.Notification("Thief selected")
		ElseIf iButton == 2 ; Warrior
			Debug.Notification("Warrior selected")
		EndIf
	EndIf
EndEvent
  • Next, we'll show the same menu, but prompt it with a spell given to the player. Note the similarities of these examples and that code can be compartmentalized by creating custom functions. The Menu function below could be moved to another script of a different type, meaning you can offer access to your menu however you see fit.
ScriptName OptionsMenuScript Extends ActiveMagicEffect
 
Actor Property PlayerREF Auto
Message Property OptionsMESG Auto ; The Message form that configures the menu buttons
 
Event OnEffectStart(Actor akTarget, Actor akCaster)
	If akCaster == PlayerREF ; Only the player can open the menu
		Menu()
	EndIf
EndEvent
 
Function Menu(Int aiButton = 0) ; The menu will exit on its own after a selection is made.
	aiButton = OptionsMESG.Show() ; Shows your menu.
	If aiButton == 0  ; Mage
		Debug.Notification("Mage selected")
	ElseIf aiButton == 1 ; Thief
		Debug.Notification("Thief selected")
	ElseIf aiButton == 2 ; Warrior
		Debug.Notification("Warrior selected")
	EndIf
EndFunction

Menu with sub-options

For this example, we'll offer sub-options for each main selection. For a multilevel menu, a function works well. Keep in mind each button can have conditions, so you could hide "Lunch" and "Dinner" if it's time for breakfast or hide "Lobster" if it's not currently available. In this case, to make it repeatable, we'll use a book so the menu will show each time it is read. A book cannot be favorited or hotkeyed, unlike an apparel item. A potion can be hotkeyed, but it will be consumed when used and not remain hotkeyed even if immediately replaced. This example will let the user choose breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then close after one meal is selected. As your options become fleshed out, keep in mind that you can add and use arguments to store information temporarily rather than necessitating declarations of more variables or properties.

ScriptName OptionsMenuScript Extends ObjectReference
 
Message Property MainMenuMESG Auto
Message Property BreakfastMESG Auto
Message Property LunchMESG Auto
Message Property DinnerMESG Auto
 
Event OnRead()
	Game.DisablePlayerControls(False, False, False, False, False, True) ; Ensure MessageBox is not on top of other menus & prevent book from opening normally.
	Game.EnablePlayerControls(False, False, False, False, False, True) ; Undo DisablePlayerControls
	Menu()
EndEvent 
 
Function Menu(Bool abMenu = True, Int aiButton = 0)
	While abMenu
		If aiButton != -1 ; Wait for input (this can prevent problems if recycling the aiButton argument in submenus)
			aiButton = MainMenuMESG.Show() ; Main Menu
			abMenu = False ; End the function
			If aiButton == 0 ; Breakfast
				aiButton = BreakfastMESG.Show()
				If aiButton == 0 ; Sweet Roll & Coffee
				ElseIf aiButton == 1 ; Pancakes, Bacon & Eggs
				ElseIf aiButton == 2 ; Chicken Fried Pony Steak
				EndIf
			ElseIf aiButton == 1 ; Lunch
				aiButton = LunchMESG.Show()
				If aiButton == 0 ;  Glazed Turkey Sandwich
				ElseIf aiButton == 1 ; Grilled Ham Sandwich
				ElseIf aiButton == 2 ; Shredded Pony Sandwich
				EndIf
			ElseIf aiButton == 2 ; Dinner
				aiButton = DinnerMESG.Show()
				If aiButton == 0 ; Filet Mignon
				ElseIf aiButton == 1 ; Pony Fajitas
				ElseIf aiButton == 2 ; Lobster
				EndIf
			EndIf
		EndIf
	EndWhile
EndFunction

Multilevel, looping menu

To make a multilevel, looping menu with thirty buttons that will not close until a "Done" button is pressed, use the above method but with an altered Menu() function. Note that you can jump to a given message by specifying the aiMessage argument when calling the function. Sub-options as described in the previous example can be added to the below in the same manner. Theoretically, any number of options can be added with the below structure. By making it conditional, we can check its property values with MessageBox buttons using GetVMScriptVariable and pointing to the placed instance of the item this script is attached to. To ensure the player gets said reference, make a property for the specific reference in another script, and add it to the player with AddItem by passing the reference as akItemToAdd.

ScriptName OptionsMenuScript Extends ObjectReference Conditional
 
Actor Property PlayerREF Auto
Armor Property MenuARMO Auto ; Playable apparel item
Bool Property bFeatureEnabled Auto Conditional ; Toggling of this demonstrated below.
GlobalVariable Property DragonsEnabled Auto ; Toggling of this demonstrated below.
Message Property OptionsMenu00MESG Auto
Message Property OptionsMenu01MESG Auto
Message Property OptionsMenu02MESG Auto
YourQuestScriptName Property QuestScript Auto ; Is Conditional with a Conditional bQuickening property 
 
Event OnEquipped(Actor akActor)
	If akActor == PlayerREF
		Game.DisablePlayerControls(False, False, False, False, False, True) ; Momentarily disable other menus
		PlayerREF.EquipItem(MenuARMO, True, True) ; Prevent unequip/reequip in favorites until the current menu is resolved
		Utility.Wait(0.01) ; This ensures equipping the token from the favorites menu works
		PlayerREF.UnequipItem(MenuARMO, False, True) ; Silently unequip item
		Game.EnablePlayerControls(False, False, False, False, False, True) ; Undo DisablePlayerControls
		Menu()
	EndIf
EndEvent
 
Function Menu(Int aiMessage = 0, Int aiButton = 0, Bool abMenu = True)
	While abMenu
		If aiButton == -1 ; As above, can prevent problems if recycling aiButton
		ElseIf aiMessage == 0
			aiButton = OptionsMenu00MESG.Show()
			If aiButton < 2 ; Toggle script property. Buttons have opposite GetVMScriptVariable conditions so only the applicable option is given.
				bFeatureEnabled = !bFeatureEnabled ; Set boolean to whatever it is not
				If bFeatureEnabled ; == True
					Debug.Trace("Featured enabled. Set things up.")
				Else ; If bFeatureEnabled == False
					Debug.Trace("Featured disabled. Stop doing stuff and clean up.")
				EndIf
			ElseIf aiButton < 4 ; Toggle quest property. Buttons have opposite conditions checking the property value with GetVMQuestVariable.
				QuestScript.bQuickening = !QuestScript.bQuickening ; Set boolean to whatever it is not
				If QuestScript.bQuickening ; == True
					Debug.Trace("Start polling.")
				Else ; If QuestScript.bQuickening == False
					Debug.Trace("Stop polling.")
				EndIf
			ElseIf aiButton < 6 ; Toggle DragonsEnabled. Buttons have opposite conditions as above, but checking the global's value with GetGlobalValue.
				DragonsEnabled.SetValue((!DragonsEnabled.GetValue() As Bool) As Float) ; If 1, set to 0. If 0, set to 1
				If DragonsEnabled.GetValue() ; != 0
					Debug.Trace("Dragons enabled.")
				Else ; If DragonsEnabled.GetValue()  == 0
					Debug.Trace("Dragons disabled.")
				EndIf
			ElseIf aiButton == 6
			ElseIf aiButton == 7
			ElseIf aiButton == 8 ; More
				aiMessage = 1
			ElseIf aiButton == 9 ; Done
				abMenu = False
			EndIf
		ElseIf aiMessage == 1
			aiButton = OptionsMenu01MESG.Show()
			If aiButton == 0
			ElseIf aiButton == 1
			ElseIf aiButton == 2
			ElseIf aiButton == 3
			ElseIf aiButton == 4
			ElseIf aiButton == 5
			ElseIf aiButton == 6
			ElseIf aiButton == 7 ; Back
				aiMessage = 0
			ElseIf aiButton == 8 ; More
				aiMessage = 2
			ElseIf aiButton == 9 ; Done
				abMenu = False
			EndIf
		ElseIf aiMessage == 2
			aiButton = OptionsMenu02MESG.Show()
			If aiButton == 0
			ElseIf aiButton == 1
			ElseIf aiButton == 2
			ElseIf aiButton == 3
			ElseIf aiButton == 4
			ElseIf aiButton == 5
			ElseIf aiButton == 6
			ElseIf aiButton == 7
			ElseIf aiButton == 8 ; Back
				aiMessage = 1
			ElseIf aiButton == 9 ; Done
				abMenu = False
			EndIf
		EndIf
	EndWhile
EndFunction

Notes

  • Given the buttons in Skyrim are listed from side to side, it is easy to spill over the edges of the user's monitor, particularly if it's a 4:3, in the event either the options are too verbose or there are too many options presented by a single message form. Currently, there's no way to list them from top to bottom as they were in previous Bethesda games. To mitigate this, keep the button text to a minimum and/or make sure to always set up conditions on mutually exclusive buttons to ensure only applicable options are presented.
  • To conditionalize buttons using variables declared in your script/quest, use GetVMScriptVariable and GetVMQuestVariable.
  • To hide buttons you wish to fill in later, add an impossible condition like 'IsXBox == -1'.
  • For debugging purposes, you could configure hidden menu buttons (in the Message forms) that only show when you set a GlobalVariable flag. For instance, create a GlobalVariable called "myDebugFlag" in the CK. Set a condition on one of your menu buttons to be "GetGlobalValue myDebugFlag == 1". In your script, have that button activate your debugging function. Now if you set myGlobalValue to 1 in the CK your button will appear in the menu. Before releasing the mod, remember to set myDebugFlag to 0 to keep the button hidden.
  • Conditionalizing MessageBox buttons will not change their indices such that, for instance, button 9 will still execute the "Done" code in the last example even if buttons 0-8 are hidden.
  • To learn how to assign user-created messageboxes as values to the message box Properties defined in the above scripts, see the Papyrus tutorial's page on Properties and Functions
  • If the Message Property isn't filled in the CK the Show() will always return a 0, and the Message will not be shown.
  • If the Message is a Notification (without buttons) instead of a Message Box the Show() will return a -1, in which case you will never be presented with an options menu.

See Also

Show - Message