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Let’s go over how to create a simple way to pause a game. I’ll be using the shooting game from the last couple of tutorials, but this will apply to any game. All you need is a menu set up on the screen you wish to pause (I will be using the HUD menu we created for the shooting game).
Go to the “Materials” tab and the “Text” sub-tab. Hit “Create” and a window will pop up asking you what text you would like for this particular material. This can be changed at any time. For now I just went with “PAUSE”. Next to “Standard Font” select “Font 16 x 16″ from the drop down menu. Over to the right you’ll see “PAUSE” in a preview window.
Now head to the “Menus” tab and the “Items” sub-tab. Hit “Create” again and name this new item “Pause”. You have to assign a graphic to every item you create, so use the Invisible graphic to keep anything from showing up.
Note: You can use a graphic for your pause screen. You can also animate your pause screen here, or any other menus you’d like to use or items you’d like to have displayed.
You don’t need infinite looping or hit detection so simply set your graphic to Invisible and move over to the “Item-Specific Functions” sub-sub-tab. The only thing to do here is select our PAUSE text for the “Text Display (Effective Only When Placing Menu Parts)” option.
Head to the “Menus” sub-tab and the “Items” sub-sub-tab. Here we’re going to select our Pause item and place it on the screen. I put mine somewhere near the middle. Nothing will happen when you do this, so just click where you want it and we’ll set it up propeprly. Hit the arrow in the lower right corner to bring up a new set of tabs. If you hit this “Items” tab you’ll see that our Pause item was placed properly. Scroll down in the “Detailed Data” window and you’ll find “Text Display Settings”. Hit the check box and choose your font like before.
So now we’ve told the program where we want PAUSE to show up. We just need to tell it when. For this we are going to create an invisible cursor. So head to “Menu Parts” sub-tab. Hit “Create” here and you’ll notice that you have options for what kind of menu part you’d like to create. Select “Cursor” from the list and name it Pause Cursor. Assign it the invisible graphic like before, and head back to the “Menus” tab.
Under the “Menu Parts” sub-sub-tab select our Pause Cursor and place it somewhere on the grid. Pull up the “Detailed Data” window again. Go to the “Setting A Cursor Group (The Cursor & Linked Selectable Items)” tab and you’ll see our new cursor there.
Scroll down until you find “The Display Timing Of The Cursor Group” and select “Display On Controller Input”. Choose “START” from the drop down menu. Because this is a cursor group we need to add our Pause item to the group so head down to “Making A Cursor Group And Setting Cursor Controls”, select the Pause item on the left under “Candidates, and hit the button just below “Add”. This will move it to the right under “Groups”. Below that you’ll see a bunch of controller options. On the right side of those you’ll find “OK” and “Cancel”. For “OK” select “None” from the drop down menu, and for “Cancel” select “START”.
That’s it for now. Load your game up and hit start (on an Xbox 360 Controller, Spacebar for a keyboard). Everything will stop as your cursor group pops up and the word “PAUSE” is displayed on the screen. Hit start again and it’ll go away. It should be noted that this doesn’t work particularly well in flash because items are constantly displayed. “PAUSE” would be on your screen constantly, but the pause function itself will work fine.
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