Creating a Custom HUD

4 min read

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

Mission Briefing

In this project we will be creating a HUD that can be used within a Medieval RPG and that will fit nicely into the provided Epic Citadel map, making use of Scaleform and ActionScript 3.0 using Adobe Flash CS6.

As usual, we will be following a simple step—by—step process from beginning to end to complete the project. Here is the outline of our tasks:

  • Setting up Flash

  • Creating our HUD

  • Importing Flash files into UDK

Setting up Flash

Our first step will be setting up Flash in order for us to create our HUD. In order to do this, we must first install the Scaleform Launcher.

Prepare for Lift Off

At this point, I will assume that you have run Adobe Flash CS6 at least once beforehand. If not, you can skip this section to where we actually import the .swf file into UDK. Alternatively, you can try to use some other way to create a Flash animation, such as FlashDevelop, Flash Builder, or SlickEdit; but that will have to be done on your own.

Engage Thrusters

The first step will be to install the Scaleform Launcher. The launcher will make it very easy for us to test our Flash content using the GFX hardware—accelerated Flash Player, which is what UDK will use to play it. Let’s get started.

  1. Open up Adobe Flash CS6 Professional. Once the program starts up, open up Adobe Extension Manager by going to Help | Manage Extensions….

    You may see the menu say Performing configuration tasks, please wait…. This is normal; just wait for it to bring up the menu as shown in the following screenshot:

  2. Click on the Install option from the top menu on the right—hand side of the screen. In the file browser, locate the path of your UDK installation and then go into the BinariesGFxCLICK Tools folder. Once there, select the ScaleformExtensions.mxp file and then select OK.

  3. When the agreement comes up, press the Accept button; then select whether you want the program to be installed for just you or everyone on your computer.

  4. If Flash is currently running, you should get a window popping up telling you that the program will not be ready until you restart the program. Close the manager and restart the program.

  5. With your reopened version of Flash start up the Scaleform Launcher by clicking on Window | Other Panels | Scaleform Launcher.

  6. At this point you should see the Scaleform Launcher panel come up as shown in the following screenshot:

  7. At this point all of the options are grayed out as it doesn’t know how to access the GFx player, so let’s set that up now.

  8. Click on the + button to add a new profile. In the profile name section, type in GFXMediaPlayer. Next, we need to reference the GFx player. Click on the + button in the player EXE section. Go to your UDK directory, BinariesGFx, and then select GFxMediaPlayerD3d9.exe. It will then ask you to give a name for the Player Name field with the value already filled in; just hit the OK button.

    UDK by default uses DirectX 9 for rendering. However, since GDC 2011, it has been possible for users to use DirectX 11. If your project is using 11, feel free to check out and use DX11.

  9. In order to test our game, we will need to hit the button that says Test with: GFxMediaPlayerD3d9 as shown in the following screenshot:

    If you know the resolution in which you want your final game to be, you can set up multiple profiles to preview how your UI will look at a specific resolution. For example, if you’d like to see something at a resolution of 960 x 720, you can do so by altering the command params field after %SWF PATH% to include the text —res 960:720.

  10. Now that we have the player loaded, we need to install the CLIK library for our usage. Go to the Preferences menu by selecting Edit | Preferences. Click on the ActionScript tab and then click on the ActionScript 3.0 Settings… button.

  11. From there, add a new entry to our Source path section by clicking on the + button. After that, click on the folder icon to browse to the folder we want. Add an additional path to our CLIK directory in the file explorer by first going to your UDK installation directory and then going to DevelopmentFlashAS3CLIK.

  12. Click on the OK button and drag—and—drop the newly created Scaleform Launcher to the bottom—right corner of the interface.

Objective Complete — Mini Debriefing

Alright, Flash is now set up for us to work with Scaleform within it, which for all intents and purposes is probably the hardest part about working with Scaleform. Now that we have taken care of it, let’s get started on the HUD!

As long as you have administrator access to your computer, these settings should be set for whenever you are working with Flash. However, if you do not, you will have to run through all of these settings every time you want to work on Scaleform projects.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here