Creating Popups

Whenever you’re designing an UI, you should always make it clear to the user whether an action is pending, if something has gone wrong and if something is succesful. For this purpose, you could always design your own dedicated solution for showing status, but in many cases that’s a good idea, but in many other cases you should just use a common, simple solution: popups. They are ubiqutous in GD and in mods, as they are a very simple and quick way of showing the user information.

The standard popup class in GD is FLAlertLayer. This class comes with a shaded background, title, text, buttons, and all the other stuff you expect. Using this class is pretty simple too:

FLAlertLayer::create(
    "Title",    // title
    "Hi mom!",  // content
    "OK"        // button
)->show();

This is the way GD does simple popups and also the recomended way in Geode to do simple info popups. If you just need to tell the user some info like that an action was succesful, this is the best way.

Questions

However, using FLAlertLayer directly is not always ideal. Say that you want to have multiple buttons in the popup, and do something based on which one was clicked; for example, a confirmation popup for deleting a level. For this case, GD uses the FLAlertLayerProtocol member in FLAlertLayer::create. However, this is not recommended, as doing this comes with a lot of extra boilerplate. To use this, you need to inherit from FLAlertLayerProtocol in your class, then override FLAlert_Clicked, then pass the layer as the first argument to FLAlertLayer::create and in FLAlert_Clicked handle the action. And then if you want to introduce multiple popups in the same layer, you will need to keep track of tags and which popup is which and it all becomes a huge mess of unworkable code.

Luckily, Geode provides a much better alternative: the createQuickPopup function. It takes similar parameters to FLAlertLayer::create, but also takes an std::function callback for when the popup is clicked. Using it looks like this:

geode::createQuickPopup(
    "Title",            // title
    "Say hi to mom?",   // content
    "Nah", "Yeah",      // buttons
    [](auto, bool btn2) {
        if (btn2) {
            // say hi to mom
        }
    }
);

This makes working with simple confirmation popups much simpler, as you don’t have to bring in any extra inheritance or boilerplate. Just call a function, and pass a callback function for the result. Geode mods are highly encouraged to use this over FLAlertLayerProtocol. However, as this is not an interoperability concern, you are free to do whatever fits your needs.

Complex popups

However, what if you want to make a popup that’s more complex? For example, something with a different background and lots of buttons and other controls, like the move trigger popup? For this, the unrecommended GD way is to inherit from FLAlertLayer and override init with your own code. However, this is not ideal, as most complex popups share a lot of similar base functionality like a close button and a standard GJ_squareXX background. For this reason, Geode provides a convenience class Popup<...> for creating your own complex popups.

// specify parameters for the setup function in the Popup<...> template
class MyPopup : public geode::Popup<std::string const&> {
protected:
    bool setup(std::string const& value) override {
        auto winSize = CCDirector::sharedDirector()->getWinSize();

        // convenience function provided by Popup 
        // for adding/setting a title to the popup
        this->setTitle("Hi mom!");

        auto label = CCLabelBMFont::create(value.c_str(), "bigFont.fnt");
        label->setPosition(winSize / 2);
        this->addChild(label);

        return true;
    }

public:
    static MyPopup* create(std::string const& text) {
        auto ret = new MyPopup();
        if (ret && ret->init(240.f, 160.f, text)) {
            ret->autorelease();
            return ret;
        }
        CC_SAFE_DELETE(ret);
        return nullptr;
    }
};

Popup contains one pure virtual member function: setup, whose parameters are the class template arguments. This function is called at the end of Popup::init, which initializes all the relevant FLAlertLayer members and adds a background and a close button. This abstracts away a lot of boilerplate and makes creating complex popups simple.

This is the recommended way to create complex popups in Geode, although as with question popups, this is not an interoperability concern and as such you can do what fits your case. If you are porting an existing mod that uses some other setup and it works just fine, no need to change it unless you want to make the codebase more easily refactorable.

Colored text

FLAlertLayer supports colored text in the content field by default. You can add colors with color tags, for example <cy>Hi mom!</c> will produce yellow text. The built-in color tags in GD are:

TagColor
cbBlue
cgGreen
clAqua
cjCyan
cyYellow
coOrange
crRed
cpPink
FLAlertLayer::create(
    "Color Example",
    "This is <cp>pink text</c>!",
    "OK"
)->show();

Note that the closing tag must be </c> only without the color specified again. Doing otherwise will likely result in a crash.

You might wonder about how to use other colors than the ones listed; there are currently no plans in Geode to add that, but one could easily make a mod that adds support for arbitary color tags.

Disabling the popup animation

You can disable the popup’s enter animation by setting the m_noElasticity member to true.

⚠️ Make sure to set the member prior to calling show() on the layer; usually this means you have to store the alert in a member

auto alert = FLAlertLayer::create(
    "BOO!",
    "Haha! Were you scared?",
    "EEK!!"
);
alert->m_noElasticity = true;
alert->show();

Sometimes you want to create a popup and show it in a layer’s init function. However, if you do something like this:

class $modify(MenuLayer) {
    bool init() {
        if (!MenuLayer::init())
            return false;
        
        FLAlertLayer::create(
            "Title",
            "Hi mom!",
            "OK"
        )->show();

        return true;
    }
};

You will find that the popup curiously doesn’t show up. This is because FLAlertLayer::show by default adds the popup to the current scene, and a layer’s init function is usually called right before leaving the scene, which makes the popup show on the previous scene instead of the new (current) one. The solution to this is to first set the layer’s m_scene member to the layer in init before calling show, as in:

class $modify(MenuLayer) {
    bool init() {
        if (!MenuLayer::init())
            return false;
        
        auto alert = FLAlertLayer::create(
            "Title",
            "Hi mom!",
            "OK"
        );
        alert->m_scene = this;
        alert->show();

        return true;
    }
};

This will make the popup show correctly by adding it as a child to the new MenuLayer instead of the previous scene.

Examples