Creating a custom UI

The game scene is the central scene of your game. It is important to have this scene created in your game because it will be automatically called by Escoria through an API defined by the class ESCGame. Your job is to override the functions provided by this API if and where needed.

On the visual parts of this scene, you may consider that the game scene gathers all the static visual parts of your game: Verbs interface (whatever you want it to be: Buttons, mouse cursors…), inventory (also whatever you want it to be), dialog choices, and the tooltip.

This scene is in charge of multiple things:

  • displaying the static UI elements

  • managing the input actions from the player on inventory items, on the background, on items, etc.

  • containing the dialog elements

  • containing the tooltip

  • containing the game camera

Root node and script

Create a scene and add a Node2D as the scene’s root node. Then attach a new script to the root node. This script must extend the ESCGame class.

extends ESCGame

When Escoria detects an input event from the player on a game element, it needs to transform the event into a game action. For example:

  • left mouse-click on the background makes the main character move to the clicked position

  • right mouse-click on an item performs the “look” action on the item

  • left double-click on an item on the floor makes the character move more quickly towards the item

  • hovering over an item with the mouse shows the label of the item and outlines it

These are just some proposals. As the actual “game” reaction to player inputs is the choice of the game developer (you!), it is necessary to override some functions to tell Escoria what to do in each case.

To do so, ESCGame provides an API for you to override. Note that you don’t have to override each one of the methods it provides as most already perform a default action; you reimplement only the ones you need. To get the list of available methods, please refer to ESCGame.

For now we’ll keep it simple and leave the script empty: Escoria will use the default implementation of the API for each method.

ESCCamera node

The ESCCamera is a simple Godot Camera2D that you can control from an ESC script. To ease this control, it also requires a Tween node as a child.

Create a new scene. Add an ESCCamera node as the root node of the scene. In the Inspector, tick the “Current” parameter and leave the other parameters unchanged from their respective defaults.

Save the scene: You’re done. Now, instance this scene into the game scene.

TODO: Why create a scene an instance it? Why not just create a single ESCCamera node? Also, check out escoria-demo-game#413.

User interface

The user interface features multiple elements which are used in your game. Most of them are visual and can be hidden by default:

  • verbs

  • inventory

  • tooltip

  • pause menu

  • dialog player (not directly visual, but loads and displays visual scenes)

There is no mandatory way to build the visual aspect of your UI, although we advise you to create some CanvasLayers to better separate these elements. Add a new CanvasLayer node to the game scene and name it ui.


The tooltip is a scene that can display text labels for focused elements as well as some named actions if a verb is selected. Escoria provides the ESCTooltip node for this purpose: It can contain the currently selected verb name, up to 2 targets, and 1 preposition. This allows you to construct this kind of phrasing:

<current verb> <current target> <preposition> <current target 2>

This example would give sentences similar to old LucasArts games:

<use> <rubber chicken> <on> <cable>

The way the actual text is constructed is up to you, so you don’t have to use all these elements. For our example, we will show only the first target like so:

<current target>

Create a new scene. Add an ESCTooltip as its root node. Detach the default script attached to this node and create a new one extending ESCTooltip with this script:

extends ESCTooltip

func update_tooltip_text():
    bbcode_text = "[center]"
    bbcode_text += "[color=#" + color.to_html(false) + "]"
    bbcode_text += current_target
    bbcode_text += "[/color]"
    bbcode_text += "[/center]"

This update_tooltip_text() function creates a centered, colored (with the ESCTooltip.color value) text containing only the value of ESCTooltip.current_target.

Save the scene and instance it in the game scene.


Depending on your game, you’ll have to define some actions for the player to interact with the environment and the items around. We define these actions by using verbs. Among the most classic verbs: look, use, talk, give, etc.

These actions will need to be selected by the player to perform the action desired. The way a verb can be selected has to be defined by you, the game developer. Every graphical adventure game proposes a different way for the player to select the action. Here are some examples:

The Secret of Monkey Island's 9 verbs UI King's Quest 6 interactions

Escoria does not require you to define a specific scene to allow the player to select the verb to be used, but you can do so.

Whatever you choose, remember that the way you design the UI for your verbs is not related to Escoria–all Escoria needs you to do is to inform its component Action Manager to set the current action.

Escoria’s Action Manager can be accessed using escoria.action_manager

which provides 2 methods:

  • escoria.action_manager.set_current_action(action: String): Use this method to set the current action to be used

  • escoria.action_manager.clear_current_action(): Use this method to clear the current action so that no action happens on click

For our example, we decide that our game will only provide 2 actions: use and talk. The player will have to click the button associated with each action to select it.

Use action verb texture Talk action verb texture

Create a new scene that will hold the UI of the verb selection. Make the root node of the scene an HBoxContainer. Then, add 2 child nodes of type TextureButton. You can rename these 2 nodes with the action name for clarity.

Verbs scene tree

Set each of these buttons’ Normal texture to use the appropriate texture.

Verbs scene

Now, we need to script this scene so that Escoria’s Action Manager is informed that an action button was clicked and therefore needs change the current action verb.

Create a new script on the root node that uses the following:

extends HBoxContainer

func _ready():
    $use.connect("pressed", self, "_on_action_button_pressed", ["use"])
    $talk.connect("pressed", self, "_on_action_button_pressed", ["talk"])

func _on_action_button_pressed(action: String):

In this example, we connect each button’s pressed event to the _on_action_button_pressed method, which we provide with the actual verb name as a String parameter.

Save the scene and instance it in the game scene.

Dialog player


Head to the Create inventory page to create this scene. When it’s created, instance it in the game scene.