I am doing serious games and simulations and I sometimes have the need to represent actions to the user that they can only do once. Basically the user issues a command that only needs to be done once. This is something that does not really have a corresponding standard gui element. The problems are
- Communicating to the users that once this action has been perform they will not be able to do it again (i.e. forward looking telling the user that this is a one-time thing)
- Communicating after the fact that this has already happend (easiest done by deactivating the piece of gui)
I have tried various elements but none are really ideal so I am happy to hear about any input from this community. Have you had a similar problem, how did you solve it ?
The easy ones are using buttons or checkboxes that get deactivated after being used. These work but the fact that they only work once has to be communicated verbally.
I appreciate all the comments and this is helping a lot, thanks. I see some very game oriented solutions come up and while I personally would like to be able to do something like that and use lots of contextual icons. We can't do that due to cost and personnel. Our simulation/game interfaces are very text driven the pandemic response simulator is one example of that. In that project I used something similar to evalica's suggestion.