I'm trying to make a text based RPG with a simple GUI, kind of like this: http://i.imgur.com/w0P7g.jpg. The buttons on the side will bring up a small pop-up window which will either display a drawing, or some kind of information (inventory, etc).
My question is, what would you recommend for creating the console-style part of the GUI? I want to keep it as simple as possible, to keep the coding simple so I can focus on making the game rather than the programming. I'm fine with console-only programming, but I think this should be the next step I take. Thanks in advance for any help.