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HeXeticOffline
15 Post subject: HUD Design  PostPosted: Sep 05, 2006 - 04:38 AM
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Here's what I've been thinking about for a HUD; it parallels, to a degree, the HUDs we saw in the Descent series, including Freespace.

In the bottom-left and bottom-right corners, you have information about the currently selected primary and secondary weapons, respectively. These would be translucent boxes (maybe with no outline, or a techno-art one), each with three important elements: name of weapon ("LASER LVL 1", "FUSION", etc.), preview pic (a la Descent 1/2), and ammo counter, possibly with text indicating the ammo type ("ENERGY","SHELLS","CLIPS") beneath it.

The centre-bottom holds the Energy and Shield indicators. The Energy indicator is a horizontal bar that fills up on both sides as the energy increases, with a numerical indicator in the centre. The Shield indicator is a Pyro silhouette with a blue graphic "shield" providing visual representation of the shield strength, with a numerical value in the middle.

On the right, you have the "burn bar" - the afterburner. The word "BURN" followed by the %-remaining number is in a small box and moves up and down as the bar fills up / empties from burn conservation / use. The burnbar itself should also either have a colour gradient or change colour as it gets emptier/fuller.

On the left - and this is something that's a ways away, I think, since we don't have many guns yet - is a list of the player's available weapons, grouped by number (in my pic I only went up to 7 though obviously the full list would need to go from 1 to 0). These could also have small ammo indicators on them (whether graphical or numerical) so the player knows which of his guns are full of ammo and just begging to be fired.

In the center, of course, you have the targetting reticle. The four diagonal lines show the horizon, of course, and surrounding them and slightly above them are the missile firepoint indicators, with the active tube slightly darker/thicker than the other. Below, you have the main weapon firepoint indicators, with two dots (as shown) for double-fire weapons, four dots (standard Descent) when a quad-fire gun is selected (quad-fire laser), and no dots (the lines remain) when a centre-firing gun is selected (minigun).

Around the targeting reticle are a number of textual indicators. Above, you have the classic "LOCK" which flashes when you are about to meet the business end of a homing missile. Below, you have "ALARM" which pulses when you're going to die the next time someone so much as sneezes in your direction. Those are the Very Bad lights. On the right are the Bad lights, "SCRAPE" and "COLLISION", which light up under circumstances that should be obvious. On the left are the Informative and Oh Yes lights, including "HEAD", indicating active headlights, "CLOAK", indicating that no-one, especially not Narfig, can see you, and "INVUL", indicating that others will know that your name is the LORD when you lay your plasma upon them.



hudoverview.jpg
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HeXetic's HUD vision
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hudoverview.jpg



hudweaponbox.jpg
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HUD "weapon box" examples
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hudweaponbox.jpg



hudburnbar.jpg
 Description:
Detail of HUD "Burn Bar" afterburner indicator
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hudburnbar.jpg


 
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HeXeticOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 05, 2006 - 05:49 AM
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Here's what the HUD looks like in-game right now, in our internal builds. Of course this is going to change before we release IC003, but you can see the way the central "indicators" work, as well as the translucent boxes for the weapon displays.

And yes, all these things work; the collision indicator blinks whenever you smash into a wall and do damage to yourself, the weapons indicator updates to reflect your currently selected armament, the energy and shield numbers are accurate, etc.



hud_ingame_smallcollision.jpg
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Yellow "COLLISION" sign; small collision that did some damage (1 or 2 pts) but not a l lot.
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hud_ingame_smallcollision.jpg



hud_ingame_head.jpg
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"HEAD" indicator lights up when headlights are on.
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hud_ingame_head.jpg



hud_ingame_bigcollision.jpg
 Description:
Red "COLLISION" indicator for a big collision (you have to slam into a wall at full tri-chord or afterburn)
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hud_ingame_bigcollision.jpg



hud_ingame_alloff.jpg
 Description:
"Normal" HUD state
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hud_ingame_alloff.jpg


 
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Narfig_AgarOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 05, 2006 - 05:26 PM
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I'm not sure I need to know that I've hit something, or that my headlights are on with a big notification in the middle of my screen. Alarm or Lock is cool near the reticle, but I think that area is a little too busy for the more common warning.
 
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FloydOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 05, 2006 - 08:10 PM
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the collision indicator could come in handy if i move SLOWLY up to a wall (so slow that i can't hear the hull touching the wall), so i know i'll be scratching it if i move forward, losing my cover.
on a second note, stick with as few as possible hud information. "burn" for instance is not necessary, since if someone plays the game he knows what the bar is for. also, the info boxes, bars and blocks shouldn't be too big as to have enough sight. many people diasable various info sections in descent 3 just to have better sight. each hud info should be disableable (huh?), be that an ini file or an ingame menu.

keep up the great work, guys! Smile
 
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HeXeticOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 06, 2006 - 08:28 AM
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Alright, iceheart tossed me a nice orthogonal render of the Pyro from above, and I coded up 4 states for the graphical shield indicator!


(click for bigger)

I'm going to do the energy bar next.
 
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SpectreOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 07, 2006 - 02:27 AM
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okay, you defined the hud layout. Add these to-do improvements:
-find a way to make collision label actually use a yellow/orange/red gradient proportionally to the damage (from minimum crash damage to 100% max damage avaiable, red)
-allow the user to define transparency, colors, or even layout schemas
-throw almost everything away and consider to apply a real, cool, bumpmapped cockpit (filled with green displays and the actually existing green projected strings of text on the glass) wich restricts your FOV adding a lot to the "hell, you're driving a ship, not a point-sized entity" aspect of IC. Obiviously, this cockpit can't be turned off like in Descent or everyone will take advantage by removing it.

edit: I tried the hud and the collision alert is so cool. But I don't want that in the middle Mad

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iceheartOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 07, 2006 - 02:59 AM
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Spectre wrote:

-allow the user to define transparency, colors, or even layout schemas


Transparency maybe, but custom layouting will probably never happen.

Spectre wrote:

-throw almost everything away and consider to apply a real, cool, bumpmapped cockpit (filled with green displays and the actually existing green projected strings of text on the glass) wich restricts your FOV adding a lot to the "hell, you're driving a ship, not a point-sized entity" aspect of IC. Obiviously, this cockpit can't be turned off like in Descent or everyone will take advantage by removing it.


This is in the books for the far future, we really want to do it, but there are much more important things to focus on before then.

Spectre wrote:

edit: I tried the hud and the collision alert is so cool. But I don't want that in the middle Mad


Don't take this as the final hud layout either, it's obviously going to evolve a lot from what it is now.

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Narfig_AgarOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 07, 2006 - 03:25 AM
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Spectre wrote:

-throw almost everything away and consider to apply a real, cool, bumpmapped cockpit (filled with green displays and the actually existing green projected strings of text on the glass) wich restricts your FOV adding a lot to the "hell, you're driving a ship, not a point-sized entity" aspect of IC. Obiviously, this cockpit can't be turned off like in Descent or everyone will take advantage by removing it.


Although I agree with you in principle, I always played Descent with no cockpit and a text only hud. I wanted to see as much of the screen as I could.
 
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HeXeticOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 07, 2006 - 04:19 AM
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A rendered cockpit would probably be better for a singleplayer experience, or if we implement "virtual cockpit", where you can park your ship and then move your head around the cockpit, looking out all the sides.

BTW since you tried it, you'll notice the collision alarm does indeed distinguish between "hard" and "soft" hits Very Happy. I think it's at a reasonable distance from the centre, but anyways right now what I need to do is get all the elements IN, then we can talk about rearranging them.

Allowing users to turn off stuff or set transparency via cvars shouldn't be too hard, but rearranging freely is impossible and even just selecting from several positions is a bitch to code. Still, I've thought about it.
 
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SpectreOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 07, 2006 - 09:43 PM
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HeXetic wrote:

BTW since you tried it, you'll notice the collision alarm does indeed distinguish between "hard" and "soft" hits Very Happy.


Indeed. But what i mean is: not just hard and soft, but loudness and color proportional to damage. is there a max collision damage? I we define it,
e.g. 20% of g_ic_crashing_maxdamage will draw the alarm with a color 20% closer to red. (if orange is yellow+red, just decrease yellow by 20%..)

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HeXeticOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 07, 2006 - 10:04 PM
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Right now, the collision detection code itself only has five discrete levels: big, medium, small, nodamage, and nohit, so I don't see the real value in making the indicator continuously variable.
 
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SpectreOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 08, 2006 - 06:07 PM
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HeXetic wrote:
big, medium, small, nodamage, and nohit

Oh I didn't know that. But why?

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Narfig_AgarOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 09, 2006 - 12:00 AM
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I'm enjoying the new HUD. I really like the weapon graphics. Can we tighten the box up a bit? Lost'sa wasted screan real estate. My comments about headlight, scrape and collision being in the centre stand. They're really distracting there. Maybe we could make the sheild aura flash red for collisions? Sparks or lines around it for scrapes? I think there's more we could do with the pyro icon.
 
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HeXeticOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 09, 2006 - 12:04 AM
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Spectre wrote:
HeXetic wrote:
big, medium, small, nodamage, and nohit

Oh I didn't know that. But why?

Because we can't have soundshaders that are continuously variable, for one... the other would be that I don't want to deal fractional damage to the player, so there's only so many possible "levels" of damage we could dish out.
 
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HeXeticOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 09, 2006 - 12:09 AM
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Narfig_Agar wrote:
Maybe we could make the sheild aura flash red for collisions? Sparks or lines around it for scrapes? I think there's more we could do with the pyro icon.


Yes, there's a lot of stuff we can do... but I guess the question is, what do we do for IC 003? I think a special "scrape" pyro icon is too tough, but I can make it flash on hit or orb pickup. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I can make it do different things depending on if you get hit OR get a shield orb -- there's just one function for handling "player's health level changed".
 
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Shadowfury333Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 09, 2006 - 02:24 AM
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HeXetic wrote:
Unfortunately, I'm not sure if I can make it do different things depending on if you get hit OR get a shield orb -- there's just one function for handling "player's health level changed".


Isn't it possible to have it record the old health, check that against the new health, and respond appropriately. In other words, an if-then-else statement handling the difference between an increase and a decrease?

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HeXeticOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 09, 2006 - 03:01 AM
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Of course, but then you run into boundary cases like respawning (health goes from <0 to 100) or netsynch issues, as well as race conditions like picking up a shield orb AND getting hit (you probably want to know about the hit, not the orb).

If we wanted it, I'd probably have to write code to call special functions on hit or shield-orb pickup.
 
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Shadowfury333Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 09, 2006 - 03:29 AM
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HeXetic wrote:
Of course, but then you run into boundary cases like respawning (health goes from <0 to 100) or netsynch issues, as well as race conditions like picking up a shield orb AND getting hit (you probably want to know about the hit, not the orb).

If we wanted it, I'd probably have to write code to call special functions on hit or shield-orb pickup.


True, but if you have something like*:

on health_change
if hit
then trigger hud_hit
else if shield_orb picked up
then trigger hud_shield
else do nothing

there aren't really any of those problems.

* this is just a general idea, I don't know how well that specific bit of pseudocode would work, compared to something to do with measuring the health change.

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HeXeticOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 09, 2006 - 05:29 AM
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That's precisely the point, that sort of logic isn't available in the GUI script environment without changes to the code DLL.

I'm a professional programmer. Trust me. I've been working on the GUI + DLL all week, I know what would have to be done.
 
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Shadowfury333Offline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 09, 2006 - 07:56 PM
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HeXetic wrote:
That's precisely the point, that sort of logic isn't available in the GUI script environment without changes to the code DLL.

I'm a professional programmer. Trust me. I've been working on the GUI + DLL all week, I know what would have to be done.


Sorry, didn't realise either of those.

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Last edited by Shadowfury333 on Sep 26, 2006 - 05:11 PM; edited 1 time in total
 
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Narfig_AgarOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 16, 2006 - 08:13 PM
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So just for fun, I built some crosshairs. Not quite sure how to implement them yet as I don't quite grok cursor.gui but I can split them up as needed.



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reticle2.gif
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reticle1.gif
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FloydOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 16, 2006 - 11:00 PM
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i don't know what all these lines are for, but Descents reticles indicate target points for various distances. colours are combined with that to indicate the availability of the current weapons.
reticles should have as few clutter as possible, because each is hindering sight, although it should aim to look cool Wink. the circle around the crosshair for instance is not necessary, but covers up screen.
the original Pyro-GL or Phoenix reticles are good examples for what i mean, although they also have unnecessary lines (those that connect the gunpoint indicators).
 
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Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 23, 2006 - 09:16 PM
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I like it! I like the addition of weapon inventory, which D3 lacked. Screens are big enough now to fit that extra info.

I also like (eventually) the 3D cockpit idea. Even people who play full-screen (like me) could still toggle into "cockpit-look" mode. Necessary? No. But very cool, and would make you feel like you're in a real ship in a way D3 didn't always do.

Idea for integrating cockpit and no-cockpit view: no-cockpit could be thought of as "sitting forward" a little, so you see only glass (HUDs are projected on glass anyway). So when you switch to cockpit-look, you'd "sit back" (meaning, in reality, that the cockpit geometry slides forward become visible around you). That might be a nice alternative to the D3 animation of things swinging into view. Less work--and also fits with the actual shape of the ship. The D3 cockpit didn't always.

But I agree, the cockpit would rarely be used and should not be a top priority.

nagromme
 
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HeXeticOffline
Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 24, 2006 - 02:54 AM
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A lot of mods and open-source enhancements have added the left-side ammo indicators; two that I can name are D2X-XL for Descent and MHQuake for Quake (both of these are open-source re-writes of the engine). I don't know if they're *terribly* useful - especially if the implementation is flawed, like MHQuake's version doesn't scale with res so the numbers get absolutely tiny - but I find them a nice thing to have nonetheless.

Different "seating positions" depending on view type is certainly something that can be done in the Doom 3 engine (so are things like virtual cockpit, rear view, picture-in-picture views, etc.).
 
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Post subject:   PostPosted: Sep 24, 2006 - 06:53 AM
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I think the ammo counters are especially important for Descent 3, where you typically might have just 1 to 4 shots for some weapons. It's not like UT where you can rampage for minutes on end with a rocket launcher. In D3, you must use what you have more wisely.

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