Graphics HUD design: Important information?

Cpaz

Member
Hello all! I'm currently in the process of making mockups for the hud of my project.
Thing is- I'm unsure of all of the information that needs to be conveyed to the player.

For reference, here's the currently usable HUD:

[Those numbers under the points are the ammo for the three different guns]

Here's my first mockup:

[Featuring a health bar and ammo bars for each gun type. With the selected gun protruding slightly]

Pretty drastic eh? Full disclosure, I know for a fact that most of the information from the first image isn't going to be shown. With, again, the issue being that at least some of it will be, I'm just not sure what.

I think the points will be shown somewhere... I'm also kinda leaning on the idea of having the rest of the necessary information being shown through the environment (world, level, level goal, that sort of deal)
 

Yal

GMC Memer
GMC Elder
The text version is completely unreadable, you definitely need icons.

I'd use bars for health and other quantities that changes a lot and make sense to measure in percentage, except use gun icon + number for ammo. (Ammo might make sense to count in percent in some cases, but most people are more used to each shot being a discrete resource)

Core Counter: X Remaining: just draw X core sprites somewhere, removing one each time you get a core.



Also don't put everything in the top left corner, spread the elements out over the entire screen... makes it easier for the player to just look at the one thing they want a quick glance at when the game gets too hectical.
 

Cpaz

Member
The text version is completely unreadable, you definitely need icons.
Oh yeah- I know. That's just to illustrate what information I'm currently showing to the player. Most of it being debug information.

I'd use bars for health and other quantities that changes a lot and make sense to measure in percentage, except use gun icon + number for ammo. (Ammo might make sense to count in percent in some cases, but most people are more used to each shot being a discrete resource)
I'll likely overlay an icon for the current gun along with ammo over the bar. I'd need to show that mockup to better illustrate what I have in mind.

Core Counter: X Remaining: just draw X core sprites somewhere, removing one each time you get a core.
Huh. I like that! I'll have to toy with it. I also like the idea of using icons for goals. Although, I'm not sure how effectively tell the player what these goals mean.
For example, if I just past a bunch of icons on the screen, it might be more confusing at first if anything.

Again, I'll have to toy with the idea.

Also don't put everything in the top left corner, spread the elements out over the entire screen... makes it easier for the player to just look at the one thing they want a quick glance at when the game gets too hectical.
Good shout. I already figured as much, but it's good to hear an explanation on the why.
 

Yal

GMC Memer
GMC Elder
For example, if I just past a bunch of icons on the screen, it might be more confusing at first if anything.
Having 1 or 2 words to explain what the icons mean usually is acceptable (any more than that and it gets harder to parse). So CORES LEFT might tell the player that they're supposed to to do something with the cores. AMMO and LIFE are self-explanatory, but also helps explaining otherwise meaningless numbers. (Notably, Half-Life 1 labelled those two instead of using icons). Zelda 1 labelled your health but used icons for bombs, keys and money... not sure if that was to improve readability of stuff you'd use less often, or because of GUI space concerns.
 
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