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WTB - A gallery of HUD and UI designs from games


Waldo
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I've been working on a new HUD design for a project, and would love to browse through some gallery of HUDs to see the good, the bad and the ugly, not to mention what seems to be a common style/theme that works (or doesn't).

Not that I'm offering, but would anyone else be interested in such a thing - or know of such a thing?

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Not sure about FPS games, but if you're working on an RTS or anything like that I'd recommend checking out Black & White 2 and The Movies. Both were fairly hyped for taking steps towards a HUD-less interface, with stuff only shown when necessary.

They managed it by making the screen almost empty during normal play, but while hovering over certain things a balloon would pop up with information; hold the mouse there for longer and a bit more information would pop up in a sub-balloon, and this could sometimes happen a further two or three times until all information was revealed. Simple, but it worked really well.

Not sure how exactly that could apply to an FPS or any other game where you don't put your mouse over things for info, but I'd still go with the minimalist theme. When I see a game with a huge graphical HUD I can't help but think it looks a bit archaic -- I'd much rather have some basic icons and numbers that give only the absolutely necessary information (health, ammo, energy); any other crap that isn't really vital at all times would be better only shown when you pressed a certain button or something. This is an approach games like Battlefield have taken.

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I really like the HUD concept in Metroid Prime, where it is literally a real HUD.

I've been working on a system for a learning game concept where you can choose to be in either first or third person. When in third person, there is basically no HUD beyond generic chat-type text. You only get a HUD display in the more traditional sense when you are in first person, and more specifically it's displayed as if you are looking at the inside of your helmet (like Metroid Prime).

Pic of the effect...

xanthe_002a.jpg

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i would have to agree, its nice for sure but id like to be able to turn it off :P

point of the hud is to indicate what you need to know nothing more nothing less. sure it needs to fit with the theme of the game but this is just overkill and takes away from the actual game experience.

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It's interesting to look at the HUD in WoW - there's a lot going on. But what's interesting is how much power the user has to lay it out as they wish. It lets you not only make it how you like it, but also grow it as you learn the game. The game grows, you learn more, your HUD evolves into a more complex thing to handle it.

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yes ofcourse a hud that gets more complex as you learn more is interesting and makes sence!, you can handle and maybe need more info as you get better at the game. game genre comes to play aswell though :) theres no way you need a hud as complex as the hullbreach one for an mp fps, while in the project your showing off ( space mars? exploration) it makes sence its slow pace and allows time to explore and use the hud. whiles in fps you dont really need any or hardly any info.

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hmmm...that looks like a project you talked to me about a whiles back. Glad to see progress is being made.

I think before you design a HUD you need to fully understand the user interaction with the environment and have a priority list of functions used most often to least often...then how to group/categorize them based on the game play.

In a game or simulation where are "high stress" situations where the user gets put in a time critical situation like being attacked or moving/jumping to solve a puzzle, then obviously those controls get assigned to the keys/controller. But like in WoW and RTS games, having access to both the critical tasks via keyboard and mouse is again obviously important.

Ok so maybe I don't have any original insights here, I guess I support your observations about WoW. I am currently playing WoW because one of my clients is doing a lot of analysis of their current and future MMO products...starting to really like MMOs in general and I have NEVER played one before WoW.

Anyway...feel free to ping me about your project again, Waldo...would love to talk about.

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Well i don't know if this is wath you're looking for, bot HL2 Mod Insects Infestation as released some developer blogs about using a 3D HUD. As far as i can tell they are the firsst source mod making something like this, and it looks really nice. More info here:

http://www.insectsinfestation.com/blogs/labidus?p=14

http://www.insectsinfestation.com/blogs ... ud-update/

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Yeah, I think it's really the static, graphical nature of old-style HUDs that makes them so unappealing in today's climate. They just seem really shit.

Metroid Prime was used as an example above,and you're right in saying that it has a very good visor -- it certainly does. Here's an example for those who haven't played the game:

http://www.the-nextlevel.com/reviews/ga ... rime_1.jpg

What really sets the Metroid HUD apart though is that it is actually 3D. When you move your view left and right, the physical shape of the HUD around the edge of the screen offsets, just like it would if you were turning in a large suit yourself. In addition, the data on the HUD is 'projected' onto the glass of the armour using 3D.

When you try to achieve the same thing with a 2D system it stands out like a sore thumb and it's very hard to make it not look a bit shit. I don't think the very heavy HUD of Metroid (ie: it takes up a lot of screen room) can really work without the additional dynamic edge that the 3D brings in.

In short, the Metroid HUD looks genuinely great in-game because it moves and the 2D elements look like they're being projected, with mild distortion every now and then to boot. The same effect in static 2D would look poor, and a more minimalist style would be better. :-D

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What really sets the Metroid HUD apart though is that it is actually 3D. When you move your view left and right, the physical shape of the HUD around the edge of the screen offsets, just like it would if you were turning in a large suit yourself. In addition, the data on the HUD is 'projected' onto the glass of the armour using 3D.

When you try to achieve the same thing with a 2D system it stands out like a sore thumb and it's very hard to make it not look a bit shit. I don't think the very heavy HUD of Metroid (ie: it takes up a lot of screen room) can really work without the additional dynamic edge that the 3D brings in.

In short, the Metroid HUD looks genuinely great in-game because it moves and the 2D elements look like they're being projected, with mild distortion every now and then to boot. The same effect in static 2D would look poor, and a more minimalist style would be better. :-D

Agreed, there are some good demo videos out there of it, and it's really a pretty cool display system. One at http://media.wii.ign.com/media/748/7485 ... 72588.html

Right now i'm just mocking things up in static 2d, but the UI has a lot of python scripting behind it, so future animation/action of the UI based on movement is quite doable. I'm mainly interested right now in basic functionality ideas of HUDs, which led me to the greater question about why you can't find a big gallery of huds out there on the web anywhere.

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