My HUD Redesign

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My HUD Redesign

Postby Shark » Tue May 04, 2004 8:53 pm

I'm in the process of trying to redesig the HUD. It's not quite finished yet. You can find it here:
http://www.geocities.com/mikehorvath.geo/vegastrike.htm
Last edited by Shark on Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby hurleybird » Tue May 04, 2004 9:54 pm

It looks pretty good. A few suggestions/questions though.

1. You should put it in the gallery, Geocities is pretty crappy when it comes to images :)

2. What does the cricle with the dot represent?

3. The square box in the middle where everything is kind of darker could use some work, maybe a gradient between the two greens would look cool?
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Postby Targon » Wed May 05, 2004 1:50 am

Tabbed layout is't probably any good for a fast-paced space combat.

BTW, why don't make the Elite-style radar?
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Postby pincushionman » Wed May 05, 2004 10:30 am

KInda like it, as long as:

a key can be assigned to cycle through the tabs on each display rather than using a mouse to do so;

the displays can be "rolled up" leaving only the tabs visible or disappears completely, either with a "close all displays" key, or automatically when you select a different display, or automatically a second or so after you stop interacting with one. We only need to see the boxes when we want to (in the case of the message box, it should roll down when there's an incoming message).

If they're going to be "rolled up," move the tabs on the side displays so they are vertical and on the outside.

But I like the general style of it.

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Postby Duality » Wed May 05, 2004 2:25 pm

There could be different types of radars in the game..


We could have the traditional version of the radar like what we have now. And we can have elite type radars , and just a List for a radar for different types of crafts.

For newbie-starting ships, we could have List of what vessels are in the range. (kind of what freelancer has)
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Postby scheherazade » Wed May 05, 2004 5:27 pm

i like the tabbed layout. i think it keeps things nice and contained.

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Postby Shark » Wed May 05, 2004 5:55 pm

hurleybird wrote:1. You should put it in the gallery, Geocities is pretty crappy when it comes to images :)

It's not an image.
hurleybird wrote:2. What does the cricle with the dot represent?

It's the predicted-location-so-you-can-fire-ahead-of-the-target-thingy. I'm not sure if VS has it, but I thought I'd include it just to be thorough.
hurleybird wrote:3. The square box in the middle where everything is kind of darker could use some work, maybe a gradient between the two greens would look cool?

I'm using PSP4, and, unfortunately, can't save PNG images with transparency, unless it's in the alpha layer. It's a software bug.
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Postby Shark » Wed May 05, 2004 5:57 pm

pincushionman wrote:...a key can be assigned to cycle through the tabs on each display rather than using a mouse to do so;

I've taken that into account already. More on that later...
pincushionman wrote:the displays can be "rolled up" leaving only the tabs visible or disappears completely...

Same thing as above.

pincushionman wrote: If they're going to be "rolled up," move the tabs on the side displays so they are vertical and on the outside.

Nope.
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Postby scheherazade » Thu May 06, 2004 3:57 pm

well, the side displays COULD go vertical when rolled up... it would free up the screen space thats needlessly being obscured.

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Postby charlieg » Fri May 07, 2004 10:51 am

I don't like it at all. Far too much screenspace is taken up. The HUD should be minimalistic, only giving you information you want or request.

Your HUD takes up roughly 2/3rds of the screen. Even if it's translucent, it still obscures far too much.
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Postby Shark » Mon Jun 07, 2004 10:40 am

Hi,
I've continued development of the HUD design. Unfortunately, I don't have an internet connection, at the moment (and, my video card is currently fried, too), so I can't upload it. It's nearly completed. I think you'll like the changes I've made.

I've also incorporated an idea I've come up with regarding groups of selected objects. You'l be familiar with how groups work if you've played any recent RTSs. Any object can be added to a group. Groups composed of nav objects can then act as waypoints. Hitting the autopilot key would then cause your ship to automatically navigate between the objects in that group.

I've addressed several of the issues that you've brought up. But, I don't have time to discuss them all, now; I have to go...
But, I'll discuss one issue before I log off. I was thinking that the different VDUs could be cycled using SHIFT + 1 through 5 and 0. Each VDU is individually numbered from 1 to 5. VDU zero is the "base" VDU (the HUD, with the crosshairs, radar and everything). Each VDU has three tabs, as well a fourth "off" tab. Holding down the SHIFT key and pressing the VDU's number first turns the VDU on if it's off, and then cycles through that VDU's tabs (the fourth tab always turns it off). Within each tab is a numbered list of selectable items, numbered from 1 through 9 and a through z (a total of 35 possible items). If it were the Cargo tab, then Holovids might be item #5. Simply pressing the correct number or letter selects that item. Selecting an item brings up a new menu that is different depending on what type of itme it is (e.g., the menu for weapons might be different than the menu for cargo, since different operations can be done to that item).

In VDU 0, the list of selectable items are the groups that I mentioned, above.

By the way, how close are you to releasing version 0.5? I'd like to hear some comments on my completed desing before it is released (once I get my internet connection back).

Once I've uploaded my changes, you'll actually be able to see what I'm talking about.
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Postby Shark » Fri Jun 11, 2004 5:24 pm

I've uploaded a newer version. Here's the link again:
http://www.geocities.com/mikehorvath.geo/vegahud.htm
There's an even newer (less buggy) version on my hard drive, but I can't access it right now.
Refresh the page after it's loaded (there's a bug). Note the button labeled "GUI" near the top-right.
Hope you like it.
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Postby hurleybird » Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:09 pm

WOW!

That is the most awesome thing I've seen for a long time, I cannot begin to say how a HUD like that would toltally transform vegastrike.

This will add so much polish to the game after its implemented.

Could we port the HTML code into VS though? or would we need to re-write it? The programmers should really have a look at this.
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Postby TestMan » Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:06 pm

amazing hud.. though I wish this could be implemented into the game.. it looks very awsome.

Would it be very hard to do?

I noticed the hud wasn't the entire picture.
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Postby ace123 » Sat Jun 12, 2004 12:55 am

Maybe the panels should be transparent or have no background at all in the cockpit.

The idea of switching between the screens using shift and the number sounds good. (although SuicideKey would need to be changed away from Shift-! :) )

I don't know if every one of the screens is necessary.

I'm not sure how the scrollbars problem would work... Right now we use Pageup and pagedown which isn't very clear and is not that efficient. The problem with scrollbars like the ones in the base computer would be the required use of a mouse (which may be used for ship movement)

I like having Friend/Hostile/navpoint tabs but how would you cycle through the units. Pushing shift-number keys would cycle through the type but not the actual target. A way to solve this would be to have T and shift-T go forward and backward through the currently selected target type but it may be confusing.

Having specs and damage (details about what parts of the ship are damaged) integrated into the hud view is a good idea.

I'm kind of confused about where your energy and warp energy bars went. And where did the enemy shield and your shield/hull display go?

I'm not sure exactly what the Order and Orders tabs have on them (there are only limited orders so two separate tabs for them may be unnecessary.)

All of the tabs that you show may not be necessary but I think the idea of the tabs and opening and closing vdus is good. :)

Much of this stuff may take a lot of code rewriting because it is too complicated for limited xml files for the cockpits. It will probably be added at 0.5 at the earliest because there is still a lot of more important stuff to finish for the next release (such as system generation).
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Postby zaydana » Sat Jun 12, 2004 3:11 am

it looks really good!

I don't think we need that many tabs myself, and they definitely do need to have a transperant backgroud (or translucent, not necesarrily completely clear.) But it is still a good idea

The way you play VS would need to change a lot for something like this to work, so i don't think any comments about 'it would be too different' really are justifiable, or 'the keys would be to hard' :P Thats just planning ahead for when somebody decides to write that btw, not at any previous posts.

Also, about scrolling... Scrolling i think should be somewhere out of the way that is still easy enough to reach, i'd suggest something like [ and ]. [ and ] could also be mapped to switching between tabs in one group, that would probably be more sensible. Also, it would be a good idea to map the scroll-wheel on a mouse to scrolling - not everybody has one, but it sure would fix that whole thing up. Also for scrolling, you could do what everboddy else does for no wheel - hold middle button and drag, or hold both buttons and drag.

Switching is a different matter completely... I think switching between groups of tabs should probably be mapped to very out of the way keys that are hard to accidentally press when you are fidgeting around trying to stop yourself from geting killed. That way you can group all the combat pages in one tab and not accidentally get out of it in the middle of a fight.

It still needs polishing up, colours need changing, nicer graphics, and interface needs to be defined, etc. But overall its a great concept and is great work on your part :)

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Postby hurleybird » Sat Jun 12, 2004 11:10 am

Why worry about scrolling? just have a key like 'caps lock' that switches to mouse control so you can use your mouse to manipulate the gui.

Or, even better, keep the mouse in the GUI at all times but use a gamepad or joystick for flight control. After a few secounds without use the mouse cursor could fade out so that it doesent get in the way of the HUD.

Also, with a high tech hud like that, it would be nice to be able to move all the differed windows.
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Postby Shark » Sun Jun 13, 2004 11:56 am

hurleybird wrote:WOW!

That is the most awesome thing I've seen for a long time, I cannot begin to say how a HUD like that would toltally transform vegastrike.

Thanks!

hurleybird wrote:Could we port the HTML code into VS though? or would we need to re-write it? The programmers should really have a look at this.

Most of it's in JavaScript. I could probably port it to Perl, or whatever it is you guys use. But, I'd have to learn Perl (no biggie), convert the HTML to XML, and figure out how to compile the source.

ace123 wrote:I'm not sure how the scrollbars problem would work... Right now we use Pageup and pagedown which isn't very clear and is not that efficient. The problem with scrollbars like the ones in the base computer would be the required use of a mouse (which may be used for ship movement)

In the fixed version (inaccessible on my harddrive), there are only vertical scrollbars. I figured that the old way of scrolling (using page up and page down) would suffice.

ace123 wrote:I'm kind of confused about where your energy and warp energy bars went. And where did the enemy shield and your shield/hull display go?

I haven't gotten around to doing those, yet.

ace123 wrote:I'm not sure exactly what the Order and Orders tabs have on them (there are only limited orders so two separate tabs for them may be unnecessary.)

The top tab is for outgoing orders. The bottom right tab is for incoming orders.

zaydana wrote:Also, about scrolling... Scrolling i think should be somewhere out of the way that is still easy enough to reach, i'd suggest something like [ and ]. [ and ] could also be mapped to switching between tabs in one group, that would probably be more sensible. Also, it would be a good idea to map the scroll-wheel on a mouse to scrolling - not everybody has one, but it sure would fix that whole thing up. Also for scrolling, you could do what everboddy else does for no wheel - hold middle button and drag, or hold both buttons and drag.

Using page up and page down is fine. I'd rather avoid swapping joystick/mouse buttons wherever possible. It's too confusing.

Note: at this time, the HUD should be viewed in Internet Explorer. I'll have to narrow it down to a particular version, because I've noticed that the margins/width are a bit off in the different versions. I also haven't looked up the Mozilla-specific code, yet...
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Postby hurleybird » Tue Jun 15, 2004 4:21 pm

Using page up and page down is fine. I'd rather avoid swapping joystick/mouse buttons wherever possible. It's too confusing.


Everything should be accesable with keyboard only, but it would be nice to have mouse control also. Especially for people like me who can use a joystick in one hand and a mouse in the other.
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wow

Postby fizze » Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:52 am

now how could I overlook that topic ;)

I love the layout of your new cockpit too, but, also, where did the current energy bars go ? like nav/afterburner and weapons energy ?


oh and I also think that IF you guys code something like this, include an option so its possible to configure one's own cockpit.

what I mean is that one should be able to configure his/her own set of tabs together in a window. you might not need every tab in every ship, on every mission, or w/e.

but I love it.

but, definetly, the windows should be transparent, but with an extent to readability maybe the transparency should be tinted (again, configurable).

I like the idea of the fading-out mouse pointer. maybe the same could happen to inactive windows ?
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Postby charlieg » Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:16 am

I guess I'm in the minority then... I think it's too bulky, takes up far too much space, and is a throwback to the Wing Commander cockpits of yore where you basically are looking out of a porthole. I really don't like it in it's current form.

Information should be displayed when wanted/needed and no more than is required/requested. Even the central arcs are too thick and overbearing. I like the lovely wide view you get in VS that means you can see what is happening. It's much more fun to play by eye than to simply track the radar. With that HUD, you can barely see anything, 2/3 of the view is dedicated to the HUD. That's just too much.

I know the 'information blocks' are supposed to be closeable, but then it would probably be better to just concentrate on having two sections for displaying information (with a 3rd translucent section for chat info like the game currently has) which take up far less space.

Notes: the scrollbars, tabs, and close buttons don't work. Should they? (Mozilla Firebird.)
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Postby hurleybird » Wed Jun 16, 2004 3:56 pm

Ok... what we should have is three different modes which are toggled by pressing 'F1'. One mode would eliminate the HUD, the other would display the HUD, and the last mode would display a skimmed down HUD which takes out anything not related to actual combat.
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Re: wow

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:15 pm

fizze wrote:I love the layout of your new cockpit too, but, also, where did the current energy bars go ? like nav/afterburner and weapons energy ?

That's what the central arcs are for. I haven't described them in detail, yet. But, they work the same way as in FreeSpace.

fizze wrote:oh and I also think that IF you guys code something like this, include an option so its possible to configure one's own cockpit.

Good idea. FreeSpace had this, to some extent, as well. I'd have to do a bit of brainstorming, though.

fizze wrote:but, definetly, the windows should be transparent, but with an extent to readability maybe the transparency should be tinted (again, configurable).

Well, they're translucent if you view it in Internet Explorer.

fizze wrote:I like the idea of the fading-out mouse pointer. maybe the same could happen to inactive windows ?

I think that, if you're not using the mouse to steer the ship, then the cursor should always be visible and active for use with the HUD.
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Postby Shark » Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:21 pm

Oops. I forgot to log in. That was me, above.

hurleybird wrote:Ok... what we should have is three different modes which are toggled by pressing 'F1'. One mode would eliminate the HUD, the other would display the HUD, and the last mode would display a skimmed down HUD which takes out anything not related to actual combat.

I think the function keys should be reserved for camera views (see my comment in the Keyboard Diagram thread). How about the 'H' hey?

charlieg wrote:Notes: the scrollbars, tabs, and close buttons don't work. Should they? (Mozilla Firebird.)

My computer's in the shop, ATM, so I haven't been able to get around to making it work in Mozilla, yet.
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Postby hurleybird » Tue Jun 22, 2004 4:17 pm

I think the function keys should be reserved for camera views (see my comment in the Keyboard Diagram thread). How about the 'H' hey?

Yeah, function keys are still camera keys. F1 still switches to first person. Except the data in first person would cycle with each press of F1, which VS already does to some extent.
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