Cockpits and targeting computers

So, like many people, I’ve been watching many different streams and videos showing the prototype and admiring the industrial style and detail of the cockpit. However, something only just now occurred to me.

The bottom half of the cockpit is occupied by two glass HUDs, flanked by computer blocks, that have placeholder textures showing speed and various other readings, and what appears to be a crosshair. I think it would be awesome if all information was displayed on these panels rather than a screen-fixed UI (I understand the UI is also a placeholder) but also if the top HUD was raised up to eye level when engaging combat mode to provide targeting information such as the target’s direction and leading reticule.

This would clear your view while just exploring, allowing you to glance down at the bottom of your screen for critical readings like speed and altitude, and provide the information you need when in combat, plus the dynamic cockpit would be an incredible and unique feature.

HUD’s (when I mean HUD I mean helmet HUD’s) and cockpit instrumentation, I bet, has probably been talked about a lot in the past, so I’m not sure what INS’ overall opinion is in terms of the balance of the two. But I’m certain they’ve already made up their minds in including a HUD in any way.

The way I see it, fighter pilots today have helmet mounted displays that show surprisingly vast amounts of information at a glance- not just speed, altitude and attitude, but landing glide slopes, targets, and movement vectors. (There’s probably more but I’m no fighter pilot) So it would just seem silly to me that a game set in the future wouldn’t include a HUD, considering its functionality.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cockpit instrumentation, but I think the discussion we should be having isn’t about getting rid of the HUD and adding in some mechanic to move around panels, but to find the right balance between at-a-glance information in your ‘helmet’ and information a heads-look down in your instrument panel.

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I know and that’s something I’m conflicted by. Helmet visor HUD is present day tech, currently only used by F-35 pilots as far as I’m aware, and yet many sci-fi shows of all generations show no representation of such technology (braces for onslaught of TV shows and movies I’ve never seen or can’t remember showing this). This thought was primarily bred from the X-Wing targeting computers, which to be fair may just be specialized equipment for the the proton torpedoes, but I don’t know from the extended canon if their orange visors were meant to be HUDs.

But I agree, as always the most important thing is balance, yet INS really needs to strive for things that set Battlescape apart from the other games but in a way that pleases the “majority” of people.

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Some HUD user information is pretty much inevitable, as it can be very difficult to see what’s going on through a computer monitor.

However, I’m a fan of keeping instrumentation overlays to a minimum, particularly in this game where looking at the views is a big selling point! So I wouldn’t want my screen too cluttered with glowing vector lines and altitude indicators. Smart HUD design will be important.

Yet that is exactly what I do want! :smile:

I would also like to turn it off (or elements of it that are currently not useful) for a better view of the outside environment.

The point of a space game to me is having that feeling of being stuck in a tin can with just my instrumentation to show me what the hell is going on. You have no indication from looking out about relative speed or direction of things that are too far away to see in detail, but also there are many completely invisible things you need to know about, like data from sensors about energy signatures. Is this ship charging weapons or warp drive? Is a solar flare erupting from the sun? How long will it take to slow down in time to meet my target with a relative velocity of 0? There are a million potentially useful bits of information that I would like to have access to in the middle of the action.

The pretty planets and space background are just the backdrop, gameplay is more important in the end.

I guess it all comes back to customisability (again). You are right that, in space, it’s hard to see motion when you have no frame of reference. I would appreciate a vector indicator and speed indicator (both of which are present in the prototype). I would also like some basic target information highlighted - though perhaps how much might depend on the quality of your ship’s scanners.

However, I would prefer to avoid E:D’s method of showing motion in space by putting lines all over the -insert expletive here- screen.

I would be very happy, if someone who has the prototype installed could capture a video of this cockpit panning through all of it. Slowly and capturing also the far corners. When doing this, the ship should not move and if possible no HUD should be visible.
With that material, I would first create a HQ-image like the above and maybe try to get it working as a google photoshere so that every viewer can look around the cockpit.


HUDs should be treated like comms degradation; those who enjoy such things should get mods that give them what they’re after. People who prefer audio cues instead of visual cues should be able to mod for that. People who are colorblind should be able to mod for that. People who like to fly by the seat of their pants should be able to turn off navigation cues. And so on.

There is a need to be very careful when allowing such mods in competitive games, there are always ways to abuse the freedom and gain an advantage on opponents.

As for the cockpit style, it’s a wonderful blend of functional and worn look, it creates a really good feeling.

I absolutely love the style of that cockpit, and the more hardware based UI the better. Wouldn’t be too against a green flat-projection onto the inside of the canopy for targeting and navigation info. Just hope it’s done tastefully and in keeping with the ship’s gritty, old-school, hardware orientated feel. The whole ‘glitzy shiny flashy glowing neon-blue holograms up in your face’ look is super generic now.

Any attempt at purging even the thought of using the colour blue from the UI or ship interior would be welcome too. Blue is just everywhere in anything sci-fi and I’m just plain sick of it. :stuck_out_tongue:

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There’s a reason all real world HUDs are green.


Star Citizen released a video of their cockpits.

I think the devs mentioned somewhere that official servers would only be able to accept officially approved mods. So perhaps something similar, where certain servers only accept people with mods approved by the server owner would be possible. That would solve the problem of “illegal” mods, at least partially. I suppose it’s always possible to do some sort of hack and bypass whatever protection is in use, no matter how good it is.

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The closeups of the panels and the ability to quickly and intuitively interact with them was very nice. I don’t care for piles of settings, switches and gizmos, but I know that it’s pure candy to other people.

I hope Inovae do nothing like that. Physical buttons and switches all the way.

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I mean, if it fits a faction, though I love old school analog tech in spaceships (even if it isn’t the most effective, it does look freaking sweet) :stuck_out_tongue:

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