Based on the EA roadmap on the upcoming HUD rework, Subsystem targeting and a Squad system, i want to “Give the Devs” a heads up on some basic things a truly functional Fighter HUD needs.
In this post, ill give an example of how in my opinion a functional HUD-Pilot Helmet VISOR should look like.
Keep in mind that this concept is for the INT ( fighters ) only, and maybe share some functionalities with the other smaller ships, ( CRV, BMB ), so its primary goal is like those of modern jet fighters with a futuristic gamey touch: https://youtu.be/ypIbmfm7n8A
Fighters HUD Concept.
In this concept, i use a side and color quick identification system, in order for the player to be able to asses a situation fast and act accordingly.
The HUD elements arrangement goes like this.
Left Side: Player and Friendly Info.
Right Side: Primary and Secondary target Info.
Blue Color: Play Ship and friendlies, HUD and Instruments.
Green Color: Squad position and Info.
Orange: Enemy Ship and Info.
Red: Enemy Units and Warnings.
Visualization and real-time change of Hull, Shields per Face, Subsystems, Weapons, Countermeasures, Power Allocation Triangle.
Visualization and real-time info of targeted enemy ship, separate target options for enemy ship and Subsystems.
Squad member info and target assigned.
Docked enemy ship info and assignment symbol.
As you can see there’s a uniformity of color and numbers assigned to enemies and friendlies, on all three ways a player has to observe the battlefield, HUD, 3D radar, Battlefield outside the ship.
With a system like this assessment of a situation becomes extremely efficient through the synergy of muscle memory and the three way color system for friendly, enemy, own ship, info and status.
It’s extremely important for a player to know what info goes in each section of the HUD, in order for him to be able to decide if the blinking light that came on his HUD needs a focused look, or it’s not important enough and his peripheral vision is sufficient for a decision.
For example the Ships Annotation panel on the top of the screen.
Right now there’s nothing there except the occasional system info word, like ASSIST/LIGHTS/POWER/SHIELDS.
These systems must have a visually specified place, and to be separate as well.
Those that are vital electrical systems and can flash red if they malfunction in one side, and those that are normal ship systems on the other.
The ship’s MFD’S should aslo be able to show info like weapons, ammo, ammunition type, missiles, ship status and other.
Careful though, MFD’S and HUD/Visor systems have different functionalities and importance despite being able to show the same things.
Squad and Enemy Docking System.
Bellow I’ll give an example and the reasoning behind the squad and enemy targeting system i conceptualized above.
As i showed you on the corresponding pictures i used only 3 slots for squad members and 4 slots (including the current target) for enemy and friendly targets.
The reason for these numbers comes from a long experience from squad based games, and how many teammates and enemy units one can handle in real time while being on a dense battlefield.
How it functions.
The HUD has 3 available slots for Squad assignments and 4 slots for targets, where the player can use specified keys or in menu assignment in order to populate the slots.
Assigning targets and orders.
The ‘‘beauty’’ of a system like this is that it can be used for both offensive and defensive gameplay, and also is very quick in its use.
It uses the familiar options wheel, and as you can see it has options for each member individually or all of them together.
Giving an Order.
When the squad leader chooses a target then he can open up the squad order menu and by dragging the cursor over the desired command, Attack, Defend, Watch, Escort he passes the target’s info and number to his squad, and target assignment symbol in his HUD.
The modularity of this system is very quick and simple, yet the possibilities are near endless.
For example: The squad leader can target a Capital and its escort, but instead of having 3 INT players in his squad he has 3 squad leaders, that they themselves have 3 different squad mates, one main target and 3 slots empty to assign themselves to their individual squads.
For this i don’t have something myself, and this is because i don’t think anyone can do better than the concept a friend of mine made years ago for Star Citizen.
Finishing, all this are a concept for the Fighter class, and based on my experience from years with different games.
All opinions are welcomed!