The style looks great! I wonder how it looks in green. I’m a big fan of minimalistic, functional design, and this one doesn’t go too far from that.
For the HUD on the glass panels. While it arguably looks better, gameplay will probably require it to be on the helmet, sorry JB. At the very least, it will be mandatory for things like the target reticle. Also, how does it work in 3rd person?
There is a reason every military is spending obscene amounts of money ensuring their pilots have those.
Now, how can the game make the player feel that it actually is a helmet? IIRC, some games actually have the character’s face being slightly visible when particularly bright flashes lit you up. Others slightly deform it, as to follow the curve of the faceplate.
Is there anyone here that has worn a HMD, or knows someone who did? Military, astronaut or otherwise?
For anything that is not on the helmet, instruments on the cockpit should probably replace some of them, to keep the glass as visible as possible. For example, the bars could be on the two frame bars between the glass panels, and physical buttons could indicate warp, weapons & cie.
It would make it look less futuristic, but it would fit the SFC well. And some people love having actual functioning instruments on their cockpit. I don’t know how much more work it is for the devs, though.
I would make the two bars a bit thinner, but maybe that’s just me.
The energy bar needs to be as visible as the two other bars, as it is as important. So it needs to be bigger and more central, and probably stand more on its own.
The doubly logarithmic speed bar is smart, kudos! Good idea for dealing with those massive variations.
Warp speed may go beyond c, depending on gameplay. (And don’t tell me about realism and physics, it doesn’t work that way in the first place.)
However, it should probably be a “fillable” bar, like the health bar, or something like that. The speed indicator is too thin to be seen with peripheral vision in an instant like health is.
Also, when the indicator is low, the number will cover the 10x legend. Maybe it moves a bit to the left when there?
Also you need a bit more under the bar for when you go lower than 1 m/s (100). Knowing if you go at 1 or 0 m/s may be important.
You’re right to keep it monochrome, there are colour-blind people that will want to play this game, and the brain is not good at reading information by colour, so it’s better to avoid it in a time- and awareness-critical HUD.
Pop-up elements can be useful for those things you rarely need most of the time, and that are not time-critical. For example, detailed info on some object.
For the target indicator, it’s a nice touch that it changes depending on relative speeds. How does it change depending on the current distance?
Also, what are the two grey arcs around the target?
Let’s not forget, now, that the final HUD will have much more data to show:
- Where is my ship moving towards (in the current reference frame)?
- What is my current reference frame?
- Where is my ship trying to point to (aka where is my mouse cursor)?
- Several target, with one active. Potentially hundreds of them.
- Friends and foes and other foes
- Six to seven player ship types
- Varied installations and NPC ship types
- General status, how is the war going?
- Who is targeting me?
- Who is shooting at me/damaging me? (The source of damage needs to be indicated in both axis, not just in a circle like in FPS: in a 6DOF environment, the difference to “to the left” and “nearly behind” can spell doom. This was the biggest mistake in Shattered Horizon IMHO.)
- Missiles? How many do I have? How many are rushing at me? Where are they? What about my counter-measures? I don’t want to die!!
- Altitude? Atmosphere? Artificial horizon when close to the ground (there may not be enough visibility - there probably needs to be an alternate planetary mode
- Ship status, if we reach the more detailed damage system stretch goal.