Improvements for the HUD


Thats interesting but understandable. Just, when fitting the HUD into the cockpit, this can get tricky, as the cockpits won’t be the same…

Actually, by looking on your screenshots, I don’t think that is a good idea. The real HUD shows alot of stuff, that we don’t need and on the other hand lacks of an energy bar or health bar…

I would rather suggest to provide a good radar, that helps with general knowledge of what is going on behind you. You won’t need to see the actual rendered stuff there… this is no racing game

That should work if the HUD is projected on the glass windows.

Well, I would like to answer with this quote from JB47394:
please don’t draw stuff in screen space. Everything that sits on the screen tells me that I’m playing a game instead of flying a space fighter.

Thanks for all responses so far. I am trying to find some more time to continue improving this suggestion. (Maybe this evening?) :slight_smile:


In the context of this cockpit, personally I would mirror the bars and sit them in the central window against the struts. They need to be closer to your eye’s central “cone” of recognition. I really can’t let go of the original angled reticle pip that INS have used but everything else you’ve done here is very useful IMO.


I wouldn’t do that, the pixel desity on conventional displays is not very high and you really need none of the 3D Action in the center of the screen to be overlayed with HUD-Stuff.
I could actually imagine, that you are using a too big screen too close to you if you think this is an issue.


Here are two new composings with (still) the old HUD from the first post.

While the first one in the cockpit really works nicely in my oppinion, I would like to ask for some help with an issue in the second screen.
In that right screenshot, you see that the marker which selects the freighter is barely visible at all. HUDs usually don’t darken stuff and are well visible due to depth (real HUDs are disbplayed at infinite distance) and due to the dynamic range. I guess the real HUDs are brighter than the scene. However, the brightness-overkill is not realizable on a computer screen because that screen doesn’t display HDR. So I am not sure how to work around this… any suggestions?


Again, this is the reason current HUDs are bright green so that they stand out. A white HUD just isn’t going to work when there are many objects in the game that are greyish or light coloured.


Alter the appearance of the ship itself so that the larger it is, the more obvious the highlighting. Outline it or tint it. Both techniques are used regularly in games. Once the ship size gets below some critical threshhold, transition to a small filled circle or some such thing. Just please don’t use a hexagon.

Don’t just keep cranking up the brightness. Contrast with the ambient scene. If the scene is bright, use a dark HUD. If the scene is dark, use a bright HUD. Let users pick colors for bright and dark, and control the brightness of those colors so that the level of contrast remains under control. For example, if I pick white for dark environments, I don’t want a blinding white when looking at inky blackness. Just some level of white that is suitably contrasting.

A more advanced version has individual HUD elements independently adjusting.

A less advanced version allows the player to fiddle with contrast and intensity, a bit like a car GPS system. That might go so far as to factor into a “settings system” where I can configure my UI in a few different ways, and that might include changing color and intensity of the HUD elements - along with the style of the HUD, which elements are displayed, etc.

Edit: By the way, I like the general feel of the HUD elements - but they don’t match the ship or the cockpit. I could see that HUD on a Centauran ship with its clean lines, but not on the Helion with its 1960’s cockpit. I’d almost expect to see physical needles jutting up to indicate values on scales etched into the cockpit glass.

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0.6.X.X Feedback Thread

I think what you are proposing is to use the whole palette of options that are available to blend layers. But that is not how it works.
Actually a HUD is only visible, because it is brighter than the background. A reflection in glass can’t darken stuff that is visible through the glass.

The fact that a reflection cannot darken stuff actually also makes it impossible to overpower pure white with green.

However, I might have an idea which is that same that is used to show HDR photography on screens: Local adaption (in other words, darken stuff around the brighter stuff to keep the contrast)…

Here is a sample of how this could look. (with greenish HUD :stuck_out_tongue:)


In the third person view, I personally would make the HUD smaller, and more in the corners. The reason being that I wouldn’t realistically need that info in third person, because I’m looking at the pretty scenery or at my ship, and the giant HUD detracts from that.


IMO priority should be the 1st person cockpit view.

I’m hoping the 3rd person option can be disabled in server settings to prevent peeking around obstacles.


About Huds:

HUDs are just a reference, the pilot won’t be looking at it 100% of the time, even tho they are designed to be checked with the side of our eyes at all times, if the pilot knows what he/she is doing, won’t be using the HUD that much.

What should we do then?
Since we are not REALLY there (unless we get VR which would make the traditional HUDS be an option), we need a way to focus on the hud ONLY when it’s needed.

An opinion+idea:
The proposed HUD looks nice, it needs to be worked a little more but overal is pretty well balanced between effectiveness and looks.
An idea to override problems with the background, is to make a stat flash when it’s bellow certain value (in the case of energy, fuel, shields, and so on), maybe green-to-white-to-green blinking or such would be a solution, with values being set by the user, same for colors, if you don’t see anything flashing you know everything is alright, and so you will just check the status once in a while.


Remember: science fiction. A HUD is a Head Up Display, not a reflection of light off glass. It can use transparent LCDs or essentially any other technology (fictional or real) to produce the effect that is desired. I desire contrast because I want to be able to see the information that the HUD is supposed to display.

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You can say that for everything that doesn’t look right.


my opinion: the stuff is too small on your hud and looks (sorry) ugly and isn’t enough.

i think you miss the whole athmospheric/weaponary stuff:

-You need a virtual horizon when flying on planets at bare minimum for loopings, red out, black out etc.
-waypoints/ distance to next waypoint , e.g. for races, for missions…
-distance to what you aim
-speedometer the military one i like more
-landing ray boxes would be very nice the station or airport has a radar ray and the hud shows a set of landing boxes on the beam in order for a safe land. it could also be used for races for the near optimal route.
-some thing of orientation, on planets a heading, something for orbit and something for interplanetary flights.

  • i think if you want to fly to some planet marked on your map you should also get the same as he landing boxes.

  • you could in orbit use a much simpler hud, maybe like yours, but you need orientation to the next asteroid, capital ship etc. so a horizon would be nice in a certain range.

if you arm something:
-depends on what you arm a different hud, a short range heat seeker has a different behaviour as a radar long range missile or a bomb or topedo. the hud should show that.

-the crosshair looks good to me also with the different style wether the target moves away or not.
-the crosshair should have a large “X” if you aim a friend with a rocket.

-with long range radar missiles, there should be a large circle, showing the aim area.
-max aim distance for radar missiles should be shown.

-heat seeker small circle as they have a smaller aim area and shorter range.

-a shematic display of the ship with loaded weapons showing what missiles/bombs you have left/armed.

-bomb display a circle with a dotted line where the bomb drops

-torpedo maybe something like the radar missile, but should show up different.

and with ALL that you cannot display this on a SINGLE mode hud

  • you need hud modes, wether you are in space, atmosphere, landing, weapon you have armed

  • and KEEP it simple it should not go in foreground you need to keep focus on the fight

so the best way is something like military displays, of course you have more room if you use a helmlet visor, but i don’t know if guys like it if the hud spawns over the whole display, it can be irritating, maybe show A BIT something like your helmet glasses where it is displayed upon.

just my 5 cents

EDIT: and you don’t need a hud when not in cockpit view. no good simulation does that.

but las for the ones who like to fly in thrd person, one could implement such a view.


Sorry that I forget explicitly saying that this is not final / not complete / not yet done.

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Seeing the second live stream and Flavien getting confused about whether flight auto-assist or formation mode was on or off, I think we can all agree that the HUD should also show you autopilot info somewhere more prominent. :stuck_out_tongue:


One of my all time favourite space combat games was “Descent: Freespace”, and I really really hope the radar that game uses is brought back. Assuming there’s going to be a radar at all (I haven’t seen one in any of the clips so far, but than again, I wasn’t looking too closely).

A lot of space games offer a radar in the form of a 3D sphere with the player being in the middle. This tends to degrade into an unreadable mess when there’s a lot going on. Even with lines and indicators (like in Elite: Dangerous) it can sometimes, especially in the heat of battle, be difficult to tell if the target is “above and in front” or “behind and down”.

The radar in Freespace is basically a 360 FOV. Because it’s 2D it’s very readable (at least IMHO). I think this readability is key in a combat oriented game. Admittedly, because it’s not the traditional “3D sphere and I’m in the middle”, it’s not as recognizable, and one needs to “grasp” how it works. Once the player realizes the logic behind this radar things become super-easy.

Just to make sure people know how this radar works: targets in front of you appear in the middle. Targets drawn intersecting the first, inner circle, are ~90 degrees in the appropriate direction. Targets far to the sides (outside “ring”) are behind you in that direction. Distance is determined (if memory serves) by icon size. So, in the screenshot above you can see there are 3 friendlies in front (ever so slightly to the left), 2 hostiles almost 90 degrees to the right, and 4 other friendlies to the far right (over 90 degrees).


I completely agree, both on the Freespace games being among my favourite games, and that they have a really useful radar display. As I remember it, the radar does not really show distance, except that far away objects are represented by a dimmer or darker dot on the radar then closer ones. As you always get a number on how far your target is, this isn’t a problem in Freespace, but the fights take place in a much smaller arena than in Battlescape.


Yes, radars are really useful. Also I like the descent approach of radars.
I could even imagine, that having a blind angle right behind the ship would add some interesting tactics.


A blind spot sounds interesting, however consider the following two points:

  • small combat ships are quite manoeuvrable
  • large ships will be controlled from a 3rd person perspective

The first point means that finding the balance for such a blind spot (between “too small and thus useless” and “too large, and thus annoying”) is a difficult task.

The second point means that capital ships won’t really fall into the same visibility limitations. Besides, they’ll most likely have SOME kind of weakness when approach from behind - weaker shields, no fire coverage, weak points, etc.