Improvements for the HUD


We wouldn’t. Needs to be 1 HUD fits all initially at least. The obvious exception is a different HUD for smaller vs large ships.




Real military HUDs are a good source of inspiration, they were made with functionality and efficiency in mind, and went through a few generations of improvements already.
We must keep in mind that they are made for similar, but not identical types of crafts (they don’t go to space, but they have a few more functions), and there may still be inefficiencies in them. After all, the default assumption when working with UIs in any profession - though here, it seems to be less the case - is that the user should adapt to the UI, not the opposite, and even when going past that, there are resistances in changing existing models.

I wish this would go the Rogue Systems way, with an internal cockpit and screens instead of glass panels, but that won’t happen, alas. And I very much doubt there will be no 3rd person view.

Also, if there was only HUDs and no HMDs, then the cockpits would be designed differently. For starters, there would be a rear-view mirror (as in quite a few of today’s fighters actually). Then, there would be more of an emphasis in wide-angle visibility.
Today, one of the (many) criticism to the F-35 is precisely that there is not enough rear visibility. Their virtual “cockpit-less 1st person” view on the helmet is both late and not working properly, though. So even today, with HUD and limited HMD, it is still a concern.

Could you design cockpits to fit an HUD? For example, if this one was used, there would all have this three-panels configuration. They wouldn’t need to be identical, simply to have common elements to work with it.
This requires to design the HUD first, though.

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I think that’s too constricting, IMO better to have creative liberty on cockpit, get that looking nice and make sure HUD works well with all of them.

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We just need to imagine that the hud is on the pilots helmet visor.

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remember that for every mirror you have to make 1 rendering screen --> less performance.

well the f16 is a multi purpose aircraft, it can bomb and dogfight, so you just switch hud modes for your purpose, leave those out which aren’t fit with your ship, e.g. if you have a fighter only spacecraft, you dont need a bomb hud.

also there are many different huds on what kind of ammo you have.

InovaeAndre do you think with “liberty” that the user can arrange stuff in the hud? i think that would be too much.

“Needs to be 1 HUD fits all initially at least.” yeah that is the NAV mode of the f16.


The reason current aircraft have small compacted HUDs like that are because it’s simpler and easier to implement in the aircraft. If they had the tech, they might make it project around the whole canopy taking advantage of the real estate and making their forward view less cluttered. In the future of Battlescape, it’s easy to assume technology had advanced enough that they’re no longer restricted to these small HUDs.


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.