Weekly Update #128: HUD revamp feedback

#61

After seeing it in motion I got it instantly.

The advantage it has is that it also shows you the absolute distance. With the elite style radar you have to guesstimate by combining (Pythagoras/diagonal) the distance from the connecting point of the plane to the center point of the plane with the length of the line.

They both show if something is above or below. The curved one is a little bit more clear there. It’s arguable though if the curve is easier to spot then the triangles that are currently in the game.

Curve up and right = top left quadrant
Curve up and left = top right quadrant
Curve down and right = bottom left quadrant
Curve down and left = bottom right quadrant

I see both sides though … of the argument.

2 Likes
#62

Eve’s curved lines would only work with a full-screen radar IMO. Imagine those curved lines in a small radar at the bottom center of the screen. It would be pretty unreadable.

4 Likes
#63

I tried out the latest version yesterday. First impression of the HUD is the scan lines were too much and the font has issues.
In this screenshot look at the name of the station up and left of the center and check out the numbers in the weapon info area.

To improve the holographic appearance of the HUD I’d suggest making it slightly brighter (as numerous people have requested before), add a bit of glow and have it move slightly relative to the screen when the pilot moves his head as can be seen in SC at the beginning of this video:

I couldn’t find much opportunity to test out the sensor displays as all the bases were pretty much destroyed and I couldn’t find any NPCs.

3 Likes
#64

My initial reaction to the new HUD was “Ugh”, I have to be honest.

After a few minutes, my thoughts became a little more coherent:

  • I agree that the scan lines are too pronounced making everything a little hard to read.
  • The wraparound effect is quite nice.
  • I like and have always liked the front-rear radar screens, but I think they could be smaller and nearer the middle. I don’t see the point in the radar at the bottom in terms of usefulness. A spherical radar that can pop up (aka 3D map) will be useful, but as a standing HUD feature, no.
  • Too much clutter! The amount of text needs reducing as the HUD has now become kind of distracting and not wholly useful. For example, I don’t actually think most of the bars need numbers associated with them - clear deterioration of a bar and perhaps a colour change to red would be enough (e.g. health/shields/energy)
  • On that same thought, the speed readouts suffer from the same problem when warping. Showing 3 speeds in a list (set/actual/warp exit) is too much, particularly when they are all quite large and prominent. Perhaps change the size? Or do we need it at all, since the warp speeds are so vast numbers are almost meaningless? It’s okay during normal travel at slow speeds, but not in warp.
2 Likes
#65

I think moving the front-rear radar to the bottom center of the screen is easily doable, provided you didn’t enable the spherical radar. However, most of the feedback so far seems to agree that the spherical radar is the best one as default…

Readability will get another pass. The numbers also indicate the recharge rates, which are not constant ( they change based on what you overcharge ), but maybe they’re not that useful. Not sure about removing all that text.

I’m considering moving ammo to the weapons menu. It’s not an immediately useful information, there’s probably no need to keep it on screen at all times.

There’s also the possibility of making the status bars invisible when they’re full ( hitpoints, shields, energy ). The only problem with that is that it could become ambiguous when a bar is full or depleted, since both would show nothing.

The bars color change already happens when shields are depleted, but iirc it does not happen to health or energy. Probably a good idea to do it for all bars, to stay coherent. Will add to the todo list :wink:

1 Like
#66

re: having ammo off screen - it might get more confusing why your guns stop shooting and it always seems like a useful thing to be able to check at a glance to the top right corner (which isnt prime screen real estate anyways). In the interceptor it often feels like a number worth keeping an eye on, and in cap ships making sure you have enough ammo to keep fighting is pretty important.

6 Likes
#67

I agree some numerical expression of overcharging can be useful. Could it perhaps be a percentage split? Or even no text for the standard (balanced) power setting, but “+20%”/ “-10%”/"-10%" numbers pop up next to the relevant bars when overcharging is active? (Actual values I expressed here are just an example).

It would retain the information fed to the player, whilst reducing clutter IMO.

And yes, I agree that actually ammo is one thing I would like to stay, as long as it’s small and out of the way. It’s good to glance at it occasionally.

6 Likes
#68

Just got into the game for the first time in a while, and i have to say i find the UI quite “uglified” right now.

This is mainly due to two reasons:

The larger one is that the scanlines make the whole HUD really look waaaaay lower resolution that the rest of the game. The “quality contrast” between e.g. the cockpit interior and the entire HUD is quite obvious and not good, imho. I would say ditch the scanlines entirely, they are something i would expect in a fallouty/alien 1-y setting. But it comes accross as too lowtech, even for Starfold, imho. It also makes text MUCH harder to read, eating up the improvements you made to text contrast versus different backgrounds.

The smaller one is the spherical projection of the HUD. I know it is supposed to give you a sort of Helmet/Visor feeling, but really, i already have the outer space layer, the cockpit model layer and the flat square screen layer. I dont need another layer between that. Having the UI a plain, square, functional element on your screen layer is much more useful imho, and also looks better.

A small additional point: I would like to be able to get rid of the bottom radar. As i said previously, the ring radar works best for me, the one on bottom is just in the way for me.

Another small point: The heat bar is shorter than all the other circular bars. Why? Looks like an odd break in the design language.

[Edit] Jea, the distance to target text, the most important text in the game, is near unreadable due to scanlines. [/EDIT]

7 Likes
#69

Just tried the latest update and I agree - the scanlines are just as bad as before, they’re smaller but more intense. Please get rid of them entirely.

The greener more opaque HUD is a good change.
There is an ugly black border around stuff, probably something that has been made more visible by increasing the opacity.
It’s especially noticeable on the energy/shield/armour bars. Also these curved bars have really bad blocky aliasing. This is on ‘High’ quality.

9 Likes
#70

How else would you see stuff against a background of the same color, I love this drop shadow, it looks awesome!

9 Likes
#71

bar-border

Blackness on the shield bar but not the armour bar? It’s not needed on either.

Yes there are circumstances when something is needed to provide contrast, but IMO it should only be present when needed.

That was a crop of one of Kristian’s recent shots here: Wallpaper - Give Us Your Best Shot! (Image Intensive) Please excuse the stray cursor :slight_smile:

9 Likes
#72

Been trying out the beta for the first time today.

One thing I noticed was that going down into atmo on the night side of a planet, you lose all visual cues and references. The HUD desperately needs an artificial horizon and ‘pitch bar’ once you go lower than, say, 50,000 meters given the height of some of the terrain on these planets. That and/or a FLIR component in the HUD that gives you a little night vision straight ahead.

I’ve managed to get sort of a bastardized control scheme going with my Saitek X52 Pro; hopefully the controller issues are addressed in the final release. Right now everything is WAY too sensitive, even with the sensitivity knocked down to min. I’m also having to invert every axis to get the response to conform to standard control inputs. (Pull back on the stick to pitch up, etc.)

Throttle/speed control is difficult, at least for me as a noob. I’d like to be able to use a throttle to control my speed. Have the devs thought about a control scheme where you would use keys to put the throttle into certain ‘quadrants?’ For example:

Quadrant (or Stage, whatever you like) 1: Docking / Landing speeds. Range: Zero to 50 m/s max
Quadrant 2: Atmospheric / Combat speeds Range: 50 m/s to 400 m/s. (The upper limit is slightly above Mach 5 on a standard day at sea level on Earth- reasonable for space fighters!)
Quadrant 3: Orbital speeds. Range: 400 m/s to 4,000 km/sec
Quadrant 4: Transit speeds. Range: 4000 km/sec to 300,000 km/sec

Set throttle positions should correspond to a set speed, not a thrust like the current ‘w’ button.

‘Assist’ would involve the computer putting you in the proper quadrant relative to your proximity to a planetary body, and adjust your maximum speed in atmo in quadrant 2 depending on conditions, the way it does now. For example, if you are booming towards a planet in Quadrant 4, assist would kick you down to quad 3 when you hit a range of, say, 10,000 km.

In order to shift up, press the ‘increase quadrant’ key and the ship accelerates to the low end of the selected quadrant’s range. As soon as the throttle is moved, the speed setting is actuated by the throttle position. Shifting down should decelerate the ship to the top end of the selected quadrant’s range.

I’m just spitballing ideas here; I realize this is a departure from the game’s current setup, although the ‘warp speed’ setting sort of does what I’m suggesting, but just sub-dividing it into two quadrants. Just food for thought. It would be nice to be able to fly ‘stick and throttle’. The stick part is sort of there; the throttle part is about impossible in the current configuration. You can keep the Newtonian aspect of it by having speed bleed down as the velocity vector changes, the same way it does now, and then have to build back up.

In a dogfight, it would be nice to be in quadrant two and be able to jam the throttle and reef when that missile is closing on your cornhole!! :slight_smile:

1 Like
Beta 0.4.4.0 Feedback Thread
#73

I use only mouse and keyboard, it’s how it works currently: set target speed with number keys (50m/s, 100m/s, etc).
There is currently a soft limit on speeds (too low for my taste) to give a better sense of scale around stations and capitals.

Agreed, installation spawning was disabled on the night side because of this.

3 Likes
#74

Yeah, the target speed with the keyboard numbers is actually sort of how I’d like to see a throttle work. the ‘quadrant’ idea comes about because the range of speeds from 0 to c is too large to easily control with a single throttle range. But say, in quad 2, if the throttle was set at zero you’d be set at 50 m/s, while at 100% you’d be set at 400 m/s. At 50% you’d be somewhere just over 200 m/s. Like using the keyboard numbers.

Some people are okay using keyboard and mouse, and that’s fine. But keyboard and mouse doesn’t work for me when flying a ‘space interceptor’, an F-14 in DCS, or a Spitfire in Il2. It’s gotta be stick and throttle.

This game has incredible potential and I guess I own a copy at this point, but if the controller issues don’t get ironed out in the final product then it will have turned out to be a waste of money for me. However, I’m an optimist! :slight_smile:

#75

You don’t need to use K&M when you use a joystick. Throttles should be perfectly functional; if not, it’s either a bug, either you’re not using the correct profile / input events. I use this to test the game:

1 Like
#76

Hi Flavien,

Great game!

Okay, when I first hooked up my Saitek, it didn’t work at all in terms of the game auto-detecting it. (Maybe that’s normal for the beta.) I had to map the pitch, roll, and yaw functions in the key bindings (meaning they weren’t auto-detected.) Same for the throttle.

Also, I’m curious as to how you throttle is set up for in-game. Do you use it to set detents (like the number keys) or do you use it for thrust (like the w key)? Right now I’m experimenting with a couple of different configurations. I’ve got my throttle mapped as a mousewheel so I can set the various detents like the number keys; the way the game ‘assists’ you by limiting your speed in some spots is making me rethink that. How do you go about it?

Also, is there a file (PDF or Word or something) that explains all the flight modes, weapons, etc in a little more detail? (Other than the newbie thread) Sort of like a beta version of a manual?

Thanks!

1 Like