The HUD is one of the most important aspects of any video game, it presents vital information to the player on location, health, etc. In a game like this. This is a report on my HUD work so far on the HUD for Astral Clause.
The HUD (1024x768)
Let's take a look at each component of the HUD and what it does.
- Software Mouse Cursor: This game will be 100% playable with only a keyboard, and the numpad is actually tooled to be a mousepad for this game, meaning you can minimize the removal of the hand from the keyboard. Naturally, the game will also have mouse and joystick support.
- You: Your ship is viewed in a 3rd person perspective similar to Freelancer (2003). This has the advantage of letting you see the surroundings of your ship and not just a cockpit view. The release will almost certainly have a cockpit view option.
- Status Panel: Displays information on shield and hull strength as well as antimatter and heat status. I'm not sure if I want to keep the abbreviations for the items, or replace them with little icons.
- Relative Speed: Displays your velocity as a fraction of your current over your maximum. Under normal operation your ship will stop you from going faster, however this can be disabled to allow pure Newtonian acceleration.
- Sensors: Sensors detect ships and stations. Sensors have a range limit, this sensor has a max range of 20,000km.
- Toolbar: Obviously more icons will be added, it will provide quick access to important screens. Future uses will include links to ship configurations, communications, and weapon configuration.
Nav Map (1024x768)
The Nav Map is an important screen as it shows you the locations of objects in the universe. It currently doesn't look like much, but it has it where it counts. You can zoom the navmap with Insert (+) and Pause/Break (-) at multiples of 10.
You can also use the arrow keys to scroll the map at any zoom level. When it is completed you will be able to add waypoints to the map to be flown to.
The blue color scheme will be default, although I plan to have other colors such as green, red, and silver, available. The transparency is nice because a window never totally obstructs the information behind it. Also, I find alpha blending effects sexy and so should you.
Clearly there is much work to be done, and I am proceeding. I have made great strides for the first month of the project and will continue to push through. If you have any feedback or suggestions you can reach me either here or at email@example.com .