NEWS : Ingame HUD System

U

Unregistered

Guest
Bandit LOAF said:
It actually has a damage percent? That's awful. I didn't even look at it, I was referencing the old complaint about exactly that.


And how the hell could some part of a *video game* take up too much space? This isn't Excel, we're not looking for the absolute most efficient and businesslike way to kill whatever Freespace's lame equivalent of the Nephilim is...

I'd like to know exactly how much life is left in me... I've finished battles barely hanging onto 1%. A simple green/orange/red is way too simple, ships aren't stop lights. ~~~

well the screen space isn't as bad in wc3-5.. privateer 1 is pretty bad.. especially the tarus. If you've got tunnel vision your pretty much dead in space. As for the nephilim, they had great potentional but ended up being too cliched.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Meh, whether you like to have colored damage or percentage damage is really a matter of personal taste. I can see the merits of both ways.
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
Unregistered said:
well the screen space isn't as bad in wc3-5.. privateer 1 is pretty bad.. especially the tarus. If you've got tunnel vision your pretty much dead in space.

You're flying in civilian ships, in Privateer, of course they'll tend to have poor visibility compared to a dedicated combat craft.

(And even then, the Tarsus is only slightly worse, for visibility, than the Dralthi MK2 you fly in SM2.)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I'd like to know exactly how much life is left in me... I've finished battles barely hanging onto 1%. A simple green/orange/red is way too simple, ships aren't stop lights. ~~~

well the screen space isn't as bad in wc3-5.. privateer 1 is pretty bad.. especially the tarus. If you've got tunnel vision your pretty much dead in space.

Oh, yes, everyone *hates* Privateer.

I have the *ideal* game for you idiots. It'll just be a single screen with a 'win' button. You click it and bammo, instant gratification. The X-Box 360 version will give you all 1,000 achievement points for doing this.

As for the nephilim, they had great potentional but ended up being too cliched.

What could that even mean? In what possible situation did the Nephilim have more potential than the single story that ended up being told about them? Go back to HLP, they'll praise this kind of crap as intelligent -- we can tell it's just a generic, unsupported statement that means absolutely nothing.

Meh, whether you like to have colored damage or percentage damage is really a matter of personal taste. I can see the merits of both ways.

If you don't have anything intelligent to add, don't speak. We've already discussed *exactly* why the original Wing Commander approach is superior to some bland number. Being the 'everyone is right!' guy isn't cute or interesting.

Chris Roberts, from the Wing Commander I & II USG interview: "I took the approach that I didn't want to sacrifice that reality due to game dynamics. If you would see wires hanging down after an explosion, then I wanted to include it, even if it would make it harder to figure out how to include all the instruments and readouts. I want what's taking place iniside the cockpit to be as real as what I'm trying to show outside it, in space. I'd rather show you damage as if you were there, than just display something like 'damage=20 percent.' That's abstract. I want to see it."
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Bandit LOAF said:
Freespace's lame equivalent of the Nephilim is...

The Shivans, and you have it backwards. The Nephilim's stupidly weak ships immediately deflates their belevibility as a threatening, powerfull race. The fact that they are giant bugs makes them cliche, and they give absolutely no reason for trying to destroy humanity. On the other hand, when you first meet the Shivans in FS their ships are nearly invulnerable, and you are only able to effectively fight them as you slowly gain the technology to do so, making the Shivans genuinely *scary*, (unlike the Nephilim, who were more laughable than funny, IMO) and they actually have a *reason* for destroying humanity --they are the great balancers, they destroy the destroyers-- which is why in the FS universe humanity had such an easy time expanding; the Shivans had destroyed the race before them, the race before that race, etc.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Bandit LOAF said:
If you don't have anything intelligent to add, don't speak. We've already discussed *exactly* why the original Wing Commander approach is superior to some bland number. Being the 'everyone is right!' guy isn't cute or interesting.

Who's we? All that I've seen is some guy say "numbers are better, I like being able to tell how much health I have left," and you saying "Color's are right. Numbers are bland, and *Chris Roberts* says so."

I'm not saying that Chris doesen't have a point. Actually showing the damage is certainly more atmospheric than just printing out a number, but a percentage layout is quicker to view, is more informative, and is has a positive aspect for multiplayer. It's really a subjective choice: atmosphere vs. information.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The Shivans, and you have it backwards. The Nephilim's stupidly weak ships immediately deflates their belevibility as a threatening, powerfull race. The fact that they are giant bugs makes them cliche, and they give absolutely no reason for trying to destroy humanity. On the other hand, when you first meet the Shivans in FS their ships are nearly invulnerable, and you are only able to effectively fight them as you slowly gain the technology to do so, making the Shivans genuinely *scary*, (unlike the Nephilim, who were more laughable than funny, IMO) and they actually have a *reason* for destroying humanity --they are the great balancers, they destroy the destroyers-- which is why in the FS universe humanity had such an easy time expanding; the Shivans had destroyed the race before them, the race before that race, etc.

I believe the main bad guys in the Freespace universe are robots that take over mines.

You're being stupid, though -- the Nephilim are a cliche because they *aren't* the generic mysterious super-powerful evil alien? You need a dictionary. Leave that crap to the knockoffs -- the point of the Nephilim isn't that they're powerful, it's they're numerous. The ICIS manual explains, before you even play the game, that their ships are equivalent to our own... they're scary because they're willing/able to throw millions of soldiers away to achieve whatever they want (like... insects).

If you're determined to hate Wing Commander, though, just leave -- we certainly don't need you here.

Who's we? All that I've seen is some guy say "numbers are better, I like being able to tell how much health I have left," and you saying "Color's are right. Numbers are bland, and *Chris Roberts* says so."

Who's we? Some Freespace jerk and me -- that is to say, not you. To repeat myself, you've decided to step into someone elses argument and say/add *nothing*. Heck, you're both right! Why?

Numbers are bland -- if your goal in playing *games* is to be as *efficient* as possible, then you're absolutely missing the point. There's no argument here -- immersion is more important than... what? Anti-immersion? The desire for the numbers just doesn't make sense.
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
I hate to jump in a heated discussion, but I'd like to give my two cents about the "numbers" damage assesment debate.

When you go to the garage to have maintenance done on your car, does your mechanics tell you your oil tank is 62% defective, your back-driver-side tire deflated 34% and windshield 2% damaged ? Nah, he tells you your oil tank is leaking faily fast, that your tire is slowly leaking, and that if you want to change your cracked windshield it'll cost ya 250 bucks.

Seriously, how could your ship be able to know some gun is 34% damaged ? All your repair system should be able to tell you (if you really want some mesurable info about it) is the estimated time for repair.

I sense I'll feel like adding a new tweak to Standoff ! (If I can find the time :p)
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Unregistered said:
I'd like to know exactly how much life is left in me... I've finished battles barely hanging onto 1%. A simple green/orange/red is way too simple, ships aren't stop lights.

I don' t know where you come from, but my stop lights don't have orange. Anyhow, I can't believe that the point is lost on people though. Percentages are an okay addition for gameplay's sake I guess, but there's no way they could really exist. They're not realistic at all, and the point is that the Wing Commander series is based around a different damag systems for a very good reason. Components don't get 61% damaged. There's no way to damage something just 34% and know that if you hurt something 82% additional percentage points that it would break. Real physical items incur damage based on a million different factors. Whether you hit a gun six inches or seven from the edge of the barrel could be the difference between barely scratching it and completely ruining it. Of course the game simulates this in terms of a set number of "damage points," but things like the red/yellow/green damage indicator are the more immersive Wing Commander ideal - they're not an oversimplified dumbed down way to do things.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
A great feature of WC is uncertainty. Take WC2, for example. You'd have to be extra careful on a strike mission, because even with moderate damage your target computer could be destroyed. And then you could not lock on the enemy ships, what made your torps useless. And the mission was over.

Since the damage was not linear, sometimes you could have a badly damaged fighter with a working targeting computer, or the other way around.

EDIT: There seems to be something odd with the order of the posts on this thread... I just posted this bellow PopsiclePete's post, but here it's showing as #23 of #31.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
I think cruis.net in general is having some hiccups or something. I've noticed twice today that right after I post, my post ends up right before the previous poster. (also the time of the previous post ends up being 12 hours in the future of when it was actually posted). The problem, though, goes away with a simple refresh of the thread.

Are you using firefox Delance?
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Bandit LOAF said:
Numbers are bland -- if your goal in playing *games* is to be as *efficient* as possible, then you're absolutely missing the point. There's no argument here -- immersion is more important than... what? Anti-immersion? The desire for the numbers just doesn't make sense.

I think I should add that the decision of whether to go for a numbers or color representation of damage is a fundamental gameplay decision for a space sim, and probably depends, in part, to what the space sim is aiming for.

For example, try as hard as I might I can't possibly imagine playing TIE Fighter with a color representation of damage, and I'm sure that the game would be far worse if it had one. It's hard to explain, but somehow the numbers system TIE Fighter uses just meshes so well with the other gameplay elements. And yes, I know, unlike target damage you're own damage is shown in color in TIE Fighter, but it's still closer to FS than WC, there is only one area that changes color and it is proportional to your integrity.

Likewise, I think it would be pretty hard to invision WC using a number representation of damage, it doesen't mesh with the other gameplay elements (namely, WC's cinematic flair).

To each his own.
 

Edx

Spaceman
Well, I liked the colour damage. I fairly certian if it were possible pretty much everyone working on Saga would like to have it be as close to WC as is possible. But you cant have everything. Some tradeoffs have to be made if you cant change it. Theres lots on the list of changes to the FS code and this would be a relatively minor one in my opinion, at least comparably.
 

ScoobyDoo

Rear Admiral
Bandit LOAF said:
Oh, yes, everyone *hates* Privateer.

I have the *ideal* game for you idiots. It'll just be a single screen with a 'win' button. You click it and bammo, instant gratification. The X-Box 360 version will give you all 1,000 achievement points for doing this.

Thats EA's next game... assuming it doesn't crash or have bugs that are never fixed because they're too busy working on the next slightly updated version. :(

Bandit LOAF said:
What could that even mean? In what possible situation did the Nephilim have more potential than the single story that ended up being told about them? Go back to HLP, they'll praise this kind of crap as intelligent -- we can tell it's just a generic, unsupported statement that means absolutely nothing.
They could have been more serious and deadly, more like WC3 a fight for your life instead they quickly turned in bug squashing. Especially after you acquire the vampire/devestator. Still hoping someone does a mod with them again but this time make them much more dangerous.

Bandit LOAF said:
If you don't have anything intelligent to add, don't speak. We've already discussed *exactly* why the original Wing Commander approach is superior to some bland number. Being the 'everyone is right!' guy isn't cute or interesting.

Chris Roberts, from the Wing Commander I & II USG interview: "I took the approach that I didn't want to sacrifice that reality due to game dynamics. If you would see wires hanging down after an explosion, then I wanted to include it, even if it would make it harder to figure out how to include all the instruments and readouts. I want what's taking place iniside the cockpit to be as real as what I'm trying to show outside it, in space. I'd rather show you damage as if you were there, than just display something like 'damage=20 percent.' That's abstract. I want to see it."
I do have to agree with the showing damage, cracked cockpit glass. But I want to also see what else is damaged and how much life I have left. Imagine Doom with just a green/yellow/red health indicator and a cracked helmet. I'm sure Carmack and Sweeney would say damage=20 percent is very important.
 

Cardinal

Spaceman
My two cents:

- It looks practically identical to the FS2 HUD, but I think WC-ish adjustments look pretty cool. The changes made to the radar and target info section area nice touch.

- I don't think 640 is an option for playing this game; the only way to enjoy it would be at 1024. The HUD looks cluttered in the lower res. I know what people are going to say: "But it was cluttered in WC and WC2 and...". However, it was cluttered for a reason: immersion. Flying the Dralthi, with its claustrophobic cockpit, was supposed to make your feel uneasy. After all, you didn't have the option of ejecting. Same thing to a lesser extent with the Tarsus (or Orion, forget which). The low-res version is cluttered for no reason. Therefore, I'd recommend that later screenshots concentrate on just the hi-res version.

- I don't quite get the "customizability" of the HUD. Is it just going to be changing colors and brightness? If so, that's all I need. Flexibility in the HUD, being able to move around components, really won't make or break a game for me, just as long as the HUD is workable in the first place. After a couple of test flights, the interface should come back to me. (BTW, I never played FS2, although I played FS a long time ago.) Anything else is just icing on the cake.

- I would love to have the old days of sparks and wires coming from the console, cracked cockpit glass, or running through my damage displays to find "Comm system: Moderate damage". The 'uncertainty' that Delance mentioned was a fun element - except when the targeting went out before I could fire my torps. That ticked me off when I got through all those fighters just to...I digress.

Anyway, if it's going to take extra time on the order of months to come up with a workable alteration that provides that element (that is, if it can be done at all), it's not that big a deal. If you can make an interface that has some elements of WC(which it does) and is intuitive and enjoyable (I can't tell you that until I actually play the game), then you're fine in that department. Where I'd be spending the bulk of my time is ensuring the plot and missions are up to WC-standards. That's what will make or break the game.
 

Tolwyn

Vice Admiral
Cardinal said:
- I don't think 640 is an option for playing this game; the only way to enjoy it would be at 1024. The HUD looks cluttered in the lower res. I know what people are going to say: "But it was cluttered in WC and WC2 and...". However, it was cluttered for a reason: immersion. Flying the Dralthi, with its claustrophobic cockpit, was supposed to make your feel uneasy. After all, you didn't have the option of ejecting. Same thing to a lesser extent with the Tarsus (or Orion, forget which). The low-res version is cluttered for no reason. Therefore, I'd recommend that later screenshots concentrate on just the hi-res version.

It does not matter which resolution is selected, the game will show you the 640 HUD in the customization screen.

I don't quite get the "customizability" of the HUD. Is it just going to be changing colors and brightness? If so, that's all I need.

Actually that is all you get :) Extended features are available to the developers, which will make individual HUDs for different ships possible in the future.

Anyway, if it's going to take extra time on the order of months to come up with a workable alteration that provides that element (that is, if it can be done at all), it's not that big a deal.

Since we do not want to delay the release of the prologue any further, there won't be any big changes. However, we will not release the game until the next official release of the FS2SCP engine (version number 3.6.9) is ready.
 

Cardinal

Spaceman
Tolwyn said:
It does not matter which resolution is selected, the game will show you the 640 HUD in the customization screen.

I think you're misinterpreting my comment. I meant that any in-game shots should concentrate on the 1024 display. For example, the one shot inside the carrier that was shown earlier in the thread looked just fine; it made me want to fire up the ABs.

This brings up another quick question, though: Can the HUD settings be changed in-mission, by pausing the game and accessing some control settings? Or can they only be accessed during the interludes or opening page? It's no big deal if it can't; I just figure I might have to fool around with the settings a few times to get the color and brightness just right.

Tolwyn said:
Since we do not want to delay the release of the prologue any further, there won't be any big changes. However, we will not release the game until the next official release of the FS2SCP engine (version number 3.6.9) is ready.

I'm not a FS2 expert, but I'm guessing the SCP has something to do with the source code. Out of curiosity, I went to the Hard Light Forums to find out when that version will be completed. One post from earlier today indicates that they've got to fix a couple of minor bugs, and version 3.6.9 will be out in two to three weeks. Does that mean we can expect Saga shortly after it tests out w/the new version, or are there still a few more non-SCP related issues to be worked out?
 

Tolwyn

Vice Admiral
Cardinal said:
This brings up another quick question, though: Can the HUD settings be changed in-mission, by pausing the game and accessing some control settings? Or can they only be accessed during the interludes or opening page? It's no big deal if it can't; I just figure I might have to fool around with the settings a few times to get the color and brightness just right.

Yes. You can change control and hud configuration in-game simply by pressing F2 button :)

I'm not a FS2 expert, but I'm guessing the SCP has something to do with the source code. Out of curiosity, I went to the Hard Light Forums to find out when that version will be completed. One post from earlier today indicates that they've got to fix a couple of minor bugs, and version 3.6.9 will be out in two to three weeks. Does that mean we can expect Saga shortly after it tests out w/the new version, or are there still a few more non-SCP related issues to be worked out?

It depends on the implementation of the new video player code (platform independent, utilizing Theora codec). As of now, avi playback is not very reliable: it can fail to play movies depending on video codecs you have installed. A possible solution would be to use MVE format (FS2 original video format for video cutscenes). This will, however, increase the download size by at least 100mb.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Maybe include the smaller videos by default, while making the .mve's available for seperate download (just in case there are codec issues) would work?
 
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