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"HUD" The Heads-Up Display for ME3- A Discussion


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#1
javierabegazo

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Alright, seeing as how ME3 is in production, I would like to start a discussion on HUD Elements, and what we'd like to see in Mass Effect 3.

What is a HUD?


In video gaming, the HUD (heads-up display) is the method by which information is visually relayed to the player as part of a game's user interface. It takes its name from the head-up displays used in modern aircraft.
The HUD is frequently used to simultaneously display several pieces
of information including the main character's health, items, and an
indication of game progression (such as score or level).   -HUD (video gaming) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  



Now lets take a good look at the HUD's from ME1 and ME2.


  • Mass Effect 1's HUD

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  • Mass Effect 2's HUD
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Now if we look at the differences, there have been a lot of changes between the two. Life meters were removed in favor of the blinking icons, and Shep's the blue horizontal bar. Ammo read outs are still the same, and enemy life bars would pop up when aiming at them, but in a different way with ME2.

During prelaunch of ME2, A certain screenshot was released, one that really got me excited, because I thought it was the direction BioWare was taking ME2's hud.

  • It is this one:
  • Posted Image

Now especially with games like Dead Space 2 out that have paved the way for entirely in-game HUD's, I really hope Mass Effect 3 can incorporate some of the elements that can make for a more immersive experience. Lets take a look at

  • Dead Space 2's HUD


Posted Image



Now seeing as how Shepard will have part of his back, if not near all of it covered up with Heavy Weapons and two primary weapons, I think there are other possibilities, like putting the Life guage on his shoulder, or perhaps his helmet.


Obviously I think Mass Effect 3 will have to compromise and cannot totally take advatage of Dead Space 2's gorgeous HUD free system because it still is a squad shooter, so we'll need some info for our squadmates.


Well, what do you think guys/gals/inbetween's? :P


[list][*]What are your ideas/comments/hopes/concerns? [*]What are the pro's and cons concerning HUD free games? [*]What do you wish ME3 to be?
[/list
[*]



Any BW Dev input would be appreciated, especially from Brenon Holmes or Christina Norman

Edited by javierabegazo, 21 March 2011 - 04:46 PM.


#2
Kronner

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I thought DS2's system was atrocious.

I want standard, big HUD, preferably ME1-like HUD. I don't care about HUD immersion.

Edited by Kronner, 21 March 2011 - 04:42 PM.


#3
javierabegazo

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Pros for me are the possibility of unparalleled cinematic sequences with their seamless transitions such as this excerpt of DS2

Hmm....seems embedding video is no longer working..., time for a link

Edited by javierabegazo, 21 March 2011 - 04:43 PM.


#4
javierabegazo

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Kronner wrote...

I thought DS2's system was atrocious.

I want standard, big HUD, preferably ME1-like HUD. I don't care about HUD immersion.


Could you elaborate more on why you hated DS2's system?

#5
Zulu_DFA

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ME1 HUD, of course. With the red triangular target markers.

#6
Rurik_Niall

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Have to agree with Kronner on this. I like the HUD pretty much as is, though I preferred the ME1 style of health bars, it's much easier to keep track of how much life my squad actually has left when I can actually see their health bars. I'd also prefer that when using ammo powers instead of those ugly glowing holograms something a little more discreet, like a light on each weapon that changes colour based on ammo type, or even just changing the colour of the ammo readout in the HUD.

#7
InvaderErl

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Kronner wrote...

I thought DS2's system was atrocious.

I want standard, big HUD, preferably ME1-like HUD. I don't care about HUD immersion.


Posted Image

Its probably one of the best HUD designs out there, everything you need is right in front of you.

Now I don't know how I feel about it in ME, perhaps some bits - I think an indicator on your suit flashing when you've lost shields is something that could be done but I don't really want a wholesale DS2 hud overlay. The ammo counter for example on the gun works in DS because of its survival horror roots that I don't think would work in a more shooter orientated game like ME where your chewing through clips.

Edited by InvaderErl, 21 March 2011 - 04:49 PM.


#8
javierabegazo

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Even ignoring trasitioning between cutscenes, having a lack of a HUD can make for some incredibly beautiful moments, ESPECIALLY since this is a Science Fiction franchise, such as entering Zero G,

http://www.youtube.c...9RFZd80#t=1m23s

#9
Frumyfrenzy

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I thouht of this as well and I think it is absolutely awesome. I think Dead Space has one of the best integration of a User Interface into a game, because of one simple reason: it is part of the world's technology and your character. I remember playing Dead Space 1 and being absolutely astonished by the design of the inventory and Dead Space's version of the codex (mission logs, audio and text entries). I was even more astonished abot the fact that the User Interface could be fun itself. Because this was news to me, I repeat the following statement I now consider mandatory for UI/HUD design:

It has to be a part of the character and the world as much as possible. It is part of the fun and a factor for immersion!

Edited by Frumyfrenzy, 21 March 2011 - 04:50 PM.


#10
Geth_Prime

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One of the things I really want from ME3 is an in-game HUD like Dead Space. Life/power cooldown meters on Shep's back, no. of thermal clips/overheat bars/ammo powers on weapons, no. of med packs/grenades on Shepard's omni-tool.
Thanks for bringing this topic up. I don't like HUDs much unless they're in game.

#11
morrie23

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I like the DS/DS2 in-game HUD, it one of the things from those games that stick in my mind. I'm not sure if putting something like that in ME3 would be worth the effort tbh. Stylistically it would be quite a divergence from ME1/2 and I think it would struggle to convey all the information needed (e.g. squad status).

I made a thread discussing the HUD a while back (from a slighly different angle), a lot of people liked how ME2 did it (not that I agree).

Edited by morrie23, 21 March 2011 - 04:54 PM.


#12
Whatever42

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It looks really nice and immersive. I would support that.

Although, they should make it optional. Some people ("clickers") would like the full interface. Others may just want it when you pause.

I'm trying to think of ways they can support squad members without intruding with a visible HUD. You could also put indicators on their uniforms as well, and they could provide audio clues to their status.

#13
Ahriman

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Zulu_DFA wrote...

ME1 HUD, of course. With the red triangular target markers.


This + different forms of target markers for different weapons [perhaps it's too musch to ask though]

ME1 HUD is more informative because I can see who has more shields/health and it's not brown. Jeez, how I'm tired from this colour in videogames.

#14
javierabegazo

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javierabegazo wrote...

Even ignoring trasitioning between cutscenes, having a lack of a HUD can make for some incredibly beautiful moments, ESPECIALLY since this is a Science Fiction franchise, such as entering Zero G,

http://www.youtube.c...9RFZd80#t=1m23s


I can still remember the first time I was playing DS2, and entering Zero G for the first time like this, I never noticed that I was holding my breath until I had to inhale because I was so enamored with how gorgeous the sun looked, poring through the hull breach on Issac's armor.

I'm looking for more sci-fi moments in ME3, when you realize that Man is such an infinitismal part of this universe :)

#15
javierabegazo

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Geth_Prime wrote...

One of the things I really want from ME3 is an in-game HUD like Dead Space. Life/power cooldown meters on Shep's back, no. of thermal clips/overheat bars/ammo powers on weapons, no. of med packs/grenades on Shepard's omni-tool.
Thanks for bringing this topic up. I don't like HUDs much unless they're in game.


This is another interesting Idea as well. I remember pre-launch myself and other forumites from the old forum were talking about the possibility of Mass Effect 3's Menu Screen opening from Shepard himself looking at his Omni Tool.

I would like more interaction of the world tech with the game character. 

Another idea is Saving. In DS2, the game worked on checkpoint saves where as Mass Effect has always used the save anywhere function. I would hope that would be kept for ME3, so instead of having Save Terminals, Shepard could open his Omni-Tool and send a "Mission Status Report" to whoever the higher power will be in ME3

#16
Rurik_Niall

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Could we have an option to choose between the traditional HUD and this new HUD? I wouldn't object to it as long as I can choose not to use it. I'd much rather have my ammo, shields, health, squad health and shields, etc. laid out nice and neat in a traditional HUD, but I can accept if others would prefer the Dead Space 2 style, as long as it's not forced on us regardless of which we want.

#17
Frumyfrenzy

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Since there is holographic technology, the Codex should be accessible from the omni-tool, as well as mission logs (quest log) and a video/audio archive.

#18
javierabegazo

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Another example of a mostly HUD-less game is the underrated Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay,

YouTube - Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay - Prison Yard

Edited by javierabegazo, 21 March 2011 - 05:07 PM.


#19
Raizo

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Geth_Prime wrote...

One of the things I really want from ME3 is an in-game HUD like Dead Space. Life/power cooldown meters on Shep's back, no. of thermal clips/overheat bars/ammo powers on weapons, no. of med packs/grenades on Shepard's omni-tool.
Thanks for bringing this topic up. I don't like HUDs much unless they're in game.



Sorry I disagree. While I do understand why alot of game developers want move away from tarditional game HUD's and I do appreciate DS2's HUD I think it is important to bear in mind that Dead Space and Mass Effect are very different beasts.

The Dead Space games are surrvial horror games, the pacing of the action segments is very different to anything we encountered in ME1 or ME2, in ME2 in particular I found that alot of the fire fights became quite frantic and easily rivaled anything that I encountered in GOW. It would be a huge pain in the ass if I had to look at an indicator on Shepard's back ( especially if he is pressed up against a wall )  in order to keep track of his health or his gun in order to know how much ammo I had left. DS2's HUD works for DS2, it has no place in ME3.

As far a Shepard is concerned, I like ME2's HUD, it gives me enough info on Shepard without being too clutered. The big problem with ME2's HUD is that it does not give enough info on your Squadmates ( another reason why DS"'s HUD would not work in ME3, where would you hide thier life bars, on Shepard's hands and feet?). I can never tell if they are being shot at or not unless they are in my direct eye sight. In that regard I think we need somthing more like we had in ME1 than what we have in ME2.

#20
Tarek

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DS system was great, very immersive,

all in all if its not gonna happen then ME2 system is good, ME1 was too squary

#21
Tarek

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javierabegazo wrote...

Another example of a mostly HUD-less game is the underrated Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay,

YouTube - Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay - Prison Yard


that was a pretty nice game, and yes less "HUD" = better game.

#22
Frumyfrenzy

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Tarek wrote...

that was a pretty nice game, and yes less "HUD" = better game.


Not necessarily less HuD, but more as part of the character and the technology of the world you are in.

Edited by Frumyfrenzy, 21 March 2011 - 05:27 PM.


#23
Rurik_Niall

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Well that's a bit of a matter of opinion, and an opinion that's pretty evenly split down the middle so far. I still want to know if it would be possible to have an option to toggle the traditional HUD and the DS2 style HUD, that way both sides can be happy.

#24
Ahriman

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Even if DS' HUD is good design decision it could break immersion as well. Every time see this health bar on his back I quest myself  "Who is supposed to see it? Zombies? Dragons? Reapers? What is the sense of it in routine  engineer life?".

#25
Raizo

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Wizz wrote...

Even if DS' HUD is good design decision it could break immersion as well. Every time see this health bar on his back I quest myself  "Who is supposed to see it? Zombies? Dragons? Reapers? What is the sense of it in routine  engineer life?".


You make a very good point. Why is his health meter on his back anyway, can Issac even mointor his own vitals if they are stuck on his back.