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Interface presentation

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O-san

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Been thinking about how to present new things to the player and I've come to the conclusion that I need yet again redesign my "HUD" interface.

I don't want to frontload the player with a bunch of information at the very beginning of the game. I think it would be desirable to have most of the buttons hidden at game start. They only become visible when an event has taken place. For example; the map button doesn't need to be shown until the player has a new location to visit, the health meter is hidden until there is change in health, the inventory button is shown when the player has picked something up... the list goes on. The new buttons should be accompanied with a short descriptive text, something like a tool tip. Maybe a flash or animation when they first appear to alert the player of the new functionality.

For your amusement I have put together a picture showing the different HUDs I've tried.

huds.png

The bottom most picture is the current iteration. The back frame in gold will expand as new buttons become visible. The health meter is outside the view, floating in the upper left corner. I've intentionally made the buttons rather big in the current version. They should be easy to click/select since there aren't that many buttons.

Thanks for reading! =)
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[quote]
For example; the map button doesn't need to be shown until the player has a new location to visit, the health meter is hidden until there is change in health, the inventory button is shown when the player has picked something up... the list goes on.
[/quote]
IMHO hidding buttons is a bad idea. Whenever I play a game or use a tool where some buttons are hidden, I'm looking for ways to get them activated (not seeing them => can't find a way to activate them => f... bug !). Most of the time you already know, that there're more buttons available (from screenshots, videos, reviews etc.), not seeing them from the start is really irritating.

Better to disable them (i.e. greyed out or even blurred) and use some tooltip that this ability is not yet usable.

Btw. cool and clean gui design !

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I think this entry missed out on some good additional reading in the form of a bit more detail into why each version was redesigned

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Oh, I thought I would do that! But forgot it right after. I should update the post.. Just as soon I get home from work

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