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Ailments and Bonuses

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My game engine currently supports ailments and bonuses. For instance when one travel's through a nebula, they pick up an ailment which may do a variety of things. Typically the ailment a nebula gives you is slow. The problem I have right now is I don't have any visual or audible cues to indicate that one has acquired an ailment, so typically the player just gets annoyed and doesn't understand why their ship is going so slow all of a sudden. I need to work on ways to cue in the player so that they understand what is happening to them.

If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate them.

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Traditionally, RPGs have some sort of visual clue in the top left corner (NWN, Guild Wars, etc) that says the ailment or bonus as a square sprite. The sprite will generally "fade" or "flicker" away as the ailment or bonus disappears. For your nebula example, a small "slow" sprite would appear...like a foot tied down or something to represent that ailment.

Another idea is to turn the player's stat green, or their health bar green, and make them investigate what is wrong -- though, that may just be aggravating.

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Would the foot appear in the corner of your screen, or your character.

Thanks for the advice.

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You could use some sort of particle effect or color glow around the player to signify different ailments.

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I played with that a little, but when I had friends try it they would ask... why am I glowing now?.. or something similar. I may do something like that in combination with some other cue, I'm not completely sure how I want to do it at this point.

Thanks for the idea.

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