• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Good Gui for a survival/horror?

This topic is 4435 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

The survival/horror genre is the whole reason I got into programming in the first place. I felt that the whole genre was clogged with bad voice acting and poor design. Whilst learning the various programming languages in preparation for putting the game I imagined into a PC environment, I began to work on character design and story, but I'm getting hung up on designing the GUI. I want to keep the slow-moving trippy feel of a suvival/horror going in the GUI and item systems, but don't want the ridiculously overused and poorly thought-out go-to-the-menu-and-click-the-item-in-the-right-spot-system. Any ideas? [Edited by - BASICisforsquares on January 1, 2006 3:58:46 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Before I make a comment, what type of survival horror are you wanting to make? Is it action based, or more adventure (get key, pull level etc.) Do you need an inventory?

I really enjoy the survival horror genre, and I really like designing interfaces, so I may be some help, even if it's just overly passionate ravings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A less intrusive heads-up display should be used in survival/horror games. An assertive interface takes away from the overall experience and jolts the player back to reality, destroying all of the built up immersion and suspense, while a more conservative one can be perfectly functional while leaving the player in your world.

However, being kept away from vital information is bad. Hit points, ammo, etc. should be available to the player at all times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like the minimalistic gui. So for using objects I would have your character select the object you would need(ala Condemed) and use it. For a hud I would hide most displays. The health would be like cod2 or king kong, perhaps some more terrifying music with lower health.
I would display how many rounds/magazines you have left with an equal number of sprites/quads/images. Fade it out when it's not used and provide a button for checking (like cod2) and perhaps the player says something depending on how much rounds you have left like "running low" or "I can take out a few badies before I have to reload", simmilar to trespasser.

If the game is adventure-based, perhaps controls and gui like uru would be something to consider?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If the game is an adventure type game and so needs an inventory, how about when you access your inventory its actually a bag you take off you back and open on the floor and then take the thing out and put the backpack away (and i mean you actually see this and hear it) and you can also leave the backpack on the ground. Alsp you could have the player with a belt that they can attach things too and you can look down and actually put/take things on/off the belt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about making the inventory into a "real" backpack, as suggested, but instead of having a list/overview of items to chose from, have a number of layers, and make it so the player has to "push" the top items out of the way to get to the lower ones? Like you would rummage through a real backpack. See www.dontclick.it for what I mean by pushing.

This would be more realistic in that you can't quickly whip out something that is in the bottom of the pack (so if your last ammo-clip is at the bottom when you run out your in trouble).

As for using items, Grim Fandango and Monkey Island 4 did it pretty good: When you have selected something in the inventory the PC has it in his hand, and you have to move him near to where you would like to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Some good ideas here, I especially like the backback one.


As an aside, isn't UrU the one where the character lifts up her shirt and appears to place various items in her... bra area?

And it is mostly story-driven, so it's going to lean towards the adventure side of the spectrum.

Of course, I cant expect to actually have the know-how to put this thing out for two years, at the least.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by oscinis
However, being kept away from vital information is bad. Hit points, ammo, etc. should be available to the player at all times.


I do not completely agree with you. Hit points (or 'health bar', without a precise numeric value) are indeed a good thing to have visible at all times, as well as a description of the current weapon.

However, I believe other information, such as ammo or inventory, should be made available to the player through a menu that does not pause the game, which does not block the player's view too much, and which disappears after a given time. If you have enough keys available to summon this behavior. Also, information should appear when it is altered (you pick up ammo: display new ammo; you use a hotkey to bring out a healthpack: show healthpacks).

The absence of information (and the necessity to spend time looking at the inventory to find that information) increases tension IMHO.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe informations like health and stamina can be reflected by the appearance of your character, this should bring your interface one step closer to simplicity.

Like for health can be displayed by adding blood stains, wounds on your character, like in Silent Hill 4, the character Eileen gets more and more wounded as she suffers injuries.

For stamina, displayed by how hard your character breathe, tired, and other gestures. Like in Haunting Ground, Fiona raises her arm to her chest level and slightly bents when she's very tired, her arm lowers as she recovers stamina and finally she stands straight when her stamina's full.

You can figure out your own appearance for those, like when almost dead, your char starts bleeding all over the place.

Maybe you can do that for ammo amount as well, have the char examine his/her weapon and reports vocally to him/her self "Hmm, 5 bullets left in my gun, and I have 5 clips, this should be enough to get me out of here..." "I overused the cutter, it's too blunt, I need to sharpen it!" "The torchlight's almost out of battery." The player will need to memorize their bullet count during the battle, this will make the game more exciting for certain people.

Just a suggestion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Something I really would like to see is some game, (really want to see it in an FPS) is weapons that work the way they do in real life. Say you have a rifle and a hand gun, rifle slung over your back, you're holding the hand gun. Hotkey for handgun is 1, rifle 2. Pressing 1 and youre guy will pull out/put away your handgun, pressing 2 will pull out/put away your rifle. If you have one of them out, and press the key for the other, you put the first away and pull the second out. If you press the key twice, you DROP what you're holding in favor of getting the other weapon as fast as possible.

Want to check your ammo? press the check hotkey, and you pull the clip out of your gun. and look, press the key again and you put the clip back in. Holding a P90 or something else with a clear clip? you hold the gun up and going back to shooting takes almost no time.

Pick up a box of 9mm ammo for your handgun? Opps, thats a BOX of ammo, not a clip, rememeber to put those in your clip, or you're shooting VERY slowly as you load them in one at a time.

Want to check how many clips you have for that weapon, you can go like Shift+1 and you look down into where you have your full clips for that gun, and you get to do the math in your head.


Your game not an FPS? Could have all this done by sort of like, zooming the view into where it needs to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Actually I liked Silent Hill 4's interface the best, but I didn't want to directly copy it. I liked the blood and injuries scale for Eileen, and the health bar was quite unobtrusive, but I didn't like the irradescent green cursor for the inventory. (Or was it red? I dunno.) One thing I DON'T want, though is a system where you CAN'T throw an item away (see Silent Hill series), or one where it actually TELLS you that the item is useless (see Resident Evil series). That's just not good for an adventure game. It should make you think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh, and another question, is it going to be computer only, or are you planning on supporting a gamepad or another type of controller?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
About the backpack ideas, don't pause the game when the player enters the inventory screen. Looking for the key to open the door while zombies are after you can realy add to the atmosphere in a horror game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Talroth, most modern guns use magazines, not clips. :)

How about pants pockets? A radial menu around the pocket would be a pretty good approximation of rummaging around for a key or vial of serum, and it wouldn't break immersion the way an inventory screen does. What's more, it could be more secure, since you might lose or have to abandon your backpack (crawling thorugh a vent, or captured by psionic government agents). The radial menu would do well for key rings (which one is it?) as well.

And I like the backpack very much. I'd add that the game should not pause, and your character should have to use both hands to swing the pack around and start going through it, or stop, kneel, and put the bag on the ground before rooting around in there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Iron Chef Carnage, a clip IS a magazine:

"a magazine from which ammunition is fed into the chamber of a firearm" From Merriam-Webster.

But anyway, I do agree that the big inventory screen that pops up can sort of ruin things.

Inventory is: Press the button, go into 'inventory mode', you get a 3d close up view of your character that you can rotate around and select different pockets, then clicking on them makes you open the pockets and the view zooms into them, and the you can root around your pockets/backpack. Selecting your backpack makes you pull it over one shoulder, around to your side. Just a light sack, not a 200L outerframe monster used only by foolish campers that try to take their sinks with them. :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For gun management, environment interactions and just basically moving around I've done a little writeup of a few ideas I think are good here. (any comments or suggestions would be nice). Also here.

I agree with others here that a rotating inventory would be great.

I like the idea of 'slots' taking up the number keys 1-5.

Holding 'Q' brings up a list that can be navigated with the mouse or keyboard. Releasing Q makes the list disappear. Tapping Q also makes the list pop-up, and hitting Q again will make it go away. The first list is along the lines of "weapons", "items", "health items", "ammunition", "actions", etc. Pressing the left keyboard arrow or clicking with the mouse expands the selected section, pressing Esc or the right keyboard arrow goes back to the last list. Pressing any of the number keys 1-5 will assign that key to the current menu, item or action that's selected.

If you select an item a new menu will come up with actions to do on this item, "drop", "use", and anything special to the current item. Everything can be done using the menu in real time, if you want any of the actions to be faster just assign them to one of the 1-5 keys.

This could also be done using a rotating inventory, pressing down would be 'select', up would be 'back' etc.

This is quite similar to the fable inventory system.

If you can afford the time and energy to great the graphics for the main character, I think the best way to show health is through movement and the look of the character. This is of course if it's 3rd person. Otherwise something like the max payne health graphic is simple and effective.

[Edited by - umbrae on January 2, 2006 5:25:24 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree that character behavior and appearance is a good way to reflect health, but it's tough to implement and pretty difficult to interpret sometimes. You'll never convey the intuitive sense of being hurt, so a straightforward statement of condition is the most useful way to get the message across. The body diagnostic from Deus Ex is a good way to show damage to different body parts, and I think sustaining injuries, rather than just taking damage, is important in survival horror.

Don't forget the bleeding face from Doom. I loved that little guy.

I recommend that you don't get too terribly organized with the inventory system. Optimally, I'd like to see a system where the player chooses where to put the item when he picks it up (pocket, backpack, hand, boot, etc) and then has to remember where it is later, or search around for it.

And perhaps you could have fullness and stability be factors. If you have too much stuff in your right front pants pocket, then falling down might cause you to drop something. If a mutant hits you in the back with a pipe, it might break your walkman or kill the kitten you have riding around in your pack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you have any sort of health meter, you might consider doing what id software did in Doom, and display a head which looks left/right if there are monsters nearby, appears bloody with damage from combat/traps, appears insane when you get a power-up, etc. I found this little enhancement gave the faceless character you play, an interesting quirk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by MatrixCubed
If you have any sort of health meter, you might consider doing what id software did in Doom, and display a head which looks left/right if there are monsters nearby, appears bloody with damage from combat/traps, appears insane when you get a power-up, etc. I found this little enhancement gave the faceless character you play, an interesting quirk.


If he have a 3d game, he can make this head the character head and get rid of the HUD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement