So now that the first alpha demo is out, what's next for BHB? Well it's back to work! For the next alpha demo I'm planning a number of things, but today I wanted to talk about the GUI. Specifically, the in-game HUD (heads up display). Now if you've played the alpha demo, you know that this is what the HUD looks like:
You've got the simple text at the top telling you some basic stats (Health, Enemies Killed, etc.), and you have the weapon icons on the left. It's very simple and was really meant to just be a placeholder until I got around to upgrading it. I've had some people ask me about the style of the icons though since they look cool but seem a little out of place for a game like this.
Basically, I originally had a plan for the in-game interface, I imagined a really cool interface almost like the kind you might see in a graphic design program like photoshop or something. I partially implemented it too, which is why the icons are the way they are. The goal was something that looked cool and appealing, but at the same time was very practical and different.
Unfortunately, for the longest time I had trouble getting it just right. Something about it always felt a bit off and it was never quite there. So I decided to just leave it as is until I could figure it out. Well, I recently decided to revisit the HUD and see if anything new came to mind. I was still having trouble figuring it out, so I decided to try something different. I decided to set the whole original idea aside and just experiment with a new style I'd been contemplating but wasn't sure would work. Basically start from scratch. It was worth a shot and I wasn't getting too far with the other one anyways.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting it to turn out as well as it did. I'd recently seen the movie Elysium and it triggered a thought...BHB is an unmanned robot so what if I took inspiration from the interfaces of real-life unmanned robots? It was a neat idea. To the google! I looked up reference images of the interfaces of Predator drones, military airplanes, flight sims, Call of Duty, and anything else I could find.
So here's what I came up with. Keep in mind, this is strictly speaking a mockup in photoshop (typo and everything) but I'm really digging this new design for the HUD.