when the hell does this buzzing in my ears go away!?
Gooey gooey gooooooey .... I'm not saying Gooey - it's just too "world of double entandres". So, been working on GUIs for general gameplay. Can't say that I really knew much about GUIs previously, so I taught myself with a bit of the old "trial and enormous ballsup". Made a list of various things I'd need on screen at any one time. It's mostly the "usual suspects", health, energy, stance, inventory, info HUD ... that kinda stuff.
From the top left - toggleable inventory, displays all 20 available weapon slots, using a HL2 style weapon selection system, and their relevant loaded ammunition/extra ammuntion. Displays a blank space if you haven't picked up the weapon. Hold down the key to display, release to hide ... cos it takes up a sizeable amount of screen space.
Below left - Compass and Bearing. Originally from a community resource on the Torque site, I have since designed my own because I only needed the basic functionality.
Left Bottom - chat HUD, single line of info telling the player what they've picked up or selected.
Right Side Top - Directional Hit Detection Warning, get hurt, and this warning texture pops up to show which area you got hit in, fades out after a moment.
Lower Right Group - from the top - Aiming (doubles as walk) icon, and stance icon (stand/crouch/prone). Below that is grenades and ammuntion weapon/in backpack. And the lowest line is energy and health. Energy works but isn't actually hooked up to do anything yet ...
Warning texture border is used to alert the player that they are in danger. Comes in two stages, amber/black when player health has dropped to the point when a single shot from the most powerful weapon would be fatal, and then red/black when a single shot from most weapons would prove fatal.
In the upper right hand corner is the Communication HUD, loosely based on the idea from Freespace where you'd get a little animated pic of who was talking to you over the radio. Thus the Comms HUD displays a static picture of the messenger and 5 lines of text to hold whatever the player needs to be told dynamically.
And finally maps which toggle on when you hold down the "show map" button. I'd had a bit of an um-and-ah about maps and radar and the sort, and eventually decided against what most games have - the dynamically updating radar showing the player's position. Instead I've decided to go down the map reading route - the player would have to orientate themselves using visual clues such as heightmap and buildings and then move from one point to another using the compass and heading as "dead reckoning", akin to realistic map reading.
Currently the map on the left is only a heightmap for testing, but would include buildings and roads/tracks like a real map as well as possibly target/goal information. The map on the right is what displays when no map is available.
That about wraps the gameplay HUD up, apart from maybe linking energy to something like a sprint/breath underwater/shielding/energy weapon/etc ... have to have a bit more of a think on that one.
Next up, that demo I might have mentioned aeons ago ... and I've also got an idea about using dynamic, random placement of enemies as a way of increasing replayability for it. And eventually get back to looking at the save/load game system I mentioned many moons ago ...