The inventory system for this game had already been completed as part of a project in creative futures and can be found here. The basic idea is that it is a satchel which is visible on the hip of the character. The inventory HUD will show the actual inside of the bag.
Heads Up Display
The heads-up display is an important part of a game as it gives the player relevant information that will allow them to achieve a task. The most simple form of HUD usually contains the player’s health and a map.
Before creating any designs I decided to look at how other games have approached the HUD and see if that could inspire me with my designs.
The Heads Up display in Halo 3 has been designed to match the sci-fi style of the game. This is done by making the HUD partially see through so that it gives the illusion that it is a hologram. It keeps basic and simple colours so that very little in happening on the screen. The reason this is done is so that it does not distract the player from the actual gameplay itself. Only vital information is shown that is needed for the player to enable them to figure out where they have to go/where enemies are, and how much health they have. In the third iteration of the Halo franchise, the health bar acts as a shield. When it is fully depleted the entire HUD flashes red, implying that the player is one shot from dying.
World of Warcraft
The HUD is a very important part of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft since it is an MMORPG. Lots of information has to be shown on the screen that gives information to the user specifically and also information of the other players on the game. The HUD tries to be as compact as possible, containing small icons that are barely visible to ensure that not much of the gameplay screen is taken up. Since World of Warcraft is a fantasy game the HUD is also created in this style. It is made to be elegant and appear like it is made out of stone with engravings to show a high level of detail. The customise mechanic is heavily used within this HUD as the player has complete control of the position of the HUD. For example, the skill bar can be moved from the bottom to the side. As well as this the style of the HUD can be changed be the player. The game allows users to insert their own theme which can change the entire style of the HUD.
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The approach to the HUD is very different in this game as Bethesda have tried to minimise this as much as possible so that there is more visible gameplay for the user. The majority of the HUD including the health bar and stamina bar are hidden until the player enters combat as this is the only time when the player needs to see it. However, this is minimised further as the health bar and compass as combined due to the fact that the player will not need to see which was is North when fighting an enemy. The most common element of a HUD in an RPG (role-playing game) is a mini-map as this allows players to easily find available quests. Instead of having this Skyrim simply has a compass bar at the top of the same which essentially does the same thing but with the benefit of taking up less space on the screen.
This game uses the HUD in a very different way as it is an actual physical design in the game that is not just what the player can see. The character you play has is wearing an exo-suit which has two LED meters on the back of it, these act as the health bars. BY having this there is no need for extra bars that cover the screen, the health is shown in the same space as the character in a unique way that also adds to the sci-fi style of the game. Another element of this HUD is the ammo. Usually, in games, the ammo of the carried gun is shown at the bottom corner of the screen whereas in Dead Space it is simply shown on a LED screen on the gun itself, which can be seen when the player zooms in. BY having all of this the immersion is contained as whatever the player can see, the characters within the game can also see that.
Before settling on a design for the HUD I decided to quickly draw out lots of different possibilities. These included different items within the HUD as well as just different positions. Once completed I was still unsure on which one I wanted to use as the final HUD so I decided to ask the other members of my group and get their opinion. After some time I finally narrowed it down to one design which everyone seemed to like and I decided to use this as the final HUD.
To finish off the HUD and refine it I took it into photoshop where I was able to add the colour to represent the health and stamina bars, and also add colour to the character coins in the party section which simply resemble the character. For example, I choose grey for the tinman coin since he is made out of metal, and orange for the lion coin as this is the colour of their fur. Using some of the sketches from my other team members I was also able to add a character to show where the other characters health appears as well as show that the top circle is the portrait for the main character.