Friday, September 9, 2011

(HUD) Heads Up Display

Static HUDs and fixed control schemes, yee fucking haw...

It's 2011. Games look good enough that I don't want to be forcibly pulled out of the immersion because 1/4 of my screen is the hud. What I'd really like is being able to decide which icons show up on the hud and the individual placements of said icons. Fallout 3 and NV came pretty close to this, as you could change color and opacity of the hud, if not move individual pieces around independently of each other.

Some games move hud elements about 10% closer to the center of the screen than they need to be to compensate for overscan. Divinity II: DKS is a good example of how shit huds can be if not designed properly. The developers of this game, or at least the team in charge of the console port, were either too fucking stupid, or too fucking lazy to bother making a hud that works for both widescreen and full screen displays. What we get is all the hud elements crammed towards the center of the screen like they thought we were all using T.Vs from the 90s. Notice how the PC screen shot doesn't look like a compulsive neat freak tried to put everything in the same spot.

While some hud elements are handy and perhaps even necessary, I don't need a bright blue static health meter for games like Ninga Gaiden 2, which caused burn in on my old plasma display. How hard can it possibly be to make a fading or customizable hud, when even Fable fucking 1 had the option to change opacity? This archaic practice is almost as absurd as fixed control schemes with no alternatives. The recent Deus Ex: Human Revolution is another good example of both of these practices. These were both great games, brought down by niggling aesthetic problems.

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