This week, we wanted to show you changes we made in the user interface in the last few patches. Current version of the new HUD is available to test on the PTE (Public Test Environment) and we’re testing them together with players interested in helping out – giving us feedback on what’s working and what isn’t.
Since the beginning of Early Access we’ve had the same goal in mind – we want the final version to be much better and polished in all aspects. Changes in the user interface are just one of the many steps we want to make to take the game into a better quality product.
Player HUD – First Impression
The new HUD was completely redesigned with player experience, creating new and better features in mind as well as keeping it a consistent, military and minimalist style. The HUD is divided into two stages and nine regions, where stages are determined by how much focus is placed on them and regions are containers for certain features or information.
This main user interface is also a basis for all other HUDs – we’ve based the Strike HUD redesign on these principals as well and we’ve used the Strike redesign as a proving ground for choosing the best spots for each region and it’s functionality.
Thanks to doing it like this we’ve gotten plenty of information and time to choose how to best utilize the HUD and the segmented design and it will also be useful in the future, as we’re certainly going to be adding new HUD elements and changing how stuff works if we decide it would be for the better.
Icons and Typography
We’ve created a new style guide for every element included in the main game view. This style is one focused on usability and clarity of information and this change is mainly visible in the typography. All those changes mean that the interface became much more readable and clear to the user. Some of the changes are: bigger and more pronounced important information like ammo count and health, weapon name and mods, world markers or strike icons and costs. Changes like that have a very real impact on how informed the user is about their current situation. New typography will also be used in the new customization UI, which we’ve presented in previous Reports which will bring everything together and make the whole UI connect.
We’ve also redesigned and improved a lot of the icons in the game. This can be mostly visible in the new strike bar on the bottom of the screen and looking at gadget and grenade icons. We’ve given them distinctive shapes to easily distinguish them from one another and they’ve been given enough space around to breathe and be easily seen by the user. On top of that, each of those icons has some responsiveness, like toggle state and ability to blink, making them much more visible when they’re important. We can animate those properties now, so a gadget that’s freshly off-cooldown can blink to attract attention and inform the player better about its availability.
Each of the stikes now has a distinctive icon that shows not only what the strike is, but also what it does. We’ve also added more clear info on which strike is open to use, what is it’s category, when the cooldown runs out and so on.
We’ve improved how in-game messages work and look, adding some color and an icon to easily convey the message without needing to really read it. This change will make the information much more useful and quicker to read, improving the overall awareness of the soldier, offloading the cognitive load from reading and instead making them just understand the situation better without thinking about it.
It’s really important in the newest game mode, Breakthrough, which is very quick and dynamic and required good orientation in what’s happening around.
We’re constantly improving the HUD system and we’re open to all ideas and improvements, because we’re committed to having a final version of the interface be a world class feature. It’s important to us to merge the informational layer with the military style. This is why we’re taking so much care in making sure all our decisions improve the awareness and information that the player receives. It’s also important to keep it in the military spirit and to make it look good. We’re working hard on pushing patches and we will be gathering feedback on the new HUD from you and reacting to it.
See you next week!