The hud design is an extremely important part of a game. Depending on what type of game it is it can give the player context to do with spacial awareness, such as a map at the bottom of the screen showing which could be in the form of a radar which pings every few seconds for example. This is typically popular in shooting games or strategy games where knowing were know where your opponents are is key, but also adds a mechanic of difficulty in some games by giving them harder modes removing radar or your hud entirely. Another thing that has to be remembered is the location of the HUD such as a health bar or a timer. The timer and health bar in fighting games should be close together with your opponents health too knowing how much health they have left quickly and the time you have makes all the difference competitively. Having your opponents health and yours at opposite sides of the screen and the timer at the bottom means that your eyes have to move down and up, which takes time and concentration which is something that could be reduced with good design. Of course some games don’t need an overly complex hud or even one at all such as Everybody has gone to the rapture which makes the game more immersive and realistic without one, creating the effect of forgetting you are in a game at times.
Fonts also matters with some types being better than others for a hud. Looking at some research there are certain types that can be read faster than others which of course is crucial. A font that is unclear and hard to read due to colours will have a negative effect unless that is the games intention.
There is also the risk of overcomplicating the hud, which can make it deterring to new players wanting to learn and play the game which if often the case with MMOs. One such example is EVE online with the hud being vary complex allowing a lot of depth and strategy but learning it could take a long time and may be something players may not have time for. Looking at the Image for Eve you can see how convoluted it gets and easily becomes messy. So making sure the learning curve for the HUD not overwhelming is something that is extremely important, but sometimes in MMOs there is no way around this giving the immense depth. After looking at some research the Tahoma font is one of the fastest to read along side the times font.
Due to me making a first person shooter I will need to consider ammo count, what gun the player is holding, radar, armour, time, team and enemy score and more in order for the player to know critical information throughout.
Everybody’s gone to the rapture
Gamespot – everybody has gone to the rapture