Latest OXZ versions:
SW HUD CAI
SW HUD DAI
Uploaded 23 February 2019
The best HUD is too delicate matter and I have no intentions to ignite any flame. I have my personal opinion for must-have features of good HUD design, so take please following text as IMHO.
Oolite default HUD is inherited from classic Elite. It is excellent example of old good design: all vital info and nothing else. Elite HUD, designed for game, can be used in guidelines how to create design for avionics interfaces in real reality. Seems strange Braben has no any claims to patent it
There are numerous space sims since Elite, so HUD from game, released in 1984 for computers with 8-bit processor and 48 KB memory, looks too archaic. RIP, old good Elite, your time is gone.
Now we have custom HUDs with radically changed visual appearance, such as Dangerous HUD
or Numeric HUD
, more suitable maybe for modern generation of players. But we have yet players of old school (or old mode of thinking maybe) who prefers default HUD for visual clarity, not for eye candy.
Seems casual player perceives HUD as just another term for virtual cockpit with control panels filled with monitors, switches and indicators, and some HUD designs reflects this interpretation.
Well, visual simulation of virtual cockpit will be useful if you have clickable cockpit like in modern flight sims. But we have no clickable cockpit in Oolite. Moreover, we have no any visual presentation of control panels besides MFDs. Just HUD.
HUD means Head-Up Display. Playing Oolite you have your monitor as HUD and keyboard as control panel. In real reality HUD is instrument for display, not for interaction. And principle of HUD design is the same: all vital info and nothing else.
OK, integration MFD panels with HUD contradicts this point. In real reality MFD is part of control panel, not HUD. It is forced decision. Having only one screen for front view, not two or more as in modern flight sims, merging MFDs with HUD is the only way to provide all needed info in field of view.
Paradoxically, despite numerous efforts to provide alternative HUD layouts default HUD is still ultimate winner in terms of visual clarity and readability. It is so well balanced that it seems almost impossible to improve it without ending as just one unnecessary and confusing re-arrangement of original layout.
But one such mod has achieved almost impossible.
It really made default HUD better.
It was CB_Hud_v0_8.oxp
, gentlemen (author - Robert Triflinger aka Captain Beatnik). And it is part of history now. It was released in 2011 for Oolite 1.74+. Later, in 2015, Captain Beatnik released Coluber HUD
with a different design philosophy.
Me think old CB HUD
with minimalistic design deserves second chance.
I’m using CB HUD
from 2012 and it was modified to support new must-have features such as MFD panels etc. So seems logical to release evolved pack under different name.
Let’s introduce SW HUD
Full scale image: https://drive.google.com/open?id=18_fWp ... jLqwUniLBl
Features inherited from original CB HUD
- bigger scanner;
- bigger space-compass with integrated gauges for pitch, roll and yaw;
- newly-arranged gauges;
- individual surrounds enveloping every single gauge as well as the appropriate legend;
- individual contrast background for every single gauge;
- customized crosshairs.
Bigger scanner and compass are self-explaining. Scanner is a crucial part of game interface. After brief using of CB HUD
scanner seems too small in default HUD and almost all alternative HUDs. Bigger scanner improves situation awareness.
Pitch, roll and yaw gauges integrated with space compass. Seems logical too. We have separate full scale pitch and roll gauges in default HUD, occupying two lines on right group, but these indicators are almost useless for navigation and combat. How often you are really using it?
Newly-arranged gauges. It is very clever feature. Respect, Captain Beatnik!
Look, in vanilla HUD you have navigation and combat info mixed. Not optimal decision.
And you have small compass like bubble level, AEGIS indicator and clock under scanner, occupying significant part of potentially useful space.
In CB HUD
you have all combat gauges and indicators grouped in left and all navigation gauges grouped in right. Moreover, you have intuitive display of defense layers – energy banks stacked inside, between forward and aft shield!
Now list of my modifications:
A bit wider inner gap in military laser reticle.
Transparency of gauges reduced from alpha = 1.0 to alpha = 0.25.
Decreased font size on message_gui and comm_log.gui.
Readjusted message_gui location to adopt new font size.
STE reticle scaled to 1:100 instead of default 1:64.
Disabled automatic floating comm_log_gui panel.
2 MFD added.
Primed equipment indication added.
Scanner set to UltraZoom mode (x1, x2, x4, x8 x16 instead default x1, x2, x3, x4 x5).
Scanner set to non-linear mode.
Custom altitude dial (optional, only for SW HUD CAI
All HUD elements other than pylon-mounted ordnance and ship clock invisible in docked state.
Not implemented features:
drawWaypoints: you’ll have positions of witchpoint and main station beacons after upgrading to Advanced Space Compass.
drawASCTarget: you’ll have info for ASC target on Navigation MFD.
drawWitchspaceDestination: you'll have this info on F5 and F7 pages and on Navigation MFD.
This HUD was designed for 1920x1080 monitor resolution.
In case of notebook with 1280x800 resolution there is some overlapping MFDs with gauges. A bit ugly appearance indeed
All changes are implemented for hud.plist only. hud-small.plist deleted from package, so having Cobra Mk I or Adder you’ll fly with default HUD.
Personally I can’t see any reason to have separate HUD with custom layout for small ship. Again, HUD just means Head-Up Display, not virtual cockpit. You have the same equipment list available for light Adder and heavy Anaconda and you need the same navigation and combat info. No need for custom ship-specific HUDs indeed. I declared hud.plist instead hud-small.plist in shipdata-overrides.plist for my Cobra Mk I (included in my other OXP, not in SW HUD
Features and dependencies
is available in two modifications:
SW HUD DAI
(Default Altitude Indication) - stand-alone OXP without any dependencies.
SW HUD CAI
(Custom Altitude Indication) - needs Hard Way
OXP, providing data source for custom altitude dial (read http://aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=20047
for more details).
- Captain Beatnik