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Op Ed

truepcgaming - Visual Noise: A Criticism of HUDs.
Having a playerís health, ammunition, inventory, and abilities always visible is a staple of the gaming medium, but one that we may be better off learning to deal without. I make this claim based solely on the experiences of noticing that virtually all games get better without an always-on interface. Iíve managed to nix 90% of the unnecessary HUD materials off New Vegas through two mods, and the result is a game that is unquestionably more immersive, balanced, difficult, and above all, beautiful.

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30. Re: Op Ed Sep 19, 2011, 09:37 eRe4s3r
 
A competent immune system that can't beat cancer, COPD, Diabetes, Athrose, and a billion other diseases you mean and in some cases even does more damage than heal. And lets not even mention your standard viral and bacterial infections, which will be entirely new level of crappy illness once immunities to our chemical counter measures fully develop.

This is what i want!

1) A fully regenerating body platform, with nanite based regeneration system that can update, contain, destroy and heal. Cells, down to the lowest level (cell cores and even beyond that, on the atomic level) as well as meta structures like skin, hair, organs. That can clean the blood stream and close wounds instantly. That can shield us 100% from heat and cold. That prevents smells. And could make us entirely immune from radiation

2) An updated stomach system that produces 0 waste, but converts any material into energy.

3) Stronger arms, legs, back and neck

4) Better eyes (and now to your reply)
- Yes, we can see right now, but you are well aware that we only see 1% of the world. For example, with better eyes we would gain the ability to see a VIRUS and how it spreads, to see how particles spread through the air. We could see the actual air particles moving around. We could also see in the dark and gain an entirely new ability (we'd be able to see heat emissions of any kind)

And abilities.. i want all abilities that exist and are possible. More importantly, i want eyes that are shielded to damaging light waves automatically, i want zoom, digital snapshots, overlays and augmentations. I want to see if an object is magnetic, and i want to see what material it is without touching it. I want to see electricity flowing and static electricity.

Your question is like asking a starved men what he wants to eat if he could choose everything. I only touched on like 1% of augmentations ;p
 
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29. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 17:54 Crustacean Soup
 
Kajetan wrote on Sep 18, 2011, 07:47:
Crustacean Soup wrote on Sep 18, 2011, 04:53:
We need some augmentation.
Will you too please STOP saying "we" when you speak only for yourself?
I like to feel like royalty.

Besides, I'm addressing the article, which uses similar language. I'm quite aware that not everyone in the universe is in agreement with my position. I am contending that it's necessary, that we (humans) need it to function reasonably (as in real-life) in games. I'm not contending that everyone wants it, everyone thinks it's necessary, or even that it's necessary for all games.
 
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28. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 13:52 [VG]Reagle
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Sep 17, 2011, 14:06:
[VG]Reagle wrote on Sep 17, 2011, 14:01:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is one of the very few stupid articles I have seen on Blues.

I see you have your troll pants on today.

I usually keep them on.
 
As of 06/12/2014 I will ONLY post positive messages. I am done trying to tell the truth about sucky games.
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27. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 13:43 yuastnav
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 18, 2011, 09:16:
[...] visualize [...] EM radiation, [...]

You can visualise electromagnetic radiation. It's called "sight" and you do it with your eyes and there is a spectrum of about 300 nanometres of electromagnetic radiation you can visualise.

eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 18, 2011, 09:16:
[...] Human biology is incredible inferior to even most basic technology we have developed. [...]

Please, show me the technology that can regenerate itself and has a competent immune system that always tries to adapt to battle the diseases it is subjected to.

eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 18, 2011, 09:16:
[...] If technology could actually extend human senses, as in, give us entirely *new* senses [...]

Are the 10+ senses we already have not enough for us? What else do you want?

This comment was edited on Sep 18, 2011, 13:49.
 
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26. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 11:55 DaHauns
 
I make this claim based solely on the experiences of noticing that virtually all games get better without an always-on interface.

Well, I stopped reading there. Whenever such broad and unreflected postulates are used as a base to dismiss (or hype) a game element, the whole argument becomes flawed.

No single game element makes a game good or bad per se. It's all about context and implementation.

Otherwise, games like the Castlevanias would be by definition among the worst ones of all time. (Respawning Enemies, No Quicksave AND Massive Backtracking! The horror!)
 
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25. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 11:12 Kajetan
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 18, 2011, 09:16:
So now you speak only for yourself, and he spoke for 2 ;p
I was refering to the typical "We have to do this or that" when someone only expresses his opinion about things he liked. This was not about being right or wrong with a certain topic.
 
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24. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 10:01 Slashman
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 18, 2011, 09:16:
I think you will find the pro-augmentation group to be the majority, as i agree with him. Human biology is incredible inferior to even most basic technology we have developed. If technology could actually extend human senses, as in, give us entirely *new* senses or the ability to visualize heat, EM radiation, Pheromones, Smells, Gravity, Mass, Inertia of objects, center of mass of an object etc. Then that would allow for extremely advanced, and much more fun, entertainment.

So now you speak only for yourself, and he spoke for 2 ;p

I'd make that 3 because what we can do IRL, we can't in games with regard to senses. In some games that makes no difference.

In other games it makes a huge difference. Radar with enemy markers aside, stuff like hit direction indicators may seem 'overpowered', but in a game where you are in surroundings that obscure vision and make it difficult to make out an enemy, I don't think it's overpowered for your character to be able to indicate to you that the shot he just took in his arm came from the left. If you were there in person, you'd definitely know which side you got hit on and turn in that direction.

Other HUD elements may or may not be suitable based on the particular game. So while I might agree that a really simple game doesn't need every HUD element under the sun, a lot of those elements have places in the right games. It's not a universal thing.
 
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23. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 09:16 eRe4s3r
 
I think you will find the pro-augmentation group to be the majority, as i agree with him. Human biology is incredible inferior to even most basic technology we have developed. If technology could actually extend human senses, as in, give us entirely *new* senses or the ability to visualize heat, EM radiation, Pheromones, Smells, Gravity, Mass, Inertia of objects, center of mass of an object etc. Then that would allow for extremely advanced, and much more fun, entertainment.

So now you speak only for yourself, and he spoke for 2 ;p
 
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22. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 07:47 Kajetan
 
Crustacean Soup wrote on Sep 18, 2011, 04:53:
We need some augmentation.
Will you too please STOP saying "we" when you speak only for yourself?
 
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21. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 04:53 Crustacean Soup
 
We need some augmentation. I can't touch, feel, smell. I can't detect acceleration, temperature, gravity, the ground vibrating as a super mutant saunters past my hidey-hole. All we get are sight and sound, which aren't perfect either.

I have a little more than a 180 degree horizontal field of view. That isn't replicated in (most) games because it's hard to process projected onto a flat screen. The resolution isn't high enough. The lighting isn't right, shrubs aren't disturbed by an enemy's passage, birds aren't scattered, footprints aren't left. Audio is improving, but not every game has the sound effects nailed down yet, and the environmental effects are just plain incorrect most/all of the time.

There's all sorts of little things you just take for granted IRL. I can't even move my character's eyes or arms to point an enemy out to my team mate.

So yeah, I kind of appreciate the red blip telling me where the enemy is.
 
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20. Re: Op Ed Sep 18, 2011, 00:06 MisterBenn
 
The bare HUD setup is a tool of immersion and only suits specific games and even then only to certain people's taste. Bethesda games are a good example, in Oblivion I much preferred removing some GUI elements (radar and map quest markers) as it made you focus more on your surroundings and your objective. If you need to find a person or object you need to think of where they're likely to be, it helps the flow of immersion if that's what you're looking for.

Other games also benefit from replacing direct HUD elements with more subtle or flavourful features, such as panting and exhaustion sounds rather than a fatigue bar, or "This clip feels half empty" instead of an ammo bar in a shooter like Red Orchestra. These go a long way too and are getting more common. One of the benefits of PCs is that some games allow for modding the interface.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Sep 17, 2011, 22:37 Asmo
 
Horses for courses really. Contextual HUD's (Gordon's HEV suit, DXHR's HUD etc) make sense, even the overpowered radar (which is part of your augment loadout, even has a talent to improve it) are fine and well, and I would suggest that HUD's in games like Serious Sam are also expected as the game is so over the top it bears no resemblance to reality.

But military shooters etc could stand to have the option to drop HUD. eg. playing BC2 in hardcore mode, you lose most of the assist options you get in standard and yet the game is still very playable.

Definitely don't support just all out no HUD and no choice to use it unless it's contextually needed by the game design, and I don't criticise people for wanting HUD's.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Sep 17, 2011, 22:35 Rockn-Roll
 
That's not on targe...it's like saying removing stimulus improves immersion. Take that to the limit and it's like he's saying we would be more immersed with text based games! When the target is immersion then more stimulus is required in order to compensate for the fact that it's not real thus our own senses are hampered. Two senses are all we really have in a video game...sight and hearing...and even that input is heavily simulated.

In computer games we depend on the visual stimulus to replace the normal sensations...in fact the more stimulus the more immersed we become. Now, if you cover up one of the stimuli with another one then it defeats the purpose of the first one...so if you clutter the screen with inventory data then yeah it may be distraction, but it also adds more stimulus as long as the screen shows enough of the visuals. Heck...I'd go for an electric shock if my character gets electrocuted...some realizm goes a long way.

I just remembered that we had this same discussion when idsoftware added the damage face in Wolfenstein 3D. Some people thought it was obstructing their view and other thought it was cool ie. the technical details. But, what we learned later was that the visual indication of damage really helped the immersion level. But, id added a switch to turn it off...I think it's the people with small screens that have the problem...with lots of indicators and such their viewport shrinks from 17" down to like 15" and that's just too small for anything these days.

This comment was edited on Sep 18, 2011, 01:23.
 
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17. Re: Op Ed Sep 17, 2011, 20:48 Jerykk
 
The author seems to be confusing "HUD" with "player assists." Things like hit direction indicators, radar, grenade proximity indicators, enemy highlighting, object highlighting, objective markers, etc, are overpowered because of what they do, not because they are typically conveyed through the HUD. HUDs are simply the most efficient way to show essential information (like health and ammo) to the player.

Ideally, all games would let you toggle elements of the HUD as you see fit. DX:HR let you turn off the reticule, objective markers, button prompts and item highlights but they didn't let you turn off the radar, which was easily the most overpowered thing in the game.
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Sep 17, 2011, 20:13 J
 
My only HUD-related issue is the fraking radar in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I want to get rid of it without disabling the whole HUD. Its very presence has a negative impact on both the gameplay directly and on the potency of the augmentations.  
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15. Re: Op Ed Sep 17, 2011, 18:54 Ray Marden
 
In a general sense, I agree with the author. I am not looking at the HUD to experience the story, to challenge myself, out of some sense of fun, to notice some character moment, or to explore the world - it is just there to show me basic game mechanics.

When you take out the intrusive elements, I have frequently thought that games, even ones with "bad" graphics, look quite good or, at the very least, look interesting.

I know I will go to hell for this example, but I think WoW is a good example. There are all these characters from different races, there might be a gigantic lava elemental, you could be in an ancient temple, there are fantastical spell effects going off...yet all I am really doing is starting at my cooldowns on a bar and making sure there is no fire at the center of my screen. Who cares what this game or other games have to offer visually when all my focus is spent on only 20% of the screen?

From a broad perspective, I have found that I received many, many inquiries from casual gamers or non-gamers when there is little/no UI present (either via options or during a cinematic.)
And yeah, does my gun have to talk up 1/3 of my screen?
Thinking more work could be put into streamlining them,
Ray
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Sep 17, 2011, 18:24 Beamer
 
And in case of open-world games, exploration is to be encouraged.

Sometimes you want to explore.
Sometimes you want to finish the damn mission so that you can get some kind of closure before you save and run off to whatever you're about to be late for.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Sep 17, 2011, 17:57 Caladell
 
I agree with a lot of the comments here. Sometimes HUD's are great, other times not.
One HUD system that I really like is that of Dead Space. You see your health on your character and ammo on your weapons. They did a good job of having a HUD while not having a standard HUD. Granted, something like that wouldn't work too well in other games, but for that it was perfect.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Sep 17, 2011, 17:49 Dev
 
How about a configurable HUD so games can satisfy those who want it, and those who don't, and those who want less of it, etc.

I've seen some games with HUDs that can come up when you hit a bindable key (as someone mentioned).
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Sep 17, 2011, 17:07 PHJF
 
I don't really like HUDs unless they fit within the rules of the world. A first-person view shouldn't have a HUD except in cases like Adam Jensen where the character is explicitly GIVEN one. In cases where a HUD is unavoidable, it needs to be as small and peripheral as possible.

The worst offense is every game's insistence on having compasses/maps strewn about the screen. If the player can't figure out where to go without a giant flashing arrow pointing the way, the game was not designed well enough. And in case of open-world games, exploration is to be encouraged.
 
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Steam + PSN: PHJF
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