Radar and HUD work

March 29th, 2010| Posted by Andy Korth
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As you probably noticed from the previous demos, zooming is a big part of the game. Although we’re still doing a lot of tweaking with ship speeds, traveling fast with quick acceleration is also a key gameplay point. So we started some visualization stuff, by transitioning seamlessly into a radar view of your surroundings.

This ensures quick and easy identification of everything on the screen, both as the zoom levels change, and as you quickly pass enemy ships. As you zoom out, the game seamlessly transitions into a radar style view. Ships that are too small to be seen are replaced with radar icons. (Eventually, we’ll have things like missiles and blaster fire represented on the radar at close zooms as well.) Zooming out further will make these small things like fighters and missiles disappear. Even large things like planets turn into radar icons as you zoom out far. At the furthest zoom levels, asteroid fields are represented as a dot, and the original asteroids are hidden.

We actually check the bounds of the rendered objects and compare them to the size of the radar indicator. The neat thing about this is that the radar icons start out the same size as the object itself- and then it fades in. So it’s sort of seamless in this regard.

So there are a few more things we have yet to do with the radar: The player’s icon should never disappear, even when you’ve zoomed out very far. We haven’t added icons to weapon fire yet. We’ll also provide some context sensitive information like range to target as appropriate. The picture-in-picture of the target is something we are looking to improve as well. Several people have found it jarring, although it’s still useful- we’ll be looking for ways to adjust it.

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