TOC: User Interface Concepts

We're working on a look for UI aspects such as how much Power your ship has left, as well as the remaining Structural Integrity of the ship (pretty much like health). For the moment Power is shown at the bottom right corner so that it's out of the way and not a distraction from the main environment.

To recap a little bit, in The Only Certainty your ship uses up Power every time you travel some distance. When the Power meter runs out, you can either refill it by using a Fuel Rod (of which you have a limited supply) or choose to begin another level from the beginning (in case you want to stock up on Fuel Rods and come back later). Since this Power mechanic is almost like a timer for the player--counting down as long as you're moving--I figured a circular meter would be appropriate, somewhat reminiscent of a clock.

Another idea like a speedometer. Power's almost like gas for your car, so why not? A meter that drains from right to left instead of in a circular motion might also be a little more clear in terms of its function.

Straightforward bar. I was hesitant to use this because I think for people familiar with games it almost automatically reads as a health bar, which is separate from Power entirely in this game. Too many bars would probably be confusing.

These last 2 are essentially bars as well, just different shapes. The vertical draining motion is a little more closely tied to a tank of fluid literally running dry, but it might not really be necessary to get so literal.

They'll be labeled "Power" in the final version, but these concepts were mostly to decide on a shape that would work well and communicate a resource that is consumed by moving the ship.

There's also an actual Shield (health) meter in the game. We're going back and forth between a finer percentage based damage system, or one based on a specific number of hits. The following concepts are based on the latter.

So in this sketch, your ship would be able to take 12 hits before getting a game over. A single square would darken each time you take damage.

Similar concept, except all of your hits are lined up in a row and the current hit point is enlarged for emphasis. May add some kind of blinking or pulsing animation when you only have one hit point remaining.

This is the kind of health system you see in games like Super Mario 64/Sunshine/Galaxy. Kind of a pie shaped deal.

Ideally, Power and Shield won't be floating haphazardly on the screen like this; the plan is to tie them together with some kind of dashboard or bar along one edge of the screen once the game is developed a little more. I'm hoping to do a little more research on 50s sci-fi movies to dig up ideas on how a dashboard from that era might have looked.

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