The first UI element I decided to start working on isn’t the docking and market UI. It’s the HUD. That’s a questionable idea at best because it means I’m going to have to start thinking about a lot of things that I hadn’t actually thought about thinking about until now.
I started with the ubiquitous hotbar. The first step — I thought — was to create a hotbar, something you could drag stuff to for quick access. After a slap upside the head I realized that this isn’t really a hotbar kind of game. The combat is automatic, and everything is going to be “managed” by your crew so at this point in time I can’t think of any reason you’d be pushing buttons on the screen for routine behavior.
Instead, the bottom “hotbar” is going to be representations of your crew. Because crew will take damage during combat (from getting knocked around) that’ll be something you need to stay on top of. I’m also mulling over a kind of “conversation” system whereby a crew member will pop up a small indicator that you can click on to get some info from them. Maybe it’ll be interactive, or maybe it’ll be some kind of something you might want to/need to deal with in some way.
All of this means I need to come up with a design aesthetic for the UI, and that’s going to also affect the look of the models and other elements in the game.
One of my macro-key phrases is that I suck at design: I can make things work, but I’m not very good at making things look good while they work so I went searching for “sci fi interface” on Google Images and was presented with a whole lot of…blue. Apparently, blue is the color of the future. But I also noticed that “sci fi interface” is apparently counting on everything being holographic. Sadly, this is not the proper key phrase to search on for what I’m looking for, so the hunt continues for inspiration.