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HUD

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Today's look at the emerging trend of games with minimal or nonexistent heads-up displays (HUDs) got us thinking about how games have traditionally laid out critical information about the player's status. We've come practically full circle from the days of the earliest video games, which were unable to display any status information or even keep track of basic statistics. In between, we've seen HUDs ranging from the realistic (Ace Combat 2) to the ridiculous (World of Warcraft) with everything in between. Recall for yourself by clicking through our gallery.

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Keep an eye on that meter on your wrist... it's pretty important.

The world of Metro: Last Light isn’t pretty. To escape nuclear war, millions of the game’s Russian citizens descended into subway stations the instant the air raid sirens cried out, forced to leave their lives on the surface behind. Below ground, life is bleak. The irradiated world above means no access to fresh air or sunshine. Money means nothing, and ammunition is currency. Fathers nearly break down when sons ask where Mom is and when she’s coming home—and they have to repeat a variation of the same lie they’ve told for countless years. Radioactive mutants attack the subterranean train-station-based encampments.

The setting is easy to buy into because few blinking indicators and status updates slap you in the face, offering constant reminds that you’re playing a video game. This is deliberate, according to Andrey Prokhorov, creative director and co-founder at 4A Games, the studio behind Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.

“If you look at your monitor (or TV set) as a gate into the world of the game, the heads-up display (HUD) elements become the bars keeping you from entering that world,” he told Ars in a recent interview. And it's part of a trend.

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ioptik

The Pentagon has placed an order for a prototype augmented reality display system that is based on dual focus contact lenses with an expanded field of vision. The system, called iOptik and developed by Innovega, allows the wearer to focus on a HUD at the same time as the surrounding environment by projecting an image onto different sections of the lens. HUD information goes through to the center of the pupil, and light from the wearer's peripheral vision is filtered out to avoid interference. The US military already uses HUDs on the battlefield, but they require bulky equipment and the wearer must actively focus on the information displayed. However, iOptik uses a lightweight eyewear system that doesn't look entirely dissimilar to what G...

Continue reading…

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How to show the player in space shooter game the real size of objects around him? How can you "feel" that a tunnel is wide 20 meters and not 2 meters or even 200 meters?

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