After a long day of working on my clients app, I volunteered for the late night/early morning baby feedings and decided to play around with a concept I've had for some time now while the baby slept. The HUD window that hovers above the players thus far was not was done for looks by any means; it was just a proof of concept for the information being displayed. After taking screenshots for the website the other day, the need to redo these status "windows" gnawed at my brain more and more, until I couldn't resist the urge to try out my concept for first draft status bars. The following image has half a screen from the old HUD on the left, and half a screen from the new HUD on the right:
Personally I think it's quite an improvement, and am satisfied with the results, at least for now. My girlfriend (the graphics design side of the studio) will make them (along with everything else) much more appealing to the eyes once all proof-of-concepts are completed. The inner bar is the "energy" bar, which will be depleted when attacks are used but will regenerate rather quickly. The outer bar is your standard "health" bar. I used a full health bar graphic set to a very low alpha to show what size the full bar is at all times, which aides in determining what percentage of your life remains at a glance. I then used two graphics, both representing the current life remaining, spaced slightly on the Y-axis to give a hologram effect to the bars.
After a lot of consideration, I decided the effect is worth the small frame-rate hit on my mobile phone (my mobile phone is old and crappy, but I am still maintaining a 45+ FPS rate on it, and my goal is to keep it as close to 45 as I possibly can), mainly because each player adds only a handful of transparent textures to be rendered, and my phone seemed to handle that without too much of a frame rate loss... even when I brought several other bots into the same arena.
Lastly, I saw an easy way to distinguish between yourself/your teammates and the opponents using these new graphics. A full screenshot of the result is below:
Right now every players status bars default at 50%, and within the next few days I will hopefully find time to make them functional. I would do it now, but I need sleep.