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Modern UIs are so cluttered, they make the game world auxiliary?

cormack12

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Saw this on twitter from an indie dev and must say didn't really think of it as an issue until they showed the blacked out comparison. Probably suits Horizon quite well given the open/flat nature of the map as well.





 
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Alright

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Are there options to turn off/reduce the information on screen?

I don't like a cluttered mess like the pic in the OP, but if the game offers me the choice to reduce what information is displayed, then it doesn't matter what the default it.
 

Larxia

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Are there options to turn off/reduce the information on screen?

I don't like a cluttered mess like the pic in the OP, but if the game offers me the choice to reduce what information is displayed, then it doesn't matter what the default it.
I think that depends, because while many games will offer the option to turn off informations, if these games were designed with these informations in mind, the games won't be as playable without them, and could become unnecessarily tedious. Like if you turn off informations but the world itself doesn't give you any clues on where to go with clever level design etc, it won't work well.
 
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in some games i absolutely LOVE having loads of stuff on screen. in cyberpunk it feels right to have as much as possible show up on screen because it feels real in that you can imagine the character is actually seeing that because of implants. in a game like The Witcher 3 yeah i want to turn as much shit off as possible.

in BOTW i played in the Pro HUD. all i need are my hearts because the game does a great job of visualing or sounding everything else like power ups, temperature, sound, and the map is so inviting i don't really want to use a map to explore it. i don't need on screen icons to show me what buttons to press to use a rune, or my sword/shield.
 
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ZlleH

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Well, to be fair. She is wearing a high-tech earpiece that (somehow) shows her augmented reality on her status and surrounding information.

The good thing about HUDs in modern games are that they have a HUD settings area that you can choose to turn things off. But that wouldn't make a good tweet:


I just finished playing Outriders, and they also have a very good HUD settings panel:


I am one who likes a lot of information on my HUD, but I appreciate that the developers allows you to customize the HUD to your taste.
 

Ellery

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Fully agree. It takes the immersion out of many games and reminds me of MMOs. Funnily many games that do this also feel as bland and boring as many MMO in an open world doing fetch quests and meaningless interactions.

That is why I am so thankful for TLOU2 and Naughty Dog. They do it incredibly well and on top of that they give you more customizations than any other game before where you can change the UI exactly the way you would want it to be.
Though I didn't need to change anything. The UI was basically perfect giving me all the information I need while being so minimal that I never was taken out of the actual game.

There are exceptions though. Mostly PC games for RTS and sims and stuff.
 
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Two games I've been playing in recent days were DeS Remake and The Division 2. Stark contrast. Divisions UI is cluttered, complicated, difficult to read (even with font size set to large) and very confusing. DeS Remake does it perfectly in my book. I don't think with these examples, the complexity of the elements on screen reflects the differences between the games in terms of depth and variety.
 
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Miles708

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I totally agree (the best HUD is no HUD) but to be fair it's kinda weird to have Horizon as an example of this, since it tackles the problem brilliantly by giving options to turn off EVERYTHING, and bring it on on-demand for a couple of seconds, by simply touching the touchpad.

Simple, effective and elegant solution.

I've also played The Witcher3 and Dark Souls 2 with disappearing HUD, and it made the experience 130% better.
 
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A lot of games barely have any UI also... But yes, hzd is ampered by its Ubisoft like approach, they should have done with the pirates campments ans the walking giraffes. Let people use a map or something, no need to clutter the game with so many navigation helpers.
 

Kuranghi

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I appreciate how it disappears in Ghost of Tushishima (I'm playing in "pro mode" or whatever its called) because that game is like the opposite of what nightmare-slain nightmare-slain said above about Cyberpunk, where it really fits in with the tone/scenario.

If a game doesn't have the option to hide it it rarely bothered me though, it would have to be REALLY egregious to distract me.

The thing with Breath of the Wild I didn't like was I still wanted the minimap but not some of the other HUD and I couldn't pick and choose parts of it like Horizon lets you. I wanted hearts, minimap and sound/temp meter and everything else gone.

Temp because I just liked knowing exactly where I was on the scale for flavour reasons rather than gameplay and sound because I don't know how else the game communicated that to you, did I miss something about how the game tells you how loud you are being without the meter?
 

Dibils2k

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Well, to be fair. She is wearing a high-tech earpiece that (somehow) shows her augmented reality on her status and surrounding information.

The good thing about HUDs in modern games are that they have a HUD settings area that you can choose to turn things off. But that wouldn't make a good tweet:


I just finished playing Outriders, and they also have a very good HUD settings panel:


I am one who likes a lot of information on my HUD, but I appreciate that the developers allows you to customize the HUD to your taste.
have you tried playing horizon with hud elements turned off?

giving the option does not make its plausible. if therr was an option to make enemies invisible, you could do it but its wouldnt serve the game well
 
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The Janitor

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I agree. It's why I have a mod page dedicated to making HUD toggles for games:

https://www.nexusmods.com/users/2257677?tab=user+files&BH=1

The problem is even if a game let's you turn the HUD off in the options, it becomes unplayable because the game is designed so that you have to rely on the HUD to find your objective etc.
Going in to the menu everytime is not feasible. Which is why a toggle is a decent compromise, you can switch the HUD on or off ingame whenever you need it.
 

Miles708

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have you tried playing horizon with hud elements turned off?

giving the option does not make its plausible. if therr was an option to make enemies invisible, you could do it but its wouldnt serve the game well

I'm not sure I follow?
Horizon is 100% playable with no HUD.
 
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RedVIper

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Well, to be fair. She is wearing a high-tech earpiece that (somehow) shows her augmented reality on her status and surrounding information.

The good thing about HUDs in modern games are that they have a HUD settings area that you can choose to turn things off. But that wouldn't make a good tweet:


I just finished playing Outriders, and they also have a very good HUD settings panel:


I am one who likes a lot of information on my HUD, but I appreciate that the developers allows you to customize the HUD to your taste.

Costumizing the HUD doesn't matter when the games are (Poorly) designed to be played with all the HUD elements on the screen.
 

ZlleH

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have you tried playing horizon with hud elements turned off?

giving the option does not make its plausible. if therr was an option to make enemies invisible, you could do it but its wouldnt serve the game well
Apparently someone tweeted he can play the game with the HUD and a black screen. So I guess anything is possible once you put your mind to it.
 

GreyHorace

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Popping in here to state that Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor has the worst User Interface I've had the displeasure of encountering in a videogame.



I say this as someone who is normally not bothered by games with UIs in general, but SoM's was just obnoxious in how it clutters up the screen with so much shit. It actually put me off playing the game for awhile.

Perhaps though, I've been spoiled by the sleek and minimalist UI of Ghost of Tsushima;



... but that's still no excuse for how sloppy Mordor's was. Hopefully more games in the future don't make the same mistake in their design.
 

ZlleH

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Costumizing the HUD doesn't matter when the games are (Poorly) designed to be played with all the HUD elements on the screen.

If this is a topic on poorly design games, then I am out, because I have no experience to add to that debate.
 

nerdface

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Yeah, I agree. Luckily many games have options to remove some, combos, or all of it.

I’m kinda impressed some games have visual queues near the character that make up for the UI anyway.

Players only have so much they can pay attention to. A busy UI is many times indicative of a shallow interaction at the actual character.
 
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Soodanim

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Way back in Assassin's Creed 2 I was turning off HUD elements. Games that don't have the options for it are disappointing. I found myself enjoying the game a lot more with the vast majority turned off.

MGS5TPP was another one, but even more so. The gameplay actually changes when you start turning HUD elements off, because half of them are essentially cheats. Who would ever use the bionic arm's echolocation if they just have everything permanently tagged and floating on the screen?
 
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TonyK

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I'm not sure I follow?
Horizon is 100% playable with no HUD.
I found it unplayable without hud. Game world is not designed to be read without icons. Breath of the wild has a ton of landmarks (mountains, specific ruins or rocks, the position of the volcano related to the castle that makes that you always know where the north is...). Horizon without hud is unplayable because you can't know the direction you must follow only seeing the scenario.
 
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Miles708

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I found it unplayable without hud. Game world is not designed to be read without icons. Breath of the wild has a ton of landmarks (mountains, specific ruins or rocks, the position of the volcano related to the castle that makes that you always know where the north is...). Horizon without hud is unplayable because you can't know the direction you must follow only seeing the scenario.
That's a fair criticism regarding the game world, but (at least for waypoints) it is possible to turn on the hud briefly on the fly, just to check directions, and then move on.

Not an optimal solution for world design, but an elegant one for interface design.
 

TonyK

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That's a fair criticism regarding the game world, but (at least for waypoints) it is possible to turn on the hud briefly on the fly, just to check directions, and then move on.

Not an optimal solution for world design, but an elegant one for interface design.
That's true and I ended playing it in that way. I wish all games has that option to play without hud and then, only pressing a key, the hud appears briefly.
 

sunnysideup

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Games should have as little hud as possible. If it is an immersive game atleast. For like flightsims it might be different.

Being a long time plasma owner and now an oled owner ive always been afraid of burn in.
 

Bernd Lauert

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It's the Ubisoft effect. You can play those games on autopilot, just follow the dot. What makes it worse is that when you turn off the UI, you can't play the game because there's no organic way to find out where to go.

Gothic 2 is to this day my favorite game because the worldbuilding there is genius. You don't need an UI to get around because you get decent descriptions from NPCs and quest texts. You explore and learn the world and at some point you just know where you have to go and it feels extremly natural and immersive.
 

Cert.in.Death

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Generally speaking, I disagree that this is a novel problem; UI design today is given far more thought and consideration than at any other time and there are a bevy of games which minimize HUD elements to great effect.

I’ve been revisiting the PS360 era recently and the problem of cluttered UI was so much worse.
 

theclaw135

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The PSP port of The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky is a text book study what not to do. The menus are tiny and cramped on the portable screen.
 
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Danjin44

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I like in NieR Automata you can customize the UI through it’s chip system, it’s actually make sense within world itself.
 
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Moonjt9

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I think that depends, because while many games will offer the option to turn off informations, if these games were designed with these informations in mind, the games won't be as playable without them, and could become unnecessarily tedious. Like if you turn off informations but the world itself doesn't give you any clues on where to go with clever level design etc, it won't work well.
This is true. And also why Breath of the Wild was so well designed.

I turned off the minimap and other HUD elements in that game, and I enjoyed it so much more than if I had that UI telling me where to go and such. The game world led me places, I used the game world and landmarks to make my own waypoints within the world.

I enjoyed that game way more than I would have if I kept the HUD on.

This leads me to believe that all that UI clutter should be the option you need to tick rather than be the default. If these games defaulted to barebones UI with options to add more assistance like minimap, quest markers etc, I feel like they would be even better
 
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R6Rider

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Depends on the game, but if there are options to turn off certain HUD elements, I usually turn off a few things. I remember I played Far Cry Primal without the HUD and it was great. For the recent Hitman games I turn off most HUD options.
 

Larxia

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This is true. And also why Breath of the Wild was so well designed.

I turned off the minimap and other HUD elements in that game, and I enjoyed it so much more than if I had that UI telling me where to go and such. The game world led me places, I used the game world and landmarks to make my own waypoints within the world.

I enjoyed that game way more than I would have if I kept the HUD on.

This leads me to believe that all that UI clutter should be the option you need to tick rather than be the default. If these games defaulted to barebones UI with options to add more assistance like minimap, quest markers etc, I feel like they would be even better
I also played Breath Of The Wild with the Pro mode to have almost no hud, and it was indeed an amazing experience, I'm usually not really into nintendo games, but this was one of the best open world experiences I ever had. I tried to convice other people to play it with the pro mode but no one would :messenger_pensive: which most likely made the experience a bit less unique for them, because they followed a gps, instead of learning the world.
 

Reality Czar

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Entirely disagree. Modern games show more of the game world than ever. Old games would have giant segments of the screen entirely blocked off. This was at a time when every pixel counted. Think Super Mario Bros. 3 or DOOM.



Also this is a Twitter dumb take to say that the black screen Horizon would be "playable". And he disingenuously just blacked out the entire part of the screen. Like i'm fucking sorry, having a tiny semi transparent weapons wheel in the lower left corner is not the same has having a black screen where you cannot see the game world. Stupid bad faith argument, that.
 
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hemo memo

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Popping in here to state that Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor has the worst User Interface I've had the displeasure of encountering in a videogame.



I say this as someone who is normally not bothered by games with UIs in general, but SoM's was just obnoxious in how it clutters up the screen with so much shit. It actually put me off playing the game for awhile.

Perhaps though, I've been spoiled by the sleek and minimalist UI of Ghost of Tsushima;



... but that's still no excuse for how sloppy Mordor's was. Hopefully more games in the future don't make the same mistake in their design.
Thank you. Indeed. Ghost is an example of how to do a HUD right.
 
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KyoShiRo330

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Saw this on twitter from an indie dev and must say didn't really think of it as an issue until they showed the blacked out comparison. Probably suits Horizon quite well given the open/flat nature of the map as well.





I fully agree. And it's a great example too, thankfully HZD has an option to fully hide the UI and make it appear by touching the touchpad.
The interface is the first thing I tweak in games.
 

Liar

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Dunno, I love bunch of statuses, and indicators on the screen - especially if those are earned.

I remember people saying that they turn off map in open world games like GTA for better immersion, but to me that is simply another part of experience.
 

skit_data

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I recently finished Ghost of Tsushima, and that has one of the best, most natural looking integration of certain aspects of the HUD. Its not perfect, but it has some really nice solutions and the HUD was always turned off at the exact right moments, yet always there when i needed it.
 

Esca

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Unfortunately due to my memory and concentration issues I can no longer post games with minimal huds anymore. I love love loved finding things be deciphering puzzles and such to know where some place was, but I understand that isn't for everyone. I think it's great the modern games are coming with options for the hud.
 

Belmonte

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What I don't like is when there are excessive UI elements overlaid in the screen like a cell phone game.

The examples below are good IMO because along with the hardware limitations of the time, the information is in a separate part. Terra Nova, the second one, have some overlaid UI but it adds to the game theme.


 
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