HUD Project – Research (Task 2)

 HUD Elements and Information Set

The information set is an overall term for the mechanics and design aspects in a game that help to immerse and engage the player and provide stats about the gameplay. Usually, the information set is broken down into two parts: user Interface and user experience.

User Experience

World Of Warcraft.jpg
Example of bad HUD design [Xav (2012)]
User experience refers to the how easy and immersive the game is to play. This is linked to HUDs as an overcrowded HUD can make good game unengaging and overcomplicated. Menus and Gameplay are also a large part of User Experience- if a menu is difficult to navigate or the objective of the game isn’t very clear, it can take away enjoyment from the playing the game.



Things that help make a good User Experience

  • A clear goal and/or endgame that are challenging enough to not be boring yet are still achievable.
  • In game menus that are easy to use/navigate
  • A HUD that immerses and adds to gameplay without being too overcrowded and complicated.


User Interface

The user interface is the inputs (keyboard, mouse, touchscreen, controller) and the visual (and audio) interfaces that enable and help the user to interact with the game. An essential part of the UI is the HUD (Heads Up Display). There are three different types of hud elements: Permanent, Pull-up and Actioned.

Permanent HUD elements

[Karen Arnold (2017)]
Permanent hud elements stay on the screen at all times and cannot usually be switched off. Examples of permanent HUD elements in a car racing game could be Dashboard, Speed dial, fuel gauge etc.





Pull-up HUD elements

[Sygic a.s. (2016)]

Pull-up HUD elements are like permanent elements except they can be turned on and off, usually by pressing a key. Examples of Pull-up HUD elements in context to a car racing game could be Steering wheels, Navigation/map, Pedals, Gearstick etc.




Actioned HUD elements

[Atlantic Performance (2013)]

Actioned HUD elements are different to permanent and pull-up HUDs as they are usually not visible until they are triggered by an event in the game. Examples of Actioned HUDs in context to a car racing game could be Low fuel warnings, Lap time indicators, Checkpoints etc.





Morals, Ethics and Copyright Laws


Morals are a set of personal beliefs and ideology that determine how we ourselves act in everyday life.


Ethics are morals that have been adopted by a majority or group of people and generally define how we behave as a society.


Intellectual Property and Copyright Law

‘Intellectual property (or IP) refers to creative work which can be treated as an asset or physical property. Intellectual property rights fall principally into four main areas; copyright, trademarks, design rights and patents.’ (UK Copyright Service, 2017)

Copyright is universal and applies to work that is recorded in some way. Literary, artistic, musical and dramatic work are covered by copyright as well as films, sound recordings and typographical arrangements. It gives the author specific rights in relation to the work, prevents unauthorised actions, and allows the creator to take legal action against cases of infringement or plagiarism.

However, trademarks are registered at a national level with an appointed government body and are not automatic. A trademark can be anything that identifies a product or organisation such as a name, logo or slogan. Registering in countries such as the US, the UK, Japan, etc will only protect you in that country. Trademarks can be recognised by the abbreviation ‘TM’, or the ‘®’ symbol.



Existing Driving Games

F1 2016

Things that are good about the HUD

  • Shows all of the information necessary for gameplay.
  • Is a good representation of real life car dashboards/ HUDs which is important as this game is based on the real Formula One.

Things that are bad about the HUD

  • Could be difficult to see as all the icons are overcrowded and cramped on the steering wheel.
  • The icons themselves are very complicated and not simplistic.

Does it work effectively as a HUD?

F1_2016.jpgIn my opinion, this HUD is not very effective as it is quite difficult to see and interpret the information presented by the numerous dials and gauges on the steering column. An improvement to this could be to increase the size of the icons as the HUD doesn’t take up too much of the view.


Need for speed

Things that are good about the HUD

  • Icons are simplistic and easy to understand.

Things that are bad about the HUD

  • Hud takes up a little too much of the screen.

Does it work effectively as a HUD?

Need_For_Speed.jpgThis is an interesting HUD design as is mainly made out of text based gauges. I think this HUD design works because it has an easily understandable design. If I was to improve it, I would perhaps make the box where the dials and gauges are located a little smaller as to not encroach so much on the gameplay.



Forza Horizon 3

Things that are good about the HUD

  • Very simplistic HUD, only showing what is essential for gameplay.

Things that are bad about the HUD

  • Limited/no mapp, only showing basic directions.

Does it work effectively as a HUD?

Forza_Horizon_3.pngI think that this hud is effective because it relays the essential information whilst not being too overcrowded or taking up too much space. The only improvement i could make would be to add a map into the HUD.





Car Dashboards Moodboard



Cobie Everdell (2015) Why the car industry needs to rethink the dashboard interface design | TechCrunch. Available at: (Accessed: Jan 2017)

Desi Quintans (2013) Game UI By Example: A Crash Course in the Good and the Bad. Available at:–gamedev-3943 (Accessed: Jan 2017)

Emil Lamprecht (2017) The Difference Between UX and UI Design-A layman’s Guide. Available at: (Accessed: Jan 2017)

iA (2016) UX Lessons in Game Design – iA. Available at: (Accessed: Jan 2017)

PCGamesN (2017) Racing games for PC: 10 of the best for 2017 | PCGamesN. Available at: (Accessed: Jan 2017)

Pluralsight (2014) Designing a HUD That Works for Your Game. Available at: (Accesed Feb 2017)

UK Copyright Service (2017) Intellectual Property: Copyright, Trademarks and Patents. Available at: (Accessed: Jan 2017)