Friday, 29 October 2010

More HUD config options

Completed changes to the HUD section of the config file.
<HUD col="1.0, 0.8, 0.2" glow="0" shadow="1" breakoutfpi="1" />

I'm using the TinyXML lib for config functions, it's been fast efficient and easy to use. I added a new option today that was born out of looking at videos of games projected onto huge screens giving almost 1:1 scale. Before my tripplehead PC went pop I had a problem with virtual symbology relative to HUD size. The larger the screen, the smaller the HUD relatively. At it's worst, the effect was looking through a keyhole.

So I removed the keyhole, the "breakout" option in the HUD config will plot some indicators outside the HMD area and in a relative scale to the screen size. This makes it more useful at the expense of not being totally accurate, hence the option.

In the screenshot below  you'll note the user colour option for the HUD symbology in effect alongside the flightpath indicator outside the HUD buffer (right of the altitude bar in the hilly bits). This is easier to use on a laptop too where screens are not as bright and it's easier to pick up.

There's been an intermittent windows exception error when launching the game (release build). I tracked this down to the old controller config loading which uses IO streams to pull in a data-file. Something is going on there. I need to re-do the controller settings anyway using XML to store response curves and other tweaks you can't do right now. Just a pain as laptop drives are a touch on the slow side.


Symbology broken out of the HUD now match HUD blend FX. Corrected screen ratio. Adjusted pop-up scales and distances. Added config option to turn off HUD mode text (on by default). Continuing adding more map glyphs. Spent a little time just flying around. Found a bunch of weapon symbology already in the HUD code which I had totally forgotten about.


  1. It`s a joy to watch your progress on this project and to see it raising. Every new screenshot makes me want to get in the pilot`s chair asap! Keep up the awesome work! I´ll stick to your blog and I`m eager how it all sums up! Best regards from germany,

  2. Have to admit that. I had a look at the screenshots over at SimHQ. I´m not registered there thats why I have to post here.
    Combat Helo is really developing into something great.

    If you don´t have your desktop PC up again already I would suggest a PayPal donation button so we can support you on your long way.

  3. Normally I post such things here but I didn't have anything really interesting to add to what I had already posted.

    The interior reflection is pretty cool, I added some more pics just now. Dave was just showing me a shiny laser hellfire dome.

    I was expecting a new mb but I don't know what happened to that. Been weeks now.

    Seriously considering applying for jobs in the gaming sector again although it's a young persons market. Forty somethings like me don't get much of a look in.

  4. Just a quick comment on reflections.

    Since our monitor is 2D we have to assume that out eyes are continually focussed in all areas i.e. Shorter focus when looking in at instruments and focusing at infinity when looking outside at terrain etc.

    If you look at a window with a reflection and are focussing at the window, everything beyond it is blurred and the reflection is clear. Focus outside the window at infinity (as you would in a cockpit) and the reflection disappears. The only exception to this is at night, where reflections are higher due to the higher contrast and the fact that your eyes find it harder to focus at distant objects in the dark.

    So, I guess I am saying, go easy on the reflection intensity. They look great from outside looking in but can be a distraction and nuisance if not done properly when looking from in to out and aren't particularly realistic imho.

  5. In my pit modeling experience, the worst offenders for reduced visibility are increased opacity, milky coloured glass, thick dirt and scratches. The above mentioned artifacts tend to cut you off from the outside world and make spotting targets much more difficult. It's for this reason that I made the cockpit glass very transparent, almost to the point where you can't see any difference between having glass and not having glass.

    Reflections give you a good feeling of glass without blocking your vision. They don't physically restrict your sight in the same way as higher opacity levels and dirt do.

    I can't recall seeing cubemapped pit reflections in any sim to date so it'll be something of a first to everyone and I'm sure opinions will be quite varied.

    Disabling them as a user option should be pretty easy.


  6. I'm more interested in seeing them on instrument glass anyways. Just experimental, there's no way I'd go with it as is. I can spot areas where it cubemap doesn't quite work, it's a fun effect but there's too much that's not quite right. I'd use a smaller res, less defined map.

  7. Instrument glass have special anti-reflective coatings. I have had experience of flying aircraft where this coating has worn off and if the sun is in the right place it makes them almost unreadable. In fact a safety hazard.

    An interesting discussion nonetheless. An option to turn cockpit reflections is the way ahead as AD suggested.

  8. The cockpit reflections from inside are really great. The best I've seen so far :) I would keep them as they are.

    Hope your MB arrives soon..

    Well about your age and game developer I have to say that experience is maybe underestimated but powerful I guess.

  9. Bugs or no, it's still a new feature that adds a lot to the overall pit experience and another selling point.