The HUD part of the UI has really been an iterative process. The first samples were so basic, it slightly hurts to think about it. However, baring with the iterations was truly a need.
The UI may not be what you envision, but that’s not the most critic part when starting. That is our thought. Regardless of if it looks terrible or not, it better function properly, and when you are starting from scratch, there are plenty of areas for the functionality to not work properly. 🙂
We have asked ourselves some of the very basic questions of positioning. Like “where would you like to see the time?” We ping-pong back and forth, finding justifications both ways. Then when we go around and ask, we sometimes get a mix of confirmations and wildly different expectations. Some of those talks shove us back from the “90%” to the “meh 50/50.” Obviously you would like your ideas to be validated but sadly it doesn’t always work that way…
So! We have looked at some really successful games, and their layouts. While there are some ideas we can gleam from others, because we have played the game and enjoyed the placement, there are times once we put the idea placement in the game, we dislike it due to the surrounds. We seem to constantly want to improve the UI, colors, placement, fonts, and so on.
We cannot wait to get a UI artist to help give us that “Ah yes!” moment of element feng shui. Until then, we will be continuously plugging in our ideas and listening to feedback!