I’m the kind of guy who wants the user interface to be as clean as possible. For example, I don’t want to see that guy has 32% health left (instead, I want the guy to limb when he walks). I’d rather not see an image of a gun with a text “laser cannon” in the user interface – I’d rather see simply laser cannon in the player character’s hands. I don’t wanna see “121 frags” on the screen all the time, I want it to be behind pressing TAB. And so on, I’m sure you get the point: I want (certain type of games) to be as much GUI-free as possible.
To me, it’s about (the fancy word) immersion. I feel I’m losing something if there’s textual representation about certain elements in games.
For the very same reason, I’ve tried to keep my Dead Wake zombie game as GUI free as possible in the game. Sure, there’s some text and hints and tips, but at the moment you haven’t for example seen how many ammo there’s in your gun’s clip. I remember playing Action Quake (stole the idea from there) many, many years ago – and it was the first game that didn’t show you how many ammo your gun had (and it had no “auto-reloading” after the clip is empty). This created really spooky situations when in the middle of a fight, you try to shoot but you realize that ammo clip is empty! I want the same to happen in Dead Wake where you shoot zombies, and in the middle of shooting you just hear dry fire sounds… you’ve just run out of ammo.
Now the thing is, that I’d still like to give players a way to know their total ammo (counting all ammo left excluding the ammo currently in gun). Similarly as in the army, you could know how many clips you had left thus you knew if you had 35 or 70 (or whatever) ammo left by simply counting full clips. I’ll consider adding this clip/ammo number in the screen, and either showing it all the time or when player hovers the mouse over something. (I’ll also ask you guys for suggestions, and think of checking out some other games to see if there’s some good ideas on doing this).
With that being said, anyone else likes to keep the user interface as empty as possible? Or… do you wanna show loads of stats? (I realize that different genres – like for example adventure RPG or some sort of strategy games where you might need to get much information about many units easily – need to provide more info than Dead Wake’s type of action game).