Let's Takl About The Tsw2 User Interface Again. Part 7: The Hud

Discussion in 'TSW General Discussion' started by Rudolf, Jan 31, 2022.

  1. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    In the previous part we discussed the pause screen.

    https://forums.dovetailgames.com/th...nterface-again-part-6-the-pause-screen.51209/
    This brings be to the last part in this series, the HUD.

    20220130095512_1.jpg
    I think the HUD is not bad., but it can be improved a lot.

    1. There should be a minimal HUD for HUD less gameplay, which shows just the next task. It should be possible to show the location marker as well. If the only thing show in the text is "Stop as indicated" this is not very helpful.

    2. What is not very good is that the information upon upcoming signals and speed limits and the objective are show in different corners of the screen. From an ergonomic point of view this is bad. In that respect TSxxxx is doing much better. Now you have to look at four corners of the screen to keep an overview. It is not very helpful while driving.

    3. I think the speedometer HUD could use some simplifications. especially the brake states have a lot of additional lines that do not have any function. E.g. the little arrows indication the positions.
    4. The brake indicators are not always consistent. Sometimes the order is changed.
    5. We talked a lot about the accelerometer. In the image you see the TGV dashboard which has a simple arrow. Arrow up means speed is increasing, arrow down means speed is decreasing. This is all you really need to see. Despite all things Matt said about this topic, the accelerometer is pretty useless for me in its present form.
    6. I think the HUD in total is still quite big and takes lots of screen space. The TSxxxx version does not have such a huge speedometer, but shows just two values: max allowed speed and actual speed. We may want to add cruise control settings to that as well.
     
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  2. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    I liked the TSW2020 HUD better, it took less screen space and was less obstructive than the current one, although I don't like the bright and flashy light blue.

    About n.1 unless I misunderstood somehmthing you can do that already
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
  3. chieflongshin

    chieflongshin Well-Known Member

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    Ah this is what we call the “our market is console players in 55inch tvs who can’t see small detail “ hud. Sony have upset them with downloads, Xbox with lack of sales. DTG will tip the, over the edge if hud is fettled with
     
  4. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    The trouble with the current Hud is that it supplies information in three different areas of the screen.
    It's purpose is solely to enhance gameplay and is not authentic.

    The aim of a Hud is to supply essential information where it is most easily accessible.
    Three separate quadrants of the screen fails that basic requirement.

    I haven't started on the information chosen to be displayed.
    Do we really need a direction indicator?
    If you haven't mastered this basic setting you should be forcefully removed from the cab...
     
  5. Factor41

    Factor41 Well-Known Member

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    When the user experience is so poor that you get switched between two control systems and muscle memory of trying to zoom out in one of them moves you into reverse in another, yeah, it's probably worth having! :D
     
  6. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    My biggest bugbear is the speedometer not having sensible major divisions (that match the train’s actual speedometer) and the accuracy of how the speed, speed limit, and divisions line up with each other, which is quite a way off a lot of the time. I also don’t like how the divisions disappear under the white speed ribbon as it goes higher. I’d like to be able to always see the divisions.

    I do find the HUD fairly easy to refer to and my eyes are easily drawn to the info I want to see. I didn’t like it when I was on PS4 because it was hard to read but on PS5 on a large 4k screen it is all clear. I don’t know if the designers check how it looks on lower resolution screens when they design it but it should be readable across the board and more sizing options would help people choose how it looks. I don’t find having to look in different corners for the info I need too difficult but I know that bothers a lot of people.

    I don’t use any of the in route markers but one thing bothers me about them when I see them on the streams. On a straight track the marker bubbles appear directly ahead of you and obscure the track and any trackside equipment. I think it would be more helpful if they were offset slightly higher up or lower down so they don’t obscure anything you need to look at while you are driving. It’s not such a problem on bendy tracks as they shift from side to side out of the way.

    I do find some of the HUD design to be inconsistent. Apart from the seven or so font styles it contains other things stand out, for example the speed units in the bottom right HUD element are in lower case letters (km/h) but in the top right they are in upper case letters (KM/H). Nit picking? Maybe, I don’t know.
     
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  7. Clumsy Pacer

    Clumsy Pacer Well-Known Member

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    Or just not show it if it's more than, say, 1 or 2 km or miles away.

    As far as the speedo's concerned, I think it's much better laid out than in TSW2020. I do think the HUD in general could do with a pop-up saying why the traction's interlocked if you try to take power (and while we're here, one could similarly pop up explaining why you got a penalty brake application) - it's all well and good saying you can't apply power, but it's useless if you don't know why.

    A: "No you can't order a pizza here"
    B: "why?"
    A: "Ooh look at the stars. How pretty."
     
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  8. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    I agree on every single point, especially the objective marker in the way and speed division, at least the first is fixable by toggling ctrl+1 on and off (like I do), the second one is just infuriating.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
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  9. Factor41

    Factor41 Well-Known Member

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    The UI designer's job should be to nit pick about these things so we get a consistent, unified experience. Unfortunately, the interface throughout TSW is a mish-mash of badly thought out display and control choices. Two obvious examples:
    • If the service duration and route map is shown in the Timetable selection screen, it should also be in the Journey selection screen. Why are we blindly picking from the Journey list when they're essentially just curated timetable options and that information definitely exists?
    • If the in-game map uses Left stick to move around, and R2/L2 trigger buttons to zoom in/out, why on Earth does the map in the pause menu use Right stick to zoom while R2/L2 are unused?
    We shouldn't have to think through our actions and try out different combinations of buttons and sticks every time we try to do something.
     
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  10. orb

    orb Well-Known Member

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    About the accelerometer, changing blue/white/yellow colour of the ball like on a couple of TSG locos does its thing there, as you don't need to look directly on the ball to see its change and what it means. Otherwise I don't pay much attention to it, as to how fast the speed is changing by looking at numbers on speedometer and the gradient.

    The original size of the HUD elements is indeed huge, that's why I personally set the application scale to 0.7 (70%) because it fits my screen size and readability the best. Most of the HUD is positioned well with the changed application scale, except the scenario distance markers, which are displayed at incorrect positions - this needs to be fixed. The best would be application scale setting changeable from within the game (in such case they'd need to check if all UI elements scale properly everywhere in the game).

    As I'm talking about scenario markers, they may be confusing if you look just on the track instead of checking the top-left corner. I heard Matt saying a couple of times in live streams through the past year that there was actually a different graphic created for "go via", so why hasn't this been replaced/fixed yet and a different icon still isn't displayed?

    As I turned off displaying earned points and next signal information a long time ago, I can't say much about them. I can only say the next speed limit distance doesn't need to be looked at every couple of seconds, unless it changes every hundred of meters/yards. I definitely don't look at this corner as often as I did when I had both earned points and next signal information displayed there.

    On the big size version of speedometer it would be nice to see ticks displayed more often and decimals on the numeric part until at least 100.
     
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  11. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    The present HUD is not perfect, but I find it gives me the information I need while driving.
    Frankly, after the disastrous, unilateral changes to the pause screen and route selection screen last year ( which nobody asked for and very few seem to like), I wouldn't trust DTG to mess with any other part of the UI.
    If they can't provide us with a TS-style map, then they should leave well alone.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2022
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  12. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    Those issues are worse than those with the driving HUD but I do agree that a lot of the design and functionality in all of TSW’s UI is amateurish, clumsy and inconsistent. That’s why this little series of threads has been good to keep the criticism alive.
     
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  13. Quentin

    Quentin Well-Known Member

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    If you're in the cab, fair enough, but I often (when shunting) use exterior views (2 or 3), and then it's handy to check that you've set the direction correctly.
     
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