In NS2HD's latest videos he talked about spectator-mode feedback from the community and how the spectator system should be improved for the release of NS2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7voaNKd0GM#t=7m10
). With the current spectator mode it is very hard to always be in the right spot with your camera and the minimap is not always showing what is going on with the tech of both teams and this is very frustrating for your spectators if you are casting a match. I know that, because I have also casted some clanmatches in the past months.
The main missing feature is probably the first person view and a directed camera mode, but beside this I wanted to share some GUI ideas with you.
So I gathered some ideas and made a quick, little
sketch to show you:
Here you can see the players of both teams, player/team resources and the current gametime and map. This is similar to the dota2 top menu where you can see the player hero avatars... I think its the best way to show all informations about the players and the current round you need in a very tiny space.
The players are being displayed by their current role / weapon selection (commanders are referenced by a commandstation or a hive). So when they switch to another role/weapon, the icon will also be changed. You could additionally display their hitpoints with a small (colored) bar below the playerbox. Displaying the playernames is something which I would not do. As you can see there are also some small icons showing the current upgrades of each player. I don't know if these icons are too small but making them bigger would cause them to hide the main player icon. I've also added a death time indicator which is overlaying the player icon.
In the center of the top menu you can see the current gametime (now its placed in the score board which doesn't make much sense) and also the map name. The current teamresources are also shown here. If you want to also add the killstats to this position, I'd say to move the maptime/name to the bottom of the screen and align the res/kills stats in a better way.
In the bottom right area of the screen you can see the techpoints locations. Its showing all available tech locations of the map at the same time. If there is no hive/commandstation on a specific location the little box is left blank (or you could just hide it). Every built up techpoint has some more indicators on it showing the current hitpoints, the egg/IP count or the chosen tech tree of a hive. Techpoints which are being build are greyed out and the build percentage is also shown.
With the current minimap there are some problems. You can cycle through three states: no minimap, the minimap in the bottom left corner or the full map in the center of the screen. In my opinion it shouldn't be possible to hide the minimap completely and I also think that the smaller minimap is a little bit too small. So two different toggles should be implemented: one for changing the minimap size and one for hiding the minimap and tech-locations to get a clear screen.
-- Screen resolutions and aspect ratios
While designing a GUI you have to make sure that everything runs well on different screen resolutions and aspect ratios. I know that there are many improvements which can be done to my little sketch, eg. reducing the weight of the tech-locations (size, opacity, colors, saturation) or the minimap. But despite this I think it a good start, because the complete GUI also fits well on screens with a smaller aspect ratio (4:3).
I'd love to know what you think of my ideas and also what you would do in a different and/or better way.