It’s becoming increasingly popular in modern titles (particularly futuristic or open world titles) to have various UI elements that move around the screen/world in games according to a variety of factors from explosion forces to camera movement.
In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the player’s stamina meter tracks Link’s position in screen space and displays it next to them. This makes it look more dynamic than just a static bar or overlay on the screen.
I wanted to achieve my own spin on it for showing health in this project. To have a health bar that looked part of the action rather than an accessory to it.
I originally experimented with a full circle for health but could not find a good place for it to fit. For it to be big enough for the player to see clearly, it took way too much screen real-estate.
By cutting the circle in half, I was presnted with a whole plethora of new possibilities in placement:
With rotation now part of the equation I experimented with both as I moved the bar around the screen.
In the end I settled on having the bar towards the character’s waist as I found it the least distracting during gameplay and the most natural fit to the character’s geometry.
I also experimented with having the health bars being fully opaque but in the end I decided against it as whenever it covered the enemy character, that would mean the player is losing critical information during combat.
I may tweak the scale a bit more in the future, as it does still take a bit more screen space than I would like, but for now I am happy with its operation.