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In Video games, the HUD (Head Up Display) is the part of the screen where games informations are displayed.

Most often, we can see the score, number of remaining Lives, ammunitions, and many game's related usefull informations...Hi-Score too.

In Amstrad CPC games, the HUD is often quite large and covers a large part of the screen, yet some games preferred minimalist HUD, as a large and graphical HUD is also a waste of CPU and graphic ressource.

A Logo of the game is Sometimes displayed too.

Also the real Game's window (where the action is) can be displayed inside a Frame (Shadow of the Beast).

Heavy graphical HUD are often a mean to "hide" the fact that the game is poorly developped, slow, and directly ported from a Speccy.

The Big HUD then complete the small and tiny game's windows to make illusion the screen is big and finely developped.

Ironically, Games in Full Screen (sometimes mis-dubbed as "Overscan mode") often display very minimalist HUD...while extremly reduced screens (Speccy standards, even less) display an almost huge 1/3 of the screen massive HUD.

The many HUDs

A HUD can be Vertical, Horizontal or Diagonal, or include some kind of GUI.

It can be Simple or Double.

With double HUD the Game's window is then often "sandwiched" by 2 HUD.

The HUD is sometimes an excuse to display more colours than theoretically possible in Native Mode, by mean of Rasters.

This technic theoretically cannot be used with a vertical HUD...yet if your game's window is monocolour, you can cheat on this (PacMania...)

Notable Speccy Port do this. Ironically, in those (often) scrappy Speccy Ports the screen then display 5 or even more colours in Mode1... Yet the game's windows may remains monocolour (PacMania and Black Tiger...)

Also some Games Producers sometimes displayed the HUD in another Graphic Mode, this allows to display a good 16 colours in the Game's window while the HUD use the highest resolution of Mode 1 to ease the display of informations.

The choice of HUD style depends of the choices made with the game itself. Vertical scrolling shooters often get a vertical HUD, Horizontal Shooters a Horizontal HUD.

The presence of scrolling also impose HUD technics.

And split screened HUD are easier when horizontal (as for raster extra colours).

A frame for example is often chosen when the game has no scrollings, yet not always. Programming evolved a lot in this field and Shadow of the beast display a huge graphically heavy Frame (which is in fact a waste of tiles...).

The Frame may also be used to hide the non-smooth scrolling...

Horizontal HUD

Double Horizontal HUD

Vertical HUD

Double Vertical HUD

Diagonal HUD or Crossed Diagonal HUD

Frame around the Game's window

HUD with GUI

  • Hero Quest

HUD with different Graphic Mode than the Game windows

HUD with a big logo of the game's name

Minimalist HUD

HUD displaying extra colours

Animated HUD

Mixed HUD technics

  • Barbarian (palace software) : Games information are diplayed Upside and Downside (game's mode...minimalist yet). The snakes heads (in fact upper horizontal HUD) scream when Damage are done, and a Frame is displayed all around the Game's window (snakes bodies)

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