First look: Company of Heroes in-game UI!
First look: Company of Heroes in-game UI!
One of the most important components of any Real-time Strategy game is the User Interface. Often overlooked, the UI makes all the difference in how you experience the game and execute your strategy. This is why we are happy to give you a first look at the new UI for Company of Heroes 2!
Designed to give the player a full view of the battlefield and quick unit control, all the information you need to command your army is presented in a clean, concise and straightforward manner, with many improvements being made over the original design from CoH1.
(click the image to enlarge)
Starting on the lower left of the UI is the Minimap. Similar to the design in CoH1, the minimap panel gives you a bird’s eye view of the battlefield, displaying capture points and territory control lines. More prevalent are buttons for easily locating idle units and marking points of interest on the map. Unique map objectives are also identified with their own set of icons. The aesthetic of the minimap image is cleaner and allows for better friend vs. foe recognition, it also provides more contrast for the major geographical and tactical elements on each map.
To the right of the minimap is the selected Unit Portrait. Apart from providing a high fidelity visual representation of the selected unit, the portrait displays vital combat information including health, experience progress, experience rank, allegiance, kill-count, temperature, active abilities and vehicle criticals. Much of this information can be rolled over with the mouse to provide an expanded level of detail to the player.
Beyond the unit portrait is the main information panel, the Bridge. The bridge presents all of the critical and tertiary information for a selected unit, giving the player a quick reference for how to be effective on the battlefield in various combat scenarios. This information is presented through the unit decorators and text content. Selecting multiple units displays a list of unit decorators on a single line, allowing for fast unit sub-selection, upgrades and reinforcement.
Along the top of the bridge is the Resource Panel. This horizontal layout allows players to quickly and easily comprehend the various resources in the game, and compare and contrast the costs of issuing orders or purchasing new units vs. their available funds.
Every soldier and vehicle has a unique unit decorator. These are iconic representations which display each type of unit, their health, their veterancy, upgrades and combat situations such as idle, attacking, pinned or suppressed states and other information. These build from the UI decorators in Coh1, but provide more information and better clarity about what’s happening to a particular unit. The decorators are shown in 3 places: in-game overtop of units, in the bridge when a unit is selected, and in the top right of the screen in the Global Unit Control.
The Global Unit Control is the collapsible list of unit decorators in the top right of the screen. Infantry are displayed on the top row, with vehicles below. Units are displayed by build order, and re-arrange to form a 3rd row when put into control groups. This feature allows players to rapidly navigate between their units and see things like which units are under attack, or which are idle, all at a glance.
In the lower right of the screen is the Command Card. We have kept most of this as it was in Company of Heroes – we didn’t want to fix what wasn’t broken! You can now see each command labeled with a hotkey for quick reference – which by default favors complete control with the left hand on the keyboard.
Above the action panel is the new Commander Ability Menu. As you gain experience in combat, you may select one of three commander types (chosen before the game begins). Once the commander type is selected, the new commands and abilities are displayed in the column above the action panel. This is where you’ll see passive abilities, artillery strikes, air strikes, and more!
That’s the new Company of Heroes 2 User Interface! Small tweaks are still being made as we get feedback from the Alpha Stress Test and upcoming Closed Beta, but functionally the new UI is complete. We think you all will really like the new functions and look of the UI once you get your hands on it. We welcome all feedback on the UI as you see more screenshots or use it in the upcoming closed beta, so be sure to tell us what you think about it! Be sure to join the discussion here.