For a long time fighting games have used lifebars to show health. For new players this is good because it is a simple visual way to display health.
But once someone becomes competitive/serious, they are a hindrance. Gief and Akuma have different health, but they are represented with the same bar – and what’s the point of knowing a combo does 356 damage in training mode, but there’s no accurate way to gauge how much of an opponent’s bar that is during a match?
356 damage is a different length on Gief’s bar than it is on Akuma’s bar. Magic pixels occur because lifebars are a visual representation of a numerical value. Even experienced players/commentators are forced to estimate if something will kill because in the heat of a match there’s no way to know EXACTLY how much remaining HP you have.
Here’s some UI mockups I’ve been working on for my game:
First up is a version that uses real HP numbers. Useful because you’ll know EXACTLY how much life you have, and combo damage will show up exactly like it does in training mode.
Here is another version that uses percent. Not as accurate as real HP, but still slightly more clear than lifebars (no more magic pixel!)
Thoughts? Curious to see what people think of different HP display styles.
Side note: Does anyone care whether super bar is at top or bottom?