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A papercraft version of the in-game 3D model of a Red Armor from Warsow.

Warsow HUDs

In 2012 I worked with the Warsow dev team to create a collection new of HUDs for the 1.0 release.

Warsow has it's own HUD scripting language that is very arcane. Before working with the dev team I developed many new features with the scripting language as my only tool. One of the most frustrating bugs for me was that placing elements was on a 800 × 600 grid, playing in widescreen would stretch out the entire HUD. Before CSS Media Queries were a thing, I was using the terrible math parser this scripting language had to place elements on the screen properly whether on widescreen or not.


Screenshot of the game Warsow version 1.0, showcasing the default HUD.

Warsow's default HUD was starting to look very dated, and did not match the look of the game anymore. I set out to create a faithful replacement, while adding many of the new techniques I had created over time.


Screenshot of the game Warsow version 1.0, showcasing the 'modern' HUD.

The stylized version of the default HUD. I wanted this to be the HUD new players used by default, as the background color would match your team color, making it easier for new players to know who is on their side, and who to shoot.

Because of the limited capabilities of Warsow's HUD scripting, creating the graphics that span the bottom of the screen, and making them fluid was a big challenge. All of these HUDs were made solely with the available HUD scripting features, which had not changed since around 2005. Despite that it still offered much more customizability than most games at the time.


Screenshot of the game Warsow version 1.0, showcasing the 'spec' HUD.

Weekly events were run by the community and casted by Alex "Jehar" Popa and QuakeLive was becoming a popular game, breathing life into arena shooters. I was inspired by QL's spec HUD, and decided to create one for Warsow and our community competitions.

After some feedback and many iterations, the community adopted the HUD. The Warsow development team added a feature which enables automatically switching HUDs when in spectator mode.


Screenshot of the game Warsow version 1.0, showcasing the 'LoHUD' HUD.

LoHUD was a HUD I made in collaboration with one of the top players, Lo. This HUD is a modern take on his self created HUD which features a big background for all the information.

In Warsow when a Mega Health is picked up, the item re-spawn timer only starts when the player's health drops to 100 or below. LoHUD has a background which changes color based on the health to aid in timing this Mega Health behavior.


Screenshot of the game Warsow version 1.0, showcasing the 'clownHUD' HUD.

clownHUD was my bread and butter. I had been making HUDs and experimenting for years before they were officially included in Warsow. My aim with this HUD was to minimize the cognitive load of parsing information. I researched fonts, colors, placement, and developed a few features with just the bare bones scripting language.

As simple as it looks, it had many little hacks and inspirations from other games. My favorite was exploiting the font system, which used a texture atlas to render text. A little known feature was unused in every HUD, but displayed the number of players remaining in round based team games. For this I created a custom font to render stick men instead of numbers which achieved a better visual representation of how many players remained on each team.


Screenshot of the game Warsow version 1.0, showcasing the 'clown21' HUD.

A version of clownHUD with throwback icons from an older version of Warsow, which had a more grungy art style.