troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Videogame Interface Elements
"It's like "Game Over" man, Game Over!"
Corporal Hudson, Aliens

Unlike noninteractive media, video games often require that incidental information be immediately available. Video games use a variety of mechanisms to present this information. Likewise, they have many kinds of commands, and different ways of accepting them. See also Interface Screw and Interface Spoiler for some metafictional uses of the interface.

These elements include:

  • Action Bar
    A UI element consisting of a box or strip of icons (or menu items) corresponding to actions which can be performed.
  • Attract Mode
    Animation that plays when no one is actively playing the game.
  • Boss Subtitles
    Where the boss is introduced with a big show of its name and a title or descriptive line.
  • Boss Warning Siren
    A boss is introduced with a warning siren.
  • Break Meter
    A usually graphical display that shows how close a character or enemy is to being "broken", a state where they will be more vulnerable to attacks.
  • Character Name Limits
    The player's name can be only so many letters long.
  • Color-Coded Elements
    Every magical effect has a color associated with it, allowing the player to tell at a glance which element a given ability is.
  • Diegetic Interface
    When the game interface exists in-universe, rather than being strictly for the player's benefit.
  • Dramatic Disappearing Display
    During a climactic Boss Battle or event, the game's display (showing Score, the Life Meter and such) vanishes, leaving a completely unobstructed view of the game area.
  • Emote Command
    A command in a multi-user game that depicts an emotion or personal action.
  • General Gaming Gamepads
    The usual types of controllers used with video game systems over the years.
  • Holler Button
    Pressing a button to call NPCs over.
  • Hot Bar
    A row of user-configurable buttons, usually located near the bottom or top of the screen.
  • Heads-Up Display
    Heads-Up Display: A device which projects supplemental information onto the surface reflection of a transparent panel.
  • Idle Animation
    The animation that is displayed when a character, especially a player-controlled character, is just standing around.
  • Interface Screw
    When the game unexpectedly changes the interface to mess with the player.
  • Interface Spoiler
    When the way an in-game menu is constructed gives away details about the rest of the game.
  • Level-Map Display
    Overlay that says "You are here". May also double as Enemy Detecting Radar.
  • Light Gun
    A video game controller shaped like a gun.
  • Main Window
    The place where the action of the game takes place.
  • My Name Is ???
    When the name of something - be it a character, object or menu item - is unknown, it will often be represented by a string of question marks.
  • Ominous Save Prompt
    An unusual-looking save prompt which comes just before something really nasty goes down.
  • The Pennyfarthing Effect
    What happens when an early version of a mechanic or interface is more complicated than a more recent one.
  • Pet Interface
    An interface in which you are given a sidekick, usually a pet, that acts as a guide/virtual pet of sorts in the world.
  • Playable Menu
    Fully interactivized main menu sequence.
  • Point-and-Click Map
    A game world map containing active areas, clicking on which instantly transports the character to the corresponding level.
  • Ring Menu
    An interface element where a list of possible actions are displayed in a ring or circle, often around a character.
  • Score Screen
    A screen that comes up after a level is beaten, tallying stuff like collectibles and your rating.
  • Scrolling Text
    When characters talk, it doesn't just appear instantly, it goes letter by letter.
  • Shows Damage
    Where the character or enemy graphically is shown with damaged clothing or body parts.
  • Slash Command
    A text command, beginning with a "/", usually found in MMORPGs.
  • Spinventory
    The inventory screen uses the actual in-game 3D model of the item, and lets you see it by spinning it around.
  • Squad Controls
    The player is given limited control over their NPC allies through a handful of predefined commands.
  • Start Screen
    A static screen, or else an Attract Mode, which usually contains the title and a pulsating "PRESS START" prompt.
  • Stat Meters
    Graphical depictions of a statistical quantity, most often the player-character's current status.
    • Life Meter
      A meter, usually a coloured bar, that displays the Hit Points of a character.
      • Critical Annoyance
        A warning sound that plays over and over again when you are low on health or some other bad thing is imminent.
      • Multiple Life Bars
        It's more complex than a single pile of Hit Points.
      • Shared Life Meter
        When multiple characters share the same life meter.
    • Mana Meter
      A meter that describes the amount of power a character has remaining for his special abilities.
      • Charge Meter
        An indicator of how long you've held down a particular button in order to build up to the capability to perform a special, powerful action.
    • Sprint Meter
      A graphical depiction of some aspect of a character's condition other than his remaining health, e.g. his ability to run at high speed.
    • Experience Meter
      A meter that shows the current experience of a character, usually showing progress between two levels.
    • Karma Meter
      A meter that indicates how "good" or "bad" you are acting at that point. May be invisible.
      • Evil Is Petty
        The tendency of "evil" meaning just being really mean to people.
      • Wanted Meter
        A meter that represents how much of the local authority's ire you've drawn.
  • Stat-O-Vision
    A display that shows all sorts of information about the target or enemy being scanned.
  • Status Line
    A display element showing the current disposition of the player, e.g. score, health, ammo etc.
  • Stock Control Settings
    The common standards in button layout.
  • Symbol Drawing Interface
    You have to draw symbols on the screen to perform certain actions.
  • Taunt Button
    A button that activates an Emote Animation of a character taunting others.
  • Text Parser
    A form of input that takes commands from the player and simplifies this to commands that the game engine can understand.
    • Hello, Insert Name Here
      Games let you name your characters. Renaming your hero to "POOP" can result in hours of fun.
  • Themed Cursor
    Your cursor is based from some in-game element.
  • Vanity Window
    Part of the screen filled with a logo or other static image, leaving the Main Window to be smaller, to save on processing power.
  • Visual Initiative Queue
    A turn based game shows the next several turns of all involved in a battle or event.
  • Zip Mode
    A shortcut so that you don't have to watch your character walk all the way across the screen.

Video Game GenresVideo Game TropesVideo Game Items and Inventory
Polygonal GraphicsHow Video Game Specs WorkGeneral Gaming Gamepads

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
19268
0