Today I set out to remove the default weapons in my game, and look briefly at HUD (Heads-Up Display) editing in the Unreal Development Kit.
A way to start the game without player weapons can be specified in the UDK editor, which is a refreshing change from all the script i've been trawling through over the last few weeks. To disable weapons, you must go to View > World Properties > World Info and check the box marked 'no default inventory for Player' (highlighted in green below).
This removes the weapon on startup when playing the level but in third-person view the Impact Hammer appears 'under' the player through the floor when game testing for some reason. This led me on to an unexpected problem - third person view is the default setting in my mod and I need the game to be first person only, otherwise a custom character will be required for aesthetics and that would require a substantial amount of time to create - time I do not have with the deadline for the game demo being in May of this year.
The camera view is affected by the custom MyPlayerController.uc file that is created when setting up a Mod in UDK. There is no information in the script in this file to define the camera position and so my conclusion is there must be a 'default' setting in which the UDK is referring to.
The remedy to the issue must be that I need to explicitly specify the camera view in the custom game script (MyPlayerController.uc).
However, the crosshair can be removed with a small section of Unreal Script added to this file (highlighted in green above) so I have made some progress - just not as much as i'd hoped for today.
On the topic of HUD editing, I found no hard-and-fast tutorials so far but I will continue my search for this subject. The problems encountered with the camera view dominated today's work and slowed me down somewhat, as well as tiring me out mentally. I am not a scripter and looking at code I don't understand for hours with no progress does knock my enthusiasm somewhat.
I will have to resort to harassing the UDK community again and hope some kind souls will point me in the right direction.