Working with the new game and trying out a variety of Roguelikes over the summer has made me far more cognizant of the importance of UI, colors, and the symbols themselves in Roguelikes. Thus, I've tried to incorporate a variety of new ideas (for me) into the new project that help create a more responsive, interactive dungeon crawling experience.
In the bottom left corner of the above screenshot is the core UI. The blue diamond represents the player's shield, the red heart represents the player's hit points, and the green club represents the player's ability points. The idea here is to create an almost Zelda style information depot that gives an accurate, quick report of the player's most important stats. This section of the UI is still undergoing constant revision to make it look better and include more stuff (without being bloated). Eventually it will support at least one more stat (cash on hand) and feature a status effects area.
On the dungeon map I've been tinkering with the idea of using the wall colors to communicate information. By default the walls will display a limited variety of mundane colors that are deliberately designed to avoid calling attention to themselves.
However, when something interesting happens, the wall colors will shift to grab the player's attention. In the above screenshot, I got punched by a lonely gnoll and the visible walls shifted from mundane to bright pinks and purples. This is a consistent effect that occurs any time the player takes damage.
Other effects can occur too, although I'm still working on them and don't have screenshots. For example, some enemies can entangle the player and prevent movement. This causes the walls to take on primarily green colors while the player is stuck.
This is a relatively new system and I'm still trying to work out color values, frequencies, and what exactly should trigger it. It's worth mentioning that I plan on adding a toggle to disable the color shifts for players who'd rather not have them.