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CucciKutta

Discern between characters

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I have reached a small idea block and hope you may be willing to lend an idea(s). Useful details: -In a FPS there are four(4) 'factions'. -There are 2 factions on each 'side'. -On each side, one faction consists of enduser/player controlled characters and the other faction consists of friendly AI controlled characters. -Players earn money/cash/credits/points through success in matches (FPS side vs side) which they can use to purchase certain items. -Among these items are uniforms or patterns (more likely just limited to patterns so that the changes from one character to another can just be textures for processing instead of textures AND meshes to process). -The story can be written to legitimize the two AI controlled factions to each have one consistent uniform/pattern (as planned this would be the default uniform/pattern for the respective enduser characters on each side). -The endusers have control over their characters' patterns and thus they are somewhat unpredictable. Problem -With both sides buying custom uniforms/patterns, how can the user easily sight identify an enemy user? Solutions? I'll start off with the only thing I could think of -> Make one side red and the other side blue

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Most games designate a specific portion of all uniforms to be dynamically controlled by the game engine. Such as a circle on the chest, a band on the arm, or something similar. Just change that portion of the uniform to match the team color.

Another option is the Mount & Blade system, where friendly units just have names above their heads.

Another option, depending on the game, would be to change the cursor color when it hovers enemy units.

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**Early note: I haven't done much programming in 3d, and even less modeling in 3d, so this is all from an creative standpoint as opposed to a technical view**

I suppose that would all depend on what kind of game you're making. The first thing that jumped to my mind was World of Warcraft. You're not going to mistake a giant cow with a sword for a gnome, are you? If a species barrier is the way you want to go, it would probably be as simple as that. However, if you want it in a more realistic setting you could find creative ways to make things more unique, as opposed to cliche red vs blue. Maybe there is an ethnic barrier, assuming they are all human. Perhaps one side favors a different hair style or their clothing is drastically different.

However, if you don't want to make new graphics for all 4 factions, you could use the same basic model for all of them, with some kind of HUD marker for enemies in addition to the clothing (now I'm thinking Crackdown).

On the other hand, now that I think of Call of Duty 4, you could have allies names appear when the cursor is over them or have a constant marker over friendlies like in Halo 3.

If nothing else, you could also offer the "evil" side different colors than the "good" side, such as blacks, reds, and oranges for the bad guys and blues, whites, and greens for the good guys.

Hope you got at least something useful out of all that, and good luck with your FPS.

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I've never seen this done, but depending on your theme you could go with a friend or foe outlining / masking shader effect for allies or enemies. It would be kind of like how the trailers showed enemies outlined in Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (or how the POV in Terminator designated enemies).

That way, it wouldn't matter what uniform someone took.

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I hope some others get to chime in on this too, but I'd like to say thanks to all of you for your remarks. I think I am slipping out of the block on that issue now. Really I just need to play some other people's games and take a look at what they do right and wrong.
I am going for a realistic look. By realistic I don't mean necessarily photorealistic, but these patterns are to be based off of real-world patterns. That's why I would be afraid to divide the offerings up by side because that means making MARPAT on one side and maybe ACU on the other. -Hey maybe that's what we have to do, and just make sure that each side has interesting offerings so that the games aren't lopsided when people pick their side.

What you have done for me is started the thinking that ensuring a user knows who is friendly is just as good as a user knowing who is friend or foe. So outlining a friendly or putting names on their heads can solve the issue without compromising an enemy in cover or camouflage and without giving the user something he or she might feel is too much information for him or her to feasibly have.

Your mention of the Hud and reticle colors also give me and idea
-what if one class of characters totally ruin that system like the radar jammer in Halo 3?

Thanks all!

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