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suliman

Team colors for WW2 nations?

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Im doing a ww2 strategy-game with some classic nations and Im not sure about the colors. None of them uses green traditionally, which would be useful.

 

 

Unclaimed/neutral: dark grey

Nazi germany: Red (the nazi flag is very red, but still not really their military color...)

USA: dark blue

Japan: White

Britain: Green? Light blue?

 

Alliances are not historical so i dont want to imply britain and US is allied by giving different shades of blue. Yellow is a distinct color but seems strange to give it to one of these teams. Im slightly colorblind so i want the colors to be distinct from eachother (even when used on small symbols on the map). Maybe US green (little green men!) and make britain blue.

 

Another logical setup would be:

 

neutral: What ever works and stands out, pale yellow?

Nazi germany: dark grey (historical uniforms)

USA: blue

Japan: white

Britain: red (redcoats, as well as historical main color)

 

Any ideas? Grey sort of makes sense for a neutral team though... But it makes the rest of the color mappings harder.

Erik

Edited by suliman

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Is the screen size too small to use the actual era flags as markers for each territory?

 

Without knowing exactly what you trying to mark, it is a bit difficult to say.  If you are going for a mini-map, you simply could define a basic set of colors as the 2nd set and have the players have setting to change them.

Edited by TheRelic

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Assuming you can't use flag colors, and just need a single background color:

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Certain team colors tend to be used in wargames in general.  

 

some seem to come from the flags, and some from the uniform colors.

 

red for soviet union for example.

 

germany: black   (third riech - avalon hill). also SS uniform colors.   medium to dark grey - many company and regiment level wargames. - also whermacht uniform colors.

 

briitain: usually brown. - british army uniform color

 

usa: olive drab - us army uniform color

 

Japan: white? - imperial navy uniform color

 

neutral: light-medium gray.  neutrals are usually some shade of gray.

 

use of two shades of gray is not uncommon. typically one for neutrals, and one for some other faction.

 

 

 

 

Note however:

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the trend these days is to not draw the unit counter, and just draw the unit's symbol, with a small nation flag next to it.    so you don't need unit counter colors for nations.

some games offer both types of displays, and you can toggle unit counters on/off.  

 

 

also note:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

slow AI still seems to be the biggest weakness in computerized wargames these days.

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> slow AI still seems to be the biggest weakness in computerized wargames these days

This is intentional.

Players don't enjoy an AI that has instant reflexes, behaves perfectly, and always gets a headshot. When designing an AI system, game designers need to work with the AI programmers to find a good balance. Something that is difficult enough to present a challenge to new players, but not so difficult that they cannot win. The games usually have networked multiplayer for advanced players so they can be more difficult


Getting back on topic to team colors, having flag markers and team-specific shapes tend to be effective.

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A solution that walks around this problem would to just put random colors on everyone, maybe even avoiding trying to associate colors to nations 'logically' yourself to not confuse anyone who might have different expectations than you.

 

I for example associate red with Japan for a variety of reasons: Chinese (both PRC and ROC) influence both political and cultural, Japan being the country of the rising sun and cherry blossom, their SDF flag, current and imperial flags, participation in the axis in which the main player was Nazi Germany with their blood red flag.

 

As long as colors are vibrant and unique enough they will work out well in my opinion.

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I can use the flag sometimes (so its good there is some connection), this is for map icons, minimaps etc. So there are small rectangles and dots that need to be understood as a certain team (team icons doesnt work).

They have to work well with very dark blue background (the sea).

 

It seems neutrals (which is also unclaimed) have to be a "non-color" (neutral) so dark gray it is.

 

this is my setup for now, I works out ok ingame, but I might change it again after more play testing:

germany: red like the flag

japan: white like the flag

UK: blue (not too dark)

USA: green, somewhat bright

 

The US color is the most random, but it seems the least bad solution for now.

 

Thanks for your input!

Edited by suliman

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If you have chance to use two colors (either two rectangles making a square or two right triangles making a square), it makes things easier.

 

Other way, might consider noticeably lighter blue for USA

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> slow AI still seems to be the biggest weakness in computerized wargames these days

This is intentional.

Players don't enjoy an AI that has instant reflexes, behaves perfectly, and always gets a headshot. When designing an AI system, game designers need to work with the AI programmers to find a good balance. Something that is difficult enough to present a challenge to new players, but not so difficult that they cannot win. The games usually have networked multiplayer for advanced players so they can be more difficult


Getting back on topic to team colors, having flag markers and team-specific shapes tend to be effective.

I'm pretty sure he was referring to turn based games, and the AI taking 'too long' doing its turn.

 

Anyway, to the OP since your game is ahistorical, if I recall correctly, a color deviation from the norm might serve you well.  (or having slightly different flags)

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Another option:

 

"You" are Green. Anyone directly allied to you are other shades of green. Enemies are various shades of Red. Nations/territories who are totally neutral are yellow or white. Players who are friendly/allied to you, but not yet hostile towards any of your enemies are another colour. Those allied to your enemies but not yet directly hostile to you get something else.

 

Doesn't matter which country you pick, "Good is one colour, bad another". (At the very least something along these lines needs to be shown in a 'diplomatic' map mode. Very annoying to be playing a game without it on a huge map with lots of small nations involved, and then 'surprise!' that tiny little city state thing you never even knew existed in real life has been at war with you because they allied some bigger threat, and now its a beachhead gobbling up your far flung holdings.)

 

 

 

Regardless of what colouring scheme you go with, another nice feature that really needs to be seen in more games is mouse over highlighting effects. At the very least as an option. Hover over the UK, and all other parts of the map become muted in colour, and you get to more clearly see what actually belongs to them. (Or to you.) And tiny little islands in the pacific and the like can be enlarged.

Glowing slow pulsing effects can look nice. Really depends on the exactly artistic style you're going for. 

But discontinuous holdings really suffer in many games as far as visual indication goes.

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This [slow AI] is intentional

 

No, i'm talking about AI that takes forever to decide its move in a turn based game.

 

For example, in commander the great war, playing the central powers, I managed to breakout on the eastern front.  Half a dozen units spread from  Finland to the black sea behind whats left of the russian line, and heading for moscow. had to crtl-alt-del after the AI took 10 minutes trying to decide how to respond.   it may just be that one title though.   AI in panzer corps seems quite fast so far.   And total war (all titles) has always behaved well in that respect

 

games usually have networked multiplayer for advanced players so they can be more difficult
 

 

I always felt that was a cop out.   "we don't need good AI, we can just add multiplayer."  

 

you can't always find other opponents in multiplayer.   human opponents have a tendency to quit once they start to lose.    You have no control over how difficult a human opponent will be.   having to connect to other players costs additional money.  it changes the game from a one time expense to an ongoing cost in order to provide entertainment.   and multiplayer is seldom used to do cool stuff like co-op skyrim. its usually limited to unimaginative stuff stupid stuff like capture the flag.  capture the flag might have been cool when i was in grade school, but i'm not in grade school anymore.

 

I generally chalk it up to a lack of skills on the part of the dev team. those that can code AI do, those that can't use a networking library to implement multiplayer. or maybe they just go for the network lib cause its easier.

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re: colors

 

one thing to make sure of is you don't use bright or garish colors. for some reason they just look "wrong" in a wargame.

 

Luckless' suggestion of shades of green and red is another possibility.

 

If not using nation specific historic colors,  red vs blue is the classic set of colors used.

 

your final choices may seem strange to wargamers.   Germany is never red, unless you are blue.   And the UK is never blue - unless its red vs blue.    in "red vs blue", you're always blue (the good guys).   it would probably be a good idea to try to follow the few conventions that do exist in wargames, so you don't alienate the only core audience you have to start with. 

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Its not a "classic wargame" like total war, europa universalis or Risk. It's just a game about war:) The colors is mostly for identifying ships (little icons) moving around in realtime in the ocean.

 

Cannot use two colors unfortunately, and light blue for US makes it seem they are too close politically to UK (another blue) which doesnt suit my game.

 

I cannot have red vs blue for enemy/ally since you (playing a privateer) can ally/do jobs for different factions and the colors shouldnt change. It doesnt work with the game.

 

I need (at least) those five colors. The idea of germany being red and UK blue is since it's close to the color of the flags. And i need to also use the flags ingame from time to time:)

Edited by suliman

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Its not a "classic wargame" like total war, europa universalis or Risk. It's just a game about war:) The colors is mostly for identifying ships (little icons) moving around in realtime in the ocean.

 

in that case you want colors that provide good contrast, are not garish, and match the overall palette of the game. 

 

 

 

I cannot have red vs blue for enemy/ally since you (playing a privateer) can ally/do jobs for different factions

 

yes - red vs blue is only used for two sided conflicts. multiple factions requires unique-as-possible multiple colors.

 

 

 

The idea of germany being red and UK blue is since it's close to the color of the flags.

 

really its what looks good on the map that matters.  for a military feel you would use a color scheme / palette with military colors: flat grays, greens, browns, and blacks, etc. 

 

and no matter what you do, germany being red will probably seem weird to any wargamer! <g>   kind of like making them pink.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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and no matter what you do, germany being red will probably seem weird to any wargamer! kind of like making them pink

Several people brought this up. But why is it so strange? The flag is VERY red after all:) And I use them (flag and symbol color) in conjunction in some places in the game.

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Several people brought this up. But why is it so strange? The flag is VERY red after all:) And I use them (flag and symbol color) in conjunction in some places in the game.

 

its just a long standing convention in wargames.  

 

USSR is red.   always.  nobody else.     ever.       if its red, its the soviets.         period.    any other color is up for grabs, but not red.   red = USSR.   its just one of those things....  <g>

 

germany is pretty much always black or dark gray or medium gray or light gray. never seen anything else.    

 

never seen USA as anything except olive drab.

 

just take a look at whats out there right now, and you'll get an idea of the colors folks are used to working with.  

 

if a convention exists, and you can use it to add familiarity to your game, you should take advantage of that.  

 

so germany using a color that's often used for germany, as opposed to the color usually reserved for the USSR is to your advantage, the same way that using WASD+mouse as opposed to some custom input scheme can be to your advantage.    the players are used to it.

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But japan is sometimes red:) For example in axis&allies.

 

And if Germany is grey (black doesnt work with the rest of the palette or the background), what color should the neutrals/unclaimed be? (i dont want two different kind of grey OR two kind of blue, it makes it seem they are related).

Edited by suliman

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But japan is sometimes red:) For example in axis&allies.   And if Germany is grey (black doesnt work with the rest of the palette or the background), what color should the neutrals/unclaimed be? (i dont want two different kind of grey OR two kind of blue, it makes it seem they are related).

 

who should be what color is always an issue in wargame design. and yes red and white are both used for Japan.    

 

as you can see, the problem is there are only so many suitable colors to work with, and its desirable to stay away from multiple shades of the same color.  colors like pink, violet, electric yellow, and neon green, just don't seem to look right. unless its a neon wargame <g>   (might be cool...)

 

in the end you usually have to compromise on one or two of the colors, like red for japan, or multiple shades of the same color,  cause its the lesser of all possible evils, and there usually aren't enough suitable colors to go around.

 

The smart thing to do is make it easy to change the colors in case you come up with a better color scheme later.

 

then just come up with the best color combo you can, and run with it. if you think of something better later on, you can mod it, if not, oh well. what you have must not be that bad cause you haven't been able to think of anything better by the time you finish building the game.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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