[Graphics] Faction/Flag Colors

Submitted By: BUncle Date: October 24, 2012, 12:18:51 AM Views: 629

Faction/Flag Colors

I’ve never really addressed the faction colors, because it’s pretty kindergarten-obvious stuff, and there’s not a lot to say.  But it’s still possible to mess up, so a few remarks:

This is an Alien Crossfire thing, but you should add it to your faction graphics even if you only have and care about vanilla SMAC.  If you publish/share your work, SMAX users will find your nice factions all crappy and broken, otherwise.

This is a blank version of what goes in the bottom left corner of the main faction.pcx, crammed right into the bottom left corner:

It’s not brain surgery - here it is with colors, the very first thing I did in my very first custom faction:

That’s a bright color alternating with almost black - (completely black is semi-transparent for base shadows, and would look strange as a faction contrast color.)  You don’t want to deviate significantly from bright/dark, bright/dark, bright/dark, slightly different shade for vehicle color - doing it that way is how it was designed to work, and doesn’t look as good in the game if you try to get clever. 

Trust me; I wasted a lot of time trying to get cute with the color format when I was starting out, and it just doesn’t work as well.  The base names look  fuzzy and harder to read without the strong contrast.  Same for the flags.  The borders don’t show up right on the map without bright contrasted with dark.

Don’t do what I did, and waste a lot of time trying to find a unique color for your faction.  1.) There are only 255 colors in the game palette, and 3/4ths of them are too dark and dingy to show up on the mini world map in the game, and 2.) 14 of what’s left are already taken, and a few of the second seven are already a bit too close the some of the first seven.   (The minimap thing is important, though, and if you don’t pay attention to it in play testing, the end users of your factions will tell you about it.)   

Just pick out a bright primary or secondary color that goes with the color scheme of the other elements in the faction and don’t worry about it.  Seriously.  SMAC2 should have a better palette, but there’s no point trying to make factions for it  quite yet.

And that’s really all there is to say on the subject.  Bright/dark, basic colors, and spend your time worrying over the other elements that you have more choices about.

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