I know we've joked around saying that "26 new hats" or "53 different faces" for airsaliors for a while.
Though after a few campaign games I've come to the conclusion that different colors for airsaliors are rather beneficial to the game. I'm here to tell you a pointless story about why. (WARNING: I say "board" a lot)
During one of my invasions I had been boarded by one of the enemy ships. Unfortunately the AI had decided to board one of my boarding vessels (BOARD-CEPTION!!!). Now because everyone was wearing red, I sat there for 45 seconds wondering what the hell was going on.
-IN A NUTSHELL-
I think there should be a way to change the color of certain uniforms on sailors to avoid confusion
Commander, Engineering Corps
Should be changed depending on the color of your (whats that fancy word)... Flag
So, Caesar_73's guys would be white/red, while mine would be green/tan
Air Lord, Engineering Corps
Soldiers and air sailors could bear the insignia of their flag on the shoulders of their uniforms!
This further differentiates soldiers from two factions with similar colours.
-edit- I think I forgot how small the soldiers are, any insignia would just be a black/white/etc pixel wouldn't it?
I'd love to see coloured troops based on the colours of the flag.
Mine would be like red-black and badass.
I understand that this would be a pretty big change and require Zark to redo all the existing units. Even with limiting it down to two colours would still be a bit of effort, but it would be preferable to do it now before even more unit types and possibly, more animations get added.
With ground troops on the way, i imagine the problem of identifying troops will get even worse in the mean time without some sort of change to the current system.
Yeah, how much work is going into uniforms is one of the things I'm on the fence about. As you may have noticed, I've been very keen to limit additional features going into the game, as the dev plan is already slipping heavily and I'd really like to release the complete version within 2015.
So with the caveat that none of this might happen, there are three levels of uniform improvements that could be done:
Level 1 is basically taking your coat of arms colour scheme and applying it to the uniform. So eg Firebird11 with his gold and red colour scheme might end up with soldiers that have gold jackets, red trousers and red hats.
Level 2 would be the ability to actually choose different items of clothing. The crew sprites are already decomposed into individual parts for each limb, etc. So you could then choose from say the hat, the top and the trousers.
Hats could be: none, tied cloth, cap, helmet, tricorn, bearskin, pith helmet, pickelhelm, etc.
Tops: naked, uniform jacket, leather jacket, cloth shirt, stripy cloth shirt, khaki shirt. Perhaps options for bandoliers too.
Trousers: Khakis, cloth, leather, kilt, etc.
All of this would still be cosmetic. Level 3 would assign stats to these items and hence let you customize your crew. Do you want them well-protected or fast-moving? Fancy morale-boosting hats or whatever's cheapest? And obviously choice of weapons - knifes, swords, pistols, revolvers, muskets, rifles, submachine guns...
Oh wait, that sounds like a great concept for a post-release expansion! :D
Addendum: Variation in faces is also an interesting question. Does your air navy permit or encourage facial hair? Are there any non-white people in this universe? What about women serving in the air navy? And, uh, how does one differentiate between men and women when they're soldiers and their bodies are three pixels across? My guess is that you don't.
Basically my shoulders would become zouaves then, and with land ships I could put in even more Ironclad Tactics references into my army!!!
Anyways, you think you could add a simple half transparent banner to follow groups of soldiers on the same team (not in airships) to help differentiate opposing infants in armies when the need arises, as that seems to be upcoming?
This could save a bunch of time by having the same functionality but should be faster for now I think (the time save is a wild guess though, i imagine it would take less time the. Implementing custom soldiers later on)
Indeed, I agree with Firebird's idea. I'm also fine with option number 1, Zark. There is really no need for hats xD.
However, i do like the idea of being able customize what weapon your crew/marines have.
Choose i mean.
I do like the idea of different weapons for troops :]. Maybe in in the future it can be added.
I would love to see someone customize troops for speed and giving them Sabres then load them onto boarding ships in large numbers!
Let he chaos ensue!
I think option 1 is all i would want.
Maybe if there's time, opening the character system up a bit to allow easier modding instead of building the system yourself - albiet modding support maaay take longer than building yourself.
But stats/behaviours for specific crew would be pretty awesome. A cowardly crew abandons ship when they start sinking or other 'tactically unsound' decisions like that. Or even more off the wall variations, like Air Bears that replace the air marines.
I would love option 3. I shall remove the primitives with my superior automatic rifles and tanks!
EDIT While wearing a fancy SS style cap!
Someone, mod in MG42's and the third option Zark put in.
Just reskin your Gatling Guns and you're all ready to go Hazeron!
But, but, Aber ich bin zu faul, um das zu tun.
I believe that level 1 and 3 combined are the best choice (in my eyes) quick explanation: level 1 should be the standard troop with airsailors using just your colors and air marines using both colors and and whatever emblem you chose. For level 3 players should create a "special/custom" barracks that the costs will vary based on the amount of units and equipment. That way your elites/special infantry would be more balanced and meaningful.
For level 1, the uniforms could use the 2 main colors of your heraldry, and if there's a 3rd color, it could be a pixel on each shoulder. Although I would definitely enjoy the greater detail of level 2. Cosmetics in this area would not be a waste of time!
I think level 3 might be too much micromanagement for too little benefit however, and if it does have a great benefit, then it really shouldn't because it's just a uniform. Uniform bonuses should just be added to heraldrys.
Also, why do you feel that you have to complete the game within 2015?
The new data-driven crew member stuff ought to make this easier to put in if I get around to it. Basically just make it so that body parts are grouped into clothes (arms and torso go together, abdomen and legs go together, etc.) and have sets of alternate options.
The game's totally not going to be done in 2015 now. But basically, I need to keep my enthusiasm for new features in check so that I can actually deliver a finished and polished game.
Uh, finally, as a point of forum moderation policy - none of you have crossed the line in this thread, but obviously any actual cheerleading for the nazis is going to get moderated into oblivion with extreme prejudice.
@Slimy Level 3 is not just a uniform it's equipment. Weapons,armor,gear(ex:grappling hook,backpacks) it can great benefit depending on how it's used.
I quote Zarkonnen (the 5th post) "Level 3 would assign stats to these items and hence let you customize your crew. Do you want them well-protected or fast-moving? Fancy morale-boosting hats or whatever's cheapest? And obviously choice of weapons - knifes, swords, pistols, revolvers, muskets, rifles, submachine guns"
Also I apologize if I come off as angry,rude or mean in any way. I think you should know that level 3 is not just "clothing" or "uniform" it's everything.
I don't really care about the whole weapons customization. At this point a customizable uniform would fit the bill just fine, which in this case is level 2.
Different units should have their own customization options as well. For example I would differentiate my crew slightly, so it still looks like a uniform, but is still practical:
Sailors: White uniform with red bands and a blue hat
Boarders: White uniform with red bands and red hat
Guards: Blue uniform with white bands
Officers (PLEASE IMPLEMENT THESE! I WIL LOVE YOU FOREVER! :D):
I present for your delectation the Command (senior officers) Uniform worn by all Federation Captains and Admirals (if this uniform thing is implimented). Wink wink