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 Post subject: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:14 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
It wouldn't be bad if we did have 32 empire colours. Currently if the list is used up, colours are randomly generated...

...Except for the previous mentioned badness of several of the 32 colors being nearly indistinguishable on the galaxy map.

~16-20 seems like the upper limit of a sane number of empires anyway, if not pushing it. Diplomacy with more would be a mess.

Though as an emergency measure it would probably be better to double up on the colors in the list, rather than risk assigning an empire color that is nearly black, for instance.

I realize that this isn't urgent, but i thought it through and wanted to get it down.

This is not the place in development to figure out exactly what the max number of empires should be, though i still think 32 is too many. Lots of parts of the interface (like diplomacy or the galaxy map) will become harder to design if they need to support a very large number of empires.

But picking empire colors randomly is potentially rather bad too. Here's a plan to make the empire map colors as distinct as possible without much work:
    1) make a relatively large list of empire colors. The list is ordered from most distinct (pure red, green, and blue) down to less distinctive intermediate colors.

    2) humans pick their colors first.

    3) the AIs are assigned colors starting from the top of the list (skipping colors already assigned).

    4) if all colors are assigned and there are still empires left, it goes back to the top of the list and starts going down again.

    5) repeat untill all empires have a color


Thus :
* humans have a lot of options,
* the best options are at the top,
* a lot of empires are at least technically supported,
* most importantly, empires will get (more or less) the most distinctive color set possible for the number of empires.

I'll mix up a new, longer list based on this idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:22 pm 
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By the way, it would be really convenient here and other places if colors could be entered in standard hexadecimal format, (i.e. FFFFFF = pure white).

There's just a lot more copy/pasting to get a color out the text file into the paint program and then back to the text file when RGB values each go on their own line.

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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:34 pm 
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This might be just my weird monitor gamma acting up again, but the latest empire colours seems to have a lot of very similar colours close together in the file.
Attachment:
File comment: current colours in-game, pasted into a big listed and rotated 90 degrees to fit more nicely in a forum post
empire_colours.png
empire_colours.png [ 2.44 KiB | Viewed 2343 times ]

Particularly for the various cyan-like colours, there are several very similar ones, often quite close in the sequence(eg. from the left the 6th, 9th, 12th, 14th, last and 4th last).
Attachment:
File comment: selection of similar cyan-like colours
similar_cyans.png
similar_cyans.png [ 517 Bytes | Viewed 2343 times ]

Also for the green-yellows...
Attachment:
File comment: selection of similar yellow-green colours
similar_yellow-greens.png
similar_yellow-greens.png [ 358 Bytes | Viewed 2343 times ]

There also seem to be a lot of rather dull colours in the latter parts of the list. This may be just because there are a lot more colours now, but before the list had fewer dull blue-greens and yellow-greens.
Attachment:
File comment: old version of colours in-game, pasted into a big listed and rotated 90 degrees to fit more nicely in a forum post
empire_colours_old.png
empire_colours_old.png [ 2.02 KiB | Viewed 2347 times ]

Red also probably shouldn't be first in the list of default player colours, as it's fairly standard to use it for non-player evil monster type things in game. If we do have a red-ish colour, it should at least not be the default first choice... Green or blue would be more appropriate.


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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:32 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
This might be just my weird monitor gamma acting up again, but the latest empire colours seems to have a lot of very similar colours close together in the file.
... Particularly for the various cyan-like colours, there are several very similar ones, often quite close in the sequence....

There also seem to be a lot of rather dull colours in the latter parts of the list. This may be just because there are a lot more colours now, but before the list had fewer dull blue-greens and yellow-greens.

Well, due to recent discussions on gamma, i'm sure what you are seeing is not quite what most people are seeing. The ordering is not quite optimal, but more similar, duller colors at the end of the list is an inevitable consequence of ordering the list as this one is and including more colors. The old list placed a high value on the vibrancy of color, and thus ended up with 2 nearly identical reds.
But it's really not possible to make a list of 24 colors that are significantly more distinctive from each other and which stand out on black (not that i won't tweak it). I would however, have no problem making the list shorter. But if the AI are chosen from the top of the list, the benefits of the shorter list are less compelling.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
Red also probably shouldn't be first in the list of default player colours, as it's fairly standard to use it for non-player evil monster type things in game. If we do have a red-ish colour, it should at least not be the default first choice... Green or blue would be more appropriate.

Why don't we worry about that when we implement non-player evil monsters? Red makes sense for that, but why annoy fans of red in the meantime?

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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:46 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Red also probably shouldn't be first in the list of default player colours, as it's fairly standard to use it for non-player evil monster type things in game. If we do have a red-ish colour, it should at least not be the default first choice... Green or blue would be more appropriate.

Why don't we worry about that when we implement non-player evil monsters? Red makes sense for that, but why annoy fans of red in the meantime?

Even if there aren't monsters, it's still unusual to have red be the default human player colour. Usually green = us and red = enemy. Maybe that's western-hemisphere-centric, but it's still standard for game UIs. Red can stay in the list, but it just shouldn't be at the very top.


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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:12 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Even if there aren't monsters, it's still unusual to have red be the default human player colour. Usually green = us and red = enemy. Maybe that's western-hemisphere-centric, but it's still standard for game UIs.

Standard for different genres of games with 2 or sometimes 3 sides. All the 4x games i can think of used red as a normal player color (though there are probably some exceptions). Still its a standard for a different class of games.


Geoff the Medio wrote:
Red can stay in the list, but it just shouldn't be at the very top.

I see no reason red can't be the 2nd or 3rd color... assuming AI's start at the top of the list as i've suggested.

EDIT: reordered the list, putting green first, tweaked a color and shortened the list by 3

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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:00 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
(though there are probably some exceptions).

Civ I and Civ II and Alpha Centauri.

Quote:
I see no reason red can't be the 2nd or 3rd color

Nor do I.


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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 7:41 pm 
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We do have empire banners, right? Would those be affected by color? If so, would you be selecting primary and secondary colors for said banner?

Or is it just one color fits all?

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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:21 pm 
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Josh wrote:
We do have empire banners, right?

Right now it's just one colour per emire. Flags are something I'd like to add, but haven't gotten around to yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:57 pm 
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Josh wrote:
We do have empire banners, right? Would those be affected by color? If so, would you be selecting primary and secondary colors for said banner?

Or is it just one color fits all?

I expect the primary color would be the same thing as the current empire color.

IMHO a secondary color, if employed carefully, would help make empires even more visually distinct. There's probably not much place for it on the galaxy map, but in ship coloration, and emblem/flag/banners. The trick it to make sure the primary color is always clearly the dominant color, otherwise a second color will just be confusing.

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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:55 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
By the way, it would be really convenient here and other places if colors could be entered in standard hexadecimal format, (i.e. FFFFFF = pure white).

There's just a lot more copy/pasting to get a color out the text file into the paint program and then back to the text file when RGB values each go on their own line.

Now you can. In SVN anyway...

You can also define colours with alpha similarly: "FF2582A3" where the A3 is hex for the alpha component. See empire_colours.xml for examples.


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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:09 pm 
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I was going to complain that an 8 digit hex number defeats the purpose of copy/paste, but i see you got it covered.

Geoff in the commit log wrote:
-Made it possible to define GG::Clr in XML as a hex string with three or four components for RGB or RGBA eg. "FFA300" or "13F3AA02" where the three-component assumes alpha = 255


Thanks.


As to civ i or ii, i don't remember which it was i used to play, but i coulda sworn the barbarians were black, and red was a normal player color... maybe i'm conflating memories of freeciv or colonization. I was just wrong about SMAC.

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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:29 pm 
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Actually red is a very normal empire/player color (or colour for the example)

"space Monsters" shouldn't need a color... if it is for scematics of units (planets shouldn't count) perhaps Black (with white outline) would work.

Actually that MIGHT work in general... everytime an empire color is used outside of decorations, ie flags/ships, then it is Primary Color with an outline in Secondary Color. (so galaxy map elements of Fleets/Systems..SitRep Notices)
[Black would need special rules, like not being a Secondary color... OR not allow Primary+secondary colors to be the same... so if you want to be just Orange its Orange Primary, Black Secondary)

That way one could have only 8 easily distinguishable colors that are used and allow up to 64 unique empires/empire like entities


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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:30 am 
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Krikkitone wrote:
...Actually that MIGHT work in general... everytime an empire color is used outside of decorations, ie flags/ships, then it is Primary Color with an outline in Secondary Color. (so galaxy map elements of Fleets/Systems..SitRep Notices)...
That way one could have only 8 easily distinguishable colors that are used and allow up to 64 unique empires/empire like entities

That doesn't work with starlanes and planet/star names, and any other situation where more than one color isn't practical.

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 Post subject: Re: Empire Color Choices
PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:26 am 
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eleazar wrote:
That doesn't work with starlanes and planet/star names, and any other situation where more than one color isn't practical.


Well that depends on how Narrow the font is for planet/star names, and how narrow the starlanes are going to be.

It does get very problematic with shared systems/starlanes.

Perhaps the idea of "Flags" might work for the level of less distinction... at least for Planet/Star Names

If control of a Star not only changed the color of the name, but put your Symbol at the end

Orion becomes
red [Orion +] or red [Orion ^ ] or blue [Orion +], etc.

Fleets could have that next to them as well
(starlanes shouldn't need it as they would rely on the nearby planet/stars)

The symbols would only be needed when one ran out of easily distinguishable colors... and one could keep a number of easily distinguishable symbols. That way colors could stay distinguishable (limit to a list of 8-10) and one could probably find 4-5 symbols that are sufficiently different..from each other and other things we would use the symbols for.


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