split from here
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
* 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.