Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

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Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by dietermoreno on Sat 25 Jan 2014 - 17:46

Hello fellow modders, some great, some not so great, some old, some not so old.

I have not discussed modding on a modding forum in almost a year, and now I return to the community in a somewhat diminished presence do to me working almost full time while going to college and my interests in music in addition to me having friends to hang out with and drink with now compared to I had no friends a year ago.

I visited the modding section of the Wotta forums, and it appears that people are taking the effort to add cacador packs to units as feathers just to add player color. However, a "real" solution of adding player color like ES does without attachments does not appear to have been achieved yet.

On the contrary, there appears to have been more progress achieved on removing replace texture bug with the pre-loaded models placed in an RM by the RM script than on adding player color.

So I present to you gentlemen a philosophical question: If the RT bug is removed, why is player color needed on units?



I hypothesize that when ES was developing AoE3 in 2003, they may have been aware of the limitations of their game engine causing RT bug if they had many textures. Also, in 2003 the limitations of the average player's computer would also have to be taken to account. In 2003, most player's computers used a CRT monitor at VGA resolution. Since ES was limited to making the same models look different at VGA resolution (and even still looking different using low poly models), perhaps player color was the only way to make the same models look different.

However, today in 2014, computers using a CRT monitor are ready for an antique store. Today, fine unit details can be seen at 1260x767 resolutions and greater. Today, games like Total War take advantage of these higher resolutions to have the texture dominated more by history than by player color.

Not everyone can play AoE3 at full settings yet (even my laptop gets FPS drop to 15fps when playing at 1260x767), but with Moore's Law, not being able to play AoE3 at full settings without frame drops and pre-loaded models causing lag will likely become as vintage as VGA resolution within a few years time.





If there is absolutely no loss of game performance with using many textures in a few years time, will we still need player color on units?


I think we will always need player color on buildings because the architecture of different civs is too similiar.

However, I think it would not be very hard to do away with player color on unique units, as only one civ has that unit, so being confused as to which civ has that unit is not possible.

Also, I think it would be possible to do away with player color on as many shared units as possible, using history as the texture, like Total War. For example the musketeer: for the British it has a red overcoat and green lining, for the French it has a white overcoat with red lining, for the Americans it has a blue overcoat with red lining, ect.




I personally think player color looks hideous.

Is there anyone who actually likes the asthetics of player color?




Maybe I am mistaking, but I see no need for player color on many units in a world without RT bug at full settings.




Thank you for taking the time to read my post, and I now open the floor to you gentlemen.
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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by super7700 on Sat 25 Jan 2014 - 19:00

I think the ideal situation would be for each faction to have a unique set of units with unique textures. In most cases they would be easily distinguishable by uniform colour (eg red for British) or equipment (eg Africans vs Europeans) and if not then it shouldn't take the player too long to learn what units belong to which faction. However this only works if the whole unit set for each faction does not have player colour. It will just look strange if the UUs go without player colour while the rest of the units still have it. Also, you would need to make sure that no two units from different look alike, something that could be very difficult.
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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by peugeot407 on Sat 25 Jan 2014 - 22:30

It's mostly for multiplayer, as I understand it, where it's possible that two players play the same civ. Other than that, a world without playercolour would certainly be possible...


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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by dietermoreno on Mon 27 Jan 2014 - 18:53

A new idea I have, is that for some civs like the British and French (and even the Americans in the Revolutionary War I think) that have different facing colors for different regiments, the facing could be the player color.

So if you play British and are blue, that makes your redcoats be a royal regiment.

I just realized from Robert's work on the Black Tracker unit for Australia that the fusilier model has player color on the facings and cuffs, which is the perfect model for this idea.



The hat is part of the model, but surely deleting the hat polygons to allow a different hat to be attached is not an insurmountable challenge. Just you might need to add a head bone if there is no head bone in that model.
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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by peugeot407 on Mon 27 Jan 2014 - 23:47

No, you can't. Remove the hat polygons and you'll lose all animations.


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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by dietermoreno on Tue 28 Jan 2014 - 12:02

Oh, well I haven't yet deleted polygons from anything yet expecting it to still have animations.  I was able to delete  all the polygons from the musketeer except the musketeer backpack, but some how I wasn't able to get the backpack to work as an attachment in game even adding a bone to it, probably because I don't know what I'm doing.

I know Wotta was able to delete the polygons on the cacador hat.

So deleting polygons works for things without animations like hats and backpacks, but doesn't work for things with animations like fusiliers.  The hat is part of the model on Sven Kuechler also.  The hat isn't part of the model for the george washington x model and that model does have player color, but unfortunately that model only has player color on the over coat and doesn't have player color on the facings or cuffs.

Well the colonial militia model does have player color on the facings and cuffs, but it doesn't look as good as the spc models. Well I can try making colonial militia into a redcoat and see how it looks.

So long story short, were back to square one.  That is, there isn't a good looking musketeer model with player color on the facings and cuffs that doesn't already have the hat as the model.
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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by peugeot407 on Wed 29 Jan 2014 - 9:36

Try one of the Grenadier models then. Or that of the Guard Skirmisher. All of the Musketeer models would theoretically also work, but the Guard Musketeer has a backpack and the other two models have massive gloves that don't look very good at all. The Colonial Militia is a possibility, but it does have a ponytail...


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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by dietermoreno on Sun 2 Feb 2014 - 18:00

Hhm, I actually never even knew the age 1 musketeer model had gloves until a few days ago I zoomed in on a musketeer in the scenario editor in full settings at full resolution for the first time.



The age 1 musketeer model and texture actually looks pretty good to make a Spanish musketeer from the 17th century.

When I thought the vanilla musketeer was ugly, I must have been remembering playing the game at VGA resolution with low poly models and low quality textures which was the last time I played vanilla was in 2010.

In 2012 bought a better laptop just to play Wotta to play as 'Thirteen Colonies.



Hhm, well I guess your right that the guard skirmisher model does have player color in the desired locations.




Somehow I just don't think the guard skirmisher looks like a musketeer (line infantry) enough. Maybe its his coat that looks more like a fur coat than a wool overcoat.

I don't have a problem with pony tails for the colonial militia because that is accurate for 18th century.

If I wanted to make Napoleonic War musketeers, unfortuantely the colonial militia model wouldn't work then.

Good thing is, for now I am making 18th century musketeers to make AoE3 "how it was supposed to be".

"How it was supposed to be", I saw the paintings on the game box and the art work book when I bought the collectors edition in 2006 and thought that's how the game would look, but the ugly models and textures looked nothing like the pictures!
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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by Synecdoche on Tue 4 Feb 2014 - 14:40

Multiplayer without player color would be an absolute disaster, and multiplayer games are the lifeblood of most RTS titles, so you'd have to find a very niche market without player color. The most fair multiplayer matches are generally played as mirrored civilizations (see the Best-of-21 with $1000 on the line that JorDan_23 & TheViper just played last month in Age of Empires 2: The Conquerors, I think over 75% of the full 21 game match was played as mirrored civs) so any real competitive leveling of the playing field would be impossible.
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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by dietermoreno on Wed 5 Feb 2014 - 16:26

Who even plays mods online?

I think there's a more niche market for playing mods online than offline.

Well I never play mirrored civilizations because I don't like the paradox of playing against my own civ.

"Go Americans!  Oh wait, the enemy is American.  Die Americans!  Oh wait, I'm American.  Wait what?"


Still, even if you played mirrored civs online, I don't think it would be that hard to figure out which units are yours, because the one's that are yours have hp bars and aren't shooting at you.


Player color would definately still be needed on all buildings because the buildings aren't usually shooting at you, in addition to civs sharing a buildingset.
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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by super7700 on Wed 5 Feb 2014 - 16:33

Isn't that what happened in the American Civil War?
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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

Post by dietermoreno on Wed 5 Feb 2014 - 16:43

Well the American civ in Wotta is special because one player could play with Confederate politicians and the other player could play with Union politicians.

Also, I tried to make American riflemen turn grey if a Confederate politician is aged up with, but it was a rt bug disaster.

Good thing we found a solution to rt bug.




Edit: I think someone found out how to change the player colors. I will PM him.

http://aoe3.heavengames.com/downloads/showfile.php?fileid=3349
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Re: Why is player color needed on units? -- A philosophical question in a world without RT bug

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