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    Team color

    why not make it so that whatever team your on you see your self as being on the blue team and enemy be red or in color blind mode dark Purple? it works for World of Tanks extremely well.

    #2
    In my opinion this would lead to some issues. In UT, maps are done with in mind that there will be a set blue side and a set red side. The map design in most cases, as well as indicators implemented in the map itseld (arrows, or just the ambiant color) give you indicators on side of the map you are. In World of Tanks, maps are neutral (taken from historical battles), so they just have to put the indicators blue for "ally related", and red for "ennemy related".

    edit : This is for team oriented game modes I am talking about, such as CTF, vCTF or Onslaught. It wouldn't be that much of a problem for neutral DM or TDM maps.

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      #3
      (Moved from the UT3 UX thread.)

      The red overload in the UT3 HUD was related to e.g. the damage overlay being red. I liked the UT2004 HUD for having a comparably low amount of team color on it. Also you can't expect anyone to immediately "get" a game's workflow. Sure, you can try to make the transition time from "WTF is going on?" to "Ah, so that's how it works!" as short as possible. But there are things in UT that are so fundamentally different from e.g. CoD or even Quake that you can't expect even hardcore players to fully get into UT within only a few matches.

      The complaints against the red team's color are legit. Okay, so red players (who happened to get switched from blue) more often attacked their team mates after the switch than blue players after being switched. But that's not the only problem with the red team color. Red/green weakness has always been a legit complaint against the full red color. There are other good reasons why going a little more in the purple or orange directions can makes things easier for team mates and enemies alike. For example, red players tend to blend into the surroundings more easily than blue players. That has been a problem in UT2004 already.

      When it comes to team colors I always like to consider how to handle more than two teams. When there are only two teams, you are pretty free to pick any two colors from the entire available range. With three teams you already need to pick more carefully and with four teams you may already have difficulties picking unique-enough colors. The big mistake in UT1 was that three base colors (red, blue, green) were picked and a fourth had to be added that was distinct, yet "obvious" - yellow/gold.
      Suggestion for three fixed team colors: Orange, violet (more towards blue) and greenish-cyan (slightly towards green).
      Suggestion for four fixed team colors:Orange, blue (slightly towards green), greenish-cyan (slightly towards green) and some kind of purple.

      Enemy-based team colors might be a good way to go as long as you don't play on a map with team bases. Similar to the UT3 Betrayal mode (or I guess World of Tanks as mentioned by the OP), your own team could be blue (locally), while the enemy team(s) could be displayed in colors ranging from yellow over orange and red to purple. Enemy colors are team-specific, but not team-fixed. Or your team is orange and the enemy team colors range from green/cyan over blue to purple. Or generally you pick your preferred team color from the color circle and the game calculates enemy team colors spread across the opposite half of the circle. (That's for deathmatchy game modes, like TDM, TAM or Domination, without team bases.) If your teammates always appear in the same color for you, you are less likely to shoot them by accident and you can pick a color you can easily distinguish from other team colors.
      Then again, Onslaught/Warfare maps were (usually) not designed with team colors. In UT2004 they used flags and similar special objects that automatically applied team colors and team symbols based on who owned a node or core base. Obviously that will not really work with team-specific lighting.
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        #4
        +1 to OP idea.

        Originally posted by Alex1902 View Post
        In my opinion this would lead to some issues. In UT, maps are done with in mind that there will be a set blue side and a set red side. The map design in most cases, as well as indicators implemented in the map itseld (arrows, or just the ambiant color) give you indicators on side of the map you are. In World of Tanks, maps are neutral (taken from historical battles), so they just have to put the indicators blue for "ally related", and red for "ennemy related".

        edit : This is for team oriented game modes I am talking about, such as CTF, vCTF or Onslaught. It wouldn't be that much of a problem for neutral DM or TDM maps.
        I don't know exacly how, but I'm sure there is a way to switch this indicators depending on the team you are on.



        If there is no way to do this, my vote goes for: blue, green, yellow, orange.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Wormbo View Post


          Then again, Onslaught/Warfare maps were (usually) not designed with team colors. In UT2004 they used flags and similar special objects that automatically applied team colors and team symbols based on who owned a node or core base. Obviously that will not really work with team-specific lighting.

          Agreed with all of this … but further, I think it should be a matter of level design discipline that static lighting and textures should never be used for team-coloring, in any environment, for any game type. There are plenty of other material-based options that can apply a dynamic color or texture to a surface.

          With this convention in place, you offload the problem of color choice onto the individual user. Win-win.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by velocidad View Post
            +1 to OP idea.



            I don't know exacly how, but I'm sure there is a way to switch this indicators depending on the team you are on.



            If there is no way to do this, my vote goes for: blue, green, yellow, orange.
            Yeah, all HUD related colors can be changed. However, assets on the map can't. For example take Face Classic in UT3. There are red lights overall everywhere in the "red tower", and blue lights everywhere in the "blue tower". This isn't the kind ob objects that can be easily color changed depending on red's side of the map. Yes World of Tanks can switch those Hud related indicators, but as a counter example, in Team Fortress you are assigned with a set color depending on what you do (defend or capture). Level design is done so you know that blue is always defending and red always attacking. Red and blue bases have color related textures to match that.

            Originally posted by Veggie_D View Post
            Agreed with all of this … but further, I think it should be a matter of level design discipline that static lighting and textures should never be used for team-coloring, in any environment, for any game type. There are plenty of other material-based options that can apply a dynamic color or texture to a surface.

            With this convention in place, you offload the problem of color choice onto the individual user. Win-win.
            I disagree with you about the level design. On symetrical maps it can be useful to use different lighting or textures to differenciate blue and red side of the map (or whatever two colors). Clarity is important on a map, and lighting is probably the easiest way to let you know if you are on blue or red side (check what i've said about Team Fortress 2).

            Check those screens

            The first one is Skyscraper NightFire made by Oldskool0482. See how subtle the lighting is? Well, this is enough to let you know on which side of the map you are easily. Action is fast paced on this map and it has 3 floors. The second one is Arena of Life made by Cherries_On_Top. Also there, only a couple of red lights on red's side. I don't think it breaks level design at all. It just adds clarity on whether you are on blue or red side. Of course, if there would be a way to create assets that could have their color changed depending on which side blue is, it would solve the problem. Howerver, I don't think this is the case.
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            Finally, on a more personnal opinion, I don't see why allies should always be blue (or violet or green). The moment you spawn with a red HUD in a red base with red vehicules (assuming it's a vehicule game mode) and "red ambiance", as well as indicators like "capture the blue flag", there is no way you'll forget on which team you are. Well, at least, for me, it never happened.
            Last edited by Alex1902; 07-05-2014, 03:02 PM.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Alex1902 View Post
              I disagree with you about the level design. On symetrical maps it can be useful to use different lighting or textures to differenciate blue and red side of the map (or whatever two colors). Clarity is important on a map, and lighting is probably the easiest way to let you know if you are on blue or red side (check what i've said about Team Fortress 2).
              You misunderstand me, or I was not clear.

              Team-color markings on the map are indeed absolutely essential. What I suggested is to refrain from using static lighting for this purpose, and instead to use materials which can procedurally apply any color to a surface, including team-colors.*

              Then it doesn't matter what the team colors are. Users themselves could choose whatever colors they want, and the game would then apply both arbitrary team-color skins to teammates and enemies, and the same arbitrary team-color markings to the environment.



              edit:

              * Check out Slainchild's DM-Echelon for an example of this. There is a material applied to walls all throughout the map which is a bright yellow by default, and is kismeted to turn magenta when the damage amp spawns. A similar technique would be the ideal standard method for team-coloring the environment.
              @1:20, 2:47, 4:15, 5:37, 7:04, 8:37, 10:00

              Last edited by Veggie_D; 07-05-2014, 05:36 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks for the video. I already understood what you said. In the video you show something that is done relatively easily, which is triggering an event. Here, the event is the AMP spawns, turning the yellow material in magenta to show people the AMP is ready to be taken. However, what I said in my previous post stands. This is a static event and this event is triggered once the AMP spawns or is taken. The event isn't instanciated to a player. Every player on every team would see the material turning magenta. In a team game, a team A must see base A blue and base B red, and team B must see base A red and base B blue. This isn't as simple as having the map changing for everyone.

                Adding to this point, and as I said before, World Of Tanks can have this sort of team color system as the maps are entirely neutral. Only the UI changes. The UI stays blue for allies and red for ennemies. This is the only thing that changes between maps. Unreal is more than the UI in terms of clarity. It is also about the map itself. If I am in a symetrical map (like Arena of Life) and I am blue, when I switch to red I won't be confused. If however I am blue and I switch to red, which causes me to become "blue", all the colors on the map are reversed. That's confusing!

                In terms of level design, It limits you way more for you to have to create maps where materials can turn many colors to match a player's UI, than choosing one or two color and sticking to it. In the video you showed the maps is really neutral in terms of design. You could put the material in any color and the map would still look pretty well. If I want to make a map with a color in mind, like a dark necris base, I don't want the material to turn bright red because the player chose a red UI. It's a blue base and that's it.
                Last edited by Alex1902; 07-05-2014, 08:30 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Alex1902 View Post
                  However, what I said in my previous post stands. This is a static event and this event is triggered once the AMP spawns or is taken. The event isn't instanciated to a player. Every player on every team would see the material turning magenta. In a team game, a team A must see base A blue and base B red, and team B must see base A red and base B blue. This isn't as simple as having the map changing for everyone.
                  The Echelon bit was offered only as a general example of applying a dynamically colored material to an environment. It assumes the reader would then easily imagine e.g. a CTF map with similar materials, but where the "change color event" is controlled client-side (at match start or on team-switch), and the color is applied so as to conform to the user's team-color preferences.

                  Sorry for not being clear.


                  In terms of level design, It limits you way more for you to have to create maps where materials can turn many colors to match a player's UI, than choosing one or two color and sticking to it. In the video you showed the maps is really neutral in terms of design. You could put the material in any color and the map would still look pretty well. If I want to make a map with a color in mind, like a dark necris base, I don't want the material to turn bright red because the player chose a red UI. It's a blue base and that's it.
                  I think that underestimates the creative power of a level designer working within these constraints. For the LD it is certainly a bit of a limitation — but for the good of the overall game, this is a small price to pay, in exchange for big gains in UX and accessibility.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Veggie_D View Post
                    I think that underestimates the creative power of a level designer working within these constraints. For the LD it is certainly a bit of a limitation — but for the good of the overall game, this is a small price to pay, in exchange for big gains in UX and accessibility.
                    I can't deny this. You've understood my point, and I see in which direction you want the game to go. However If this could be implemented, it could only be on solo game modes, such as Deathmatch. From what I remember UI was customizable in one least a previous UT game, but only in solo game modes. There are two major problems with custumizable UIs in team based game modes related to colors.

                    1- UI must match flag's color. When I join a random CTF game, the first time I check is my UI. "Is it blue? Cool, im on blue team I must protect the blue flag and capture the red flag!". This implicit information stays in front of you the entire game. A quick message when you spawn isn't enough and pressing ESCAPE, TAB or F1 takes time for nothing. UI isn't just about showing the weapons and the score. It can be used to show the team you got in without overloading you screen with another tool. If you can show to a player the team he is in just by putting the UI the same color, then fixed color >>>>>> customizable color. In fact, UIs always have the color of your team. League of Legends, Battlefield or Team Fortress 2. Each of those game's UI want to achieve something different, but they share at least on thing in common : The color of the UI is tied to the color of the team. At most your team could always use the same color to show friends, but UI must stay the same color.

                    2- Logical because of point 1. Everyone must have the same color. It's a team game, so the flag should be the same color for everyone on your team. Period. It could be red or green, but it should stay the same color. You wanted a green UI? Too bad, everyone got blue. Map must stay the same for eveyone for team communication.

                    So for a conclusion, yes, there could be a choice on whether the ennemy team is always displayed by the same color, but that's it. In my opinion it adds nothing, but it could be done. This choice must be done before creating the UI and must not be an option (logical from point 2).
                    Last edited by Alex1902; 07-06-2014, 12:41 AM.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I don't think I follow that logic …


                      With a bit of foresight and planning, there's no reason dynamic team-colored materials couldn't be applied not just to the environment but also players, vehicles, flags, power nodes/cores … maybe even to weapon projectiles and hitscan beams too when it's appropriate.

                      This approach frees up the overall game's design considerably. Once all the important actors are rendered client-side in the user's preferred team color, there's no longer any need for color-matching the UI. It could be left neutral/gray, it could be team-color-matched if you want, or just leave UI color to the user's discretion. It really doesn't matter anymore.


                      Now, what is lost is the semantics of previous absolute terms involving color, like "red flag" or "blue base", which during communication would no longer have any specific meaning. But in normal two-team games that's usually not how we talk to our teammates anyway — we use relative terms like "our flag", "their flag", "enemy prime", "friendly tank", "enemy leviathan", and so on.

                      And I've proposed taking this further, to refer to a team's identity in absolute terms using a set of common UT team names (e.g. "Ronin", "Thundercrash", etc.), purposely without any regard to color. Each team could also have some associated logo, and this could be applied to environments, alongside the client-controlled team-color, to augment the territory markings.

                      On that note it's worth mentioning as well that having short, distinct absolute team names like this would also help in the case of 3-4+ team games (if those return — let's hope!), for identifying and disambiguating between multiple enemy teams.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Alex1902 View Post
                        I can't deny this. You've understood my point, and I see in which direction you want the game to go. However If this could be implemented, it could only be on solo game modes, such as Deathmatch. From what I remember UI was customizable in one least a previous UT game, but only in solo game modes. There are two major problems with custumizable UIs in team based game modes related to colors.
                        You still didn't follow the idea all the way towards the end. It's not just about HUD colors and a few colored walls or lights in the map, but about a very general approach to abstract away from fixed team colors on all levels.
                        Originally posted by Alex1902 View Post
                        1- UI must match flag's color. When I join a random CTF game, the first time I check is my UI. "Is it blue? Cool, im on blue team I must protect the blue flag and capture the red flag!". This implicit information stays in front of you the entire game. A quick message when you spawn isn't enough and pressing ESCAPE, TAB or F1 takes time for nothing. UI isn't just about showing the weapons and the score. It can be used to show the team you got in without overloading you screen with another tool. If you can show to a player the team he is in just by putting the UI the same color, then fixed color >>>>>> customizable color. In fact, UIs always have the color of your team. League of Legends, Battlefield or Team Fortress 2. Each of those game's UI want to achieve something different, but they share at least on thing in common : The color of the UI is tied to the color of the team. At most your team could always use the same color to show friends, but UI must stay the same color.
                        Teams won't be called "Red" and "Blue" or any other color names, but e.g. "Alpha", "Bravo", "Charlie", etc. The local team colors are the client's choice, flags and bases could additionally be identified by distinct symbols. (UT2004 applied the team symbol to CTF flags and to special team-specific monitors and flag meshes on the map.)
                        Originally posted by Alex1902 View Post
                        2- Logical because of point 1. Everyone must have the same color. It's a team game, so the flag should be the same color for everyone on your team. Period. It could be red or green, but it should stay the same color. You wanted a green UI? Too bad, everyone got blue. Map must stay the same for eveyone for team communication.
                        Team communication also works on the "our" and "enemy" level, since each team should use a separate channel anyway. Alternatively the team names "Alpha", "Bravo", etc. can be used. Game modes with a minimap on the HUD may imply objective names or numbers.
                        Originally posted by Alex1902 View Post
                        So for a conclusion, yes, there could be a choice on whether the ennemy team is always displayed by the same color, but that's it. In my opinion it adds nothing, but it could be done. This choice must be done before creating the UI and must not be an option (logical from point 2).
                        It's not just a UI choice. If planned all the way through, it also can and should affect other visual parts of the game. Let's not forget, abstracting the team color and making it entirely client-configurable from the start will be a great step towards three and more teams in a match.
                        <elmuerte> you shouldn't do all-nighters, it's a waste of time and effort
                        <TNSe> nono
                        <TNSe> its always funny to find code a week later you dont even remember writing
                        <Pfhoenix> what's worse is when you have a Star Wars moment
                        <Pfhoenix> "Luke! I am your code!" "No! Impossible! It can't be!"
                        <@Mych|Lockdown> ...and the award for the most creative spelling of "Jailbreak" goes to ... "Gandis Jealbrake Server"

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                          #13
                          In your conception, color is purely aesthetical and doesn't serve any purposes. In mine, color is used for clarity. As said before, why would you need to retain a name like Ronin when you could have the UI give you the information implicitly? Adding a cognitive load just for aesthetical purposes is bad, as little as the cognitive load can be. As fun as it may be to chose the color, it adds nothing the the actual gameplay. Let the level designers do their job, they do it pretty well.

                          The first thing a UI does is displaying information. The last thing you do, is the aesthetics. Have you ever seen a shooter where people were seeing the assets on the map, as well as the UI in a different color than the others? I would like you to point me some games, because I can't find one right now. Color is even more important if more than two teams are on the map. Then, how you differenciate both? There, you wouldn't call for "ennemy base" or "ennemy node". You would need to call the color. If you tell me you would put names on those teams like "Bravo" and "Charly" and call "Bravo flag", you've cleary never played games with multiple ennemy teams, because you would know you almost never call them by their name, but by their color. Anyways, in Team Deathmach, you could not even put "Bravo" or "Charly" in the map, since you can only see in which team the ennemy is by the color of it's outfit. Colors are intuitive, names are not.

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                            #14
                            How about allowing the player to choose their team color only once? That way, there'll be no confusion as they cant change teams.

                            As for UI, I'd be happy with a white (50% opacity) minimalistic look, where (on the minimap) enemies show up as flashing red dots and allies are white/grey.

                            Another solution for team colors could be to always alternate the team color. (Red-Blue-Red-Blue etc...)
                            Just not to keep a player on the same team color too long.
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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Alex1902 View Post
                              In your conception, color is purely aesthetical and doesn't serve any purposes.
                              This is not true.

                              Consider accessibility for users with color-blindness. Consider visibility afforded by choosing more vibrant colors for enemies. Consider the user's own interpretation of clarity when it comes to, say, differentiating between three enemy teams with either a wide or narrow gamut; e.g. (red, green, blue) vs (orange, yellow, green). Consider the very different usability characteristics of spectating versus playing.

                              There are many purposes served by affording each user control over team-color rendering.


                              why would you need to retain a name like Ronin when you could have the UI give you the information implicitly? Adding a cognitive load just for aesthetical purposes is bad

                              … … …
                              The HUD could clearly display the reference between the user's rendered color and the absolute team name, as a small label near the team-colored team score at the top-center of your screen. These labels should probably be displayed during games with three or more teams, and could be suppressed for normal two-team games in which the team-name distinction is not essential.

                              Really, the cognitive burden here is infinitesimally small.

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