Side Differentiation

Side Differentiation

When a mechwarrior falls in battle, what does she leave to legacy?

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SpikedHelmet
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Side Differentiation

Post by SpikedHelmet » 05 Mar 2011, 05:13

I really hate that word "differentiation", it never looks right but apparently that's how it's spelled...

Anyway the question has come up about how to make Clan and IS sufficiently different from one another. I have a few ideas and have already implimented some:

1 - Clan will obviously be better. They'll have Clan weapons that are better. But they're most expensive, obviously.

2 - Clans have a few weapons that IS doesn't, such as ATMs. In most cases where a Clan Mech usually will have an LRM, I've given it an ATM. This means that while Clanners won't be able to avoid obstacles when firing missiles at targets like LRMs can, they will be doing better damage if they have a clear shot.

3 - I have this idea on how to design specific units and their fittings, basically making Inner Sphere more flexibile, jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none style with most Mechs having a variety of weapons that allow them some flexibility in roles, while Clan would be the opposite, having highly specialized fits that are better at their specific roles but also inflexible when it comes to fighting they aren't prepared for.

4 - Color. Shades of grey will make a predominant appearance with both sides but I plan on having Clan Mechs be "darker" in tone. This is already somewhat implemented with the placeholder textures and it's fairly easy to see a Mech and say "hey, thats a dark Mech, must be Clan". However I'm always keen to something different so if anyone can show me cool color schemes for stuff I'll take it into consideration. I remember MW4 had a few fairly colourful paint schemes. This also goes for Mercenary and SLDF Mechs; I'm thinking I'll give Mercs some sort of psuedo-camouflage paintjob in either green or "urban" grey, SLDF... not sure. Examples would be grand. Maybe some sort of white/very light grey. Super-advanced stuff is often really white.

5 - Voiceover. Should I bother? If so, should I go for some personality? Give Clan stuff Russian accents?
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GBscientist
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by GBscientist » 06 Mar 2011, 02:16

For BattleTech paint schemes that you could apply, check out http://camospecs.com/. It is the official BattleTech paint scheme reference site.
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SpikedHelmet
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by SpikedHelmet » 06 Mar 2011, 02:23

Well, that doesn't help at all, every formation within each faction uses its own damned schemes...
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Pxtl
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by Pxtl » 06 Mar 2011, 02:26

Well, my impression of the original game was that clans had more versatile mechs (in that they would have many, many more configurations of each chassis thanks to omnimech technology) and their mechs were substantially more powerful, but the Inner Sphere fielded a wider variety of equipment - more vehicles, infantry, etc and many technologies that the clans did not sport like C3 command/slave systems. And the clans used more battle-suits.

Of course, that would be tricky to balance in an RTS - you run into the problem that one faction has all the *interesting* gameplay options while the other faction is stuck with brute force.

I guess it's too late to implement that anyways, iirc you've already made Clan vehicles... but if I were designing it now, I'd have made that a key differentation - all the peripheral, non-mech equipment - something like "inner sphere has tanks, clans have second-line mechs. Inner sphere has infantry, clans have battlesuits. Inner Sphere gets helis and offmap artillery, clans get offmap aerospace fighter strikes". But you've already made gameplay decisions that make that approach inappropriate. Plus you'd have the Expand and Exterminate problems of factions with different slope-tolerances.
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SpikedHelmet
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by SpikedHelmet » 06 Mar 2011, 02:43

It's not too late for some of that but there are some principles I've adopted and will never change, particularly infantry -- under no circumstances, ever, in a million years unless major fundamental changes to the engine take place, make regular infantry. Guys in rigid robot-like battlesuits, that's one thing, but definately not regular infantry.

As for vehicles as I've said they will not be a "normal" part of the game and only accessed after capturing special outposts (which often won't even spawn on a map). But I disagree that vehicles are more Inner Sphere "flavour" than Clan -- Clan has lots of vehicles and the Hell's Horses inparticular use quite a lot of vehicles.

The "Clans get off-map Aero strikes, IS get off-map artillery" does sound kinda nice.

Also here is a screenshot showing the placeholder textures I'm using, with Clan being much darker and IS much lighter, fairly easy to identify:

Image
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bobthedinosaur
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by bobthedinosaur » 06 Mar 2011, 06:47

black vs blue gray must be battletech, clap or tea...
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Pxtl
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by Pxtl » 06 Mar 2011, 17:05

@SpikedHelmet

I may be misremembering, but I thought Clans treated vehicles as part of the Second Line. That is, they were generally left for Freebirths, and all Trueborn warriors would pilot full-fledged Omnimechs, fighters, or Elementals.

In general, that could be a good differentiator for the clans - some form of tight restriction on how many Trueborn pilots you have available, that controls your deployment of mainline Omnimechs.

Stop me if I'm bugging you with this stuff - I just like spitballing ideas for fun.
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bobthedinosaur
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by bobthedinosaur » 06 Mar 2011, 18:01

The clans use an honor system and hierarchy of clan law where usually the clan who would volunteer the least forces would get the rights to invade. The inner sphere has actual resources that they are concerned with when fighting over worlds, and have to deal with the economics of supporting a military unit/ mercenaries.

But thats sounds kind of complicated have 2 different resource systems.


Camo schemes that would switch depending on world type would be tits. I think smoth was working on something similar for gundam.
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SpikedHelmet
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by SpikedHelmet » 06 Mar 2011, 20:12

Camo schemes that would switch depending on world type would be tits.
Ya NO.

Resource smeasource, the system has been decided upon.

The Clans did view Mechs as of course superior and thats how they rolled but they did not completely eschew vehicular violence, though some could say that their lack of interest in vehicle development lead to many clan vehicles being sub-par at least when stood next to their Mechs.

But they did use vehicles, and like I said, Clan Hell's Horses are particularly infamous for not sharing the "omfg Mechs > All" mentality and were heavy vehicle (ab)users.

Anyway the jist of the matter is I'm planning on having some form of population cap, be it in straight numbers/weighted numbers limits or weight limits or both. It hasn't been fleshed out. But the capture of a vehicle depot outpost would give one a big benefit in being able to supplement this Mech limit with some vehicular mayhem. Same goes for Mercenary Outpost and SLDF Cache, units procured by capturing these special outposts won't count towards the limits so they will give their owner a big and clear advantage (and hopefully therefore be fought over more violently than just empty useless "strategic points").

Anyway I was thinking more of things having primary colours, like Federated Suns being Red/Yellow or something. I don't remember what these colours are, but I thought I remembered each House having its own "special" unique royal official colour scheme in MW4. Mercenary units will probably be some sort of camouflage, green woodland style probably, and SLDF some sort of solid light grey.
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Big Take
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by Big Take » 07 Mar 2011, 03:28

To my recollection, Clan mechs tend to be large, bold blocks of single colors, while IS mechs tend to have actual camouflage, in deference to the different theories on how warfare should be waged.

If you don't mind committing to singular color schemes, it'd be easy to declare "Clans" just Wolf or one of the other primary invaders and "IS" the appropriate invasion-corridor House. Then just do each side in appropriate blatant faction colors. (Each House does have a distinct color scheme. Sarna.net and camospecs.com will have examples.)
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Neddie
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by Neddie » 07 Mar 2011, 19:35

bobthedinosaur wrote: Camo schemes that would switch depending on world type would be tits. I think smoth was working on something similar for gundam.
Spiked wasn't interested when I suggested it for S44, he wouldn't be interested now.
SpikedHelmet wrote: 4 - Color
5 - Voiceover. Should I bother? If so, should I go for some personality? Give Clan stuff Russian accents?
4. Maybe use teamcolour for clans.
5. Yes, voices. Yes, personality. Yes, multiple voice actors.
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Big Take
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by Big Take » 07 Mar 2011, 23:43

A more detailed suggestion trying to keep in line with Spiked's initial concept while borrowing "canon" color schemes for a singular design theory.
SpikedHelmet wrote:4 - Color. Shades of grey will make a predominant appearance with both sides but I plan on having Clan Mechs be "darker" in tone.
Clan: Jade Falcon Alpha Galaxy: http://camospecs.com/Unit.asp?ID=979
Blue-Black with random accents / trophies, which gives a lot of room for individuality in the unit types
IS: 1st Alarion Jaegers: http://camospecs.com/Unit.asp?ID=91
Paler gray with white checkerboarding. Checkerboard schemes are kind of an IS mainstay, in my experience, and having the left half of every unit with the same stark scheme will make people's eyes pop (additionally, the checkerboard can be set to malleable colors for different IS players?)
I'm thinking I'll give Mercs some sort of psuedo-camouflage paintjob in either green or "urban" grey, SLDF... not sure. Examples would be grand. Maybe some sort of white/very light grey. Super-advanced stuff is often really white.
Mercs: Northwind Highlanders use "whatever camo is appropriate":
http://camospecs.com/Unit.asp?ID=225
or
Eridani Light Horse use SLDF olive drab: http://camospecs.com/Unit.asp?ID=592
Star League: ComStar white seems the obvious option

Insignias and such are obviously optional, though having unified unit markings might be pretty.
5 - Voiceover. Should I bother? If so, should I go for some personality? Give Clan stuff Russian accents?
Yes. All sorts of voiceover. Russian Clanners, German/French IS, Scottish Mercs, and Oxfordian Star League mayhaps?
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SpikedHelmet
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Re: Side Differentiation

Post by SpikedHelmet » 09 Mar 2011, 13:32

Good suggestions on the voices. Though I think it'll be a bitch to find some pompous Englishman to do voiceovers (for free) :D

I'll start shopping around.
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