Color Schemes

posted in: Development | 1

Finally I found the time to write the entry I wanted to write weeks ago. Remember when I promised to write something about color schemes and their effect on the user. Or better said the experience which they can influence. It’s all about expectations and a bit of the mainstream feelings. Sounds weird? But that’s how it is in fact. Take yourself as an example: What emotion do you associate with the color “red”? In most western countries red is associated with love, while black, for example, is associated with grief (which is a bit stange as in some other regions white stands for grief). As we chose a half futuristic setting we also had to think about the colors we could use in the menu structure.

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The most important question was: What colors do we, do people, do gamers associate with the future? With modern design? With technology? Of course we had our own assumptions. We thought that white, blue and everything in between would fit for the future. We googled (yes, developers do that as well, obviously we cannot know everything). And in fact, what we felt was right, was indeed right. If you google for futuristic design and search for pictures you’ll find a lot that will look shiny white and pale blue. Everything a bit metallic. And what is also clearly visible (or not so visible, pun intended): transparency.

Currently we do not have the final menu structure set up. We rework the menus on a regular basis, adjusting things all the time, making the menus easier to use, experimenting a bit with the buttons, their sizes and their exact positions (and their looks). So everything you see in this post is subject of change. The only more or less final things are related to the colors and colorcodes.

colorschemes2

What do you do if you have a lot of colors you’ve chosen? Well, you could definitely just include them in your game. But did you know that colors often don’t really fit to each other? Even if they are close to each other they can seem disturbing to the enduser. We could definitely hold a talk about this topic but there’s an easier way to find a solution to this problem. In fact, we’re not the only ones who ever faced that situation and actually Adobe has a tool available to help you. Which colors do fit for the colors you’ve chosen? And do these colors actually fit for each other? So we used it. And it was fine. It’s a pretty cool tool we’d like to recommend if you’re ever struggling to find the right colors. The results are pretty nice.

Sources of Inspiration #1: Industry Giant 2

posted in: Development | 1

Today we’d like to start (yet) a special series for our development blog: The sources of inspiration. Every game created has inspirations of course, may it be movies, comics, books or other games. And we want to share our inspirations actually. In 2002 a game called “Industry Giant II” was released and it was a great game for fans of the genre. It had some really interesting mechanics which will also be part of economica.

Besides having a working economy-system the game featured some kind of realism which we really liked. You could build your production buildings somewhere in the landscape but you were not able to directly sell stuff to the people. You first had to deliver them to a shop within the town. Actually you had to ship them to a storage before putting the product into the shelves and before doing so you had to build that shop as well.

Newarrow

Now that’s quite a realistic approach which highlights all the important steps of an actual product chain: Produce, ship, sell. And that’s what we are going to implement in economica as well (with giving the player a little bit more freedom). The player will be able to build several buildings producing various things (we will be talking about that in a later post). From here on he’ll have the choice: Store it in a warehouse or directly ship it to the stores (in fact, both decisions will have their pros and cons)?

In fact we believe that this way is even more realistic. Of course we have a few other mechanics in the game which will profit from this decision but overall we thought that we should improve the working system with a bit more freedom. See, it’s, as stated, more realistic. In the real life some products are directly shipped to the stores and not temporarily stored in warehouses. And yes, of course, before selling the products the player will have to build the warehouse and buy a shop in the nearest town. Why? Because that’s part of the product chain: Produce, ship, sell.

Creation #1: The Oil Well

posted in: Development | 1

It’s time for a new blog entry, isn’t it? Actually I wanted to write about something totally different today. With yesterweeks explanations regarding the setting for economica I wanted to write something about color schemes this week. Like: What colors do people accept for (slightly) futuristic settings? But it’s always the same, isn’t it? Nothing works out as planned. We’re currently super busy with developing the game and we’re close to a first internal alpha these days (which means: A lot of features are in the game, the dev-build is still ugly since post processing effects are totally turned off and huge chunks of content are missing and last but not least the features do not yet really work well hand in hand with each other. To be totally honest: Currently the market research is trying to strangle the transport system. But that’s a different story…) and I hardly find the time to write about complex topics.

What does that mean? Well, no color schemes this week. Instead something more simple. Oh. Erm. Not for our 3D Modelers of course. But for me something more simple. As it’s easier to write down. Since we’re fans of the open development approach we’d like to share progress as it’s being made. So let’s have a look on the art creation side this week (And yep, that’s the reason for a new series on the blog. So whenever I run out of time to write a new entry, I’ll probably just follow up with the creation line). Hm. Yeah.

Okay. So. Welcome. Welcome to the first entry in the Creation line. This week we’ll have a look at our Oil Well. On the left you can see an early version of it. That was created for our first internal builds where we had to setup a building system (basically we needed something we could place somewhere in the landscape. Of course not totally somewhere as such things as cities or roads should be blocked areas, but again, different story). Since that time the 3D model was used for a while. As you can see, things changed. If I ever find the time, I’ll update the post with an animated gif showing off how the Oil Well looks when it’s animated. But as you can see: Quite a lot of things changed. The 3D Model was slightly updated here and there but more importantly the textures were added. And of course effects such as shadows (or overall “lightning”) do make a massive difference. It takes quite a while to get everything in place and to add all the little details.

Want to see an example? Well, here you got: Just have a look on some of the textures. Of course these aren’t all the textures used in the model. Lots more had to be created. For the roads, for the machines, the trees and so on and so on. But yeah, as you can see, we mind the details. Every little part in the world of economica gets treated with the very same love. If you love the details, you get the details done right. And if you get the details done right, they’ll form an extraordinary picture in the end. At least, that’s what we are aiming for.