Hey, Blair - weird, lightweight question; for ages, I’ve noticed RTS games with selectable colors/shades tend to avoid black like the plague (edit - to your credit, you have it as a secondary selection in Sins 2). I’ve had the theory it’s either over concern for multi-player balance (I would expect darker items are slightly slower to visually pick up) or it just fails to highlight graphical awesomeness as well as lighter colors/shades. Any thoughts/opinions on that?
Ha, we’ve had this conversation many times since the early 2000’s. We’ve experimented with it many times as well. I can’t speak for other games but we suspect its the same concern we found - contrast. 1. Contrast with the background environment, 2. Contrast with details on the unit itself (e.g. self shadowing), and 3. Contrast against other player’s units.
The environment contrast particularly impt in Sins because we like to have a number of dark skyboxes (the current build of Sins2 does not reflect this - yet). You can also see clear evidence of this concern from Blizzard games because in a game like Starcraft 2 they even change what colors are available in a given match based on the map (e.g. brown/tan is not available on desert maps).
Much appreciated; as a once-upon-a-time “stage crew” type in high school, I miss my blacks but always suspected there was a reason we didn’t get them. I recall in one example—the misbegotten Sword of the Stars 2—it would even show you ships without your team color applied before you selected one. In that game, the black highlights were just cooler but nobody got to use them.
Contrast makes sense, however. And hey, should you ever create a “big bad” or “ancients” fleet for a late game random event, you COULD always go that route for it as well because the reduced visual clarity might be more of a feature than a bug, so to speak.