This week I’ve been working on both generating clothing styles for different civilizations. There are currently six “archetypal” clothing styles, each of which has three sub-styles within it, and each sub-style has its own variation between specific items of “identical” clothing (just small things like the width of clothing relating to the size of its owner, fractional colour differences, that kind of thing). As the maximum number of feudal civilizations the game allows at any one point is eighteen, this works out perfectly, so all/most of the styles will be reflected in each game (though I might add more later). I’ve so far worked entirely on upper-class clothing for rulers, aristocrats, military commanders, etc. There are several dozen colour combinations, and each nation will pick one for its upper-class clothing and then have those same colours reflected, to a lesser extent, in its middle/lower-class clothing. This week we’ll have the upper-class clothing, then in a fortnight, probably the remainder of clothing and some early development of crowd mechanics, if we’re lucky?! So, here’s an illustrative sample of five of the six “archetypal” clothing styles (the last one is not yet finished):
Going clockwise from the top left, these are inspired by “classic” Western medieval clothing of leather (or other material) waistcoats and a shirt underneath, though here I’m treating them as a single garment; the second is inspired by Japanese kimonos; the third is inspired primarily by older Chinese styles of dress, and also some more “tailored” Western styles; the fourth (i.e. the bottom-right corner) is inspired from a range of styles including far more ancient Babylonian and Hebrew dress; the fifth is based on a lot of Eastern European royalty, and the sixth will be based on Renaissance Western Europe (but is proving surprisingly tricky to realize). These then have the three sub-styles as described above – which consist of different patterns, different locations of buttons, lengths of sleeves, sizes of collar, colour schemes, etc. To take a closer look at the variation within one archetype, let’s go with the Hebrewlonian (???) archetype, of which I’ve included three below. (There are actually a dozen different possible patterns which can appear on the “clasps”, but just weirdly enough, all three I took for this picture happened to select the same one, and now I’ve only just noticed this and I’m severely disinclined to go and generate them again, so we’re just going to have to make do with these). The right is “average” size (which will include “muscular” or whatever other build definitions I wind up with), the middle for someone slim/athletic, and the right for someone much heavier-set. So these would be belong to three neighboring civilizations who might have experienced a level of cultural bleeding between each other’s society, but maintain their own styles of dress nevertheless:
So, each of these might be tethered to a different culture, but I’ll also be sure to place those cultures next to each other (think pre-modern China, Korea and Japan, for instance), so that you get some sense of “similarity” (sometimes) between clothing styles of nearby nations (though given that many nations might have complex territorial shapes, there is only so far this can be pushed). Naturally there will be coupled with appropriate lower-body garments, boots, gloves, etc, and then we’ll be done with clothing for this release (with armour and weapons… next release?). In the new NPC lookup (or the same for the player) you’ll be able to scroll through all the clothing on an NPC to let you examine what culture you think they might be from. Maybe a logical mechanic would be to have NPCs judge the player, at least in part, based on their clothing style (and many other factors) so that there might be some ability to attempt to pass “undercover” in nations unfriendly to your own. As with everything else: the game will never tell you “this is the clothing style of Nation X”, but once the player has that learned that, you should be able to come to recognize those you encounter in the street, or the origins of foreign merchants/travelers, etc.
I’m now working on two things simultaneously: crowd mechanics, and remaining items of clothing for middle-class and lower-class citizens, and then lower-body garments, boots/shoes, etc. I’m basically working to an “interim” deadline right now since I want to show off a stable build with crowd mechanics functioning (and all clothing items implemented) at the IRDC 2015 I’m hosting on 27-28 June, so all academic work is on hold now whilst I grind towards that goal. Metagame follow-up next week, then more delicious URRpdates! In the mean time, you can keep up to date on my devlog,Facebook page, or Twitter.