One day Antti gave me a mission!
Make country flags for our menus. I tried. And as usual I immediately hated how it looked. Real country flags didn’t really fit well in our menu’s graphical style. Real flags didn’t fit in-game either. So I tried to just re-colour some of them. They didn’t fit either. So i thought maybe we could use some kind of coat of arms type emblems or something. I started designing the emblems and well I took a slight detour.
Saturday morning cartoon villains
We had earlier mulled around with the idea of just using fictional countries in our campaign. Countries were lovingly dubbed not-Finland, not-Japan and so on. Then I decided that they would be just called blue country, orange country etc. Each country was naturally named after the colour of their plane. Thought process behind our colour-palette wasn’t complex. I just picked some colours and thought “this looks good, we’ll go with this”, and that was it. :D
The thought behind using fictional countries was that it would be more interesting to write our campaign missions for a fictional war, not having to worry about historical accuracy and whatnot. Don’t get me wrong! I love the original Triplane’s cartoonishly silly missions where you had to bomb saunas and trees of the Finns. I felt that we could also tell some kind of a story and not just tell the players to bomb the bad guys mess hall (don’t worry you’ll be able to bomb them).
So I couldn’t just have green and yellow blank flags in our menu. I wasn’t really in the mood of drawing on that day. I had an idea for our campaign mission briefings being written in different styles, one being diary style the other could be letters to home style. I decided to tackle my emblem conundrum with designing every country’s pilot’s personality and then I would draw an image that might fit the pilot’s persona. This would be easy as I had earlier already formed an image of every pilot’s personality. One would be bearish but kind strongman who just wants to protect everyone the other a veteran pilot of noble origins with an aura of superiority and an eye-patch to prove it.
I took a pen in hand and began to wonder some things. I associated animals with every country/pilot. Thought about colours, their meanings and what emotions they convey. What kind of weapons were historically used in each country? What about their technological level at the time of the war? I pondered about which plant would best represent each country. Studied shapes and symbols, what ace of spades or skull represents in heraldry. I came up with some names for pilots. Started to ponder how each country would wage war. Drew inspiration from the armies of the first world war. Thought how the war would affect our pilots during the campaign…
A day after giving me this assignment of drawing the flags, Antti asked me if I had something ready. I replied that I had written the whole outline for our 24 mission single player campaign with briefings, broadly designed every mission, written personalities for our pilots and drawn a slew of icons for our countries to pick from.
Thanks for reading this brief blurb of my thought process, feel free to comment! Next week Antti continues to write about our UI.