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Empire shading and weapon colours

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:00 am
by geon
Just some little thoughts concerning the colour shadings given to the various empires in the game, and their corresponding weapon colours.

Vanilla BOTF has the following:

Federation - Blue
Klingon - Red
Romulan - Green
Ferengi - Brown/orange
Cardassian - Purple

The corresponding beam and torpedo coloring follows this colouring pattern (ie Feds have blue beams, Klingons red etc). I'm assuming this was done to simplify programming, since we all know that in the TNG era (when the game is set), the Feds are using orange beams and torps and the Klingons green. The Romulans are right, while the Cardassians do start off with purple weapons (see TNG 'The Wounded') but have also been seen with orange phasers and gold disruptors.

The blue Fed beams belong to the TOS era. The red Klingon beams are seen only once, in DS9 'Way Of The Warrior", while green disruptors predominate for the Klingons in the rest of the series.

I realise that programming issues and maybe gaming considerations (ie: different colours for different empires to easily distinguish weapons fire during combat) may have played a part, but since we have now arrived at a point where we can easily alter certain aspects of the game itself, I would like to offer some suggestions for the empire shading and weapons colours, which, with discussion from the forum, might lead to a consistent colouring scheme for all the empires, especially with regard to mods.

I'll try to cover all the major empires (even though at this point in time, they can't all appear together in one game - but I live in hope).

Enterprise Era

Earth – There would be a natural tendency to give the Federation light blue colouring to the Earth (as a precursor of the Federation). But since blue will already be taken (see Andorians), we need another colour. Their beams are a dull orange (phase cannons) and their torps are either missiles or orange ‘photonic torps’ (curse you ‘Enterprise’ writers!!!!).

Well, their uniforms are darkish blue, so that’s one possibility for empire colouring. Another is to go with their dull grey hulls and give them grey empire shading.

Empire – Dark Blue or Grey (hey, US Civil War anyone???)
Beam – Dull Orange
Torps – Missile or Orange

Klingons – Green disruptors are shown together with white torps. The red lighting of their ships (and the fact that the Klingons were originally meant to portray the Russians) gives them the red empire shading.

Empire – Red
Beam – Green
Torp - White

Romulans – Standard green disruptors are shown We don’t get to see any torps, but is Spocks later statement applies, then they should still be using missiles.

Empire – Green
Beam – Green
Torp - Missile

Vulcans – Vulcan ships seem to have dull brown hulls. Beams seem to be an olive greenish/yellow in colour. We don’t know about torps. If we are going with one of the vanilla colours, then perhaps purple (to represent their arrogant imperious attitude during the series).

Empire – Purple
Beam – Olive green/yellow
Torp - ??? missile or olive/yellow?

Andorians – Since Andorian beams and skin colour is blue, they should get the blue colour as their shadings. We don’t get to see any torps.

Empire – Light Blue (ie vanilla Federation)
Beams – Blue
Torps – Blue? Or missile??

Suliban – Orange coloured ships, so orangey/brown empire shading (Ferengi) would be appropriate. Beams appear to be yellow/gold (like later Cardassian). No torps are seen; we can speculate either missiles or yellow torpedoes.

Empire – Orange/brown (ie vanilla Ferengi)
Beams – Yellow
Torps – Missiles or yellow torps


Federation – Ship beam weapons standardised on light blue later on, but in the first two seasons various other phaser colours were shown (eg white, orange/yellow and red were seen).
Torpedoes seem to be balls of white light.

Empire Colour – Blue
Beam Colour – Blue
Torp - White

Klingons – Green disruptors shown. In the few instances of Klingon torps, (eg TOS Errand Of Mercy), they seem to be bright specks of light, so a white colour, as in the previous Enterprise era, would be appropriate

Empire – Red
Beam – Green
Torp - White

Romulans – No ship beam weapons are shown, but given their previous green disruptors, and the Klingon style ships they acquire, green beams seem to be a safe bet. Their plasma torpedo is an orange colour.

Empire – Green
Beam – Green
Torp – Orange

TMP era

Federation – We get the familiar orange phasers appearing at this time. Torps are initially blue (Star Trek The Motion Picture) then standardise on the familiar orange.

Empire – Blue
Beam – Orange
Torp – Blue, then Orange

Klingons – The familiar green disruptors and green torpedoes (re Birds Of Prey)

Empire – Red
Beam – Green
Torp – Green

Romulans – Romulan ships are not seen in the early movies, so we can only speculate. Green disruptors feature in the later series, so they continue into this era. Torps could be either the previous orange, or more likely adopting a Klingon green.

Empire – Green
Beam – Green
Torp - Green

TNG & Beyond

The later movies and series feature the familiar main empires covered in BOTF. An interesting trend at this time is the colour of the ship warp nacelles, which mirror the colour of their empire. You’ll see what I mean in the descriptions.

Federation – Continues the beam and torp colours of the previous era. Warp engine colour is a bright blue re Akira, Galaxy, Nebula etc (with a red front in a white casing….hmm red, white and blue, now that’s subtle!). Later torps (ie Quantum) are a white/blue.

Empire – Light Blue
Beam – Orange
Torp – Orange…….white/blue later

Klingon – With the one exception of a red beam in DS9 ‘Way Of The Warrior’, the green torps and beams continue. Klingon impulse engines have a red colouring.

Empire – Red
Beam – Green
Torp – Green

Romulan – Green beams and torps continue, together with green hull colouring. Warp engines glow a bright green as well.

Empire – Green
Beam – Green
Torp – Green

Dominion – One of the newer races to appear from DS9 on, this race uses blue polaron beams and torps (as in vanilla BOTF Federation). Their ship warp nacelles (as in their battlecruiser and later battleship) glow a bright purple, so I think this should be their empire colour.

Empire – Purple
Beam – Light Blue
Torp – Light Blue

Cardassian – The Cardassians appear first in TNG and continue into DS9 and Voyager. They complicate things. Their early ships have a dull purple hull (TNG ‘Wounded’ and DS9 ‘The Emmisary’ and orange hulls TNG ‘Ensign Ro’). Later ships all have a sandy yellow hull colouring. Similarly, their beams and torps undergo a change. Early beams are either purple (TNG ‘The Wounded’) or phaser orange (DS9 ‘The Emissary’ and TNG ‘The Chase’). A purple torp is also shown fired in TNG ‘Ensign Ro’. Later beams are yellow/gold in colour. Torps are assumed to be of a similar colour.

Ideally, the game engine would cater for all these colours, but since that is not yet possible, we have some hard choices to make. Since the later hulls and impulse engines are yellow/gold, I would make this the empire colour. Similarly, for now, we can standardise the weapon colours to the later yellow colour as well.

Empire – Yellow
Beam – Yellow
Torp – Yellow

Ferengi – Ferengi ships are an orange/brown colouring. The first torp weapon we see is the white electro magnetic burst in TNG ’The Last Outpost’. We don’t see any ship beam weapons in the episode, but if they follow the pattern of hand weapons and ship weapons having the same coloured beams (think phasers, disruptors) then the Marauder should fire blue beams.

Later ships (eg Kreechta) fire light orange beams, and dull yellow torps. So you have a choice, early or later style. The vanilla empire colour is also close to on screen hull colouring so can be utilised. Impulse engine glow appears orange.

If we go with the later style, we get

Empire – Orange/brown
Beam – Light Orange
Torp – Yellow/tan

Borg – Many mods now have the Borg as a playable race. Beam and torp colours are the familiar disruptor green. Hull colours vary from grey to shades of grey and green.

Empire – Dull green or grey
Beam – Green
Torp – Green

Well, those are my initial suggestions. It’s interesting to note that at least one map maker, has had similar ideas concerning my TNG empire shades ... ic-map.jpg

Your thoughts everyone?

Re: Empire shading and weapon colours

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:36 pm
by Darth_Windu
Well I'm pretty sure that the colours are simply a way of identifying the empire. So everything about the Federation is blue, the Klingons red etc. It means that both in normal mode and battle mode, you can instantly know what ship/sector belongs to which faction.

I do know there's a project to give ships individual weapons colours, but I'm not sure what you're suggesting about map colours (particularly for the minors) is possible.