As I said, I think it is not good if you have to constantly watch two things (the unit and the flag) to know one. Multi coloured units are good if they are telling enough, so that, after having memorised them, you don't really need to look at the flag, but to have confirmation and eyeball some unit mixed up with other ones, although this is hardly achievable for sea units (the example is 270BC; all units are distinctive and, after you have memorised them, you don't really look at the flags to know what is what).
Also, I suggest you do what you can to not have any other symbols at all, for example not telling apart ships with shells etc. (I know it is challenging).
With this said, it is not a matter of putting a flag "somewhere", otherwise you could as well just tell people to use the "Flag Display Mode" of the engine and not having flags at all in the images (bad idea, at the current state of that option); I personally strongly believe that both flags and stack numbers should stay right to the image, due to our abit of reading left to right and, in particular, the flag upper right and the stack number lower left; moreover, both the flag and the stack number should stay very close to the image, so to not be really perceived like separate entities, and normally overlapping, but the stack number above, while the flag underneath.
Meaning I strongly suggest not to:
Also, a thing I was wondering if maybe they should be more corpose, like?:
Also, I advice for a bit stronger black outline (not too much), as a map background requires more than what seems good enough on a white background.
Again, I suggest you go the coloured glow way. Just look at the image I posted or at the general of Napoleonic Empires; those generals look neat, don't they? This would also solve the shadow question, as then you would have no shadow. Only limit is that, this way, you need to have intense colours and only a few of them (like 8 players or less), but this seems not being an issue here.
Finally, I want to remember that there is a 3rd way of going for images, that it is having them partially monocolourised, like the land units of Napoleonic Empires. I consider such images absolutely superior to those fully monocolour, and much better looking, tho they get a bad reputation because of Napoleonic Empires, but this is just because the relief are too aggressive, relatively to the distinctive colours for the images, and some colour choices are too indistinctive (Prussia and Austria). This map may be a good opportunity to rehabilitate this concept, making it in an actually sound way (you already showed with Age of Tribes that relief Napoleonic Empires style can be playable, now you can do the same thing, but reverse, for the units, instead).
p.s.: What are you using to make those Capitol flags? Is it something automated that can be downloaded somewhere? I'd like to get it, if so.
Also, since the game starts in 1915, I much advise the WARSPITE being the Battleship image. Really, by 1915 the Dreadnought (I see you have as base image) was slipping into obsolescence, and the dreadnought style turret setup was definitely obsolete. If not the Warspite, I would anyway go for some super-dreadnought, like the Benbow.
I like the way you placed the nation symbols at the top/right. It seems more subtle.
The colored glow solution might make it hard to distinguish units on territories that are also colored. Like if an “orange” player owns a territory, that is then slightly orange and a yellow player is also standing there, it might be hard to see.
I used partially monocolourised in Carribean Trade War map. I think it would be much work to make all look like that, even with easy “hue” adjusting, there is still much work in outlining all the areas that is to be colored. But it would look good.
If Crazy german want me to go this way, then I will give it a shot, but as of now, I will try to go the monocolor way and try to make the best of it.
About the flags: I found no easy way to make flags. The flags in Iron War (I have to go back and work on this at some point) the flags were made in “Aurora 3d text and logo maker”. Not easy. The flags for WW1 was made here: (I think the website is old and outdated. Can’t download. But I took screenshots and cleaned them up.)
The problem with ship pictures is that they all look a bit alike. And most good 3d models and rendering are displaying the ships in their full lengths, and this is not very usable in unit picture sense. They have to be angled and look different from each other.
Russia was one of those countries where flags did still not belong to everyone. I chose this flag when making the flags because it stands out in a yellow color and beause there would be no misunderstandings if it was red or white Russians. Also the civil flag of Russia of the time looks identical to the flag of today and uses the same colors as the French, so it would just not be unique.
Is far as I know the German flag I used is also not “the German flag”, but it is the “Naval Jack, Kriegsschiffgösch, Kriegsgösch” (1871-1918). But again it stands out and is not just a bunch of stribes.
http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/de1871~j.html Here are some interesting pictures indicating that the Russian military used the Imperial Standard as their flag. I think it is old newspapers or something). I have attached the comments from the website where I found them:
World War I, Soldiers saluting the new flag of Russia, combining the old Russian flag and the Romanov eagle of Tsar Nicholas II (1868-1918) on a yellow field, in a canton in the top left-hand corner. Frontpage of French newspaper Le Petit Journal. January 31, 1915. Private Collection.
World War I, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (1868-1918), leading the troops to war.
This has nothing to do with flags …. Just a fun Picture :
World War I, Cow preventing a German Military Aircraft from taking off, in Russia. Illustration from French newspaper Le Petit Journal. October 22, 1916. Private Collection.
I tried to make some units with mixed true-color/player color, but I think that is too much nitpicking. But somebody else is welcome to do it, and I will gladly upload the base pictures I use.
I have tried to make two sets of monocolor units. And they have added very subtle shadows that go straight down, so one can flip the images without it messing anything up. The ships have no shadows, somehow they looked strange with shadows that would go straight down.
What do you think? Shall I make the other nations this way? The player colors are based on the red/Ottoman and sliding the hue 50 out of 360 six times, meaning 0 (Ottoman Red), 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 (360 would be red again). I think I have tried to go maximum color spread with 7 colors.
This style looks excellent to me. I want to say thanks again, I know this is a lot of work and I appreciate it. I'm going to nit pick though
-could the artillery be more distinct? I can't really tell which is heavy and which is light. Maybe just scale one image to be a bit larger, or have a fatter barrel
-I think that is a pile of sandbags for an entrechment unit, but I can't really tell. Could some barb wire be added in? I would prefer a different trench image (the one from TWW is better I think)
-What is the icon on the gas image? This likes the propane tank I use to BBQ, not a weapon
I'd rather the Brits not be pink, is it possible to get khaki or brown using a different hue method? We can edit fine colors at a later date if needed.
If you want to go with the colours you chose, I would surely switch Austrian-Hungarians and French (French green-blue 200 and Austrian-Hungarians blue-red 250) and switch Turks and English (Turks blue-red 300 and English red 000).
The flag I posted was just an interpretation of the flag of the Catholic Roman Empire, before they adopted the two-headed eagle from the Orthodox Roman Empire; nothing related, beside that fact Russia adopted it from the Roman Empire of Constantinople, as well (in the Roman Empire of the east, or-sable was for peace and gules-or was for war, actually, tho it might have been purpure-or, at some point; I'm not sure).
How about making a mapskin with the coloured units then? I would suggest all the not generic units having no flags, in that one.
Also, I suggest not using the same colours for the ownerships, but going for more realistic ones, albeit less distinctive, for the territories.
The ottoman model of cavalry actually aims to show that kind of arab cavalry, but it would not be possible to show that lance.
The Mustard-Gas unit picture sucked, so I made a new one. The symbol on the old picture was the chemical weapons symbol, but the symbol was probably not invented in WW1. So now the Mustard-Gas has a new symbol on a hand grenade. I have seen film of gas throwing soldiers in ww1, and the grenade pictured looks like a grenade similar to an American ww1 grenade. Still I don’t think any real mustard gas grenade of ww1 looked like the unit picture. But making a unit picture of a real mustard ganister will probably not show-and-tell anything.
I also made a new Entrenchment picture. What do you think?
(Light artillery is a tiny bit smaller now)
I think the new gas image is worse than the previous one. I mean, it looks like a carnival spray or, anyway, something much too small, like a hand granade, while gas was normally released from propane tank like containers on the ground, under favourable wind.
How about using the previous one, but with something like a skull symbol?
And I really think, in a ww1 game, the French have to be cerulean, rather than ultramarine (so the colour assigned to Austria would be fine, more or less). That mazarine at hue 250 would be ok for Austria, I think, as I said; I think getting the French right is more important than the Austrians.
I am also not 100% happy with the gas picture. If you have ideas about what the symbol for chemical gasses could be, then please share. I have thought about maybe just a symbol with a gasmask og maybe a gasmask with a cloud of gas behind it. But then it would look strange when placing the unit on your own territory?
Anyway, I would imagine this unit - if used - could give some enemy units -1 defense or something if you throw it in to an attack on the enemy. Edit: Or maybe a kamikaze unit that tried to take out some enemy ground units in the start of battle?
The threee colors I have presented, I imagine them being good for Ottoman (Red), English (Orange or kaki/light brown if saturated down) and Yellow for Russia). French will likely be blue, and I think the exact nuance could be adjusted/determined at a later time, as the map sea color should not conflict. My first thought is a very dark blue unit color, a deep sea color that is more light and a coastal color that is the lightest. When I look at most maps, light bright colored territories seems like a good choice to make units stand out. And on land territory ownership colors in bright nuances look good (on this map supplemented by flags).
Also, if this map's tiles went in the direction of a real military typographic map look, brightened up to limit distraction, I think it would be cool!