CK3 Dev Diary #71: A Coat of Arms of Your Own

Hello everyone and welcome to the 71st CK3 Dev Diary!

I’m Matthew, one of the Programmers on the CK3 team, and today I am going to talk to you about one of the free features in the upcoming 1.5 patch: the much requested Coat of Arms Designer!

I don’t think the idea needs much explanation, this feature lets you edit the coat of arms used for your titles, dynasty, and house in game and from within the ruler designer to create your own stunning medieval crest.

I think it's easiest if I just show you, should go without saying by now but everything here is still under development and the interface is a work in progress and stands to be tweaked, shuffled around the layout and sizes changed by art.
But right now here is what you will be greeted by now if you enter the customization window for the Holy Roman Empire:

1_main_screen.PNG


In the center you get the preview screen of the coat of arms as you edit it and to the right some options of what to do.
I’ll start with the bottom right options:
  • Randomise within the rule sets we use to generate coat of arms normally, great if you want to reenact this pain.
  • As with the Ruler Designer’s DNA we let you copy and paste your coat of arms to share.
  • Discard any changes you’ve made to your work in progress masterpiece.
  • If you have previously edited and saved your new coat of arms then the discard button will be joined by a button to reset to the historical coat of arms if available.

The meat of the system comes in the form of customizing your coat of arms from scratch or adjusting the existing one, both share their core components but adjusted mode is more limited if you want to take a pre-existing coat of arms and just tweak it a bit.
The reason adjusted mode is separate is that some historical coat of arms are made up of a lot of emblems in an order that whilst looks pretty in game is rather cursed if you were to try and see the full layout and background usage.

So for the bulk of this I will be using custom as the example to see how you can make your own heraldry from scratch and call out differences in adjusted mode where applicable.
The coat of arms designer has three main panels: background, layout, and emblems.

Starting with the background panel you can pick from any of the background patterns as well as pick what colours should be used. For all the colouring options in the coat of arms designer we provided a palette with some pre-selected colours that are used in heraldry generally and are what we use in randomization of coat of arms but we also give you a colour picker to let you pick whatever horrifying neon colour you want.
In the adjusted mode you cannot pick a background pattern but you can change the colours.

2_background_panel.PNG


Next up we have the layouts panel, they dictate the overall amount and positioning of the emblems in your coat of arms. This panel is disabled entirely in the adjusted mode.

To preempt this question, yes there are only a few layouts in the picture (some even duplicates) and that is because the other preset layouts are currently being worked on so there will be more than this in the released version.
Though if you have any ideas for some cool layouts do let us know! Now is the perfect time to give us some ideas whilst the presets layouts are being implemented.

3_layouts_panel.PNG


The bulk of time you will spend is likely to be in the final emblems panel, this lets you pick which of the over a thousand emblem textures that you want to use as well as how you colour them.

You can select which emblem instance you want to edit or select multiple of them by shift clicking, there is also a button to select all of them or reset your selection too so you can edit in bulk easier.

4_emblem_panel.PNG

5_color_picker.PNG


Since some historical coat of arms can have a lotttt of emblems we show them in a paged setup of 10 at a time for easier editing.
I used france a lot in my testing since it has so many to make sure things always worked on a large amount of them which has now ingrained into my brain that our france coat of arms has 33 fleur de lis on it.

To try and help the contrast of the emblems we set it so that the previews have a background that is either white/black to help things stand out better.

We also have a detailed edit mode which lets you go deeper and modify the exact positions, scale, and rotation of all your emblems as well as modify what layer they are on and even add and remove them to your heart’s content!
The UI of this mode is especially work in progress, especially the layering part of it, that will be tidied up before the release.

With the detail edit mode you can really end up with a custom coat of arms to represent the majesty of your dynasty, or as I’m sure some of you will do, try and find a way to make it look phallic as quickly as you possibly can.

6_detail_edit_layers.PNG

7_detail_edit_values.PNG


All of these edits also support an undo/redo system to make incremental changes easier.
Cadet Houses also get an additional option for if they want the quartering of their coat of arms enabled or not, in case you want to show your dad who’s boss.

That is a lot of words to explain this but let's be honest you all just want to see it in action so here we go:

Mini-shout out/commiserations to user “Lajos Tueur” who on Saturday released a mod to try and implement a coat of arms designer and had to fight against doing all of this very manually in the script with a hacky UI only for me to come in a few days later and release this dev diary.

That’s all for this week folks, thanks for tuning in and I hope you’re excited to make some majestic (or cursed) coat of arms for your rulers in 1.5!
 
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Now people can stop spamming other DDs with "where is the CoA designer?"
Just kidding.
On a serious note, this looks like a really powerful tool, and I'm glad we're getting it.
 
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It would be great if when you press the randomize button:
- you are presented with e.g. 12, different random results at once
- you can select and shortlist CoA's that you like, and/or
- you can review the history of previously randomly generated CoA's
 
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It would be great to have patterns like Ermine and Vair as background and design color options. It would also be desirable to be able to add those with mods.

I would like to have a stylish checkered lion as my coat of arms.
 
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Okay everyone, we need to have an emergency team meeting to decide which feature we're all going to incessantly demand in unrelated threads now that CoA designer is off the table.

I vote "when can we change title map color?" .
 
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I vote "when can we change title map color?" .
isn't that coming in the 1.5 as well?
 
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I only have one small request for this fantastic tool:
I noticed that there was a tick-box for using the short name of an empire, and that you can change it seperately to it's full name, however I didn't spot a toggle for using the dynastic name in place of the empire's name.
Could this please be added too?
 
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Now that we have this, can we finally see some better quartering behaviour?
Whilst, as far as I understand it at least, the house/dynasty system of CK3 isn't entirely historical, and CoAs are actually normally personal rather than belonging to a house, and this wouldn't be entirely the correct way of including quartering because it isn't only using dynastic heiresses, I have always wanted new houses to be quartered with the spouse's shield, as opposed to the county shield that seems to be the case today.

Whilst I realise that this may lead to some kind of quartering inception where you cannot make out the individual designs (This was a historical issue anyway) It could probably be solved fairly easily by having a rule that a sixteenth (a quarter of a quarter) is the smallest division allowed and if you go beyond it, you simply keep the first quarter in place. Something like this (sorry for the awful MS paint job). Where previous generations are kept by matrilineal/patrilineal first, then rank of respective houses and some extra rule to prevent you from removing your dynasties CoA. Then if you marry a lowborn, you take the arms of the county of your capital in quarter instead.


1630504565800.png
 
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Finally!.. people will stop asking about it after each DD even after it was confirmed to happen... probably
Hahaha, my thoughts exactly! I don't care about this feature at all, but it sure is going to be nice not to have to wade through all those posts asking about it. :D
 
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Woah!
 
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I hope there are more emblem layouts in the final version. For instance, I'd absolutely love a layout that gives different sizes to different objects, with a big one in the centre and two smaller one on its sides.
Take a look at the video in the DD. You can place as many (probably some kind of limit) emblems as you like and move them around the CoA to wherever you like and size them however you like, so doing this will be easy to accomplish. It's just all done manually so that you have full control.
 
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DreadLindwyrm

Augustus of the North
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It would be great to have patterns like Ermine and Vair as background and design color options. It would also be desirable to be able to add those with mods.

I would like to have a stylish checkered lion as my coat of arms.
For backgrounds it looks like that should be possible, since we've had confirmation that new backgrounds can be added.

Ermine could be done either as a background, or semy of ermine tails (which would be useful, because it'd mean having the ermine tail as a single specific charge as well).
Vair would be best as a background.

The best way to do a simple coat of arms with a checkered lion would be to make this available as a background (and the same with barred lions), and then not place a charge on it.
 
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