Designing textures for Armagetron is more difficult than any other game I have worked on. Arma gives players an unbelievable amount of customization options. Not only do textures need to look good as a whole, but they must hold up individually as well since users routinely turn them on/off, stretch/scale, crop, and mix them with other assets. Above all, they need to be functional otherwise they break user experience.
Here are the high resolution versions of this mod, and below that, a long-winded writeup of the design approach I use with every Arma scheme I've created (which no one should waste time reading).
Download HiRes Textures
This take on Armagetron blends design elements of both Tron movies while trying to pay homage to current and past iterations of the game. Let's look at my approach, starting from the ground up.
floor.png: A lot pf players prefer the contrast provided by a pitch black floor, but I always found it fatiguing. Also, a black floor completely absorbs shadow.png. Why even load that texture no one can see it? (It was visible in early versions of Arma.) I've done two things to the floor. First, I gave it slightly cool tone. Second, I've reduced the width of the grid lines while increasing the spacing, which makes them both crisper and less distracting.
cycle_body/wheel.png: The current bike looks great. My only complaint is that the wheel texture doesn't make use of the fact it's turning in-game. Why not highlight this action? The new wheel has a spoke. And since I was changing the wheel, I thought I would try out some ideas I had for the body: smooth lines, high contrast, simplified shapes, somewhat of inspired by TRON:Legacy, but also like one of my previous skins.
dir_wall.png: I've heard complaints about the lightning bolt on the trails. It was one of the first things I changed when I started playing Arma. Something about it is distracting and I never liked how it stretched. But, the decal has functionality, especially if you like using in-cam. I decided to do a few things. First, I made a texture that doesn't stretch awkwardly (1hx2w instead of 1x1). Second, I reduced the decal visibility. Third, I retained the decal's functionality by making sure it was directional. It's is also more vibrant to compensate for the lighter floor. The final result is a homage to the original movie, but modified for this game.
rim_wall.png: This was the hardest part. I wanted to combine design elements of both Tron movies, but also some of the current Armagetron look. I went through several iterations before I landed with this one. To me it feels like an evolution of the current texture. It's also twice as wide, allowing me more design freedom while sill respecting the memory footprint.
sky.png: Almost no one uses the sky texture and it doesn't render very well anyway. I have included one, but no texture will ever capture the sense of depth needed to make it work (even with the rim wall set to RIM_WALL_STRETCH_Y 500).
My original intention was to reduce the filesize of the textures and still make them attractive. But after halving the size of the files and seeing no improvement in performance, I went the other direction and made them even larger than normal; and still didn't notice a change in performance. Lucky me.☻