An idea and theoretical implementation:
Suppose I want every (lets say capital ship, but i mean all) ship to have a name marking (say, “SS COOLSHIPNAME”) that is distinct to that ship, and every ship produced would have a different ship name written along the outer hull somewhere.
There are two ways of accomplishing this, (1) an easy, stupid, and resource consuming way, and (2) a hard way that theoretically should consume less resources and allow for greater user customization
(1) an easy, stupid, and resource consuming way
After completing all the steps to texture a ship class, I open up the diffuse texture and create 100 duplicates, then open a textbox and write 100 different names on each 100 different diffuse textures. Then, I write a script that every ship built should draw on one of these textures at random, and not use one that has already been used.
This should work, and ship1 and ship2 would have different names written on the hull, and so on. However I foresee that this would cause problems once I want every fighter to have a pilot’s name and personal markings written on the outer hull of the ship. For obvious reasons that need not be stated, this causes problems of finite resources.
(2) a hard way that theoretically should consume less resources
Instead of this, There could be written in additional HOD hardpoints identical to how badges currently work. These badges however, would have a different size (rectangular and long, rather than a square) and would be called on randomly when a ship is built as above. From here there are two options: (2a) The more resource consuming way with greater user customization and (2b) the less resource consuming way with less user customization.
(2a) The more resource consuming way with greater user customization
Each badge is a small image file, and there are hundreds/thousands
(2b) the less resource consuming way with less user customization
A badge is procedurally generated from a text file that lists thousands of names. Documentation informs us that there is a single font and that there is a character limit.
These were my thoughts on the issue, what do you think?