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Post news RSS Dev Blog #8 - Character Customization

Today’s Isonzo Intel describes the character customization system - featuring Movember - and looks at two Steyr semi-auto pistols.

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With Movember drawing to a close and our focus on facial hair this month, Isonzo Intel number eight is all about character customisation, though gun lovers will enjoy reading about two notable Steyr handguns! In Isonzo, customization is spread across five categories: uniforms, headgear, mustaches, faces, and facial accessories. But first…

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November is the month of Movember- a charity for men’s health that encourages men to grow mustaches to raise awareness. Since 2003, Movember has funded more than 1,250 men’s health projects around the world! You can donate here!

If you look at photos from the World War One period, you’ll find a lot of mustaches, some of them very impressive indeed. Several members of our community were inspired to join in!

Just two of the many community members who joined Movember sharing their ‘staches.

We also asked the world (well, the world of Discord, Reddit, Facebook and Twitter) which mustache was their favorite from a wide selection of well groomed individuals who had a significant impact on the war. Different communities had different favourites - Reddit enjoyed Wilhelm II’s mustache, while Twitter favored Von Hindenburg. However, the winner (from a pool of eight magnificent mustaches) was Paul von Rennenkampf! To celebrate, we will be implementing von Rennenkampf’s excellent mustache as an option for players to choose from in Isonzo! Take a look…

Glorious “Rennenkampf” style moustache!

Character Customization

For Isonzo we are introducing a new and extensive character customization system. Whereas in previous titles your uniform and appearance was based on the squad type and squad rank, in Isonzo the uniform is foremost decided by player class and the player themselves! As with Verdun and Tannenberg, the focus is on historical authenticity and an accurate depiction of the troops found on the front. So without further delay, let's dive a little deeper into the different customization options available! Do note that the UI may be subject to some changes however - this is WIP stuff.

With a class type selected you will now have the option to choose a uniform variant attached to that class. The uniforms for these classes are based on the unit and historical variations of these units, as they may have been seen on the Italian front. We’ve already taken a brief look at the available classes in a previous Isonzo blog entry and will elaborate more on what each class entails in future dev blogs.

While in previous games it was squad level that dictated your uniform, in Isonzo things are different. The Italian and (especially) the Austro-Hungarian armies sported an enormous variety of non-standard fabrics, dyes and uniform styles across the years, so we decided that it was both more liberating and more representative of what soldiers would have actually experienced to let player veterancy in any given class be the primary influencer of uniform selection. In particular, the unique combination of different ‘ersatz’ materials such as corduroy or linen in summer tunics gave an interesting contrast to regular uniforms when it was used.

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Swapping between various Italian infantry uniforms.

Uniform options for different units are only available to the class that makes sense historically. For instance, ‘Arditi’ uniforms are only available for the Italian assault class. Furthermore, as the player gains experience in the game, uniform options will become far less pristine - some outright filthy - depending on the deployment of the unit and player veterancy. In this way, every player has the opportunity to give themselves a truly unique appearance, while remaining historically authentic. How all of these variants will be made available to players, in-game or via DLC, is something we’ll explore further in a future blog.

With historical accuracy in mind, you can choose headgear from a range of items that are appropriate for the uniform + class type you have selected. For instance only Italian Mountaineer class “Alpini” can wear the Alpini “Capello” cap variants, officer caps are only available for officers, and so on.

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Selecting Alpini-specific headgear for the Italian Mountaineer class “Veteran’’ uniform.

This system is deeper than just linking items to classes though: for instance, should you have an Arditi officer uniform variant selected, Arditi specific headgear will also be available to that loadout.

As we did research and studied historical photos and footage, we noticed a variety in the shapes of things like soft caps, with the Austrian “Feldkappe” being a prime example. These many shapes, which usually alter the silhouette drastically, are something we have looked to replicate in many of our headgear variants. For further indulgence, the Austrian forces of the time carried a tradition of ornate cap badges, many of which have been included in our artwork. We hope to go into detail about these in a future Isonzo Intel instalment - they’re quite fascinating!

As will hopefully become evident when you try it out, we spent a lot of time making sure that we offer cosmetic freedom whilst at the same time ensuring we don’t end up with any historically incorrect setups - or indeed anything which looks like it belongs in the realm of fantasy.

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Selecting headgear for an “Arditi officer” uniform. Note how some of these are dirtier than others!

Character faces are also something the player can now select. We have a fair number to choose from, and we have paid attention to accentuate where possible the subtle differences you might notice in troops from either side - e.g. the Italian faction faces will generally sport a more Mediterranean appearance in terms of skin tone and darker hair colour.

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A selection of Italian faces.

Facial Hair
With facial hair we knew from the start we had to do something special. Doing justice to the sheer quantity of different facial hair that was worn during the great war is no small feat! As it’s Movember, now is the perfect time to share our special Isonzo mustache showcase:

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A selection of over 45 facial hair styles - can you identify their historic owners?

Our approach has been to model our facial hair assets from images of famous generals, cultural figures and charismatic individuals from the period. We started the blog of course with the introduction of the “Rennenkampf” style (which is also mentioned in this Great War channel episode. The current list consists of 50 unique styles, and it may grow. From the thin pencil-like moustache worn by Emperor Charles I of Austria, all the way up to large, bushy, and extra bristly ones such as that sported by German General August Von Mackensen.

Facial Accessories
Along with editing faces, uniforms, headgear and facial hair, players are also able to choose from a vast list of facial items to add even more character. This list spans a range of historically inspired eye-wear, tobacco accessories, and bandages. Equip spectacles such as the pince-nez style worn by many famous figures from around the turn of the century. Choose from some of the many tobacco smoking items from the period, with many different smoking pipes and cigarettes available. For alpine units, there’s even a range of snow and ski goggles that can be selected.

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Battle worn Bersaglieri Ciclisti veteran wearing “Chekhov” style pince-nez and a “Cadorna” style moustache.

The Barracks
The barracks, accessible from the main menu, is where you can prepare yourself before battle! You’ll be able to see all the available uniform types and variants for each class of soldier for each nation, and customise the above options from there. A variant of the barracks will also be available during a game, this way you can customise your appearance when there is a lull in the fighting...

Steyr, Steyr, Steyr

The Steyr Mannlicher AG is a 157 year old Austrian arms company, which was at the forefront of auto-loading pistol technology in the early 20th century. The Austro-Hungarian military made use of several Steyr firearms, including the two we’re going to look at today: the Roth-Steyr Model 1907, and the Steyr-Hahn 1912. We’ll start with the Roth-Steyr...


This was the first semi-auto pistol adopted by the land army of a major power: it was issued to the Austro-Hungarian cavalry. Because of this, it has a heavy trigger pull to prevent accidental discharge - you don’t want a hair trigger on a pistol to be used by mounted cavalry!


The Steyr-Hahn is based on the mechanism used by the Roth-Steyr. It was initially issued to the Austrian Landwehr (remember that Austria-Hungary had effectively three armies - the Austrian Landwehr, the Hungarian Honvéd and the Common Army - with the Austrian and Hungarian armies generally being better equipped than the Common Army).

The Steyr-Hahn was a popular enough weapon that Germany would place orders for 10,000 during WW1, and years later the Wehrmacht would order 60,000 after annexing Austria in 1938. These aren’t the only weapons manufactured by Steyr Mannlicher AG that feature in Isonzo, though. Can you guess what the other(s) might be?

So ends another Isonzo Intel...

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Meanwhile on the Eastern Front...

Wolves are on the hunt in Tannenberg!

Until December 5 you can be part of the Wolf Truce event in Tannenberg, our Eastern Front game! Packs of hungry wolves may invade your battles, giving both sides a choice - team up to fight off the canine foe, or just try to take advantage of the chaos. For those who succeed in maintaining a truce until the last wolf is dealt with, a special medal is available! Handily, you can get Tannenberg for 65% for a little longer as part of the Steam Autumn sale: Store.steampowered.com

Until next time!

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