One of the ways in which Halo 4 allowed players to customise their gaming experience was with the inclusion of weapon skins. Included as DLC and Unlockables these simple skins were available for all of the default loadout weapons, and ranged from simple overlays to full weapon
Two of Halo 4's weapon skins for the Promethean Suppressor.
Of course the inclusion of weapon skins is not a new feature, having previously been seen in the Gears of War franchise and the Call of Duty franchise, amongst others. However in these other two games the "styling" of the weapon skins differ from those seen in Halo 4.
Gears of War 3's Liquid Green and Infected Skins.
In the Gears of War Franchise the weapon skins come in two forms - materials overlaying the weapons existing material and animated materials, each of which either cover the whole weapon or key components of the weapon. Two examples (pictured above) would be the Liquid Green or Xbox skin (which features an animated green material on key components of the weapon) and the Infected skin (which features a static overlay of the games Crimson Omen, with a glowing effect overlaid over the front of the weapon). In comparison the Call of Duty franchise features user created custom emblems as its form of weapon skins, in which players create emblems to place upon their weapons using an editor in which custom created livery is created through the manipulation of graphical primitives such as basic shapes, letters and gradients.
By combining both the Gears of War and Call of Duty approaches to Weapon skins the Halo franchise could expand its weapon customisation options by allowing players to create their own custom weapon skins, either as static or animated materials that either overlay the weapons existing material or replace key components of the weapon, or the whole of the weapon. Such custom creation can be based upon the Call of Duty Emblem Editor. Using such an editor would grant players the ability to create a plethora of weapon skins.
An example of a custom created Weapon Skin for Halo's UNSC Battle Rifle.
Of course such a feature would be open to abuse by the childish and trollish, with the capacity to create offensive and inappropriate materials. Yet, as with Forza Motorsport, a simple "Report Content" feature would allow such content to be deleted by 343 Industries/Microsoft Game Studios, with the necessary action being taken against the author of the reported content.
Next time in Snorkelbottoms Workshop we will continue with Halo: Ultimate and look at Armor & Armor Skins!