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Mikyyf

color blindness and game design

9 posts in this topic

I am just curious about this. Do any of you consider how your games would appear to someone who is color blind? I ask this because 1) I am color blind (red-green) and 2) it gets kind of frustrating sometimes the extent to which games depend on my ability to differentiate between colors. For example, in Master of Orion (both 1 and 2) the only color that I could choose for my empire is red because that is the only one of the available choices that I would not confuse with another color. I am not even sure what a game designer would do to avoid this problem ... some kind of symbol, perhaps, but that would require the player to memorize a bunch of symbols.
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My guess is that my games would appear in 16 bits of gray-scale. 24 bits in some cases.

The best fix that comes to mind is to do what Mac games did in the late 80''s. You had a graphics set for color machines and a graphics set for BW machines. Just load up whichever set you need and off you go!
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I think that you misunderstand what color blindness is. It is not that I see in monochrome, but that I do not see red very well at all. Because red is a primary color, I am not able to see the red in other colors well (for instance, blue looks a lot like purple because I do not see the red in the purple well).
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I''m color blind too. (not red-green although I sometimes get them both confused with brown)

In TombRaider III, there''s an area where you have to turn all the green valves and leave the others. Even though I know the solution, all the valves look the same. I''m then forced to try all combinations until I get the right one.

I think colors would be fine if they were sharper in contrast, or primary. Also, patterns mixed with the colors would help. (blue with black markings, red with white markings, black with yellow markings, etc.) Perhaps allow the user to select colors for different sides from a wider range of colors so they can tell the difference better.

Marking a character with a floating symbol/number/name beside it is also a good idea in my opinion.

Being that around 1/3 of all males are color blind to some extent, I''m supprised that game developers don''t take this into account more.

E:cb woof!
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Hey There,

I can see what you mean. AndI guess that night
vision in games would be a big problem as well.
All I could suggest is one of these special tests
in the options menu that will determine your sight
level and adjust the game accordingly.

STVOY

Mega Moh Mine!!
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Then again, some games like quake just get around it by making everything brown.

E:cb woof!
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No, I''m pretty sure it''s 1/3.

But like I said, "to some extent" meaning that some people are only a little colorblind. About half of those men are red-green color blind. Add in the females (which are rarely colorblind) you get 1/6 the population colorblind a little and 1/12 the population being red-green colorblind.

Maybe you''ve heard that 10% of the population is red-green colorblind. That''s pretty close.

E:cb woof!
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My proggy friend had blue-green color-blindness. He always found it hard to make graphics without constantly looking at the RGB values. So he''d hand the graphic creation to me and another friend. We never took into consideration his color blindness, mostly because he never mentioned any problems.

Anywho, using just primary colors isn''t such a hot idea. They have a tendency of being mis-seen by one form of color-blindness or another. The solution is to skew the hues a bit. Yellow becomes a bit orange. So does red. Green gets some blue added. I can''t remember which ay blue should be changes, but I think it''s toward violet{?}

Patterns would also help. Try to make them intuitive and very different from each other so the user doesn''t have to constantly look up a chart {like I have to in Nethack. I''ll het used to it eventually.}

---Sonic Silicon---
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