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Jake Gilla

Simple Question: Color Blindness and Level Design

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Hello folks, I'm interested to see what the consensus is on whether or not being Red/Green colorblind will ax my chances of working as a level designer. To put it short, I'm useless when it comes to working with a color palette. I am interested in a career in level design for the aspects of pacing, balance, game play and creating immersive worlds, and less in the visual arts asset creation side of things. From the research I've done, I believe that level design is a wide enough field where I would have an opportunity to work within the aspects I am interested in, but I wonder if my difficulties with color would make me unappealing to employers as a prospective employee.

Thoughts?

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[quote name='Jake Gilla' timestamp='1302478353' post='4796846']
Hello folks, I'm interested to see what the consensus is on whether or not being Red/Green colorblind will ax my chances of working as a level designer. To put it short, I'm useless when it comes to working with a color palette. I am interested in a career in level design for the aspects of pacing, balance, game play and creating immersive worlds, and less in the visual arts asset creation side of things. From the research I've done, I believe that level design is a wide enough field where I would have an opportunity to work within the aspects I am interested in, but I wonder if my difficulties with color would make me unappealing to employers as a prospective employee.

Thoughts?
[/quote]

As long as you can work well with it (getting a second opinion on things that might matter) I don't imagine there would be a problem. Hell, I've seen enough games that had post-release patches/texture packs to address the not insignificant amount of R/G color blind customers that you might be able to spin it in your favor.

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In a level [i]design[/i] role ([i]not a level art role[/i]), your levels will likely be '[url="http://www.diablospot.com/level-creation-in-diablo-3-1821"]grey box[/url]' versions anyway, so any art impairment isn't really relevant at all.

Also, I once worked with an art-director who was colour-blind, and he was an amazing illustrator and critic. He just always made sure to have someone else do a colour-check of his work for him ([i]and had memorised way too many pantone numbers![/i])

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Over the years I've worked with designers, artists, modelers, and programmers who were all color blind in various forms.

It is really common. Even in the artists it wasn't a big deal, since they know about the issue and are able to compensate for it.

Having a few color blind people is generally a good thing, it allows you to identify areas that may be confusing or hard to distinguish from color alone.

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Thanks folks, I really appreciate the feedback.

Though this is a ways down the road, when would be an appropriate time to discuss this with a potential employer? In a cover letter, in the interview?

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[quote name='Jake Gilla' timestamp='1304302289' post='4805246']
when would be an appropriate time to discuss this with a potential employer? In a cover letter, in the interview?[/quote]
Do you mean "when should I let them know I am colorblind"? I think you should build a spectacular portfolio. When they see your spectacular portfolio, they'll want to hire you. Then after you've been hired and working well and effectively for some period of time, if the issue ever comes up, you can mention it.
Seriously, I think this is a non-issue.

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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1304314027' post='4805289']
Do you mean "when should I let them know I am colorblind"? I think you should build a spectacular portfolio. When they see your spectacular portfolio, they'll want to hire you. Then after you've been hired and working well and effectively for some period of time, if the issue ever comes up, you can mention it.
Seriously, I think this is a non-issue.
[/quote]

Yes... When they tell you the meeting is in the "green" or "red" room is a good time to do it.

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Very funny guys but I have had really bad experiences with color blindness in the past. Though I made the decision myself, it essentially kept me from joining the Coast Guard back in 07. I was fired from electrician job 2 years ago when I was joking about it with my boss, and I recently lost some contract work whith a firm doing T1 extensions because by signing a contract saying I was able to perform job duties without any assistance I was in breach of contract.

When my family can't eat because of my visual impairment, I feel I have good reason to be concerned. It's good to know I shouldn't have that problem when I enter this new field.

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Electrician I can understand. All those colored wires.
But Coast Guard I don't know.
But you're starting to sound like a professional victim. Cut it out, just look for the job you want to do and can do. I see no reason why level design couldn't work for you as long as you have (or get) the skills.

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Your right Tom, that last post was a little whiney. In fact loosing the Electrician job was lead to some pretty awesome developments in my life (going back to school). As far as the Coast Guard, all of the ratings I was interested in (ET, EM, DC) require normal color vision, so I decided not to serve.

Thanks again for the awesome FAQs and the help you give on this site.

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