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Colour blindness and games

09-14-2010, 08:33 AM
#1
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 119
Colour blindness and games

Hi all,
I've just posted a new update on my development blog that describes the issues some players were having with Hexius :

http://phasiclabs.com/blog/2010/09/1...ess-and-games/

Hopefully this will help any developers who haven't considered how colour blindness should affect their choice of game colours (I certainly didn't consider it until I got an inbox full of emails).

Cheers,
Paul
09-15-2010, 01:24 AM
#2
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
it's something many developers never consider, especially independent ones. With 180 I wasn't very worried about it either ("we're developing a game that costs a couple of dollars") but the programmer was insistent that we support color blindness, and in so doing I wanted to make sure to implement it right in the main mode (rather than make a garishly-designed option as I have seen other games do).

In the end, after doing some research and testing, I found that the extra work made for a better game overall, and the game "felt" a lot better to play with the extra visual cues that supporting color blindess gave. Since then I have noticed how some other games are lacking when they ignore this, and how it can negatively affect play even for the color-sighted player.

09-15-2010, 09:20 AM
#3
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 135
Send a message via AIM to Java
I am red-green color blind, and let me tell you that it gives me such a great sense of respect for devs, when they implement a color-blind mode. Some of my favorite match 3's offer it (180 and Sigma) and I have yet to delete those from my iPod. Thank you to all who offer a color-blind mode in your games, if you dont offer it then do it now!!
09-15-2010, 12:19 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
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One of my friends and beta testers for Charmed is color blind, so I got great feedback from him on what worked and what didn't work.

I make sure to get input from him on each app I work on.
09-15-2010, 01:12 PM
#5
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 135
Send a message via AIM to Java
Quote:
Originally Posted by MindJuice View Post
One of my friends and beta testers for Charmed is color blind, so I got great feedback from him on what worked and what didn't work.

I make sure to get input from him on each app I work on.
Thank you! You have garnered a lot of respect from me, I really appreciate devs who take these kinds of things into consideration.
09-15-2010, 01:28 PM
#6
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 248
Adding a color blind mode to Tatomic definitely helped our sales at the time and got us a few positive reviews mentioning the feature.

Soon after releasing the game (back in 08!) a user complained about the difficulty of playing it because he was color blind. I quickly whipped up a color-blind mode and I was really surprised at the amount of positive feedback I got. I don't think Tatomic was the first iPhone game to implement colorblind mode, but it got a lot of press and was even covered on CNET: http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-10108013-12.html

It is definitely worth it to consider colorblind players. I had a few meetings with high profile companies and at every meeting at least one person was colorblind.

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09-16-2010, 01:30 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitzan View Post
Adding a color blind mode to Tatomic definitely helped our sales at the time and got us a few positive reviews mentioning the feature.

Soon after releasing the game (back in 08!) a user complained about the difficulty of playing it because he was color blind. I quickly whipped up a color-blind mode and I was really surprised at the amount of positive feedback I got. I don't think Tatomic was the first iPhone game to implement colorblind mode, but it got a lot of press and was even covered on CNET: http://download.cnet.com/8301-2007_4-10108013-12.html

It is definitely worth it to consider colorblind players. I had a few meetings with high profile companies and at every meeting at least one person was colorblind.
I've bought games before because of their support for colorblind players. It feels like a really personal touch, almost like a "I considered you personally when I made this game" that makes me feel a lot better about spending a couple of bucks.
09-16-2010, 05:38 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
Send a message via MSN to MindJuice Send a message via Skype™ to MindJuice
Just wanted to mention that I didn't add a color-blind "mode" to my game.

Instead, I ensured that the game itself was "color-blind compatible" in the game design itself.

The color-blind mode in some games is sort of an after-thought and makes the game uglier.

Last edited by MindJuice; 09-16-2010 at 05:40 PM.
09-17-2010, 03:56 AM
#9
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MindJuice View Post
The color-blind mode in some games is sort of an after-thought and makes the game uglier.
I kind of agree, but even if I had thought about this in advance, I really don't think I could have integrated it into the main Hexius theme - the game design heavily requires distinct colours, and I'm afraid that to fully support complete colour blindness, the colour-blind theme doesn't really look that appealing to someone without colour blindness.
09-17-2010, 06:23 AM
#10
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhasicLabs View Post
Hi all,
Hopefully this will help any developers who haven't considered how colour blindness should affect their choice of game colours (I certainly didn't consider it until I got an inbox full of emails).
I'm glad to see that other developers are concerned about this too. I realized that Commove could be an impossible game for those with color blindness. So, I added shapes.

No one wrote in thanking me though, so I don't know if it was really useful.

MindJuice has it right. It shouldn't be an afterthought. If it's part of your game's design from the beginning, you don't have to implement kludgy fix. But yeah, PhasicLabs also mentions a good point. I could have just changed the shapes of the orbs in Commove, but I didn't like how it looked. I preferred using colors.

As long as you're thinking about it as part of your game's design, then I think that's a good thing.

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.

Last edited by Photics; 09-17-2010 at 06:25 AM.