1. If you're looking for help-related things (for example, the key rebinding tutorial), please check the FAQ and Q&A forum! A lot of the stickies from this forum have been moved there to clean up space.
    Dismiss Notice

Important Color Blind gamers: What in Starbound needs fixing?

Discussion in 'Starbound Discussion' started by GeorgeV, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. GeorgeV

    GeorgeV Art Director

    I can't make any promises that this game will be totally colorblind friendly but I can address some issues.

    As a non-colorblind individual I don't know where the problem areas are. I can guess. But this thread is for you peeps to tell me what are the significant areas that may be difficult to see if you're colorblind.

    I'm guessing the ore. I can guess a few other things. But I don't want to guess :p.
    Screenshots will help with examples of what is difficult.

  2. demanrisu

    demanrisu The Original Agaran Menace NPC

    One thing that immediately comes to mind is the hotbar, and the indicators showing which hand items are equipped in: they're red and blue. Perhaps a colourblind-friendly option could use distinct border patterns?

    Edit: Clarification, ahoy!


    Edit 2: Maybe we could use this as an opportunity to overhaul this system. It's not exactly newb-friendly in terms of knowing what red and blue (and purple) actually mean.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  3. xSlacker

    xSlacker Pangalactic Porcupine

    Didn't the Left and Right hand boxes have a "L" and "R" icon in them? :eek:
  4. ejh1990

    ejh1990 Phantasmal Quasar

    Not a colour blind gamer, but do have a suggestion (if it hasn't already been considered).

    So, in the same way that the image file for body parts are monochrome and the engine provides multiple ways to colourise these parts, perhaps the images for all of the ores should be monochrome and then coloured depending on settings. The advantage to this would be that multiple colour sets could be easily generated to compensate for different types of colour blindness.

    (I may have worded that clumsily, but I hope people understand what I mean)

    edit: re: indicators
    That's another good point. Colour based indicators aren't colour blind friendly. One alternative may be to use the bar indicator, but have one half a white (or a light grey) and the other half a darker grey. The side that is being represented would be the lighter shade. And if it's a two-handed item, the whole thing would be white/light grey. I have made a quick and nasty mock-up. Not exactly pretty, but communicates the idea visually:

    Left hand item

    Right hand item

    Two-hand item

    Downside to that idea though is it then may wrongly communicate something like durability. I mean, I've seen a few posts where people think the hand indicator is durability already.

    Another alternative would be to use L, R, and LR to mark which hand the item is in instead of the bar. Or again, like the suggestion with the ores make the indicator colour dependent on settings. :)

    edit 2: An example of how to avoid the confusion with the bar indicator:

    edit 3: <below is a post I made on page 2 about the health gauge; I have repeated it here so it is more prominent>

    I apologise what I am about to suggest isn't in the realm of your control. I honestly can't remember off the top of my head if the HUD bars are one item per pip, or one item per state. And I can't check as I am not at my main computer. :p

    If it's one image per state then with regards to the health/energy bars would an additional (but subtle) visual clue help? Something along the lines of an arrow marker like this:


    edit 4: <below is a post I made on page 3 regarding ores; I have repeated it here so it is more prominent>

    Yes. I had made this post before, but I deleted it as I thought I was looking at the wrong thing, haha. There's possibly a huge issue with copper/silver ingots in that they look almost identical for people with Achromatopsia (Monochromacy). And gold/platinum ingots are even worse. This is only going on this simulatior that's been posted a few times, though.

    If I understood @ladders correctly, I think he has Achromatopsia. If I am correct in my understanding, maybe he can say if this is indeed the case. Or anyone who has this for that matter. And in the interests of comparison, the ingots on the bottom row from left to right are: copper, silver, gold, platinum.

    Using the great idea given by @Izzabelle to change shading, I came up with the idea of using shading to give a subtle difference to shape. If the "bobbly bit" at the top of copper and gold were removed, there would be more differentiation. I am not a pixel artist, so I apologise that this may be tantamount to doodling on your work @GeorgeV but this is something that I was thinking for comparison:

    Last edited: Aug 9, 2014
    Tleno, Axe Garian, LadyKianna and 6 others like this.
  5. drmattsuu

    drmattsuu Aquatic Astronaut

    I'm a red-green colourblind gamer and my advice would be to add
    1) a colourblind mode that hue shifts the colour coded elements depending on the type of colourblind-ness (red-green colourblind people are fine with red-blue schemes, red-blue colourblind people are better with blue-green schemes and so on)
    2) Patterning is really important, stripes, polka-dots etc.

    I'll do a proper test after work tonight and get back to you with some specifics :)
  6. GeorgeV

    GeorgeV Art Director

    I'm an artist and not a programmer so I can't really address this level of stuff. Right now I'm basically just going to go through and address things I can fix with the magic of drawing.
    Axe Garian, LadyKianna and The | Suit like this.
  7. drmattsuu

    drmattsuu Aquatic Astronaut

    Apologies :) I'm a coder so I speak and make suggestions like one. Point 2 still stands, distinct patterns (see something like trello's colourblind mode) help a ton when designing a UI that people with problems telling certain colours apart. We had to take into account colourblind-ness with my last project and ended up settling on a clean design scheme that doesn't rely on colour alone to connote meaning to the user.

    Trello's Colourblind mode (left) vs non-colourblind (right)

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2014
  8. ghosttie

    ghosttie Void-Bound Voyager

    You can upload screenshots to Vischeck to see how it looks to color blind people - that should help you identify the problem areas.
  9. resistentialist

    resistentialist Pangalactic Porcupine

    I am red-green color blind, but the only thing I've had issues with is determining the difference between platinum and silver (and that is mostly due to variable light levels, not color)

    I'd much prefer a color picker, if possible. Hue shifts based on color-blindness sometimes shift things that were OK to begin with. For example, in Wildstar, there are three color-blind modes, but all of them change things that I don't have problems with, and only slightly fix the things I do. The result is that I use the default as their modes do more harm than good. In Planetside 2, you are able to set specific colors for each faction and (friendly) squads. That was a far more effective way of conveying information to the user, as I don't have to change any colors that are already OK for me. In Terraria, I use a mod to change the color of the cursor, but nothing else. The default red is too easy for me to lose when there are lots of spell effects around.
  10. VinnyTheGuy

    VinnyTheGuy Void-Bound Voyager

    Completely honest here. Do what Cobalt did. Provide complete game changing colorblind modes that make the game easier for me to see. That'd be amazing.
  11. drmattsuu

    drmattsuu Aquatic Astronaut

    I really like this idea, being able to custom pick colours for things that work for you would be great, and it really works in planetside 2 (I changed the Vanu + NC colours because by default they were practically the same for me) but that can be a lot of work.
  12. Theoleo5

    Theoleo5 Void-Bound Voyager

    this doesnt necessarily have to do with colorblindness, but i think its relevant. silver and platinum ore are too similar.
  13. Christovski

    Christovski Ketchup Robot

    I'm not colorblind but I do have a hard time between these two and Titanium as well. Titanium does have a slight purple sheen but to my eye it is very subtle and hard to tell unless there is some of both side by side.
  14. Elate

    Elate Spaceman Spiff

    Also red/green colour blind, and yeah, pretty much the same, though as noted, I don't think that's an issue with colour blindness, they're just very samey.

    Custom colours are always nice. Also in Terraria you can change the colour of the cursor manually in game can't you? I swear I always had mine set to white.
  15. Sykes

    Sykes Hard-To-Destroy Reptile

    @GeorgeV Here are some artistic things I changed to make the game playable for my colorblindness, and my family's. I have a colorblind mod that solves every problem my family and I have with the game; problems that made the game frustrating to the point of wanting to quit the game. Mistaking stims, can't see certain UI elements, losing track of the cursor every time we move it, etc. They're very basic, and very small. Our colorblindness is protanopia (dichromacy), so the mod only applies to most (if not, all) red-green colorblindnesses.

    I can't play without the mod active, or it's frustrating and time consuming.

    Here's the mod: http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?resources/colorblind-friendly-interface.75/


    In short:

    Health bars become blue instead of red (red on black/gray is awful)

    Party compass arrows become bright green/yellow instead of red (again, red is really hard to see)

    Cursor becomes rainbow, or optionally any of the 6 primary colors (because, again, red is awful)

    Green stim packs are more forest green instead of lime green, to make it look different from yellow stims.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  16. penguin055

    penguin055 Pangalactic Porcupine

    I am a colorblind gamer and I don't think colors are a very big problem in Starbound. I get silver and platinum ore mixed up occasionally and IIRC Uranium, Plutonium, and that X-Sector green/yellow ore mixed up fairly often. I get lighter shades of green and yellow mixed up along with purple and blue fairly often, so if there's anything important difference between things of those colors I would appreciate a colorblind mode.
    I do however feel special when I play games with a colorblind mode.
    Also @Sykes I can second that red on black/grey is really quite hard to see.
  17. spiritofcat

    spiritofcat Big Damn Hero

    I'm not colourblind, but I have a lot of trouble seeing the difference between silver, platinum and titanium ores in the ground.
    I agree with what some others posted that an option to pick custom colours for things like ore and UI elements would probably be the most useful way to solve the problem.
  18. Rainbow Dash

    Rainbow Dash Oxygen Tank

    besides of obvious silver platinum titanium ores

    id say i sometimes mistake copper and gold in the dark but maybe im just being dumb lol
    Vimto likes this.
  19. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    This, this, and so very much this.

    Platinum needs... something... to set it apart from Silver. I hate having to squint at the screen or go "ah hell, screw it..." and go mine it anyways even though I don't know what exactly it is.

    Platinum should have some sort of... blue hue to it (that's how most games seem to do it) so that you can tell it from silver. Or, you could give Silver some animated sparklies because it is more shiny or something.

    But something really needs done with these two metals. Someone above mentioned Titanium, but that has a purplish hue. Not friendly to color blind people, true, but then titanium tends to be shaped like coal, while the other two ores are usually more round.
  20. GeorgeV

    GeorgeV Art Director

    I've put an L, R and 2 on the action bar thingies.

    I'm going to do something to make the contrast higher for the health bar when you loose health.

    I'm probably going to try to make some of the ore more different (I've known about this issue since I made them :p).

    Those are the first things.

Share This Page