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Important Color Blind gamers: What in Starbound needs fixing?

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

  1. LastDay

    LastDay Heliosphere

    I have a slight red/green colorblindness, slight enough to the point that I wouldn't even know if I didn't use computers and play games so much!
    #the10percentofmen ... :p

    Still, I have tips for you on helping a colorblind people tell things apart in Starbound!

    1. Icons and shapes.
    This is the absolutely best way to accommodate for all colorblind people.
    For example if you flipped Titanium ore's inventory sprite upside down it would look different to everyone. :)
    Flip iron ore's sprite horizontally. Blammo, it's unique.
    Nobody is complaining about the "rubium gem" icon because even if they see it as pure black it has a very distinct shape!
    However if you added green emeralds and gave them the same icon (recolored) then people would have a problem.
    Likewise if you could incorporate some sort of battery icons to the energy bar and/or hearts to health bar people could easily tell what the bars are for even if they see them in weird colors.

    2. Contrast.
    Use high contrasts differences when you can. (Without making things too gaudy!)
    Many warning tapes have black+bright yellow stripes: a huge contrast difference.
    If you only saw in greyscale you'd see it as white+black stripes, still easy to the two colors apart!
    Hey many people love white text on a black background for a reason. :)

    FTL's colorblind mode actually turns most colored bars into white bars with black borders!
    It's too bad black+white looks kinda boring in a colorful game, but it certainly is very functional.

    Telling apart light blue and white can be tricky if the light blue is very light.
    Also dark red or dark blue can look like black.
    It's because of light and dark. Contrast.

    3. Hues.
    Open a hue circle.
    The ones next to one another are likely to bleed into their neighbors if you have any colorblindness.
    And of course treat green and red as the same color for the most common types of strong colorblindness.
    Oh and blue as... something if you want to accommodate for the few people who have problems with shades of blue...
    Yeah, this is why I think that altering colors by altering hue a little is the least effective way of making things easy to tell apart.
    Unless you give them the ability to set them themselves of course.

    ...also I know this is somewhat off-topic, but it has to do with the UI.
    I've never liked how the health bar is waaay out in the corner. Terraria has the same problem.
    I'd like to have an option to have the health bar at the bottom center, so that I don't need to look away from combat to see my health.
    Either that or an option to have bars above my character's head or under my feet. :)
  2. Rainbow Dash

    Rainbow Dash Oxygen Tank

    i just get dark green with black
    some greens and yellows and oranges
    mixed up
    thats it :rofl:
    Farathil likes this.
  3. StarLoverNaz

    StarLoverNaz Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I think a color picker could and would be a good Idea to help color blind gamers with losing the cursor. :3
    SilverDarkBlade likes this.
  4. SilverDarkBlade

    SilverDarkBlade Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I agree :3 plus the option of personalization is always nice.
    Farathil likes this.
  5. Sykes

    Sykes Hard-To-Destroy Reptile

    George, yellow/cyan/magenta over black works for any colorblind type, because any one partial colorblindness only has an issue seeing one of the three primary colors over black, and since yellow/cyan/magenta are all two primary colors combined, no matter what color they're colorblind with, they will be able to see a clear contrast between the color and the black/dark gray background.

    This is why the red/black cursor is awful because people who are colorblind with red have no way of seeing it easily, but if it were magenta or yellow, even though both of those include red, it would still provide a greater contrast with the black, allowing them to see the cursor over dark and light surfaces. (yellow is generally more easy on the eyes than magenta though)

    Also, thank you!!
  6. GeorgeV

    GeorgeV Art Director

    Making the background of the health transparent (mostly) to give some hopefully obvious contrast.

  7. Sykes

    Sykes Hard-To-Destroy Reptile

    Personally, if I were to play with that change, I would mod the files myself to change it back to the way it was and make it darker. It still takes a lot of effort just to focus on that bar even in that picture. The fact that the background of the health bar isn't solid makes it harder to focus on it; I think there's a reason any game I think of has a solid health bar background.

    Of course, if I change the health bar to something with blue, problem solved. I understand that's not a fix everyone can use though. This would be one of the only things I recommend an optional "colorblind mode" for, this and the cursor color.
    Cirom and LadyKianna like this.
  8. Tremoraid

    Tremoraid Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    I'm not sure if its been pointed out or not (not going through all 4 pages) but you could probably change the color settings for your screen ( the r/g/b options, well its usually driver based like amd catalyst controls ect.) I know with mine I can change the colors and the brightness and then just click a revert button... Doing this you could sort of simulate how your colorblind players see. Then again, this probably isn't the best solution. But its something
  9. Sykes

    Sykes Hard-To-Destroy Reptile

    Clever, and good thinking, but unfortunately if you think a bit further, the problem is that hue shifting doesn't quite solve the problem, it "moves" it. Literally, it moves the spectrum to the side, so although reds may now look yellow, blues now look red, and now you have a problem there. Not only that, it makes the game look like candy vomit.
  10. LastDay

    LastDay Heliosphere

    I rather like that! Clever.

    The one edge case I can think of is if you visit some sort of candy red biome, but given how you are jumping around, moving the background I don't think that that will be an issue. :)
  11. KadoDragon

    KadoDragon Void-Bound Voyager

    Being colorblind myself, I like it when games do not address colors when thinking about colorblindness. For example, in an FPS team death match you could have red and blue name tags, sure. Or you could have teammates have name tags and enemies not have name tags. I like the latter better. Being colorblind I don't even address color directly. I first look at shape and pattern. An example of this is with a traffic light. I know they have red, yellow and green lights, but I do not take that in. Instead I know Top is stop, middle is caution and bottom is go. I do not look for the colors. In starbound with the ores they can all be different shapes which most of them are now. Even when shapes get repetitive, you can start changing their angles or point of view. For example, in the inventory I'd know the titanium ore has its point in the bottom right instead of the top left like plutonium. Keep the colors the way they are, but start thinking about shape, angle and pattern. That will help a lot more and may even be easier to handle.
    LadyKianna and LastDay like this.
  12. Sykes

    Sykes Hard-To-Destroy Reptile

    Yes, this is definitely a better way of doing things. Make the game not require color differentiation in order to play, but pattern recognition. For example, instead of colored dots on a minimap, use icons and symbols (that can be colored as well).

    Ultimately, if your game can't be played in black and white (which you, whether developer or player, can set through your GFX card control panel to test), your game is not colorblind accessible. At least not completely.

    Sure it might be harder in black and white, but if it's impossible, frustrating, or gives you a competitive disadvantage, then there's a problem. Keep in mind colorblind people are used to being colorblind, so they might have an easier time than you playing in black and white. It's kind of radical, but it still applies.
    LadyKianna likes this.
  13. LastDay

    LastDay Heliosphere

    Sounds like you two are agreeing with my post. :)
    So three people with colorblindness, all agreeing shapes and patterns are the way to go! :D
    LadyKianna likes this.
  14. Cpt_FluffyBottom

    Cpt_FluffyBottom Aquatic Astronaut

    I have deuteranomaly which makes reds/greens hard to see clearly (mostly green) but I have a hard time seeing the difference between grass and the reddish dirt. But I'm still a newb so I haven't seen much yet. I will post again if I notice more.

    You could add a slight background to the health (like a shadow), that would be helpful for red biomes

    I have lost the cursor a few times, that will make the game a lot easier because I wont have to stop and spend a minute looking for it
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  15. KDawg

    KDawg Void-Bound Voyager

    The best thing you can come about with us colorblinds out there is trying to let us via the game interface some color changing options of any range. We all have different cases of colorblindness so trying to premake a set of colors for us won't help others with different issues. Plus, anyone that want to make different colors purely for esthetics to share screenshots of their world or w/e would be happy about such an option, even if it would be clientside only. Another thing for example with the ores; sometimes I would get to spot a color I normally wouldn't just because of different color lighting effects + block colors around it. Any factor that changes the color throughout the game can hit us any time - but being able to switch off lighting properties off the game might be problematic or abusable at that point I dunno. Best thing possible is just to leave us color changing options with maybe an additional color shift you can set as a bind for the cursor for example
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
  16. Cpt_FluffyBottom

    Cpt_FluffyBottom Aquatic Astronaut

    Gold and copper look the same as well

    Edit: Coal blends in with darker obsidian
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2014
  17. Oklino

    Oklino Space Spelunker

    Hey there,

    i'm another red/green colorblind player and unfortunately i can confirm that the mouse is also my biggest problem. The Health bar is ok. I dont know why people want to change it... there's no problem for me. Colorblind doesnt mean that you're unable to see red or green. Its a problem with contrasts and patterns. The Healthbar is a sharp and thick bar. Just 1 color. No widly mixed pattern with green/brown or any color that could cause trouble...

    a few other problems:

    - cant always see if there's copper or iron in obsidian and some other kinds of blocks.
    - can barely see the difference between normal skyrail and skyrail booster.
  18. Cpt_FluffyBottom

    Cpt_FluffyBottom Aquatic Astronaut

    Oklino, the only problem with the mouse/health bar is the planet you are on, when I go to a jungle its really hard to see my cursor. The health bar isn't too bad but it becomes blurred into any greenish background if its in the corner of my eye
  19. ZeroRyu

    ZeroRyu Void-Bound Voyager

    I have mild colorblindness. Red and orange parts moving really fast give my eyes this weird motion blur effect and then I feel light-headed. Please! PLEASE! never make a giant red boss fight or orange one. If it's like the ship or a sword or whatever it's fine.
  20. Huxi

    Huxi Void-Bound Voyager

    There's this pretty neat color blindness simulator: http://colororacle.org/ (free, open source)

    The nice thing is that you could simply play the game with a tint similar to the way people with a color deficiency would see it. It includes the three "worst" ones so if the game looks good with the three in the simulator it should look good for people with less severe varieties, too.

    I'm a bit late to the party. Hope this still helps.
    RvLesh and Tremoraid like this.

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