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by Brandon Kidwell on 08/06/14 01:29:00 am   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


Color Blindness In Games

Did you know that majority of games, especially competitive games do not support color blindness? Only recently have game developers begun to incorporate or update their colors in games to help those who are colorblind. I have a few friends that are colorblind so I was made aware of this several years ago. A lot of artists or basically those who choose the colors in the game will commonly go for Red & Green. Both are associated with good/bad, go/stop, etc. An artist is also not color blind, or at least very unlikely so what they see seems fine.

Now, this doesn’t mean your entire game needs to feature colorblindness modes. There are ways of making characters or items pop out without changing your colors. Colorblindness settings come into play when information is vital and the player needs to be able to quickly differentiate two colors. Games such as Call of Duty require quick understanding of player names, if a point in domination is yours or an enemies. In Left4Dead a player needs to see the outline glow of their teammate. Sometimes the enviroment mixes too much red and green making it difficult for someone with Dichromacy or Anomalous Trichromacy to see anything properly.

so, what is the fix for this? Well Yellow/Orange & Blue. My personal preference is Orange and Blue (artistically I like it more) but either works.

Note, I am not covering complete colorblindness because at that point values are the only way to tell the difference between what’s what. I’m only covering Dichromacy and not Anamalous Trichromacy because the earlier is the complete lack of, while the latter is not. If you choose colors based on Dichromacy the Anamalous Trichromacy should be able to see the colors without issue.

Below are the colors in order of the rainbow from left to right. Each example is positioned the same. For those of you that may be color blind and trying to see this The second and fifth circles are Orange and Blue respectively. The third is Yellow.


Dichromacy: Red-Green



Dichromacy: Blue-Yellow 


Here is a comparison of the second and fifth circle from each. Notice that the normal colors translate to different colors.



So remember! Color blind people play your games. About 10% of American males are color blind. A large % of males play games!

Edit: I recently played the Titanfall beta and Respawn chose Orange and Blue as their team colors! Awesome job guys!

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