Colour-blind insensitivity — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Colour-blind insensitivity

Considering that a large population of people are affected by colour-blindness, it would go a long way to making the game more enjoyable for us if you take this into consideration when designing encounters and icons that are meant to telegraph information quickly.

For my colour blindness, I have trouble distinguishing small amounts of red or green that are used to tint a colour. A perfect example of this would be the light purple used in the new "malnourished" buff. Since the addition of this buff, it has become much more difficult to track my food duration, as I can hardly tell the difference between it and the regular blue "nourishment" buff. There's really no reason for you not to just make this icon a bright red or something similar.

Another prime example would be the overuse of light shades of orange, green, and yellow, specifically used in raid encounters. It originally took me quite a while to tell the difference between orange circles and green circles, as the light lime-green and the orange both look quite close to yellow for me (the red tint added to make orange, and the green tint added to make lime). This has once again come up with the newest raid wing. A good example would be the river of souls encounter where it can be difficult to distinguish between the colours of the lightning AoEs and the walls of death when they move inside Desmina's bubble. All 3 of these indicators are quite close together on the colour spectrum, and make the encounter even harder for colour-blind players.

Anet does a great job respecting a wide variety of sensitivities, so I'm surprised that things like this make it through the cracks.

Comments

  • Ashen.2907Ashen.2907 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    As a colorblind player, there are definitely areas of the game that are much harder for me, and have been since launch. For example, some of the guild races have trap circles, red circles on green grass that are completely invisible to me. I wonder if there are more colorblind people playing or more raiders. I'd be happy to trade raiding for a colorblind mode. lol

    Seriously though, there are games out there that have figured out how to include a colorblind mode. Definitely something I'd appreciate.

    This is my experience as well.

  • @Vayne.8563 do you use ReShade? (or something like it) And, if so, does it address this at all?
    Also, if you don't mind saying, which sort of colorblindness is yours and how much does it 'nerf' your ability to distinguish colors generally?

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  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    @Vayne.8563 do you use ReShade? (or something like it) And, if so, does it address this at all?
    Also, if you don't mind saying, which sort of colorblindness is yours and how much does it 'nerf' your ability to distinguish colors generally?

    I'm red/green colorblind, but I have trouble with red/brown as well. I pretty much see red as a shade of brown, and I see some greens as browns too. It makes things very muddy sometimes. Back in my Tombraider days, I was running around trying to get to the next area, and I had done everything and had no idea where to go. Friend comes over, watches me run around for a while and says, why not just go through that doorway. I was like, what doorway. lol

    I have tried reshade, I don't find it easy to use. I find that if I get it so I can see stuff, everything looks pretty bad, generally. I need to change the color of circles, mostly, not everything. The amount of fussing I have to do to get stuff working just doesn't seem worth the time to me.

  • Shikigami.4013Shikigami.4013 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2, 2017

    Many people think "colorblind" people can not see colors and see everything in black/white (Achromatopy), but there are several different kinds of colorblindness which vary in severeness and effect.

    The OP has (just like me) a red-green color blindness
    While we have no problem to tell that grass is green and santa's cloak is red, it is the small differences in color/hue which gives us big problems. And it is not just a few people how have this, it is a high onedigit-precentage (figures differ hugely from 5 to 9% depending on where you look). 5-9% of the GW2 players is still quite much and I would really like ANet to make colors differ more.

    By the way it gets worse the smaller the area of color you have to tell apart is, so while a full screen of half this color and half that color would be ok to tell for most, the colors of small icons or circles on the round are impossible to tell apart for many people.

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  • @Vayne.8563 said:
    I have tried reshade, I don't find it easy to use. I find that if I get it so I can see stuff, everything looks pretty bad, generally. I need to change the color of circles, mostly, not everything. The amount of fussing I have to do to get stuff working just doesn't seem worth the time to me.

    ANet probably has a similar problem on their end, to fuss to get things to look good for non-cb peeps and again for people with different sorts of CB. Maybe they'd be able to publish some sort of API that identifies particular color channels to make it easier for someone clever to to come up with a ReShade setting that others can use (and that doesn't mess up the rest of the game).

    Depends on what the bottleneck is for them.

    Maybe another potential partial solution would be finding more ways to reduce visual clutter. While a CB solution might affect a small fraction of players, hiding effects should help those who want to see combat, those who have low-spec PCs or GPUs, and so on. No idea how easy it is for them, though.

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  • @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    Would using third-party solutions be more efficient? Then ANet can focus on the game and non-ANet devs can help with colors. Are there settings for ReShade, SweetFX, GemFX, etc that can help now?

    That would give a "combat advantage" hence banable offense in the eyes of"typical" players even if all it would do is even the playing field for those with issues. How would you prove it to Anet you do suffer so it isn't a cheat?

    This is the reason why my wife hasn't looked into any of those.
    So I'm really hoping that Gail didn't inadvertently blow smoke at players with her comment recently that maybe some changes visually will be coming.

  • @Ojimaru.8970 said:
    Just adding this VOD for visibility (ha-ha). It's Karen Steven's GDC presentation from earlier this year highlighting the game franchise's efforts and lessons learned to increase accessibility. VOD timing was fast-forwarded to the section about color blindness (10:17, if it doesn't work).

    That was interesting to watch. I'm also surprised and happy that she included code on how it was done. Very nice.

  • Bunter.3795Bunter.3795 Member ✭✭✭

    This has been a request since the game launched. I have a guild member that doesn't do the guild races since he can't see the colors of the trap circles, when we can we dedicate one person to transform and run with him so he can follow the exact path and miss the traps but it's not easy as some traps are not really avoidable.

    I have problems differentiating blue and green in some shades such as the colors used currently in WvW for the blue and green servers. The original darker blue was fine in WvW but Anet changed it to the current lighter blue which is hard for me. Thankfully I can see red so I can avoid hazard circles in the game but when you have r-g-b encounters it's really rough determining which is blue and which is green using the current colors Anet uses in those encounters.

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  • ReaverKane.7598ReaverKane.7598 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Well, some games, LoL comes to mind, have colorblind modes. Which can also benefit regular people sometimes, due to the extra color-contrast in things.

    I think this could be a good incentive for Arena Net to review the entirety of the Graphics options, add Color-blind mode, and split the post-processing into multiple options so that people can tweak bloom, glares, and other effects to improve their individual experience, since not everyone has the same perception as the dev that decided those settings. This would also allow you to not have to exaggerate effects so much in some areas.

  • Zedek.8932Zedek.8932 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 2, 2017

    I also have red/green problems, just as my brother (who was denied to join the police forces due to that after passing all the other tests with ease...), but we both can see and play games just as normal, which I consider weird. I mean, I see the circles on green grass and all, same with name tags and in LoL it's also not a big deal (colourblind mode turns red and green to blue and yellow there) but when the Doc shows me a picture with a hidden number made from red dots amongst green and vice versa, after a while, the entire picture turns grey-ish to me after a few seconds. So not even amongst R/G troubled players, not everyone's affected at the same levels.

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  • STIHL.2489STIHL.2489 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @OneYenShort.3189 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    Would using third-party solutions be more efficient? Then ANet can focus on the game and non-ANet devs can help with colors. Are there settings for ReShade, SweetFX, GemFX, etc that can help now?

    That would give a "combat advantage" hence banable offense in the eyes of"typical" players even if all it would do is even the playing field for those with issues. How would you prove it to Anet you do suffer so it isn't a cheat?

    IIRC a simple color change or shader effects is not a combat advantage

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  • @Ojimaru.8970 said:
    Just adding this VOD for visibility (ha-ha). It's Karen Steven's GDC presentation from earlier this year highlighting the game franchise's efforts and lessons learned to increase accessibility. VOD timing was fast-forwarded to the section about color blindness (10:17, if it doesn't work).

    Really interesting speech. Steven's makes a couple of interesting points:

    • Accessibility is (according to her) a mindset, not a 'feature'
    • Her particular solution caused a fractional ms performance hit.
    • It also required exposing brightness/contrast in the UI, which benefited folks without CB as well as folks with CB more severe than what she had playtested
    • She set up a Twitter account to collect feedback and collated it to help inform colleagues of their goals.
    • She engaged designers early, so that potential issues didn't become actual issues.
    • While simple to describe the solution (and its successes), she admits that there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution that works for all games

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  • Curo.2483Curo.2483 Member ✭✭

    I understand that there are lots of concerns when it comes to coding and game design, and as usual Anet could put 2-3 years into revamping and designing new systems. However, I think it can be dealt with more simply; this is really more of an art issue and could be solved with conscious awareness of the colours the designers are using. When they create a new icon or visual effect, at some point they need to make the decision about what colour to make that thing. All I ask is they take colour-blindness into account when designing these things. It just seems inconsiderate to me when they make 2 icons whose sole purpose is to denote difference (nourished and malnourished) 2 incredibly similar colours.

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 7-10% (if your numbers are right) is indeed a large number. As @Vayne.8563 joked, there's probably more colour-blind players in the game than raiders. My colour-blindness is one of the more mild cases, and I still have quite an impediment in my daily use of the game. I feel bad for people like @Bunter.3795 that can't even tell the green from blue. For me, as @Shikigami.4013 noted, it's red and green. The inclusion of shapes to help differentiate things that are similar in colour also helps. You might notice that the energy surrounding the pillars in the Vale Guardian fight are different shapes. Still quite hard to distinguish in the heat of the moment though. I play enough that I can memorize the locations of things that I can't see, but most people don't (nor is it a reasonable expectation).

  • @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:

    @Curo.2483 said:
    Considering that a large population of people are affected by colour-blindness,

    Perhaps ANet should be more sensitive to colorblindness, but let's be careful about suggesting how easy this is to do or how many would benefit from it. While R-G colorblindness occurs in 7-10% of males, there are different kinds and different degrees. It can affect brightness or different pigments. Is there one solution that would work for everyone with colorblindness? Or does this require a unique solution for each type of R-G or any of the other types?

    Would using third-party solutions be more efficient? Then ANet can focus on the game and non-ANet devs can help with colors. Are there settings for ReShade, SweetFX, GemFX, etc that can help now?

    Colorblindness is something all game designers should be aware when designing games. It's actually something we check for in my industry.

  • Fluffball.8307Fluffball.8307 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2017

    I'm always going to post in any color blindness thread. There is such a massive, massive percentage of the player base that is color blind, it baffles me that every single decision is not run by several color blind devs.

    The suggestion I always post is, check your work in B&W, anet. No matter what color blindness people have, significantly different shades are very distinguishable.

    Someone feel free to post a B&W screenshot of in-game AoE circles that even non-colorblind people can't tell apart. :/

  • Lunarlife.5128Lunarlife.5128 Member ✭✭✭

    It would be nice if ANet fixed both color blind issues and the visual cluster on a lot of the game.

  • ArchonWing.9480ArchonWing.9480 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2017

    I'm not colorblind, but the color choices are hardly the best. I'd probably end up taking any accessibility options that come up at this rate.

  • Menadena.7482Menadena.7482 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @OneYenShort.3189 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    Would using third-party solutions be more efficient? Then ANet can focus on the game and non-ANet devs can help with colors. Are there settings for ReShade, SweetFX, GemFX, etc that can help now?

    That would give a "combat advantage" hence banable offense in the eyes of"typical" players even if all it would do is even the playing field for those with issues. How would you prove it to Anet you do suffer so it isn't a cheat?

    This is the reason why my wife hasn't looked into any of those.
    So I'm really hoping that Gail didn't inadvertently blow smoke at players with her comment recently that maybe some changes visually will be coming.

    Hmm, where is the line between an accessibility change to your local machine and a verboten mod though? It may sound silly, but if the color on your monitor was out of spec was out of spec would that be a no-no? Now what if you did it on purpose? What if you used an old analog monitor with knobs to control things like brightness?

    This is why I am a bit annoyed if accessibility things can not be done locally. If there needs to be a line it should be between the client and server.

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  • Blaeys.3102Blaeys.3102 Member ✭✭✭
    edited December 9, 2017

    There are games 2-3 times older than GW2 (and even older than GW1) that have good colorblind modes. Another game I play now has 3 different colorblind settings based around the different types of the affliction out there.

    This should have been a no brainer for inclusion on day one - and, after 5 years of people asking for it, it is just sad that it still isn't a thing.

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