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Concept For Colorblind Support (Lots Of Img)


holyicon
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Okay, before we start I need to address why this is in fan concepts and not in UI/Art feedback.
--Read here--

Let's just acknowledge right now that Warframe does not have colorblind support. So I have nothing to give feedback on.

DE_Pablo has posted here-and-there that they "test" certain aspects of the game for color differences at various websites. Unfortunately this does not actually fix the issue, as those tests only compare colors to each other within a relative space.

They do not test absolute color recognition or isolated recognition.

For people with color deficient vision: when you have nothing to compare a color to, you:
A: cannot assume the context for the information so you cannot determine the meaning, and
B: may not even be aware you are being given color based information at the time because the "difference" does not register apart from the surroundings.

So with that in mind, the addition of REAL colorblind support is clearing not coming from the Devs so that leaves it to the fans to conceptualize.

Also, I realize there are many different kinds of color deficient vision. Raising this point is moot, as you will see that the method I use to achieve support is entirely based on heavy contrast and symbol recognition.

Additionally, if you feel that this would discriminate against people who have limited to no ability to differentiate symbols, then please delete your Win32 folder.
There is for any product, location or media a threshold beyond which specific accessibility standards cannot be met. Warframe requires symbol recognition as a game-play element that is both central and critical to the game's form.
While Color recognition is not required to comprehend the game's mechanics, it does serve as a non-mechanical barrier and hindrance layered on top of those mechanics.

Put flatly, Warframe operates the same way if presented without any color at all, but ceases to be the same game when you replace all the symbols, numbers and letters with solid boxes.

So with that little bit of didactic malarkey out of the way, I can get on with the presentation.



Wouldn't it be cool to look across the room and be able to tell if a door or locker was locked or unlocked without actually walking up to each one a checking manually?

Oh, you can do that already? Well shucks, how was I supposed to know?! Oh, it's a different color you say? Very interesting? Can you please explain to me what the difference between red and green is? Preferably in 100 words or less.

Yeah, you get about 3 words in before you realize my point. If you can't describe the difference between colors, how can you know what it's like not to be able to see them as different colors.

So how do we fix this? It's actually really easy, my friend (are you listening DE_Pablo) with symbols and shapes!

Let's start simple, suppose you have a locked locker...
colorblind_grineer_locker_example.png

As you can clearly see, the shape of each state in clearly different from the other and has a distinct meaning.
Lit Red Full Bar = Locked
Lit Green Open Bar = Unlocked
Unlit = Disabled or Open.
((I should note here the crudity of my mockups do not reflect the proper lighting and filtering conditions for the Lit and Unlit states of the lights. I would need access to the game's inner assets to do this. That would be excessively time consuming and not to mention a big no-no for reverse engineering the game.))

 

Now this is just one example I could come up with after only 15 seconds of distracted thought. I'm sure the DE Art department could imagine something far more aesthetically pleasing with just 5 minutes work.
((I'd like to take this opportunity to remind you that art assets are tweaked in most patches that go out so this work would not actually represent a change or distraction to the normal workload or activities of the art staff.))

MOVING ON!
So, what can we do about doors?

 

Well in this case we can utilize design elements already in place to create visual pattern recognition...
colorblind_grineer_door_sm_example.png

 OR!! You could replace the existing motif with a slick halogen system that lights differently to display the relevant security state...

colorblind_grineer_door_lg_example.png

 

Oh and Corpus, don't think I've forgotten about YOU!

colorblind_corpus_locker_example.png

 

See how simple icons can provide the same information that color can, both while ALSO providing redundant color information but also working in completely desaturated or GFX filtered environment!

And don't let yourself tell me that Icons or pictographic markers wouldn't be canonical...

colorblind_symbols_in_game.png

 

Oh look?! What's that?! Is that a Glyph?! a LOCK symbol?! and a "This Lift Carries 4 People" Pictographic?! My word, that's far too difficult to include elsewhere!

Recently there's been an uproar over the new mod colored borders even amongst the normally color sighted players. Well, not to worry folks I got your back too!
colorblind_mod_example.png

Check it. You have a Bronze Lotus Nut (common), Silver Tenno Flash (uncommon) and Golden Lotus (rare) symbol. Just slap those suckers into the engine and presto!

Just use the same script that locates and draws the polarity symbols. Imagine if polarity was color-only ... wouldn't that be annoying? What color border would a Rare Support be: Mauve?


PLEASE Keep in mind that these are crude mockups designed just to deliver the concept of real colorblind support, they are not a serious submission for inclusion into the game as-is.
 

 

 

So, thanks for reading my post. Please discuss below, and if you wanted to see larger versions of some of the textures I used I'll link them below.


Grineer Locker
Grineer Small Door
Grineer Large Door
Corpus Locker

 

I can't be in love
if it's plastic
To live on my own
just seems tragic
But we'll raise our swords high
when our day comes
You thought it was gold
but it was bronze

So get here in time
when our days comes
We thought it was gold
but it was bronze

 

 

As always, have fun and be as nice to each other as you are mean to the enemies of the Tenno.

 - holyicon

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The one for the mods isn't that good imo, but the locks are interesting. the symbols on the mod cards should just be D/C/U/R/L

From above "PLEASE Keep in mind that these are crude mockups designed just to deliver the concept of real colorblind support, they are not a serious submission for inclusion into the game as-is."

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From above "PLEASE Keep in mind that these are crude mockups designed just to deliver the concept of real colorblind support, they are not a serious submission for inclusion into the game as-is."

I know, I gave my opinion on what OP delivered. which is that the locks look good, but the cards are meh, I am partly colorblind (only for the color Green) and I can see the difference already how it is, but idk how the other colorblind people see it.. 

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I know, I gave my opinion on what OP delivered. which is that the locks look good, but the cards are meh, I am partly colorblind (only for the color Green) and I can see the difference already how it is, but idk how the other colorblind people see it.. 

From above: "Also, I realize there are many different kinds of color deficient vision. Raising this point is moot, as you will see that the method I use to achieve support is entirely based on heavy contrast and symbol recognition."

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From above: "Also, I realize there are many different kinds of color deficient vision. Raising this point is moot, as you will see that the method I use to achieve support is entirely based on heavy contrast and symbol recognition."

 

I mean for me it is already clear how it is ingame (like everything) 

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Holyicon is right here,  I am just one person that has had problems with the bronze and gold mod cards.

 

Love pretty much idea in the OP, except that you would need 5 symbols for mods. You forgot damaged and legendary.

 

True... though the icons I made are really just placeholders.

I can draw much better icons, but I don't work for DE.

It's a proof of concept. ;)

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Awesome stuff. Poem/ditty isn't bad either.

 

Symbols are always better ways to convey information.

 

But hey, I'd be ecstatic if they put in 'hover labels' for the colour palettes as well; Lotus knows how long it takes me to filter through the colours to find something matching a prior take or one which works where it goes. Guild Wars 2 manages that at the very least so, stuff?

 

Still, crux of the issue is like you say: Colour tells us nothing if it's practically the same. A symbol can be the same colour as anything else, but the shape makes it mean something else. This is helpful.

 

Here's hoping it's not a 'Bonus Plat' feature made after actual release but hey, I'm just being pessimistic.

 

Commons are Green right?

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Awesome stuff. Poem/ditty isn't bad either.

 

Symbols are always better ways to convey information.

 

But hey, I'd be ecstatic if they put in 'hover labels' for the colour palettes as well; Lotus knows how long it takes me to filter through the colours to find something matching a prior take or one which works where it goes. Guild Wars 2 manages that at the very least so, stuff?

 

Still, crux of the issue is like you say: Colour tells us nothing if it's practically the same. A symbol can be the same colour as anything else, but the shape makes it mean something else. This is helpful.

 

Here's hoping it's not a 'Bonus Plat' feature made after actual release but hey, I'm just being pessimistic.

 

Commons are Green right?

 

Thanks,

Yes, hovering text would be nice on menu elements that don't "expand" like mods.

And/or have a modifier key like CTRL to display a too-tip when held?

I seriously doubt they would make an accessibility a Platinum feature. If that's not illegal, it should be.

Something the Devs just can't get into their heads, is that it isn't just that you can't tell colors apart from each other, it's that you cannot identify a color in a vacuum. The websites they use to "test" their UI stuff only grades the former.

Oh and btw, that ditty is from a UK/US comedy show called "Snuff Box". Check it out on Netflix if you're old enough. There are only 6x, 45min episodes.

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Thanks,

Yes, hovering text would be nice on menu elements that don't "expand" like mods.

And/or have a modifier key like CTRL to display a too-tip when held?

 

It'd be darned nice. Whilst I'm red/green colourblind, I do love playing with colours and, whilst Yellow/Orange/Red are typically my 'safe' colours, Orange and Blue/Purple (?) work reasonably well together. Currently using a dark blue/purple from Infested and orange from Fire on my Saryn. Looks good, far as I can tell.

 

Couldn't tell you what actual tone it is. On average, about half the pallet sections look the same so it's an interesting thing, redoing paint scheme.

 

(It'd also be nice if the menus weren't only about half navigated by my controller, or didn't have 'no, your A button isn't good enough now', but that's a different argument)

 

I seriously doubt they would make an accessibility a Platinum feature. If that's not illegal, it should be.

Something the Devs just can't get into their heads, is that it isn't just that you can't tell colors apart from each other, it's that you cannot identify a color in a vacuum. The websites they use to "test" their UI stuff only grades the former.

 

Yeah, I doubt it as well admittedly. Though some of the rants I've read about 'it's not cost effective considering the ratio of Colour blind people in the world' is irritating.

 

As for the nature of colours, it's a fun thing to discuss at times. I still meet people who, when I tell them I am colourblind, and answer the usual question, seem to instantly think that after being corrected it now 'changes' to the 'correct' one. 

 

Although at the moment, I am grateful it's not like Armoured Core IV: For Answer or V; colour pallet confusion is one thing, Hexadecimal colouring is a whole different affair.

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  Yeah, I doubt it as well admittedly. Though some of the rants I've read about 'it's not cost effective considering the ratio of Colour blind people in the world' is irritating.

 

As for the nature of colours, it's a fun thing to discuss at times. I still meet people who, when I tell them I am colourblind, and answer the usual question, seem to instantly think that after being corrected it now 'changes' to the 'correct' one. 

 

Oh man, don't even get me started on some of the Dev's I've had conversations with. A certian publisher that will remain nameless (hint-hint "SOE") gave such an irritating an illogical reason for what they did in a certain game that will remain nameless ("PlanetSide 2").

When I suggested that they flip the triangle unit marker upside-down for friendlies, they said such a change does not fall within the acceptable parameters for feedback and that such a change would GIVE colorblind players an unfair advantage!

The very next week they added the ability to select your own colors for the faction markers (Typically Red, Blue and Purple) but A: Did not extend that change to ALL faction specific indicators and B: has no effect on marker colors for Squad/Platoon colors, that preset use Green, Yellow, Gold, Brown and Cyan.

So yeah, not only did they NOT do the one thing that would help, but they spent time and effort doing something that DOES NOT HELP.

At least the Devs at DE are a little less arsey about being told what they don't understand, but it still equates to being treated like a second class player.

ANY number of updates DE has done could have included changes like I've featured in my OP, but WHY don't the Devs do it? Maybe it's because they don't want to admit they were wrong and lose face?

I try to advocate colorblind support in any game I've put money into (and even some I haven't).

And I rarely gain positive ground.

In case you were curious as to my suggestions to SOE. It started off politely with the "Flip Friendly Doritos" suggestion early in the beta, then to...

planetside2_hud_icons.png

After the initial BS color-customization fix.

then eventually to...

iff_for_dummies.png

When they went dark on the whole topic.

@D.E.

Colorblind accessibility isn't just some "kit" or "optional" fanciness. It's like neglecting to put in a wheelchair ramp at the grocery store. Yes, you can still shop there, but it is massively inconvenient, irritating and pain inducing...

YES, not having colorblind support causes eye strain and headaches.

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Oh man, don't even get me started on some of the Dev's I've had conversations with. A certian publisher that will remain nameless (hint-hint "SOE") gave such an irritating an illogical reason for what they did in a certain game that will remain nameless ("PlanetSide 2").

When I suggested that they flip the triangle unit marker upside-down for friendlies, they said such a change does not fall within the acceptable parameters for feedback and that such a change would GIVE colorblind players an unfair advantage! (My emphasis)

The very next week they added the ability to select your own colors for the faction markers (Typically Red, Blue and Purple) but A: Did not extend that change to ALL faction specific indicators and B: has no effect on marker colors for Squad/Platoon colors, that preset use Green, Yellow, Gold, Brown and Cyan.

So yeah, not only did they NOT do the one thing that would help, but they spent time and effort doing something that DOES NOT HELP.

 

Ok, firstly, I have to applaud your efforts with other games, those are some rather...clear mock ups. Seriously, that's awesome.

 

And now I must quietly cradle my head and declare 'what madness is this' re: the part I italicised.

 

So the changing of the symbol, wholesale for everyone playing, was considered an advantage for colour blind players. Ok...yeah, sure, let's just go with that as being a nice pile of stupid. I mean, it's not like other people can't have trouble with colour and need to know, at a glance, without picking apart which is more cyan than whatever the contrasts are...can, you know...make use of a damned symbol.

 

Honestly, Symbols are universal. As you've stated above and evidently elsewhere...How a universal symbol is only useful for a minority population with issues completely distinct from symbol recognition is...quite frankly beyond my comprehension.

 

Heck, by the sounds of it, the following changes were the proverbial *pfbt* "Jog on" for colour blind folks.

 

And yet, I sit here, with games like Golden Sun; it's not so much the colour of Psynergy that matters in the set up, but the name/symbol for the spell, so puzzling is stress free, as is combat. Boktai; used some very clear symbols for the elemental block puzzles. Dust: An Elysian Tail; outright tells you the colour when you're using the Colour Blind mode (Bonus points for 1 guy making all the art and programming to actually pay us a thought. Awesome? Damn right it's awesome).

Perhaps a strange analogy, but every person in the world, looking at Sheet Music, knows what they're looking at is music notation. If notes were instead differentiated in colour, would that have cost us the greats? Yay, thought experiments.

 

Still, it remains the case that over all, games like this have two loves; the totality of 'Real is Brown' and 'Red/Green totally tells you who's who'.

 

I am rambling it seems. Apologies. It is nice to discuss the issue without sounding like a raving lunatic.

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<snip>

 

I am rambling it seems. Apologies. It is nice to discuss the issue without sounding like a raving lunatic.

 

Thanks, and don't worry about rambling. The frustration you feel is demonstrative of the issues faced by colorblind individuals and the lack of support given by some developers.

I think the point needs to be made that adopting colorblind accessibility options does not interfere with the game's aesthetics or mechanics. If they would simply bear that in mind when creating the elements of the game that transfer information to the user, they need to ask one extra question,

"Is this piece of information based exclusively on color?"

If so, it is NOT colorblind accessible.

Regardless of how that color may be customized.

 

And remember Devs... for Contrast to work, be it light OR color, you need something to contrast it against in the same scene. It does no good to have 80,000,000 filters obscuring the true nature of the color's intensity when you are relying on THAT as your determination of what the color is.

In my life I have to rely on intensity to GUESS what a color is. Red is typically presented more intensely than Green or Blue for example. But then, I don't have millions of GFX shaders made by nVidia or ATI crawling around in my eyes. So that test is a little more reliable.

And that's just ONE of the little things I have to pay extra attention to just getting from Point A to Point B. Normal sighted people cannot even begin to fathom how much free information they get on a daily bases that is based only on color. ALL that I've had to look for other clues to get the same information, and I'm expected to do so happily, without complaint, and in the same amount of time.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have deuteranopic (green-weak/red-strong) color blindness, so OP's point about being able to identify which doors are locked/unlocked is a relevant issue to me.

 

Using shape and patterns to help distinguish locked states is a good idea.

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