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Color Blind Images
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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I am not color blind. I don't purport to understand the frustration and handicap that this presents in life. However, I have seen the frustration first hand as I play with and have friends and family who are color blind. All of the people I know have trouble, in general, distinguishing between red and green (appearing to them as brown).

I discovered a web site called Vischeck (via a geek list) - http://www.vischeck.com/vischeck/vischeckImage.php, which lets you upload images to see how they might appear if you were color blind. It also includes a plug-in for Photoshop! Some of the images below I've created myself, but others I've 'borrowed'. My thanks (and apologies) to the individuals who created the images I've used for this purpose.

There have been quite a number of threads on the BGG concerning this, all with very good information and links to resources. But for those of us who are not color blind I thought it would be enlightening to quickly see what 7-10% of all males and 4% (or less) of females see by manipulating existing images here on the geek. There are different forms of this; an insensitivity to red, green, or both. This list only concentrates on one of those, Deuteranope, an insensitivity to green.

Some great, previous geek lists about this topic:
"ROYGBIV? More like ROY(R/G?)B(dB)(drB)*.": How I Modified My Games So I Could Actually Play Them: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/17031
Colorblind-Friendly Games: The Counterpoint to My Other GeekList: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/17103
Games for color blind people to avoid: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15772
Games by color-blind buddy Kevin can play: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/831
Games that use color as the only way to communicate something - not colorblind friendly: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/9917
Colorblind unfriendly games: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/2706
You don't even have to be colour blind: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/12408

The games below I selected based on reading through the geek lists above and from my own experience playing with color blind friends/family. It would be wonderful if games had a color blind rating (if only here on BGG).

NOTE: My grades below are based entirely on what I'm seeing when I convert them, not what I've been told by individuals. Please comment and/or update my initial grades accordingly.

For all of the image pairs below, the image on the left (or top) is the 'normal' view, and the image on the right (or bottom) is the best approximation that technology can provide for what an average person sees who suffers from green insensitivity.

Even though the Vischeck site provides you with ample resources to produce the types of images below, I would be happy to convert anyone's images. One of the items in this list is a screen shot of the Photoshop plug-in. If you know specifics about your (or a loved one's) specific color-blind condition, I would be glad to convert any images for you.
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1. Board Game: Caylus [Average Rating:7.90 Overall Rank:20]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Grade for Caylus: C
( upgraded from a C to a B based on Arthur's comments )
( downgraded back to a C from a B based on Jerry, Ryan, and John's comments below )


Unfortunately I don't own this game, so I'm using images available here on the geek. I've indicated the orignial creators of the images (in parenthesis). Many of the images you will need to click to see the larger versions to get a better idea. For Caylus, notice the difference (or lack thereof) between the pink and dark blue.

The Board (original by Karis):
For all of the images the left-hand image is 'normal' and the right-hand image is what an average red-green color blind person sees.
Original:
Color-Blind:


The Bits (original by ZiggyZambo):
Color-Blind:


The Building Tiles (original by Karis):

Color-Blind:
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2. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:362]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Grade for Coloretto: A

Coloretto, based on comments here on the geek, works well. It certainly appears that way to me, a non color-blind person, from the images below. The background images of the cards do not rely on color at all.

Original cards:

Color Blind cards:


Notice that the game even works in black & white:


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3. Board Game: Through the Desert [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:315]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Through The Desert Grade: D

This game comes up often in the geek lists. Specifically the difference between the mint and peach colored camels. I have to admit, that the colors turn me off even without being color blind. :-)

TTD's pastel camels (orig by OldestManOnMySpace):


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4. Board Game: Ingenious [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:215]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Grade for Ingenious: A-
( I've downgraded this game from an A to an A-. The comments about the multiple star shapes, and the colored cubes made me realize the game "could" have been slightly improved )

This was actually the game that got me thinking of this geek list. When playing, it was obvious to me that this would work, even if the player was completely color blind (extremely rare).




Tiles:


Scoring Board and Cubes:
Now the cubes are hard to distinguish, but the scoring track (if not jostled) works adequately to keep them in line.

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5. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:157]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Settlers Of Catan Grade: C

Settler's is a bit difficult to grade as there are so many versions out there. I was just looking at the Japanese version, which to me seems difficult even without a visual handicap!


Apparently people are having trouble with both the bits as well as the cards/tiles. I've scanned a few images to see how they appear.

The Cards (from my copies of settlers):
Top image is normal, bottom image is the color-blind version.


The Tiles


The Bits
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6. Board Game: UNO [Average Rating:5.32 Overall Rank:10837]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Uno Grade: B
( upgraded from a D to a B based on comments )

I suppose I could have given this game an F, but there are so many darn versions that it's difficult to pin a grade on the game as a whole. One of the versions I have is straight colors. With a little forethought the publisher could have easily included suits, and not excluded 10% of the population.

Edit: My non-color blind eyes graded this very poorly, when it's apparently, somewhat playable.




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7. Board Game: Loot [Average Rating:6.32 Overall Rank:1299]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Loot Grade: F

Thanks to Verkisto for his pics and advice on modifying games for those who are color blind! Hopefully, the use of his image is OK with him (as I didn't ask before hand). If you look close you can discern a dot, just below the flags in the top two cards.

There are supposed to be four suits (colors), but if you look at the second image you can really only discern two. Verkisto modified his loot cards to be able to distinguish between the colors.

Original (created by Verkisto):


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8. Board Game: Colors [Average Rating:6.59 Unranked]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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The utility I used to create the images is available free as a Photoshop plug-in download from the Vischeck web site (www.vischeck.com). They have both a Windows and Mac version:

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9. Board Game: Coloretto [Average Rating:6.99 Overall Rank:362]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Since the utility by Vischeck provides the ability to view images as three separate types of color deficiencies, I've uploaded three versions of the Coloretto cards.

Quotes below are taken from this web page: http://colorvisiontesting.com/color2.htm

Here's the original:


Protanope (one out of 100 males):
"Protanomaly is referred to as "red-weakness", an apt description of this form of color deficiency. Any redness seen in a color by a normal observer is seen more weakly by the protanomalous viewer, both in terms of its "coloring power" (saturation, or depth of color) and its brightness. Red, orange, yellow, yellow-green, and green, appear somewhat shifted in hue ("hue" is just another word for "color") towards green, and all appear paler than they do to the normal observer. The redness component that a normal observer sees in a violet or lavender color is so weakened for the protanomalous observer that he may fail to detect it, and therefore sees only the blue component. Hence, to him the color that normals call "violet" may look only like another shade of blue."


Deuteranope (five out of 100 males):
"The deuteranomalous person is considered "green weak". Similar to the protanomalous person, he is poor at discriminating small differences in hues in the red, orange, yellow, green region of the spectrum. He makes errors in the naming of hues in this region because they appear somewhat shifted towards red for him. One very important difference between deuteranomalous individuals and protanomalous individuals is deuteranomalous individuals do "not" have the loss of "brightness" problem."


Tritanope (very rare - .002% of males):
From http://www.visualexpert.com/FAQ/Part4/cfaqPart4.html:
"People with congenitally weak "blue" cone response, anomalous tritanopes, are virtually nonexistent. However, some eye diseases, such as glaucoma, attack blue cones creating "acquired" anomalous tritanopia. The loss of blue cones is usually greatest in the periphery....The tritanope is analogously blue-yellow color blind."

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10. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.51 Overall Rank:83]
Kevin C
United Kingdom
York
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The green and brown tracks in the original Ticket to Ride are impossible for me (a protanope) under all but the very best lighting. You can see what it looks like here:

(Original image by Fawkes)

The top and bottom parts of this image look identical to me.

How do I know the problem colours are green and brown? Because I've become pretty good at deducing what names other people will give to a colour by opening up the image in a graphics program and reading off the RGB values for the part of the image concerned.

In the TtR Europe and later versions this was solved by putting symbols on the cards and tracks.
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11. Board Game: BattleLore [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:147]
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
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I've often heard of complaints from people about the colors in Battlelore so I decided to see how that looked. The dice have especially earned complaints.

First, here are the Battlelore dice with Deuteranope.



 


The results were even more dramatic than I expected. I can see now why some folks complain about the battlelore dice and even mark them with letters G, B & R. Here are the flags under Protanope.



 


I have a gamer friend of mine who is color blind and we always make sure he gets first choice in a game in terms of playing piece color. That said I think this list has given me a new appreciation.
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12. Board Game: SET [Average Rating:6.49 Overall Rank:969]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Set Grade: F
( downgraded from a D to an F )

I'm adding games based on some of the comments. Kevin C suggested three games: Cheops, Schotten Totten and Set. Set was actually one of the games I initially thought of adding, but it didn't seem quite so drastic. Based on the comments, it seems obvious now.

Isn't this a Mensa select game (or whatever they are called)? One would think...

This game stresses me out, so I avoid it. I'm actually not bad at playing the game, and my youngest son is really good at it. Perhaps, being over-the-hill has put a damper on the nimbleness of the mind.

I can't imagine playing this being colour blind.

Original image by Terraliptar:



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13. Board Game: Schotten-Totten [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:377]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Schotten Totten: F

Kevin C wrote:
The worst games I've found for me are the following:... Schotten Totten: Playable with marked cards.


Again, if any of these games merit a different grade, please let me know.

Original created by Frouvne:




Edit: I thought perhaps one could play Battle Line instead, then realized it was probably just as bad. I think there are mutliple versions out there, but this image (originally posted by EndersGame) is the same copy that I own. Seems just as bad:

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14. Board Game: Cheops [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:3787]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Cheops: F

Kevin C wrote:
The worst games I've found for me are the following:... Cheops: Totally unplayable.


Apparently the images available here on the geek for Cheops don't really convey the color blind issue very well. If someone owns this game, can they produce a better image of the board part-way through a game? Thanks!

Original created by Frouvne:


 
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15. Board Game: Stonehenge: An Anthology Board Game [Average Rating:5.46 Unranked] [Average Rating:5.46 Unranked]
 
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Stonehenge Grade: D

I just received Stonehenge for father's day, so I thought I would put it to the test, and add it to the list. The playing pieces seem to work fine (please correct me if I'm wrong). But the board and cards could have used some help. Again, a little forethought into adding suits/graphics with each color would have certainly done the job.

Gameboard (original created by mike selinker):


Cards:
The green and red cards are identical (numbers 27 & 17 in the image).
Even if you view the larger version of this image you can't tell the difference.


Bits:
I think the manufacturing of the bits simply "lucked out". They seem to be relatively distinguishable.
I doubt this had anything to do with the color decisions. If one of the five designers is reading this, please correct me if I'm wrong!


 
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16. Board Game: Time Agent [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:2733]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Time Agent Grade: ?

Tom Lehmann requested a view of his game, Time Agent. I give it a question mark as I've never played the game, and do not understand the ramifications of the colored lines. Hopefully someone that has played this can add some insight?

The images are taken from shots already provided here on the geek. As I do not own the game I can't scan/upload original images.

Game board (original provided by crazyyog)



Box (original provided by Aldaran)
This is actually a small section of the back of the box which highlights the board.


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17. Board Game: Battlestations [Average Rating:7.19 Overall Rank:903]
William Hostman
United States
Eagle River
Alaska
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Running the image in the header through, we get:

Protoanope
Deuteroanope
Tritioanope

I'd say that's likely a D+. Note that the standups, likewise, use the same colors... and only one picture per race.

The standups are a problem, but the boards can be learned. But it is bad for EVERY one of them...

Proto and Deutero are going to have issues with Red vs Green.
Tritio are going to have issues with Blue vs Green.
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18. Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D. [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:739]
Christopher DeFrisco
United States
Ashland
Oregon
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Risk 2210 A.D. Grade: D

Jonah Johnson(Blacknightjj) mentioned this game, so I thought I would test the bits out. For some reason, the difference between a person with deuteranope vs. petranope seem more evident in these game pieces.

The board and cards, though a bit more difficult, still work as they are all well labeled. They do not seem too color dependent.

The images in previous games only included one color-blind version as the primary two types seemed so close to me. Obviously there are differences from person-to-person, but in general the differences seemed relatively minor.

Here's an original scan of the bits:


The left side = protanope, right = deuteranope:



I'm including the tritanope version here because the blue & green bits look exactly the same to me:



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19. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:8.00 Overall Rank:11]
Burster of Bubbles, Destroyer of Dreams.
United States
Sunnyvale
California
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There are two issues with Power Grid:

1. Telling the houses/city markers/power stations/little wooden block thingies apart.

This is easily fixed with Sharpies or craft paint or nail polish.

2. Telling which cities are in which regions of the board. This can be hard even for people with full color vision.

(The names of all the cities in each region have the background corresponding to the region color, which helps figure out the border cities some but not all of the time...)
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20. Board Game: Qwirkle [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:493]
United States
Lansing
Michigan
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Qwirkle would probably be a very frustrating game for our color blind friends.



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21. Board Game: Blokus [Average Rating:7.00 Overall Rank:356]
United States
Lansing
Michigan
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Surprisingly, Blokus seems like it would be quite easy to play. Looks kind of pretty this way, too...



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22. Board Game: Medieval Merchant [Average Rating:6.79 Overall Rank:1096]

Lacombe
Louisiana
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Suddenly a shot rang out! A door slammed. The maid screamed. Suddenly a pirate ship appeared on the horizon! While millions of people were starving, the king lived in luxury. Meanwhile, on a small farm in Kansas, a boy was growing up.
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Practically unplayable. The board has multi-colored regions which are pastel shades of green, brown, pink, and red. Then, the pieces include two brown-ish shades, red, green, and grey.

Full light:



Low light:



Color-blind:

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23. Board Game: Gem Dealer [Average Rating:5.57 Overall Rank:7869]
William McDuff
Canada
Prince Rupert
British Columbia
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"'A grey man,' she said. 'Neither white nor black, but partaking of both. Is that what you are, Ser Davos?' 'What if I am? It seems to me most men are grey.'" -- Lady Melisandre of Asshai and Ser Davos Seaworth from A Clash of Kings by G.R.R. Martin
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A small part of a 17,000 pushpin video game art project I was involved with.
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Normal.

Protanope.

Deuteranope.

Yeah...the light conditions better be pretty good or I'm going to have problems.
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