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Subject: Easiest three colors of cubes to distinguish? rss

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Joe Fatula
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I'm working on a game that uses standard wooden cubes in three colors. They need to be very easy to distinguish, preferably for colorblind people or in poor lighting. They also need to be colors that are readily available.

So far I've been using white, red, and black. Is there a more distinguishable set of three colors that I should be using?
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George Monnat Jr
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In predominately red light (low light), red appears to be black. Then again, extremely few (if any) game environments would have that type of lighting.
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George Monnat Jr
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I meant to add that you can use the BGG cubes as a test palette:

http://boardgamegeekstore.com/products/translucent-plastic-c...
 
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Steve R Bullock
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I realize black and white are not colors, but they are very easy to tell apart from almost all other colors.

I would use black, white, medium red.
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Steve R Bullock
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volnon wrote:
I realize black and white are not colors, but they are very easy to tell apart from almost all other colors.

I would use black, white, medium red.


That way in low light medium red would look grey.
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Hedyn Brand
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Came to post what the rest of you already suggested. The translucent cubes may be even better if you have any lighting at all in the gaming environment. Should make it easy to distinguish them.
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Christopher Dearlove
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volnon wrote:
I realize black and white are not colors


That's always been an idiotic definition, except just possibly in fashion. But outside of specialist jargon, black and white are colours. For example you can get paint those colours.

(Specialist jargon can define colours otherwise. Starter for ten, in what context are yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black colours, but red and white aren't?)
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Stephen Eckman
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There are many types of colorblindness. If you have a good picture of your components, you can upload it here to get an idea of how well they work:
http://www.color-blindness.com/coblis-color-blindness-simula...
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George Monnat Jr
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Dearlove wrote:
volnon wrote:
I realize black and white are not colors


That's always been an idiotic definition, except just possibly in fashion. But outside of specialist jargon, black and white are colours. For example you can get paint those colours.

(Specialist jargon can define colours otherwise. Starter for ten, in what context are yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black colours, but red and white aren't?)


As an optoelectronic engineer, I could help you derail the thread with hours of debate on that. People who say that black and white are not colors but the absence of colors or combination of all colors, respectively are correct, and the people who say black and white are colors are also correct. As always, context is key.
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Dimitri Sirenko
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GeorgeMo wrote:
Dearlove wrote:
volnon wrote:
I realize black and white are not colors


That's always been an idiotic definition, except just possibly in fashion. But outside of specialist jargon, black and white are colours. For example you can get paint those colours.

(Specialist jargon can define colours otherwise. Starter for ten, in what context are yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black colours, but red and white aren't?)


As an optoelectronic engineer, I could help you derail the thread with hours of debate on that. People who say that black and white are not colors but the absence of colors or combination of all colors, respectively are correct, and the people who say black and white are colors are also correct. As always, context is key.


well i guess it depends how color is defined too. I mean by book definition black and white are not colors but i never saw a problem with people referring to them as "colors" and i am a professional artist.

to answer the OPs question though,
I would go with 3 colors that most distinctly represent different values. For example, yellow is generally lighter value than any other color while deep blue is relatively dark naturally. So i guess i would take one yellow, one red which would fit into medium value and one dark blue so the value is the darkest.
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chris broadbent
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It seems that the best (read: most thorough, not necessarily least expensive) solution to be sensitive to colorblind players is to ensure that your pieces have different shapes. Maybe instead of white, red, black (which should cover you well for the vast majority of people), you could do disk/cyliner, cube, triangular prism. Or, perhaps slight variations in meeple shape, for example.
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George Monnat Jr
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clbroad wrote:
It seems that the best (read: most thorough, not necessarily least expensive) solution to be sensitive to colorblind players is to ensure that your pieces have different shapes. Maybe instead of white, red, black (which should cover you well for the vast majority of people), you could do disk/cyliner, cube, triangular prism. Or, perhaps slight variations in meeple shape, for example.


Different shapes cost more but are definitely easier to distinguish for all light/vision conditions.
 
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Kevin Clark
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Different shapes for different players tokens don't work well if you need different shaped bits per player like in Catan where you have roads, towns, and cities.
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Dimitri Sirenko
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buffalohat wrote:
I'm working on a game that uses standard wooden cubes in three colors. They need to be very easy to distinguish, preferably for colorblind people or in poor lighting. They also need to be colors that are readily available.

So far I've been using white, red, and black. Is there a more distinguishable set of three colors that I should be using?


Just out of curiosity, why do you feel this to be a problematic aspect of your game design that absolutely have to be figured out?
There are a lot of board and card games out there that are designed for an average human, meaning any deficiencies very few of us may have are not addressed through such games. Is that unfair? probably, but i feel that if you feel that this is a major issue that needs to be addressed, you should probably rethink what your demographic is. Is it majorly color blind people? Or people with certain disabilities? If yes then you need to design your whole game around that. But if your game is for average crowd, I do not see this being an issue. At the end of the day, if out of 1000 people who play your game 1 is color blind and complains about your game not catering to his needs, well then as mean and harsh as it sounds but too bad, he needs to go and get a game that is specifically designed for color blind people. That's just the reality, you can't satisfy everyone because everyone has different backgrounds both mentally and physically. So just pick your battles. For this one, if it's a nice to have but you just seem to get stuck on how to solve this problem, i would just move on and work on the strengths of your designs first.
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Lizzie
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Black, white and clear plastic?
 
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A. B. West
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Oh! I know this one. I'm color-blind. I make games.

Blue - Yellow - Green.



The green needs to be 'medium green' and the yellow needs to be 'pure yellow'. Works great. There are blue/green color blind folks, but they are extremely rare.
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Joe Fatula
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3CreativeMinds wrote:
...if out of 1000 people who play your game 1 is color blind and complains about your game not catering to his needs, well then as mean and harsh as it sounds but too bad...

Among men in the US, it's more like 1 out of 14, not 1 out of 1000.

If this one choice is all it takes to make this game accessible for that 1/14, I'd be a fool not to think about it.
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Joe Fatula
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adamw wrote:
Oh! I know this one. I'm color-blind. I make games.

Blue - Yellow - Green.

The green needs to be 'medium green' and the yellow needs to be 'pure yellow'. Works great. There are blue/green color blind folks, but they are extremely rare.


Would it be an even stronger contrast if you used black, green, and white?

I'd imagine black vs. green to be stronger than blue vs. green. Likewise, I'd imagine green vs. white to be stronger than green vs. yellow.
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George Monnat Jr
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buffalohat wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:
...if out of 1000 people who play your game 1 is color blind and complains about your game not catering to his needs, well then as mean and harsh as it sounds but too bad...

Among men in the US, it's more like 1 out of 14, not 1 out of 1000.

If this one choice is all it takes to make this game accessible for that 1/14, I'd be a fool not to think about it.


Not just those 1 out of 14 but their friends and family, too.
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Dimitri Sirenko
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buffalohat wrote:
3CreativeMinds wrote:
...if out of 1000 people who play your game 1 is color blind and complains about your game not catering to his needs, well then as mean and harsh as it sounds but too bad...

Among men in the US, it's more like 1 out of 14, not 1 out of 1000.

If this one choice is all it takes to make this game accessible for that 1/14, I'd be a fool not to think about it.


well thats why i suggested using blue red and yellow because the particular color blindness that would affect blue is very rare. And on the side note, the statistics are nice and all but never give true picture. I know a few color blind people and all of them have different degrees of affliction. I assume the statistics take ALL into account, whether you're really affected or not. Also, its a matter of probability, just because an average states that 1 in 12-14 men has it doesn't mean that out of a 1000 men that play your game you will always have 80 men that are colorblind. Honestly as long as they can distinguish the colors to some degree its not such a big problem as people make it. Like i mentioned before there are multiple very successful games that rely on color reading and they do just fine.
 
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Joe Fatula
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3CreativeMinds wrote:
And on the side note, the statistics are nice and all but never give true picture. I know a few color blind people and all of them have different degrees of affliction. I assume the statistics take ALL into account, whether you're really affected or not. Also, its a matter of probability, just because an average states that 1 in 12-14 men has it doesn't mean that out of a 1000 men that play your game you will always have 80 men that are colorblind.

That's true, but in the long run, averages are indeed the average. Since I'm looking at a run of several thousand copies for this game, the average is worth looking at.

3CreativeMinds wrote:
Honestly as long as they can distinguish the colors to some degree its not such a big problem as people make it. Like i mentioned before there are multiple very successful games that rely on color reading and they do just fine.

This is where the size of the change matters. Consider two examples:

1) If I were to make this game friendly for blind people, that would mean a complete redesign of the game. It's got too many spatial components (which blind gamers I've met prefer to avoid) and too much text/iconography on cards.

2) But making this game friendly for colorblind people would be very easy, just a matter of choosing colors A/B/C instead of D/E/F. I have to choose colors anyhow; might as well choose ones that work best.

Games that rely on color reading might require a major redesign to work for colorblind gamers -- like #1 above. That kind of overhaul tends to break a design.

However, too many games don't rely on color reading, and would only need a small change to work for colorblind gamers (#2), but that change wasn't made so those games never sell to colorblind gamers.

All else being equal, I'd rather be more accomodating to players' needs rather than less.
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Jeremy Lennert
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I have read that pure red appears black for many colorblind people (it's near the end of the visible spectrum). The article suggested using vermilion (red-orange) instead to get a color that would appear vibrant to both normal-sighted and colorblind observers.
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John Breckenridge
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flat black, metallic chrome, and transparent.
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wayne mathias
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An amazing answer - and instead of light wavelength reflected it uses absorb,reflect,passthru of the light for the visual differences.

Depending on size of cubes a possible black,white,zebra config could also work still avoiding light wavelength issues -- but I like the previous answer better myself.
 
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Dimitri Sirenko
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jbrecken wrote:
flat black, metallic chrome, and transparent.


interesting, i didnt know you can get pieces with chrome finish. Would the price be different for those?
 
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