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Subject: Accessibility for color-blindness? rss

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Andrew Massengale
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I just picked this one up a few days ago after Castles of Burgundy was a huge hit, and it turns out this one is too! My wife is not really much of a strategy gamer, so I was really surprised when CoB went over so well with her, that I thought I'd try Bruges next. In our very first game, she just about beat me (rare in our gaming sessions). She even had this awesome combo she was setting up over several rounds with the "Jailor" card that I was pretty impressed by. She was able to get 5 people out when she played it, and she had 6 threat tokens, so she removed 5 and got 5 points. Overall, a very solid game, mechanic-wise.

Onto the issue we had with the game: the colors. I, personally, and partially red-green colorblind. I also have trouble distinguishing some shades of blue and purple from each other. I've been pleasantly surprised at the number of boardgames that are accommodating to colorblindness by including unique symbols for each color group (Ticket to Ride is a great example). Not so with Bruges. The blue and purple colored canals on the board are practically in-distinguishable to me. My wife, who is not color-blind, even had a little trouble telling them apart as well, and admitted that the darker shaded colors they chose to use on the board made the blue and purple look really similar. The backs of the blue and purple cards are a little better, but not by much. I can tell the red (orange?) and green canals on the board apart better, but the backs of the red and green cards are too close for me to tell apart sometimes. Overall, I am very disappointed in the aesthetic design choices for this game. Adding symbols in for each color would have been very easy to do. A little fancy work might have been needed for each canal space, since those are small, and you need to also display the cost of each space, but Menzel's a big boy, he could have figured it out.

Is this a problem for anyone else? I tried searching for any other forums discussing this issue, but couldn't find any. I can't be the only one who's having a hard time with the color choices in this game.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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Heck, even non-colorblind people like me sometimes have trouble distinguishing the colors!
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Kris Ardianto
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DKI Jakarta - Jakarta Utara
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I am afraid this is very true.
Though I am not color blind, the game does really prone for color blind players.
As you can see, color blind players will definitely having trouble with the color of the house, the canal spaces, worker icons on the cards, which I must admit in order to see it clearly you need to play with white / neon lighting. Even with that, the purple worker icon could easily recognized as brown worker icon. And not to mention the purple and brown dice.

Even me had trouble to distinguished the purple from the brown colors.
So I guess this game is really not friendly for color blind players.
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Kris Ardianto
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eviljelloman wrote:
I am color blind, and this is one of the most difficult games for me. I am planning to sleeve the cards, and insert some sort of scrap of paper inside the sleeve to denote what color they are. Kinda sucks.


I can understand your problem very much, feel deeply concerned.
Okay you can modify game components to your need but in Bruges, this is painful (the cards). You need to put a paste crib sheet inside the sleeve in most area of the cards.
Your pasted crib sheet must covers:
1. The back of the cards to identify the house color.
2. The front of the cards to identify the color of the card.
3. And also including some cards have worker slot and also activation effects.
This might as well you re-make the cards and have them printed yourself.

And I haven't mention about the Canal spaces yet. zombie
What about the dice? Place a label under each die slot?

But I really admire people who takes such great lengths for the game they love.
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Andrew Massengale
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So it seems to me it's pretty unanimous that this game is NOT color-blind friendly. It also seems like it would be pretty easy to do so, based on the recommendation I gave, and the homemade solution eviljelloman suggested.

I really hate when threads on BGG turn against a game designer or artist, but I really believe the blame for this should be laid at the feet of the artist in this case (or the artist + designer, not sure who's responsibility this should be). Obviously fixing this game is a moot point by now, but I hope Menzel reads this and takes note for future games he does the art for (and Feld, if this was part of his responsibility as well). Again, this isn't a witch hunt. Bruges is a great game that I'll be playing for years to come, I just want to help improve the quality of future games from these premiere game artists and designers.
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Kris Ardianto
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eviljelloman wrote:
couple your colors with shapes. It's not rocket surgery.

My ideas is guild symbol for each color.
You can add a small guild crest on the house image. And guild crest on the right top corner of the card.
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David B
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Possibly buy some sticker dots and use a printer to print symbols for different colors. I can see about making a template for a generic set that you could pick up at Staples or Office Max, if it's desired. Let me know.
 
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Marcus Boyce
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DrMalevolent wrote:
Possibly buy some sticker dots and use a printer to print symbols for different colors. I can see about making a template for a generic set that you could pick up at Staples or Office Max, if it's desired. Let me know.


Stickers or permanent marker dots on one of the colours your struggle with. I'm red/green colourblind but also struggle with blue/pink/purple so if (when) I get Bruges I'd mark the brown cards, purple cards and meeples. Thus if it isn't marked it must be red or blue.
 
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