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Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt Against Caesar» Forums » General

Subject: Red and Green in Gaul rss

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Troy Winfrey
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So I've been raving about FS on Facebook. A guy I know--not a gamer, just a smartypants who aggressively seeks out new intellectual experiences--was moved by said ravings to buy THREE copies of the game, one for himself and one for two friends on the thread.

So Friend Two gets his copy and excitedly opens it. Then it hits him. The Romans and Arverni are the *exact* shades of green and red that color-blind guys like him can't distinguish *at all*. Sure, there are boar and eagle symbols (thank God, or it wouldn't be playable for him). But this still seemed lacking to him, and to me...since as an interface designer and UX guy, I'm sensitive to this in the work I do.

He said that a lighter shade of green would probably be enough to make a difference. Probably a relatively minor thing, in the world at large.

GMT, I've got a favor to ask. Could you consider testing pieces with color-blind folks before you release a game? Colorblindness affects a lot of men, who I'm sure are most of your target audience, and this issue has come up on BGG before. If you don't have anyone around the office, even a good color shot posted on BGG might help.

There are other design possibilities--different piece shapes for a different faction, tactile differences such as crosshatching, colors such as "natural" that don't trigger the issue--but even testing color samples quickly would be a major help.

Thanks guys. Your company and your games rock.
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Matthias Jahr
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The same question/issue popped up a while ago, maybe you also want to look at this thread: Link
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Volko Ruhnke
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Hi! Thanks for the feedback, and for passing along the word about the games!

I'll pass this request about different shades to production manager Tony Curtis.

I did just the test that you recommend back with Volume I Andean Abyss's red and green pieces with a red-green color blind friend, and there was no problem.

I don't know if the shades are altered since then, but a problem is that shades are not completely reliable from test to production batches. I choose the shapes and colors and markings with many purposes in mind, so want to stick with the same ones (different shades would be fine).

I have seen with other games, small dots of paint applied to distinguish a piece type. Perhaps such small dots on the unembossed sides of either the green or red pieces?

Sorry for the inconvenience to your friend! I hope that Friend Two will nevertheless enjoy the game.

Best regards, Volko
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Oerjan Ariander
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The biggest problem is that there are several different variants of red-green-colourblindness, and each variant has its own particular set of "*exact* shades" they can't distinguish between.

These sets overlap, but they are not identical; so it is perfectly possible to have a pair of red and green colours that people with one type of red-green colourblindness can tell apart while people with another type cannot.

Regards,
Oerjan
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Gregory Philips
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Just wanted to chime in on this topic, since I'm the friend mentioned earlier with the issues about FS. I've found to my relief that setting the board up in a room with some better lighting made a world of difference, to the point where I've not only spent fairly significant chunks of my waking hours the last two weeks playing the game, I ordered a copy of A Distant Plain and now I'm devoting huge chunks of time getting acquainted with that. And as soon as I feel like I'm comfortable enough to explain it to others, I've already targeted some people around here who I think I could corral into playing with me. In the case of ADP, I've had some issues distinguishing the Warlord and Coalition bases. It is nothing that marking one of the factions with a black dot on one side won't fix. I'm aware that it's nearly impossible to come up with a standard set of colors that's going to make every color-blind player happy, and I'm just glad simply to hear somebody involved in the design side of things say that it's an issue they're aware of and are trying to work with. The wooden blocks you use as pieces are much easier to deal with than the plastic miniatures I deal with when playing most other board-games, I can mark one faction's pieces with a black dot and the problem is solved. There's a lot of wonderful games that I can't do that as easily.

Bottom line is, the COIN games are amazeballs. I'm not what you'd call a particularly avid wargamer compared to most of your demographic, but this might change, especially once Pendragon is released. These are games I feel like I've been waiting my whole life to play, I wish I'd heard of them sooner.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Hi Gregory, that means a lot for me to read, thank you!

So glad you are enjoying the games despite the inconvenience of some of the pieces!

Best regards,
Volko
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