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Subject: Reviewing Viticulture for Color Blindness rss

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phillip wilson
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Welcome to Reviews for Color Blindness. The aim of this series is to have a spot to discuss how a game plays for people who are colorblind. For the unfamiliar, colorblindness is more like blurry vision than the ability to not see any color (except for a small percentage - monochromacy/achromatopsia). For those with poor vision, a small letter E far away is hard to discern, and a giant letter E right in front of them is easy to discern. Similarly for someone with red/green deficiency (deuteranopes) may have a hard time discerning a small red swatch far away, but close up it can be clearer. There is a wide spectrum of blurry vision problems, and there is also with color blindness. This review is for discussing how colors are used in this game, and how much colorblindness (atleast mine - deuteranomalous) effects gameplay.



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In Viticulture, players work to transform their small vineyards into success. It’s a very colorful and inviting game. Let’s look how color is used in the game and if colorblind players may be affected by the design.




Player pieces
Players receive a plethora of pieces in a variety of shapes. There are cellars, a rooster, a windmill, cork and wine bottle. Some pieces stay on your player board, but the cork, rooster, wine bottle, and workers will go on the board and be mixed with other players pieces. If any colors are hard to discern, you may have trouble playing with a full complement of players. I haven't had a hard time picking the colors of the pieces apart.





Wine
In the game, there are two types of grapes and four wines. The grapes are red and white so shouldn't present a problem for colorblind players. The wine symbols on cards and the board for red and white wine are the same shape, but different colors. Blush and sparkling wines have distinct shapes.



Cards
There are four types of cards in the game that are referenced only by color. The card backs have pictures that can distinguish them, but the icons do not.

Green - Grape Plants
Yellow - Summer Visitor
Purple - Wine Orders
Blue - Winter Visitor



The small card icons on the small cards can be hard to distinguish. And it can affect gameplay, because you do not want to ask the other players the colors of the icons on your hidden cards. The cards are not chosen from a pool, but from a deck. So there is no chance for clarification. Not too many of the cards have the icons, so you may want to consider the impact. Only the blue/purple affect me, and sometimes the text on the card gives enough context to determine it.



The icons are also used on the turn order track and some of the action spaces, but that can be clarified before it affects gameplay. Your player board also has a summer/winter visitor icon.


Summary
Viticulture is a very nice vibrant looking game. There are a few places in the game where color is the only channel of information given to a player to make a decision. Color blind players will need to inspect the pieces/cards to see if they can distinguish the pieces enough to play. For me, there is a few times during the game, where I have a hard time with blue/purple icons. Comparing other icons in the game help to distinguish them.




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Chris Smith
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Solihull
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Took me a while to figure out what you meant by blue/purple icons - The card draw icons! ^^. I can certainly see those being problematic, particularly in poor lighting since they're both in dark shades. Perhaps SM games could consider adding a card icon for the card draw symbols (Vine/Sun/Cart/Snowflake maybe, and a Building for Tuscany's structures) in future printings.
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Molokov (AU)
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The small card icons (blue and purple) are definitely a problem in poor lighting - I know that Jamey is aware of this issue and is considering adding an icon to them in future reprints.
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Mikey P
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I played my first ever game last night under artificial light and I had to constantly ask people what was blue and what was purple as I couldn't tell.
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BG Geek
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Zaxwerks wrote:
I played my first ever game last night under artificial light and I had to constantly ask people what was blue and what was purple as I couldn't tell.


Same here: Just got the game and really experienced issues with the small violet/blue card icons. This is for sure an issue

As a workaround I found a summer card where all the icons are shown together on one card (called Tandler in German).

This somehow is not a bad reference to get around and I even managed to get more "familiar" with the nearly indistinguishable shades of blue/violet.

Whatever much appreciated update will follow, it's already an unfortunate oversight for the early and even later adopters.
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