# Colours and the colourblind

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Aerjen
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Joined: 08/28/2008

I'm currently testing a cardgame which is based on the primary and secondary colours. Players are allowed to connect a color to the same or an adjecent one from the color spectrum.

The order of the colours is as follows: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, puple, red...

e.g. :
You can connect red, purple and orange to an orange tile
You can connect purple, blue and red to a purple tile
You can connect green, yellow and blue to an orange tile

The problem is that I've run into a couple of colourblind people which have trouble with the distinction between certain colours. I've decided to also use icons to help identify the different cards, but I'm having trouble coming up with a logical and elegant solution.

Does anyone have advice for me how to tackle this problem or which icons would work thematically? They have to be as easy to remember as the different colours.

Thanks,

-Aerjen

MatthewF
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Though it's certainly true

Though it's certainly true that if you combine an apple and a banana in a blender you won't get an orange, fruits and vegetables are sure easily recognized as icons and have fairly iconic representations:

red = apple
orange = orange (cutaway view)
yellow = banana
green = many choices
blue = blueberry (good outline view with the little "burst" shape at one end)
purple = eggplant

Not perfect, but pretty easy to remember. Even colorblind folks know that an apple is red, a banana is yellow, etc.

clearclaw
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Joined: 07/21/2008
An easily ordered set

I presume the actual use of colour is just for presentation? If so all you need is an easily ordered set. Numbers or letters work well for that.

seo
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Joined: 07/21/2008
abstract shapes

I like Metthew's suggestion. An alternative could be an abstract set of icons that somehow help with the adjacency relationships. Maybe something like this:

Here the number of faces more or less help remembering the order: a circle has one face, a line two, triangle three, etc. Once you reach the hexagon, you are so close to a circle that I think it's easy to remember the circle comes next.

MatthewF
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Ooh, very clever, Seo!

Ooh, very clever, Seo! Brilliant!

Katherine
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Joined: 07/24/2008
Hi Aerjen Did you ask the

Hi Aerjen

Did you ask the people you "..ran into..." what to use?

We had to rewrite a factory supplied training manual because it did not accomodate a staff member who was colour blind. Mick's advise was simply to write the abbreviation for each colour on a white back ground as he did not want to be interupting the flow of training by refering back to a chart.

Mick also advised there were two types of colourblindness which makes it difficult to rely on icons alone.

Seo's icons would work well if the card could also display the name of the colour.

MatthewF
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Joined: 07/22/2008
I think Seo's icons would

I think Seo's icons would work fine if you don't need to know the color, just how it relates to the other colors, which is what I got from the opening post.

I'm really fortunate to have a colorblind player as one of the primary people who playtest my games, as it forces me to always think in those terms.

bluesea
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Joined: 07/28/2008
There is some good info I

There is some good info I remember on a geeklist if I can find it...

If you look at the game "Ingenious" (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/9674), it looks to use a symbol structure similar to that proposed by Seo and seems to do it well. I've never played it so I can't say for sure. But I think Seo is leading you in the right direction.

The interesting item in that list is the site it references that lets you upload images to see how the images look to the colorblind. (http://www.vischeck.com/vischeck/vischeckImage.php)

apeloverage
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Joined: 08/01/2008
Numbers

have the advantage that there are card games with a similar mechanism.

MatthewF
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Joined: 07/22/2008
The beauty of Seo's proposed

The beauty of Seo's proposed system, which isn't something that needs to be done in Ingenious so it doesn't have it, is that even if you were 100% colorblind and couldn't tell the colors apart at all, you'd know that the pieces that match next to yours have exactly one fewer or one greater number of sides. No knowledge of the colors is needed at all.

lucasAB
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Very clever!

Great idea Seo. I think this solves the problem, although there may be some that disagree. Quick question, don't colorblind people see different colors? To explain what I mean, if they see red and blue components, they won't be the same color. If the question is about colorized components, then each player just takes a color of piece and uses that during the game. There is a problem with this though, what if players share colors and some colors represent components that are superior to others i.e, with different attributes.

Aerjen
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Joined: 08/28/2008
Thanks everyone for helping

Thanks everyone for helping me out with ideas. I quite like Seo's idea, since it comes close to one of my ideas ;-) The only thing which I'm afraid of is that half of the game mechanics is based on remembering values of the different colors being played and I can imagine symbols being harder to remember. Maybe I should just print the name of the colors on the cards as well. That might be less elegant, but would probably be a robust solution.

Katherine
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Joined: 07/24/2008
take Seo's shapes, put the

take Seo's shapes, put the initial of each colour in the middle within a white triangle and you might get elegance - more important over time the shapes may become an internationally recognised codes for the colourblind.

The shapes could be used for a whole variety of things for example, how does the colour blind nurse do bloods? tubes have different coloured caps but are the same shape and size.