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Creative Chronicles: Designing for colour blindness in games

The GI.biz Academy partners with Creative Assembly to publish its Creative Chronicles video series, today focusing on colour blindness

The GamesIndustry.biz Academy has partnered with Creative Assembly to publish its Creative Chronicles video series, tutorials on various aspects of game development. Today's video focuses on solving an invisible problem: how to design games with colour blindness in mind.

Considering that around 8% of the male population and around 0.5% of the female population are colour-blind, colour blindness can have a big impact on a player's experience.

For the player, the issue lies in distinguishing one colour from another. In a game, when there are many colours displayed on a screen to indicate information to the player this can cause a lot of issues. In fact, it can often make games completely unplayable. This information can include team colours, puzzle elements, UI features -- even distinguishing between UI, characters and environments can be challenging.

Drawing from his own experiences as a colour-blind gamer and developer, Creative Assembly's development manager Douglas Pennant gives a practical talk about how the colour-blind see the world, and how this can make some video games very difficult to play. It's an invisible problem, as you can't see when there is an issue, making it difficult to develop for and difficult to support.

As game developers, we rely a lot on colour to display different information to the player -- as well as pushing the art styles. How do we develop with colour blindness in mind, while still providing this information? There are tools out there that can help; there are colour-blindness palettes, presets for managing your colours, there are also colour-blindness simulator tools.

Using examples from the development of Creative Assembly's Alien: Isolation and Halo Wars 2, and referencing several other titles, this talk will expose you to best practices and solutions that can help make your games more accessible to the colour-blind.

This talk is suitable for anyone with an interest in game design and game accessibility, no matter your experience.

The GamesIndustry.biz Academy guides to making games cover a wide range of topics, from finding the right game engine to applying for Video Games Tax Relief. Have a browse.

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