Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Mon, 10 Oct 2011
Subject: Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint
When I designed the colour / shading combinations for the balls in Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint, I did consider people with colour blindness (C-B from now on). I attempted to mix up both shading patterns and colours, in a way which I hoped would make the game still playable to C-B people.
I wasn't very scientific about it. What I really did was just fiddle with both the colours and patterns until I had what I thought was a set of balls that all looked distinct from each other, then just sort of squinted a bit and imagined that I they were all the same colour, and decided they still looked different enough for the game to be playable.
We had a couple of comments straight after release, via the App Store reviews, with at least one person complimenting us on making sure the game worked for C-B people, and at least one other person complaining because we hadn't considered C-B people. My reading of that is that we've made the game possible to play for C-B people, but it's not perfect.
Since then we've had a few more complaints, so I suspect that we could tweak the ball colours and shading a little to make the game a bit more playable for C-B people.
With that in mind, I've had a bit of a fiddle with the patterns today, and would be interested in some feedback.
I don't want to change the colour order, as I spent a lot of time messing with that to get a nice looking progression of colours, and making the colour balance (particularly on the earlier tables) just right. I don't want to used the more dense patterns from the later balls on the earlier balls, for the same reason. But, I'm still hopeful it's possible to re-arrange the patterns within those constraints to improve the game for C-B people.
The illustration shows four variations. The first is the ball graphics as they currently appear in the game.
A) Andrew_72 on the www.yakyak.org forums (who is currently, by far, the best Magnetic Billliards: Blueprint player in the world - with a 50m Grand Score!) suggested that we swap the shading between the green / red pair of balls and the yellow / blue pair, so that's what I've done in version A (top right) (assuming he meant orange rather than red).
B) I tried a different approach with version B (bottom left) of alternating between the straight and diagonal patterns, as I think that a straight and a diagonal pattern make the first two balls less similar, as opposed to two different straights, or two different diagonals. I thought the orange then looked to similar to the red in this example, so I also swapped the patterns of the red and cyan balls as well.
C) This is the same as A, suggested by Andrew_72, but with the addition of my red and cyan swap.
I'm thinking that C is the best, but I'm not C-B myself, so I'm just guessing really.
If you are C-B, do you have a preference? Or is there another swap I've not thought of which would improve things?
PS - The black shaded ball is currently not used in the game. In prototyping we used the black balls in a two player battle mode we had working on PC, so they may appear in-game in a future game mode expansion.
» Check out the YakYak forum thread, and gaze in amazement at Andrew_72's scores