Quantcast
SimCity will have filters for colorblind people - Destructoid




Game database:   #ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ         ALL     Xbox One     PS4     360     PS3     WiiU     Wii     PC     3DS     DS     PS Vita     PSP     iOS     Android


SimCity  




SimCity will have filters for colorblind people photo
SimCity will have filters for colorblind people

7:00 AM on 01.25.2013

For the three most common forms of colorblindness


SimCity will have around 18 different visual filters that let you view the game in an Instagram-like fashion. More importantly, there are three specific filters that allow people with the three common forms of colorblindness to play the game more easily.

There are so many colors used to represent all sorts of visual data that's important to the player. The UI really matters in the game, and creative director/art director Ocean Quigley took it upon himself to create a robust system to let colorblind people play without hassle.

"It's not just a game where you're running down a hallway trying to shoot anything that moves," Ocean told me. "It's a game where there's always data embedded in the environment -- the environment is a UI. The environment is trying to give you feedback, and if you can't make out the cues because they're color-based, then it's just much harder and less pleasant to play the game."


At a certain point during development, Ocean got curious as to what the game was looking like for people with colorblindness. Part of this was because the studio's QA lead is red-green colorblind.

"I made a little filter that made it so that I can see what he sees," Ocean explained. "So I made a filter that emulates what it's like to be red-green colorblind so that you can see the game as somebody who's red-green colorblind, and you couldn't make out a thing! The industrial zones and the residential zones, which are green and yellow, were one in the same."

Ocean asked the QA lead how he manages to play the game against such issues. To Ocean's horror, the QA lead would just place down zones and "see what comes up."

"I'm like, 'You can't do that! That's no way to play the game.'"

Ocean started thinking of all sorts of ways he could mess around with SimCity's color transforms in order to fix this problem. "So I went home, and as I was driving home I'm like 'I bet you can do it like that,' and coming up with all these different techniques. Then I got home and I'm like 'You know, I'm just going to Google this. I bet this is a solved problem, and I'm trying to reinvent the wheel.' And it has, it is a solved problem. There's lots of people that have worked on techniques for transforming images to make them more contrast-y and visible to colorblind people. So I'm just applying those techniques."

Seeing as how I'm not colorblind, I had Ocean give me an example of how they alter the coloring. "Depending upon your form of colorblindness, you have different transforms. If you are red-green colorblind, you don't have much sensitivity in the red-green range. So what I've had to do for that is to pull some of the stuff that would normally be merged together into the blue channel and to pop the contrast on red and green as much as possible so that people that have some limited sensitivity to red green can still see what's going on.

"These transforms are collectively called daltonism. So we've done basically those transforms for the three most common forms of colorblindness."

This may not mean much to players that aren't affected by colorblindness, but it really is a big deal. It's not often that game companies go out of their way to cater to people with disabilities, whether that's because they don't have the time, or they're simply oblivious to the situation. 

"One of the things I'm trying to do with this game, at base, is make something delightful, something that people want to play, something that's wonderful. And if you have up to five or six percent of the population that would like to play the game and finds it a frustrating experience because we've done a bad job of differentiating things that they need to see, then they're not going to have a good time with it. It's something that I realized I could do something about, so I did."

SimCity will have filters for colorblind people photo
SimCity will have filters for colorblind people photo
SimCity will have filters for colorblind people photo







Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.






timeline following:
SimCity



1:15 PM on 03.18.2014
SimCity can finally be played offline

Update 10 is available today for SimCity, meaning you can finally play the game offline. Without an Internet connection. By yourself. Like every single past Sim City game ever. EA has an FAQ on what you can expect, such as ho...more



2:45 PM on 03.14.2014
SimCity's offline mode is in final testing now

Update 10 for SimCity is the one that'll finally, finally add the option to play the game offline and according to Maxis, it's in "final testing. Almost there Mayors." This functionality was previously deemed impossible given...more



1:45 PM on 01.14.2014
It took Maxis six months to rework SimCity for offline

In a blog post, SimCity single-player mode lead engineer Simon Fox has written about the lengthy process required to properly move away from multiplayer. "By the time we're finished we will have spent over six and a half mont...more



12:45 PM on 01.13.2014
SimCity will finally be playable offline

What a difference 48 hours makes. On Saturday we talked about how Maxis was introducing modding to SimCity but were leaving some fairly restrictive rules in place to preserve the integrity of the multiplayer side. Today howev...more



3:00 PM on 01.11.2014
You can now mod SimCity but only so far

We've said it plenty of times before but mods for PC games are great. Mod support is something I look for in games but it was no surprise that SimCity didn't allow mods. With the game being online all the time I assumed that ...more



9:00 PM on 10.15.2013
Hey look, SimCity is getting future cities

Are you still playing SimCity?! Anyone? Uhhh, well hey if you somehow still are there's going to be new content launching on November 12 in the form of Cities of Tomorrow. As you can guess by that name, you're going to get buildings that are going to look all future like. Sigh. This game had such potential. Maybe I'll give it another shot when this update is released. Maybe.more



12:30 PM on 10.04.2013
SimCity team looking into offline mode

An offline mode for SimCity isn't outside the realm of possibility. Especially not in a world where Blizzard plans to take out its auction houses in Diablo III. (I'm still shocked that's going through.) "Right now we have a t...more



2:30 PM on 10.02.2013
Maxis talking to fans about mod support for SimCity

Maxis has started a discussion on its forums about possibly allowing user-generated content in SimCity. This is something everyone was screaming for when the game came out, since previous titles were mod friendly. No official...more



6:00 PM on 09.19.2013
Cities of Tomorrow is your first big Sim City expansion

SimCity had one of the worst launches of any game in the last few years but EA and Maxis are carrying on with plans to grow the core game with a big new expansion entitled Cities of Tomorrow which will arrive in November thi...more



6:00 PM on 08.29.2013
SimCity arrives on Mac this week

So, SimCity is finally coming to Macs this week for those of you who wanted it. No, not that SimCity -- this SimCity. You know, the one that caused all the ruckus because they tried to claim that the game ...more




Electronic Arts

3:30 PM on 10.08.2014
DICE: Battlefield 4's bad launch 'absolutely' damaged trust

I think it's nice that we've finally managed to hold EA accountable to something. Can its ripoff sports game releases be next? Well, I guess it's been DICE falling on the sword and profusely apologizing more than EA.&nbs...more



6:00 PM on 10.02.2014
Review: The Sims 4

As a growing gamer, Maxis was always one of my go-to developers at a young age. From the original SimCity, to SimAnt, to SimTower, the company was almost infallible in my eyes, and I ate up practically every simulation it had...more



2:30 PM on 10.01.2014
NHL 15 predicts entire hockey season, probably gets it horribly wrong

EA Sports used NHL 15 to simulate and predict the upcoming NHL season which begins next week. The results are most likely terribly wrong because nowhere does it anticipate that the Colorado Avalanche will be crowned Sta...more



View all Electronic Arts






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more