hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

SimCity will have filters for colorblind people

7:00 AM on 01.25.2013 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
  @CTZ

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."

Photo Gallery: (3 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys






 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
Remember Black? That PS2 era shooter from Criterion? It has a REALLY good orchestral soundtrack. I'm gonna throw that in my MGSV iDroid. Why not.
CaseyCor avatarCaseyCor
Can't sleep cast: Donkey Kong Land Any% [url]http://www.twitch.tv/caseycor[/url]
ooktar avatarooktar
Defeated a sniper in MGS V by dropping supplies on his head. 10/10.
Nat Monney avatarNat Monney
I'm with 3 other guys and we're about to release a mobile game we started almost 3 years ago. What should we do ? [youtube]https://youtu.be/5EGPUBZCGwo[/youtube]
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys I'm on a train what should I do?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Traded in a bunch of old Star Trek novels and other books at a used bookstore. Made $10 and got Tori Amos' "Strange Little Girls" album along with it. They made me take the William Shatner novels back. Smart clerks.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Can this be Toy Story 4? [youtube]https://youtu.be/XJkZX0rKElY[/youtube]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Also I will be reviewing freedom wars. I didnt make it to the end. I will not be kind to it. There will be blood.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Yeah....been there before.
techsupport avatartechsupport
MGS V review: When using a character other than Big Boss for missions, the intro credits still say, "starring Punished 'Venom' Snake." Sloppy work, Kojima - no wonder Konami dumped you. 0/10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Grim Fandango......some real good sruff here. As soon as I complete it (vita version, of course) will probably see about a write up. Not perfect, but theres some good stuff here. Glad it got brought back from obsolescence hell.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
*sigh* If only Disqus had a "block/ignore user" option :/
VIRGO avatarVIRGO
Must. Use. This. Blog. More. But. School.
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Just started playing Hyrule Warriors again. Man is that game fun. A bit mindless at times granted, but fun nonetheless.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I ate vanilla ice cream and didn't put on any chocolate syrup. Now wondering if that was racist whitewashing #thanksjed.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
The cat dragged in some action figures !
[img]http://i.imgur.com/6Cu2Asg.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/qMFDAw3.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/RPUraY8.jpg[/img] [img]http://i.imgur.com/51DLqjh.jpg[/img]
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
There's a Custom Soundtrack folder in MGSV. I can't think of a better thing to put there than the old episodes of podtoid I've been running through lately. I'll be fultoning guys and Holmes will be puttin' on mesh tank tops. Perfect.
Shinta avatarShinta
MGSV Pro Tip: Turn your brightness down to 0. It actually makes the view distance for the guards correct, and doesn't make nighttime the best option for you every single time. When guards shoot flares in the sky, the lighting looks like Dragon's Dogma.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Proof I listened to too much Weird Al growing up: I really do hear "Living in America" as "Living with a Hernia."
Nic Rowen avatarNic Rowen
I've been playing a shit ton of Heroes of the Storm recently. It's my first MOBA and I'm SHOCKED at how much fun I'm having. Anyone else into it? Would love to get some games in with Dtoiders.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
SimCity


  Jan 13

SimCity will finally be playable offline

A forthcoming update will remove the requirement to be online for single-player


  Jan 11

You can now mod SimCity but only so far

If you want to get truly crazy with Maxis' flawed city builder you may be out of luck


  Oct 15

Hey look, SimCity is getting future cities

Hello? Anyone still reading this? ... Hello?


  Oct 04

SimCity team looking into offline mode

Bigger cities, however, are definitely not happening


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -