There are a number of ways to ensure a game is easily playable by colour blind players without becoming an expert on the condition.
– ‘Understand where you are using colour as information in your game. This could be character colours, UI, puzzle elements, lights, items or even text’. ⁽¹⁾
– ‘Use colour blind preview tools/simulators to better understand how colour blind players will experience your game’. ⁽¹⁾
– ‘Don’t just use colour for presenting information. Consider using sound, shapes and animations to support the information’. ⁽¹⁾
– ‘If you cannot avoid using text colours for information, ensure there is another visual element present to inform the player, such as an icon, image or border. Don’t be tempted to make the text itself more visually complex, as this can make it harder to read for players with dyslexia or reduced vision’. ⁽¹⁾
– ‘If you cannot avoid using colour to distinguish information, then consider developing a colour blind mode for your players to use. The best colour blind modes allow the player to choose the colours of the most important elements. For example if your game is a team-based game, let the player set the colours for ‘my team’ and ‘opposing team”. ⁽¹⁾
– ‘Giving the player control over colours doesn’t just mean they can distinguish elements form each other, but they can make them distinguishable from everything else in the game. If you have a red team and a blue team in a brown environment the teams will be distinct from each other, but the red team will likely be hard for colour blind players to see against the environment’. ⁽¹⁾
– ‘If you have a large artistic team, create colour presets that they can assign textures to. This will allow you to manage the colour information of your products as a whole and work it into your colour blind modes’. ⁽¹⁾
– ‘In multiplayer games, character customisation often allows colour blind players to create a character silhouette that they can recognise. For example, I don’t need to know that my character is green, I just need to know that it’s the one wearing the top hat’. ⁽¹⁾
– ‘Make your colour options easy to find in the menus. Either have a specific accessibility menu or include them in the top-level game graphics options. Make it as easy as possible for players to find the options that can make the experience playable’. ⁽¹⁾
– ‘Finally, talk about your features with colour blind players to see if they’re usable. Remember that some colour features may be completely invisible to them, so be sure to explain the gameplay intentions of your features, systems and art’. ⁽¹⁾
(1) Douglas Pennant. (2020). Color-Blindness Accessibility Guide
Last accessed 14th Nov 2020.