Project Highrise

Project Highrise

View Stats:
valefor_sdad Sep 14, 2016 @ 3:02pm
Protanopia and other types of Color Blindness.
Can the game be adjusted?

I know not yet, but is it on your radar DEVS?
< >
Showing 1-15 of 22 comments
SomaSim Games  [developer] Sep 14, 2016 @ 5:41pm 
Most of the game except for heatmaps is not color sensitive, and icons are dual-coded in color and shape, so should be okay even in monochrome.

The only thing we don't how to approach differently is heatmaps. We do heatmap overalys that are usually monochromatic (eg. translucent gray to bright green) but there are a few which use three colors (eg. bright red to gray to bright green). Unfortunately we don't know enough about coding for color blindness to know what the "right thing" to do is in this case.

So we need your help. In your experience as players, what would be an acceptable alternative color scheme for these kinds of heatmaps? Maybe black -> translucent gray -> white? I don't know what other games do in this case. (Also please keep in mind these are heatmap overlays so that excludes shape coding in this one case.)
valefor_sdad Sep 14, 2016 @ 5:53pm 
could you post some screen shots?
SomaSim Games  [developer] Sep 14, 2016 @ 6:03pm 
Here's an example of a single color overlay (in this case: red for "bad effect"):
http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=761407743

And here's an example that goes from red through gray to green:
http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/423580/ss_fff1c35fc450267314bf7c4e61c9751d512b7283.jpg
valefor_sdad Sep 14, 2016 @ 7:03pm 
World of Warcraft has a setting where you can adjust the color pallets (it has the standard color blindness settings too).

I think I can see these, I am going to watch a youtube and see if I can.

Thanks for responding :)
As another player with color blindness I feel like I can chime in. The Tropico games for instance, have a color blind mode that changes those heat maps from green/red to black/gray/white. Makes it so much easier for me to read. I've been using the heat maps in Project Highrise however, and they seem to work fine enough for me without needing to be changed. Everything is dulled out, if it's dark it's bad, bright it's good. :)
valefor_sdad Sep 14, 2016 @ 7:59pm 
I want this game so badly...but I don't wish to be a dollar burden because of my vision.
PurpleMentat Sep 14, 2016 @ 8:03pm 
I've edited my review to point people to this discussion.

General tips: higher contrast is better. High saturation helps. If at all possible, do not rely on colour differentiation at all. Provide textures or symbols.

This colour blind simulator provides a way to check images for various types of colour blindness. http://www.color-blindness.com/coblis-color-blindness-simulator/

This article provides a fairly colour blind safe pallete and details designing graphs for the colour blind population. http://www.somersault1824.com/tips-for-designing-scientific-figures-for-color-blind-readers/

The other issue is contrast. Heatmaps in this sort of game usually help find small issues before they become big issues. Moving from Grey to Green or Red means myself and much of the colour blind population will not be able to see anything until the heat map exceeds some minimum, and others in the colour blind population will never see a difference.

What I assume to be the simplest fix, from an implementation standpoint, is to adjust the colours of the heatmaps instead of providing an entirely new system (symbols on every room, for example). Making the heatmaps less translucent (more solid and saturated) would help. So would increasing the contrast between ends of the heat map. That is, increase saturation AND brightness as you move up the scale, rather than just increasing saturation. For tri-colour heatmaps, the above article's colour blind safe palette provides some options. I would suggest 13 to 3 to 8 (rgb codes 219-209-0 to 0-146-146 to 182-109-255) would work for 90+% of the colour blind population. I do not know how well this scale would work for tritanomoly and tritanope. The simulators aren't helpful for me to see what other colour blind people see, as they rely on normal colour vision to work.

If you want this game to be fully accessible to all comers, then you need to design for achromatopsia. A complete lack of ability to percieve colour at all. Black to White is your only usable heatmap, and most information should be conveyed with symbols. I can recommend contacting Vaygrim through Twitter, YouTube, or here on Steam if you would like to work with someone with achromatopsia.
Last edited by PurpleMentat; Sep 14, 2016 @ 8:05pm
SomaSim Games  [developer] Sep 15, 2016 @ 8:10am 
So I *think* we're okay in most respects, except for those heatmaps. All other graphics elements (like icons, currencies, smiley faces, etc) should be dual-coded with both shape and color.

@PurpleMentat - since you played it for a while, would you agree with that, or did you see more areas other than heatmaps that were unreadable?

As for heatmaps, it sounds like having an option to switch gray-green to gray-white, and red-gray-green to black-gray-white (where black and white are opaque, and gray is translucent) would probably solve the readability issues here. We'll give it a try - thank you!
PurpleMentat Sep 15, 2016 @ 8:16am 
The heatmaps were the only thing I noticed that was colour specific. I got surprised by negative effects stacking up. When I looked into it, and started looking for tools to find these issues early, I hit the heatmap readability problem. I spend some time fiddling with monitor colour settings to try to make them more readable (helps more often than you'd expect) with little luck.

Perhaps down the line you could add a 'there is a problem in this room but they aren't going to move out over it right now' icon? Something between the 'everything is fine' no-icon and the 'we're moving out tomorrow' unhappy/mad red face.
SomaSim Games  [developer] Sep 15, 2016 @ 10:43am 
Originally posted by PurpleMentat:
The heatmaps were the only thing I noticed that was colour specific. I got surprised by negative effects stacking up. When I looked into it, and started looking for tools to find these issues early, I hit the heatmap readability problem. I spend some time fiddling with monitor colour settings to try to make them more readable (helps more often than you'd expect) with little luck.

Gotcha, that's good to hear if the heatmap is the main (only) remaining problem, since it's something we can look into!

Originally posted by PurpleMentat:
Perhaps down the line you could add a 'there is a problem in this room but they aren't going to move out over it right now' icon? Something between the 'everything is fine' no-icon and the 'we're moving out tomorrow' unhappy/mad red face.

That's what the "happiness" heatmap is intended to convey. We didn't want a lot of icons on the game board, because that would look busy and it would stress the player out too much. The red "pumpkin face" is only a last-resort kind of a feedback, when the situation is really dire - but hopefully the player is actively monitoring their building and not letting it get that far!
valefor_sdad Sep 15, 2016 @ 11:44am 
Maybe in the Options menu you could substitute colors, I see green really well for example, it would fall to the individual User, to pick and MEMORIZE what the hues meant.

Just an idea.
Just want to chime in but as someone who is deaf since very young age and who feels a solidarity with anyone who have any form of disability, I just want to say kudos to SomaSims for their prompt response on this with people who have color blindness! They are awesome!
PurpleMentat Sep 15, 2016 @ 1:20pm 
Originally posted by valefor_sdad:
Maybe in the Options menu you could substitute colors, I see green really well for example, it would fall to the individual User, to pick and MEMORIZE what the hues meant.

This would be preferable to me over a black - grey - white system. That monochromatic system is usable by everyone, but is kind of bland. I prefer Caution Orange for Bad and Sky Blue for Good. That pairing is pretty specific to my particular presentation of protanomaly, and not suitable for a general usage pairing. Having custom colour gradients would allow everyone to select what they are most comfortable using.


Originally posted by Legion, 1st Duke of Rockford:
Just want to chime in but as someone who is deaf since very young age and who feels a solidarity with anyone who have any form of disability, I just want to say kudos to SomaSims for their prompt response on this with people who have color blindness! They are awesome!

Agreed. I'm very happy to see a dev taking time to adress accessibilty issues. This game is very nearly Able Gamers gold material.
SomaSim Games  [developer] Sep 15, 2016 @ 3:37pm 
A color picker is harder to implement, but having just a drop down with a number of different presets turned out to be relatively easy! :)

Update 1.0.5 next week will add a bunch of color presets for overlays: default red-green, variants orange-blue (thx @PurpleMentat for the suggestion), black-green, red-white, and finally black-white. Hopefully that works well - and let us know if there are additional ones that could be useful for people!
Gozzle Sep 16, 2016 @ 12:20pm 
This is great, thanks everyone.
< >
Showing 1-15 of 22 comments
Per page: 15 30 50

Date Posted: Sep 14, 2016 @ 3:02pm
Posts: 22