Contrast and Color Accessibility

For developmental things relating to the graphics of the game.
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sinewav
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Contrast and Color Accessibility

Post by sinewav »

Dark cycle trails on black floors have been a problem forever on this game. I personally have some dark-blue color-blindness. This got me thinking about accessibility and how it relates to Armagetron. It would be neat if there were some kind of local options for people with color-blindness, like a setting that shifts colors to fit common color-blindness models. As someone who does web development I'm always checking designs against contrast tools like this one. It would be cool if cycle colors had not just appropriate contrast but also had perceptually even distribution (as an optional feature).

Anyway, just some thoughts.

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Z-Man
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Re: Contrast and Color Accessibility

Post by Z-Man »

Two easy things we could do:
- Dark mode: non-dangerous elements (so... the floor) are always below 1/3 of full brightness, dangerous elements (all walls and cycles) always above 2/3. Default/enforce low rim walls, maybe, so they don't flood half the screen with brightness.
- Colorblind mode: you pick two colors, yours (and that of your teammates) and that of your enemies. The personal colors of other players then are only small variations around that.
Also not wizardry: use different wall textures for different teams. This can be done purely locally on the client.

How would perceptually even distribution work? The paper is about data visualization, where it's all about assigning single numbers in a range a color and to make it so that everyone can look at the resulting image and see that the value over here is lower than over there. That's not really our problem.

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sinewav
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Re: Contrast and Color Accessibility

Post by sinewav »

Z-Man wrote:
Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:52 pm
How would perceptually even distribution work?

I don't really know, it's just an idea I had about some kind of layer that converts the colors in Armagetron to a different color space. You sometimes see this in graphics software that does on-screen simulation of CMYK gamut. Not easy or practical I'm sure, just something that was in my head. I'm pretty sure there are no games that do this because it's probably something that should be handled by the operating system.

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Z-Man
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Re: Contrast and Color Accessibility

Post by Z-Man »

Where those uniform color mappings could be useful is in cockpit gauges. Don't have your rubber meter just go from full to empty, make it go down one of these ranges. We have such functionality for non-uniform ranges, don't we?

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delinquent
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Re: Contrast and Color Accessibility

Post by delinquent »

Colour blindness and accessibility variations therein are incredibly difficult to build for, given the sheer variety of needs. I ran into this hurdle with a client a couple years ago, and I ended up building a little tool with which the user could set their own preferences - being colour profile, font, font size, text density, screen reader preferences, etcetera. It became an engine of sorts, with support for multiple screen readers (standardised format my arse) and OTF page building.

I'm not necessarily saying we should go that far with armagetron, but it might be a much simpler task to build a web tool that can generate textures in a format that suits the user. That way, there's no need to go modifying the game with the intent to satisfy as many needs as possible - which is a monumental task when you consider the plethora of needs out there that, whilst not preventative towards playing the game, might impact the player somewhat.

My immediate thought is a tool written in JS or PHP, that creates a downloadable zip containing the resources and a short script to place them into the game's installation folders - including things like autoexec.cfg for altering zone attributes. I say zip&script, of course, because signing an executable on the fly is risky at best, and downright irresponsible at worst - however, signed executables are going to be a necessity on Windows before too long.

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