Post by chriscrawford on Nov 4, 2015 8:33:20 GMT -8
The current set is primarily black and white; the only colors used in it are red, green, and blue, used to indicate emotional tones or auragon types. Is this too colorless? Should the icon set be livened up with greater use of color? Or should we stick to the rule that color is used only to denote one of the three basic tones in the game?
I think the use of color as it is is fine. It makes it very clear that the generic stuff (e.g. Trade) is neutral in connotation (as compared to Threaten, Propose, and Request). It takes a little getting used to, but the monochrome nature is an aid there.
Post by Chris Conley on Nov 4, 2015 23:21:51 GMT -8
I like the monochrome nature as well. With a few exceptions, writing is usually monochrome, and for good reason. It aids clarity.
We can still vary the backgrounds, perhaps to color the types of sympols: person, place, verb, etc. It's like how international symbols are usually flat black (or white) on some kind of colored background.
Post by chriscrawford on Nov 5, 2015 8:35:46 GMT -8
The 'good reason' why writing is monochrome is that using multiple inks is very difficult with both pens and printing presses. This constraint does not apply to computers, and therefore limiting the presentation to a single color is a waste of resource. Moreover, it is wasteful to throw away a useful channel of information. A colored image contains and communicates more information than a black and white image. Do you think that, if monitors capable of displaying only black and white were still available, people would ever use them? Color is a powerful communications channel. The failure to take full advantage of color in our icons is a major blunder.
A colored image contains and communicates more information than a black and white image.
Absolutely it does. But the question is: is that information useful or is it just noise?
The useful information color is currently bringing us relates to the various auragons and associated emotional connotation. If other color is inserted into the pictographs, it will need to be there for a reason.
Post by chriscrawford on Nov 5, 2015 15:26:57 GMT -8
Good point, draco18s. Yes, the ONLY purpose of color -- or shape, for that matter -- is to communicate more clearly. In our case, color can more clearly communicate the nature of the word. Here is a picture of an experiment I carried out with the use of color in the icons:
Each row of this table presents a different graphic strategy. The top row presents the original icons. The next row down shows the icons with their word-type color used in the border. The third row shows the same icons with the word-type color used to tint the background. The next row shows the combination of rows 2 and 3. The bottom row shows the image with a solid word-type color background.
Of these, I like the third row best. There are some problems with it; in the case of the stage icons (yellow color), the result is garish. But both the actor-color (a blue) and the verb-color (green) come out well. The bottom row suffers from the confusion that will arise when the verb-color (green) is the same as the auragon color.
I did use a solid color background for the numerals, and I think the result is MUCH better than the original, as the gray now clearly functions as a "null" indicator.
The problem with this is that by using those different colors for something that is already shown by the shapes, you remove the indication of dramatic importance of the red-green-blue "gameplay" colors that the player gets (and understands quickly).
This accentuates the presentation of the word-type without detracting from the RGB values, especially when most of the foreground imagery of the icons is in black-and-white.
Here's another way of thinking about it: each icon has three graphical components: 1. its outer shape, which denotes the word-type 2. its background color, which further denotes the word-type 3. its foreground, which is black and white, except when using RGB as a tint.
No, I mean, if the only colors are RGB (Dominance-Truth-Goodness), they show the importance of those colors-concepts, which are then immediately understood as important by the player. If there are other colors everywhere, no matter if they are the same ones or not, the effect we had in the first place (scarce colors = important stuff) disappears.
Post by chriscrawford on Nov 8, 2015 13:35:47 GMT -8
We discussed all this in our weekly meeting, and decided to try a direct comparison of the color and B&W versions. I made a first cut at it, which isn't very good; I'm sure that Luc could do it much better. But here is my amateur-hour version of the two:
Post by chriscrawford on Nov 14, 2015 6:51:07 GMT -8
It appears that nobody has any objections to the color backgrounds that I propose. We will therefore proceed to use them. However, I'm sure that we will need to make some adjustments to the specific colors; some modification of the icons themselves will also be necessary in some cases.