State of the Game #239 : Paint by Numbers

Have you ever sat and thought about how un-intuitive a set of sliders or even most ‘advanced’ color pickers can be to people that are not used to tools like photoshop?

Like, could the average person make Orange, using a set of RGB sliders? Sure, a color fan mixed with a value slider is a bit better,  but how long would it take the average person to figure that system out without any instruction, if it was the first time they saw it?

The world may never know, because my testing shows they just give up and stop trying. And surprisingly, they give up in about 30 secs. And it’s an angry give. They just flat out rage quit.

Coming from a background that has had Photoshop or similar tools as part of my everyday life for the past 15 years, this though had never once crossed my mind. RGB sliders were second nature to me. A HSV system was even better! I mean, how much easier could it get! Everyone even knows what HSV means, right? No need to even label those sliders. (Hue, Saturation, Value)

Man, was I wrong. It’s still surprising the amount of shared knowledge assumptions we make when building things, especially games. I mean, EVERYONE knows ‘A’ means jump, right? Maybe not. Even more so that we have entire generations entering into gaming that DIDN’T grow up with Mario, Sonic, and others to teach them the hidden assumptions of gaming.

But, this brings me back to the color sliders.

I am remaking the color picker for the garage and I wanted to base the changes on some actual data. I had seen some new players struggle with the color system before, but most of these issues were minor and easy to fix. Then, I sat the system down in front of a few younger gamers. These were people that had been playing games for years and years, but hadn’t run into a color picker before. Design after design got shut down. (when a 14 year old calls your design ‘Stupid’ it still stings). I ever thought about limiting choices to a handful of presets (ew…) but then the color they wanted wasn’t there. Teenagers are so fun.

But, they had a point. So I said screw it, I give up. If you want to pick a color, fine, here are ALL THE COLORS:


And there is was. Perfect. Now, they could see and pick the exact color they wanted, without being color theory experts.

Sometimes things are funny and giving someone exactly what they are asking for is the right choice.

Overall though, the system is functioning much better. I am still cleaning up some functionality issues with it, but that should be minor. From here, I will be moving on to the Weapon Group editing, which Rachael is working on the design for right now.

While you are waiting for the next Story Update/ State of the Game / MAV Update, you should head over to the forums and vote for your favorite MAVnimal Build!

See you next week!

Comments 5

  1. i swear cyber, if i cant type numbers into those R G B boxes, i will immidiately die just to spite you

    1. I’m with him on this. Great to make it easier on new users, but give the advanced users a bone too.

    2. Post

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