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Use of Colour in IF games

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Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Lazzah » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:18 am

Hi all,

Do you think that the use of different coloured text in a IF adventure brightens the game up or would you rather just see the whole of the text in one colour throughout?

I myself like to see a bit of colour, especially in the title page, as those of you who played my V5 Entry Comp game "The Axe of Kolt" will have noticed. I also use a different colour for messages which appear on screen as the game is being played. My playtesters have told me they like this in the game as it draws the player's attention to something that has happened.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.
The Axe of Kolt, The Spectre of Castle Coris, The Fortress of Fear, Die Feuerfaust, The Lost Children, Run, Bronwynn, Run, The Call of the Shaman, The Lost Labyrinth of Lazaitch, Magnetic Moon, Starship Quest, Revenge of the Space Pirates
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Duncan_B » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:58 am

I do like use of colour, especially as it was used in "The Axe of Kolt." I think it can be a good tool for drawing a player's attention to certain parts of a text, or to certain procedures in one. For example, the way an event's text used a different colour than the rest in "The Axe of Kolt." This helped players separate primary room description text from that of an event at a glance, which is helpful to a player.

On the other hand, it has to be used consistently. At least in my play of "The Axe of Kolt" (and the tests I have done for F.o.F.), ADRIFT 5 seems to be inconsistent in its colour usage. From what I gather, though, this seems to be an issue of platform rather than author.
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Lazzah » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:37 am

Duncan_B wrote:I do like use of colour, especially as it was used in "The Axe of Kolt." I think it can be a good tool for drawing a player's attention to certain parts of a text, or to certain procedures in one. For example, the way an event's text used a different colour than the rest in "The Axe of Kolt." This helped players separate primary room description text from that of an event at a glance, which is helpful to a player.

On the other hand, it has to be used consistently. At least in my play of "The Axe of Kolt" (and the tests I have done for F.o.F.), ADRIFT 5 seems to be inconsistent in its colour usage. From what I gather, though, this seems to be an issue of platform rather than author.

The last comment is the crucial one. As David Whyld found out when playing AoK, whenever he typed LOOK the location text changed colour to white and this is something I have no control over. One of my playtesters whose computer runs XP has reported strange things happening as well. I think I might try removing ALL font colour changes from AoK and asking David to play it again on his PC to see if the same thing happens. The strange thing is that my laptop runs Windows 7 as well, and I have not experienced any such colour changes when playing AoK.
The Axe of Kolt, The Spectre of Castle Coris, The Fortress of Fear, Die Feuerfaust, The Lost Children, Run, Bronwynn, Run, The Call of the Shaman, The Lost Labyrinth of Lazaitch, Magnetic Moon, Starship Quest, Revenge of the Space Pirates
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Campbell » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:42 am

If you can send me some specific examples of problems with the text colour, I'll have a look and see what the problem is.
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Lazzah » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:35 am

Campbell wrote:If you can send me some specific examples of problems with the text colour, I'll have a look and see what the problem is.

When I play "Fortress of Fear" on my PC at work with the Runner Option for Short Location Name switched ON, just one location the middle of the crypt displays in Green, as in image "Green" attached. However, if I switch the Short Location Name OFF (as I normally play my game), the location displays normally, as in image "Cyan". When I do this on my laptop at home, the location text is displayed in RED when Short Location Name is switched on.

I will send you the FoF .taf file with a saved game in a PM. It will be interesting to see if the same happens on your PC.
Attachments
Cyan.jpg
Short Location Name Switched Off
Cyan.jpg (61.52 KiB) Viewed 7346 times
Green.jpg
Short Location Name Switched On
Green.jpg (55.25 KiB) Viewed 7346 times
The Axe of Kolt, The Spectre of Castle Coris, The Fortress of Fear, Die Feuerfaust, The Lost Children, Run, Bronwynn, Run, The Call of the Shaman, The Lost Labyrinth of Lazaitch, Magnetic Moon, Starship Quest, Revenge of the Space Pirates
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Campbell » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:01 am

Ah. You've described the centre of the crypt as "In Crypt <C>". <c> is an active tag to mean "Alternate Colour", and so will be changing the following text to the alternate colour.
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Lazzah » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:08 am

Campbell wrote:Ah. You've described the centre of the crypt as "In Crypt <C>". <c> is an active tag to mean "Alternate Colour", and so will be changing the following text to the alternate colour.

Well I'll be blowed! It was my fault all along. My ghast is well and truely flabbered! Mind you, how come it only happens when "Short Location Name" is switched on?
The Axe of Kolt, The Spectre of Castle Coris, The Fortress of Fear, Die Feuerfaust, The Lost Children, Run, Bronwynn, Run, The Call of the Shaman, The Lost Labyrinth of Lazaitch, Magnetic Moon, Starship Quest, Revenge of the Space Pirates
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Campbell » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:10 am

If Short Location Name is off, it doesn't display "In Crypt <c>" within the game.
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Lazzah » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:28 am

Campbell wrote:If Short Location Name is off, it doesn't display "In Crypt <c>" within the game.

Ah, such a simple explanation! I have now changed the <C> label to <Middle> and all is well.

:Thanks:

Any ideas why the location texts changed to white when David typed LOOK when playing AoK?
The Axe of Kolt, The Spectre of Castle Coris, The Fortress of Fear, Die Feuerfaust, The Lost Children, Run, Bronwynn, Run, The Call of the Shaman, The Lost Labyrinth of Lazaitch, Magnetic Moon, Starship Quest, Revenge of the Space Pirates
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Campbell » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:32 am

Lazzah wrote:Any ideas why the location texts changed to white when David typed LOOK when playing AoK?
No, I haven't been able to reproduce that. :(
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby David Whyld » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:59 am

I have the default font colour set to white so that might be it.
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Campbell » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:20 am

Well, I would expect it to make the text white if you look in that case.
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby David Whyld » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:27 am

It's still a little jarring when it's initially blue then changes to white with LOOK. Shouldn't my changing the default colour to white make it that all the text in the game is white, irrespective of what colour the author intended?

As for the original question in this thread, I used to like colour in IF games myself, and used it in some of my earlier games, until someone pointed out that it looked a bit of a mess (and I was forced to agree) when you had half a dozen different colours on screen at the same time. It also led to problems because some of the text was in a colour which was the same as the background colour the player was using, thus making the text impossible to see. In the end, I stopped using colour because it was impossible to know what background colour players were going to use.
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Lazzah » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:29 am

David Whyld wrote:I have the default font colour set to white so that might be it.

Ah, I see what is happening now. I have the default colour set on Cyan, and when I change the colour of text I use <font color = cyan> to switch it back to MY default colour. So when you type LOOK the location text is set to YOUR default text colour, which is white. Looks as if I will have use whatever the code is to reset the font colour to the default ......</font> I think it is. Can anyone confirm, I am not too clued up on these codes!

:Thanks:
The Axe of Kolt, The Spectre of Castle Coris, The Fortress of Fear, Die Feuerfaust, The Lost Children, Run, Bronwynn, Run, The Call of the Shaman, The Lost Labyrinth of Lazaitch, Magnetic Moon, Starship Quest, Revenge of the Space Pirates
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Re: Use of Colour in IF games

Postby Campbell » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:40 am

Yes, </font> will terminate the current font block, so revert to what it was before. It's always a good idea to make sure you terminate your tag blocks because otherwise it could cause an unintended run-on to another block of text, and cause unpredictable results.

David Whyld wrote:Shouldn't my changing the default colour to white make it that all the text in the game is white, irrespective of what colour the author intended?
No, it only changes the default colour - any font colour overrides still take place. But I'm happy to add a checkbox to prevent this from happening (e.g. Always use my colours).
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