Rocksmith, Battlefield 4 devs tackle the issue of colorblind gamers
Somewhere around 10 percent of male gamers suffer from some form of color blindness, which becomes an awkward problem when game designers rely on the use of color to give information to the player.
Take the original Rocksmith, for instance. Games like Guitar Hero use color to tell you what notes to play, but since the player is using a simplified, toy-like version of a guitar the game also gets away with using position to show you which notes to play. You can learn to play the game without use of color, although you may be at a slight disadvantage. Rocksmith, on the other hand, relies on color and the more subtle height of the notes to explain how the song should be played.
A new video explains the changes made to the game to make it easier for color-blind players to effectively play the game. These issues can be fixed in most cases by simply adjusting the game’s palette in such a way that the colors are easier to tell apart for people with different forms of colorblindness.
In fact, you can see the different colors used to make sure a wide variety of players can tell the difference between friend and foe in the Battlefield 4 beta, as a perceptive Redditor noticed the option and uploaded screenshots from the different options available to players.
The colorblind mode was first added to the PC version of Battlefield 3, but was later patched into the console version as well. SimCity developer Maxis was also faced with similar issues when designing SimCity, and went out of their way to deal with the issue and explain why it's a big deal for so many players.
It takes time and effort to fix these issues, but this is a known problem with a large number of players and strategies for dealing with colorblindness are well known. It's nice to see the issue get a little more publicity, and steps being taken to make sure as many players as possible can enjoy our hobby. Now let's keep pushing for fully mappable buttons on as many releases as possible.