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Old 07-10-2006, 12:20 AM   #1
Rathik
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Every now and then, I venture away from my favorite mud to try another, usually one that is advertised on the forum. Whoops. I can understand when color is used in moderation to differentiate some things such as channels or room names, but what is the deal with putting 5 different colors in a prompt or seeing 6 colors when I just type 'look'? Personally, I do not like it...but maybe I'm in the minority. How does it work from the view of an administrator? Do most player prefer super-colorful screens? Do more colors bring more players?
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:46 AM   #2
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Gad, I agree. Blinding kenderish rainbowing colors drive me right out the door. My preference is color placed in control of the player. That's one reason we provide Colorset to make the game the way you want it.

A game without capability to customize the colors is like moving into a house and leaving the walls the same garish purple that the previous owner found 'delightful.'

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Old 07-10-2006, 12:49 AM   #3
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I'm with you on that one, some color is good but I've seen games that go WAY overboard on it.

In Ilyrias we let you customize what color you want each channel to be, the brief description of a room, extended description of a room, color of items/mobs in the room, color of players in the room, color of exits in the room, etc. They we also use 3 colors on the prompt, green yellow and red. Those change based on your health/mental status. Ie if you are 75% or higher in health it's green, if you're at 50% and higher it's yellow and below that is red.
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Rathik @ July 10 2006,00:20)
Do most player prefer super-colorful screens? Do more colors bring more players?
Much like anything else in life, different people have different preferences, and a wide variety of MUDs cater to them all.

Personally, I prefer low-color, with color only highlighting important things I might otherwise miss in the sea of quickly-scrolling text.

I've seen high-color done well, but most of the time high-color games just look like a Crayola factory puked all over them. Multicolored room descriptions (for no real reason other than the builder secretly wishing they were writing Hallmark cards instead of MUD rooms) are the worst -- if the description mentions a nearby sea, and the word sea is colored blue, I'm finding a different MUD.
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Old 07-10-2006, 04:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Rathik @ July 10 2006,06:20)
I can understand when color is used in moderation to differentiate some things such as channels or room names, but what is the deal with putting 5 different colors in a prompt or seeing 6 colors when I just type 'look'?
Like most things, it's a matter of preference. Personally I try to make the colours as customisable as possible, and avoid using them purely for cosmetic purposes (i.e., if something is coloured, that colour has a specific meaning).

I use five colours in prompts - these are the default colour (usually white), and four scaled colours (defaulted to cyan, blue, magenta and red). Things like health, mana and action points use the scaled colour as a percentage indicator (with each colour also representing a pain penalty level). Boolean options use only the two extremes of the scale, but it provides the same benefit - it lets you see the important information at a glance.

For the actual descriptions I don't use colour (except highlighting for the title), but I use it extensively for the ascii maps (including the one displayed alongside the description). In my opinion it's much easier to see that "." represents plains and "~" represents rivers when the former is coloured green and the latter blue.
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Old 07-10-2006, 08:42 AM   #6
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It's just as bad, when a game has white text on dark screen as their "no color" default, thus forcing you to read as though presented with a negative film, or tweaking your mud client to get the whole thing back to normal.

Normal, to me, is dark text on a light background, just like reading a book. You remember books? Those funky things made with wood pulp smushed to thin-ness, with writing on them, that stacked up on shelves in your grandpappy's office?

Even reading Topmudsites too long will give me a headache, because of the inverted color scheme. One of these days I'm gonna do a poll to find out how many people who've played muds for more than 5 years wear glasses. And see if it correllates with my theory that the human species was not intended to read light on dark.

Give me a nice, easy to read a nice greyish black, on a pale ivory or subdued (meaning, not stark) white background, no highlights, no bolds, no special colors. When I mud, I try to play as though I'm being immersed in a novel, where my character is one of the characters in the plot. I've never seen a novel in a bookstore written on black paper with white text. I wasn't brought up reading white text on black backgrounds. My eyes can't handle it. They refuse, reject, and outright battle against it. And yet, every freaking single solitary game I've ever visited on the internet thrusts a black background in my face.

It's torture I tell ya. Now someone please give me a hug. I'm feeling neglected.
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Old 07-10-2006, 11:38 AM   #7
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Give me black text on a white background and a client with the ability to color stuff the way I want it. Color belongs client-side IMHO.
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Old 07-10-2006, 12:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Jazuela @ July 10 2006,14:42)
It's just as bad, when a game has white text on dark screen as their "no color" default, thus forcing you to read as though presented with a negative film, or tweaking your mud client to get the whole thing back to normal.
White-on-black is what you get on a dumb terminal, which is the minimum spec required to play a mud. It's also what a lot of old-school mudders learned to mud on, and personally I can't stand anything else.

If your client supports black-on-white, then it almost certainly also supports customised colours, so there's nothing stopping you from changing it.

What I really dislike, though, are the muds that don't let you switch off colour at all. That's almost as bad as the muds which display information wrapped at more than 80 characters...
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:59 PM   #9
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Oh Kavir, I definitely change my color schemes each time a try a new mud. But see, the default of the mudclient is white on black. Stark white on jet black. I can easily click the "reverse scheme" and have jet black on stark white, but that's too stark, too jet, and it's almost as difficult for the eyes than the default.

So, in order to enjoy reading mud text as though I was reading a page from a hard-cover or paperback novel, I have to keep ANSI color ON, and then tweak each section of color in the client. My client has a different section for a dozen different things. That's a dozen tweaks, JUST to see 2 colors in total.

Fortunately I learned about the nifty "import world options" feature on my client so things aren't nearly as bad as they were before I learned about it

But lemme tell ya - whenever I get a new computer and have to reload the software, it's hell to reset all those colors again. I even had to reset my -computer- colors. I guess the newfangled term for it is "skin" but it doesn't look like skin to me. It looks like a lovely old-fashioned Microsoft blue background, no screen saver, no wallpaper, tiny desktop icons, and an old standard PS2 mouse. If I had my way I'd revert back to Win3.11, heh.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:12 PM   #10
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Muds with wildly colorful schemes freak me out. I feel like I'm being inundated with TMI. But, I'm about as boring and old school as they get. I do like customizable options, especially about the room appearance (long, short, items, mobs in separate colors) and I do like channels to be customizable within the game.

I am not particularly fond of places where titles can be customized color by color, letter by letter. Snazzy player perk, yes...but hard on the eyes.

And, I don't mind even a white on black background, or a green on black. My head admin is all about the green on black, and makes fun of the minimal amount of color custimization I've done. I've worn glasses since the 1st grade, though, so I wouldn't be much help in a study on the effects of light on dark. I've not had a new prescription need in many years of mudding.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by
I've worn glasses since the 1st grade, though, so I wouldn't be much help in a study on the effects of light on dark. I've not had a new prescription need in many years of mudding.
Lucky.... I am so badly nearsighted that something the size of this text has to be around half an inch to an inch away for me to read it without glasses.

Anyway

I like color, and I like muds with minimum color. I have seen them both work well. I recommended AU to someone in another topic because of its fantastic color usage, but if you look at a desc and the word "Ocean" is blue and you dont like it, you wouldnt like AU.

I personally really dislike on muds when there is no way to customize and everything is practically identical when you walk into a room (color wise). Like the desc is green and the items are green that are on the ground (mixed in with the room desc) so are the peoples names are green and also mixed in as part of the rdesc.

When I have already read the description of Ye Old Tavern 10 times I get a good idea of what it looks like and if I just want to see whats different in it and it is all mixed up..guh.
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Old 07-10-2006, 02:50 PM   #12
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Eww, I can't do black text on white background. My eyes don't handle bright stuff for long periods of time well, I find black on white to be a little easier to pick out and read. Spares me a few headaches
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Old 07-10-2006, 03:12 PM   #13
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The answer I have is twofold.

On one side, I dislike MUDs where you are shown multiple colors per line or text block. This applies to descriptions, prompts, MOB emotes/words etc. I find it irritating because I have to concentrate longer on every specific line to read them, and after a while it ends up tiring me much faster (and I consider myself almost tireless when it comes to play the MUD I like).

On the other side, when you have a big MUD with multiple events happening that are accessible to the characters, then I like to have a way to quickly recognize the type of information comming to me by the color codes, so that I do not have to read any part of the message to know what type of event is the one happening.

The way I have seen it implemented in my favorite place is by using at most 2 colors per info line. All channels and info's are customizable both in color scheme and activity (can turn them off). Two colors allows for the special information in the line to be highlighted, and the main color code to tell you the type of information being talked about.

Another thing I hate and that will make me delete is when players colored prompts or channel emotes are allowed or forced uppon everybody, makes every line a pain to read and the problem usually is that the more "freedom" given to the players to configure what will be seen over channels, the more annoying it gets. A plus in the game I like is that a) pretitles are not colored (cannot be), b) you can choose not to see pretitles at all and c) you can recognize and filter out emotes from regular channel use easilly (with a couple of simple client sided triggers).

Just my $2.4/100 (or 2 US cents)
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Old 07-11-2006, 12:54 PM   #14
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Hmm, I'm the opsite of dark on brirght crowd, I for one can't do light backgrounds, my eyes are too light sensitive... it gives me a head ache, if I need somethign from a document or a website that is dark text on hwite or yellow i print it out... since the paper isn;t backlit, I to get anoyed at builders and even players that use too much color, unless it serves more of a purpose... like the one mob that follows one of my morts aroud that si garishly random colored... but that's to be anoying not to be artistic
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Old 07-11-2006, 02:47 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Markov @ July 11 2006,12:54)
... like the one mob that follows one of my morts aroud that si garishly random colored... but that's to be anoying not to be artistic
Hahaha, that is actually pretty hilarious.

Wouldn't really fit in on our mud, but I think that's funny, and a clever bit of eye-code.

Yay, for garish, annoying, following Harries!
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:18 AM   #16
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I guess I don't see the big deal of server-side color. Any client worth using will allow users to color their screen however they want.
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Old 07-12-2006, 10:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Malifax @ July 12 2006,16:18)
I guess I don't see the big deal of server-side color. Any client worth using will allow users to color their screen however they want.
The client can only add colour based on keywords - it doesn't know about internal data. If you want your combat table to colour-code fighting techniques based on their attack and defence strength, or you want help files to highlight keywords and references to other help files, or you want your opponent's name to be coloured red when they've got their back to you, or you want critical hits to be coloured differently, or any number of other non-cosmetic uses, then it needs to be handled server-side.
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:38 PM   #18
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Going to add my two cents into this...

First off, ansi colors where "intended" to contrast highly with each other, this kind of pre-ordanes that some jerk using 4-5 of them on a line is going to get "real" ugly real fast. Second, there are simply not "enough" in the standard ansi set to be really useful. Ansi in this respect completely sucks. Which brings me to my simgle biggest gripe... MXP. Take a good look around and you will find that 99% of the muds that support MXP, the few that do anyway, use quicklinks and a few other features, which imho makes things horribly ugly, since it tends to make all mobs, objects and exits, etc. appear as underlined light cyan. Gee.. Thought the point was to hilight objects, not make them cause eye strain... lol But **then** they ignore the one feature that could enhance the experience significantly **color**.

Now maybe I am a bit nuts in this, but I like it when it helps seperate things out. I let my mud define a few channels using the default colors from the mud. But I also use some elaborate code and script (can't tell the mud to "*don't* bloody auto-wrap channels."), which colors them different things, so I can see at a glance which channel someone is talking on. While the recent addition to combat code and some stuff in my stats, etc. is now colored white, green or red, depending on its state, I prefer replacing these with my own code, which generates a gradient. My HP runs from medium greed to dark red, while my mana runs from medium blue to dark red. I can "see" how much trouble I am in more easilly than if I let the mud do it. And at one time, not long ago, the mud didn't even show color to designate how hurt you where. 3-4 colors to show that is "worthless". My method uses more like 64 colors. The irony being that they are probably using the same math to figure out when to switch to "red" that I use to transition to hue 44, sat 180, lum 128, which comes out as #d4d927, or roughly gold-yellow. I use the same HSL to RGB code to also generate a "spell status" line every few seconds, which tells me when they are about to fail (roughly, since the durations are slightly random).

I don't use anything past the normal colors of the mud any place else, with the exception of hilighting my EXP on the prompt, the "state" of condition of my EQ and how much cash I have. But those things are done using the ansi colors. Channels, I use:

ooc - Blue, on really dark red.
aod - close to Lemonchiffon (a real light offwhite yellow tan), on black
arena - tangerine, on black
bardic - moccasin, on a slightly darkened saddlebrown
cleric - similar to aod, but more yellow, on black
druid - mint green, on black
game - gold, on midnight blue
healer - lighter version of paleturquoise, on black
hero - salmon, on black
newbie - steelblue, on black
sales - hot pink, on black

Oh, and my plugins, for things like druid potions, use "themes". The druid one is yellowgreen, forest green, etc, so you know your seeing "my" output, not the muds.

So, there is a use for some extra colors, if used *sanely*. The problem I have found can be summed up by describing one mud I went to that claimed it used MXP -

Objects, mobs and exists - all cyan and underlined, room descriptions, dark cyan, room names, light green, I think, objects of interesting "in" the room descriptions, red, green, etc. So you would get insane stuff like this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
{light green}A small clearing.
{light cyan}You see many different flowers here, including a few {red}violets{light cyan}.

{underline}{light cyan}Fred the gardner.

{light cyan}Exits: {underline}west, east
They didn't even both using MXP color at all. Aaaahhh! Run away! lol

Now, imagine the "same" mud with a sane color scheme:

Quote:
Originally Posted by
{dark green}A small clearing.
{dark cyan}You see many different flowers here, including a few {dark violet}violets{dark cyan}.

{seagreen}Fred the gardner.

{grey}Exits: {green}west, east

Its not going to hurt anyone to fracking type something, so the hotlinks, which cause the underline and I think are non-colorable, don't need to screw things up ever more. If they are colorable, then Ok, but isn't there something better, like a different font or italics that could be used? Anyway, darker colors, the flower is "actually" the color its supposed to be, nothing straines the eyes... Gosh! How novel!


Color is a tool. MXP is a tool. You hand either one to a moron and what you get is the equivalant of crayon drawings on your wall, done using conflicting colors that look like people describe a 60s acid trips. Alternatively, they think its neat to play with the, "really cool features", that make things look ugly when used, but are scared to death someone will complain if they try to use the ones that can "enhance" things, instead of just catering to lazy typers. I have yet to see some place get it right, though I admit I avoid the ones that claim to use MXP, but require you use their client or none at all.

And why is our only option for Terminal fonts a) the orignal, which you can't resize or b) Lucida Console, which you can't even "get" the original Terminal set from, since its in the unicode space and is lighter "weight", so less readable? In fact, all TTF fonts are less readable and if your using something that supports "bold", like MXP, you can't just "force" bold so they are more readable. But that's a side issue...

Come on color, is not that hard people. All it takes is someone that isn't color blind and doesn't dress like a circus tent, who thus has problems figuring out how to make it look good. lol
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Old 07-14-2006, 01:15 AM   #19
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I personally enjoy colorful MUDs that give you easy ways to minimize the amount of color you see, or set the colors using 'colorset' or a similar command.

Customization is almost always the way to go if you have capable programmers, I'd say.
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Old 08-03-2006, 03:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by (Jazuela @ July 10 2006,08:42)
It's just as bad, when a game has white text on dark screen as their "no color" default, thus forcing you to read as though presented with a negative film, or tweaking your mud client to get the whole thing back to normal.

Normal, to me, is dark text on a light background, just like reading a book. You remember books? Those funky things made with wood pulp smushed to thin-ness, with writing on them, that stacked up on shelves in your grandpappy's office?

Even reading Topmudsites too long will give me a headache, because of the inverted color scheme. One of these days I'm gonna do a poll to find out how many people who've played muds for more than 5 years wear glasses. And see if it correllates with my theory that the human species was not intended to read light on dark.

Give me a nice, easy to read a nice greyish black, on a pale ivory or subdued (meaning, not stark) white background, no highlights, no bolds, no special colors. When I mud, I try to play as though I'm being immersed in a novel, where my character is one of the characters in the plot. I've never seen a novel in a bookstore written on black paper with white text. I wasn't brought up reading white text on black backgrounds. My eyes can't handle it. They refuse, reject, and outright battle against it. And yet, every freaking single solitary game I've ever visited on the internet thrusts a black background in my face.

It's torture I tell ya. Now someone please give me a hug. I'm feeling neglected.
Jazuela,
The main reason MUDs are, by default, white on black, is because it's simply easier on the eyes. Firstly, it's easier to see, and secondly, less light is being blasted into your eyes. But anyway, each to their own .
Here's a quote from Maddox (I like maddox )
Quote:
Originally Posted by
I've chosen a black background for most of my text because it's easier on the eyes than staring at a white screen. Think about it: your monitor is not a piece of paper, no matter how hard you try to make it one. Staring at a white background while you read is like staring at a light bulb (don't believe me? Try turning off the lights next time you use a word processor). Would you stare at a light bulb for hours at a time? Not if you want to keep your vision.
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