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Old 01-19-2004, 07:26 AM   #1
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To colour or not to colour

I recently started colouring some room and asked around what the players thought of it.
All of them that if first talked to loved it, then later on several months later I was talking with a player and some how (I donít remember how) the colour of the rooms came up and they told me that was the biggest turn off of the game when he first started. So my question is, do you all think it is more beneficial to colour a few words through the description or just add the extra descriptions and not the colour?

If you should vote other, what would that other be?
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Old 01-19-2004, 07:51 AM   #2
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Whatever features you add to your mud, the one thing you can be sure about is that some people will love them while others will hate them.

However colour is one of the rare features which has no bearing at all on actual gameplay - therefore surely the obvious choice would be to make it configurable? That way, everyone is happy.
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:17 AM   #3
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Agreed, configurable color is the way to go. I'd also suggest taking it a step further and setting it up so those who do want color can choose what colors they want for things.
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:29 AM   #4
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We have ANSI, and isnít the colour setting for the most part through the client you run? That is where I adjust the colour to my liking †on different game.
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:52 AM   #5
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I prefer colour to be functional rather than aesthetic. That is, it separates different pieces of information. The available exits are once colour. The room description another, the object a third and the mobiles a fourth. Or whatever pieces of information you have.

I simply cannot stand text such as "the <span style='color:green'>green</span> sword", as if I didn't know what green is. It's distracting, anyway.

That said, I agree with KaVir. Make your codebase smart. Make it configurable.
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:35 PM   #6
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Yeah, I refuse to play games that use numerous colours in a single item name or room description. Sorry, but it makes your game look like it's aimed at 8 year olds. When you overuse colour, it loses all its meaning.

I do actually allow coloured room descriptions on Abattoir but the builder has to clear it with the head builder first. One way in which we use this is in highlighting key phrases in our instructional area for newbies. Hopefully more experienced players who think the same way that I do will recognise this as being a valid usage and aren't discouraged before they complete that area!
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Old 01-19-2004, 12:55 PM   #7
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Ugh, color. Here's my game setup: Pale grey background, black text. No color, no bold, no highlights, no reverse, no nuttin. Any game that forces me to see color, I won't even try past the login screen.

If other people want to see color, awesome! They can fidget with their game client configuration to their heart's delight. But the day the game I'm playing tries to force color on me is the day I quit playing it.
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Old 01-19-2004, 01:07 PM   #8
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A few weeks ago we had a builder who was adamant about doing his room descriptions in color - so adamant in fact that he quit when we told him he couldn't do it.

I'm all for using color to highlight certain key words, on scoresheets, the who list, messages, etc., but not in room descriptions. At that level it becomes distracting.

The two most important things I think should be considered when using color are to allow players to customize it (at the least have an on/off option), and be uniform across the game. If you're colorizing room descriptions, do it for every single one, not just certain areas. I can tolerate games with colored area descriptions, but only if the color isn't completely random... this room blue, that one bright green gets annoying real fast.
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Old 01-19-2004, 05:05 PM   #9
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My view on this is a) ANSI isn't good enough and b) you should limit it to when it makes sense.

I wouldn't mind seeing someone use MXP more for reasonable situations. If you see a room full of flowers, and some of them are something like a Japanese Sky-Flower, then if they do:

look skyflower

it would makes sense to be able to actually show them what you mean. This may not be reasonable in some cases, but it would be a lot nicer than the eye straining tendency of people that use MXP only to all underlines to words that would be hard enough crammed together without decent spacing. Yes there *could* be a legitimate use for color, if you had more than just the basic ANSI colors and you provided them only when the user specifically looked at the items. But even then, unless you use some sort of color swatch type thing, coloring the word would tend to be more annoying than useful, especially if the contrast between the other color and the words color is extreme (which all ANSI colors are capable of).

Sadly the color swatch idea isn't practical. While Lucida contains a set of character common to the original OEM character set used in DOS mode, and those extended characters provided blocks of various kinds that let you build primitive images, in Lucida there only exist in the unicode block. This means that most clients not only can't display them, there is also no real way to tell the clients that do that you plan to use unicode characters.

All in all, I have to say that coloring a single word will sadly probably be more annoying than useful, unless it is a warning message or something designed to have major impact. At most, looking at a sign painted in green, all words need to be green. A sign with a warning *may* make sense to have the title in red and the rest normal, but things like the green sword someone mentioned.... not a good idea imho. It has to make sense, not just be an attempt to dress up things with colors that have always been too limited for such a task from the very beginning.
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Old 01-20-2004, 01:54 AM   #10
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I find it nice to have lots of variety. I perfer most room descriptions plain and simple, but sometime a builder things colour is important. I dislike when all the descriptions are say... dark blue. But it is nice to have some areas where the builders were allowed creativity with colours. I find items are nice to have coloured and I almost perfer colours. Almost every clan created item in the game is coloured brightly. The non coloured eq is generally newbie stuff and it is a mark of pride to get pretty coloured thingies. :) Another place that I absolutely need colour, is in my channels. But being able to fully customize the colours in the game is always a plus.
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Old 01-20-2004, 07:31 AM   #11
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My preferred client is TeraTerm (no frills), and I have yellow on a dark blue background. It really shows when a developer has not paid attention to the "default colour" ANSI escape code and instead your terminal suddenly switches to white on black.
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Old 01-22-2004, 08:24 AM   #12
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Believe it or not, some people choose to use plain and simple Telnet to mud. There are some muds that I have encountered, albeit several years ago, that would not work on Telnet as the colour codes either were visible as codes or, even worse, made some words invisible.

If you do use colour for words, I would urge you to test them out in both Telnet and another client before they go to your active mud server.

On a personal level, I think too much colour makes text very hard to read. Stick to grey on black or whatever monochrome you have. People with configurable clients can do whatever they like to the mud output.
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Old 01-24-2004, 02:18 AM   #13
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We use color mostly for communications channels and when you concentrate on a conversation you ignore the colors of the ones that don't apply. We also use it for a standard of informational items where color indicates the same priority of need to know over and over like "He just hurt you bad".

Rainbow just doesn't appeal to me or to most of the people I've respected the opinions of. I've found sparing use of color in text descriptions becomes somthing unusual and predictably "special" to the players when used so rare. Player access to using color has proven to scare people away IMHO and they can't use it.

My two cents.
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