In my day job, I am an accessibility focused web developer, so I sadly notice accessibility issues everywhere.
In board games, I see that few designers seem to be aware that up to 10% of the population may have some form of colour deficiency, with the most prominent being ones that affect red-green perception, and often have important components which are only differentiated by colour.
I don’t want to do it, but feel I need to, so you can often find me commenting on Kickstarters highlighting the issue, such as this comparison for HEXano https://imgur.com/gallery/OV7CbMA.
So, are you aware of this issue? Do you actively use other colours than the standard, troublesome ones? Do you incorporate other ways of differentiating (such as iconography)? And what do you test with it? Most design tools (and even Chrome browsers) have simulators, but of course, these are only simulations and real people should be involved in testing.
I try to keep it in mind. A game I’m working on right now has 6 different colours, so it took a bit of tweaking adjusting each using Illustrator’s color blindness settings to get some variation between them. But I’m also including iconography on each for further distinguish one from another. Finding actual people to give feedback is a good idea too.
I don’t actively focus on colour blindness issues when first prototyping, simply because I’m limited by the components I’m able to use for the initial, knockabout physical version of the game. That said, if I’m using colours for differentiating specific components, I always pair them with icons, since I find that it helps parse things generally. I’m fortunate to have one regular playtester who keeps me honest with these kinds of things.
I don’t think I actively consider color blind players, but I am always aware of potential problems. For example I don’t go into a design with the mind set of designing specifically for that audience. What I do is that I am aware of not using colors to indicate important aspects of the game. If color is used as an indicator, I will always make sure to use a color blind friendly palette or a have an alternate way a user can differentiate (bold text or a unique pattern). These solutions are extremely simple, but highly effective and very important. I think raising awareness as you are doing with commenting on Kickstarters or asking questions like this is crucial. As more designers become aware of the problem, the fewer gamers we will alienate.
Since one of my close friends and one of my game testers is color blind, I tend to run my designs past them first then tweak as needed. They tend to rely on the iconography instead of the colors. That said I try vary colors enough to make it easy for them. In my mind making a game accessible means a larger group for the game to reach and ultimately sell to.
Having a red-green deficiency myself, I am always aware that similar colours can appear the same.With this in mind, I always run my colour pallets through CVSimulator first to make sure that the entire pallet is as colour blind friendly as possible.