What Color Do You Use For...?

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,846
Reaction score
1,603
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Just wanted to see what people use for the text of various mechanics or important stuff. For example, if a weapon's item description says: "(2H Axe) Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet." What color would you use for the stuff inside the parentheses, aka "2H Axe"? Basically, I'm referring to anything important to gameplay. Flavor text (aka Lorem ipsum...) can remain white/normal color.
 

wrigty12

Just a QAer playing with Javascript
Veteran
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Messages
658
Reaction score
185
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
I have only played with Skills and some Items so far, but here are the colors I currently have set up:
1606883810307.png
 

Milennin

"With a bang and a boom!"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
2,691
Reaction score
1,816
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Green for HP gain, blue for MP gain, purple for offensive boosts, yellow for defensive buffs.
 

MushroomCake28

KAMO Studio
Global Mod
Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
3,824
Reaction score
4,755
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
For any type information I usually use the system color (pale kinda blue). So that's probably what I would use in your case.

Any color should be fine as long as you're consistent inside your UI.
 

RachelTheSeeker

Suddenly, a summer breeze...
Veteran
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
424
Reaction score
622
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Huh. Not what I had in mind for the topic, but sure!

Specific item type could be gray, as if it were metal. Hints of an item's special effects in the description could be blue, which feels magical enough to me. A drawback for an item could be hinted in red, often times held as a bad-times color, or even yellow which humans are drawn away from on instinct? Raw stat boosts (besides the base ATK of a weapon, DEF of armor, etc) could be in green for stat growth. Lastly, really special items that shouldn't be sold off (if you can sell them at all) could be signified by purple, as if fit for a hero-king.

A few examples could be...
  • Rusty Knife: [Dagger] This hasn't been polished or honed since gods-know-when. With loose fittings, its poor defense could be dangerous. It's an entry-level-or-worse dagger that lowers DEF.
  • Defender: [Sword] This saber's intricate basket hilt makes parrying normal attacks a breeze. Accept no imitators. It's an expensive sword that boosts Physical Evasion, or maybe counters physical attacks.
  • Dancer's Baton: [Staff] Sacred silk sashes on this short staff allow it to be spun and swung swiftly. But the soft, light wood doesn't hit too hard. It's a staff that boosts AGI, but has less ATK than normal.
  • Tempest Lance: [Polearm] It travels from hero to hero like leaves on the wind. The perfect storm for those lucky enough to wield it. It's a legendary spear, one of the best available, that deals Wind damage to enemies.
 

Celestrium

Worldsmith
Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
250
Reaction score
269
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
I use the colors to designate sets, or trait sets. So you can easily identify the set. Some people use item ranks as well, like HP+5% is on color, HP+10% is another...
The colors are to draw attention to what's important, so the real question is, what is important in your description...like do some items have cooldowns (Light blue) or warmups (light red).
 

Tai_MT

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
5,524
Reaction score
4,936
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
I... don't use colors. I have weapons set up into "archetypes" so I never need to tell the player, "this is two-handed". Most characters that can use two-handed equipment can't use shields anyway... and those who can use shields will notice that a weapon archetype unequips their shield when they equip it. Each "Archetype" has its own icon in order to quickly convey the information of the archetype without needing a description at all.

For anything else... I usually just have "flavor text" tell you what the weapon does. It is typically worded like this:

"A short rusty knife. Definitely not sanitary. 30% chance to Inflict L1 Poison."

Or...

"A dagger made from the potently poisonous snake fang of a Chimera. Could be mistaken for a short sword."

I don't really use colors in descriptions of text just because while it would be pretty and "stand out", unless the player can "infer" the meaning behind the color, it's absolutely pointless.

I color code my treasure chests as an example. Red chests contain weapons. Blue chests contain armors. Yellow chests contain currency. Green chests contain consumables. Silver metal chests can only be opened with Silver Keys (the keys are a currency, so you can find them in yellow chests). Brown wooden chests with metal bracing on them can only be opened with "lockpicking". Wooden boxes can be opened normally as well as "Pillaged" for more loot, provided you have a Pirate character with you.

The meanings are inferred very quickly by players who have opened about a dozen of the chests.

The other issue you will run into with colored text is with people who are colorblind. If they are red/green colorblind and you use red text for one thing and green text for another, will they immediately understand the meaning behind using those colors?
 

Sheklon

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
22
First Language
Portuguese
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I'm currently using two different colors setups, one for loot and one for dialogue.
Items go this way:
OrGktrz.png

Which should be read as
vh2i12E.png

And dialogue looks like this:
ME8K0ne.png

Which should be read as
XWBH5nW.png

More dialogue examples (they were made for the prints, by the way):

I tried to use a small color range for dialogue to keep it simple (between yellow and red), but I'm afraid it might be more confusing to the player this way? Maybe I should use different colors for different marks, but I don't it to mix up with the loot marking.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,846
Reaction score
1,603
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Tai_MT Well, I don't use a plethora of different colors, I was just wondering if people used any color to differentiate from the flavor text or anything otherwise non-important to gameplay. This might include numbers, percentages, and cooldowns.

Like in your example text:
"A short rusty knife. Definitely not sanitary. 30% chance to Inflict L1 Poison."
Wouldn't you want the "30%" figure to stand out? It doesn't necessarily have to be a color attributed to poison or anything, just some neutral color to make it stand out from the remaining white text. I use a somewhat lighter shade of gray for instance.

The other issue you will run into with colored text is with people who are colorblind. If they are red/green colorblind and you use red text for one thing and green text for another, will they immediately understand the meaning behind using those colors?
Damn, you're right...I totally glossed over that possibility. Hmm, I really wouldn't know how to address color blind players, since even the map and everything in-game would be affected.

@Sheklon Nice examples!

Also, I noticed changing the "normal color" to something slightly off-white is easier on the eyes. I'm referring to the very top left color in the windows.png file. I personally use #fffaf5 because I feel pure white feels like an office lol.
 

Tai_MT

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
5,524
Reaction score
4,936
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Frostorm

I could use the colored text, it's just that there's not a whole lot of reason for me to do so. The way I use color in text in my game is meant as a sort of "organization" thing. Since I already have a very quick and easy to discern method for organizing my items and equipment without colored text, I see no reason to do so.

I do use colored text in other ways, however. For example, my "Quest Journal" separates Quests into 5 colors. Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Purple. Main Quests are Red. Side Quests are Blue. Personal Quests are Green. Collection Quests are Yellow. World Quests are Purple. When the player gets a new Quest, it appears as the color it is meant to be. If you pick up a Quest and see that the title of it is Red when you pick it up, you immediately know it's the main story quest and under which heading you'll find it in your Quest Journal.

Color, generally speaking, is a "communication tool". That is... it doesn't psychologically work the same way as using Bold or Underline do in order to draw attention. A persons' mind, seeing a sudden color shift in the words immediately thinks, "why is that a different color? Do I do something with that? Is it important?". A color change does more than "draw attention". Color change invites questions and higher brain functions to kick on that divert from the act of reading.

I don't know if it's a right-brain versus left-brain sort of affair, but it does kick off the "reading comprehension" portion of the brain and kick on the "must absorb new knowledge" portion of the brain.

In video game terms, it's sort of like when you're exploring a dungeon and... RANDOM ENCOUNTER! Your brain immediately ticks over its function to deal with combat and throws exploration out of the window. it can be jarring on a subconscious level.

You may have noticed that I've randomly highlighted parts of my text a different color. You may just now be noticing how distracting that is. How much more difficult it makes reading what I've written. That's kind of the point. It's also the reason I don't do that with item descriptions.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,846
Reaction score
1,603
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
@Tai_MT Oh, that's an interesting psychological tidbit! So what if a skill/spell's description has the following text?:

"Deals 9 - 11 Weapon damage with +50% Crit chance. In addition, reduces the target's DEF by 5 for 4 turns."

I feel like the numbers would be pertinent information and I'd want to make them stand out a bit more than the rest of the text. Whether it be via Bold, Underline, or Color...I'm just wondering what would be the best method to achieve this. How would deal w/ it?

(this isn't an actual skill in my game btw, I just made it up on the spot)

Edit: Just testing this out w/ bold vs underline vs color...

Deals 9 - 11 Weapon damage with +50% Crit chance. In addition, reduces the target's DEF by 5 for 4 turns.

Deals 9 - 11 Weapon damage with +50% Crit chance. In addition, reduces the target's DEF by 5 for 4 turns.

Deals 9 - 11 Weapon damage with +50% Crit chance. In addition, reduces the target's DEF by 5 for 4 turns.

Deals 9 - 11 Weapon damage with +50% Crit chance. In addition, reduces the target's DEF by 5 for 4 turns.

Edit2: I tested what you described regarding color on text, and noticed that the psychological phenomenon you mentioned only seems to apply if the text is comprised of words. When it comes to numbers, I don't really feel the same jarring disconnect. It seems (at least for me) that when it comes to numbers, the fact that they are numerals is already somewhat of a disconnect from words, so the colored effect isn't as pronounced. Is the experience the same for you?

I'm also curious about whether the left-right brain thing you mentioned has any impact. I'm a lefty btw, so I guess my cerebral hemispheres are flipped? I honestly hope that doesn't matter though lol.
 
Last edited:

Tai_MT

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
May 1, 2013
Messages
5,524
Reaction score
4,936
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
With numbers, it sort of depends. In the examples you listed, I notice no difference between whether the phrase you used was highlighted or not (bolded or underlined). It made me pause more on the colors rather than "just absorb it" when it was singled out, but that's likely because the colors are a "attention grabber" rather than an emphasizer.

What I ended up doing was reading the colored portions first and having to go back to read the rest in full, with the colors.

As for left brain versus right... I have no idea. I'm not really sure what the phenomenon is called or the psychological reasoning behind it. It's just something I've noticed when I've played video games that do that sort of thing. I first noticed it with Ocarina of Time.

They highlight semi-random text as characters deposit exposition on you and it's sort of jarring when you're suddenly trying to figure out why it's highlighted.

Anyway, I noticed the "shift in my brain" whenever games tried to use the method of changing text color or highlighting specific portions of text. It flips the switch and makes reading more difficult. It jolts you out of the "zen state", essentially. Messes with "flow".

It might be because it "ruins uniformity"? Or, the brain sees something it isn't expecting to see? So, it has to stop to take note? Assess the change?

I don't know.

I just know that if you're changing text colors, the issue is more pronounced than if you simply have a slight format change like bold, underline, or italics. You do have the same effect if you suddenly change font sizes as well. Or, change to an entirely different font altogether.

Not sure why it's so jarring, but it is.

It does get easier for the reader to deal with if the color change is some sort of "system" that they can easily infer and use. For example, if you had the color for the damage change at specific points to indicate it's passed a certain threshold, then players would spot the color initially to take note of its meaning before reading the exact stats in their entirety while being able to ignore the color change.

Again, not sure why this works, but it does. You can spot this in action in a lot of MMOs where the text of the item is colored to denote its rarity. The player spots "purple text", immediately logs the information of it being purple, why, and what that means in context of the gameplay, and then can easily read the name or description or whatever follows without a jarring interruption.
 

Frostorm

[]D[][]V[][]D aka "Staf00"
Veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Messages
1,846
Reaction score
1,603
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
Again, not sure why this works, but it does. You can spot this in action in a lot of MMOs where the text of the item is colored to denote its rarity. The player spots "purple text", immediately logs the information of it being purple, why, and what that means in context of the gameplay, and then can easily read the name or description or whatever follows without a jarring interruption.
Yea this specifically has been really reinforced in my brain. World of Warcraft has conditioned me to equate color w/ certain rarity, even across other games:
Uncommon
Rare
Epic
Legendary


In fact, most games I see post-2004 that color their Item names seem to follow this tradition. It's almost become industry standard. I see several RM games use the same color scheme as well. Ofc, not every game follows this system, sometimes the colors are switched. However, whenever I come across a game like that, my brain gets super confused.

Using @Sheklon's screenshots as an example:

Before I read the pic below this one, my brain had already assumed the Splendid Flask to be Rare, Tsunami to be Epic, and Divine Clothes to be Legendary. However, I was unsure about Concentrated Perfume. My brain saw Light Blue and thought...it's probably either a consumable, vendor trash, or something combat irrelevant, akin to a cosmetic item (since it's perfume, after all).
1606981840509.png
Then I clicked the spoiler and find out it means Uncommon Item lol...
1606981945888.png

Whenever colors are used for text, I always assume there's a system for what each color means. Otherwise, what's the point?

Edit: Btw, those 4 colors (Uncommon, Rare, Epic, Legendary), unlike other colors, don't distract me in the least when read in text. This is simply due to over a decade of conditioning though. But I'm curious as to how prevalent this is.

However, in the case of your earlier post containing the green text...yes it was distracting since it wasn't in a place where I wouldn't expect to find Item Names. I'm starting to wonder if it's my being conditioned that I'm leaning towards wanting my numbers colored. Most game's color their numbers for pertinent info. Or maybe it's more correct to say that the numbers themselves often are pertinent info.

For instance, when I try the following w/ purely plain formatting all the way through...
Deals 9 - 11 Weapon damage with +50% Crit chance. In addition, reduces the target's DEF by 5 for 4 turns.

I find myself having to hover my eyes over the numbers for a split second longer to absorb the meaning of those values (well not really cuz I've already read that specific sentence many times, but you get my point). Like a part of my brain is screaming at me wondering: Why aren't those numbers emphasized?! I feel it's important to have a standardized color for the various numbers/values throughout skill descriptions. I created this thread in an attempt to find that color...whatever it may be.
 
Last edited:

PixeLockeT

Demon Lord Lady
Veteran
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
224
Reaction score
347
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
I.....literally just write in a random color number and test it and see what color it gives me and if it's readable (I think I mainly like colors that are close in shade to the standard text color I'll use, so nothing looks too glowy/dark/jarring), that's what I use, then do the same thing for the next color type. /lazy I had no idea people went and planned out each specific color or had so so many for dialogues. I also don't like many color shifts. Like for me what Sheklon has set up way too much for my eyes. XD
 

Sheklon

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
59
Reaction score
22
First Language
Portuguese
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
Here are some points that I feel that need to be explained:
@Frostorm Concentrated Perfume is actually a MP regen item in my game. In lore, instead of using the term mana, I talk about "the streams" or "flows", and it's this chakra sort of thing that is inside everything and can be accessed by using magic. Magic is basically a meta-interaction with the world, in that sense.

The item description for the lowest value MP potion in the game is this:
The perfume stimulates instincts, reconnecting to flows
Recovers 55 magic from an ally

While the item description for Concentrated Perfume is:
The perfume stimulates instincts, reconnecting to flows
Recovers 50% of an ally's total magic

Please check the images in the links for a visual comparison of how they would look in-game.
As you can see, Concentrated Perfume is a pretty standard item, but it also has a valuable effect that is not so commonly found, compared to other MP potions. This is what uncommon item means in that context. Of course, by the time the player actually loots his first Perfume, he/she will already have looted many fragrances (there is 3 levels before the perfume), and will know what this is about.

Of course, I could have gone with green like most MMOs, but that color kinda hurts my eyes in RM, and I worked with the alternative light blue in a way that, when it shows first, you already know what to expect (a better MP or HP potion than the smaller ones you've been finding, for instance).

@PixeLockeT mentioned that the colors shift are too many. I would like to remind that I intend to use color shifts way less than in those prints, as they were only meant to show my setup, but I agree that, when different colors were showing all together, it did look quite jarring.

@Tai_MT also brought good points about the psychological effects that changing texts can have on players, so I will try to be more careful with that.

I am glad and thankful for the feedback of everyone!
 

FirestormNeos

Veteran
Veteran
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
182
Reaction score
135
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMV
The only color differences I'll be using for text are going to be Red text for the very rare "hmm, might wanna save real quick, weatherboy *passive-aggressive smiley face*" popup.
 

TheoAllen

Self-proclaimed jack of all trades
Veteran
Joined
Mar 16, 2012
Messages
6,064
Reaction score
7,169
First Language
Indonesian
Primarily Uses
RMVXA
I use Yellow (id 17 in VXAce) to highlight numbers and names in the skill description.
I use cyan/blue-ish color to highlight important lore terms in the dialogue box.
I don't use anything else.

In a separate window (I made) to explain the status effect
I use green in the state name indicating it is a buff.
I use dark in the state name red indicating it is a debuff.
I use yellow in the state name indicating it is a trait that you can not dispel the state.

Edit2: I tested what you described regarding color on text, and noticed that the psychological phenomenon you mentioned only seems to apply if the text is comprised of words. When it comes to numbers, I don't really feel the same jarring disconnect. It seems (at least for me) that when it comes to numbers, the fact that they are numerals is already somewhat of a disconnect from words, so the colored effect isn't as pronounced. Is the experience the same for you?

I'm also curious about whether the left-right brain thing you mentioned has any impact. I'm a lefty btw, so I guess my cerebral hemispheres are flipped? I honestly hope that doesn't matter though lol.
I don't think hard about it. I use color to highlight numbers. I like it. And no one complains. And if there's someone who complained about it, I will listen to what they would say.
 

Lornsteyn

Sleepy Dragon
Veteran
Joined
Nov 15, 2013
Messages
352
Reaction score
447
First Language
German
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
Im not very fond of to much coloring.
Higlighting important words in text is fine and something I consider to do, but everything else can be very annoying.
 

Celestrium

Worldsmith
Veteran
Joined
Mar 3, 2020
Messages
250
Reaction score
269
First Language
English
Primarily Uses
RMMZ
Using colors to stress something important or to categorize things makes sense, particularly in any text heavy games. Something that is meant to reference a key item, event, or person. Someone I know color coded the names of characters based on their faction, as the factions were important. It would have been difficult to track otherwise. It can easily be overdone though...
 

Latest Threads

Latest Posts

Latest Profile Posts

I'm in desperate need of environment sprites and tilesets for my game. If anyone is interested please DM me im willing to pay.
All badges and prizes for the Let's Make a Scene Heart Edition event SHOULD be out. If you participated and haven't received either or both, send me a PM.
I've played Dragon's Dogma recently. Now I know the feel when you play RPG but without fast travel or vehicle to roam around.
Nerine wrote on Eliaquim's profile.
I have an issue with your window skin plugin. After using plugin command to change window skin, it doesn't change the skin for message boxes and choice boxes until a player opens inventory.
Can anyone provide a link to where Vlue said that his Plugins for MV were free for commercial usage? I only see it on the thread here, but Vlue didn't directly start it. What do guys think about it?

Forum statistics

Threads
109,208
Messages
1,043,065
Members
141,721
Latest member
Armexploit
Top