Do colors in mobile games play an important role?

 Do colors in mobile games play an important role?

Man holds mobile in his hands and play a mobile action game. It features a crosshair and a machine gun. He sits at home at night playing the game.

A video game or mobile game is a visual art in which color holds an important place. However, the video game had rather humble beginnings, when colors were still a sweet chimera. Today, what place do colors have in video games?

How are colors introduced on every mobile device?

Colors can be defined as “the visual perception of the spectral distribution of visible light.” The human eye, equipped with 3 photoreceptors, is able to distinguish a wide range of the light spectrum. In comparison, a dog has only 2 photoreceptors in each eye, while a mantis shrimp has 12, allowing it to see ultraviolet and polarized light. And yet, the mantis shrimp does not distinguish colors as well as the human eye. But that’s another story.

As we said at the beginning of this article, our favorite hobby – playing video games- started, like the cinema, in black and white. Pong, Space Invaders, and so many more video games were born without any other colors than immaculate white and deep black. This is obviously due to technical constraints linked to their time. To compensate for this problem, and if you are old enough, you will remember when we sometimes used colored cellophane films, which were stuck on the television to simulate color, a system similar to the one used at the beginning of television in homes.

What about mobile games?

However, as early as 1973, with Wimbledon, color was introduced on arcade terminals. A timid beginning, but real. However, it was not until 1979 that the first game using multicolored sprites appeared: Galaxian from the Japanese company Namco.

A feat made possible by the RGB system (for Red, Green and Blue), a color coding system. From that moment on, the number of colors that can be displayed by the consoles increased significantly. However, it is necessary to make the difference between the number of available and displayable colors.

For example, the Atari 5200 had a palette of 256 colors but could only display 16 at a time on the screen. Conversely, the Sega Master System only had a palette of 64 colors but was able to display 32 at the same time.

For portable consoles, color went hand in hand with power consumption. Everyone remembers the Atari Lynx or the Game Gear from Sega, portable color consoles that flattered our eyes but also filled them with tears because of the battery consumption required. These consoles, too greedy in energy, canceled de facto their portable status. We will have to wait for Nintendo’s Gameboy Color to find this famous compromise between autonomy and shimmering colors.

Are colors in mobile games used for aesthetics only?

We’ve been talking about the “aesthetic” aspect of colors since the beginning, but we’d be forgetting that colors are much more than that. Because the color is not only decorative but also informative. Like sound and shape, the color is not only used to decorate our screens and to make them look good, it also transmits information about the game and what’s going on.

So, friends or foes? For example, in black and white, it’s hard to tell, but once you add colors, the information comes out much more easily. Color codes have long helped players during their adventures in older games. It is commonly accepted that a bonus will be green or blue, while a malus will be red or black. If you want to play a colorful game, Prize Blast Win can help you!

The change or alteration of colors can also give the player information: a boss that changes color can indicate that you hit his weak point or that he goes into “rage” mode. The color palette plays on the player’s feelings and will shape the way he perceives his surroundings in-game. A game like Limbo uses almost exclusively a gray palette, accentuating the mysterious and disturbing atmosphere that will follow the player throughout the adventure.

steve rogers

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