Alexas_Fotos (CC0), Pixabay

Research suggests that it takes a mere 200 milliseconds to generate the first impression when meeting someone for the first time. If you then consider how quickly our brain should be able to process a color palette, the importance of color within our lives quickly becomes apparent. Our knowledge of color spans across a number of different disciplines including biology, physics, and psychology but this article will be looking at the role of color within the gaming industry.

Colors are a useful tool for artists when trying to convey certain emotions or differentiate themselves from the many different competitors out there. But just how is it used within the gaming industry? And is it used the same way as it was in the “halcyon days” of gaming?

A Shift in Approach?

The colors which developers choose to use in-game are often heavily influenced by the fashion of the time. With this in mind, it’s important to consider what’s current and fresh within the gaming sphere. At present, interactive, adventure games such as Detroit: Become Human and Heavy Rain are increasing in popularity. Games that exist within this genre are now toning down their use of bright colors, reducing vibrancy, and using desaturation in a bid to achieve a more realistic gaming experience.

A quick perusal of the gaming landscape would suggest that casual games such as Candy Crush and Farm Heroes Saga will continue to use brighter colors in order to retain the attention of fair-weather gamers. However, core games will use a much more nuanced color palette in order to reflect the world we experience on a daily basis.

Brighter Colors Elicit Emotion

The video gaming industry has been using a bright and varied color palette for a good few decades. However, in recent years, games such as No Man’s Sky, Oxenfree and Firewatch have received particular praise for their use of color. The success of this has subsequently led to industries such as online casino incorporating more vibrant colors into their online offerings. Games such as the Reactoonz slots at, for example, use a number of different colors relating to the in-game symbols and alien characters. This results in a more aesthetic and enjoyable experience for the user. In addition to this, some games are instantly recognizable from the color schemes they employ – Fallout is well known for its use of blue and yellow, Portal is synonymous with orange and blue, and the vibrant shades of red in Mirror’s Edge have become iconic throughout the gaming landscape.

The Growing Importance of Customization

Whether it be creating your own avatar or building your own environment, video games are now more customizable than ever before. Because of this, the gamer can now choose their own experience and adjust what they see on screen accordingly. Fans of a vibrant landscape can create a world awash with the brightest colors imaginable, whereas those who enjoy a more gritty experience can do the complete opposite.

Gamers Want Originality

In such a competitive industry, it’s important that developers keep things and fresh and constantly come up with new ideas. Although more realistic, “choose your own adventure” type games are all the rage at the moment, it’s impossible to predict what the next trend within the video gaming sphere will be. However, there’s no doubt that whatever the next flavor of the month is, the color scheme will play an important role in captivating the target audience and delivering the most engaging gaming experience possible.