You suck at picking colors! Tips on getting better colors into your games.

7 Jul


Some color’s truly do. I know we all hear about complimentary colors but who here practices it?

I actually have gotten pretty good at it.  But only because I know a few things first…I know enough to use this site.

Color Scheme Picker

When creating a level I usually come here and figure out what colors compliment each other and what colors will fit best together.  So often a game developer just picks a blue and a red but doesn’t think about if those 2 colors really truly go together.  You might not think about it. The viewer might not think about it. But everyone knows it on a deep level if two colors really fit together. It can make a HUGE difference in how your art and game feel. TF2 is a great example of a game which took it’s color picking very seriously. Here a link to a great read about their art process on Team Fortress 2

Illustrative Rendering

Team Fortress 2 Color Palette


The other thing that goes into what colors I choose is psychology.   Knowing the psychology behind colors is a must for any game designer/artist.  You know the basics of video game color choosing.

Red = Bad. It will hurt or kill me.

Green = Good. Usually good.

That is it at isn’t fundamental level.  But their is so much more.  Did you know Black symbolizes authority?  Or that brown makes most people feel sad?  I am not going to get into all of the definitions here but having a good understanding of what colors do on psychological level is a must for a game designer.

Check out these links for more.

Colors and their meanings

Alot of the stuff is subjective and doesn’t always apply. But when designing a level think about how you are trying to make the player feel.  Choose colors that help envoke that.  It can add ALOT to gameplay and help communicate your ideas quicker.


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