Specimen Challenges Player's Perceptions of Color

StewShearerOld

Geekdad News Writer
Jan 5, 2013
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Specimen Challenges Player's Perceptions of Color


Peprally's mobile game Specimen challenges players to see how accurately they can identify and match colors.

"Do you see the world the way I see the world?" is a question that probably doesn't cross most people's minds every day. If you see the color blue, it's perfectly natural to assume that the person standing next to you sees it the same way that you do. The thing is, that there's actually a fair chance that they don't. As some recent phenomena <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/139967-The-Science-Behind-Why-The-Dress-Changes-From-Blue-To-White>have demonstrated, different sets of eyes and different conditions can completely change how individuals see the world and the hues that color it. At first glance, that fact might not sound like natural fodder for a video game. As the software studio Peprally recently demonstrated however, even something as simple as color can lead to a good game.

"We were throwing around ideas for new projects," explained Peprally owner Erica Gorochow speaking to The Escapist. Not sure what to do Gorochow and her colleague Sal Randazzo decided to take a swing at making a video game. The only problem was that neither of them had ever worked on a gaming project before. Not wanting to overstretch themselves, they decided to start with something relatively simple. "I had previously played a color matching game on the web among friends and was surprised to see who aced the test and who struggled."

Intrigued by that experience, Gorochow and Randazzo came up with Specimen, a color matching <a href=http://www.escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/mobile>mobile game where the player has to match cells in a petri dish with shifting shades of color while a timer ticks down. If that strikes you as being simple, that's kind of the point. "Our hope was to package something potentially deep inside a game that seems basic," said Gorochow. Players diving into the game might find they have an easy or hard time with it, often depending on how accurately their eyes perceive color. "It's fascinating to look at who has a natural aptitude and think about what mean in the context of the game," Garachow said. "Anecdotally, we've found that you can definitely improve."
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Since its release a few weeks ago, Specimen has been a considerable success, earning critical acclaim and establishing player bases in countries all around the world. And while Garachow and company have obviously been pleased with the game's success, she personally hopes that it could amount more than just a profitable piece of entertainment. "We aimed to make an addictive game first [but also] a potential tool," she said. "If the project moves forward we really want to look to see if there are any patterns in perception. Is there any indication that the US sees color differently than China or Germany or Brazil? Is there any specific color dominance or weakness when you compare men and women?"

Suffice it to say we'll be interested to see what they find out. In the mean time, players interested in trying the game themselves can find Specimen <a href=https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/specimen-a-game-about-color/id999930535?mt=8>in the App Store.

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esserin

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Nov 10, 2014
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Aerosteam said:
As someone who is colourblind, "fuck".
Maybe, they could make a version of the game based on contrast instead of colour.

I've read that colour blind people are actually better at identifying contrast cause their aren't any colours to get in the way.
 

Aerosteam

Get out while you still can
Sep 22, 2011
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esserin said:
Aerosteam said:
As someone who is colourblind, "fuck".
Maybe, they could make a version of the game based on contrast instead of colour.

I've read that colour blind people are actually better at identifying contrast cause their aren't any colours to get in the way.
There's many different kinds of colourblindness, I've been told I have red-green.

For me it's when two colours are pretty close together in the colour spectrum that they just blend together and I don't know the difference. (Blue and purple, red and brown, green and orange.) Basically if the sea suddenly change to purple I wouldn't notice a thing because to me it'll look the same as it was before.
 

Vendor-Lazarus

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Mar 1, 2009
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"while a timer ticks down." ..Well, that put me of the game for sure.

Why does it have to be timed? Do stressed people view color differently?
Does the feeling of wasting precious seconds of life sharpen the hue?
Waaaiitaminute...is that what makes it game and not a test,survey or interactive puzzle application?

Still, good on them creating an interesting game despite never having developed a game before.
Shame about the needlessly tacked on timing though.
 

Vigormortis

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Nov 21, 2007
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This could be a mildly entertaining game to me. I tend to ace color tests, so this game might prove to be a decent time sink.

But....I have a Windows Phone[footnote]And yes, I love it.[/footnote] and this game appears to only be available on the Apple App Store. And, since I loathe all things Apple (especially their mobile devices), there seems little chance I'll actually get to play this game.

Oh well. Maybe they'll bring a version to Android or Windows.
 

Nuuu

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Jan 28, 2011
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Im pretty good at color games. I can at least tell which colors are similar and which ones are different.

On the other hand, show me a random color out of the blue and i'll still just refer to it as one of the primary/secondary colors. My cones are wasted on me.
 

Elementary - Dear Watson

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Nov 9, 2010
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Nuuu said:
Im pretty good at color games. I can at least tell which colors are similar and which ones are different.

On the other hand, show me a random color out of the blue and i'll still just refer to it as one of the primary/secondary colors. My cones are wasted on me.
If that colour from the blue was also blue would you notice? ;)

OT: As a Brit I don't actually see color at all. I can only focus my retinas on colour. I don't think this game is for me.
 

Neurotic Void Melody

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I do not understand how this hasn't been done before. It seems a pretty obvious test to observe, for colour perception. Perhaps there are complications I am unaware of for this subject. Or maybe technnology has only recently been capable of this? I doubt that somehow. Oh well, definately worth a go as this question can finally be answered instead of recited on the first couple of days of A level philosophy. That'll save some precious teaching minutes! :D
 

CrystalShadow

don't upset the insane catgirl
Apr 11, 2009
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Elementary - Dear Watson said:
Nuuu said:
Im pretty good at color games. I can at least tell which colors are similar and which ones are different.

On the other hand, show me a random color out of the blue and i'll still just refer to it as one of the primary/secondary colors. My cones are wasted on me.
If that colour from the blue was also blue would you notice? ;)

OT: As a Brit I don't actually see color at all. I can only focus my retinas on colour. I don't think this game is for me.
The colourful colors of the colouriffic color kingdom...
Yes. I too, was once a devout follower of colour, but constant exposure to idio- err. Americans has made me more tolerant of such things.
Also of measuring weights in pounds, and heights in feet.

And aluminum ~shudder~ OK, maybe not that. There are limits after all. A line that must be drawn. Hmm? Yes?

Anyway, a colour matching game... That just sounds rather unfair somehow, knowing as we do that there are colourblind people around.

Though I guess saying you can't make a game like this because of that is a bit like saying you can't make games that require using your hands because some people don't have any.

I don't know. This could be fun, or incredibly dull. One of those things that's hard to say without trying it.
 

Elementary - Dear Watson

RIP Eleuthera, I will miss you
Nov 9, 2010
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CrystalShadow said:
Also of measuring weights in pounds, and heights in feet.
Heights in feet... definitely! I am 5'7"! But Pounds? That is like measuring distances between towns in meters and forgetting that KM exist. STONE people! Stone!!
 

Smooth Operator

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Oct 5, 2010
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Nuuu said:
Im pretty good at color games. I can at least tell which colors are similar and which ones are different.

On the other hand, show me a random color out of the blue and i'll still just refer to it as one of the primary/secondary colors. My cones are wasted on me.
Well people aren't machines (not accurate ones anyway), we don't pop up an RGB scale to every color we just make rough estimates in relation to other colors that we have seen. And we are most accurate when two colors are side by side, with each on their own we have a very poor idea of what is what.

It's the same as estimating object size, we can clearly tell the difference when directly matched but have little to no clue if they are separated.