Re: Color

From: Patrick Dughi (
Date: 01/14/01

> Having spent the past few days in vain, searching for more
> colorcodes (call them ANSI, ASCII, or ECMA), I'm getting a
> little frustrated.
> Any other handy-dandy tutorials out there that could at least
> point me in the right direction?
        I know you're trying to do neat things, but as was said before, no
one uses these other formats.  That is, clients don't really use these
formats.  Heck, the majority don't understand underline, or italics.  So,
it's nice to include these things as a 'for fun' project, but you might be
dissapointed as to their usage.  Don't let that disuade you though.  It's
just not something that I personally see a whole lot of benefit from.

        On the other hand...

        If you want to do something graphical, then by all means, do
something graphical.  Text just isn't graphical.  You'll pretty much have
to write a custom client if you want more than the 'ANSI' color pallete.
Of course, if you're going to write a custom client, you may as well make
it a full blown graphical interface, and forgo making text colorful.

        And in other related ponderings...

        Isn't 16 basic colors enough (well, 15 cause you can't have the
same on the background)?  What do you use your color for?  Generally I see
three usages.

v       1 - to draw attention to different parts of the screen so you can
more quickly see what is important or not.

        Ex: Objects are green, mobs are bold yellow, players are dark
yellow, global communications are white or grey, room communications are
green or blue, and tells are dark red.  During battle, attacks by you are
all bolded, and enemy are not; goes from green (light damage) to red
(heavy damage).

        2 - To 'color' a room, like you would if you thought text was

        ex: A single red rose emerges from the green grass - where 'green
gras' and 'red rose' are both colored as to their actual content.

        3 - To make something look 'kewl'.

        ex: A Sword of -=*SuPeRnOvA*=- >>>>>DESTRuCTION<<<<<, where each
letter is a different color, or some sort of white->grey->light
color->dark color->light color->grey->white fade scheme is used.

        Of these, I can only really see # 1 as being purposeful.  I'd
cover that more, but it seems to be fairly obvious.  If you see RED in a
battle, you know you've been hit hard.  Easier than just a screen of white
on black.

        The second tends to make things look garish.  I quit muds where I
walk into a room and have to deal with every color possible, and some
background color changes too.  It looks like crap - like you let a three
year old make final changes to your player interface.  Yes, it's the first
thing newbie builders do..well..second..see below.. but that certainly
doesn't mean it's right.

        You're on a TEXT interface.  That means you have a very small
amount of 'bandwith' for a given page.  Ie, the most information you can
ever convey at one time is something like a 80x24 grid of characters.  If
you use colors for something other than to convey _USEFUL_ information,
you're just screwing yourself and your players out of valueable info.  If
I used #1 (stock circle at least colors room descs, and contents
differently I believe), then using 2 suddenly invalidates that, because
I'm so deluged with color that any gain is lost.

        The third is - in my mind - a sign of immaturity.  I understand
the need to be different, and markedly so.  I understand that you want
everyone else to look at what you make and say "Wow, that's neat.".  The
thing people don't seem to understand is that they're making a comprimise.
You make items/etc like that, and in essence you're saying 'I'd rather
puff up my ego at the expense of gameplay'.

        Why at the expense of gameplay? Well, for that same 'bandwith'
limitation I stated above.  It is true, you can have all of these things
at the same time, but the more of #2 & #3 that you have, the less #1 does
anything of value.  Considering that #1 is the only thing that actually
helps players, gives them an advantage, regardless of their playing style
(from socializer to power mudder), I think you should probably consider
that more important than dressing your mud up like a whore, or inflating
your ego.


        It's funny for such a simple thing, that no one seems to
understand it.


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