Base graphics update

The developers have devised a new color scheme for the puzzle bases to make the blue and green bases easier to distinguish, but more importantly easier for folks with color blindness to differentiate. The new color scheme is live on for players to test. This is a puzzle that has locks, which also have been updated to allow the letter on the base to be read under the lock.

Wonderful. That’s a great update. Although I’m not colorblind I’ve often struggled to distinguish U and C locked bases so I appreciate the change.

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Very comfortable on the eyes.
Off topic, but I would also like for the blue background be toggled from it’s blue color to white so printing the molecule wound use less ink.

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Any changes that aid in accessibility I welcome. Nice work.

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I didn’t see any locked bases, though on mobile. The contrast of the green and blue looks good here.

@Astromon Do you see locked bases in the image above? Maybe the locks are too small.

@whbob Jonathan has proposed a work-around for acquiring a simple puzzle image that might work for printing. Players can download an SVG file of the puzzle, but we must first engage the custom layout function to trigger SVG creation.

  1. Use one of the custom layout functions to make a tiny change to a base in the puzzle, (ctrl-shift-click) then move the base back into its starting position (ctrl-shift-click again).

  2. Go into Import/Export menu and click on SVG to download the file.
    Screen Shot 2023-03-03 at 1.34.43 PM

  3. Open the SVG file using or Illustrator or Inkscape or whatever you can find to open an SVG file. Supposedly browsers will open SVG files by neither Chrome nor Safari worked for me.

Thanks @DigitalEmbrace , my browser doesn’t get it either, but here is the svg viewer.
Yellow & Green are not very viewable.

I did not see locked bases in the forum pics also.

I noticed that the ASO lab puzzle has updated to the new graphics. I found the new coloring hard on my eyes, and ended up having to use my computer’s “night light” filter to make it more comfortable for me. I also felt like the new style for locked bases doesn’t work well with the ASO puzzle. With so many locked bases in a row, adding a little circle to the side of each base just creates a blurry look, unless I zoom in to see just a small area.

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I much agree with Merida’s experience. I find I have to work on a much more zoomed in level to be able to focus on what I want to do. I think it is all the locks shadows and there being so many of them that makes it confusing. I do want the game to be accessible to people who are color blind and while I’m not, even I benefit from the clearer difference between green and blue. However in this lab, where it is only one base that is mutated, can’t it just be marked with a large fat red ring. Can’t all the locks be removed and be implicit, in that we can’t change anything anyway? Alternatively, can we be allowed to access the earlier version? So the shadow locks are a choice.

Thanks for the feedback folks. We’ll discuss this further internally

I agree with “blurry”, difficult to focus.

As a quick update, we’ve been playing around with some additional options - will share for further feedback once I have everything back in place

Hey all, particularly @Merida @Eli_Fisker @JR1

Turns out colors are really hard. :slight_smile: We’ve taken the time the last few days to take another pass at this, trying to come up with something that

  • Has sufficient contrast for colorblind users (namely between red and green and green and yellow)
  • Has sufficient contrast between green and blue to show clearer when zoomed out
  • Has sufficient contrast for base letters to be readable (with and without locks)
  • Allows locks to coexist with base letters
  • Doesn’t add a lot of visual noise from locks
  • Has higher resolutions for graphics (to generally avoid becoming pixelated, particularly on high-resolution displays)
  • Isn’t visually taxing while still looking playful
  • Looks a bit more modern, while still retaining character (I wound up coming up with a “cel shaded” style we think is neat!)

As a side effect of some of the work we’ve done, you should also see the animations (when simple graphics mode is disabled) are significantly smoother due to increased graphics precision we enabled to ensure everything lined up properly. For those who have difficulty with the motion, I’d be curious to know if this is an improvement or not, though I know having reduced motion options is still important.

I’m still not fully happy with the “lock” indicators - I think it looks significantly better (and is more clearly “disabled”) as a translucent black stripe rather than a translucent white stripe, but we were having a hard time coming up with text that would read well on both locked and unlocked bases when it was translucent black. If anyone has additional ideas, I’d love to hear them (keep in mind: we want base letters to be visible with locks, the base letters have to be sufficient contrast against the base when it both is and isn’t locked, and we want to avoid the visual noise issue that a number of folks here had with the “badge style” locks).

Please check out our latest version testing on I’ve also created a copy of the ASO puzzle, available at I’m well aware that the graphics we launched earlier this week have created some real difficulties for some folks, so I’d like to know if this is a step in the right direction - if it is, I’d like to release this once I’m back on Monday, though we may make further tweaks after that if there’s still more we can do to improve.

I may still be interested in taking one more attempt to split the difference between the two and making the main bodies of the bases themselves closer to the original updated design (making the colors a bit lighter and using the linear gradient instead of the cel shading) but that will need to happen early next week if it does.

How about a toggle? Like “L” mode.
Latest version has same blurry problem w/ locks. Real small or real large is OK but in between is blurry but better than last one.
Headed in right direction with contrast in colors for those who need it.
Toggle is my vote.

How about a toggle? Like “L” mode.

I’d really like to avoid that - I’ve basically rewritten the system to draw bases on the fly rather than rely on pre-drawn graphics, and there’s just a lot of improvements in the graphics I don’t want anyone to lose out on. If there’s a readability issue, I want to track down what it is and resolve it.

Latest version has same blurry problem w/ locks. Real small or real large is OK but in between is blurry but better than last one.

Could you expand on what you mean by “blurry locks”? the lock graphics are now just diagonal lines. Are you saying those lines themselves are blurry which make it hard to focus? Or it makes the entire base look fuzzy? Or something else? Could you specify which zoom levels have this issue for you (there’s 5 “levels” you can zoom to, lets call level 1 all the way zoomed out where the locks don’t show, and level 5 zoomed all the way in)

I wound up getting an itch to try it out so I’ve added some new options for base graphics already. You can change them via the settings dialog (same place you change volume, turn on base energy/numbers/letters, etc). I’ve changed the default to “linear”, which I think works better than “cel” (which is the version I started with tonight). “linearBrighter” attempts to match the brightness we launched with earlier this week, and “linearBright” splits the difference. I have my own preference, but I want to hear reactions from others!

The white slash overwhelms the colors so that I can not see the color. Forces me to zoom in or out.
it makes the entire base look fuzzy. I loose contrast between green and blue and yellow looks white . zoom in and zoom out look good.
level 1 good, level 2 bad, level 3 better, level 4 even better, level 5 good
also level 5 the locked yellow doesn’t show, it looks yellow.