Being a designer is not just about a title or a job. Whether it’s with a passion project, their surroundings or their own personal style, designers tend to keep on creating long after work hours are over. If they’re into eating out, they will probably tell you all about this perfect cafe inside Roman and Williams Guild design store in NYC. If they’re into reading, you’ll most likely hear about Noma Bar’s new covers of dystopian classics for Vintage Books. And if you’re dealing with a gamer, rest assured they know all about David OReilly and his unique style of game design.
At its core, the game design industry is specifically aimed to prolong game-time as much as possible, by keeping you riveted to the screen. Therefore, aesthetics in games is as important as psychology and behavioral science. In fact, one would argue that the use of design plays a very important part in user’s behavior – especially when it comes to artists and designers. As studies suggest, design-focused audiences will react positively to aesthetic experiences, mostly because of their acquired expertise. And though game aesthetics may refer to anything from characters’ shapes and animation, to frame design and composition, there’s no doubt that color has become much more than a decorative feature or a tool of empathy – but in some cases, the actual mechanism of the game itself.
One specific color palette that is known to be extremely pleasing is the rainbow spectrum gradient. Though little scientific research is being conducted on this spectrum, there is no argument about the visual appeal of a beautiful rainbow in the sky. Color therapy has been practiced for ages, arguing that the different colors of the rainbow act like a healing agent and can affect mood. Though never proved scientifically, this theory is being implemented in places like children’s hospitals to uplift the mood of the patients and exude optimism. Other reasons for this appeal might be related to the symbolism of a rainbow in modern society, with its music-like visual harmony that is known to affect the brain in a positive manner. No matter what works for you – therapy, optimism or a subconscious level of bliss – this next list of rainbow games for designers may provide an OCD-satisfying outlet, while also being visually inspirational.
Hue is a multi-award-winning puzzle adventure created by Henry Hoffman and Dan Da Rocha (Fiddlesticks). The player is invited to explore a gray land while searching for their missing mother. While doing so, they uncover colored pieces, which when matched against obstacles cause them to disappear – revealing new puzzles and gradually escalating in difficulty. Each different color added to the wheel, touches a sweet spot of puzzle-solving satisfaction, and a visually stimulating game mechanism. Available for PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One and Steam.
I Love Hue is a casual design game for smartphones, inviting us to create order out of chromatic chaos. It comes as series of scrambled puzzles you have to solve by moving each tile into its rightful place on the spectrum, creating an extremely soothing – some might say addicting – effect. It’s similar to the game mechanics of Blendoku, but takes the aesthetics experience a step forward. Available on the AppStore and Google Play.
Artist and filmmaker turned game designer David OReilly is a unique person in the gaming scene. His quirky and fabulous works make you judge your aesthetic principles just because of how surprising and innovative they are. Everything is a simulation game, but is actually also a philosophical journey (the trailer is narrated by the voice of British philosopher Alan Watt), where players get to become, well, everything and anything they wish. They start as one of several possible creatures and have the ability to move around and experience the world from that creature’s point of view. It gets more interesting when the players shift their control to any creature or object smaller than the current one. Though colors are not the main mechanism of this game, the gradient tones while playing as tiny elements, like atoms and particles, are visually relaxing to the eye. Available now for PC, Mac, Linux and PS4. And if you loved it, also check out Flower.
This music visualizer for PS VR is a trip for the eyes, ears and basic coordination. You start by picking one out of four game modes, then you enter a world of vibrant color and trippy sounds that you also get to choose. My favorite is no doubt ‘The Beach’ mode that takes you on a little trip to an enchanted imaginary shore. But you can play with other modes that allow you to draw in 3D, move dancing characters or dive into a trance, all the while having your eyeballs attacked by vibrant rainbow gradient. Worth it.
Sometimes, the classics do the trick better than any über-sophisticated production. The good ol’ jigsaw puzzle in its rainbow gradient version is maybe the most pleasing experience in the gamesphere – this, and watching the video above. The puzzle is available for purchase here.
This 2017 music video by the band Real Estate is less of a game and more of a cool interactive video. Yet, the gamification and color satisfaction aspects of it are without a doubt playful. For all of you matriculates out there, you can color according to your favorite scheme or if you’re an ‘I’m feeling lucky’ type, choose the color wheel option for a randomized painting experience.
Bonus game: The Color!
Lastly, if you wish to challenge your mad color skills and make it into a workspace competition, check out this gamified color test, The Color! Enjoy.