Color Picker: My Kind Of Selection Box

No, YOU'RE singing the Sesame Street song

Hi. My name’s Pip and I have a serious problem with colour-matching games.

Remember Color? All you had to do was move your cursor round a colour wheel and click on the best match for the colours the game had given you. So simple, so straightforward, so good for filling up five minutes and moving on.

Except I played it for about four hours straight trying to get a perfect score. I livestreamed it to Twitch. Other people SAW. Never again. Never ever again. N – ooh! Color Picker, you say?

In Color Picker you get presented with sets of coloured squares, one of which is slightly different to the others. You advance by identifying and clicking that square. The higher your score creeps, the more minute the difference in colour.

Color Picker was made by developer Peter Lauris as part of the 30 Day Dev challenge and so far it has taken up an hour of my time and I’ve only managed to score 25. I’m taking this as a comment on my monitor’s capabilities rather than my colour vision as an optician recently pronounced my eyeballs to be excellent.

Purple: the colour of STOP ASKING ME ABOUT PURPLE

To put this into some sort of perspective, the RPS leaderboard is currently:

Alec: 26
Pip: 25
Graham: 20
Adam: 15
Ben: 14

I tweeted out to ask how everyone else did and most people were in the late teens and early twenties, however Kate from OXM offered up a high score of 38. Before I had the chance to yell “pics or it didn’t happen” she added *cough* tilt the screen back and it’s a bit easier *cough*.

Color Picker is part of Lauris’s attempt to produce one game a day so it’s pretty bare-bones in terms of the interface and depends on you having no problems with colour vision (as you might expect). If you’d like to try a similar game with a colorblind assist mode the aforementioned Color is worth a pop.

47 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Ooh, I’m colour blind! Let’s see how this plays out.

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      I somehow made it to 18. Much better than I expected.

      The weird thing is, I keep trying to tell them apart by shape, even though I know they’re all identical squares. I think my brain’s conditioned itself to immediately fall back to other indicators when it has trouble parsing colours.

  2. Alec Meer says:

    My eyes are the best eyes! Which seems highly unlikely, given the thickness of my glasses.

    • Premium User Badge

      RaveTurned says:

      Your vision is augmented.

    • Faxmachinen says:

      Not unless you can beat 30.

      • DanielBrauer says:

        I got to 30 the first time I played, and then rushed and lost. Since then I seem to start rushing around 15. I find it really interesting how long it takes my eyes to adjust in the later ones. I’ll be staring at what look like identical squares for a whole minute, and then one of them will suddenly start to look different.

  3. kav2k says:

    Reminds me of this sadistic little thing: link to xrite.com

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Scored 18 on that, but man… were the colour chips meant to pulse like that?

      • theslap says:

        Probably your cones getting fatigued. I didn’t have this problem but I know what you’re talking about. Scored a 0 btw… thank god… I’m a graphic designer.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Whee! That’s neat. I got a score of 0 on that one.

    • Philippa Warr says:

      Managed to score a perfect on that one :D

    • feday says:

      Scored perfect on that one, but the differences between squares in that one were more noticable, took some juggling to find the correct flow.

    • gwathdring says:

      I got a 3. I didn’t spend too long fussing with it, and the area I struggled with was smack-dab in the middle of the blue-green spectrum which is exactly what I would expect from personal experience. My errors were right in a perfectly tight grouping in the blue-green with no gaps and no errors elsewhere in the spectrum.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Lexx87 says:

    I must say – Pip was the perfect choice for a new RPS person. She’s the light breezy fun missing from all you curmudgeonly sods.

    • frogulox says:

      I love that damn near every picture has paint scrawling all over it.
      Its basically my favourite thing.

    • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

      TWO WEEKS IN THE PRESS RELEASE MINES WILL FIX THAT

  5. Horg says:

    To make the game easier, don’t stare directly at the blocks. For some reason, when the objects are in your peripheral vision, the odd coloured block stands out more. This may or may not be cheating.

    • Timbrelaine says:

      Strategy, I say. But yeah, your color vision is most acute not in the center of your gaze, but in a tight circle around it, which also sees somewhat better at night. Kinda weird.

  6. Wowbagger says:

    Colon picker got me fired from the NHS.

  7. Gothnak says:

    I managed a 23 before i decided not to spend any more time trying to improve it :)…

    I found the top left square once you get to 18 often looks darker than the others even if it isn’t.

    • gwathdring says:

      Exactly how this is experienced depends on your monitor and your eye imbalance, if you have one. But most certainly, some of the distinctions in the game are finer than many monitor and/or vision-correction setups are capable of relaying reliably even before we take into account the chosen person’s ability to distinguish between the two colors in a more controlled environment.

  8. Premium User Badge

    distantlurker says:

    Research into the relationship between what colour hue you ‘see’ and the language (family) you speak is a multi discipline area of study that’s very interesting.

    Wiki – link to en.wikipedia.org

  9. Llewyn says:

    22, without any filthy monitor-tilting cheats. Not too bad for an old man with dodgy eyes, I think. It seems pink and teal are my nemeses; I consistently get to 19, and then it’s just a question of when the pink or teal strike.

    • gwathdring says:

      Monitor tilting isn’t a cheat. Rather, not tilting your monitor a bit here and there leaves you at the mercy of various well understood idiosyncrasies of the typical LCD monitor.

  10. Emohawk says:

    aaaaaand there goes my lunch break…

  11. Arathorn says:

    22 without tricks on the second try. Scored 8.4 on the other colour test. Good to see that my worthless eyes can at least see colours reasonably well.

  12. fish99 says:

    My limit seems to be about 21-22.

  13. Spacewalk says:

    24. Could’ve been 25 but my hand slipped because I got distracted by Ghostbusters.

  14. feday says:

    29. What sometimes seems to help on the later ones is staring at the center until you get afterimages overlaying them, if that makes any sense. For instance with green blocks you get a yellowish glow in the center of each square.

    I wonder if this can be trained up till some point, I work a lot with color as a designer.

    • solidsquid says:

      Was wondering something similar about the Colour one, specifically whether you could create a game that duplicates the colour picking exercise for painters where you have to try and estimate what a colour is and then check later by photographing the scene. Can’t be too hard to have it load random coordinates on random images, let you pick a tone then score you on how close you were

  15. DrollRemark says:

    25, but I felt like my eyes were going to start bleeding if I kept at it.

  16. The First Door says:

    So, apparently how good your colour differentiation is also linked to your age! Just yesterday I found an ongoing scientific experiment which tries to guess your age from a 5 minute test:

    link to labinthewild.org

    I will say, however, it’s not perfect as it thinks I have the eyes of a 15 year old, which is sadly way out.

    • blind_boy_grunt says:

      i got 15 too(and i said “i don’t know” to pretty much half the questions)
      I kind of have the suspicion they are not telling us the actual age they calculated but are flattering us, so we will input our actual age more acurately (like ha, you thought i’m 15 but i’m actually an old geezer, take that! Because i kind of did that).

  17. Asami says:

    Made it to 26 on my first try. After a few more I managed to make it to 29.

    For shits and giggles I used a color picker to see just how different the color was. In this one it’s the one on left most square, second from the bottom. The color is 4 “shades” less blue (on a 0-255 scale). I think I did alright. link to i.imgur.com

    Edit: Went ahead and did the other one someone else linked, because why not. link to i.imgur.com
    Looks like my vision is alright, at least as far as color is concerned.

  18. thegooseking says:

    Not sure why I bothered to try it, since I am colour-blind, but I got 14.

    So I would guess that Ben and Adam are probably colour-blind, too.

  19. RARARA says:

    I’m just going to make some sad puppy eyes.

  20. Smashbox says:

    Now I know there’s a lot of Flash-hate out there, but it is indisputably a better platform for this game than Unity.

    • Smegheid says:

      Especially for something that could be done purely in HTML. It’s nothing but a bunch of squares filled in with particular RGB values; there’s nothing there that required the use of Unity. Well, presumably there’s nothing there, because at this moment in time I can’t even try it to say that for sure.

      Anyway, Penguinvision results in a score of zero in this case. I may remember to try it later from a Windows machine, but I’ll probably forget.

  21. gwathdring says:

    Woo! 26 is my best so far.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      Good job, I only managed 19 on multiple attempts. The last one I got right was more luck than anything else, haha.

      • gwathdring says:

        My average is about 22, is seems, having tried it more. The problem I run into is blue/green. If I hit a blue/green in the 20s? I’m sunk. The run that took me to 26 had a reds, browns and purples in the 20s, so I think that skewed results in my favor. :)

        • gwathdring says:

          HAH! 27! And it stuck me with my nemeses: blue-greens and barely-purpley-blues and barely-purpley-blue-greens all through the 20s.

          I wonder if it’s completely random, of if it looks at how long you take on each color and tries to custom-craft a worsening nightmare for you in addition to simply creating finer distinctions?

  22. Zafman says:

    28. I give up. Pink looks all the same to me. So many pink squares. Painful pink. No more…pink…please. Oh, god, it’s stuck on my retina.

  23. Caileus says:

    Currently at 29 – but anything after this point is going to be pure fluke… yup seems that was my limit failed to get any further :|

  24. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    22 at the first try. Was click click click at start. And then staring for a minute at my screen each new round.

  25. cederic says:

    40 on the first attempt, 48 on the second – square-on to the monitor both times.

    I put this down to investing in an Asus PB278Q monitor, rather than my eyesight. I had to choose between colour range and integrity against lightning fast gaming refresh and my non-gaming use won. At last a game that appreciates it!