Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: fashion

Colour Trend Forecasting And Video Games

In 2006 when the last generation of consoles were released it was quickly discovered that all the games wanted to be puke-coloured, err, I mean brownish. This is inline with the gritty mood of the mid ’00s.

so much brown

What will the dominant colour be of the next consoles (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U)? I think that we’re going to see brighter, more optimistic, colours after a decade of grit and ‘realism’. However, to try and get the actual answer we can explore the world of colour trend forecasting.

Colour trend forecasting

Colour trend forecasting is the study of colour and predicting what will be the next influential colours in the world of fashion, interior deign, and industrial design. This will come across as nothing new to dedicated followers of fashion, but is worth exploring because game designers can benefit from this field of research.

There are multiple companies and organizations focused on colour forecasting like the Color marketing Group, Para paints, and the International Colour Authority. All of whom are looking at this issue from an economics point of view for various reasons (sell data, know which dye to buy, what threads, etc.). Yes, there’s essentially a whole industry on just predicting popular colours of the coming years.

The Committee for Colour & Trends (CCT) focus on a few aspects of just the fashion world:

CCT is a leading fashion forecasting service for the footwear and accessories industries. For 20+ years we have been the go-to source for footwear, handbag, jewelry, and accessories trend tracking. Our Committee includes industry veterans around the globe and experts in each classification, creating focused and comprehensive reports that help our subscribers get inspired and maximize sales.

Pantone has a team of influencers from the world of fashion and interior design to predict the future of colour. Pantone claims that the colour of 2013 is non other than emerald green:

Their colour trend forecasting encompasses not only design choices but material choices too:

Color is the catalyst that can spark the sale, define the space and create the magic and the mood. When designing any product, knowing what colors to use is critical to your success. PANTONE offers a variety of trend forecasts for every design market giving you inspiration to make the right color choices seasons ahead of their time. Our detailed comprehensive forecast products offer seasonal inspiration for women’, men’s, active, cosmetics, interiors and industrial design.

You can see their forecast for spring 2014 here, they are predicting bright colours (but not as bright as 2013).

Bring it to digital

There is no reason to limit their analysis to just those fields – we should also apply this knowledge to making video games. Really, I can’t think of a reason not to.

Web designers have an assortment of easy to use colour scheme designers that are free online. They have already figured out what colours work best to convey what kind of basic emotion:

emotion and color

Clearly, colour trends don’t happen in a vacuum, just look at iOS 7, it made heavy use of bright colours to make things pop and to provide a feeling of newness/freshness – something that was not ignored by CCT.

Fall 2013

Thanks Apple Insider

You can use this knowledge in your games!

There are many ways to bring the knowledge of colour trends into video games. Keep in mind that you should never forget who you are targeting and what you’re trying to say with the game. If you take a game like Limbo and try to make it match Pantone’s colour of 2013 then you’ll have a very different game at the end of the day.

Here’s some basic ways to enhance your game using colour trends:

  • Menu screens can follow trends
  • Casual games like Candy Crush follow colour trends
  • GUIs can be adjusted
  • The overall atmosphere of the game is impacted by colour
  • Think of the brown image above compared to Katamari
  • App icons can grab people’s attention using colour

What does the future hold?

Pantone 2015 prediction

Beyond the companies and links above, there are more ways to get on board the colour train!

If you want to get a head start on next year’s fashion you can find out the colours for spring 2014 (and some fashion trends) right now.

You can also check out the related links below for more on fashion or colour.

Deeper into the Realm of Fashion + Games

I’m still looking at fashion and games (previously) and have gained even more apperciation for the art of fashion and the concepts around style.

Without further ado, here’s a hodgepodge of fashion and games stuff:

Console to Closet is a website that catalogs the blending of fashion and video games into stylish and wearable outfits. Pictured is the outfit inspired by Legion from Mass Effect.
Legion!

There are some fashion elements in video games that make no sense whatsoever like female body armour. Recently, there was a post on TOR.com on the ridiculous design of protective breast plating in games (and other media). Here’s a snippet from the piece which is worth a read.

But that’s not all! Let’s say you even fall onto your boob-conscious armor. The divet separating each breast will dig into your chest, doing you injury. It might even break your breastbone. With a strong enough blow to the chest, it could fracture your sternum entirely, destroying your heart and lungs, instantly killing you. It is literally a death trap—you are wearing armor that acts as a perpetual spear directed at some of your most vulnerable body parts. It’s just not smart.

Back to the physical world, we see change there too. With new fabrics being created one can use clothing as a controller interface for digital games with Woven.

The Perfect Suit is a one hour BBC documentary thing into what makes a suit good (or bad).

Ozwald Boateng – Why Style Matters

Not really related to games, but just so you know: yes you can judge a woman by her shoes, it took a scientific study to prove it.

The Flea’s site helped me quite a bit in this process.

On Fashion

A project I’m working on is based on/inspired by the world of high fashion and I’ve been trying to get up to speed on what “fashion” is all about. I’ve had some help in this process (hat tip to a ghost amongst others) and I think there’s some key things I feel I should note here.

The most recommended things to watch about fashion are documentaries, both set in New York (Paris plays a role too).

The first is Paris is Burning about the drag scene in the late 80’s. It’s interesting the connection of identity, class, race, and gender all intersecting around one event: “the Ball”.

The second is The September Issue about Anna Wintour and the making of the most important issue of the year for Vogue magazine. Wintour is the considered to be the god of the fashion world and she has the power to make or break someone’s career in the industry; she also has a reputation of having a cold heart.

That idea of the cold heart is better captured in the fictional tale The Devil Wears Prada. This movie actually covers the only story that the fashion world (or at least its followers who aren’t in the industry) seem to want to listen to: “ugly/ unfortunate” woman accidentally gets a job at a fashion magazine/house/company and everyone thinks she’s incompetent, then she proves herself to her coworkers and gets tied up in the industry. The story ends with the now-competent and well-dressed woman realizing that the fashion world is a shame and inner beauty is what really counts (but looking good still helps).

This has been true for every fictional fashion movie I’ve seen except maybe Zoolander.

It’s also worth posting this amazing product that can revolutionize the fashion industry.

Here’s another fun video exploring why men’s fashion TV shows pale in comparison to female-focused ones.

After going through this exploration of the popular conception of what fashion is and represents I’ve really come to terms with what interests me most is the eye for design. The next step for me is understanding the design choices made and I think that’ll be more interesting.

Keep an eye out for The New Aesthetic, even though the project is over the debate rages on.

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