Colors and the Visual Identity of Levels in Anomaly Racing

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Visual Identity of a Level is very important, especially so in a Racing Game, because the Players constantly revisit tracks. Players should be able to distinguish each of the Tracks easily and immediately from one another. Good naming is a good way to keep track of the track names, but colors will help to reinforce the connection, either consciously or sub-consciously.

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Imprinting the Level in the Player’s Mind

When a Player forgets the name of a track, usually they are able to remember the color first, and then the overall theme of the Track. Colors create very visual memory cues. Think of a game level you have played before. What is the first thing you can picture in your mind? The color? Or the details?

Conveying the Characteristics of a Level through Colors

I wanted the players to associate the tracks with the colors not only for identification, but also because people associate colors with mood and feelings, and I want the player to feel the characteristics of the levels, not by me telling them, but from the colors used in the levels. Dangerous? Tricky? Mysterious? Exciting?

The Color Themes of Anomaly Racing Levels

Fiery red to complement its brown, red and yellowish volcanic level, to make it feel warm and fiery… The level is fast with dangerous drops and curves.
Greyish to complement brownish sands and purplish skies in a desert level, to make it feel dusty and kind of lazy… The level is bumpy (craft in the air… acceleration loss…) and is pretty wide in general making it quite easy to race.
Mysterious blue to complement the brown and green foresty level, to make it feel cool and mysterious… The level has many small sharp turns, coupled with some big wide curves, some hidden shortcuts and the tracks are (drawn) more trails-like than tracks, to make the track look smaller than it really is,making it trickier to race, on the whole visually and physically…
A lively green to complement the yellowish track and greenish ancient pine level, to make it feel alive and more nature like… The level is simple and straightforward, long straights with slight sprinklings of very visible curves, a fast track on the whole.(In fact, my critic on it is, its too long and too easy… too boring… :p)
A polluted orange to complement the yellows and bluish grey industrial buildings, to make it feel warm and polluted… The level has many clear mechanical turns, meaning… easily identifiable and predictable turns.
An electric blue to complement its black and grey buildings, to make it feel cold and synthetic… The level has very wide tracks, big wide curves, and big slopes and drops, it feels very isolated because of the wide track.
A dirty yellowish green to complement the greens and yellows of a poisoned dumpster city, to make it feel dirty and poisoned… The level is generally straight, but has some tricky sharp corners on top of some continuous curves and slopes.
Almost clear to complement the green and brown forest environment, to make it feel clean and fresh… The level is characterized by having more water areas than any other levels, The water gives an extra level of interest to the level making it look more dynamic. I just wanted to create a simple level to see what it is like to race on the waters of the UT2004 engine.


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