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Destiny's next update includes enhanced colorblind support, more audio controls

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Over the past few years Bungie has spent lots of blood and treasure to ensure that Destiny can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. Take for instance the care with which they animated the first-person camera to reduce the incidence of motion sickness. Now, they're taking another pass to make the game more playable for those who suffer from colorblindness.

In an update posted today on the official Bungie blog several members of the Destiny team chimed in to discuss how they've been working to solve issues reported by colorblind players.

"Adapting the existing user interface to support various colorblind modes turned out to be a fairly complex challenge," said Brad Fish, user interface engineering lead. "We managed to build a flexible toolkit for our designers that helped them do just that with minimally-invasive surgery."

Most players see Destiny's game world as shown in the picture below.


But players with the most common form of colorblindness see the game world this way.


By tinkering with contrast, Bungie's artists have been able to give colorblind players in-game cues that don't solely rely on color, as seen in the image below.


David Candland, user interface design lead, said that once the appropriate mode is turned on in Destiny's menu settings, colorblind players will have a better chance of grabbing the appropriate loot and picking the right weapons on the fly. The same kind of attention was given to the game's HUD, allowing colorblind players to "gain a more distinct clarity, [improve] their environmental awareness [and] helping them avoid that unintentional exotic dismantle."

Update 1.1.2 will also add audio sliders that will allow players to adjust fireteam chat volume relative to in-game audio, and mute the game's soundtrack entirely.

But Bungie still has a soft spot in their heart for their award-winning musical score.

"We've added a fun little audio Easter egg to the game," said Jay Weinland, Bungie's head of audio. "It’ll be in there, somewhere. Once the update is live, see if you can find it."