Today I'd like to talk about the importance of limiting your colour schemes.
Now there's lots of people out there who complain about how many games seem to have this "Real is Brown" mentality and that it really desaturates the fun out of the aesthetics of games and all that.
And while recent games seem to slowly move away from that, thankfully, I also do agree that it's a stupid mentality. But in fact for a different reason.
You see, giving your scenes the hue of a single colour is a GOOD thing.
Or at least it is if it's done as a default.
I don't think the "Real is Brown" is stupid because they're turning everything brown, I think it's stupid because they ONLY use brown.
I've seen many recent games trying to tackle the mentality by making their games full of VIBRANT COLOURS and while it looks fun the first few hours, after a while it just becomes a bit of a headache.
You need to balance these things out. The times when the place is filled with vibrant colours are supposed to be the SPECIAL moments.
Now, am I saying that unless you're in a fantasy world, everything should be given the default colour brown?
Of course not. I'm just saying that you should give OTHER hues a try.
Look back to the first two Pokemon games, Pokemon Red and Blue.
Notice the sprites of each building and mountains and whatever.
They're exactly the same.
Yet if I would show some classic fan a screenshot, most would be able to tell which city the screenshot was taken.
That's because each area had a different hue of colour.
You see, the hue of a singular colour "glues" the whole picture together.
It helps making two separate assets look like one big whole.
This isn't saying that everything in a city should be coloured green. I'm instead saying that one certain colour should be given more focus than all the others.
Look for example at the first Sonic the Hedgehog game.
You start in a level which has lots of green and brown with a blue background. Then you go into a level where it's green and purple with a reddish background. Then you enter a level with a brown and yellow with a dark blue background.
They're appealing to look at because there's JUST enough colours to focus on, not because there's LOTS of it.
The creators gave you a different colour set per level, but they never overdid it PER level.
Now, am I instead saying that we should NEVER use huge amounts of colours at the same time? Not at all.
Let me point out to one of history's best uses of colour: The Wizard of Oz.
The movie started out in sepia-tone.
Back in the day of that movie, they're usually seen as the standard look reality has in movies, mostly due to technical limitations.
But the moment Dorothy enters Oz, BOOM! Colours alore!
Eventually when the group enters a forest or the Witch's castle and whatnot, the colours actually start being one-tone again, but the introduction of Oz was FILLED with different colours.
That's because the introduction is supposed to be the "Wow" moment. The moment where you'd be like "Holy shit, this place is beautiful".
After that is done, they decide "yeah, the point is made, let's go back to making the place easy on the eyes".
In conclusion, choose your colours wisely.
There are moments where it's appropriate to bombard the viewer with colours, and there are moments when it's best to fade the colours to a singular colour. Yes, that includes brown.