Color Scarcity... What are your thoughts?

Hey all, curious what your thoughts are on Color scarcity?

Should it be that all colors should be available?
Should some colors be limited?
Should colors be rare?
Is there an in-between?
Should only Primary colors be available and everything else limited/mixed?

Just thinking out loud.


I think Primary and Secondary should be available by default. Possibly tertiary.
A mixing method to mix dies and pigments.
Dyes made from flowers and flowers will randomly change colors when regen, this balance color scarcity.
Have pigment blocks underground that are random colors and they rerandomize color on generation.
Offer color mixing of some kind a machine or something.
Then colors appearing on the world’s can still be random and some color scarcity but not so much so that it becomes annoying.
You may lock colors on high end blocks that depends on random planets to occur with them or a new perm planet gets them.

In my mind this would remove the bad from color Rarity as we discussed last night but still give builders something to still work towards color wise and still help stimulate the community without making it a color war! As we said tonight it definitely needs to be balanced properly if Rarity is going to be a thing!

Also color mixing would add a complexity of play that could be really fun!

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Color scarcity is a tricky mechanic and there are many factors to consider.

Let’s use a few examples of other games:

In Vanilla MC you have to gather dyes from various flowers and other sources to produce dyes. While this mechanic works, the difference would be that MC doesn’t have colored blocks that can be mined.

In Boundless you could just mine blocks of colors available, certain locked colors might be Exo-only with the rare chance that a color may be unlocked randomly by the purchase of sovereigns. You could also find goo to go through the process of creating the colors you don’t have or even colors that haven’t been unlocked.

In Endless, I would try to think of a new way for color scarcity if we plan to introduce that mechanic. I do think one of the failures Boundless had was some of the base (primary) colors were nearly impossible to get in any decent amount to build anything out of it.

I think in Endless, first you would need to decide on if you want color scarcity at all. If you do, then you need to define a mechanic you want to use and if you want to have the blocks define those different colors, or if you want a painting/dye system define the colors or both, or if you to have a machine/tool and its ability to paint/dye blocks define the colors.

I think the place to start first are the blocks. There are a few initial questions that can help.

  • Can you mine or gather colored blocks like Boundless or are all rock types their natural color?
  • Is the end goal to allow everyone to have access to every color and if so would that be an unlimited amount?
  • You also need to take into consideration how the economy might be structured. If you want all blocks to have color scarcity then certain block types of certain colors will have value and sell for a higher value. If rock as a basic material is available in all colors from the start then the value of that rock as a whole will be lower. If you don’t have colored rock and its the natural color of the rock type and you have to paint it then the value of rock is even lower and will likely to cost almost nothing or be given away freely. In turn it would be one of the most wasted materials in the game as it has almost no value.

There are a ton of variables to take into consideration, but if you want to introduce color scarcity I’d highly suggest thinking of a whole knew way of doing it.

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See that is the one thing in boundless that confused me, why are rocks all the same color on a planet. Rocks should be different colors even on the same planet. I mean we can all go dig in our back yards and find all sorts of colors in our rocks. So why would rocks just be 1 color on a planet.

I can see ok this planet only has red marble and red marble is harder to find than say white marble. But that makes sense.


I think the biggest thing for me was the value of different colored materials in boundless. Take for example, black gleam. Black gleam was a highly valued resource and people loved using it in builds but when it became more openly accessible the appeal both in the market and visually just lowered. By visually, I’m talking about how it went from “Oh hey, this build has black gleam in it! that’s pretty cool!” to "Black gleam… that’s cool, I guess :man_shrugging: "

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Scarcity of colors was great and annoying at the same time. Maybe we can figure out how to provide a range of non scarce colors that can provide a decent pallet selection and have more exotic colors that fill the scarcity we also want. Example would be to provide the basic colors of a crayon box for example. But for the more scarce colors you would venture into the different shades of the crayon box. Did that make any sense?
I guess I found it really annoying that there were a few basic colors that were too hard to find. But yet I still wanted exotic scarce colors.


As a builder, I carefully choose my color palette for a particular project.
When I start with the project in question, I want to be sure that the colors I have chosen are available in-game within a reasonable period of time.


Yes, this .:point_up_2::joy:
Grinding for materials is one thing. Grinding for a color seems wrong.


The goal for a lot of the mechanics in the game are going to center around progression. Initially, players may not have all the colors, but we feel players should at least have the basic colors this would be primary colors of (Red, Yellow, Blue), the secondary colors (Orange, Green Violet) and most likely Black and White.

We may introduce mechanics that could allow players to unlock more colors like the tertiary colors and other colors we define.

We have not finalized any of this so it is still being determined.


As a builder, I too am not too thrilled with colours scarcity but if need be I would opt for at least primary and secondary easy at hand and then more complex through grinding and or magic.

With grinding I mean harvest certain materials that you have to process into die that can be used for colouring.

With magic, I mean through finding exotics through quests or dungeon crawling and then again mechanics to process to the desired colour.

I did like the goo in boundless although I found it a tad too complex for me. That and the limited amounts you were able to produce unless mega farms that take up all your time.


What about having all colours available from start but not permanet , meaning on high Tier planets the colours change every day as example.

so its a limeted time available and prizes could keep high , and repeat the colours in same order so you won t have randomly one colour 2 times a week as example

all colours fast available through multiple planets
Keep prizes high because of fast changing colours on planets
good for builders ( because of colour variation )
good for “miners” because they get good money

just a thought

I like this idea a lot, actually.

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Rewrote this a couple of times because of changing ideas. What if you introduced radiant materials? Either a metal or crystal that emits a type of radiation. You could have it come in a variety of colors to be harvested, could have it in various grades of purity for rarer deposits in higher tiered places. It is not Fulgarite but you could have it alter blocks placed near it. One would be color. In the real world a lot of gemstones people use are altered by radiation to be other colors or enhanced colors, such as Amethyst. Almost all Amethyst you see today has been exposed to radiation to make them that deep purple color. Blue Topaz is irradiated yellow topaz. This material, I am just using radiant as a descriptive, could be strong enough to shift the color of blocks to its own. The time it takes and the exact shades may be dependent on the grade of the radiant material and the material being changed. It could make certain blocks change to unexpected colors…in this you could have the freedom to make the material itself matter as much as the base color. On top of that you could use this kind of radiant material to alter metals and other materials into higher grade materials. In some fantasy novels they sometimes describe Mithril and Orichalchum as magically imbued versions of a base metal. Here you could have the freedom to make some materials…metals, rock, soil, wood, etc. change based on exposure to this radiant material. Color being only one factor. You could make it so different materials decay over time and revert to their original state while others are permanent. Rate of decay could be based on the material and how strongly it was exposed.

Colors could shift through the palette between the base material and the radiant material. The crafter/farmer could remove the block when they reach the color stage they want.

Maybe the stronger the radiant material versus the material used could help dictate how deep the color and how permanent it is. Anyway, was just an avenue I was thinking about.

Oh, one idea would be to have the radiant material appear in nature but in relative small quantities but once it spawns it can start affecting the blocks around it, so a way to detect it is by the changes it makes. Maybe find a way to refine the radiant material to enhance it later.

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there should be block variants of X color that stand out, like standard glowblock, vibrant glowblock, and resplendent glowblock, it would give us something to aim for, especially if we can make them ourselves(albeit at a much higher effort factor)

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Sorry if this is a necro -

But i just wanted to add that color scarcity might extend beyond raw resources like wood/rock/plants etc that are harvestable on the surface. We could even go deeper than producing dyes/pigments.

For example: Animal/Mount breeding, decorative plant cultivation/gardening, DNA manipulation/geneticist role.

Maybe you are only able to capture a basic yellow doggo in nature. But through careful and selective breeding/cultivation you produce aqua, teal, wine, or blood red. Even further then the rarity of other colors like abyssal black, purest white, gold, platinum, or gem tones. It’s my belief that these should be rare, and somewhat challenging to achieve.

A diamond encrusted pet/plant/mount/rock should not be as common as one that is dirt brown or baby poo green. This gives builders, farmers, gardeners, ranchers etc a goal. And a sense of accomplishment when those rarer colors are discovered.

So imo - Yes, scarcity should exist. And i’d go one step further and say there should be specific prestige colors that are only attainable for those who spend the time and energy to find/cultivate them. If I’ve spent countless hours/weeks/months growing plants to discover a Golden apple tree - others should not be able to go out and dig one up in passing.

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Some cool ideas :slight_smile:
Also don’t worry, everything here is a necro for the time being. XD