Why has every with some kind of “designated climbable ledge” mechanic seemingly settled on marking such ledges with yellow?

When we create a visual style for a game, we must establish a visual language. This means visual indicators that the player can recognize and understand. Here is an example of visual language that you might recognize:

Each of these blocks provides gameplay context to the player upon seeing them. They each have different behaviors and the player can determine what each of them means by their visual cues.

In a game with climbable ledges, players must be able to differentiate climbable ledges from non-climbable ledges. This necessitates some kind of visual indicator to differentiate the two, or players will get stuck/lost/frustrated. Note how you can almost instantaneously see the path here because the visual language is so well-defined.

The reason that so many games tend to choose yellow for that indicator is because yellow is a high contrast color that sticks out against just about any background color. Look at these real life photos and see how much the yellow sticks out compared to the other colors.

See how your eye is almost immediately drawn to the yellow elements in each picture? The reason you see so many interactable ledges marked with yellow is because it's the brightest, most contrasting color that will pull player eyes to it almost immediately. For anything we absolutely don't want players to miss, we will often use yellow to highlight it because it is the most obvious thing we can do short of putting enormous UI elements pointing at the thing and saying GO HERE.

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