Filed Under #performingavatars

Final: Animated Typing Game - Dance Dance Worker's Revolution

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I made a typing game about the glamorization of overworking yourself and the unhealthy work-life balance that is encouraged to “get ahead”. Corporations often use words like ‘passion’ to justify encouraging their starting employees to work for free or overtime. ‘Corporate feminism’ encourages marginalized people to just work harder to overcome obstacles toward financial stability and career success rather than addressing structural issues. I also wanted to express my stress and burnout from doing freelance work to support myself while handling the workload at ITP.

My concept for this game was to have an avatar dancing on a platform, such as a colorful, hyperreal stage where overworked kpop idols have collapsed during performances. The visuals are inspired by the style of the Dance Dance Revolution games. I wanted to user to be able to choose between several avatars, all with their own dance style and song. So far, I only implemented one of the avatar characters.

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As phrases fall down from the top, the player must type them to get rid of them. If you make mistakes while typing, the avatar stumbles more and more while dancing. If you make too many mistakes, the game will end.

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Github repo


DJ Robot Fembot Princess

DDR Sound effects Character select music Stage music

To Do

In the future, I would like to finish implementing the other playable characters. The end state of the game is buggy. The game ends if you type too many mistakes but currently doesn’t check if the words fall to the bottom of the screen. The placement of the words falling down have some issues. I need to do more research on Unity UI. I would also like to add more words/phrases. I originally thought to have some submitted from other people on Twitter but didn’t organize it in time. There are a lot of details that can be added to make this game more polished and interesting, such as text animation and scene transitions.

Written on October 23, 2018

Animating Models in Unreal Engine

I was able to import the fbx file and place the material on it. However, I noticed there are black lines where the material is wrapping around the model. alt text

I followed the tutorials for creating physics assets and adjusting colliders. alt text alt text

I was able to implement the 3rd person control animations with blend states.

Final Project Idea

I want to make a typing game where the users skills at typing affect the animations of an avatar. The avatar will be dancing and dance better if the user types the phrases correctly. If the user makes mistakes, the avatar will be more sluggish and dance worse. I plan to use blend states to make this happen.

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I’m not very familiar with Unreal engine and blueprints so I’m not sure how long it will take me to create the game part of this project. I’m much more confident with coding in Unity but I’ve never done animations in it.

Written on October 2, 2018

Model Rigging

alt text The process was pretty straightforward from watching the videos. My 3D scan texture was not super clean and has some holes so I will have to go back and clean it up in Photoshop later.

After wrapping in Wrap3 using the provided pipeline: alt text alt text

Rigging in Mixamo was really straightforward. It looked really funny watching my avatar do the animations since most of them are so exaggerated. alt text

Reading Discussion

It kind of disturbed me that in the breast physics article the male animator suggested male animators to look at porn to see how breasts move. How would referencing other hyperreal, exaggerated visuals help him achieve more ‘realistic’ breast movements? Also why run the animations by some women if exaggerated animations are a ‘net-positive’ for ‘some people’? They could just focus on their core audience and forget about what women that exist think. It is interesting that social media fembots like Kylie Jenner ‘play off our anxieties that women are fake’, because their popularity is due to them being able to sell a complete fantasy. Why are we obsessed with perfection in fantasy but also afraid of it?

Written on September 25, 2018

3D Scanning

I scanned Lin and Lin scanned me and it took us several tries to get a decent scan.

Even in my final scan, you can see that the carpet has fused inbetween my legs and one of the arms is a bit messy. alt text

Written on September 18, 2018

Avatar Creation System Self Portraits


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I feel that this avatar is an accurate representation of me. Despite the simplistic and cartoony look of the art style, it is easy to get quite detailed in your expression of yourself and create an original looking character. I think this is due to the large amount of assets available. This avatar system is originally from MapleStory, a Korean MMORPG from the mid-2000s. I used a fan-made designer website, “MapleStory: Design” , so I could use all items (including cash items). A lot of the options in this game have fantasy and anime elements. For my self portrait, I tried to keep a balance between realism (using clothes I actually own and wear) and the more outlandish options (the computer pod).

The Sims 4

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Although this avatar is 3D and comes from a game with a more realistic style, I feel like it is less representative of me due it’s failure to emulate some of my key facial features. I had trouble getting the facial sliders to make my nose shape and eye shape. I also only used items from the official Sims 4 games and no custom content. This severly limited the choice of hairstyles, makeup, and clothing items. With the more realistic art style, it’s easier to tell the differences between this avatar and myself. The part that made this avatar feel the most like a self portrait is choosing “traits” for my sim at the end. I chose gloomy, perfectionist, and materialistic. I feel like this combination gave my sim a unique personality.

Discussion Questions

From “The Psychology of Video Game Avatars”: “Other researchers have found that the ability to create idealized versions of ourselves is strongly connected to how much we enjoy the game, how immersed we become, and how much we identify with the avatar.” I’m interested in hearing about other people in the class’s experience with this. I think this is why I’ve always enjoyed playing Asian games vs. Western ones with avatar customization. Most Western games don’t have options to recreate asian facial features (especially eyes and nose). Although the depictions of asian women in asian games are still hypersexualized and not how I see myself, just being able to have a more accurate likeness of your facial features makes the playing experience more enjoyable.

Written on September 9, 2018