Center for Human Modeling and Simulation

Document Type

Conference Paper

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Motion in Games (MIG '14)

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Motion in Games 2014, November 6-8, 2014, Los Angeles, California.


Real-time animation controllers are fundamental for animating characters in response to player input. However, the design of such controllers requires making trade-offs between the naturalness of the character’s motions and the promptness of the character’s response. In this paper, we investigate the effects of such tradeoffs on the players’ enjoyment, control, satisfaction, and opinion of the character in a simple platform game. In our first experiment, we compare three controllers having the same responsiveness, but varying levels of naturalness. In the second experiment, we compare three controllers having increasing realism but at the expense of decreased responsiveness. Not surprisingly, our least responsive controller negatively affects players’ performance and perceived ability to control the character. However, we also find that players are most satisfied with their own performance using our least natural controller, in which the character moves around the environment in a static pose; that differences in animation can significantly alter players’ enjoyment with responsiveness being equal; and that players do not report increased motion quality with our most natural controller, despite viewers outside of a game context rating the same controller as significantly more natural than our other conditions.

Copyright/Permission Statement

© ACM 2014. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Motion in Games (MIG '14),


digital games, controller, virtual character, perception, motion quality, responsiveness



Date Posted: 13 January 2016

This document has been peer reviewed.