Fashion Computer Game

Apparel Design and Gaming

Gaming is big business.  Fashion is big business. Is there any overlap?

Gaming has a global market value of $152 billion, as reported in the Global Games Market Report by the intelligence firm, Newzoo, of which 45 percent is spent on mobile games. In 2019, a staggering $2.4 billion people were estimated to have played a mobile game (close to one third of the global population).

 

How is Fashion Used in Games?

(Permission granted from Kitfox Games)

Players are no longer just teenage boys. Victoria Tran, the Communications Director at Kitfox Games located in Montreal, Canada, presented a talk at the Full Indie Summit, November 20, 2019 entitled, Underdressed and Stressed, Why Fashion in Games Matters.  Kitfox produces games like Boyfriend Dungeon, Six Ages, Dwarf Fortress, Lucifer within Us and Mondo Museum.

Victoria pointed out to the assembled game designers at the conference how fashion can add synergy and fun to games. Game designers should think about this while designing games, i.e., style that add to the total gaming experience.

(Permission granted from Kitfox Games)

Victoria explained how fashion expands the story through character development. “Fashion, like character design, is an answer to a question.  How do we express a fictional character in a real-world context?”

Her advice to game designers is the following: “Clothes are a story, know where your character will appear, and every piece has meaning. Don’t just add accessories unless they have a use or meaning to the story.  Fashion tells your players about the character without words. “

We were able to get a virtual interview with Victoria to ask the question of how a fashion designer could break into the world of game fashion. Victoria recommends having a knowledge of game engines (whether that’s Unity, Unreal, GameMaker, etc.), along with familiarizing yourself with games of different genres to see how fashion could intersect with them.

If you are interested in learning how to create games using the above game engines, like Unity, check out Udemy. A great way to fill your time while you are self-quarantined (for about $13.99, you can’t beat the price).

 

FASHION IS THE GAME ITSELF 

DREST

Dr. Evridiki Papahristou from whichPLM (a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) magazine dedicated to retail industry news & fashion industry news) writes about fashion-oriented games. Some of the games she has covered are Drest, the first interactive luxury styling game and Burberry’s first fashion game, B Bounce.

Drest was created by Lucy Yeomans, founding editor-in-chief of Net-a-Porter’s magazine Porter. The game invites users to dress photorealistic avatars each week with different styling challenges. Players adopt the role of fashion stylists utilizing new season collections. Full launch is scheduled for early 2020. Drest will be available for both Android and Apple with partnerships that already include Gucci, Prada, Stella McCarthy, Puma and many others.  Players will be able to purchase the clothes featured in the game on Farfetch.

(Permission granted from Drest)

(Permission granted from Drest)

 

BURBERRY

Burberry’s first game, B Bounce (launched October 2019) involves players competing for virtual and physical jackets. The goal is to entertain and connect with younger consumers around the world, as interactive digital content becomes another opportunity for consumers to connect with the Burberry community online. 

Building on the success of B Bounce, Burberry launched a second game in January 2020, The World of Ratberry, as part of its 2020 Lunar New Year campaign inspired by the Thomas Burberry Monogram motif and in honor of the Year of the Rat.

World of Ratberry

B Bounce (Photo credit: Burberry)

 

LOUIS VUITTON

Fashion brands are starting to put their stamp on characters within games. In 2019, Riot Games partnered with Louis Vuitton for that year’s League of Legends Championship Finals in Paris by creating a bespoke travel case for the Summer’s Cup trophy designed Nicolas Ghesquière.

Vuitton added other digital assets for the game Louis Vuitton x League of Legends, such as ‘skins’, which in gaming language means graphic/audio files used to change the appearance of the user interface to a program or for a game character. League of Legends has grown to become a global phenomenon as the most-played PC game in the world.

(Louis Vuitton Trophy Case for Legends Championship Finals)

(Louis Vuitton ‘skins’ – Photo credit: League of Legends)

 

UNIVERSITY OF FASHION SUGGESTS A FASHION GAME  

Many existing online multi-player role-playing games (MMPORG) seem to focus on the appearance of the avatar in terms of face, hair, and body type. And some games allow the player to add clothing or “skins.”

As Victoria Tran noted “A lot of games have found success by adding mod support, where players can actually create and import their own designs into games – and that extends beyond fashion too! But this depends on the player base being continually active.”

The game Drest allows users to practice their styling skills and then purchase the clothes, but styling isn’t designing, and this type of game doesn’t really excite aspiring fashion designers. In fact, if you were to ask a fashion designer to comment on existing game avatars, they would probably tell you that there is much room for improvement. That got us to thinking. What if we could create a game dedicated to the hands-on, creative aspect of fashion designing? What would that look like?

So, we asked Victoria Tran her opinion of a MMPORG based on a fashion theme like the fashion reality TV shows Project Runway, Next in Fashion or Making the Cut? Her response:

That’d be cool! So much of this boils down to having a team that’s willing to put in the work towards making it, marketing, the consumer base, and figuring out a fun mechanic to go alongside it.”

When we asked her about the cost of making a game from scratch, here’s what she said:

“Hmmm that’s a difficult question to answer since it depends on the scope of the project, e.g. a simple 2D platformer will cost more than a 3D MMO game, depending on team size and how deep you want the game to be. I’d put it in the upper range of 500k+”

 

If any game programmers are reading this and want to get a slice of the fashion design gaming pie, give us a call. Here are some ideas that we came up with:

A Fashion Design Challenge

Choose your market: Men’s, Women’s or Children’s

Choose your target price point: (High-end, Mid-range, Budget)

Choose a fashion figure that best suits your chosen market: Avant-garde, Contemporary, etc.

Create a theme/fabric/color story board

Choose the best looks for your market/price point from a library of styles or design your own

Share your design images on your social media or in-message with friends

Expansion: Players create their own assignments and challenge each other

Childrenswear (Photo credit: Seul Lee for University of Fashion)

 

Theme/Fabric/Color Storyboard (Photo credit: University of Fashion)

 

A Fashion Illustration Challenge

Choose your market: Men’s, Women’s or Children’s

Choose your target price point: (High-end, Mid-range, Budget)

Choose a fashion figure that best suits your chosen market: Avant-garde, Contemporary, etc.

Choose the best looks for your market/price point from a library of styles or design your own

Share your fashion illustrations on your social media or in-message with friends

Expansion: Players create their own assignments and challenge each other

Figure Drawing Challenge (Photo credit: Steven Broadway for University of Fashion)

 

Fashion Illustration Challenge (Photo credit: Roberto Calasanz for University of Fashion)

 

A Draping Challenge

Choose your design classification: Evening, Bridal, Intimate Apparel, Activewear, Sportswear

Choose your fabric

Sketch your design

Drape your design

Modify your design or let others mod your design

Share your design images on your social media or in-message with friends

Expansion: Players create their own assignments and challenge each other

Eveningwear Draping Challenge – Eveningwear (Photo credit: Kenneth McQueen for University of Fashion)

 

Activewear Draping Challenge (Photo credit: Shanna Cupples for University of Fashion)

Other Useful Links

https://www.theguardian.com/games/2019/oct/09/gamers-spend-hours-customising-characters-but-dont-you-dare-mention-fashion

https://www.whichplm.com/if-you-cant-work-with-3d-technology-then-play-with-it/

https://eu.louisvuitton.com/eng-e1/magazine/articles/louis-vuitton-x-league-of-legends#

https://ew.com/tv/tv-reviews/making-the-cut-on-amazon-review/

 

Share your thoughts on what type of fashion design computer game would most interest you!

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Carol McDonald

Carol McDonald

Carol McDonald is a new contributor to the University of Fashion. She, along with her husband, are owners of Gneiss Concept, a consultancy that focuses on mass customization of footwear and apparel manufacturing. She has over 30 years of experience in Manufacturing and Sustaining Engineering covering Consumer products (Starbucks, Intermec, Microsoft), Medical equipment (Physio Control), Testing equipment (Fluke Networks), Fitness products (Precor) and Design Innovation (PNNL). She has attended Shoe School in Port Townsend, Washington and Modo software training at Pensole, Portland, Oregon. Carol McDonald graduated from University of Washington, Bothell, in Electrical Engineering (B.S.), from Oregon State University in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.), from University of Oregon in Mathematics (B.S.). Carol McDonald is co-chair of IEEE 3D Body Processing Industry Connections Group which brings together diverse stakeholders from across technology, retail, research and standards development to build thought leadership around 3D body processing technology standard, https://standards.ieee.org/industry-connections/3d/bodyprocessing.html Her three grown children are involved in STEM fields ranging from distributed power generation engineering, a High School science teacher, and computer programming. She enjoys family ski trips, adult rec soccer and quilting.