Design Process

For the Hip Hop experience, the design team wanted to create a game that achieved several goals:

    1. Create a game that could be enjoyed in a public space by a variety of groups, from complete strangers to a family.
    2. Explore methods for conducting attention between different projection surfaces.
    3. Use musical elements and dancing as an integral part of gameplay
    4. Design an original character who would dance and carry on as people played.
Character Brainstorm

In the Hip Hop experience, players collaborate to control a dancing character. The group wanted to design a character who would look good dancing, as well as develop a story behind why the players were controlling the dancing character. Some of the ideas for scenarios included:

  • Players are scientists controlling a nano-engineered germ-processing superhero 
  • Players are media activists controlling a robot who incites passive TV watchers to dance 
  • Players are music industry professionals controlling an invisible salsa dancer 
  • Players are researchers controlling a robot dancing bunny designed to study communication between rabbits. 
Here are some examples of some of the sketches that the group produced:
Tokli Character Development

In the end, the group decided to develop the dancing robot bunny Tokli, because it was felt that he would be easiest for guests of the Zeum o relate to him.

From the beginning of the Hip Hop project, the team wanted Tokli to dance to Latin music. The team felt that Latin music was among the most approachable and fun musical styles that are associated with dancing.

Visual research was conducted which gave the group ideas about how to create a Latin robot rock star. Tokli's costume and accessories were chosen from South American research and his "look" was inspired by many contemporary "bad boy" rock stars. It was decided that he would be on a stage with a backup band, so further research had to be done to give the designers an idea of what the stage might look like.



Since Tokli would dance on a stage and perform for an audience, the group decided to give the environment the look of a pop music concert. Speakers, musical instruments, shafts of saturated light, trusses and staging were designed. Since three projectors would be used to show the concert on the walls of the Zeum exhibit space, the group decided to use three different views of Tokli, as if he were a star of a TV special. Here are some of the images and sketches that inspired the design of the stage and environment:


The interface was initially designed to resemble a funky robot command center. The group strove to strike a balance between a themed look that would match the design of the experience and an intuitive interface that would not confuse the players. The players select dance moves by turning the turntable, which in turn switches the highlighted window that shows a small animation of the dance move to be selected. Several options were explored for indicating a view of the complete Tokli in order to indicate to the players they all contribute to controlling the dancing robot that they see on the big wall projections. 


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