Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dress up games: a story of success

 A lot of games which developers played in their childhood to pass their free time have been transformed into easier computer versions. Among modern computer games we can find analogs of favorite boys’ Battles, girls’ Daughters and Mothers, Rubik’s Cube and many other games.
Computerization has influenced paper dolls, too. Years ago girls used to play dolls neatly cut out of children magazines. Ideally those dolls were cardboard, otherwise – simply paper. This also concerned their clothes. Of course, at that time we couldn’t talk about wide variety of choice. Girls couldn’t change doll’s skin color, put on make-up, choose backgrounds or make it smile. But now this became possible thanks to flash dress up games!
In spite of the fact that most of developers aren’t willing to give this genre a computer game status, dress ups are very popular among five-year-old girls and older ones… Even grown-up women adore playing these games trying not to be caught by their colleagues. They dream about stylish clothes and opportunity of endless shopping.
One American psychologist is convinced that dress up games help children development, especially imagination and fantasy. They give a good opportunity to take part in role games and experiment without restrictions. It is very important for kids that it is impossible to lose in these games. Here we can talk about an old truth: “Every man to his taste”. Thus nobody criticizes combination of sneakers with an evening dress. For a grown-up woman this is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy trying on charming dresses having not spent a lot of money.
We must mention that despite a huge number of dress up games they are not high quality. Sometimes it is difficult to superpose the clothes upon the doll, sometimes chord of colors is poor, and what is the most important - usability of many of them could be much better. All dress up games can be divided into three kinds depending on the way of model dressing up:
- the clicking ones (Here you have to click on a thing to put it on the model. Clothes move automatically. If you choose another garment it replaces the previous one. An example of such dress up game you can find on our site: );
- the moving ones (This is the most popular kind of dress up games. Here you have to click on the garment and to move it to the model. Usually this causes problems because you have to guess where the developer planned to place it and accurately combine it with a model. Thus you have to move the garment till it coincides with the model in the way it was intended by the developer. To change the garment you need to take away the previous one);
- with clothes sections (Here you can see signed buttons which answer for different garments. For example: a dress, trousers, a blouse, a hat, a bag, other accessories etc. It gives a good opportunity to use a beautiful background without any clothes. However, from the other side a lot of players like to see all the clothes at once. An example of such dress up game you can find on our site:
Dress up games can be characterized according to their themes, too. There are dress ups of celebrities, animals, top-models, dolls, Barbie etc.
Considering the fact that demand causes supply we can claim that very soon this genre of games will develop into something bigger and of course more qualitative.

by Eugena Slobodyanyuk

7 comments: said...

You've made some very good points, I think a lot of flash developers tend to underestimate dress-up games because maybe because many of them are male and they hold no interest for them. But they are very popular and have been since I started in 1998. By the way, judging by surveys I've done, most of my audience are 11-13 year old, stretching out to 8-15.

Tudi said...

Like I said on's blog, the common points I've seen brought up against Dressups are that:

1. They take little effort to develop code-wise (no one thinks about the effort designers put into clothes it seems).
2. They're not really games because they have no action and no replayability.
3. The market is flooded with them (which might be true).
4. There's little room for innovation in a dressup game.

All of them have some validity if you look at them from a 25-year old man's perspective. If you put yourself in the shoes of a young girl playing a dressup, they all lose their arguments. I've seen my friend's 10-year old daughter play dressups, she's so excited when she manages to find a garment that she think looks great...she doesn't care about it not being "a real game", she's just happy.

Regarding the problem you mentioned with some drag-and-drop games that you have to guess where the dev intended you to place that item:

My developer and I found a way to circumvent this, as we check the item's snap-on target not to a specific body part, but to the entire character's hitbox. Sure, it's a little cheat, as you can basically place the trousers over the character's head and they will teleport to their place :P But I think it's easier for players that way.

If you'd like to check out an example, take a look at the first game I developed for my site:

cargames99 said...

Great post, girls or little kids like to be beautiful by dressing, of course, you also want to dress others such as barbie in the dress up games. dress up games, barbie makeover games, car games

Lia said...

The kids especially a little girls will surely love this dressing up games and they will enjoy playing it. You did a great job for that. Thanks.^_^

Lia | Flash Developer Philippines


I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks...

Dress Up Games | Girls Games | Cooking Games

gamaza said...

Online dress up games is already attracting a lot of people.

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