How does just dance for the wii work

The Science of Just Dance

Every Sunday, we pull something out of the Eurogamer archive that you may not have read at the time or may have forgotten about. Today's piece was published a couple of months prior to the release of Just Dance 2, on 6th August 2010, as Ubisoft's unlikely Wii title from the previous Christmas continued to rock the game sales charts, and offers an insight into how the French publisher reached such giddy heights.

A meeting room in the belly of a Parisian office block: Ubisoft producer Florian Granger stands to his feet to address a group of serious-looking, middle-aged men. These are some of the company's most experienced game designers, artists and coders, veterans of Ghost Recon and Red Steel campaigns, architects of solemn videogames about war and tactics, strategy and death.

Granger's job? To reveal the next assignment the assembled group will be working on. The project? A Wii game. A Wii party game. A Wii party game based almost entirely upon a mini-game that first featured in another Wii party game, months earlier. A Wii party game that, within 18 months of this meeting, will have gone on to sell three and a half million copies and knocked the record-breaking Modern Warfare 2 from its top spot in the sales charts. A Wii party game whose instruction manual also happens to also be its name: Just Dance.

"You'd think the team would have been cynical about the project," explains Granger. "There was a flood of casual games coming out for the Wii at the time, all offering the same-old experiences with no innovation or real attention paid to the player experience. But there was immediately a sense of excitement within the group. I think that was because the codebase for the game was already proven, and the games we were looking to learn from and build upon were respected titles like Dance Dance Revolution. Our reference points were authentic."



Just Dance began life as a music mini-game in the Raving Rabbids series on Wii, in which the player used the Wii Remote and nunchuk to 'dance' in time with a piece of music. Gregoire Spillmann, Just Dance's creative director, enjoyed the mini-game, but wanted to explore what would happen if you removed nunchuk and strict Rhythm Action gameplay and allowed the player to dance more freely.

"The term 'dancing game' is usually a misnomer," he says. "More often than not you're not being asked to dance so much as push buttons - either on a dance mat, plastic peripheral or controller - in time with the music. Our concept was to inspire people to overcome their inhibitions and encourage them to actually dance. If you look at a game like Dance Dance Revolution, advanced players will often adapt dance moves to fit gameplay. We wanted to come at the game from the opposite approach, and fit the gameplay to iconic moves, ones that can then be taken by the player, and used beyond the game.

The way in which the Just Dance team achieved this effect was in direct contrast to the prevailing trend in music games, which increasingly employ complicated, expensive and lifelike peripherals to act as a bridge between player and game. "For what we wanted to achieve, peripherals were a distraction," explains Spillmann. "In order to encourage players to be free we had to reduce the amount of hardware the game required them to use to a bare minimum.

"We forced ourselves to achieve a meaningful level of rhythm and movement detection using the Wii Remote alone. We wanted complete freedom of arms and legs, so the idea of using nunchuks, elastic bands, leg straps or balance boards was thrown out at an early stage. We play-tested extremely hard right from the start, and this was the message coming back to us. The player is the best indicator; they know what they like and what they don't like so if you listen carefully, they'll guide you to make the right design choices."

In the case of Just Dance, the right design choice seemed to be the simplest design choice. I ask Granger how a team with so much experience was able to reconcile their ambition with the feedback they were receiving, to introduce fewer features and complexity.

Just Dance's aesthetic is garish - but it's also totally unique.

"From the start the entire team believed in the simplicity of the game," he explains, "so there was no contradiction between Ubisoft's desire to make it a game for everyone and our designers' own personal ambitions. In truth, making 'simple' games should be the highest ambition of any game designer, if by 'simple' we mean stripping a game back to the pure essentials where any person from any walk of life can experience something fun and engaging.

"That brief hardly represents a compromise. Also, making a game simple and accessible doesn't mean forgoing making it rich and deep. Those factors can all coexist happily, and that's something we were aiming for in Just Dance, at every stage of development."

If Ubisoft's ambition was to create a universally accessible experience, its success is near unrivalled, certainly in raw terms of last year's videogame sales. I ask Granger whether he puts the success of the game down to its soundtrack, supermarket-happy price point, or something else.

"I think there are loads of reasons why the game has been so well received. It might sound like a cliché, but it really does offer a unique dancing experience in it promotes communal, authentic dancing, rather than merely stepping in time. The tone of the game is fun too. We don't take the presentation too seriously, and I think players respond to that well, especially when we're asking them to do something as extroverted as dancing.

"Everyone remembers going to a nightclub or school disco where it takes a couple of hours before anyone has the bottle to get up and dance. Most guys do the fix-placed-beer-bottle dance or neck-shake to the beat. Everything in Just Dance is designed to sidestep those natural inhibitions. That's achieved partly by having the focal point of the screen for people to focus on, so they don't feel like they're being watched, but also in giving players a constant stream of new moves to learn, we're building up a vocabulary for people, and by having a dancer on screen to follow, giving them permission to try out that language in a safe context.

"After a few goes, when you've learned the basics, you get a little more adventurous and start to move around the room and checking at your fellow dancers. But by then, you're at ease and just enjoying the fun of dancing. Dancing with someone has this weird effect: it's like you know him or her in an intimate way or share a secret together somehow. People respond to that feeling too, as it's a unique thing in videogames."

In the light of this impassioned defense, I ask Granger how much is really going on in the Just Dance's code. Does the game really track player movements? Or is the scoring all smoke and mirrors, designed to give the player the illusion that the game is monitoring more that it really is able to?

Just Dance gameplay footage.

"We have built in a certain amount of leniency into the rhythm and precision detection, but to say that it's smoke and mirrors simply isn't true. We have constructed symmetrical movements using natural body dynamics to identify how well someone is playing even with just one controller. We look at the Wii remote as an extension of the players' hands and body.

"At first we used the nunchuk as well, but found that the wire would hit you in the face and that you lost that sense of freedom you want when dancing. The system we use takes into account the way you move, dance and handle the Wii Remote to offer more precision in the detection frames. This is seamless for the player, but it takes a lot of work to enable the proper detection through a single input device."

The game features a DDR-esque scoring system, measuring the player's performance on a wide variety of factors. I ask Granger whether a better player will always beat a poorer player, or whether the machine can be duped by flailing arms and raw energy. "No way. If you pick up the moves and hit the beat, your performance will be scored accordingly. A better dancer will always beat a poorer player. If you want to be in time and accurate, you have a much higher chance if you follow both arm movements and keep the rhythm with both your lower and upper body. So essentially, you're better off doing what the dancer is doing... Otherwise you will find the transitions difficult to match."

Neither man was willing to discuss the budget for Just Dance, nor how that might have ballooned for its forthcoming sequel, nor the royalty arrangements that the team members may or may not have enjoyed. But it's clear that, having tapped into something so popular, Ubisoft is keen to invest and build a franchise, especially in the face of a slew of me-too copycat titles from rival publishers.

As such, the team size for Just Dance 2 has been increased from 34 to 58, and a slew of new features have made it into the game, with downloadable content compatibility, new game modes and more accurate detection expanding the game in ways beyond its track list.

But despite the promise of these new features, Just Dance continues to have a hard time convincing hobbyist gamers of its worth, typically being dismissed as a lightweight, throwaway party game, a subject unworthy of serious discourse. "That always makes me laugh," says Granger. "The entire videogame industry was founded on games made by lovable nerds that were, initially at least, enjoyed by everyone. I remember my friend's dad spending hours with us on 'Pong', refusing to give up the controller even when he lost.

"Of course, I appreciate where critics are coming from but it can be easy just to dismiss this type of Wii game out of hand. In truth, no player, no matter how inexperienced they are, is duped by poor design. Good game design is good game design whether you've been playing games all your life, or just for the last 20 minutes.

"'Casual' gamers, if we have to call them that, are much more educated and demanding of what they are want to play than 'hardcore' gamers give them credit for. And, it might sound obvious, but it's worth repeating: graphical fidelity, and the power of hardware itself is not what makes a game fun or not. The number of polygons is not what makes you laugh or cry: it's the substance and creativity behind a game that holds its worth. "

Just Dance Review - Review

A good friend of mine once said, "No matter how you dance, you are a better dancer then the one who is standing still." In a way, this sums up Ubisoft's Just Dance. Just Dance is a dancing simulator that focuses on busting a move, no matter how bad you do it or what song you're doing it to. It's all about partaking in the fun of dancing. It has some good ideas, but also some flaws that keep it from being truly amazing.

The object of Just Dance is a simple one. An on-screen dancer does a routine based on a song, and the player must replicate the dance moves in time to the beat of the song. This is done according to how the player is holding the Wii Remote, and how much movement he or she is putting into the performance. Movements such as arm thrusts, claps, arm shakes, swaying, hip shakes, and more are detected by the Wii Remote. This design is similar to how We Cheer 2 and the dancing mini-game in Ubisoft's own Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party implement dance choreography with the Wii Remote.

There are two main gameplay modes. The first is Quick Play, which has you select a song and perform it in order to get the highest score possible. Each song is rated in two categories: difficulty and effort. The more stars the song has, the more effort will have to be put into the performance. The second mode of play is Challenge. Challenge provides three gameplay modes: Regular (which works like Quick Play), Strike a Pose (a group dance variation of the game Red Light, Green Light), and Last One Standing (the player with the least mistakes wins). All modes can be played with up to three other players.

Another option is Warm Up. Just Dance recommends players to warm up before taking on the game. It works like the main game, except the movements you do are for warm up purposes. A very clever and much appreciated addition, especially since Just Dance also works as an exercise game due to how it encourages players to get up and put as much energy as possible onto their performances.

That said, a lack of multiple gameplay options puts a hurt on Just Dance's overall package. You'll truly see what the game has to offer in less than 30 minutes, surely turning off music and rhythm game fans that are used to very robust music games on the Wii.

Instead of using two Wii Remotes or the Nunchuk for more accurate gameplay, Just Dance uses only one Wii Remote. This leads to some confusion when it comes to doing a dance move with the controllerless hand. Motion detection is also spotty. Timing is everything, so you have to pay attention to the dancer on screen and mimic the moves. Just Dance mentions that it detects the motion of your body, and how much energy it detects is based on how your movements match those of the on-screen dancer. However, even if your timing is spot-on the game fails to register your movements at times.

More confusion is created by the pictogram on-screen cues. While it's obvious that you have to mimic the choreography of the virtual dancer, the bottom of the screen also features scrolling poses indicating what you need to do. The confusion comes from the fact that the instructions sometimes contradict themselves, making it look like timing relies on the pose you make rather than the movements you do. This, however, can be properly mastered with practice, and its design makes it a complex task. While gameplay is not as polished as in Namco Bandai's We Cheer 2, it is very easy to learn initially. Once you "get it", Just Dance becomes very enjoyable, very enduring, and extremely silly and fun. It's the closest thing to a dance simulator on the Wii.

Just Dance features over 30 songs, all of them master tracks from the original recordings. With the game being all about fun, the songs selected reflect that almost to a fault, diving deep into one-hit wonder territory. Some of the songs include Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun", Baha Men's "Who Let the Dogs Out", "Wanna Be" by the Spice Girls, and Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger". Needless to say, if you are not a fan of pop songs then Just Dance's song list will be a huge turn off. There are no other unlockable songs and there's no option to download more.

The overall presentation is colorful but extremely minimalistic. The menus feature vibrant neon colors reminiscent of 80s fashion. The biggest graphical flourish in Just Dance are the on-screen dancers. Instead of 3D models, they are presented in a manner similar to the dancing shadow people from the famous iPod commercials, and it gets the job done while not being overly distracting.

In a way, Just Dance is just like an up- and-coming dancer. It's very rough but shows promise, especially when played with friends. It doesn't have that many gameplay options, and the song list may make the game embarrassing to play for some. But if you put aside your inhibitions, turn off your pride, and pick up a Wii Remote you are likely to forget everything, have some fun, and do as the title says… Just Dance!

The 7 Best Wii Party Games to Play with Friends

With user-friendly motion controls, the Wii is great for party games. Almost any game can be a party hit with the right combination of friends, but the best games offer more than an excuse to sit and talk. Here are seven of the best Wii party games for an evening out with friends.


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Electronic Arts

Pair one of the most popular bands of all time with one of the most popular party games and you're in for a treat. The No Wii game offers a more fun experience for a group of friends. The Beatles: Rock Band has great songs, impressive visuals, and the ability to embarrass yourself by singing three-part harmony.

Get The Beatles: Rock Band


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Just Dance 2 is the only best-selling Wii game not published by Nintendo. It's more of a game than a game, as winning or losing doesn't matter. The game is an excuse for stupidity and bad dancing. Of all the games Just Dance JD2 has the best songs and the best dance choreography. Professional dancers are not a good audience for this game. Picky music lovers may also complain about the accuracy of musical scores. Mario Party 9 Nintendo

Mario Party 9 is all about luck and speed. Players can lose their place at any moment - not necessarily due to skill, but due to chance. The emphasis on luck makes the game easy and fun and gives even the weakest player a chance to win. However, many games require certain skills, giving at least the illusion that a good game will be enough. The result is a great example of a virtual board game.

Top 8 Mario Party Games of 2019


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Before Just Dance and Guitar Hero was dance revolution . As part of a series of games, DDR offers a party experience where players can prove their worth by quickly stomping the dance mat in the right order. While Just Dance, may have been ideal for people who don't play a lot of games, DDR is for those who prefer a challenge. In Series Hottest Party has three games, but they are all equally fun.

Get Dance Dance Revolution: Hot Party


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Let's Tap is a collection of mini-games based on the basic premise: players must tap on a flat surface controlled by the Wii remote. There are many different games, but finger touch strategy provides a fast, fun and quite varied gaming experience. There are five mini-games to choose from, including music challenges, scrollers, and mazes.

Get Let's Tap


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Another collection of minigames, Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympics, offers a variety of playstyles and options. It can be played alone or as a party game, with most of the events and mini-games based on the Olympics. Football, badminton, table tennis and some other games are featured in this collection, making it a unique hit among fans of both sports and board games.

Top 10 Nintendo Wii Minigame Collections


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Some party games styled like board games add a bunch of modern twists to the modern concept. Fortune Street is more of a throwback. Another Mario game, this is an old school board game in the tradition of Monopoly . Players roll the dice and advance through the digital scoreboard, buying property, making deals and making money on the go.

Get Street of Fortune

Just Dance 2019 Wii U Review

that dance is a series of movements of a certain tempo and form, performed to the beat of the music. And you can't argue, can you? We really rhythmically moving in unison with the sounding composition, when we start dancing, doing it gracefully and gracefully (or clumsily at first - there is already plastic and skill rule the ball). However less, the dance is more than just a sequence movements. It is a way of non-verbal self-expression, a tool for transmission of feelings. Dissolving in the rhythm of the melody, moving to the beat words, putting all the energy into movements, we forget about the heavy thoughts of the last days, we release the burden of tension that has accumulated under oppression of troublesome everyday life.

But if the routine has become unbearable, and at the same time you don’t know how push negative emotions aside through dance - why not try the Just Dance series, for which all the numbers have already been thought up and staged by the choreographer?

Just Dance 2019, except for branches, is already an anniversary, the tenth game in the series. Anniversary in November the series will celebrate and age, because the first part came out ten years ago, in 2009. Then it was available exclusively on the Wii, as well as business successor. However, starting with Just Dance 3, the studio Ubisoft decided to expand the list of available platforms, so today you can start dancing on almost any of the current systems.

The essence of the gameplay is simple in words: choreographers on the screen perform a dance to the music while the player tries to catch the rhythm and repeat all movements. In fact, this process is may be accompanied later (if you do not give yourself concessions), stretched muscles (and here you have to be more careful and not overdo it), dislocated joints, in pain partners from accidental elbow strikes, strengthened heart yes muscles responsible for breathing and other joys of life. The result of dance activity is expressed in the form of stars, the number of which will depend on the accuracy of the execution of the pas. AND, to be completely honest, partly from the method you choose tracking all movements of the beloved body in space.

The most accessible controller in this case is yours. smartphone, you just need to find and install the official Appendix. With its help, the player without additional devices can be navigated in the main menu. However, it should be taken into account that a similar way to enter information about the current position and movement of the hands is not universal. In an effort to present the consumer as a larger screen size is possible, the manufacturers of these wonderful devices now they produce not the most compact ones (at least this the statement is true for my hands) smartphones, which are still tolerant to use in everyday life, and almost unbearable to hold in hand on for an hour. Fingers by the thirtieth minute begin inexorably numb, and movements are constrained by the fear of dropping a miracle of technology during perform the next stroke of the brush. This eliminates the need in the purchase of additional devices, because moving with the help of applications are read quite well (although boasting accuracy it can't either). You should also be prepared for situations where for no apparent reason, the smartphone loses connection with the game console, requiring you to retry the connection operation.

The second possible controller is the PlayStation Move. Given the device fits comfortably in the hand, a strap is provided in case unintentional start of free flight, but a pleasant addition is a ball that flickers to the beat of the music (unfortunately, during during the dance you don't even pay attention to it). Embedded motion sensors do their job well (but it's not means that they absolutely accurately perceive all the swings, misunderstandings between you will still slip). However navigating the menu at first can be unusual, as is also carried out with the help of the movement of the controller in space. Does not provide complete freedom of your movements, but does not have a range of installation requirements, as is the case with the PlayStation camera.

As you may have guessed, the PlayStation Camera is the third way to track progress. The main positive side use of the camera is the fact that at the moment dance performance hands are completely free from any auxiliary devices. Yes, and they are not counted with this method only the movements of a single hand, but the whole body, which stimulates to repeat the movements of choreographers most accurately, not allowing concessions. However, as already mentioned, for PlayStation Camera cannot be found in a place of your choice, its installation requires compliance with a number of rules: the camera must be at a height of one and a half meters above the floor, the room should be well lit, exclude the presence of mirrors near the player. Otherwise case, she will constantly lose sight of the dancer, take third-party objects for the continuation of his body and tirelessly complain on his difficult life and position in society. track her subjective perception of your body outlines is possible on the screen - so you will immediately understand whether she sees your legs and arms entirely and without distortion.

The choice of motion tracking method depends on the possibilities budget and personal goals: the platinum trophy is the easiest to get with PlayStation Move in hand, and to work on the state of their cardio-respiratory muscles and weight value is better to acquire PlayStation Camera. In general, each method, as you could already make sure it has its advantages and disadvantages.

Consider the differences that the new game of the series has undergone. According to the old good tradition, the entire main menu has been redesigned, and now in classic mode the entire list of music tracks lined up not in a circle, but in “tiles”. Each dance was assigned level of complexity, and in general this indicator depends on intensity and number of cycles of unique (non-repeating in during one song) movements, the speed of their implementation. Player on at its discretion is able to create its own playlist or turn on the mode "Sweat", the choice of which partially changes the game interface during dance performance: the dance accuracy scale is replaced calorie burn counter.

Other modes also have not undergone any significant changes since since the release of the last part. Tab with dances designed for very young age and features of children's musculoskeletal apparatus, will delight parents with a large number of dances, especially compared to its predecessor. We can still dance on world dance floor, from time to time taking part in competitions between teams, defeating uninvited bosses with their amazing pas or trying to take the top lines of the rating in tournaments. AT a certain time, Happy Hour Unlimited is activated, during during which musical compositions can sound not only current variation of Just Dance, but also from the previous parts. Not surprising, given that the essence of the Unlimited subscription is the discovery access to a library with previous series dances; and the opportunity to move your bodies under additional exclusive songs. As a result, the service allows keep all parts of Just Dance on one game console; wherein be prepared that it will not work correctly with slow Internet connection.

Every day in classic mode, the player will be offered three call (one of them is available only with an active subscription Unlimited), involving the execution of movements of a certain quality, participation in specific modes, getting stars, etc. Remained intact and machine with capsules containing various in-game items: avatars for the Dancer Card profile, illustrations, additional choreography, etc. Lottery paid the specific mojo currency that we get for completing dancing. Except that the “Dance Lab” mode has disappeared from the game, consisting of separate episodes, in each of which it was necessary to repeat not especially dance moves.

Already in the first hours, the impression was that the choreography in the last part is replete with productions of completely uncomplicated performance of dances, especially against the background of its predecessor. With more close acquaintance with the complexity of performing most of the numbers the following situation is observed: low-level dances predominate - 25 overall (including alternatives), 15 present medium (some of which are still close to a low level), and only 13 dances have high and extreme difficulty levels (7 and 6, respectively). Because of this, even with an hour of continuous practice you do not feel the aerobic load on the body, and name the one presented in Just Dance 2019choreography with effective physical exercises it is forbidden. Moreover, only a few of the twenty-five delivered low level dances are really fun to do personally. However, I would like to see a greater balance between easier to learn and more difficult rooms to enjoy process could not only beginners, but also players, from year to year purchasing games in this series. And it's enough to achieve this it would be much more dances of an average level of complexity, and not low.

In total, the game has 40 songs of various genres: hip-hop, dubstep, dance-pop, brazilian funk, punk rock, reggaeton, trap, R&B, pop, disco, electronic dance music, trope house, eurodance, and even once you hear jazz shades. But despite on the seemingly presented variety, most of the melodies does not stay in memory for a long time, especially if you abstract from the big names of the performers and the official video sequence. However Music preferences are purely subjective. each person, so it is better to get to know yourself list of musical compositions. Especially since I'm now I don’t understand at all in which parallel universe I spent the last year, because before getting acquainted with the project I had not heard a big part of the songs.

At the same time, it is impossible not to note the graphic part of the project, namely - backgrounds behind the choreographers and their attire. This component was significantly improved compared to its predecessors, and sometimes involuntarily, instead of movements, you look at the artist in the background, drawing on the wall, for example. Quite a lot has been applied other interesting solutions, one of which is to use plasticine animation when creating one of the dancers.

Hardcore Just Dancer

What an irony, but you have no difficulty in obtaining a platinum trophy meet. After all, even getting a Megastar rating is required only in a standard set of dances, the movements of which are quite simple in performance and are easy to remember compared to alternative brothers.

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