Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Committee Member

John C Welter, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Victor Zordan

Committee Member

David Donar

Committee Member

Eric Patterson


As technology progresses, so too does our ability to create visually stunning and incredibly immersive gaming experiences. With the power some consoles possess today, cinematic games have pushed the envelope of technology to deliver heavily animated, character driven stories not possible years ago. However, more “game-centric” games, in an effort to focus on gameplay and player projection, tend to neglect the possibilities of providing the same character driven experiences. In this paper, we present an animation system that would allow characters in traditionally gameplay-driven games to show the same amount of depth and growth as characters in other mediums. Our approach makes use of Unity’s animation and avatar masking systems as well as blend shapes to manage animations for a character based on where they are in their story, local environmental factors, and the characters own personality. In this way, we create a more dynamic character who creates player immersion not by being a blank slate, but by being an engaging and believable character to watch grow.