Irena Kuo: Character Animator

FX/Game Animation | Maya Character Animation
Feature Development/Prototyping | Live Ops FX/Animation
Maya Character Animation 2

myVegas logo

I worked on MyVegas the mobile version, which is an app that contains a myriad of different slot games where you can win real rewards including trips to Vegas and cruises. As an FX Artist, I touched all aspects of the app, from working with the artist and engineer to make the games to features and live ops.

MyVegas Slot Games

I assembled the game in Unity and collaborated with engineers to get the game working. The slot games were varied and had different features and functionality depending on the game design. (Program: Unity)

Christmas Pirates

Each slot game has an artist/art director, TA, FX artist, and engineer. While certain FX and animation are standard and/or dynamic, each game has custom FX and animation that needed to be made. In this case I created the FX and animation around the candy canes, snow, elf idles, and freespin elements.


Alice is a good example of customized play and elements. The game designer stipulated tall wilds and the artist themed them to grow as Alice ate the cake. I animated Alice growing and created custom fx for the wild activating.

I had to work very closely with the engineer to get some of the elements to work!

Shaq Slam

Shaq Slam

The team outsourced most of the 3D animation for the slot games. The FX artist working on Shaq Slam storyboarded Shaq's freespin sequences and passed it along to the vendor. However, the 3D manager didn't like the end result and asked me to try to fix what I could. I worked on these 3-4 animations for about a week.

For this jumpshot, I changed the pose, ball bounce, and some of the timing. Reworking this was a bit challenging, but in the end, it came out alright! (Programs: Maya, Unity)

I massaged the timing of this dunk and made it smoother with the pose, which was described by the storyboard. However, the freespins became too long, so in the end I changed the dunk to the version below.

Features & Live Ops

Halloween Progressive Adventure Quest

An engineer and I worked together to create a set of tools in Unity to make different types of Progressive Adventures using the same set of data. Using a combination of data hookup tools for sound, animation, and blend trees, we created the following parallax cut out quest for Halloween. Progress is driven by number of spins, points, and coins received. The following is a video capture of me testing the entire quest in Unity. It's pretty long, but I quite like how it turned out! (Program: Unity)

The tool came out of a desire to create quests that felt vastly different in progression through art, animation, and gameplay, yet actually was driven by the same set of data. The development of new reskinnable quest types would focus on game and visual development, but then have minimal engineering needs.

I wrote a spec detailing a general overview of the engineering, TA, FX, and art work involved to make the tool. I also held a presentation to artists, TA's, and engineers to show the different types of Progressive Quests we could create using the exact same data. Check out the presentation and a very rough animatic of the Halloween parallax quest below! (Program: Flash)

Progressive Adventures

We were only able to realize the parallax type quest, however we reskinned the Halloween Parallax Adventure Quest for both Christmas and Valentines Day. Check them out below to see how they turned out! (Program: Unity)

Here are some more examples of live ops and features. There is a more classic 4th of July Adventure Quest, FX for a new feature: the three flipper wheel, and popups for Easter and Memorial Day. (Program: Unity)

Animations for Prototype

While most were working on content surrounding the slot games, some teams fleshed out prototyping ideas. One of our 3D artists asked me to do some simple cycles for some of the work they were doing. Here is the result! (Program: Maya)