How to play DDR: From Beginner to Expert

•January 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hey guys,

I have been working on a tutorial that covers all aspects of four panel play from beginner to expert. It is the updated version of the DDR Improvement FAQ I made back in 2006.

To view it, go here:

How to Play DDR



A User Friendly Guide

•January 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I am in the process of making a large, user-friendly guide that will help people learn how to use Stepmania to make their own songs.  Because of how big and extensive the guide will be, I wouldn’t dare put it here.  Instead, I started building it in blogger.  It will serve to answer any and every question you might have about building steps for a song in Stepmania.

You can check its progress here:

Step Builder

DDR iPhone

•December 28, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Ah, DDR on your iPhone! You can sit en route to school or work and get your finger groove on. I like the idea because it exposes a wider audience to Dance Dance Revolution though a medium not previously considered. Someone should let me know if this can handle max 300 or other 10 footers!

Now, I just need to figure out how to hook a pad up to this and I am good to go!

Go check out how to play DDR on your iPhone!

DDR for the iPhone and iPod Touch

Keep on stompin’


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It’s about…DDR?

•December 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I remember a friend of mine showing me this comic back in ’03.

10k Commotion

Good artistry, not a bad plot, likable characters – its fun!  Check it out if you wanna get your DDR cult fix.

On a semi-unrelated note, a good friend of mine who I met through DDR showed me this comic last year, and I absolutely love it.

Questionable Content

*note* this comic is not about dance dance revolution.

Keep on stompin’~


Something Extra:

This video is pretty awesome and contains what I would call the beta version of a dance pad.

Punch Out!! Trailer

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Will there be more DDR players?

•December 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I remember articles popping up that talked about West Virginia getting Dance Dance Revolution for their P.E. classes and having it be something kids could do during school time.  When I found out about this, I got excited – for two reasons:

1.  I figured that it might become something that is completely integrated into school programs and even become a sport – spawning a huge fan base.

2.  I figured that the fan base would create a whole new gang of players to flood arcades.  This would allow for bigger tournaments and more excitement much like what it was like back before 2003.

Now I wonder – it’s been about two years.  Have other schools followed suit?  If so, how many?  In those schools, how many people who started playing it in schools found their way to an arcade?

If any West Virginia high school (or any high school or college in the U.S.) students happen to read this, I would love to know if you started going to arcades, if you go to tournaments, or if you are in touch with the dance gaming community online.  Let me know!

~Keep on Stompin’

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Is this a good song to step to?

•December 16, 2008 • 4 Comments

Over the course of the last 8 years or so, people have been making song files. These song files were made to interact with Dance With Intensity (DWI), Stepmania (SM), and Flash Flash Revolution (FFR). Some were created to one day be played on a dance pad – and others were solely created to be enjoyed on keyboard.

I thought about this idea, and it has intrigued me – what exactly is a good song to step to?

So, I considered the various types of music – and how it would fare in terms of fun play for the dance pad or for keyboard.

Let’s take a list of music genres and see what we get:

  • Alternative
  • Ambient
  • Blues
  • Break
  • Classic Rock
  • Classical
  • Country
  • Dance
  • Downtempo/Chill
  • DnB
  • Electronic
  • Folk
  • Garage
  • Grime
  • Golden Oldies/”Oldies”
  • Hip Hop
  • Holiday Themed (Christmas)
  • House
  • Jazz
  • Jungle
  • Lounge
  • Pop
  • Rap
  • Rave
  • Reggae
  • Techno
  • Trance
  • Wonky

Note: I realize I may have missed some, that some of these may actually be genres within a genre, and so on – but for the sake of argument, here is a working list.

Now, let’s look at this list a bit more closely – I would say that most of these genres have music that can be converted into step patterns. The only exception would probably be Ambient – this is music you use to relax and/or fall asleep – so I doubt you would wanna play anything that falls under “ambient” on a keyboard, let alone a dance pad – unless a babbling brook with animal life bustling in the background is your dance forte.

Aside from ambient, every genre here has music that can be used for keyboard or dance pad fun. Certain music within these genres may not lend themselves well to stepping though. Here are a few examples:

Music that isn’t clear sounding
Some people choose to make steps to music that just isn’t recorded all that well – it’s garbled, messy, or not balanced. All in all its absolutely horrid to listen to, let along dance to.

Music that is from a live recording
Same problem as above – the recording tends to be garbled or not balanced – and this in turn usually ends up with a horrible dance chart.  If possible, try to find a studio recording of the song you want to use – it’s clearer and is easier to step.

Music that is dissonant
If it sounds like scraping, screaming, or highly irregular and sporadic, chances are it won’t do well as a step chart – it won’t be fun.

Music that is monotonous
If there is little or no harmonic variance combined with a static rhythm is usually a prelude to a boring step chart.

Dialogue can be fun if it’s part of a song – but it has to fit and not be overused. Using an extended recording of dialogue (as in the entire song) can be cute as a gimmick, but it gets old fast.

That’s all I got for now – so keep on stompin’~

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Are dance games good for you?

•December 11, 2008 • 1 Comment

So, is Dance Dance Revolution ( DDR ) good for you? I believe that it is, and not just on the whole weight loss side. There’s a lot that I noticed that would be called good that comes from playing dancing games.

Personally, I have been playing about seven years. Over those seven years, I have never weighed over 140 lbs. I did however notice something interesting about my body- the percentage of body fat that I had decreased steadily over time. I noticed that my running endurance shot up, and I seem to do better overall with just about any cardio workout. I actually feel like my heart has gotten stronger.

This wasn’t what interested me in terms of the good though. I noticed something really amazing that I had never noticed before. I felt like I was thinking FASTER.

Now, before you say “how can you tell that you are thinking faster”, think about this: when you first start learning how to play, you actually have to understand what is on the screen. After a while, you take what you see on the screen and turn it into something you do with your feet. Once you start figuring the game out, you notice that you can see more on the screen and you start to do less thinking and more moving.

The reason this happens is because your brain makes a short-cut; this allows you to send messages from your brain to your legs faster. Basically, you are improving your motor skills (a part of your brain) by playing a dancing game. When you improve your motor skills, things like balance, reaction time, and fluid motion become easier. I will say that if you are a gymnast, a martial artist, a juggler, a seamstress, or do anything that involves balance, reaction time, or precise movement, you will be better at what you do by playing dancing games.

I will also say the reverse – I think anyone who already has great motor skills would learn a dancing game faster.

Another good that comes from dancing games is the sense of community that comes from sharing this interest with others. I created this blog to celebrate the sense of community I felt from sharing my interest of this sport – yes, I said sport. People rally together for tournaments where the most fit and agile player usually wins. There is a lot of good that comes from healthy competition, and I think that people should regularly participate in competition.

To sum it up, these are the things you gain from playing dancing games:

  • Muscle tone
  • More good cholesterol
  • Better heart usage
  • Better reaction time
  • Better balance
  • Stronger legs
  • Reduced body fat percentage
  • More precise control over motor skills
  • A sense of community (when you play in public or in private with friends)
  • A healthy dose of competition
  • Goals

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