Mobile Musical Games

Detail: Terrain and Environment

Sam Rae Chu

Our initial idea was to make a terrain with mountains and water and a terrain park that you can do crazy tricks on. As usual we shot too high.

My group thought that it would be cool if there was no track and it was all just terrain. This was really hard because it is almost impossible to make a ramp with just being able to raise and erase the land, and we really wanted people to be able to get down to the ground. I had also started off thinking that the plateaus we made in unity that created almost a track shape would actually be the track, this way we would not actually have to make a track. Unfortunately if we did this, it would not look like a racing game, it would more look like a nice car driving around in the middle of nowhere. Another reason why we decided to erase the idea of the only plateau because we decided it did not look that real, we wanted it to look like a real place, so we decided to use some plateaus but also have mountains.

We had a ton of problems with the water, for instance when we exported the environment to the cloud it did not export it completely and the water never fully exported. When we opened it on my computer it was invisible and so was the terrain park. We decided to cut the terrain park idea because it was too much work and proceeded to fix the water, because that was the easier more essential fix. We figured out that it was the texture it was missing and the scale of the water was completely off, so we just had to use another water texture, and scale it to a huge size.

This was a minor problem compared to the track. Since we decided to make a custom track we first thought of modeling the track around the terrain, which turned out to be a time wasting idea. So then we went on to take the track that Nathaniel had made and fit it around the terrain, which turned out to be really easy, because all we had to do was add a few mountains under the track and it was done.. We later decided to make a new track that had a ramp down to the ground, and everything, but we could never export it from Rhino just right, so it looked like some parts of the track were always missing. This took us two days to figure out. To fix this problem Nathaniel had to build a whole different track, and he never got around to fitting the ramp down to the ground in.

Another problem we had with the track is the mesh colliders because there are so many pieces of the track so if we were to add colliders onto every single piece it lags the computer a lot. Eventually we figured this problem out,

Another big problem we had was the physics, for the first couple of days when we drove our car we always went through the terrain. We figured out that it was because of the mesh colliders that were on the terrain and wheels of the car were not right. But we also had a problem with the physics for gravity. Whenever the car hit a bump it went up and started to fly, which was really weird. Eventually it came down, but it took a while. We could never figure out how to fix this, but we definitely helped it by making the car have more mass, and making making it so gravity pulled down with more force.



Nathaniel Tong

The objective of this studio was to make a video game that would incorporate music. We soon decided that instead of a mobile musical game like we were originally tasked with creating, we wanted to create a racing game that would still have a musical aspect. We split up into different group not limited to the environment, track model, physics, and car model. Using Unity, Rhino, and Garageband we were able to create all of the aspects of our game.


Rhino was used to create both the track and to manipulate an already created car. As a group, we decided on a BMW Z4. We had to pull the car apart so we could animate each individual piece. The wheels needed to spin on their appropriate axis, the steering wheel would have to rotate realistically, and if we had enough time we could have made the doors, hood, and trunk open at the push of a button.

The track and the NuVu Studio sign were also created in Rhino. We would have liked to incorporate more of a 3D track the bended into downward curves, but problems arose between Rhino and Unity. They didn’t cooperate, so we made due with a mostly two dimensional track. A tunnel and rollercoaster style pylons made it more realistic so it wouldn’t have the same universal lighting, and not look like it was floating above valleys and mountains.


Having an aesthetically pleasing environment is what makes or breaks most games. The track and car might be solid, but without an immersive environment, the game feels empty. The environment was based in mountainous island. The terrain was created by a game engine called Unity. Unity is a game engine that gave us the ability to create all of the basics needed for a realistic game. We could manipulate the terrain, for instance we could add mountains, water, light, textures, physics and many details that would make it more realistic.

In our final, the terrain had two planes instead of just one, making the space we had to work with bigger. This gave the user more track to go around, and more places to explore. Of course, this put a lot more stress on the computer, and some of them could not even run the the game without having terrible frames per second. The terrain had a couple bodies of water. One of these was a small lake, which was more like a pond. The other body of water was a very wide river, which was surrounded by tall spiky mountains. Directional light that looked like the sun made it much more realistic and not just a light coming from nowhere.

We also added a waterfall that we used a particle dropper for. This works by gameobject that drops a ton of particles at once, and because they all have physics they drop down to the ground making a waterfall. You can tell that it is a waterfall because each one of the particles had a texture that looked like water.  You can change the particle size if you want to which can make it more realistic, because you don’t want a drop of water to be huge.

This whole terrain works by a ton of physics that were added into the game. You can customize these physics to say, hold the car if it runs over it. Our car stays on our terrain by a bunch of mesh colliders that are both on the wheels of the car and the the environment that was built. When the car runs over the terrain all of the colliders hit each other which keeps the car on the surface, not sinking beneath the surface.


Lastly, we created a music score that would immerse you into the game. The music flowed with the visuals and enhanced on the island-like feeling of the map.


In the end, we had a semi-functioning racing game that was controllable with a mouse and keyboard. It could still use the polish of a professional game designer, but for beginner level experience the physics, environment, models and music came together to create an immersive experience.

Detail: Music

Jacquil Taylor

Most video games have a soundtrack regardless whether the game is a racing game, fighting game, or even a sports game. For our groups video game project we decided to make a racing game because we felt that it would be a lot more fun to design and to play. However, to make the video game we all needed to do many different tasks to produce an engaging and visually interesting game.

Brendan and Jacquil were in charge of making the game's soundtrack and others on the team were in charge of designing the backrounds, cars, and other assets for the game. Brendan and Jacquil created ten tracks that are the background score for the game. Each musical track is made for a different level in the game. Although all the tracks share a similar instrumental-pop style, each track has a distinct sound to it.

Detail: Music

Jacquil Taylor

A video game has 3 major components - it's world, code, and soundtrack. A significant part of a video game is its soundtrack; it ads so much to the game and makes it a lot more fun to play. The soundtrack for the Z4 racing game was produced in Garage Band. Using loops, a really smooth beat was made. The style of gameplay had to be matched by the soundtrack. For example, for a racing game, there has to be an upbeat fast song to keep up with the speed of the game. The beat created for the Z4 game started with a basic electric guitar loop mixed with some orchestral strings. This would be the core of the beat and would play in the background the whole time. Adding a club dance beat gave the song an upbeat feel which mixed perfectly with the speed of the game. The final soundtrack has the right mixture of strings and drums and make it a wonderful video game soundtrack.


Brendan and Jacquil created the music for the video game that was based around travel songs. The songs were created in Garage Band, a music production software, because it was the simple to learn. Brendan and Jacquil used a midi keyboard to compose the beats. The song was composed of basic instruments and beats. The type of instruments that were used were shakers, hip hop clap beats, hip hop drums, claves, and many more. Garage Band had some beats, and Brendan and Jacquil edited and arranged these beats to turn them into one song and try to make it sound as good as possible. It was hard to find beats that would sound good but also be appropriate as travel music as the game player drives the car.


Zack Steinberg

This studio, we were tasked with creating a game that could be played with our hands, using technologies like a Kinect or a Leap Motion, that could track someone's body in 3-D space. We decided to make a driving video game, because the controls to that could be tilting an imaginary steering wheel. The game was made of 4 parts: the environment, the car, the physics, and the music. These all came together to make a functional driving game.

The environment of the game was made using Unity's built-in tools. The environment had two parts, made of what looked like dry desert rock, and green mossy rock. It had lots of mountains, a plateau, and a bit of snow on top of a few of the mountains. There were also a few bodies of water scattered around. One was a small lake, the other a very wide river surrounded by tall spiky mountains. There was also a waterfall, a tunnel to drive through, and a large NuVu sign just for fun.

This was nice and all, but a car game wouldn't be a car game if you couldn't drive the car, and if the car phased through the ground, that wouldn't work. Several colliders were added to the terrain and the car to stop that from happening. A collider is a thing that attaches to a model, like a wheel. When one collider collides with another, the game stops them from going through each other.

Music was also a large part of the game. The main goal was to try and add some background, without sounding overpowering and out of place. The music also was loopable, and was upbeat enough to make it into the final game.

There were still some problems. The physics and textures could have been vastly improved, and while the game did have Leap Motion control, it was not very fleshed out. In all, however, the game worked, sounded, and looked great for the first video game made in NuVu.

Detail: Track Design

Nathaniel Tong

This studio, we were tasked with creating a driving game that could be played with our hands using some kind of motion controller. We started brainstorming about what we would want to accomplish, how we would do it, and who would do what. I was tasked with creating the track, and maniupulating an already created car so that we could animate certain components. I started working on the car first since I thought it would be much easier. All I had to do was ungroup, explode and export selected parts of the car to be animated. Turns out that it wasn't that simple. We would have to export each part on it's own plane, but with the rest of the car there it became difficult to find an origin point of a selected part. On one perspective, we would be dead center on the object, but on another, we might be somewhere else. We would have to find the correct origin point for the wheels, steering wheel, or gear shift because it would have to rotate around a certain point to look realistic. Like we experienced, if I exported the steering wheel with the center slightly off, it would rotate lopsided and look unrealistic. Same went with the wheels. When we tested the car the wheels would not rotate on the correct axis. Instead it looked like something out of James Bond. I didn't get it figured out before the end of the project, but it is something I look forward to completeing.

The track was a big mess. I knew how I wanted it to be shaped, but I just didn't know how to actually do it. I was able to get the overall shape down, but I wasn't able to use T-splines to shape the track how I wanted it. The best I could do was use the Loft tool to create downward turns and jumps. It turns out that when we tried to export the Rhino file into Unity, using the correct format, all of the turns I created using the Loft tool disappeared. I re-exported, tried to mirror the turn and mirror it back over, create less polygons, more polygons, everything. Eventually I had to just stop and create an entirely new track that would stay flat since Rhino and Unity wouldn't cooperate.

I also added a lot of aesthetic features to the track to make it more appealing. I added a tunnel around a wide turn, as well as pylons like you would see on a rollercoaster so that the track wouldn't look like it was just hovering over the ground. And since I had some free time, I added a Hollywood style sign that read "NuVu Studio" to the top of a central mountain. 

My job was almost done, all I had to do was add the textures, and that is when more problems arose. We simply could not add the correct textures to make it look like a good two lane highway. We tried .png, .jpg, .psd and it just wouldn't show up on the track correctly. I attempted to overlay it on Rhino, but when exported to Unity, it would just disappear like the lofted turns. After lots of attempts, just like with the lofted turns, we had to give up and add a Tron style texture last minute.

Mobile Musical Games Illustration

Amro Arida