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Beat Bugs Sing-Along
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This project was the first interactive musical application from the Emmy Award-Winning Beat Bugs series. An amazing sing-along, play along musical experience was brought to life, letting you take the best parts of the show with you.
It Featured 3D animated scenes and cascades of colorful animations triggered by interacting with the environment and characters.There were over 100 interactive elements and sounds embedded in the game.
The application was well received and held the number 5 spot in the Best-selling Music App Category.

The Goal

The main goal for this project was to create a premium app containing the same quality and level of polish as the Beat Bugs animated series that inspired it. The art and design for the app had to be of a high enough quality to satisfy the brand expectations of the studio providing the intellectual property. It was also a goal to achieve the quality that would result in a level of quality that would result in it being selected to be featured in the Apple and Google App Stores.
The way kids would interact with the app was also a major focus to entice them to sing along with the app and record their songs.

The Work

Beat Bugs was Tintash’s first major 3D project in Game Development.
The entire application was made entirely in Unity. The initial two months for the project were part of a discovery phase used to experiment with the Maya - Unity pipeline to create an interactive demo scene that could be shared with the client. This was followed by intense R&D into key features such as robust voice recording and highlighting the on screen lyrics, synchronised in real time with the songs.
Multiple challenges were seen when working on the design, art, and engineering for this projects.

Challenge 1:

The foremost design challenge was to convert the high poly models provided by the client into low poly models that were optimised for lower power mobile devices. This was done by reducing the poly count of the characters in such a way that the required decrease in complexity was achieved without compromising on the character appearance. Automated approaches weren’t usable in this scenario since the results they produced were not acceptable, so the intensive task of adjusting each of the objects had to be carried out manually.

Challenge 2:

The goal to have an interactive element in the application by implementing karaoke raised its own set of complications. The unstable recording and animation of the lyrics was a difficult problem faced by the team, but it was eventually solved after a month of rigorous testing and resorting to making changes directly in XCode instead of within Unity. This allowed us to ship the product with both features in a robust working condition.

Challenge 3:

The Attention to detail required when working on the Lighting for some of the scenes in the application. Multiple tweaks were made to the scene lighting to illuminate the characters on screen just enough that they resemble the characters from the show without resulting in too much load on the processor.
The Penny Lane Scene in particular was very intensive and had to go through multiple rounds of client feedback before the look for the scene was finalised and the entire lighting system could be baked.

The Result:

Beat Bugs was featured on the Apple Store in several countries upon release in early 2018.

In the American App Store, it was featured under New Apps We Love. It featured in the Recommended section on the Canadian App Store.

Within the American store, the app went as high as number 5 among Top Paid Apps in the Music category and in the top 30 among all Kids apps within its first week of launch.

The app has maintained a 4.5 average rating from users since its launch.


Tintash
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