Beat Bugs

The first interactive musical app from the Emmy Award-winning Beat Bugs series. A sing-along, play-along musical experience that lets you take the best part of the show with you.
Made it to number 5 in the Best-selling Music app category.

The apps received favorable media attention. The first was on an important cable news show; Google and Apple featured the second one... I give them an A-plus for project management and communication.

Shaan Kandawalla

Cofounder, Playdate Digital

It included 4 classic songs made famous by the Beatles and performed by the Beat Bugs.

It featured 3D animated scenes and cascades of colorful animations triggered by interacting with the environments and characters. There were over 100 interactive elements and sounds in the game.

The Goal

To have a premium app showcasing five polished interactive scenes based on The Beatles’ famous songs.

Kids should be enticed to sing along and record their songs.
A key goal was to develop the art and design to a high enough quality to satisfy brand expectations of the studio providing the intellectual property. It was also a goal to achieve the quality that would result in selection for being featured on the Apple and Google Play stores.

The Work

Beat Bugs was Tintash’s first major 3D project in the Games space.

It was made entirely in Unity. The initial two months were part of a discovery phase used to experiment with the Maya - Unity pipeline to create an interactive demo scene we could share with the clients. This was followed by intense R&D into key features such as robust voice recording and the real-time highlighting of lyrics.

We came across multifaceted challenges spread across design, art and engineering.

Challenge #1

Our foremost design challenge was to convert high poly models provided by the client into low poly models optimised for mobile.

We did this by reducing poly count of characters sufficiently that it did not compromise character appearance. We found that automated approaches did not produce acceptable results so we manually and judiciously took up the intensive task of adjusting the poly count in each object, gradually identifying best practices for different shapes and sizes.

Low Poly

High Poly

Low Poly

High Poly

Challenge #2

A complication we came across was the unstable recording and lyrics animation implemented for the karaoke feature of the app.

After a month of rigorous testing and several failed builds we were able to ship the product with both features in a robust condition. We got the best results on this by making changes directly in XCode since Unity did not handle this to our satisfaction.

Challenge #3

Lighting was tweaked many times to illuminate characters in the scene just enough that they resemble characters from the show without overloading the processor.

The Penny Lane scene was very light intensive and had to go through several rounds of client feedback before we could finalize the look and bake the entire lighting system.

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 was subsequently launched on the Google Play Store and we are looking to add additional levels to keep it fresh and engaging over the course of the year.

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

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