Route 95 is a 3D audiovisual experience and music creation tool with procedural generation developed by myself and three other capstone game design students at the University of California, Santa Cruz over 6 months. It is centered around desert rock and allows users to create playlists and songs using the custom music sequencing interface. The sound frequencies, composition characteristics, and instrumentation influence the procedural generation and environmental events of a stylized desert environment.
The experience was recognized at the 2016 UCSC Sammy Awards for pushing the Unity® engine to its limits through custom music sequencing and playback and runtime procedural world generation with the Technical Achievement award.
Route 95 was inspired by one of my favorite bands, the Queens of the Stone Age, and the landscape of the Mojave Desert.
Route 95's desert world is procedurally generated through both randomization and parameters controlled by various characteristics of the player's compositions.
Using an interface similar to many popular digital audio workstations (DAWs), players can quickly create a desert rock song using various instrument "sets":
Through his participation in UCSC's Electronic Music minor degree program, Marco had access to the campus recording studio. We booked a couple of sessions during which we recorded every possible note on various instruments for use in Route 95.
The instruments used were an Epiphone® acoustic guitar, a Squier® Precision Bass® guitar, a Squier® Stratocaster® electric guitar, a Hohner® classical guitar. All electric instruments were played through a Line 6® Spider® IV 120W amplifier. A refurbished vintage Airline acoustic guitar provided emotional support.
Route 95 set up shop at the 2016 UCSC Sammy Showcase at UCSC's Silicon Valley extension in Santa Clara. A panel of industry judges individually assessed the game according to various categories and determined the nominees and winners of the year's Sammy Awards.
Our experience took the Technical Achievement award at the UCSC Sammy Awards the following week.