LCAD + USC GamePipe Laboratory Game

LCAD + USC GamePipe Laboratory Game, Super Nova Named Finalist in 2018 IEEE GameSIG Showcase

Congratulations to LCAD MFA in Art of Game Design candidate, Andrew Barnes and his USC GamePipe team members, Xueqing Liu and Ruoyu Wang whose electrifying VR Rhythm game, Super Nova was selected as a Finalist for the 2018 IEEE GameSIG Showcase to be held at Chapman University on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

Along with nine other finalists from eight other colleges and universities, Super Nova is in competition for the grand prize trophy!

At the Showcase, members of each team will present and will interactively demonstrate their games on stage before a distinguished panel of judges comprised of professors and other game industry professionals whose judgements of the games will be based solely on the games’ features and functionalities, as demonstrated during a five minute presentation and five minutes of question and answer. There will also be an opportunity for each team to demo its game to audience members before and after the presentations.

Inspired by PaRappa the RapperSuper Nova is a VR game that blends rap battles and RPG elements into a rhythm game. In the Super Nova rap battle demo, the player will experience a virtual rap battle with an NPC friend in front of a corner barbershop. The rap battle has two modes: A defense mode to block raps and an offense mode to rap.


Key game features include:

  • Musical rhythm action Art Game
  • Emotional connection to the game through music and rhythm
  • First-Person VR and expanding on games like Rhythm Heaven
  • Two musical game types: Action Defense Rhythm and Lyrical Offense Rhythm (Music Video)
  • Visual music elements in levels and attached to geometry


Barnes and his Super Nova teammates report that the top technical challenges they encountered in the project were making the rhythm game fun in VR. “At first we started by using the motion controller x,y,b,a buttons to control the ‘Note Highway.’ This resulted in something like PaRappa the Rapper meets Guitar Hero in VR, if you will. While it was fun being in VR with music, it wasn’t really that fun pushing the buttons on the motion controllers. So, after some testing, we decided to put triggers on the ‘Note Highway’ pads and hit the UI with our hands in VR. After that, the game became really fun. Since then, several more fun ideas were spawned from that.”

To learn more about Super Nova, visit 


To watch the game trailer, click on the video below: