animation, graphics, games, and other projects

Magic Kingdom Monorail Racer Project Page

This project was an interactive game featured in Phi Kappa Theta’s Magic Kingdom booth during Carnegie Mellon’s Spring Carnival in 2004.  It uniquely combined the traditional joystick controlled videogame with a real physical remote control car. The goal of the game was to guide a remote controlled monorail car to the finish line in the fastest time possible without running out of fuel. The car travelled along a track that wound around the interior of the booth. Players stood in front of a kiosk and controlled the real remote control car via a USB game pad, while monitoring their progress and fuel meter on the kiosk’s LCD screen. The more you push on the analog stick of the controller, the faster the car went, but also drained fuel faster. The key to the game was conserving the 3 available fuel tanks by allowing momentum to carry the car through dips in the track without the need for additional accelation. It had the following major software features:

  • OpenGL for 3D graphics and 2D compositing effects, FMOD for sound
  • Custom circuits and software interfaces to real R/C car, booth lighting, and finish line sensor
  • Translated analog movement from USB gamepad into acceleration signals for R/C car
  • Volumetric lighting effect and texture mapping from video
  • Layered event system to trigger graphical effects and control game flow


A kid playing the game in the booth. [Download]

A closeup of the user interface during gameplay. [Download]


Front view of the booth

Everyone in front of the booth celebrating our second place finish!

Title screen for the game

Monorail car being placed at the beginning of the track

Game being played by a guest.

The car is stopped on the track because one of the fuel tanks ran out

A shot of the monorail track in the booth interior

Another shot of the monorail track


Programming: Michael Mandel and Alan Goykhman

Art: Paul Yevzikov

Custom Hardware: Peter Schmidt

Construction: Brothers of Phi Kappa Theta