Stage Presence: A More Realistic, Virtual Reality Rock Band

The email I received about Stage Presence, an Oculus Rift game where you must keep an angry festival crowd happy with nothing but your microphone, contained a single sentence that convinced me to post it. “I promise not to rename it ‘Bez Simulator 2014′.” Think how fast I’d have posted it if developer Jon Dadley had promised that he would rename it that.

Wonder what it’s like to stand on stage and dodge bottles being thrown at you by a mob? Watch the trailer below.

From that same email:

Stage Presence puts you and your band on stage at music festival in front of a huge crowd. Your bands equipment fails and you have to use the only working microphone on stage to keep the crowd entertained. If they get bored of your “singing” they’ll let you know by booing, shining lasers in your eyes and throwing bottles at you (some filled with urine). If you win them over they’ll jump around, wave flags, cheer, let off fireworks and flares.

Alas, I can’t try this out for myself as I’ve given back my borrowed Oculus Rift. Also there’s nothing I could do with a microphone that could keep anyone happy, let alone a festival crowd baying for blood. I do quite fancy a middle class version of same, though: the power’s gone out at Wimbeldon and you, Cliff Richard, are the only nice young man who can save the day.

There’s a Kickstarter on the way, but Stage Presence has been in publicly playable form since back in May. Given Glastonbury is this weekend it seems the perfect time to empathise both with crowds sinking into the mud and inexperienced musicians. Version 1.7 is downloadable at the Oculus Developer forums now.

7 Comments

Top comments

  1. Arglebargle says:

    Sorta reminds me of one of the best band experiances I had. We were playing a gig at a small, cool club, when a monster torrential Texas thunderstorm front hit town. Pretty soon the stage and dance floor were being flooded by leaks. Power got turned off, instruments packed up, electrical equipment covered by tarps, Game Over Man!

    Except.....there were these two Peruvian sisters who'd come out that night to DANCE, and they weren't going to stop for anything as inconsequential as a storm. Our main conga dude was In The Zone, and they quickly got him pounding away again. More people returned to dancing; more folks returned to stage to add to the drum collage. We were a drum heavy band anyway, and had a ton of percussion instruments, so pretty soon we collected ten+ impromptu percussionists up on stage, syncopating away, with a full dance floor of people gyrating through the rain, lightening and thunder.

    I recall certain bits of that gig beautifully: watching the water fly off the conga heads in droplet patterns as I drummed; seeing the trap set drummer playing, uncaring of the steady trickle of water hitting his head, cascading down and soaking everything; catching the dancers shimmying in and out of some of the particularly heavy roof leak downpours.

    It was magic! Two hours of drumming and dancing to the background of an awesome storm system. We'd have gone all night if it weren't for the rather rigid club closing rules. One of those nights that you play for....

    And as always, much respect to those Peruvian gals, wherever they may be now.
  1. yhancik says:

    Nothing like Bez.

  2. Arglebargle says:

    Sorta reminds me of one of the best band experiances I had. We were playing a gig at a small, cool club, when a monster torrential Texas thunderstorm front hit town. Pretty soon the stage and dance floor were being flooded by leaks. Power got turned off, instruments packed up, electrical equipment covered by tarps, Game Over Man!

    Except…..there were these two Peruvian sisters who’d come out that night to DANCE, and they weren’t going to stop for anything as inconsequential as a storm. Our main conga dude was In The Zone, and they quickly got him pounding away again. More people returned to dancing; more folks returned to stage to add to the drum collage. We were a drum heavy band anyway, and had a ton of percussion instruments, so pretty soon we collected ten+ impromptu percussionists up on stage, syncopating away, with a full dance floor of people gyrating through the rain, lightening and thunder.

    I recall certain bits of that gig beautifully: watching the water fly off the conga heads in droplet patterns as I drummed; seeing the trap set drummer playing, uncaring of the steady trickle of water hitting his head, cascading down and soaking everything; catching the dancers shimmying in and out of some of the particularly heavy roof leak downpours.

    It was magic! Two hours of drumming and dancing to the background of an awesome storm system. We’d have gone all night if it weren’t for the rather rigid club closing rules. One of those nights that you play for….

    And as always, much respect to those Peruvian gals, wherever they may be now.

    • Ross Angus says:

      An excellent story. Thanks!

    • Shadowcat says:

      I almost didn’t read this article, but now I’m so glad I did. That story was awesome. Thanks Arglebargle!

    • Arglebargle says:

      You never know when those things will happen. Those peak moments… ;)

  3. Geebs says:

    It’s not possible to simulate Bez, except by being.