Beat matching mechanics meet unsettling horror
Class: Thesis 1 - 2015 - 2016
Instructor: Matt Boch
In the meantime, here’s our reaction trailer:
Stage Fright is a single player rhythm horror game that explores musical performance anxiety. Players take on the role of teenage piano prodigy Damon Haines, a perfectionist who has a lot of steam to blow off. His past holds a lot of trauma and guilt… these reveal themselves in his concerts and auditions as supernatural horror. But the show must go on – can you overcome these demons?
The game is Guitar-Hero-style, as notes fall from the top of two tracks to the beat of our original piano soundtrack, with horror elements that come into play depending on how well you’re playing. Ultimately the game mixes the fast paced speed and skill aspects of rhythm games with the slow atmospheric tension typical of horror games.
Our original design intention was simply to see if it was possible to make a good game while mixing these seemingly opposing genres. As far as we know, there is no other horror rhythm game out there – a lot come close, but none are quite doing what we are. On top of that, we wanted to explore the inverting of a rhythm game convention: that the game will reward you for playing well. Stage Fright does the opposite; as you do better, the game throws more unsettling imagery and UI breakdowns at you.
After almost a year of development and lots of different prototypes, the game has become more of a procedural exploration of performance anxiety.
You will experience stage fright in this game. The question is, how do you deal with it?