The Recital

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The Recital (2013) is a short atmospheric puzzle adventure designed as a technological showcase for VR. You play as a pianist going through his daily routine in anticipation of an important performance. The Recital was shown at the Indiecade booth at E3 2013, and has received press coverage in Polygon, The New Scientist, Game Informer and Destructoid.

I created The Recital in the month leading up to E3 2013. I had the amazing opportunity to get to show my work at the Indiecade booth and I wanted to create a showcase experience that was tailor-made for virtual reality.

I wanted to explore the theme of dreaming in this game. I often will get melodies or a visual image stuck in my head when I'm dreaming, and they seem to carry an uncanny sense of power. Dreams and VR are a theme and a medium that are perfectly suited for one another -- for me, the moment of taking off the Oculus Rift after an intense play session is akin to waking up from a crazy dream.

But I didn't want to just make a game about the surreal and extraordinary. My concept with The Recital was to alternate between the dream world and the waking world, where you would play through scenes from your avatar's daily life. The idea of performing menial tasks like turning off the alarm clock, getting out of bed and turning on the lights might seem boring, but I wanted to communicate a sense of intimate tactility afforded by VR.

For E3, I was only able to finish one waking and one dreaming section, but this is a project I would love to return to when I get the chance.