is a virtual reality project created and developed by the musician Mike Oldfield
Michael Gordon Oldfield is an English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, working a style that blends progressive rock, folk, ethnic or world music, classical music, electronic music, New Age, and more recently, dance. His music is often elaborate and complex in nature...
. To date it has produced two standalone simulation games and inspired content for some of Oldfield's albums. As of January 2010 Tubular.net hosts the free downloads of the two games.
MusicVR set out to be a real-time virtual reality experience combining imagery and music, as a non-violent and essentially a non-goal driven game. In the early 1990s when Oldfield first wanted to create this world, the computers required to render the quality of images he wanted were large and vastly expensive. This prevented the early versions of the game from being released to the public, and although Oldfield had toyed with the idea of touring the game with his own powerful computer, this never happened. It was not just the graphical demands that were restrictive, but also the idea that the game should have 'freedom' and not be restricted to one path.
In 1994, Oldfield's album The Songs of Distant Earth
The Songs of Distant Earth is the 16th album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1994. It is based on Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction novel The Songs of Distant Earth.- Release details :...
, one of the first enhanced CDs, featured a 3D interactive segment, with some ideas similar to MusicVR. This content only works on Apple Mac OS 9
Mac OS 9 is the final major release of Apple's Mac OS before the launch of Mac OS X. Introduced on October 23, 1999, Apple positioned it as "The Best Internet Operating System Ever," highlighting Sherlock 2's Internet search capabilities, integration with Apple's free online services known as...
and earlier. Music Virtual Reality (MusicVR) was previously called Sonic Reality
and Sonic VR
during its development stages.
By the 2000s, as home computers had grown in complexity and capabilities, this earlier problem was mostly erased. Oldfield and his team of programmers set off developing a version of the MusicVR game for release to the public. Because the nature and idea of MusicVR was so different from many of today's games, they felt that they could not use an existing game engine. They developed their own, with Oldfield's creative control of the project deciding its look and feel at each step.
The game was developed on and for Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...
A personal computer is any general-purpose computer whose size, capabilities, and original sales price make it useful for individuals, and which is intended to be operated directly by an end-user with no intervening computer operator...
s, although Oldfield uses Apple Macintosh
The Macintosh , or Mac, is a series of several lines of personal computers designed, developed, and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Macintosh was introduced by Apple's then-chairman Steve Jobs on January 24, 1984; it was the first commercially successful personal computer to feature a mouse and a...
computers for recording much of his music.
The first publicly released MusicVR game was called Tres Lunas
. It was related to the album of the same name.
The second MusicVR game was called Maestro
. It was related to the album Tubular Bells 2003
- Xplora1: Peter Gabriel's Secret World
XPLORA1: Peter Gabriel's Secret World is a musical computer game designed by musician, Peter Gabriel.-Summary:...
- A similar interactive software project by Peter Gabriel
Peter Brian Gabriel is an English singer, musician, and songwriter who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock group Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career...
- Tres Lunas (video game)
Tres Lunas is a MusicVR video game published in 2002 by British musician Mike Oldfield.- History :Oldfield had been working on the idea of melding virtual reality and music throughout the 1990s. Oldfield worked with 3D graphics programmer Colin Dooley and graphic artist Nick Catcheside...
- Maestro (video game)
Maestro is a MusicVR video game by British musician Mike Oldfield. It is the second publicly released MusicVR game after 2002's Tres Lunas.- History :Oldfield had been working on the idea of melding virtual reality and music throughout the 1990s...
- Tubular.net - hosts downloads of the MusicVR games
- Tres Lunas and Maestro at MobyGames
-Platforms not yet included:- Further reading :* Rusel DeMaria, Johnny L. Wilson, High Score!: The Illustrated History of Electronic Games, McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media; 2 edition , ISBN 0-07-223172-6...