Arjan van Meerten, the indie 3D artist and musician behind the widely acclaimed Surge VR music video, has confirmed Apex as his next project.
Update (3/21/17, 11:35AM PT): In development since 2016, the followup to the acclaimed Surge is finally set to make its world premiere. Apex will debut at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival next month as part of the event’s Virtual Arcade section. A teaser for the experience states:
Step into a surrealistic and darkly beautiful vision of a fiery urban apocalypse; one populated by skeletal ghost animals, abstract shapes, maniacal smiling giants and, of course, you.
It isn’t clear when (or how) after the debut that Apex will get a release date for the rest of us, but Surge eventually found its way to the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive so we’re hoping for the same thing time around. Original article continues below.
Surge, launched freely back in early 2015—the days of the second Rift development (DK2)—was a curiously compelling piece of music set to a real-time VR rendering of abstract shapes and scenery that reacted to the music. As with the best of impressionist art, the piece evoked emotions from composition, aesthetic, and scale, without relying heavily on symbolic visuals. Surge stood as a compelling glimpse into where the future of music and virtual reality might take us.
Now, the creator of Surge, Arjan van Meerten, has confirmed that his followup VR project is called Apex and has been in the works for at least 6 months.
The tantalizing Apex trailer (heading this article) teases us with more of what we loved about Surge: cold, hard geometric shapes brought to life with motion and music; epic scenery with dingy beauty.
Meerten, now part of House of Secrets, tells us that Apex is destined for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and says it’s “a bit less abstract and bigger,” than Surge. The project is funded by WeVR and made possible by KaleidoscopeVR. Apex will debut at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival in April.
Surge, which won ‘Best Score’ at the 2015 Proto Awards, and ‘Audience Choice’ at Kaleidoscope 2015, recently made its way to Oculus Home for download and viewing with native Rift integration. It’s also available for the HTC Vive and Rift on Steam where it’s rated positively by 95% of reviewers.