‘Apex’, the Next Real-time VR Music Video from Creator of the Acclaimed ‘Surge’, Premiers Next Month


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.

'Surge' is a Real-time VR Music Video You Don't Want to Miss

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.

Preview: 'Moderat: Reminder' is an Energetic VR Music Video set in a Beautiful Dystopia

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.

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  • glyphery

    Very much looking forward to this! Surge remains unique in my VR collection for its sprawling sound-reactive environments and offers a very compelling “chill out” experience when I’m in the mood for that sort of thing. I believe this particular VR content niche is not seeing nearly as much attention as it deserves.

  • yag

    We really need more of this. What the demoscene is waiting for ?

  • Yu Jing

    looking forward to this

  • Raphael

    I’d like to see the entire demoscene move into vr. Used to be that demoscene had the most cutting edge graphics and programming. Along the way game graphics overtook and demoscene started to look a bit dated with fluid blobs dancing over a voxel landscape. I still love the demoscene and indeed am working on rendered videos in demoscene style (albeit with much greater photorealism than realtime can bring).

  • Andrew Mcevoy

    Any further developments on this?!?