No more Burning Man or Coachella: you can now get an immersive concert experience from the comfort of your home!
Metaverse concerts were all the rage in 2022. They got so popular that the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards even had an award category for the Best Metaverse Performance. One of the companies that have played a crucial role in making metaverse concerts so big is the gaming platform Roblox.
Roblox held its first metaverse concert with singer Lil Nas X in 2020, even before the concept of “metaverse” took center stage. The company has since held concerts for many other famous artists, including Tai Verdes, Zara Larson, Twenty One Pilots and David Guetta. If you are yet to attend a Roblox concert or even just a metaverse concert in general, here is an overview of how these events are conducted and what you can expect from them.
The mechanics of a Roblox concert
Image courtesy of Gamefam Studios Twitter handle
Roblox is a gaming platform where users can create their own games or virtual experiences. There are a lot of different elements involved in creating a Roblox concert. You have to animate the artist, use motion capture technology to make the animated character copy the artist’s moves and build the virtual world where the concert is going to take place.
You get a view at some of the behind-the-scenes (BTS) action of a Roblox concert in the footage shared by Gamefam Studios on their Twitter handle. In the video, they are recording American musician 24KGoldn performing in a motion capture suit for his Roblox concert. While the artist performed his hit single “Mood” and moved around, a 3D rendering of him was moving across an animated stage decorated with sunflowers. Similarly, in the Twenty One Pilots’ behind-the-scenes concert footage, the artists are shown not only in motion capture suits but also equipped with technology for capturing facial expressions. Both of these give us a clear idea that, unlike a traditional concert, these experiences are pre-recorded and songs are not performed live as they are in a traditional concert.
To make the experience more realistic, Roblox concerts use the latest technologies in shadowing, lighting and physically-based rendering (PBR, a technique of capturing realistic shading/lighting models to represent real-world materials). So while the players have blocky characters (as you can see in the header image of this article), the artists are made to look realistic.
Another layer of immersion is added by tailoring the stages and sets for the concert to the artist. So, for Tai Verdes, the stage was a Venice Beach-inspired boardwalk, and for Zara Larsson’s album launch dance party, the set was designed based on her Swedish lake house.
What to expect at a Roblox concert?
Of course, the first thing you can expect is to get a different version or remix of the artist’s songs that have been specifically recorded for the concert. Besides that, each concert may have its own unique elements. These are some of the elements that previous Roblox concerts have had—
Tai Verdes’ “Let’s Go to Hell” concert
In the Tai Verdes concert, the audience could move around the virtual world and collect the in-game currency “Sunshine”. This currency could then be used to unlock special concert items— the Tie-Dye Shirt and Pants. The concert also gave away three other collectibles—Sunshine Backpack, Shady Circle Glasses and Tie-Dye Visor.
Zara Larsson’s “Poster Girl Dance Party”
Zara Larsson’s dance party featured mini-games and interactive challenges as well as an exclusive question-and-answer session with the artist. The artist also sold in-game outfits, hairstyles, dance moves and a customizable avatar based on her likeness, costing between 60 Robux, i.e. US$10.2, and 400 Robux, i.e. US$68 (at the time of writing, 1 Robux equates to US$0.17).
Twenty One Pilots Concert
The special element of the Twenty One Pilots concert was the fact that the audience got to choose the order in which they wanted to hear the songs. If you go through the concert video, you will see each song is followed by a brief intermission where there are old-timey televisions in front of them. Fans could vote on which song they wanted to hear by standing in front of one of the televisions. They made the concert experience even more engaging by creating pre-concert scavenger hunts that their fans could participate in to win special prizes.
Of course, these are only a few of the many Roblox concert experiences out there and the concert you end up attending might not be the same as these ones. We have entered an era where metaverse concerts have become more and more common and artists have the opportunity to make millions of dollars through them. And so, as technology progresses and the virtual concert sphere becomes more profitable, artists and the creative teams behind them will come up with innovative ways to give the audience something special in each and every concert they attend.
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Header image courtesy of Roblox’s website