In Feburary 2015, renowned video game composer Jake “virt” Kaufman (e.g. Shovel Knight, Contra 4, Red Faction: Guerrilla, Ducktales: Remastered) and vocalist Jessie Seely (e.g. Double Dragon Neon) launched a Kickstarter campaign for a hybrid music video/video game production called [NUREN] The Last Renaissance – a cyberpunk virtual reality rock opera, and the absolute first of its kind. This week marks the last opportunity people can back the Kickstarter campaign to reach their goal of $70,000. The campaign officially ends on Monday, March 16, 2015, at 3:00PM.
[NUREN] The Last Renaissance is a collected series of music videos that forms a full-length story. However, utilizing the Unreal Engine 4, the viewing experiences take on video game-like mechanics in that the content is viewed via virtual reality – meaning that unlike traditional films, [NUREN] allows you to look around at the action and the background scenery in any direction. Quite literally, you will be immersed in the dark, fantastical, cyberpunk world the team has sought to create. This can be done either on a desktop computer (available on Windows, Macs, and Linux) or with the use of the Oculus Rift. In the spirit of the classic Disney film, Fantasia, each song is complemented by a unique art style with thematic elements that tie to rest of the album.
Kaufman and Seely explain the premise of their virtual reality rock opera featuring the exploits of the two main protagonists – androids RIX and QGK:
This breathtaking musical odyssey begins in a post-war future where humanity has become controlled and sedated; such was the price of peace. There is the illusion of a perfect society where androids are programmed to cater to mankind, assuring that their minds remain untroubled and unstimulated. They care for us, they serve us, they protect us.
CSP Industries has unveiled the latest android model, the first to possess genuine thought and empathy. They will feel for us what we no longer can.
QGK and RIX, their new flagship prototypes, suddenly malfunction and begin to show signs of an unintended human trait: self-awareness. In a world where provocations such as music have been banned for a century, this glitch has enabled them to sing. When this is discovered, they are forced to become fugitives.
Their on-the-run adventure of self-discovery draws them deeper into a futuristic dystopia, and the industrial wastelands cast in shadows below. Together with escaped human rebels and long-forgotten robot models, these twin renegade androids unwittingly find themselves leading a movement to restore music and art to a peaceful but joyless world!
Currently, the Kickstarter campaign has reached over half of its $70,000 goal. There are a number of noteworthy pledge rewards available including early access, Jake Kaufman’s entire soundtrack collection (including a bonus album exclusively for backers), backstage passes to their launch party, or even an executive producer credit! Individuals interested in backing and supporting this project are recommended to do so as soon as possible before the March 16th deadline, and to share the project with friends and family.