Stage Fright is a single player rhythm and horror game where you take the role of a piano prodigy who is overwhelmed by musical performance anxiety. This anxiety manifests itself as a supernatural ghost girl, the mysterious HANNAH, who haunts your concerts to strain your ability and sanity.
The game is played with Guitar-Hero-style beatmatching mechanics - however, the better you do, the more horror elements you will get! Jump scares, unsettling visual elements, and even UI breakdowns are in store as the the game itself tries to prevent you from succeeding.
Stage Fright started in 2015 as Brian Kang and Mauricio Juliano's thesis project for the NYU Game Center's Game Design MFA Program. The project aimed to create a game that melded two genres that at first glance seemed fundamentally at odds with each other - rhythm and horror. As the two iterated over their design, they realized that such a combination could be successful and that they had a great idea on their hands. Eventually the game would upend the typical conventions of a rhythm game because of its rubber banding mechanic - Stage Fright gets scarier the better you do, thus becoming more difficult - and focus on the slow atmospheric tension that is a specialty of psychological horror.
The pair added Illustration undergraduate Elizabeth Dantzler and musician Larry Shen to the team, who helped in their successful completion of the MFA program in the spring of 2016.
But the game was far from done, and the strain of full time jobs, together with Mauricio's moving to Brazil, got in the way of a 2016 release. Still, the team never really stopped working on Stage Fright, and it was successfully Greenlit on Steam in early 2017. Shortly afterward, musician and sound designer Jeff Huang joined the team after seeing the game at MAGFest.
Currently Stage Fright is slated for release in December 2017.
- 9 original songs at release! Enjoy the haunting piano melodies of composers Larry Shen and Jeff Huang.
- Procedural Horror! Our system will recognize how well you are playing and mess with you while you're doing well.
- Play on a computer keyboard or use a MIDI Controller! Stage Fright can be played with both.
- Discover the story! Piece together the horror elements to figure out who HANNAH is, and why she is haunting you.