Just in time for New Zealand Music Month, is an online and iPhone game which lets players put the fate of New Zealand musicians in their hands.
Indie Music Manager lets players experience the highs and lows of the music industry while promoting local music.
Players manage Kiwi acts Tiki Taane, I Am Giant, Street Chant or Princess Chelsea, choosing where to tour, which producer to work with and how to best hype their artists. Scandals must be managed and egos soothed, all the while listening to your artist's streaming music.
The game was funded through NZ On Air's digital funding, developed by Auckland game maker InGame and Tim Thorpe Consulting, with art by Images & Sound.
NZ On Air chief executive Jane Wrightson said the game broke new ground. "A game is an innovative way to support New Zealand music, engage new audiences and promote music discovery."
Stephen Knightly, from InGame, says anyone can play the game - as long as they're a fan of Kiwi music. "To succeed in the game you have to know your musicians inside out and make the right choices for them. The best producer, crew or venue for Tiki Taane might not suit a hardcore act like Street Chant.
"If people like what they hear, they can download the tracks from iTunes. We hope players will discover new acts to follow and help New Zealand music reach new audiences."
The game features 28 music tracks and 10 recording studios, venues, producers and roadies, all with their own strengths and weaknesses. Managers can hype their acts with publicity and PR, make cash from merchandising and licensing, and book support acts. Additional acts will be added to the game later in the year.
Musician Tiki Taane said becoming a character in a video game was a "real buzz". "It's a new way to explore homegrown music and try your hand at managing an artist through all the challenges that the rock 'n' roll scene presents. It was really cool to see the game progress and have an input to some of the game's creative [process]."
The game is available on the Apple AppStore or online at indiemusicmanager.com.
- © Fairfax NZ News