Paradiddle is a VR game about playing the drums.
There have been plenty of drumming games for VR over the years, but a lot of them live and die on the idea of air drumming. They ask the player to be fine with a lack of tactile feedback you’d get from playing a real kit.
That’s Paraddidle‘s point of difference. It features full MIDI, DAW, and USB instrument support. This means, should you have electronic drum kit at home, you will be able to connect it to your game, arrange your kit such that it mirrors the one in your VR headset, and play along. On-screen, you’ll see your kit layout before, with each drum, hat, and crash colour co-ordinated to a Guitar Hero style note highway.
Select your song, settle in, and play.
This is the kind of game that hits me where I live. A kid who grew up in a musical home with a scorching case of ADHD, I’ve been compulsively tapping and drumming on things my whole life. The drums were my favourite part of the Rock Band experience back in the day, because they were the closest I’d ever gotten to a real drum kit. We simply couldn’t afford anything like that when I was a kid. Drumming in Rock Band became an outlet for me, something that brought me no end of joy. I couldn’t actually play the drums, I still can’t. But it made me feel like I could.
Endless sessions of Rock Band 2 and 3 led a friend to buy a full electric drum kit of his own, and we could play those games with that kit. Our Rock Band experience was always on the Xbox 360, and so when it moved to the Xbox One for Rock Band 4, we quickly found you couldn’t use wired instruments like the electric kit. Originally, only wireless instruments were supported. An adapter was released eventually, but in small numbers, and instantly sold out.
We could have easily moved to the PlayStation 4. The e-kit would have worked fine there. But all our songs and DLC were on the Xbox version of the game, and we had hundreds and hundreds of songs. An investment had been made, one we couldn’t feasibly recreate on another platform. And that was it, the end of my Rock Band career. We’d probably still be playing it now if it hadn’t been for the Xbox One’s fatal platform incompatibilities.
But that’s why something like Paradiddle appeals to me so much. With or without an electric kit, this feels like a game that could give me a little of that experience back.
Would you like a drumming fact before I end this article? Paradiddle isn’t just a funny word, it’s a drumming term. To drummers, “para” means single stroke, and “diddle” means double stroke. Therefore, a paradiddle is a single stroke followed by a double stroke. A paradiddle is what’s called a drumming rudiment, one of several simple patterns that create the foundation for more complex drumming. Here’s a quick video so you can hear it in action.
Paradiddle V1.0 is coming to Steam and Quest VR platforms on November 1.
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