Websites of the future will not be like websites of the past. As technology improves, an underlying shift towards more immersive experiences will provide greater connection between brands and their customers/supporters. The music industry is a space that is ripe for this disruption, and this virtual world created for NYC record label D36 is a perfect example of the possibilities of immersive virtual experiences.
D36 approached Fra Mauro to design and develop an experience reflective of their artists and brand, equipped with multiple rooms (and even a virtual forest) to support their various formats of media and artistry. This space features 5 rooms, a lobby, and a minimal forest that acts as a sort of audio-driven scavenger hunt, where fans can access unreleased clips of artists on the D36 roster. The two artists featured in the main muse world are Rahul and Ethan Fields, each with their own room. These artist rooms are filled with 3D models, videos, audio, and imagery that reflect themes found throughout their work, each with different styling that cohesively encapsulates who they are as creators.
Aside from the main lobby room, this world also boasts an area for the label's narrative project, an initiative that peeks into the mind of the artists on the D36 roster, as well as a room dedicated to the upcoming Let's Get Fr.ee Fest in New York this upcoming summer. Visitors can purchase tickets through a link directly integrated with a small character in the LGF room, a more engaging alternative to merely clicking a button and being sent to a web page.
One might ask: why a virtual world instead of a website? Rightfully so. This format of digital real estate may not be best for every business (ex: lawyer, dentist, landscaper), but for a large portion of DTC brands and businesses operating in creative fields, virtual worlds are a great novel alternative to websites, which can be stale if not done properly.
The platform we built this site on, Muse, supports integration with Shopify and smart contracts. Our eyes lit up when we heard this because the possibilities are truly endless. When Covid locked down much of the world, it became apparent that the consumer landscape would forever be shifted toward the digital realm.
Imagine your favorite clothing brand held a popup shop, but instead of doing it in the physical world, it was completed in a virtual world that was decorated much cooler than what would be possible in the real world. The floors are moving, the walls are decorated, there are 3D models of the clothes where users can purchase at the click of a button. This is now all possible.
We don't solve problems here at Fra Mauro. We explore the possibilities. The D36 virtual world is an example of this exploration.
This world was built in partnership with Muse, a former Google YC startup that provides creators a no-code outlet to bring ideas to life in virtual spaces. Fra Mauro is a proud Muse-partnered agency (if you would like to give their platform a spin for yourself, click this link).