Image from Arik+HotpotAI
A view of the Heavtal Virchworld through a visual interface
Heavtal, also known as the Heavtal Music Museum, is a virchworld brought online by the musicology organization Heavtal on Kepler 14, 4555 AT. The virtual universe is a three-dimensional, boundless construct with countless layers. Each layer is a carefully crafted environment, representing a diverse spectrum of musical genres from Terragen history. Some layers have themes centered around truly ancient genres, such as heavy metal and noise music from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries CE.

The virchworld is updated anytime there is a new development in musical history, causing the size and layout of each layer to gradually and constantly alter. Many of the layers are styled as open gardens or outdoor mazes. Others are made up of rooms that provide a more personalized experience for the visitor. Each layer automatically adjust it's size and the design of the exhibits in response to the body plan of the visitor.

The more abstract and odd levels (as seen by baseline and most near-baseline humans) depict music enjoyed by beings from other parts of the toposophic environment, such as xenosophonts and archailects. Psychoware features in the virch's perception controls allow the user to momentarily alter their thinking as a means of exploring these sometimes arcane genres and the ideas behind them.

Within each layer, there are sculptures of notable musicians from Terragen history scattered about. Each statue serves as a portal to sub-virches that let the user discover more about the chosen artist by experiencing significant events in their life through the eyes of the musician. Statues of singers, composers, critics, and other prominent figures from musical history are also displayed and accessible. The collected musical works of any and all artists presented in Heavtal can be experienced at any point in the virch, either as part of specific displays or by accessing the virch's ambient control layer. Each layer is linked to each other via an internal 'teleport' network that runs within the virch.

The Heavtal Music Museum operates on a 24-hour day/night cycle, with three moons appearing in its night 'sky' during periods of darkness. The moons are massive, flat, circular disks covered with displays of ancient and modern musical instruments. Visitors can learn how to play any instrument shown using an instructional overlay system available on each moon. Alternatively, downloadable skill modules can teach a visitor how to play any instrument nearly instantaneously, but this is a less common alternative. The moons can be reached via specialized portals dispersed around the main Heavtal area.
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Development Notes
Text by Arrittrobi
Initially published on 25 October 2021.