Putting fans in the middle of experimental and hard hitting music

Head Banger is an action-packed, arcade-style game that requires players to navigate their way through a series of increasingly difficult levels while avoiding obstacles and collecting points.

Hello Monday/DEPT® took this game we grew up playing and turned it into an AI experiment. Designed to explore how AI could be used to create new musical experiences, the experience promoted Dracaris, a death metal band founded and based out of New York City.

Creating the Dracaris heavy metal universe

The goal was to promote Dracaris and their latest album. Inspired by Arkanoid style games, the team wanted to build an immersive experience that immersed fans in the world of Dracaris’s experimental, headbanging music. 

The challenge was to do it all without any media budget. 

Hello Monday/DEPT® built an in-browser game, powered by AI. The user enters the game, grants camera access and calibrates the camera’s sensor by tilting their head left and right. 

From there, game play can begin. Users must send a fireball to knock out blocks, without letting the ball get past them. The paddle is controlled by your head, rather than the keyboard, and if you have time for it – you can head-bang for extra points.

As fans play the game they get access to Dracaris music, with each track representing a different level.

Using AI to create new musical experiences

The team used an open-source machine learning tool, and trained AI models on a face database to provide users with an interactive game experience. The Face Detection prototype enabled us to map the movements of the users’ head to the movements of the skull. So whether they tilted their head left right or opened their mouths, we could track them. All of this is done in the browser, directly on the user’s computer – which means that no data ever leaves your machine.

The results

  • 50,000 headbangs within the first two weeks without any media spend
  • Average of 1 minute and 40 seconds spent in Dracaris metal universe
  • FWA Site of the Day

Play the game yourself at Headbanger.ai 


Founding Partner, HELLO MONDAY/DEPT®

Anders Jessen

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