HIP HOP LIFESTYLE

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rock Band Blowout [From The Makers Of Guitar Hero]

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rock Band Blowout [From The Makers Of Guitar Hero]

    The CEO of Harmonix gives us the scoop.
    by Alex Simmons, Erik Brudvig and Chris Roper

    June 8, 2007 - Harmonix knows music games. Responsible for developing nearly every hit music rhythm game known to man, the studio's credits include Guitar Hero I and II, Frequency, Amplitude, and Karaoke Revolution. Now Harmonix is hard at work developing its most ambitious title yet, Rock Band. Drums, vocals, guitar, and bass will all play together in a single game for the first time this fall. To learn more about this highly anticipated title, IGN went to Alex Rigopulos, co-founder and CEO of Harmonix, with questions on everything from the single player game to MIDI possibilities.

    IGN: Has the concept for Rock Band been something that Harmonix has been working on for a while?

    Alex Rigopulos: The concept itself has been gestating here for many years, but honestly, before Guitar Hero, the market for music games in the US was so small that it simply wasn't realistic for us to consider building a game of Rock Band's magnitude. Of course, after Guitar Hero exploded, everything changed, and it quickly became apparent that it was finally time for us to swing for the fences. So we've been working on Rock Band more or less since we finished the original Guitar Hero.

    IGN: Will the game play in a similar way to Guitar Hero - e.g. the notes scrolling down the screen indicating when to strum along? Or will each instrument play differently?

    Alex Rigopulos: Unfortunately I can't comment in any detail yet on the Rock Band gameplay or user interface. However, what I can say is that each instrument absolutely has its own design needs, which is something we've naturally had to take into careful account when crafting the gameplay and interfaces for the different instruments. As you know, Harmonix has been developing music games for many years: first Frequency and Amplitude, then Karaoke Revolution, then Guitar Hero. With Rock Band, we've been able to apply all of that prior experience to create a new integrated game design and interface that we're pretty proud of.



    IGN: Will each instrument part be developed enough to stand alone as a game for people that only want to play that part? More to the point, how will the guitar part hold up against the Guitar Hero franchise?

    Alex Rigopulos: In addition to the multi-instrument band game, Rock Band will have a full suite of play modes for each of the individual instruments as well. As for your question about the guitar in particular, I can't speak to what Activision has planned for future versions of Guitar Hero, but what I can say is that Rock Band's guitar game alone will be more substantial than any of the prior Guitar Hero releases. PLUS, there's the complete drum game that's just as large. PLUS, there's the complete singing game. PLUS, there's the co-operative band game that ties them all together. Basically, it's four complete games on one disc. The thing is really huge!

    IGN: If you're playing the game by yourself, how do the other three parts work?

    Alex Rigopulos: If you're playing solo, the rest of your band is on auto-pilot.

    IGN: Will you need to play all four parts to unlock everything or could you, for example, just play bass and get everything there is in the game?

    Alex Rigopulos: Any one instrument will get you to all of the music and most of the other assets you can achieve in the game. There are a few "special rewards" per instrument, though.

    IGN: What genres of music are you targeting for Rock Band?

    Alex Rigopulos: The game will include a broad spectrum of rock, everything from classic to modern, punk, metal, alternative, Southern rock, you name it. We've also secured a lot of original multi-track master recordings. Being able to listen to these has been incredible.



    IGN: Has being owned by MTV helped you to secure more support from the music industry?

    Alex Rigopulos: The single biggest benefit of the acquisition is that MTV understands and believes in our vision, so they've given us both the creative freedom and the resources to build exactly the game we've been dreaming of making for years. And yes, it's true that MTV's relationships in the music business have been invaluable in helping us forge partnerships with the music companies and recording artists.

    However, I also think that the runaway success of the Guitar Hero games has already helped precipitate a change in the way that the music industry views the potential of videogames.
    SOURCE

    Continued...
    Clean Since: 12.10.08

  • #2
    IGN: Are you selecting songs that will be good for all four instruments or will specific tracks be focused on one?

    Alex Rigopulos: For Rock Band, we're really listening for songs that will have fun parts to play for all of the instruments, and songs that will be fun to play as a band.

    IGN: Guitar Hero II is significantly harder than Guitar Hero I. Will Rock Band ease the difficulty or assume that people are already familiar with this style of game and keep challenging fans?

    Alex Rigopulos: One of the explicit design mandates with Rock Band, actually, was to allow people of widely ranging levels of skill and experience to be able to play together and have a great time doing it. With a properly designed game, you can deliver the right amount of challenge to both the novices and the virtuosos!

    IGN: What will the instruments be like for Rock Band?

    Alex Rigopulos: It was crucial to the staff at Harmonix, many of whom are musicians in real rock bands of their own, that the Rock Band instruments have a more authentic and realistic look and feel to them than we'd seen with prior music games. As announced previously, we've partnered with Fender and modeled the guitar controller after the Stratocaster. Beyond that, all I can say now is that we're really pleased with how the peripherals are turning out. They're really gorgeous pieces of hardware.

    IGN: Initially, there was some confusion as to whether Rock Band would work with the Guitar Hero controller. Can you lay those worries to rest for us?

    Alex Rigopulos: We do intend to support 3rd-party guitar peripherals, including the Guitar Hero controllers, because this kind of interoperability is exactly what gamers want and expect. However, the Rock Band game is specifically designed for the official Rock Band Fender Stratocaster guitar controller, and we've introduced some very cool hardware innovations into this device.



    IGN: If the Guitar Hero II controller will work on the Xbox 360 version of Rock Band, does that mean that the gameplay will be similar?

    Alex Rigopulos: Sorry, I can't comment yet on gameplay details. But I'll say that if you've enjoyed Harmonix's rhythm games in the past, you won't be disappointed.

    IGN: Did you ever plan to have a peripheral that could mimic all the instruments?

    Alex Rigopulos: No, we really wanted the play experience to be as accurate an emulation of playing music as possible, and to pull this off requires peripherals that are true to the real instruments.

    IGN: How does the drum controller work? Is there a foot pedal, cymbals, etc?

    Alex Rigopulos: Sorry, again that's something I can't talk about yet in any detail. I'll just say that I'm a drummer myself, so it was a priority for me that the drum controller be a real piece of hardware.

    IGN: Did you consider an adapter to go from MIDI to the game for people that own electronic drum kits?

    Alex Rigopulos: This is indeed something we're actively considering.



    IGN: It's already been announced that four players will be able to play together in Rock Band. But will it be possible for players to create their own unique tunes or import music and add your own note keys, rather than just playing along with the songs included with the game?

    Alex Rigopulos: The ability to import user-created music into the game isn't a feature that will be integrated into Rock Band right out of the gate, but we are actively considering the possibility of eventually building and releasing tools to the community that will allow players to do this.

    IGN: Can you explain a little more about the online modes? Will, for example, two players be able to play on one Xbox/PS3 while connecting to two friends on another console over Live/PSN?

    Alex Rigopulos: Right now, all I can say is that the online feature set of Rock Band will be quite substantial—way beyond anything that's been done previously in the music category. Stay tuned for more details!

    IGN: Rumors of prices have already met with quite a chilly reception in forums. Have you got any idea how much everything is going to cost?

    Alex Rigopulos: We haven't made final pricing decisions yet. There's a lot of speculation out there, but it's all just that—speculation. Needless to say, we're sensitive to the issue; we're expending a lot of effort trying to balance the real costs of high-quality peripherals with our desire to make the game as affordable as possible for our fans.
    SOURCE

    Continued...
    Clean Since: 12.10.08

    Comment


    • #3
      IGN: What are your plans for downloadable content? Can we expect prices similar to Guitar Hero II for downloadable tracks?

      Alex Rigopulos: We think of Rock Band as not just a game, but as platform for experiencing music. Consequently, we have hugely ambitious plans for downloadable content, literally hundreds of songs. We haven't determined pricing yet, but stay tuned…

      IGN: What would you say to those people who say Rock Band is an opportunity for EA/Harmonix to make some extra cash from selling customers extra controllers?

      Alex Rigopulos: Rock Band is the game that our fans have been begging for pretty much since the day we shipped Guitar Hero. If you're going to have an authentic band experience, you need a variety of instrument controllers; there's no way around it.

      Furthermore, it's funny to me hear the controllers described as a way "to make some extra cash". The peripherals are hugely expensive to manufacture, and the profit margins are extremely slim compared to software. These two factors combined make peripherals a pretty unattractive business proposition, so if the goal were simply "to make some extra cash", we would have chosen a different way!

      Seriously, our lives would have been a lot easier if we didn't need to create multiple new peripherals for Rock Band, but it was crucial that we do so in order to deliver the kind of over-the-top play experience that we were envisioning.

      IGN: Last year Harmonix trademarked several different "Hero" titles (like drum hero). Were you originally planning on creating separate Hero titles for different instruments rather than a game that made use of them all?

      Alex Rigopulos: We had given some consideration to building some more single-instrument games first, and then later tackling the monstrously large full-band experience. But at some point, we decided "Hell, let's just go for it and start building the band game right now!"



      IGN: Activision has recently announced it's releasing Guitar Hero III this year. Do you think that Rock Band and Guitar Hero can quite happily co-exist alongside each other?

      Alex Rigopulos: I do, actually. The music game category is growing so explosively, there's clearly plenty of space for multiple successful franchises. These franchises will, of course, compete to a certain degree, but that competition will also help drive the evolution and expansion of the category, to everyone's benefit. With Rock Band, we're really trying to push into new territory and to elevate the genre to a fundamentally new place.

      IGN: Are you surprised by how incredibly popular the Guitar Hero franchise has become? When you created the first game did you ever think you'd be in the position you are now?

      Alex Rigopulos: On one level, certainly I was surprised. Harmonix had been working for so long to push music games past the "tipping point" in the US that it was hard for us not to wonder whether it was ever going to happen. And the original Guitar Hero had everything stacked against it: it was brought to market by a tiny, inexperienced publisher. The peripheral made it expensive. The big box made it hard to get distribution. Honestly, Harmonix did not have high expectations for its commercial success. We'd been too beaten down by prior experience to let ourselves be optimistic!

      But on another level, the phenomenon that has taken shape is exactly what we had been striving for and had believed in for more than a decade. Our conviction about the power of music-making is what motivated us to start Harmonix in the first place, and our faith that this outcome was possible was what has been driving us forward all these years.

      ---
      Harmonix isn't ready to talk about certain features of the game, so there's still quite a bit that we don't know. A few of the topics that we asked about but got no answer include the game progression, co-operatively unlocking bonuses, playing guitar and singing at the same time, track specifics, and how the company has solved the lag issue with online play. Stay tuned for when Harmonix feels comfortable revealing those details.
      SOURCE
      Clean Since: 12.10.08

      Comment

      Post ad widget 300x250

      Collapse

      LATEST POSTS

      Collapse

      Topics Statistics Last Post
      Started by Bynarden, Today, 10:57 AM
      0 responses
      1 view
      0 likes
      Last Post Bynarden  
      Started by jerrystom864, Today, 07:29 AM
      0 responses
      1 view
      0 likes
      Last Post jerrystom864  
      Started by jerrystom864, Today, 07:16 AM
      0 responses
      1 view
      0 likes
      Last Post jerrystom864  
      Started by jerrystom864, Today, 06:11 AM
      0 responses
      1 view
      0 likes
      Last Post jerrystom864  
      Started by jerrystom864, Today, 05:00 AM
      0 responses
      2 views
      0 likes
      Last Post jerrystom864  
      Started by jerrystom864, Today, 04:43 AM
      0 responses
      1 view
      0 likes
      Last Post jerrystom864  
      Started by jerrystom864, Today, 04:27 AM
      0 responses
      1 view
      0 likes
      Last Post jerrystom864  
      Started by jerrystom864, Today, 03:56 AM
      0 responses
      1 view
      0 likes
      Last Post jerrystom864  
      Started by fencekopc, Today, 03:40 AM
      0 responses
      1 view
      0 likes
      Last Post fencekopc  
      Started by percybrien, Today, 02:57 AM
      0 responses
      1 view
      0 likes
      Last Post percybrien  
      Working...
      X