Guitar Hero+ [Firebee]

Posted by Firebee on June 12, 2010, 12:42 a.m.

No, that is not the title of my upcoming music game. I'd probably have to kill myself if I went with something that lame, but it doesn't have a title yet, so that will have to do.

This will be my first game since I've gotten back into game programming. The last game I made was in 2007, so there's a little bit of reference for you.

My current project is an untitled rhythm game in the vein of Guitar Hero or Rock Band, but entirely free, and most likely open-source, though I haven't decided on that yet. It will work with wired X-Box 360 Guitar Hero controllers. I have decided not to implement a keyboard control scheme, due to having extremely poor gameplay experiences using Guitar Hero III and Frets on Fire with a keyboard. The gameplay mechanic just doesn't translate to a keyboard. You need the tactile stimulation of having an actual guitar in your hands for the game to really work.

Thus far in the programming department, I've written all the code for handling input from the Guitar Hero controllers, and I'm currently working on devising a file format to hold the notes for different songs. The cool thing about this is that I will most likely ship it with an editor, so that anybody can create the notes to any mp3 that they want, and then be free to distribute their note files. Since I can't bundle mp3s for legal reasons, people can just buy the mp3s from Amazon or iTunes or whatever, and download the associated notes file for free.

I'm still working on research for how this would function in the real world, so any feedback or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!


Kaz 9 years, 5 months ago

I had an idea of a program to listen to a song and pull out the actual notes in GH fashion. That way, people don't actually have to build the song for the game, just load it in. Although, it could never be perfect I don't think because of all the differences in songs.

Toast 9 years, 5 months ago

That would be awfully complicated, Audiosurf worked because it wasn't really instrument-specific, the hard bit would be getting the computer to differentiate between drums/bass/guitar/vocals.

Firebee 9 years, 5 months ago

I remember reading something about the Rock Band development team using a program to pull the notes from mp3s, but after that they went in and polished them up manually.

Kaz 9 years, 5 months ago

That's more of what I was trying to say Firebee. I can't think in the morning XD

tylerthemiler 9 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, but that is the guitar hero development team lol. It wouldn't be so complicated for specific instruments on specific songs where they don't change pitch.

For example, it would be relatively easy to pull the snare out of a song, since the snare is the same, very specific pitch, for the entire song, and a snare doesn't change pitch.

However, for things like guitar or vocals or bass, it would be an extremely complicated algorithm to isolate those sounds as they change pitch and even timbre over the course of the entire song…

Firebee 9 years, 5 months ago

yeah, pretty much to the point where it's cheaper and faster to just hire a team with good ears to pick the notes out, rather than hire a team with mad programming skills to write the software.

Cesar 9 years, 5 months ago

Firebee, they don't do that. Each note is put in manually by Harmonix/Neversoft authors. This is because notes are put in relative pitch to other notes.

And yes, I was pulled in because of the blog title… I happen to have hundreds upon hundreds of hours invested in plastic instruments

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