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Harmonix Confirms New Company Project

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the moseying-on-down-that-dustry-trail dept.

Games 41

Gamsutra reports that Harmonix is now working on a new music project, confirming their absence from any future Guitar Hero games. From the article: "[Harmonix producer Daniel Sussman] added specifically: 'We are instead working on a different music game project, one that is a bigger and more ambitious endeavor than we felt we could pursue within the bounds of the Guitar Hero franchise.' Further specific details on exact subject and publisher for the game are not being released at this time." One can only hope that Neversoft's hand at the wheel will not result in any shakeups in this truly excellent series.

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Wishful Thinking (3, Interesting)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724774)

Would it be considered wishful thinking to cross my fingers for a Scratch Hero complete with turntables? That would be amazing!

Re:Wishful Thinking (2, Insightful)

xsarpedonx (707167) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724840)

I believe so. It would have to be more than just a new 'instrument' in a different genre to warrant the "bigger and more ambitious". I would say that's just hype, but if they are abandoning an extremely popular format with a guaranteed audience for a sequel I'm expecting something bigger. Possibly a combination of multiple instruments into a single game, an entire band experience perhaps. Though instrument cost seems to make that less likely.

Re:Wishful Thinking (1)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724884)

Also, with a large band set-up, wouldn't that make the single-player aspect nonexistent? Otherwise single-player mode would be.. Guitar Hero. Or Bass Hero.

Re:Wishful Thinking (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17724982)

Possibly a combination of multiple instruments into a single game, an entire band experience perhaps. Though instrument cost seems to make that less likely.

Not really, if you think about it. Say you sold drum hero, guitar hero, bass hero, keyboard hero, and lead vocal hero (or whatever you want to call them) sets that were all the exact same game but each came with their own "toy" instrument. Alone, each player would effectively be practicing their own parts, but when the band gets together, the game adapts to allow everyone to play together. The game could even adapt further, adding extra guitar lines or backup vocalists if you have an extra guitarist but no drummer.

Re:Wishful Thinking (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725190)

Where do I sign up for the preorder?

That really does sound like a game that would be FANTASTICALLY fun with a group of friends...throw some Jim Beam Rye into the mix, and you have the perfect game for drunks.

Re:Wishful Thinking (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725610)

"Alone, each player would effectively be practicing their own parts, but when the band gets together, the game adapts to allow everyone to play together."
I'm not one of those people that says instead of playing Guitar Hero, you should just learn to play guitar. I understand that the two activities are different and require different commitments. But....honestly, once you get to the point where you're practicing so you can play with others, why not just practice at the real thing?

Re:Wishful Thinking (1)

ryepup (522994) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730408)

why not just practice at the real thing?
Because you don't want to spend years getting good enough at an instrument. By simplifying it down to button mashing, you can catch the patterns in a matter of days, or weeks if you have other things to do.

Re:Wishful Thinking (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#17736962)

"Because you don't want to spend years getting good enough at an instrument. By simplifying it down to button mashing, you can catch the patterns in a matter of days, or weeks if you have other things to do."
You missed my point. I noted that there are different time commitments in my original post. My point was that if you're actually allocating time for "practice" rather than just playing the game for pure entertainment [which was what the GP was suggesting], why not allocate that time to the real thing.

Read more carefully next time, thank you.

beatmania (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725110)

Would it be considered wishful thinking to cross my fingers for a Scratch Hero complete with turntables?

Isn't that called beatmania [wikipedia.org] ?

go all the way (1)

anarchy_man3 (768249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724822)

Perhaps a full band with drums, bass, guitar, and vocal recognition.

Re:go all the way (1)

NuShrike (561140) | more than 7 years ago | (#17728922)

Done by Konami's Bemania series with session-linking [wikipedia.org] with Drum-mania [wikipedia.org] , and Guitar-freaks [wikipedia.org] , along with two keyboards with Keyboard-mania [wikipedia.org] .

Just hasn't been ported to home systems, and so GuitarFreaks never really took off like Guitar Hero.

Funny enough, Konami also does Dance Dance Revolution, ParaPara Paradise, and Karaoke Revolution. Imagine linking all of these together.

Hooray (1, Troll)

spoonboy42 (146048) | more than 7 years ago | (#17724922)

Frequency and Amplitude were amazing, unique music games. After those 2, Harmonix moved on and created something new: Guitar Hero, which was a very different, but also excellent music game. After one sequel, it seems Harmonix is getting the creative itch to explore new game territory again. Although it would have been nice to see them make Guitar Hero 3, I'm even more excited to see what they come up with next.

Re:Hooray (1)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725456)

Guitar hero basically was Frequency/Amplitude with a guitar for a controller.

It is awesome and all that, and I do own both Guitar Hero games. But let's not kid ourselves. Guitar Hero's innovation over Frequency/Amplitude was in music selection/presentation, not gameplay.

Re:Hooray (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17726184)

Actually, after Frequency, Harmonix'es next project was Karaoke Revolution. I belive that was created under contract with Konami, who probably owns all of the rights and is why the CMT and American Idol editions are out now.

Coming Soon ! (1, Funny)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725096)

Triangel Hero [google.nl]

Re:Coming Soon ! (2, Funny)

david.given (6740) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726084)

Accordian Hero [gamasutra.com]

Re:Coming Soon ! (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17729050)

Cowbell Hero!

Why not go the extra step... (4, Insightful)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725146)

Why can't these games actually help us play instruments? They do a great job of slowly ramping up your skill and evaluating your playing ability--why not hook them up to a midi keyboard or real guitar then start off slow with some simple tracks, and move to more complicated/difficult tracks?

You could even get different people with different instruments playing different tracks together. Eventually you remove the game and everyone is actually playing music together.

I've just started seriously playing Amplitude (Beat normal, half way through the next level) and I noticed that at some point you stop playing the "Notes" and start following patterns without thinking about it, in fact whenever you think about it, you start missing notes.

I assume that must be what playing real music is like, but I can't seem to get there on my keyboard. A game like this would be the perfect bridge that gets me used to playing the chords and notes slowly.

I know there is teaching "Piano"/midi software out there, I bought some a long time ago, but being written as a teaching program and not a game it doesn't have the same addictive pace, levels of challenge and decent, real music.

If anyone knows of a GOOD midi/keyboard alternative--a game like one of these Harmonix games that also trains on the keyboard, please reply--I'll buy it today.

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725354)

I think the main problem with a game like this attempting to teach you how to play guitar is that there is a big difference between 5 buttons and 6 strings, each with a good amount of notes on them. I can follow five multicolored buttons on the screen. Following the entire treble clef and correlating that to the correct string and fret on the neck is much harder.

The fun of GH is that I can "play" rocking songs from the very beginning. I don't have to play Hot Cross Buns and Happy Birthday before I'm allowed to play Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight.

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725914)

I agree, but I would think that you could pick simple rock songs with 3 or 4 chords and just play those chords at first, allowing the same simplicity without going to "Happy Birthday" (Exactly what I dislike about existing "Tutorial" software)

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726416)

And people will bitch about how the game isn't any fun because all you're doing is playing the same three chords nonstop...

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

ChangelingJane (1042436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17728062)

Sounds like Punk Rock Hero to me!

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17728238)

There are only 3 keys on Frequency & Amplitude. 5 on GH, but they aren't used until you get into the harder levels. I doubt starting with 3 chords and adding more in at harder levels would cause such complaints--I don't hear people complaining about the 3 buttons in Amp.

How in the world am I having so much trouble explaining this?

Start of exactly as easy as Freq/Amp and get harder. Work from abstractions that bring entire sequences down to a single key-strike (like amp/freq) and move towards less abstract more realistic note sequences (like freq/amp) then take it a step further and go for actual note sequences.

Should be cheaper to buy a real keyboard than GH's controller (which is useless for anything else, btw)--might even find a USB one out there that plugs into the PS/2's built-in USB ports.

Easy levels are identical to amp/freq and could be played on controller or kbd in a way similar to how the 5 keys from GH map to the controller, only the hardest levels would actually require a keyboard.

Of course, the song would contain more complicated music, and when you are past playing the three chords, you move on to a fourth.

Why all the resistance? Is this attempts to get "Funny" mods, or am I really doing that poor a job of explaining this concept?

BTW, anyone else try to map the GH keys to freq/amplitude. You can get SO CLOSE, but the up/down (Strum) on the guitar is hard-wired and the games won't change their left/right mapping (skip tracks) to up/down.

Re:Why not go the extra step... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17729130)

I haven't read all the other posts, but you're talking to someone here who plays several different instruments. The problem is that you're saying "You just push three buttons in one game, so how's it any different from playing three chords?" The difference is that playing a chord requires getting your hands used to being in a certain position (be it guitar or keyboard). Switching chords is even more complex, because your hands need to be able to make the change from one precise shape to another in a split second. It's nowhere near the same as moving your thumb from one general area to another general area. You're not having any problems explaining your idea, but the negative feedback you're getting is coming from people who know what it takes to play an instrument. It's quite different. Sure, it probably could be done, but I suspect you'll have a miserable failure on your hands.

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

tweek (18111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725504)

"I assume that must be what playing real music is like, but I can't seem to get there on my keyboard"

At least in come instruments, that's exactly what it's like.

I played trombone all through school and alot of it was muscle memory in the sense of knowing exactly where on my slide to stop for a given note. Any guitar player will tell you alot of guitar playing (I play bass - poorly) is muscle memory as well.

It always felt like cheating to me that I was boiled down to a hand doing its own thing without even thinking about it but it just happens. It's actually kind of hard to untrain.

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725552)

Why not hook them up to a midi keyboard or real guitar then start off slow with some simple tracks, and move to more complicated/difficult tracks?

Because then, very few people would buy the game (too much up-front cost) and very few people would enjoy it (long learning curve). The basic joy of Guitar Hero is that almost anybody can play it immediately. You want something for a more hardcore musical audience. But that audience is probably going to teach themselves a real instrument anyway.

In fact whenever you think about it, you start missing notes.

You nailed it. I love it when people comment about that. Generally speaking, there's huge difference between paying direct attention to what you are doing, versus analyzing what you are doing, and rhythm games make you aware of the difference pretty quickly.

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726106)

>> Because then, very few people would buy the game (too much up-front cost) and very few people would enjoy it (long learning curve).

I don't think these are issues. Cost has been in the past, but I've seen simple roll-up keyboards that could be used that are way less than a GH guitar. As for the long learning curve, simplifying the song has been the trick to all the existing games. You don't hit every note, you are hitting chords or just the most significant notes in "Easy" mode, but with a real keyboard, I suppose you could have the typical easy-hard modes and then a "You Play" mode where you actually play all the notes for a given track.

You could still use the keyboard to play vocal/other tracks exactly as in freq/amplitude, starting out simple with a few keys.

I'm still talking about a game, just one that leads to, at the very least, a familiarity with chords and notes...

Extra Step... and no new controller. (1)

SuperMonkeyCube (982998) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726620)

Why don't you guys ask Leon Gruenbaum if you could license his Samchillian http://www.samchillian.com/ [samchillian.com] technology for a game? That way, people could learn a rather cool and functional instrument that they could access via a regular PC keyboard - Heck, it could be the most rockin' typing tutor ever invented!

You could have a version for PC easily enough. PS2 and XBox have USB keyboards available.

It might make someone into a virtuoso, no?

(P.S. If you fiddle with the Windows version of the Samchillian program - anything older than WinXP gives me Kernel32 errors. It works good on the WinXP machines that I tried it on. Your Results May Vary.)

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#17726046)

Because then they wouldn't be games. What makes Guitar Hero fun is that you can play music like a rock star without actually having to learn the instrument. You stick a real instrument in the mix and it becomes a lot more complex. Guitar hero has 5 different buttons you can press. A real instrument has 100s. When you mess up in real life, you can hear it. You don't need an audience booing at you to know you miss notes. If you want to get better at a real instrument, you just practice. You play it slower, you skip some notes in a chord, and you do it over and over until it sounds like it is supposed to.

But the reason Guitar hero has an "addictive pace" is because it has a very simple interface where you can improve quickly. Real instruments are more complicated and it takes more work. Thus, it won't be as fun and addictive. If you get a private teacher they can introduce you to music at your level and gradually build you up so that you are improving. There really isn't a good virtual replacement for that and good ol' practicing.

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17736004)

They do a great job of slowly ramping up your skill and evaluating your playing ability
Slowly?!

I have one big complaint about GH - The transition between difficulties. Getting 5 stars on all of Easy is fairly good preparation of Medium, but max out medium (I can even consistantly break 270k on Freebird now), and decide to try hard, and I almost wet my pants...

Re:Why not go the extra step... (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17740256)

hehe. I haven't played GH as much as Amp or Freq. Love Amplitude, freq is a step behind. To tell you the truth, I don't like GH as much, aside from the guitar gimmick it's actually a few steps behind freq.

Amplitude has a fantastic progression. I was getting use out of easy, normal and hard levels at the same time--there is enough overlap that as I was finishing Normal I could practice on easy and when I got stuck, I could attack the first couple arenas in hard.

As with GH and freq, the toughest level is right out, but who knows--maybe after I get through hard it'll magically become easier just like hard did.

Drum Hero (1)

CaseM (746707) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725506)

Perhaps?

Re:Drum Hero (1)

Okeeblow (928833) | more than 7 years ago | (#17730202)

DrumMania [wikipedia.org]

Guitar Hero may have gotten popular, but people still seem unaware of the Bemani franchise. I like Pop'n the most :)

Re:Drum Hero (1)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 7 years ago | (#17734956)

Think about it on the Wii with the Wiimote and Nunchucku though, not an arcade machine. No pads, just the Wii recognising the relative movement of the two controller components to play the drums, while the trigger is the bass drum.

Obligatory (2, Funny)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725600)

Cowbell hero!

Re:Obligatory (1)

Lectoid (891115) | more than 7 years ago | (#17727282)

Instead of the running track to show you when to strike the cowbell, it's just Christopher Walken yelling "We need more cowbell!"

Accordion Hero!!! (1)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17725704)

They can team up with "Weird" Al.

Mime Hero (1)

davido42 (956948) | more than 7 years ago | (#17727306)

All the fun of Guitar Hero, without the hassle of you know, playing actual music.
http://www.bitworksmusic.com/ [bitworksmusic.com]

Whatever it is... (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 7 years ago | (#17727810)

hopefully it will involve a theremin.

my idea for a GH type game (1)

Some_Llama (763766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17728220)

So they have guitar hero and now karaoke hero, I was thinking of like "making the band" type game, where you could play bass and guitar, have someone sing, donkey konga drums, maybe a keyboard option?

Also I always thought a great idea that I would like to see for the GH series would be to have "best of" play CDs, so you have the main game CD that loads then you can swap out different CDs for say songs of the 70's, or greatest grunge hits, slayer, etc...

What would really make this work is with a downloadable song format ala Xbox live where you could download additional tracks set to the GH game for a quarter to 1 dollar a pop.. I love playing GH but what would make it better is having the ability to pick and choose what songs I want to rock out to... as well as having the ability to play guitar and bass for the songs i want (have different versions of songs with bass or rythum tracks). Not to mention a great way to become a cash cow for very little initial cash outlay to develop the tracks...
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