[games_access] Harmonix needs our help!

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sun Dec 16 14:22:59 EST 2007

The game does automate things -- sometimes some of the pads are the
cymbals and sometimes the toms but the player doesn't control that.
And, no, you can't do rim shots -- it's not that sensitive.

So the scenario for the player is often having to hit two pads PLUS
the pedal all at the same time.

Alex said that there's no way Viacom (their owner will NOT give us
access to the source code) BUT for the hardware/alt controller peeps
he could send a few kits for someone to hack into/remap things. Now
don't everyone send me a request for a kit if you aren't a
hardware/software solutions guru. I know this poses a problem for
those in Europe (although...have they localized? Do you guys have
Rock Band available for the PAL consoles?). I can do testing here
with my kit as needed with students when they return from break.

Here's what Alex added when I mentioned the source code access:

"However, I wonder if there's another solution. If the work you're
trying to do is on the hardware interface level, you could remap
alternate hardware interfaces onto our standard mappings all in
electronics. It's
more of a pain in the ass than in code, but nonetheless totally
doable. (Depends, of course, on what you're trying to accomplish.)"





>... but one of the pads might be a pain to hit simultaneously with

>another one.

>*quote end*


>I was wondering whether or not the pads allow for rim-shots and that

>sort of thing. Does anyone know? I did some drumming on an

>electronic Yamaha drumkit but if I remember correctly, things like

>rimshots could not be done. If it can, one could trigger the

>kickdrum by simply hitting the pads in a different manner.









>>I've only played the original GH briefly - do these games identify the

>>different players at the start of the game? Tying such settings to

>>individual users/names would be nice, so that if you're taking turns

>>it'd automatically reconfigure itself for each person once those

>>configurations are set and keep the accounts/configurations around as

>>options for future gaming sessions.


>>As far as hardware - if they provided a way to use a generic

>>controller instead of the custom ones (e.g. use a standard gamepad

>>instead of the guitar for instance, where the whammy bar became the

>>joystick), and in software allowed for remapping of the generic

>>controller's inputs and to the expected inputs of the custom

>>controller, then that should allow people to use things like the

>>QuadControl.com's controller to play, wouldn't it? Anything

>>excessively hard to do with such a controller could be switched to

>>"automatic mode" in the software? Making these configurations also

>>per-user as above would be nice as well.





>>On Dec 15, 2007 8:25 PM, Reid Kimball <reid at rbkdesign.com> wrote:

>>>This is a difficult problem to solve. I think in the future a sip/puff

>>>mechanism should be considered. Rock Band 2: On Tour or whatever it

>>>will be called could ship with headset microphones for everyone, or

>>>why couldn't players use their current gaming headsets? You wear it,

>>>assuming it's snug enough to stay on with the head thrashing and blow

>>>into it to use the kick pedal.


>>>Other than that, I say give the players what they want, if they are

>>>requesting that the kick stand action be automatic, best to do that in

>>>a future patch.


>>>I think people who are new to games and not technically disabled will

>>>benefit from game modes that automate difficult actions, such as EA's

>>>Family Play controls for their Wii sports games.





>>>On Dec 15, 2007 4:45 PM, AudioGames.net <richard at audiogames.net> wrote:


>>>> Great question!


>>>> First thing to jump to mind is to do something with the

>>>>gamer's > mouth/vocal

>>>> options because it's free and available. Two ideas would then be

>>>>either > some

>>>> very simple bite/sip/puff controller or a very simple head mic-setup > (of

>>>> course you need to be careful in a room full of sound with

>>>>placing > mics). A

>>> > sip/puff/bite controller has the issue of hygiene which can be

>>>a pretty > big

>>>> problem. If so, go for the mic (which is simple hardware as

>>>>well). The > only

>>>> thing you need from either the mic or the sip/puff/bite controller is a

>>>> trigger of some sort. A player would then use his arms for the standard

>>>> hi-hat/snare/toms/riot/crashes/cowbell-stuff, and "sing" the kick:

>>>> "boom"+hihat > hihat > hihat+snare > "boomboom"+hihat > etc. A

>>>>benefit > of

>>>> this solution is that I think it can actually add to the fun of

>>>>the > game.

>>>> The drummers in the bands I used to play in were always the

>>>>types of > guys

>>>> who would always mimic what they were playing with their voice:

>>>> "boom-tjak-ka-boomboom-tjakcrash"- that sort of thing

>>>>(especially in > the bar

>>>> after practice ;). Also, when synced with samples of a

>>>>kick-drum, > gamers

>>>> might be awed, thinking it is really cool to "boom" in a mic and hear a

>>>> kickdrum from the machine ;) It might even turned out to make

>>>>the game > a bit

>>>> easier... ? Alex, is there is a lot of double kickdrum in there?


>>>> Greets,


>>>> Richard




>>>> ----- Original Message -----

>>>> From: "d. michelle hinn" <hinn at uiuc.edu>

>>>> To: <games_access at igda.org>

>>>> Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2007 12:30 AM

>>>> Subject: [games_access] Harmonix needs our help!




>>>> > Hey everyone,

>>>> >

>>>> > So I've been talking to the CEO of Harmonix about

>>>>Accessibility and > > "Rock

>>>> > Band." If you haven't yet seen it (ie, you were definitely not

>>>>at a > > booth

>>>> > right across from them at E for All!) -- Harmonix was also

>>>>behind > > Guitar

>>>> > Hero 1, 2, and 80s but then they spun that off to focus on Rock Band

>>>> > (which works with up to two guitars, a drum kit, and a mic).

>>>>Right > > now

>>>> > it's available (USB wired) for Xbox 360, (wireless --

>>>> > I think...) for PS3, and then (wired again) for PS2 (they have

>>>>a USB > > hub

>>>> > that plugs into the USB slot to allow for 4 separate USB devices).

>>>> >

>>>> > Here's the situation from Alex:

>>>> >

>>>> > "One obvious thing that has already become apparent in the

>>>>forums is > > that

>>>> > there's a demand among

>>>> > paraplegic gamers for a mode of the drumming game in Rock Band that

>>>> > doesn't require the kick pedal."

>>>> >

>>>> > I was thinking about hardware solutions that might work, that

>>>>perhaps > > a

>>>> > set of drumsticks that has some kind of squeeze mechanism

>>>>might work > > but

>>>> > that might be tough to pull off while you are drumming. Having

>>>>the > > foot

>>>> > pedal in as a hat sensor would be difficult for those who want

>>>>to > > "ROCK!"

>>>> > (hehe...head banging). The thing is that there are times when

>>>>you > > have to

>>>> > hit the drum pads with both sticks and the foot pedal all at the same

>>>> > time...so simply not using the pedal is not an option if you want to

>>>> > progress through the game.

>>>> >

>>>> > One thing for sure is the drums? It's the toughest thing on

>>>>Rock > > Band -- I

>>>> > brought it to a party last night and we had three people

>>>>playing as > > "the

>>>> > drummer" at the same time in order to avoid our "band" from

>>>>getting > > kicked

>>>> > off stage again and again -- even then the point difference

>>>>between > > the

>>>> > guitar and vocal versus the drums...guitar and vocal were in

>>>>the 80s > > and

>>>> > 90s/100 on "easy" and drums got to about as high as 60/100

>>>>also on > > "easy."

>>>> > And this was from people who had never played Sing Star or

>>>>Guitar > > Hero on

>>>> > the other instruments. So there's some balance issues that

>>>>are > > coupled

>>>> > along with it.

>>>> >

>>>> > So I'm thinking that a mode that didn't involve the kick pedal

>>>>might > > be

>>>> > more attractive in general...perhaps as some sort of patch

>>>>(harder > > with

>>>> > consoles if you don't have it hooked up to the net but they might be

>>>> > willing to send out a patch on a game disk for free or the cost of

>>>> > shipping and handling). Or it might just be a "for the next

>>>>version" > > kind

>>>> > of thing.

>>>> >

>>>> > But can anything be done NOW with regard to a hardware

>>>>alternative > > for

>>>> > this version of Rock Band that has just come out? If there is

>>>>a > > software

>>>> > solution, what would we need access to in order to

>>>>implement > > something?

>>>> >

>>> > > Thoughts? We have their attention! We might be able to

>>>really > > influence

>>>> > this game. Certainly I'll make Alex aware of Eelke's design

>>>>solution > > for

>>>> > Guitar Hero for the visually impaired. But this is a rare direct

>>>> > opportunity for us to work with a major game company on

>>>>current and > > future

>>>> > versions of this so we can get an inside look at what it takes to

>>>> > implement any one solution in a company. If it works out, this

>>>>gives > > us

>>>> > some "street cred" as a group and be able to talk about the

>>>>process > > at,

>>>> > say, next year's GDC with them.

>>>> >

>>>> > Hey, it could happen -- this is the CEO we're talking to!

>>>> >

>>>> > Michelle

>>>> > _______________________________________________

>>>> > games_access mailing list

>>>> > games_access at igda.org

>>>> > http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access


>>>> _______________________________________________

>>>> games_access mailing list

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