Friday, August 1, 2008

( Rock Band 2 Small Stuff

We've got a bunch of really good "big" things coming up through the
press, but I realised today that nobody has talked about the little
things that make Rock Band 2 a really polished and fun experience! So,
let's check out some of the small stuff that most reviewers will miss:

New Manual Calibration

Sure, our new autocalibration is great and means that you don't have to
do anything to get a perfect number besides "hold up your guitar", but
what if you don't want to buy the new Fender Stratocaster? Well, we've
made revisions for you too!

There's no more trying to line up a click with a target - just strum
when you hear clicks, then strum when the metronome hits the ends, and
you'll have an accurate number. It's definitely simpler than Rock Band's
system, and it produces far more accurate results, although I still
highly recommend autocalibrating since it'll give you a perfect number.

We've completely overhauled Matchmaking to "party safe" the game as well
as support some cool things for online world tour.

The biggest win is that you can't just mash into a slot and past
matchmaking, or mash out of matchmaking. When you're able to progress,
you need to press START to continue past the matchmaking screen. Hitting
Green will just help you make a noise to annoy those around you. Plus,
if you're mashing back, you'll be required to confirm that you want to
leave the session and kick everyone out.

The cooler part of this is that in Online World Tour, people can join your band
whenever you're preparing to rock! So, if you're in the Rock Shop and
your friend wants to join, you don't have to do anything - they'll just
select your band name and instantly join your session, without you
having to go back to Matchmaking and send an invite.

Tour Challenge Pausing and Resuming
We'll be talking more about the Tour Challenges incredibly soon, but
there's one cool feature that most people will miss when they're playing
through the first time.

Say I'm in the middle of a five song set, but I can't finish the third
song. Or, even worse, I can finish it but I have to leave the house!
Whatever shall I do?!

Well, you can save your progress in the set and come back to it later!
You'll be able to tell which sets you're in progress with a subtle
finish that we add to those albums:

This also applies to any dynamic challenges, like "The Who Challenge" in
this screenshot that exists because of my purchasing of some Who tracks.
In this screenshot I've finished the challenge, but if I was to then
purchase a new The Who song, this challenge would change to "In
Progress" and I'd need to play the new song to finish it again!

In this screenshot, see if you can pick out any of the other Tour
Challenge stuff that we'll talk about more later! There's at least two
things that you may not have already known.


One of the biggest feature requests we recieved was asking for the
ability to assign the people that played on stage with you when you
weren't playing in a full band. We've added this to Rock Band 2, and
called them "Stand-Ins".

Take this screenshot here. "Bikini Tiny Little Monkeys" is my band that
I'm using to play through on Rock Band 2 right now, and I've created a
bandmate called "Megan" that I play with. However, I wanted to make
another character that is always on vocals, since I don't like it when
my vocalist always changes.

So, I created "Carrie", then assigned her as my Stand-in vocalist! Now,
whenever I play, both Megan and Carrie are on stage rocking out
together! If someone wanted to come and sing with me for real, Carrie
would take a back seat to the new band member.

Profile Changes

Just a couple of quick things:

We now track a Career Score (which is disc only), and a Total Score
(which includes DLC)

We also want to encourage as people creating band logos as possible,
since they represent your band in modes like Battle of the Bands. What
better way than achievement points!

While we're on achievments: Yes, we know that the Tug of War and Score
Duel streak achievements are a pain to get. We've drastically changed
how we're handling this in Rock Band 2. Maybe we'll be talking about the
rest of our achievements very soon somewhere?


Oh, and one more thing:

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