Band Hero Interview


posted 10/22/2009 by Charles Husemann
other articles by Charles Husemann
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The rhythm game genre is something that started small a few years ago and has exploded over the last two years.  As the genre grew there was no doubt we'd see targeted version of the games pop up which is why we have Band Hero.  We got the chance to talk to some of the folks behind the game to get some insight into Band Hero and what separates it from every other Band game that's on store shelves right now.

Can you introduce yourself and talk about your role on the project? How did you get into game development and what's one thing that you love about the industry?
My name is Alan Flores, and I’m the lead designer of Band Hero. My first taste of game development was making 3D characters using a program called Animation Master for educational titles, which sort of lead to designing levels and then designing games.

The most rewarding thing about the games industry is seeing fans play your games and how much joy it brings them. I've done a couple of events where we play our games with our fans online and it's just really fulfilling to talk to these people and hear how much your games mean to them.

With so many upcoming and just-released music titles (Guitar Hero 5, Van Halen, DJ Hero, etc.), do you feel that Band Hero may over saturate the market? Can you talk about the target audience for Band Hero? Will the game be challenging enough to keep hardcore guitar heroes coming back for more?
Our fans consistently tell us that they want more content: more songs, new innovations, upgraded hardware, etc. In order to prevent oversaturation, we’re working hard to differentiate our games as much as possible. The cool thing about Band Hero is that it allowed us to really open up the doors and try to experiment more with our set list. The Styx’s “Mr. Roboto,” Everclear’s "Santa Monica" and Carl Douglas’s "Kung Fu Fighting" are all songs that wouldn't really fit into a Guitar Hero game but we've found a place for them in Band Hero. They're fun to play and people have a great time with them. That's really the audience for this game: people who want to have fun singing and rockin' out to songs that they know and love.

Will Band Hero songs be able to be exported into Guitar Hero 5 (and vice versa)?

Absolutely! First off, all of the Guitar Hero 5 and most of the Guitar Hero World Tour downloadable content will work in Band Hero. You can also import your Guitar Hero 5 songs into Band Hero and vice versa. In addition, select songs from both Guitar Hero World Tour and Guitar Hero Smash Hits will be available for import into Band Hero.

Was there one song you were really pushing for but were unable to secure the rights for? What kinds of songs did you want to go in the game?
We were really fortunate when working on the set list for Band Hero. There were a couple of things that just came through late, but we were able to put together a really awesome, fun-to-play set list. There were some #1 hit songs that we were kicking ourselves over because they couldn't make it, but I think we’ve really put together a set list of songs that a lot of people will know and love. I mean, who doesn't love singing "Walking on Sunshine!"

Did you have any "holy crap" disaster moments during development (embarrassed yourself in front of David Bowie, accidentally erased tons of code, etc.)?
This game has been relatively disaster-free. We’ve had some "holy crap" moments but in a good way. Like when we first got Taylor Swift signed up to be a playable character in Band Hero, it was really exciting.
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