Guitar Hero II Q&A and TV AD

Last month 360Monster was invited as part of the Microsoft Xbox Community Network (XCN) to submit a selection of questions, which would be answered in a Q&A session with Ted Lange, Associate Producer at Red Octane, developers of Guitar Hero II. We put this to our community via our forum and in return we received some pressing questions from our members. The most interesting and inventive questions were selected and submitted towards the Q&A interview.

What follows an in-depth Q&A exclusive to XCN members with Ted.

Is there anything you wished you could of included but just wasn’t possible?
Groupies…need I say more.

Do you have a favourite track in the game that you like to ‘rock-out’ too?
Its hard to say. So many of the tracks are great. I personally love playing Rock this Town, but all of the tracks have a little greatness.

What made you decide to release this game on the Xbox 360 rather than keeping it strictly a PS2 Exclusive, like the previous version?
The 360 offers so much with Live Marketplace as well as a great installed user base for Next Gen gaming. It wasn’t even an option for us we knew it had to go onto the 360.

For all the ones who do not know the game Guitar Hero, can you explain what’s the story of the game and how will it be measured if you are a good or a bad player?
You are a up and coming rocker. You have to work your way up from a small club to the sell out stadium jamming to some of the greatest rock songs of all time. This is done by hitting the right buttons on your guitar controller and strumming at the same time. This really gives you the feeling of being a true guitar player.

What benefits will this game have over the PS2 Version? What are the differences?
Downloadable content is the biggest addition, but we also have online leader boards. There is also upgraded graphics and sound on all characters and levels. Its really a great step above the PS2 version.

The game has received very good reviews despite it is very similar to PS2 version. How do you think it can be improved in a future Xbox 360 version?
Games can always be improved. I think we just touched on the graphical improvements. There is also room for online, more expansive story modes and multiplayer modes. You can go on and on with what can be better and we have a lot of ideas that we have yet to implement.

Could it be possible to add an editor for songs stored in Xbox hard drive in the future?
Anything is possible. An editor is something we’ve looked into before, but we really want to make sure we deliver a great overall experience before we start letting users create their own data.

What kind of multiplayer modes do you have in Xbox Live?
We currently don’t have Multiplayer on Xbox Live. We wanted to make sure we worked out every last detail so that when we do add in online multiplayer it will be just as good of an online experience as it is offline.

Does the game support the Xbox Live Camera?
Currently no.

How has been your experience with Xbox Live and in which ways would you like to improve the game through this service?
I love Xbox Live. It’s probably the best online service available and it makes adding content to games simple. Downloadable content is the biggest way we can improve our game and that is what we are really looking to. We can have limitless possibilities with Live.

What sort of downloadable content there will be? Will there be downloadable content from well known international bands as well, or just the Indies that are completely unknown in other corners of the world?
We plan to keep all fans very happy by giving everyone a little bit of everything they want. So I would say yes to all of those.

We hear music tracks will be available by Xbox Live Marketplace. Will you group these tracks together in a pack or will you be able to purchase them as individuals. Will they be grouped by music genre?
We are planning on grouping tracks at this point. Most songs can be grouped by genre, but who knows you may see an Indie pack or even a Sitar pack. The possibilities are endless.

Tell us something about the multiplayer game modes, how many players can join a game, which game modes do you created for GH2?
GH2 is two players. We have co-op, and two different versions of versus mode.

Can you verify the rumour of the halo mjlonir theme being part of GH II’s early downloadable content?
I have no idea where that came from or where it started, but Master Chief won’t stop calling me. He wants his song in the game so I may just have to include it or else get a needler sicked on me.

Is it possible to use custom tracks or only ones included or downloaded from the marketplace? Can we jam along to own tracks?
Currently no.

How about making a Drum hero game?
We’ve been researching all sorts of instruments. Kazoo Hero is looking very promising.

I was surprised to learn that the guitar controller was wired. Why have you not produced a wireless guitar? Will one be released in the near future?
Microsoft held very closely to their wireless technology while we were making GH2 360. As for the future we’ll have to wait and see.

The new port on the guitar, will this be for effects pedals and such?
Very smart you are. You just might have to wait and see though.

Why don’t they have a left handed guitar? It’s not as simple as turning the guitar over. The tremolo arm is up to high then and the buttons are reversed. Is this something you will be looking into creating for us left handed people?
We’ve thought about it and it may happen sooner or later.

Thank you for your time Ted!

The Guitar Hero II TV ad airs on TV for the first time tonight, we have it and you can rock yourself out to it over in our media area. Guitar Hero II thrashes into stores this Friday. Support the site and buy this game from today and get ready to crank that amp up to 11…Rock on!

Anthony Barker

Anthony is the designer, developer and owner of Console Monster. In his spare time, Anthony is a keen gamer who enjoys playing mostly First-Person Shooters and Racing games. When he is not developing games or tweaking this site, Anthony likes to be on the slopes snowboarding or hurtling down off-road tracks on his mountain bike.

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