Rocksmith Developers conduct Reddit AMA

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Today Rocksmith 2014 Developers from Ubisoft SF conducted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit. You may remember the same thing happening back in December 2011. Nothing huge was revealed and many of the questions you expected to go unanswered did, but there was also some interesting tidbits revealed through the two hour Q&A period.

Thanks to @pcgamingisted for the awesome recap!

Question Response
What was the decision behind recharting RS1/DLC songs for 2014? Great question. with RS2014 we added more techniques and advanced detection. We also had to make a pass on all the existing note tracks to add bend-contours, slides, fret-hand mutes, etc. so we took the opportunity to enhance all of it!
Have you ever had a musician contact you and say “No, this is how I played that.”? We’ve never been contacted by an artist having any issues with the way something was note-tracked.
Has any of the data collected from first few weeks of playtime surprised you? We’re a little surprised at the smaller number of people using bass since we think they’re some of the most fun arrangements in the game.
Could you please elaborate what we may or may not see as far as expansions? Is is possible to get some ear training lessons? We’re talking right now about what we can do to expand in the future – we’re taking a look at the stats and usage then considering new ways to expand Rocksmith. More to come!
Can you explain what all the seperate teams in the logo did on Rocksmith? Ubisoft has a culture of resource sharing and a lot of people were excited to be working on such a unique title as RS2014 – when we looked at our opportunities, Red Storm fit the bill. They were a huge help! Longtail also helped us with Guitarcade and Score Attack – great guys.
If I’ve never played guitar in my life, can Rocksmith teach me the basics of playing guitar? Absolutely, we’ve designed the game to accommodate all players from true beginners to seasoned pros. You’ll learn, we promise!
Any chance of a Drumsmith game at some point? Not in the foreseeable future.
How did you come up with the idea of Rocksmith? Ubisoft is all about games with real-life benefits. Making a game that actually taught you how to play guitar is a perfect example of that.
What is the song that inspired you to pick up an instrument/What song are you most proud of learning via Rocksmith? Multiple replies
What lesser known features are you guys crazy proud of? Leaderboard challenges
What’s the biggest “YES WE GOT IT!” song you managed to get on-disc for 2014? Well, check back to see what we release for DLC next week ; ) (DLC of 19th Nov)
Are there any songs you have licensed but just can’t figure out the chart for yet? Nope, we’re pros (Good to know!)
How long on average does it take to chart a song? For on-disc we averaged about 2 weeks per song. For DLC, we’re moving a little faster so we can get more tunes in the library, but it varies by difficulty. “Hangar 18” vs. “Blitzkrieg Bop” for example.
How did you guys basically eliminate loading times? A lot of hard work, planning, and sticking to memory budgets. We hated the loading as much as you guys did and are very glad it’s gone.
Is there any possibility that you will add support for more instruments? Not this year. Feel free to mess with electric instruments though, we’ve tried it with an electric violin with smashing results!
Why doesn’t the game include an intonation checker? We tried to cover everything we thought could help you fix/set up for an optimal playing experience. Guitar intonation is something that requires an experienced guitar tech to handle.
Are there any plans to do anything like Rock Band Network or CS:GO Operation Payback where the community can submit content for official inclusion in Rocksmith? It’s not in our plans at this time. We try to add smaller bands through our existing music licensing relationships, so keep an eye out on things to come!
What about Rocksmith 2014 are you most proud of? Great question. We’re really proud that we were able to deliver on the promises we made to totally revamp the game to incorporate player feedback and create the game we’ve always wanted. Also, that it actually works. We love seeing millions of people learn to play guitar/bass with Rocksmith!
Does 60 day challenge apply for bass? Yep! We <3 bass too.
Any plans to support 3 people co-op? We’ve got 2 player multiplayer for instruments, but you can have a buddy sing along as well!
How many dinners did you eat during crunch time Approximately 100. Do Saturday and Sunday lunches in the office count?
If you had a next-gen version of Rocksmith 2014, what would be the ideal setup you’d suggest for either system? That is a good question for the future. HDMI and Optical is obviously not ideal based on our history. We’d need to research exactly how many milliseconds it takes for the audio signal to come out of the back of the console. Then figure out what we could do to get that as low as possible. Then we’ll need to figure out what the best home setup could be to minimize HD TV latency. Definitely a challenge, but we’ve been dealing with it for years.
How often will we see Japanese DLC? For the next couple of months you should see something every other week. Our Japanese team has promoted some of the bands to come already.
How do you brutally, honestly feel about BandFuse? We’re looking forward to checking it out.
What was the budget for on-disc/DLC/development like for RS1 in comparison to 2014? Comparable. We have made things much harder for ourselves by adding so many techniques and modes. However, we also got better tools so we were able to balance it out by saving time in other ways.
Though I don’t own a Wii U and therefore show no interest in such a version… was a version ever prototyped? Early experimentation, but nothing that made it to a prototype.
Is rocksmith2014 a rythm game (like guitar hero and rockband) or a instrument teaching platform? Instrument teaching, yo.
Any idea when we’ll be able to purchase your game on Xbox Live Games on Demand? We’re still working on it, but it’s on the way!
Can we expect Yearly Editions? No, we named the new game Rocksmith 2014 Edition to keep from causing confusion over “Rocksmith 2” being a harder, more advanced version of the game.
Will we ever get DLC of a full album? Full albums can be hard – we try to choose songs that are not just popular but fun/good to learn on guitar/bass so an entire album can be difficult to justify. That said, fuck yea Weezer.
Any plans on making 5-strings bass fully usable in-game? We talked about this a lot. The problem is once we devide this up a smaller percentage of material can be played by all users. One thing we’re doing in this vein is “capoed” material – in the future there will be capo-specific DLC!
What ideas were scrapped because they didn’t work? Scrolling tab is something we tried in the original prototype of the game (Guitar Rising) and found that at low levels it’s okay, but reading anything more challenging became very difficult to follow. It was too hard to see the shape of your hands for chords or the flow of the notes.
How do you chart songs? Do you get tablature straight from the artists/labels? We almost always transcribe by ear, cross referencing transcriptions, live footage, and a peer-review system to make sure it’s as accurate and fun to play as possible. We note track by consensus; as a team.
Will an acoustic electric work better in 2014 than RS1? Your acoustic electric will work with Rocksmith if it has a 1/4” jack on it! Make sure to keep your volume and tone all the way up.
Are the Eagles impossible to get like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd? Nothing is impossible.
Can you give us an idea of what you’ll incorporate into the first patch? The way patching works is we try to make sure we’re addressing the most important issues with fixed that we know will address the core problem. For that, we need to reproduce the issues in the office under controlled circumstances, determine exactly what the problem is, and make a fix. From there, we put it through the Ubisoft QA process which takes some time, and after that we submit to Microsoft and Sony. That process can take an additional two weeks. If anything doesn’t get approved, you have to start over. We have a patch that is currently finishing the QA phase. It won’t address absolutely everything that’s been reported but it will address a lot of the big issues that we can successfully reproduce.
How did the development process of 2014 differ from what you went through for RS1? With RS1 we were trying brand new things and trying to prove that this idea could work. Because of that some other aspects of the product were not as good as they could be (menus, navigation, ect). With RS2014 we took all the best elements of RS1 and improved on all the areas we felt needed reworking, while adding brand new features like Session Mode, to make the product we always wanted to make!
Will we be seeing more songs from THIS generation? “My Generation” wasn’t good enough? We’re definitely looking to include newer songs! Hopefully we can catch some stuff as it’s currently popular as well as classic favorites and hits.
What is the biggest challenge for you guys? Timeframe. It was very hard to finish up RS1, the bass expansion, the guitar/bass edition, then Rocksmith 2014 Edition all to be ready for October releases was a big challenge for our small team.

Next week?

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ROCKWARRIOR86
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full albulm for weezer!please be the “blue” album

Dyseman
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Dyseman

We’re a little surprised at the smaller number of people using bass since we think they’re some of the most fun arrangements in the game.

Bambina is, I think, the most fun Bass I’ve played in a long time. Not difficult, just fun… dunno why. I can’t understand a single word.

Jayson Kuti
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Jayson Kuti

the answer to the “YES WE GOT IT” question has got wheels in my head turning. I can’t wait to hear what comes out the 19th. Is it Metallica? Tool? Beatles? I NEED TO KNOW!

Mateo
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Mateo

It will be another on disc band dlc…

dimeslime420
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dimeslime420

How come you guys never fixed the Pantera DLC. Walk wasn’t written in Drop D so it shouldn’t be played that way 🙁 Another pack of Pantera songs would be none to shabby as well

lolololol
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lolololol

was wondering the same, maybe they will eventually?

nullPointer
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nullPointer

I really don’t know what tuning Walk was written in, but I’m pretty sure it was recorded in Drop D. The sheet music reflects this (as well as any tabs I’ve seen for the song).

I really couldn’t say anything about the writing process though.

dave
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dave

Nice Q&A session -- but no hints for next week? lol

Snow
Guest

Arctic Monkeys -- I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, Hopefully a whole pack. There’s a hint in there somewhere I hope I’m not to conspiratoric (spelling)

Dyseman
Guest
Dyseman

Ubisoft is all about games with real-life benefits

Might Quest for Epic Loot has taught me to Steal and set traps! (JK Fun game though)

Snow
Guest

So will there be even more japanese bands or will they dole out the bands that we already know off to the masses?

Funn Dave
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Funn Dave

This is the type of article I like to see on here. DLC updates and BandFuse reveals are great, but they get a little formulaic after a while. I like this site a lot but it’s nice to have articles like this--or maybe stuff about tournaments, Rocksmith success stories, etc.--to spice things up a bit.

Also, Elliott, as long as I’m offering up constructive criticism, have you ever considered a forum? It might be a good place for people to go with questions, requests, etc. that aren’t necessarily relevant to the latest article that day.

Snow
Guest

I think the Rocksmith forum has got everything you asked for basically. But you probably know about it already though. I second that these kinds of articles spruce things up a bit

Funn Dave
Guest
Funn Dave

D’oh--I didn’t know about the Rocksmith forum. Thanks for the tip.

Snow
Guest

Arctic Monkeys! 😯

Mike
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Mike

I wouldn’t mind an Arctic Monkeys DLC.

Snow
Guest

It won’t be them 😥