Hi, I’m Nao Higo and I’m the Lead Producer on the Rocksmith Team. It’s great to be back on the EU PlayStation Blog! Here at Ubisoft SF, the Rocksmith team has been working hard since our last post in March to complete the worldwide release of the game.
We’re all excited to see Rocksmith finally hit the worldwide market and I know a lot of our overseas fans have been waiting a long time. Rest assured, the worldwide version releasing today is the definitive version of Rocksmith, incorporating all the improvements made since the original North American release.
With Rocksmith, we wanted to provide players as much freedom as we could while also giving instruction and information on how to play the guitar for those who need the additional help. It’s a tricky thing to balance – holding people’s hands and guiding them along vs. giving them the freedom to do whatever they want.
In the end we made some decisions about how certain modes like Riff Repeater works (which we erred on the side of handholding), but our players wanted the mode to be more flexible, giving them the freedom to practice how they want. Thanks to Facebook, our Forums, and Twitter, we got direct feedback from our fans, which we incorporated through our updates.
The Rocksmith team goes over the Bass Features and Product Backlog
When we get feedback and feature requests like the changes to Riff Repeater, we put them in our tracking database, which ends up on our product backlog like in the picture you see below. Based on priority (including all the things our team wants to add as well!) and feasibility, we incorporate these feature requests into our development sprints, and we implement the new features as part of our title updates and expansions.
Let’s take a look at some of the new features.
- Riff Repeater Set Mastery – Although we’ve found that Rocksmith’s dynamic difficulty system works very well for beginners, some intermediate and advanced guitar players have wanted a faster way to see more notes of each song. With the set mastery option, now players can choose the difficulty that they want to practice in Riff Repeater. After a player demonstrates their mastery over a difficulty setting successfully in the Leveler mode they’ll be able to play it at that level when they play the full song.
- Riff Repeater Set Speed – In addition to manual control over the difficulty level of phrases of songs, one of the most requested features was a way to control the speed of a phrase without relying on the automatic speed setting found in Accelerator mode. Players can slow the phrase in 1% increments all the way down to 25% of the actual speed. For learning tough solos with lots of notes, it’s an invaluable tool. Playing songs at a slower pace is one of the most traditional ways guitar players have refined their playing and we’re happy to implement it in Rocksmith. With this and the Set Mastery functionality, the Riff Repeater mode is a great place to master tricky songs.
- Overall Game Optimisation – Aside from specific features, we’ve also introduced a host of improvements to the game as a whole. We’ve revamped the in-game DLC store to make it easier to navigate, made it easier to browse your existing song library, improved the menu flow, shortened load times, and further improved the note detection algorithm.
- Full-fledged Bass Support – Last, but certainly not least, we’ve included the entire Bass Expansion DLC with the worldwide release of Rocksmith. Bass is an integral part of rock music and our game wouldn’t be complete without it. Rocksmith now features a comprehensive Bass journey with Bass arrangements for all songs that feature a bass (including past and future DLC), specific bass technique challenges, instructional videos for bass playing, and Guitarcade support as well. We’ve even added the ability for guitar players to play our bass content through bass emulation so they don’t need to go and buy a new instrument. With Rocksmith, you’ll be slappin da bass in no time!
As we’ve developed Rocksmith, our team’s mantra and vision was to make something that would revolutionise the way people play and learn guitar by making it more accessible, engaging, and fun. Since Rocksmith’s release a year ago in North America, I’ve been able to actually see it in the hands of people and see them improving and learning how to play entire songs using just the game. There’s no better feeling than knowing that I’ve worked on a game that has really made a difference in people’s lives and has succeeded as a way for people to learn.
With these newest additions, we think Rocksmith has become a more complete package for learning guitar and now also bass. We’re also regularly supporting the game with new songs offered as DLC. There are some seriously exciting artists coming out on the horizon so keep checking back to our Facebook page to keep up with the latest releases.