07-23-2012, 03:02 AM
New player's three-day evaluation
Having had the game for only three days so far, I have to say overall I'm having a blast. My hands ache and my fingertips are swollen, and I long for the day I get callouses.
I'm effectively much a beginner when it comes to playing guitar. I've hung around musicians and sound producers enough to pick up a lot of background knowledge that has helped me extend my initial strides into the game, and fill some of the gaps that Rocksmith is leaving. While I'm still fresh, I'd like to point out some annoyances, observations and desires that I've come up with:
First of all is the game's navigation and presentation. For instance: It took me forever to figure out how sort the lists because there's nothing indicating there's anything at all to the left of the long line of songs available pouring out to the right. Nothing seems to stand out in the interface, and its tedious to move around in. I find myself "backing out" of initial menus trying to find the main menu (Start is not intuitive), and somehow expecting ... more when at the post-song menu (I find this difficult to describe). I'm just going to be blunt and say it's pretty abysmal when it comes to interface design.
Load times and RELOAD times. Okay, load times from disc have never been phenomenal on consoles, and as such you'd think the developers would have made a better effort to make this more efficient. It's obvious no time was spent on this, as the game is even forced to RELOAD the entire song session (be it a riff repeater or entire song) when selecting PLAY AGAIN. Why would it need to reload? Or retune my guitar even? I'm playing the same song... come on now. Better detection on when changes are made as well; god knows how many times I've gone into Amp settings by mistake, only to back out and have to wait 5-10 seconds for the game to save nothing.
In part due to the above, I've only used the riff repeater ONCE. The lives crap just needs to go entirely - I can't fathom its usefulness especially when you've already raised it to thirty; You're going to play riffs and phrases times beyond count while mastering them, so failing them how many ever times to waste more time waiting for the interface is just frustrating. This, and many of the other tools in learning parts of songs and techniques needs to be significantly improved in navigation and friendliness; there needs to be more control of the settings while within the riff repeater - freely being able to change the speed, mastery and behavior of missed notes / phrases instead of having to back out, choose a different mode and/or phrase and start all over again (all the while dealing with the terrible load times).
When playing songs for the first time, you're thrown in blind. You might have heard them before, sure, but suddenly you're not just picking parts of the melody - you've levelled up your phrases and now the game's throwing power and proper chords in your face without warning.
"Yeah here's some suggested technique challenges." - These tend to pop up as you're progressing, but they're called challenges and they're not presented in a suggestive way (IE: "you're going to need these techniques soon / for this next song". Beginners are going to shy away from them until they realize why they're showing up. Most of them I haven't done since I've been able to figure out what the game's notation/iconification is implying, only because of my previous exposure, but I don't at all expect most beginners to have that knowledge, but if I was given some forewarning I might have gone into them if they seemed less like a hurdle. Adding the practices as part of an event's qualification gates might also make the progression more effective. Annoying to some guitar vets, perhaps, but simply doing it once to demonstrate you know the technique would suffice to flag it. Songs should also list chord shapes, techniques the player should know prior to attempting it (and their concentration within the song), the style and genre of arrangement (lead/rhythm, rock/blues/etc.) and various other referential indicators. (Yes, the game does link you to techniques, but nothing else and you have to dig through the aforementioned navigational woes.) This would help players gauge the difficulty of songs, and pick ones with techniques they're actually trying to focus on (bypassing the mundane repetitiveness of the riff repeater or technique challenges for a change of pace, for instance).
If Rocksmith is going to be your teacher - especially your first[ teacher - it'd better teach you things applicable away from the game. Such things as the names of the strings (E/low E, A, D, G, B, e/high E). Nowhere aside from being in front of the game are you going to refer to any of the strings by Rocksmith's color coding for them. The only time I've seen the string names shown so far is during precision tuning, which I've done once (according to Rocksmith, my Fender's held its tuning for three days now). Eventually building up to naming the note on a particular string could be a display option as well, instead of the default "this box that's two frets after 9 on the orange string". This could even be an additional game or set of games for practising notes.
An alternate mode of scrolling the notes throughout a song. I understand the current method is targeted at those who have played other rhythm games (myself included, it's actually why this is easier to pick up), and this is something that would probably take some time to develop: but a tablature mode that scrolls from right to left that shows notes in a traditional (or moderately modified) tablature notation would be an amazing tool in learning how to read guitar music outside of Rocksmith. Granted, tablatures transcriptions themselves are a costly commodity and making those available in the game could possibly raise costs a bit - but at least explore the option in some depth (I expect it already has been and the implementation could be relatively easy, just a matter of time-cost.) You have no idea how much of a service you would be providing making them available and interactive on top of it all. (Okay, maybe you do, but for expression...) In my mind this would be easier to follow in real-time as well - the brain spends less time trying to translate a color to a string, and can translate a fret number to the distance up the fretboard much faster. Chord notations and common numbers in the tablature on different strings also provides clues to anchor points and pre-fingering for picking across multiple strings.
The mini-games and challenges should introduce the theory they're employing. Mini-games just throw a bunch of seemingly random things at you, but you're not really taught the why or how of it. A particularly keen individual might notice something they were doing in a mini-game suddenly coming into practice during a song, but they won't understand why. The initial conclusion might be the mini-game is based of that particular song, instead of the underlying constructs. Some of this gets into pretty advanced stuff, but some simple introductions would at least point the player in the general direction to research more.
The game doesn't seem to pick up palm muting very well. Or I'm just doing something horribly wrong. I'll continue playing of course to discern if it's really my problem.
With enough attention I think Rocksmith could be an incredibly fun learning tool in learning all kinds of songs and styles, especially if it can grow the catalog of available songs. However, in just three days I've got the feeling it's not receiving that required attention, which I anticipate could be due to the present development of Rocksmith & Bass. I also hope there's some way to keep all the songs available through one portal - so one is not forced to swap versions of the games to play different collections of songs and have to put up with the different behaviours of the software, which is a large influence on why I stopped following games like Guitar Hero entirely. (DDR was also frustrating in this regard.)
Keep up the good work! You're developing something amazing and I hope it continues to grow into greater things! If I have anything more to mention I'll wait until I have another book to write. I know this got long but I hope it's still useful.
P.S.: I had nothing to say about the sound delay and the likes. To be honest, it was significantly better than I was expecting. There is a delay between the guitar and the actual output, but that's to be expected when you're dealing with a virtual amp.
EDIT: I also didn't read any recent posts until after writing this. To those who rocked before me: I salute you.
PS3 version out to a Samsung LCD TV via HDMI only, playing on a Fender Strat.
07-24-2012, 12:52 AM
So I just hit the Jenny O song last night, and it seemed to default me around the 50% mastery level. I rage quit (less rage, more "wtf, screw that") the song at the sight of what I was supposed to be picking, and immediately brought it up in the riff repeater...
Which was completely infuriating in any mode of practice. I do not have enough control of the settings to set a comfortable pace and level (and I do not enjoy how the game tries to choose it for me, and the conditions of levels being added and removed), and the behaviour of the riff repeater just annoyed me further:
Free speed was not detecting me trying to pull-off the note when it's stopped on a pull-off note (it would only continue when I plucked it by its lonesome).
Lives. Just ... ugh.
The way it loops back to start over got extremely grating. Simply fading out at the end of the range and reversing and starting from the beginning again, without that stupid warble sound effect or any messages appearing on the screen, would annoy me far less.
Being able to set my own range of bars to start and end at for practice would be nice, and being able to freely scroll through any region of the chart would help me break down what I'm looking at and figure out fingering myself (since the game isn't giving me any indication what would be effective for executing certain riffs). As it stands I have to wait for specific regions to come up, and then I have to pause it. And then the menu is blocking my view, and it's still hard to make out the timing of the notes. And then I unpause and I'm not sure where it's putting me.
I write a lot, but I try not to ramble.
07-27-2012, 08:30 PM
A few things
It would be nice to select more than one secion of the song at a time for the leveler. Or ask to move to the next section after we finish with one, the load time takes too long to exit the finish screen and try to load the next section.
For the DLC section maybe play a little section of the song to remind us what the song sounds like, I think I have a good knowledge of songs but I'm not familiar with every song from every genre. It requires me to go look up a song and listen to see if I want to purchse. (and I often do purchase) as most of your clasic rock selections are DLC (very sneeky UBI, but I forgive you as I love this game).
I noticed the load screen is consiterably longer when playing DLC songs. (just an observation).
Add a like button to the forums. Some people say or suggest some amazing things (espicially in the DLC request) that I would rather just like than have to post "Agree" and have to do that anoying crazy word entry anti bot thingy. Don't need to add a dislike button but a like button could add weight to an amazing suggestion that could otherwise be overlooked.
Thats it for now.
Last edited by drtrojan; 07-27-2012 at 09:10 PM.
08-01-2012, 03:37 AM
Love the game play, hate how I have to get to it.
In the event mode you HAVE to play the song "they" suggest. Why do I have to go to another menu to select a different one. I say this because I may not pass a song on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc try.
Song menu bites as well. Need to be more of a list and quicker to navigate.
Looking FWD to Rocksmith 2!
08-02-2012, 11:10 PM
For the slightly more advanced and possibly egotistical...
1. How about a track creator? I am sure some of my fellow veteran guitarists and musicians would like to be able to share their chops and (for me personally) just like to have a record of certain jams or riffs they had spur of the moment.
2. A live audience option. Invite friends to watch/listen to you wail or fail. Get point mulipliers for live listeners and let them vote on your encore songs.
3. how about a usb footswitch? if 3 switches can control my amp why cant they navigate a menu? Make an up a down and a confirm for menus and of course the necessary console do all button and select and start. no more trying to keep from hittin your insturment on things while picking up a controller. Plus its good training for real life gigging. You will have pedals and footswitches. its the guitarists bless and curse.
Just a few thoughts. Probably sequel material rather than patch/dlc. I would personally love to see this game become a tool for everyone that plays and it has that potential for sure.
08-03-2012, 02:27 PM
There should definetly be a shortcut to RR when you are done playing a song. Now you have to leave, find the song again and then go to the riff repeater, and it doesn't sound like something that is hard to fix
08-03-2012, 05:31 PM
That's the kind of streamlining the game is missing. Harmonix nailed it by allowing you to learn/practice a song from the main setlist in quickplay.
08-03-2012, 08:32 PM
08-07-2012, 05:33 AM
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