Guitar Hero III Developer Diary #2

We learn about the process of creating the clubs you'll be rocking in GHIII, straight from the artists who created them.

Sure, most rock clubs smell like a strange mixture of alcohol and body fluids, but as any fan can tell you, the right atmosphere can make a good concert great or turn a bad show into something you won't soon forget. The same goes for the virtual spaces you'll be rocking out in the upcoming Guitar Hero III. In our last developer diary, we got to learn about the process of transforming the music into guitar-shredding gameplay. This time around, two Neversoft venue artists--Jake Geiger and Ryan Magid--talk about what it takes to bring the rockin' dive bar from concept to (virtual) reality.

Rock This Joint

By Jake Geiger and Ryan Magid, Neversoft

Jake Geiger, venue art lead, and Ryan Magid, senior venue artist, here to tell you a little bit about the venue art that went into the latest version of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

The Guitar Hero franchise has such a huge fan base already that you want to make a seamless transition into the next installment of the series. Thankfully, with a group of talented artists and wonderful programmers, we were able to exceed even what we thought was possible. We knew from the start that we wanted to keep with the general style and look of the previous games, but we wanted to add a certain spark to push the concept even further.

From a computer model…

Typically, our process starts with a brainstorming session. The environment art team will get together and throw around ideas for venues. Some are good, and some are not so good. Once we have a good list of potential candidates, we'll head off and gather reference for each one of the ideas. After finding reference for each, we will usually meet again to whittle the list down more until we have the final list of venues that we want to have in the game.

Now is when the concept stage will begin. Our concept department will take the ideas and flesh them out into 2D concept paintings of each venue. Once the concept paintings have been approved, the venue moves into what we call the "pop up" stage. We call it that because once done, the venue resembles a large pop-up book.

At this stage, the concept drawings are taken, cut up, and placed into the 3D scene as rough draft of what the final 3D geometry will be like. This helps us to visualize placement and layout of stage props and gear so that the animation department can start to put in cameras, band members can be placed, and lightshows can be started. It also provides a general feel for what the final venue will be like.

Once the "pop up" has been approved and any logistical problems have been worked out, the venue moves into the final art stage. This is the time when all of the 2D pop-up elements are fleshed out and made into fully realized working stage props. Various scripts and animations are used to make them move and give life to the stage. Our concept team works hand in hand with the environment artists. Most objects will be broken down and the concept artists will paint textures for an object while the environment artists build it in 3D.

…to the rock-ready final product. Hey, anyone got a light?

The goal is to make all of the geometry, textures, and lighting look as much like the approved concept work that was done in the initial planning stages as possible. In the end, we made a game that we are not only happy to have worked on but also love to play, and it takes lots of guys coming together at the same time to pull this off.

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Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Discussion

30 comments
crazysanta
crazysanta

Guitar hero is going to win this year but Rock Band next year

teh_leeto
teh_leeto

I think FallenMatrix wasn't loved as a child because his daddy worked too long at work.

Andrex1212
Andrex1212

lol FallenMatrix clearly is A. A whiny little b**** who probably tried it once and got dominated in the first 5 seconds B. very unhappy with his/her life. Why would you come on here and say Guitar Hero is for stupid people when it takes very good hand-eye coordination to play it AND most people that DO play it know how to play guitar. EVERY one of my friends INCLUDING me plays real guitar, and I just happen to be awesome at this game because I'm awesome at DDR. But I can also play guitar amazing as well, so take your hippy government/corporation bashing morals and shove them up your ass.

medic45emtp
medic45emtp

GH series are great if you got a problem with it 1. dont buy it and or play it and 2. why complain when you know you look retarded already. If people want to sit on there sofas and be lazy let em and if they want to learn how to play a real guitar fine but GH series like it or not will grow and you ideas and thoughts will be left in the dust

FallenMatrix
FallenMatrix

How about we all learn to play the real instruments instead of sitting on a sofa all day, looking at screens, simulating a life we could actually have if we dedicated more time to developing REAL WORLD SKILLS instead of lining the pockets of CEO's and corporations that do nothing but enslave us taking away the time needed to evolve as human beings. LEARN TO PLAY A REAL GUITAR! This game is for idiots. I keep getting warned about TOS. How am I breaking the rules? By stating that in my opinion Guitar Hero is a STUPID game for STUPID people?? How does that break the rules? Oh, YOU can say good things about our sponsors but do not dare even touch them with a negative opinion, you're not worthy? SCREW that! If this is the case, then by all means, take your stupid website and it's NAZI moderated and corporate rump-kissing imbeciles and shove them all neatly up your rectum. As if this site was the last word on games! That will be the day.

Reaper__13
Reaper__13

I completely agree...rock band is going to dominate guitar hero 3. Im pretty disappointed in how guitar hero has turned out and im glad i got rock band to replace it

dunkaroos1000
dunkaroos1000

I love Guitar Hero, but come on people. Rock band is the future. The GH3 guitar looks like a Fisher Price toy when compared with the one for Rock Band.

DarkThanatosBog
DarkThanatosBog

I hope alcari is joking... FoF is good, but also reminds you that you get what you pay. GH is excellent, the songs are timed perfectly and funny to play. And yeah... we all know that fan made songs are waaay better than the ones made by someone who knows (sarcasm, btw)

alcari
alcari

So....people buy this game for the graphics I asume? because the gameplay is exactly the same as in Frets on Fire, which is free and you can import/make your own songs, which puts it far above GH1/2/3 in my book... /troll

vahid_xbox_360
vahid_xbox_360

this game is really good because it,s fairly cheaper than rock band.

jesus_markii
jesus_markii

LOL AT PS3 owners need a dongle !!! but yeah the guys at rockstar said they would sort it out without a dongle after christmas so maybe PS3 owners should wait a little

killed-bill
killed-bill

I was hooked on this game (GHII) on a friends PS2 .. I can't wait for GH3 on the PS3. I have a good feeling this is going to the best ever version. Is the release date 28th October or end of November either date, count me in.

madaseyer
madaseyer

Pre-Ordered Mine For PS3!!! But It sucks because of the dongle though......

jbstark720
jbstark720

To quote Jack Black, "Let's Get Rockin!" This is gonna be big!!!!!!

aaj222
aaj222

Please...Make it come out a week sooner. :[ Or at least put a DEMO on XBOX LIVE! I NEED A FIX DAMNIT!

Deathballz
Deathballz

This game is freakin awsome im going to rock all night with it!!

gamer_sammy
gamer_sammy

awesome!!! cant wait till it comes out...too bad my 360 is dead right now

somadude
somadude

guitar hero three is gonna be sweet ton's of song's and character's i'm looking foward to playing and reveiwing it \m/

shortster1
shortster1

premier111 just to let you know there are going to be customizing the character of your choice THIS GAME LOOKS AESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

premier111
premier111

does anybody really pay attention to the graphics in the backround? they are just okay to me but it doesn't really matter because all iwant to do is shred some guitar not look at amazing graphics on the pre-set characters of the band. maybe if they had customizable band members like rock band? than i would notice them and the stage. till then i just rock the guitar.

moh2in
moh2in

I cannot WAIT to get this

hiddenzombie013
hiddenzombie013

Not as cool as the first one, but still a good read.

hiddenzombie013
hiddenzombie013

Not as cool as the first one, but still a good read.

litafan4ever
litafan4ever

the stages in this instalment look amazing they are full of bright colors, yet they still look dark and gritty. awsome work