Hey again folks, I’m back with another idea for future music simulation games (*cough* RB3 *cough).
You know what is generally a really boring part of every music simulation games? PRACTICE MODE. Right? I have talked to a bunch of friends and most of them don’t ever, EVER go into practice mode to learn how to nail that hard solo or get used to that tricky riff. I rarely go there myself, the last time I’ve used it was to learn the solo for “I Wanna Be Your Man”, I think. It’s useful, but just not a lot of fun.
So I was thinking… about how to make the Practice Mode idea blend in a more fun way with the game? Well, and here’s my solution: RECORDING ALBUMS.
Alright so here’s the deal, everybody knows that when an artist goes into studio, he may repeat sections of the song over and over again, until he gets it right, right? Well, that sounds a LOT like the Practice Mode. Why not give the players optional “missions” to go into the studio and record songs, and let them repeat the sections over and over until they get, I don’t know, maybe a 95% minimum accuracy or Gold Stars or whatever?
Each section could be played individually, and the progress would be saved every time, until the overall score reached a certain threshold, at which point the song would be considered good enough to go into the album. Playing each section individually wouldn’t give players the option to use star power in that part, though. This would be cool because bands who went into the studio and recorded everything in one take would benefit more than those who had to redo the sections over and over, giving players the stimulus to get better at the song for real. And it also makes sense, because a more natural, organic performance generally sounds better than a technical, “let me try to nail this” one. In this case, the “natural” feeling would be coming from the star power. Clever, eh?
Give the players the option to maybe choose the name of the album, its cover, and let them choose how many tracks it will have (from 6 to 10, for example). Or let them release singles as well. Or give them the option to release it in the Internet individually, after all, it’s almost 2010 already.
This could also be blended with other ideas I’ve discussed here in the past. The player could decide to make a videoclip of one of the songs contained in the album. And once the album was released, there could also be reviews of it by magazine critics. Depending on the band’s performance, some special venues could become available, such as getting invited to TV shows or playing at a big music awards event.
As usual, I feel that adding storytelling elements is an awesome reward on its own, and enough to make players try to get better and overcome challenges. It’s certainly more fun than receiving a piece a lame guitar that you could eventually manage to buy anyway, that’s for sure. And it adds depth and fun to the game as well, of course. Who could have thought that practice mode could eventually be so exciting, huh?