29 June 2009

Guitar Hero World Tour Battle of the Bands System Link South African style

This past weekend Kat and I hosted our combined 60th Birthday party and it was a Battle of the Bands (Guitar Hero World Tour style) party.

What a mission to get this baby set up. One would have thought two XBOX 360's could just simply system link and get going, but that is not the case. Add to the mix the South African lack of XBOX Live, and you've got a few more hurdles to overcome. Fortunately, Oltman and I had some deft fiddling skills and we cracked the problem, and managed to have everyone jamming BATTLE OF THE BANDS style for the evening - great fun! This is how you do it...

Basically, you can run the XBOX 360's on the same router, one internet connection. You cannot system link them (but we'll work on that). It requires XBOX Live to do the matchmaking.

What you do is:

  1. Get two XBOX Live GOLD accounts (presently you can get a one month subs for 1GBP, which is a bargain - and we are on the UK server, so you need a UK credit card to enjoy this benefit).
  2. Next, you hook both onto XBOX LIVE in Guitar Hero World Tour.
  3. You then sign in each instrument you intend to use, either with another local XBOX Live GOLD account, or as a guest (in our case, we had Graeme Norval, Graeme Norva(2), Graeme Norva(3), etc. and Brattex, Brattex(2), etc.). We had four signed in on each box, three as guests, and one as the GOLD account.
  4. You then invite your friend to play.
  5. Friend accepts invitation.
  6. You should now see eight names on the roster.
  8. One band will be highlighted a yellow colour (or a different colour, at least) so you can tell one band from the other (although in our case the names gave it away anyway).
  9. Then you need each instrument to select PREFERENCES, DIFFICULTY, and choose their difficulty. In our case, each instrument was a different player with different skill and each round was a different band, so we just had one person controlling on each XBOX and selecting the skills for each player.
  10. For example, the drummer selects PREFERENCES, DIFFICULTY, chooses BASIC, and then hits BACK.
  11. Singer then selects PREFERENCES, DIFFICULTY, chooses EXPERT, and then hits BACK.
  12. Guitarists (one at a time) does the same.
  13. There is ONE cursor for all the players, so as long as a specific instrument changes difficulty, it only affects THAT instrument.
  14. When both teams are set, then someone hits "go to SETLIST" (or whatever it says) and then it randomly chooses one player from either band to choose the song to jam.
  15. ENJOY!!!
Make the controller / singer the one that signs in as the GOLD account, because then at least they can control everyone else quite easily, and just bark out orders to the rest (this works when you have multiple bands playing different rounds).
We managed to quit during a song and get back to the foyer without having to restart matchmaking - at least, I think we did :)

We used two XBOX 360's, full drum sets, WORLD TOUR, two GOLD accounts, and a 4-port ADSL router (and used 38MB for the entire evening). Presumably you can achieve the same feat with a 3G modem hooked up to a laptop running ICS and connected to a hub, or such.


oltman said...

thats very nice and all... but i have one question:

WHO WON!?!? ;)

BrYan (aka Brattex) said...

Everyone was a winner!!

I think the biggest problem was, we should have ranked the players better, because some teams were certainly lob-sided more than others (kudos to B^2 who made it to the semi-finals with people who have NEVER played the game before in their lives), and the pools were unfairly balanced. I'd also like to see a two-song semi next time (with highest score total making through to the final if it's 1-1 after the semi's), and a three-song final (each team picks a song and then the final round is a song picked by popular vote at the beginning of the competition, so it's a more fan-worthy final). That will make sure one team doesn't get a random advantage of song-picking, and choose a lame-ass heavy metal song that no-one likes!