Guitar Hero: World Tour dev snuck into China to fix drum kits
Posted on March 12, 2023 by Brian(@NE_Brian) in News, Wii
Guitar Hero: World Tour was the first entry in the series to introduce drums, which brought about its own set of problems. In fact, production issues surrounding the kits were substantial enough that director Brian Bright ended up sneaking into China to get things fixed.
In an interview with Wireframe, Bright felt he needed to take action after discovering that the initial drum kits he saw “had a ton of cross-talk and dead zones, to the point where they were unplayable.” Because of this, he ended up buying a ticket to China – without informing his boss – to meet with RedOctane. Then while on the way to visit factories, they had to sneak past a checkpoint since they brought Xboxes with them which were not allowed in the country.
Here’s the full story from Bright:
“I had been working on the drum design for a while, and we were starting to get some initial kits in from RedOctane in China. The kits had a ton of cross-talk and dead zones, to the point where they were unplayable. I remember sitting at home thinking I need to get to China, so I bought a ticket without telling my boss and the next day I had a special build of the game made that displayed the drum velocity values on the screen in the GH music studio. I flew that night to Hong Kong and met with RedOctane’s Lee Guinchard.
I remember us crossing the border into China in a van, where Lee and I were hiding in the back with a bunch of Xboxes, which were not allowed in China at the time. We went through this massive checkpoint that had armed Chinese soldiers interrogating our Chinese drivers. Fortunately, they didn’t look in the back of the van and we were able to make our way to the factories in mainland China. We fixed a bunch of issues using that special dev build of the game and were able to get the drums to a pretty good state. Unfortunately, there were a few thousand kits that were not up to snuff, but I think we made close to five million kits after that batch.”
Guitar Hero: World Tour would end up hitting Wii in 2008.