Reverse Engineering Guitar Hero

What do you do when a ten-year-old video game has a bug in it? If you are [ExileLord] you fix it, even if you don’t have the source code. Want to know how? Luckily, he produced a video showing all the details of how he tracked the bug down and fixed it. You can see the video below. You may or may not care about Guitar Hero, but the exercise of reverse engineering and patching the game is a great example of the tools and logic required to reverse engineer any binary software, especially a Windows binary.

The tool of choice is IDA, an interactive debugger and disassembler. The crash thows an exception and since [ExileLord] has done some work on the game before, he was able to find a function that was creating a screen element that eventually led to the crash.

Continue reading “Reverse Engineering Guitar Hero”

Guitar Hero Controller Built From Toy Guitar And Keyboard

frets-on-fire-custom-controller

[Heinrich Laue] was kind of a latecomer to the fake guitar playing video game phenomenon. He played Frets on Fire — an open source clone of the game — on PC and eventually bought a copy of Guitar Hero World Tour. But playing on the keyboard was a drag. Instead of buying a controller he built his own hacked Guitar Hero controller from a scrapped keyboard and a toy guitar.

The plastic toy he started with was screwed together. This is a really nice since it’s almost impossible to open toys that have been welded together. There was plenty of room inside for all his components and even some space to run the wires.

He started the electronic portion of the build by tracing out the keyboard matrix to figure out which solder pads he could tap into. The strum bar uses a door hinge with buttons on either side of it. When you move it back and forth it hits the buttons, with the spring mechanism in each returning it back to center. The fret buttons are keys from the keyboard, but the switches uses were pulled from a few computer mice. But the real innovation comes into play when he added the Star Power tilt sensor and whammy bar. Follow the link above to find out how he did it.

Controlling Your Webcam With An Old Guitar Hero Pedal

Hackaday reader [Tom Price] often uses Skype to communicate with family near and far, but he was getting tired of adjusting his webcam each time his kids moved out of frame. While the solution he came up with isn’t fully automated, it is hands-free, which is good enough for his purposes.

[Tom] was looking around for an electronic foot pedal of some sort when he came across a wireless 3rd party Guitar Hero peripheral that happened to fit the bill. Using an Arduino library created by [Bill Porter], he was quickly able to get the toy to communicate with an Arduino-flashed Atmega8, but things kind of fell flat when it came time to relay signals back to his computer. Using another Atmega8 along with the PS2X library, he was able to emulate the Guitar Hero controller that his foot pedal was looking for.

With the pedal portion of his project wrapped up, he focused on his webcam. [Tom] mounted the camera on a small servo, which he then wired up to the receiving end of his foot pedal rig. As you can see in the video below, he can now pan his camera across the room with a tap of his foot, rather than leaning in and manually adjusting it.

Continue reading “Controlling Your Webcam With An Old Guitar Hero Pedal”

Bass Hero Combines Guitar Hero With Dance Dance Revolution

 

Standing up to play Dance Dance Revolution type games is sooooo much work. Thankfully, [Jebadiah0001] is taking the strenuous exercise component out of the game by altering a guitar controller to play dancing games.

He’s calling it Bass Hero because the DDR games only use four inputs, reducing the guitar controller to four string buttons like an electric bass would have. His implementation uses a GameCube controller to connect to the console. He took it apart to get at the button connections. Each string button on the guitar is connected on one side to a button on the GC controller, the other side is a common connection. But instead of pulling those straight to ground, he routes that signal through the strumming actuator. This way the player can get the correct buttons ready, then strum at just the right time to complete the circuit.

It certainly makes the harder levels of DDR quite a bit easier. See for yourself in the video after the break.

Continue reading “Bass Hero Combines Guitar Hero With Dance Dance Revolution”

Guitar-mounted Camera Documents Your Guitar Hero-ness

[The Longhorn Engineer] wanted to record some of his virtual shredding sessions so he built this camera mount for a Guitar Hero controller. It holds the camera about a foot below the bottom of the controller, pointing up at the guitar and its player. Since the camera is held tightly to the guitar this produces an interesting effect of movement in the background while the foreground is completely stationary. He set out to complete the build using just one piece of acrylic and some fasteners but added an aluminum support piece because the prototype had a bit too much flex to it. The video after the break walks you through the design, the build process, and finishes with a test run.

Continue reading “Guitar-mounted Camera Documents Your Guitar Hero-ness”

Flaming Guitar Hero

[Chris Marion] knew he wanted to play with fire, or more accurately with fireball spewing valves, but he need a good project in which he could use them. Inspiration finally struck and he built this controller that matches fireballs to the fret buttons on a Guitar Hero controller. There’s quite a lot that goes into this but we think that he hit a home run. The basic components are a manifold with electronically actuated valves, another manifold for the pilot lights, and a modified Guitar Hero controller.

To interface the controller he used an Arduino along with [Bill Porter’s] PS2 library to read signals from the buttons. But the real labor intensive part of the build came with the manifold. There’s a hardware store’s worth of fittings and flexible copper pipe that go into that assembly. In the end this all came together in just one week.

[Thanks Bill]

Teensy Can School You At Guitar Hero

[Johnny Chung Lee] put together a system that is perfect at playing Guitar Hero. He’s using the PlayStation 2 version and, as you can see above he’s combined a controller connector and a Teensy microcontroller board to communicate with the console using its native SPI protocol. This custom guitar controller receives its signals via USB from a computer that is monitoring the video from the console and calculating the controller signals necessary for perfect gameplay. [Johnny] wrote an OpenCV program that monitors the video, removes the perspective from the virtual fretboard, and analyzes color and speed of the notes coming down the screen.

As you can see after the break it works like a charm. It’s fun from a programming standpoint, but if you want a hack you can actually play maybe you should build your own Banjo Hero.

Continue reading “Teensy Can School You At Guitar Hero”