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So, obviously the OpenChord project is pretty much over. However, I'm starting up a new project/video game! More details on the blog.

- 27 September 2010 -

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  • Looking to make video game controllers? Check out the new project, UnoJoy!
    Otherwise, this site is about an old project that lets you play your guitar games with a real guitar.

    Hi everyone! This project has come to an end, at least in commercial form. The heyday of guitar games is over, and furthermore, not many people actually want to put together an electronics kit and hack a real guitar just to play some Rock Band on it.  Lesson learned – there’s surprisingly little overlap between video game players and people who are into electronics.

    Still, the being open source and all, the OpenChord guitar files, code, board layout, etc. are all still available on the Google Code site. So, if you’re motivated, you can still go ahead and make yourself a guitar that plays Guitar Hero. Heck, shoot me an e-mail and I might still have a kit or two I could send you.

    Anyhow, if you do wind up building a guitar, or are just curious, the code supports the following modes:

    Fret Mode – Play the guitar like a regular guitar controller, where pressing any string on the first fret is a Green button press, any press on the second fret is a Red button press, and so on.  This mode is the easiest to use, and helps you build your finger strength and gets you used to the fretboard.

    Note Mode – Map individual notes on the fretboard to the colored buttons and use the V1 to practice learning note positions.   The default mapping assigns the buttons cyclically to the notes on a B flat scale, but each button color can be user-mapped to up to 6 notes,  so you can program in whatever notes you want to practice.

    Chord Mode – With Chord mode, you can map each button to a separate chord fingering, so you can use the rhythm and challenge of a guitar game to work on learning chord transitions naturally and fluently.

    Moreover, the OpenChord guitar controller is a 100% open source development platform.  We encourage you to take what we’ve made and modify it to your heart’s content.  Oh, we also figured out the MIDI thing, but since chords don’t really work, it’s maybe not really worth it. Still, the code’s there.

    If you’re looking for the perfect game to play, we also highly recommend Frets on Fire, an open-source guitar-based rhythm game.  Free to download, play, and make your own songs with, we think it’s just about the best way to play out there.