Ireland’s Call on Guitar Hero X-Plorer for the PC and XBox 360

Guitar Hero controller: rock on!If you have the Guitar Hero X-Plorer controller for the XBox360, here’s an XNA application that will let you play Ireland’s Call (a.k.a. “The Rugby Song”) on your PC or XBox360. This was my finale at Rob’s Last Stand last week.

This game is a bit more “free form” than the real Guitar Hero, in that you aren’t prompted visually with when you should play each chord. Instead, as you play, fireworks go off in sync with the music that match the colours of the notes you’re playing.  (Each “fret” on the Guitar Hero controller is a coloured button.)

I wrote this in XNA by starting with the Particle3D sample found at the XNA Creators Club. It was fun tweaking the High-Level Shader Language used for the fireworks. I must also say, I now have immense respect for the people responsible for producing the audio for the real Guitar Hero games.

I’ve included playing instructions below for your jamming pleasure.

Ireland's Call

Download and Installation

To install either version: You must first have the free XNA Game Studio Express installed. Learn how to do this through the XNA Creators Club.

Click here to download the Windows Version. Double-click the install file and it will unpack the game under a directory called “XNA Creators Club Games.” Plug your Guitar Hero X-Plorer controller into the PC and you are ready to rock.

Click here to download the XBox360 Version. To play this version, you need to be a member of the XNA Creators Club. Launch the XNA Game Launcher and click “Connect to Computer.” Then just double-click the install file on the PC and it will unpack the game to your XBox360.

Ireland’s Call

Ireland,
Ireland,
together
standing
tall!

Shoulder to
shoulder,
we answer
Ireland’s
Call!

(Brief interlude, during which you should press the Start button on the Guitar Hero controller to toggle from the first to the second verse.)

Ireland,
Ireland,
together
standing
tall!

Shoulder to
shoulder,
we answer
Ireland’s
Call …

WE ANSWER
IRELAND’S
CALL!!

(During the second verse, ideally just as the song finishes, tilt the guitar vertically (“Activate Star Power” – see photo below) to launch a salvo of fireworks.)

Other Controls

Press Esc or the Back button on your controller to exit.

On the PC, press Right Alt + Enter to toggle fullscreen mode.

Enjoy!!

A Few Notes

  • This recording of Ireland’s Call was taken from a recent game at Croke Park in Dublin – you can guess the significance! :)
  • I remain indebted to Phil McDarby for the skydome graphic used in the background, which also appeared in the Wii Flock of Boids demo.
  • [Update] I’ve posted the code, too.
  • One last thing:

Push all 5 fret buttons at once to show farewell message from Rob.

Now you too can look silly like this while singing and playing “The Rugby Song”:
Ireland's Call Finale

3 thoughts on “Ireland’s Call on Guitar Hero X-Plorer for the PC and XBox 360”

  1. What can I say… AMAZINGLY COOL robert! :) That’s just awsome!

    Havent’ had a chance to download and look at the code yet (and havent bought Guitar Hero 2 neither). I have GH1 on PS2… But will probably get GH2 soon :)

  2. Cheers Jonas — I had immense fun making it (although let me put it this way – the first time we played Ireland’s Call, Siofra literally shed a tear, but by the demo itself we never wanted to hear the song again!!).

    I’m en route from Dublin to Toronto now (and just to make sure all my worlds collide at once, I’m listening to Royksopp) ;)

    Definitely check out GH2 on the 360. I think the song selection is a little better in GH1, but having the X-Plorer for XNA is really cool. GH has to be the single most fun “pick-up” game I have ever seen for when you come home for work and just want to decompress for 10 minutes…

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