|Slogan||Graciously Documenting Our Future Arthritis|
|Founded||January 28th, 2006|
|Key people||Joseph Cirri (Founder), Matthew Wilson (Administrator)|
|Revenue||donations and merchandise sales|
ScoreHero.com is a video gaming discussion website that specializes in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band games. The biggest feature of the site is the scoreboard section, where players of the games can submit their personal high scores and have them compared against other players who have submitted scores. The site's structure encourages competitive users to try to get the highest scores possible on all difficulties. ScoreHero also contains forums, where the community of players can talk about the site, share tips on how to hit tricky sections of songs, discuss optimal Star Power and Overdrive usage, praise or criticize game features, and find other players to play with online or at a specified meeting place.
ScoreHero was founded in early 2006 by Joseph Cirri (username JCirri). At first, the site only had the ability to input scores and view rankings for the only game in the franchise available at that time, Guitar Hero. Soon after its foundation, a forum was added to the site, using the popular PHPbb format.
On May 6th, 2007, Joseph made an announcement asking for the users of ScoreHero to collectively donate $10,000 for an upgraded server. Although it appeared as though the users were going to reach the goal, Alex Rigopulos, President of Harmonix Music Systems, the then developers of the Guitar Hero series, donated $2000 on behalf of the company, not only earning the gratitude of the ScoreHero community but also pushing the total to within $500 of the $10,000 target. Chris Canfield and Dan Schmidt (a long-time user of ScoreHero), also employees of Harmonix, chipped in with donations as well.
Score Input System
Registered users on ScoreHero can input scores obtained in the Guitar Hero series of games into an online database. Scores of the game Rock Band can also be submitted through a subdomain of the site, rockband.scorehero.com . While no proof of achievements is required, users are generally encouraged to provide some sort of proof for scores. Proof can come either as photo proof, video proof, or both. Users that obtain top scores have been highly encouraged to present proof to maintain the integrity of the site.
Players are ranked not only on their scores for a specific song, but also their overall scores for tiers, bonus songs, and the entire setlist. Some other features of the system include the ability to search for a member's full list of scores, score comparisons between two users, an extended star assignment system, and Co-op mode team accounts. On the Rock Band portion of the site, there are separate leaderboards for all 1-person, 2-person, and 3-person instrument combinations, as well as full band leaderboards.
It was discovered after extensive research of the game engine used for Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero II by many knowledgeable forum users that the songs on the game could be replaced with other songs and notecharts. This led to an extensive customizing scene, involving thousands of songs from all types of genres. Replacing a song on the game involves placing a MIDI file containing the note chart into the space previously occupied by another song and importing an MP3 or OGG file into the corresponding VGS file (VGS is a type of audio compression utilised on the Playstation 2 platform). The release of Guitar Hero 3 provided a challenge to the programmers on the forum, as the charts and audio files were made under different file extensions and were oddly encrypted, but eventually the PS2  and PC  versions of the game were cracked and made editable. Effort is also being put into custom songs for the Wii version of Guitar Hero 3, and customs have been sucessfully placed in the game.
The Software forum section provides all the tools needed to start customizing, and experienced customizers provide help to people new to customizing. Although the process of customizing could be controversial with respect to its legality, the site does not endorse any illegal activities i.e. the illegal downloading of the actual music files (MP3s, OGGs, etc.) needed and help with the process of modding one's game system to play burned DVDs. Only MIDI files and licensed music files are available. Also, the distribution of songs which are already in either Guitar Hero or Rock Band, or have been announced for either, is strictly forbidden. Despite this, both Harmonix and Neversoft (the creators of the games in the Guitar Hero sides) fully support the field of custom songs, to such an extent that Neversoft hired at least one of the Scorehero charters to work on their Guitar Hero games.
Anybody who wishes to use custom songs in their copy of Guitar Hero should take note that it requires a method of booting non-official media, since the custom version of the game will be burned to a blank DVD-R disk (DVD+R can also be used, but DVD-R appears to be more stable). For the Playstation 2 version of the games, this means either a mod chip or a copy of Swap Magic must be used.
ScoreHero in the Media
ScoreHero has gained quite a lot of attention in recent months, most of it coming with the release of Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band. Two users of the site, ChrisVance and orange22, were hired at Neversoft as chart creators for Guitar Hero 3 after getting their start creating custom note charts for previous Guitar Hero titles. A third member, Thrice, was employed as a game tester. Neversoft invited select ScoreHero staff members to their South California headquarters to get a first-hand look at the full game in July, and also gave them clearance to announce the inclusion of Through the Fire and Flames, Suck My Kiss, La Grange, and The Number of the Beast and tell about their general experiences with the game. They were flown to Harmonix's studios for a similar experience with Rock Band, though it was mostly intended to get the staff familiarized with the Rock Band scoring system. The site has also gained attention for its Software forum section that provides support for modded versions of the Guitar Hero games.
Due to its high level and intenseness of competition, some users of ScoreHero have been in the spotlight for their exceptionally good skills. In particular, user beberle2 is a very popular player, in part because he is only 9 years old. beberle2 was invited to play some songs for the GameTrailers show GameOne, and was interviewed afterwards. His Psychobilly Freakout Expert 5-star video at 8 years old and Through the Fire and Flames Expert 754k video at 9 years old have both received over 1 million views on YouTube. Two other high ranking ScoreHero users, HellAshes (Garry Bathrick) and dantheman2515 (Daniel Juarez), were finalists in an Attack of the Show Guitar Hero 3 tournament, and at the finale, played Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan) on the Expert level live. HellAshes ended up defeating dantheman, and walked home with a brand new 2008 Pontiac G5, only having his learner's permit at the time. User wuLFe was also highlighted in a Game Informer column for his top scores on the Xbox 360 version of GH2; another user Smokyprogg was interviewed in the Times Online. Also of note is that the professional gaming organization TeamPandemic's Guitar Hero II team is made entirely of ScoreHero members.
- ^ Harmonix donates to keep fansite running GameSpot. Retrieved 12-28-07.
- ^ Good PR: Harmonix Stump Up Cash For Fansite Kotaku. Retrieved 12-28-07.
- ^ Four New Guitar Hero III Tracks Shown Off To Fans Kotaku. Retrieved 12-28-07.
- ^ Play custom Songs on hacked Guitar Hero II Joystiq. Retrieved 12-28-07.
- ^ beberle2 - Gametrailers Gameone Interview - Movie 2 - March 2007 YouTube. Retrieved 12-28-07.
- ^ http://youtube.com/watch?v=3yEjyuw42YY
- ^ http://youtube.com/watch?v=KUzNcheoY6U
- ^ 'Guitar Hero 3' Finals G4TV.com. Retrieved 12-28-07.
- ^ The guitar hero Times Online. Retrieved 12-28-07.