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Looking for help with some Rock Band tournament questions
April 12, 2008 10:57 AM   Subscribe

I'm hosting a Rock Band tournament in a "battle of the bands" style competition and I'm looking for prize suggestions (as well as some other tips). I've heard of custom Guitar Hero controllers, but is there a place online that does custom Rock Band controller paint jobs?

I run a video game club at my college and we're holding a Rock Band tournament as a really major event. We want to have judges rate competitors as a band in terms of style (playing behind the head, drum tricks, etc.), band unity (how well they work together), and dress (we want them to dress like rock stars). I should mention that this is the first time we've done a tournament this way, so any tips on running it like this would be great.

But here's the real question, I have been trying to come up with some good ideas for prizes and have come across some custom painted guitar hero controllers. Is there a place that can do custom painted Rock Band controllers online? Any other suggestions are welcome. Thanks!
posted by idleminded to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If you've already found somebody who does custom Guitar Hero controllers, it might be worthwhile to ask if they could do Rock Band ones as well. Seems like a very natural market expansion (at least, that's what these guys thought). Or, if you want something less than full-custom, there are 'skins' (link to an Amazon search, but Googling for the phrase 'rock band skins' returns plenty of additional results) available for Rock Band controllers, many of them bearing graphics designed by that band you hate.

Without knowing what kind of budget or lead time you're working with, it's hard to know what's feasible or practical for you. But we've done quite a few video game events at my public library, and here are some of the things we've given as prizes: gift certificates (for restaurants and toy/game/video stores. This is a good one because many managers/storeowners are willing to either give away gift certificates or sell them at less than face value); snacks/drinks; random video game ephemera. Since you'll be dealing with a slightly older crowd, I figure it's reasonable to add record-store and music-store gift certificates. If there's a store near your college that sells rock-star type clothes, that might also be a good one to consider. Broadly speaking: think in terms of sponsorship. Try to have at least one fairly impressive prize. Try to have quite a few cheapie prizes with lots of comedic value. If people are paying, either to enter the contest or to watch the event, try to make sure that they come away with something.

And, if at all possible, it might be neat to make up a commemorative t-shirt or sticker or pint glass or something for the event, then give them to everyone who attends, or at least everyone who performs. (Maybe you could also send one to especially helpful Ask Metafilter respondents.)
posted by box at 12:25 PM on April 12, 2008


Thanks for the suggestions. We have a pretty large budget (at last count somewhere near $800, but for this we'd probably spend the cost of a Rock Band bundle plus whatever it would cost to customize it). When I was talking about the custom GH controllers, I had the guys at colorwarepc.com in mind and thanks to your suggestion I have found that they will customize things that they don't initially have listed; so I'll give them an e-mail to see if they will do Rock Band equipment.

As for other prizes, we really can't do those because of restrictions from our college. People used to buy gift cards to Albertson's and the students would then go and buy alcohol (despite being underage, since that's often how Albertson's rolls). So if we buy prizes, it has to be a product. Though I've been meaning to ask about things that are essentially non-transferable like itunes giftcards. We have a bunch of posters and little things we can give away, there will be plenty of food so hopefully people won't feel gipped. Thanks again for the good ideas!
posted by idleminded at 2:21 PM on April 12, 2008


It is really, really easy to paint your own guitar.

All you need is a Rock Band strat, a screwdriver, and some Krylon paint. They just released the wireless strats for the 360, so you can get one of those. Use this guide to help you take stuff apart. You don't even need to remove the chip boards to paint the body, just cover everything up with some blue painter's tape.

Kyrlon Fusion paint works the best, just make sure to take your time and let it dry between coats!

Other suggestions include Rock Band drumpads (also easy to make yourself for under 10 bucks a set - hit up a crafts store for stick on felt sheets and stick on foam sheets, or you can use mousepads) or a custom Rock Band kick pedla (there's a host of these mods just a google away). You can customize GHIII Les Paul faceplates super easily - just sand, spray, and let dry. I suggest a big ole picture of Rick Astley.

If you have an 800 dollar budget, why not spend half that on a real guitar and amp? That'd be pretty rad (plus the winner can resell pretty easily to get some cash). Or an iPod with all the songs from Rock Band downloaded on it?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:44 PM on April 12, 2008


I just helped run a Guitar Hero Competition at my university.

Our prizes were (take some ideas, most are pretty Guitar Hero oriented)

- A case of the energy drink 'Rock Star'
- Controller Skins
- "Beginners How to Play Guitar" book
- Actual Guitar strap with flames on it
- Guitar Pics
- Gift Card for Electronic Boutique (Because you know, they probably play games if they're good at rock band).

And we were thinking of, but didn't get

- Cheesy 80's style rocker wig
posted by billy_the_punk at 6:12 PM on April 12, 2008


This place does what I think you're after.

My CPU is grinding on movie conversion so browsing is a bit slow but they do send-in or buy-new controllers for all platforms. Price apparently isn't too bad.
posted by dasfreak at 7:03 PM on April 12, 2008


Thanks for all the help everyone! It went off without a hitch. Also, as an update, ColorwarePC will not do Rock Band instruments yet (though they are planning to do so in June).
posted by idleminded at 11:06 PM on April 18, 2008


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