|This article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2007)|
|Designer(s)||Patryk "Corvus5" Cebula|
|Release date(s)||May 2012|
UltraStar is a clone of SingStar, a music video game. UltraStar lets one or several players score points by singing along to a song or music video and match the pitch of the original song as well. UltraStar displays lyrics as well as the correct notes similar to a piano roll. On top of the correct notes UltraStar displays the pitch recorded from the players. UltraStar allows several people to play simultaneously by connecting several microphones possibly to several sound cards. To add a song to UltraStar, a file with notes and lyrics is required, together with an audio file. Optionally a cover image, a backdrop image and a video may be added to each song. UltraStar comes preloaded with a short sample from Nine Inch Nails hit Discipline from The Slip album.
The UltraStar is released under Freeware License. Very old versions were available under GNU General Public License and all game forks are based on the old code. This change was made to protect and secure users private data sent to the game server.
New version of the game introduces Song Shop, where users after free registration can download free songs and buy points. Free songs includes:
|L.p.||Artist||Title||Language||All countries||Add date|
|1||Nine Inch Nails||Discipline||English||Yes||24.02.2010|
|2||Dead Smiling Pirates||I 18||English||Yes||24.02.2010|
|5||Magdalen Graal||Behind You||English||Yes||24.02.2010|
|6||Hungry Lucy||Just Imagine||English||Yes||11.05.2012|
|7||Hungry Lucy||Balloon Girl||English||Yes||11.05.2012|
|8||Devyn Rose, formerly known as Tanya T6||Fly Away||English||Yes||11.05.2012|
|9||Josh Woodward||Heritage Place||English||Yes||11.05.2012|
The original UltraStar is programmed in Kylix/Delphi and made for Microsoft Windows operating-system. There are also ports available in C++ for other operating-systems such as GNU/Linux, BSD and other UNIX platforms.
UltraStar Deluxe 
|Developer(s)||b1indy, b_krueger, brunzelchen, canni0, eddie-0815, hawkear, jaybinks, k-m_schindler, mogguh, mota23, s_alexander, tobigun, whiteshark0|
|Release date(s)||October 2010|
UltraStar Deluxe was started as a modification of UltraStar. Whiteshark initially offered to collaborate with Corvus5, but this offer was declined. Instead Whiteshark started to add some features on his own with the help of Mota. The first release is known as X-Mas mod, due to a release date around Christmas time. This attracted the attention of other developers that were willing to help. The team grew and the source code departed more and more from the original. Smaller features are often implemented in both projects allowing them to benefit from one another. Though the projects' implementations of such features often differ. UltraStar Deluxe is different in three key ways from UltraStar. Significant effort has been put into improving reliability by repairing bugs. The second difference is the visual appearance. Sparkling stars and various other effects have been added in addition to skin support. Many effects are also based on the Singstar on PS3. Many new features have been implemented:
- More video formats are supported, such as DivX, XviD, FLV, Avi and WMV.
- Singing screen with golden notes, line bonus and popups
- Lua scriptable Party mode with various game types. This includes support for lua plugins that allow further extension of such game types.
- Improved song management and selection with the ability to search for songs and use playlists
- More detailed statistics screen
As of version 1.1 UltraStar Deluxe runs on Linux and Mac OS X natively.
|Developer(s)||Vincent Le Ligeour, Lasse Kärkkäinen, Markus Raab, Tapio Vierros, knittl, Stefan Kristiansson and others|
|Release date(s)||January 2007 - October 2010|
|Mode(s)||Singing, guitar, bass, drums|
Performous is an open-source rhythm/performance platform that contains singing, guitar/bass playing, drumming and dancing all in one game. The project began as rewrite of the UltraStar singing game in October 2006, using C++ and targeting Linux. Adding more elements to the game was planned for several years and in 2009 first band game features were added and published on Assembly game development competition. A few months later work on the dance game feature began and even though it is not yet complete, the feature is already available on the development version of the game.
The project was originally known as UltraStar-NG, but the name was changed in version 0.3 in anticipation of adding other instruments and to avoid confusion as the game is not a fork of UltraStar. Also, since version 0.3 the graphics rendering is based on OpenGL for high performance even on slower machines, with full effects, as long as any OpenGL support is available. Various background video formats are supported using FFmpeg.
Singing game 
This part of the game is essentially karaoke, but with scoring and realtime feedback. The gameplay is similar to SingStar: the game analyzes the pitch of each singer and scores the performance based on how precisely the song was performed. As a reference, the lyrics, the notes and the singer's pitch are displayed on screen as the song plays.
Performous does not attempt to clone SingStar but rather has unique features such as scrolling notes and precise singing pitch display as a wave drawn on screen. These allow the player to sing without interruptions and to easily correct his or her singing pitch to hit the notes precisely.
Performous does pitch detection with fast fourier transform (FFT) combined with a sophisticated post-processing algorithm. This system is able to operate well in extremely noisy environments, even when using very cheap microphones.
On Linux the game autodetects any connected SingStar microphones and uses them automatically. On other platforms and with other types of microphones (e.g. webcams or analog microphones connected to sound cards) a best-effort detection is done.
Songs need to be supplied in UltraStar or Frets on Fire format. Performous comes with a tool named 'ss_extract', for converting SingStar DVDs into UltraStar format.
Band game 
For guitar and bass the game tries to figure out the intention of the player rather than just comparing the nearest available chord, making it easier to play fast passages. Hammer-ons and pull-offs (HOPOs) also consider player's intention. If the player intends to pick a note in a regular fashion but happens to HOPO it by accident a moment before, the pick will undo the HOPO and no mistake happens. These little gameplay tweaks in favor of the player make the game much more enjoyable as playing correctly will no longer produce mistakes when the timing is slightly off or when the player chooses not to use the HOPO feature. Timing accuracy is still considered in the scoring so that hitting all notes does not always give the maximum score.
Performous detects any connected Guitar Hero or Rock Band controllers automatically. Additionally, a PC keyboard can be used as a guitar controller. Songs need to be in Frets on Fire format.
Dance game 
The gameplay is similar to Dance Dance Revolution or StepMania: the dancer will have to match the steps displayed on screen on a dancing mat as precisely as possible. Songs need to be in StepMania format.
Assembly Summer 2009 
'Performous Band', a stripped-down version of the game, containing only the band game (guitar, bass and drums) took part in the game development competition. The game was displayed with a pre-recorded presentation video, but there were significant audio-video synchronization issues with the video even though the game itself had no such issues. Due to copyright issues and the lack of freely usable songs at the time, part of the demonstration was done with the music completely muted. The game finished on the 12th place with 642 points.
See also 
- sourceforge.net: 11.04.2010 18:45 Memberlist cited 11 April 2010
- ultrastardeluxe.org: 23.11.2007 15:40 UltraStar Deluxe 1.0.1 Release! cited 20 December 2007
- Performous contributors on Ohloh.net cited 29 November 2009
- YellowDogLinux Forum: 22.03.2008 UltraStar-NG screenshots on PS3 cited 24 March 2008
- sf.net: Performous version control tags cited 29 November 2009
- Pouet.net Performous page
- UltraStar - Original game created by Corvus5, many new features in latest version (Delphi/Kylix)
- UltraStar Deluxe - Based upon old UltraStar code fork (Delphi/Kylix/FPC)
- Performous - A game similar to UltraStar written from scratch in C++ and later expanded with band and dance features. Formerly known as UltraStar-NG (USNG).
- UltraStar Mac OS X - Mac OS (Intel) port of UltraStar
- Other software supporting the format
- Canta Game - Python platform-independent karaoke game that can play UltraStar-files. Uses a 3D engine for output including 2D/3D themes. Includes a built-in editor.
- kJams - Mac OS and Windows software that can play UltraStar (SingStar) files "karaoke style", and convert them to CD+G format for burning.
- LyricsCatcher - LyricsCatcher, a fast way to create singable ultrastar songs from your mp3's (in Java)
- SongEasy - UltraStar tool and similar karaoke game
- UltraStar Creator - UltraStar tool to easily create karaoke files from scratch
- UltraStar Song Editor - editing tool for UltraStar games (Windows)
- http://usdb.animux.de/ - Page where users can up- and download txt-files for UltraStar
- UltraStar España - Spanish community with many songs to download, covers, plugins and more
- UltraStar Magyar rajongói oldal - Magyar és külföldi dalokkal, leírásokkal, letöltésekkel
- Magyar Ultrastar oldal Csak magyar Ultrastar zenékkel, segédanyagokkal és segítőkész csapattal.A közvetlen Fórum link: Fórum
- UltraStar.net.pl - Polska, największa strona z piosenkami.
- Ultrastar Portugal - Portal inteiramente em Português com muitas das canções feitas pelos membros. Donwloads de músicas facilitado.