People have seen the innovations planned for Rock Band 3, and they want them in their RBN tracks! Harmonix has heard the community, and has unveiled some details today on what will be Rock Band Network 2.0.
In a statement from Matthew Nordhaus on the Creators site today, Harmonix wants to keep the “RBN toolset on par with our internal audio team, and continue to let you build top-quality content that exceeds the standards of our competition.”
So what new features can we look forward to with RBN 2.0?
- Pro Drums: RBN 2.0 will add cymbal gems as well as a few enhancements to streamline the audio submixes
- Keys and Pro Keys: Full support of the new Keys peripheral will be available in both regular (5-lane) and Pro Keys authoring flavors
- Vocal harmonies: Three part harmonies will be arriving.
- Optional inclusion: All of these features will be optionally supported by RBN 2.0, and each song may implement as many or as few of them as the creators wish.
- Audition mode updates: The exact feature set is not final, but the following enhancements are scheduled to be included:
- Practice Sections: full support for named and placed practice sections, plus the ability to check them in Audition mode. Auto generated practice sections will still be an option.
- Rewind while you are auditioning a song.
- Custom camera controls to allow you to view specific band members during audition mode (to check animations, lip sync, etc.)
- Dramatically improved auto-generation for the venue track.
There will be additional enhancements added as well, and will prioritize after the inclusion of the above features including skipping to song sections, feedback for audio mixing issues, fixing store audio preview bugs, improved Magma error reporting and MIDI validation, guide audio for vocals, and more. While these are in no way confirmed for inclusion, community feedback will be instrumental in the prioritizing of the requested features.
So… what’s missing? Pro Guitar. Harmonix considered supporting this feature very carefully, but ultimately decided they cannot support Pro Guitar for RBN at this time based on several reasons:
- The way that Pro Guitar DLC is implemented in Rock Band 3, it would have been substantial work to add to the pipeline for both Harmonix and Microsoft.
- It is extremely time consuming to author, to the point that it might be just as time consuming to author a Pro Guitar part as it would be to author the rest of the track.
- Peer Reviewing any Pro Guitar songs would be problematic due to the fact that we will be building a brand new install base of Pro Guitar players at launch.
It is important to note that this decision was not made lightly, and will be revisited in 6-12 months if the supply and demand from the community and Creators can be met effectively and efficiently.
When can we look forward to these new features?
- RBN2.0 Documentation and Reaper Templates are planning to be released prior to the RB3 ship date (October 26th).
- Magma 2.0 and RBN 2.0 Audition mode (added to Rock Band 3 360 with a patch) will be released shortly after Rock Band 3 ships.
- A beta version of the Creators site that handles RBN 2.0 songs will be available for song submissions in early 2011.
- RBN2 content will start to appear in the Rock Band 3 store at the end of Q1 2011.
In the announcement, Harmonix did note that Rock Band 3 will support existing, and any newly created RBN content, from Day 1, as well.