A few weeks ago, gamer enthusiast’s mecca, PAX, was held in Seattle. We asked the community for questions that we would try and have answered by Harmonix while we (and by we, I mean Tiffany) were there. On most interviews we see with the folks from Harmonix and MTV Games, it’s the usual stuff designed for consumption by the masses, not the hardcore fans that visit this site. Because of this, a few of the very specific questions stumped John, but he vowed to get back to us with some of the answers. I received John’s follow up answers in an email two nights ago. (Note: John is in the UK right now, and I received the email from him sometime after 2:30 am… his time. Seriously, he doesn’t sleep. He’s like the video game industry’s version of Chuck Norris… sans the beard.)
Below are the questions I sent, followed by his responses based on discussions with Daniel Sussman, Sylvain Dubrofsky, and Brian Chan.
If a male character is used for vocals in a setlist, and a song comes up with a female lead vocalist, does it still show your male character singing, or does it default to some random female pre-fab?
You can pick stand-ins for your band, but they aren’t instrument specific. The only one we lock is you. So, if you have a mix of guy and girl characters as stand-ins, we will set it so that the singer is the correct gender. If you haven’t set stand-ins, we set the prefab so that the singer’s gender is correct. That said, we don’t dynamically switch around for setlists, so it’s often possible to get a singer who’s not the right gender. We do our best…THAT SAID, a lot of dudes sing girls songs and vice versa, so no one should care.
Are we seeing four on-screen characters in game or five? I believe everything I’ve seen thus far has been four. And if it is four, is there a way that you can choose, or the game chooses, which four of the five are selected?
You’re going to see four on-screen characters performing the songs, even in the event of five instruments being played simultaneously in “All Instruments Mode”. If you have a keyboard player added to the band, we’ll feature keyboards over bass and your bass player will be a behind the scenes musician only. (HMX Hates Bass Players Flaming in 3…2…1…)
Will pro-charted DLC be modular in nature? For example, if I buy “Burning Down the House” without pro-guitar for $1.99, and then decide later that I want to play pro-guitar, can I buy a pro-chart “add-on” DLC to supplement my initial purchase, or is there only normal DLC ($1.99) and pro-DLC ($X.99), meaning I’ll have to decide initially which one I want so I don’t waste money?
We’re still working out specifics, but the current plan features the normal instrumentation (now including Keys, Pro Keys, Pro Drums and Harmony Vocals when those parts exist) as the standard package with pro-guitar/bass being a separate add on pack for those interested.
Will RB3 have full band tiering?
We do have band leaderboards, but a band is now representative of your profile.
Will RB3 have bass solos?
Yep, when appropriate we have solos for Bass, Guitar, Drums and Keys!
Is the Squier console-neutral and connected via the MIDI Controller, or is it a different model for each console? (Will the Wii see one?) If it requires the MIDI Controller, does that come included upon purchase?
The Squire is console neutral! You will need to get a MadCatz MIDI Pro Adapter to play Rock Band 3. That adapter can also be used to convert MIDI Drums or MIDI Keyboards for use with the game and it’s being planned as a standalone product at this time.