Posts Tagged ‘PAX East’
In a fashion similar to what we have done in the past for PAX East and PAX, we secretly kidnap someone from Harmonix, lock them in a room, and force them to answer your questions. OK, well maybe we’re not as forceful as we used to be, but we do try to forward on the best of your questions to Harmonix for a fan-centric response. We had well over a 100 comments in the original post asking for questions to give Harmonix, so we took all of those questions and distilled them down in to the the entries you see below, followed by the responses we received from @johntdrake, @HMXhenry, and @MrPope from Harmonix.
When are we going to get (more) Muse, Foo Fighters, U2, Supertramp, INXS, Wings, and hip-hop genre?
As always, we don’t like to dish on the specifics of which bands may or may not be in the DLC pipeline, so take your pick of these stock responses for any “When will BAND X come to RB?!”: maybe some day, we’d love to have them too, I don’t know, send your suggestions to rockband.com/request or the RB Dashboard on Facebook, who?, music licensing is hard, etc.”
Will the Wii ever see RB1, LEGO:RB, and AC/DC exports?
We don’t have any Wii export plans on the table at the moment. Considering the age of some of those titles, not to mention the rumblings of the next console cycle, it’s safe to say that we’re currently more focused on future releases.
Any new DLC for The Beatles: RB? Export possibly coming?
Again, we’d love to have more Beatles content, but it’s not entirely up to us. It still comes up from time to time in our regular Music Ops / DLC meetings, so it’s always something on our radar, but it’s not planned at the moment.
Rock Band 3
PS3 RB3 players are still having the random “XMB boot” issue. Is there any progress made on resolving this bug?
This is something that we spent considerable dev time investigating, but even with the help of the online and local community we’ve not been able to consistently reproduce the issue. Barring any new information from the community or first party, it’s unlikely that we’ll be able to allocate further resources to testing.
Any plans for non-music DLC? New clothes, venues, etc.? Is this something that would even be possible in RB3 in its current build?
We’ve talked about it at several points in RB’s history, but it’s my understanding that DLC assets like venues or clothing would severely complicate online compatibility. Just as two players need to have “Rain In Blood” to be able to play it together, we wouldn’t want to further complicate things by making sure that they all had the same shirts, pants, boots and hats as well. Additionally, if given the choice between putting dev time into more playable DLC or more asset specific DLC, I think the vast majority of the community would want more playable DLC tracks.
There is an artificial DLC cap of 3,000 in RB3, even though we have about 3,700 total songs available. As people’s libraries continue to grow, is any sort of fix or workaround planned for this?
The DLC cap isn’t artificial. An excess of content results in severe memory leaks and load issues, neither of which are ideal unless you love interminable load screens or having all your game data erased. So while it’s obviously not ideal having a DLC cap with an ever expanding library, there’s also no readily apparent solution given that no one else has ever had to deal with an issue like this on consoles before. Deleting and redownloading content as you hit the limit isn’t the most elegant solution, but it’s the best one available at the moment. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the specific stats, but this is most definitely an edge case where only a fraction of 1% of the RB community is affected.
Can we expect to see three songs/week as the new weekly default DLC quantity?
As we’ve posted earlier this year, 3-4 song weeks are likely the standard for the immediate future. We are most definitely open to exceptions, and certainly won’t rule out larger packs depending on the artist, timing, etc. The release of RB Blitz, for example, will serve as a huge DLC injection of 25 songs at launch. RBN releases remain steady and account for 5-10 new tracks a week as well.
Any album DLC in the works, by chance?
We’re always on the look out for the right album to release as DLC. Albums are especially tricky because we need to have masters for all of the tracks. Collecting masters for a 3 pack is one thing, but once that escalates to a full album, the effort required (from the band / label / license holders as well as us) grows exponentially. That’s how a release like The Clash’s “London Calling” continued to float around on our schedule for almost 2 years as we waited to secure all the necessary masters for every track.
Any “RB3 versions” of DLC in the works?
This is still up in the air. Looking at community feedback (as well as more statistically driven results) I’m still not 100% sure where the RB community stand on RB3 versions. We got a tremendous amount of pushback from the community when RB3 versions were first released, and now that we’ve gained a bit of distance for that point we’re starting to see more requests for updated legacy tracks. I know track selection plays a huge part in this, as does pricing and perceived value for those that purchased the original legacy track. It’s still something that we talk about though, and we’ll continue to pass along all relevant feedback from the community to the development team.
Is there anything the community can do outside of requesting DLC through Rock Band to convince artists to make their songs available in the franchise?
Social media has proven to be an incredibly effective tool in reaching bands, especially when looking at RBN releases. I’m not saying badger bands on Twitter, but a well-organized group of fans making a reasonable request could help convince some artists to give RBN or RB a second thought. Honestly though, a lot of that process takes place behind closed doors between management and lawyers, so the best thing you can do is continue to support DLC to show that there is an interest and to continue to build on the requests through tools like the RB Dashboard.
Will there be new ways to earn credit in the Facebook app to request additional artists?
The RB Dashboard is still in Beta and the Web team is putting a ton of time and effort into making it a kick ass tool to supplement your RB experience. We’ve experimented with a few different models of adding credit and haven’t quite hit that sweet spot yet. We’ve already made a ton of changes in response to fan feedback, so your voice definitely matters. Keep posted to the Facebook page – you’ll likely see some bigger changes closer to the launch of RB Blitz.
How much has the Facebook app impacted DLC decision making?
There have been some real surprises in the Facebook app. There are obviously a ton of no brainers high up on that list that we’ve been in talks with for years, or artists that we knew were hugely popular in the community, but there have also been a few dark horses that have prompted us to take another look at our DLC pipeline. When Three Days Grace hit #11 on the Dashboard, we doubled down on production of tracks that we already had in house so we could release them as quickly as possible. There were some higher charting bands that I had never heard of before that we started looking at for potential DLC releases. Some bands and genres had such strong showings that we even started talking about what we could incorporate into the RB Blitz soundtrack. There are still no guarantees that we’ll be able to license bands based on where they appear on the Dashboard, but it has definitely had an impact on how we approach RB DLC.
Rock Band Blitz
Any plans for Rock Band Blitz on the Playstation Vita, or any plans for a portable/mobile Blitz-like title?
RB Blitz is currently slated for XBLA and PSN this summer. We’re interested in other platforms and we’re not ruling anything out for the future, but those are the only two platforms being developed at this time.
As Rock Band Blitz is not currently announced for the Nintendo Wii, can they expect to see some sort of DLC or track pack with the Blitz setlist available?
We haven’t announced any plans to release the Rock Band Blitz-specific tracks as stand-alone DLC on any of the consoles, including Nintendo, at this time.
Will Pro-Guitar/Bass be included when Rock Band Blitz exports to RB3, or will that be something extra to purchase (assuming Pro-Guitar/Bass charts are made)?
The Rock Band Blitz songs will work immediately in RB3; no “export” process is necessary. Those tracks won’t have pro-guitar/bass upgrades included in the Blitz “package.” If we offer them down the road, they’d be available through the RB3 music store.
Will Rock Band Blitz have its own “location” for sorting in Rock Band 3 (like LEGO, RB2, etc.)?
Rock Band 3 will list Rock Band Blitz songs as Downloadable Content. We’d need to patch RB3 to include a sorting category for RB Blitz, which is prohibitive for many reasons.
One of the screenshots for Rock Band Blitz referenced “Rock Band World” on Facebook, but there hasn’t been anything mentioned anywhere about this? Is there anything you can tell us about this?
Nothing to announce right now, but stay tuned for more information this summer!
Is there an option in Rock Band Blitz to turn off the isolated solo gameplay and instead be able to play any instrument chart during solos?
The solo gameplay that you may have seen on the show floor at PAX East is not likely what you are going to see in the final build of the game. That feature is still being finalized.
Will the stage kit work in Rock Band Blitz?
Believe it or not, we actually spent engineer time researching how much work it would be to get the Stage Kit to work in RB Blitz. The short answer is no, it would have taken a bit too much work to justify!
Any chance the Rock Band Blitz will be compatible with DLC tracks that have disappeared from our libraries (Hier Kommt Alex) or were exported but not playable?
In the world of music licensing, there’s always a chance a track from the past could make its way back into the Rock Band universe. Stay tuned!
Is Harmonix still committed to future Rock Band titles with musical performance simulation?
We’re definitely still committed to the core RB franchise, and between the regular weekly RB DLC and hardware support from Mad Catz, we’re not planning on stepping away from RB any time soon.
Are designers receptive to feedback posted on RBA and on the RB forums about ideas for future titles?
Most definitely. We’ve always made it a priority to have a strong line of communication between the devs and our community. The Community Team passes on monstrous amounts of feedback, especially the thoughtful and constructive suggestions, and we’re always open to communication either on the forums or at events.
Any plans to use real guitars (like Rocksmith) in Rock Band in the future?
Yes, it’s called the Fender Squier and it was released for RB3 almost 18 months ago. We looked into a variety of different hardware options during the development of RB3, but due to a variety of technical issues (most notably the latency), it was determined that manufacturing our own hardware was the best way for us to see the results that we wanted in game.
Has there ever been a time when a proposed gameplay idea/feature has been scrapped due to issues with backwards compatibility for the Rock Band library? Has Rock Band’s big strength (huge content library) ever been a liability in title development?
Hm, only roughly ALL OF THE TIME. Like I mentioned in a few questions above, there’s no precedent for what we’re doing with DLC. There’s no established cases for us to point to where we can say “Oh, that’s how those guys figured this out”. We’re off the edge of the map, and thar be dragons everywhere. The current DLC outage on SCEE is a good example of the challenges presented by 3K+ pieces of content. We’re pushing all of the limits, sometimes in a way that conflicts with how a platform holder handles other games, but in the end I think it’s worth it. The library (3,649 songs and growing) is an integral part of the RB experience, and we’ll do whatever we can to continue to support it.
With PAX East 2012 ending late Sunday, we begrudgingly returned back to “real life.” In between getting caught back up with updating the site with Rock Band news and dodging the ever-present PAX pox, we’ve been pulling together this comprehensive recap of all the Rock Band goodness that transpired.
PAX East officially started on Friday, April 6th, but that’s not good enough for us. We arrived in Boston the day before to get some early hands on time with Rock Band Blitz at Harmonix. If you haven’t seen our thorough preview of the game, you should definitely check it out, as it features some good info and gameplay mechanic explanation not covered in nearly ever other gaming site’s cursory overview of the new title.
The other big Rock Band event on Thursday was the Rock Band Night at the Brattle Theatre. Holding true to previous years, this event is a cavalcade of chaos, featuring only the most passionate and/or insane Rock Band players being judged by the jerks (I use this term lovingly, of course) from Giantbomb. The event started as one where bands playing Rock Band were evaluated by panelists from Giantbomb, and slowly devolved over the course of the night into an instrument smashing, alcohol chugging, and snark delivering mish-mosh of awesomeness.
The night started innocently enough with a song where at least one (maybe more) of the band was in the house. Giantbombers Jeff, Ryan, Alex, and Patrick paid homage to The Main Drag by performing their RBN song Don’t Let Me Down (Slowly). And it was mostly downhill from there. While there were a few stellar performances (More Than a Feeling was particularly impressive) there were more cringe-inducing moments, like people nearly getting killed by microphones to the noggin, or disapproving performances of the now overplayed PAX favorite Still Alive, or Giantbomb’r Brad Shoemaker having all the beers and singing (for the second time that night) I Believe in a Thing Called Love. While also far from a stellar performance, I was lucky to dodge most of the spotlight during my performance with HMXers @nickchester, @juliusblaise, and @seanthebaptiste’s stomach of Police Truck.
The Rock Band night lasted thankfully until about midnight, and those stalwart/brave/drunk enough to stay for the whole time were surprised to be rewarded with Rock Band gig bags out of the back of a truck driven by a Sudafed-laden John Drake. (Many more videos of the night’s performance were captured by MarinoV1 here, as well as pictures from @amgo of the entire debacle.) If you end up going to PAX East, and want to experience the madness first hand, I recommend arriving by early Thursday evening at the latest. You won’t be disappointed.
Friday started alarmingly early after such a crazy time the night before, but the Rock Band Network panel was quite literally the first panel of PAX East, starting even before the keynote address. Populating the panel were RBN authors Owen Douglass (Ozone Entertainment), Rob Witko (Fairwood Studios), Erich Sherman (Mystakin/Rhythm Authors), and Jeff Webster (Single White Infidel), as well as Carolyn VanEseltine from Harmonix. They talked about everything from the role of user generated content in modern gaming to much more granular aspects of authoring in the Rock Band Network. It was a very informative panel, and very valuable for both fans and gamers of the franchise. If you want to check it out, @animecow captured almost the entire panel on video.
From there, we checked out the Harmonix booth, which was packed with two smaller Dance Central stages, one large Rock Band stage, and six kiosks featuring an early beta of Rock Band Blitz. It also was PACKED with people. I had heard from people at Harmonix that the line to play on the Rock Band stage was never shorter than a full hour during all of PAX East. In fact, even the zombies from Plants vs. Zombies got in on some Rock Band action.
And all of this is in addition to the separate Rock Band stage that PAX East sets up, where Joystiq captured several cosplaying Mass Effect characters playing Bon Jovi. The first day of PAX East appeared to be over in the blink of an eye, and after how hectic Thursday was, we noticed that we weren’t the only ones calling Friday an early night.
Saturday started again fairly early with the Harmonix and the Evolution of Beatmatch Gameplay panel. Featuring HMXers Chris Foster, Brian Chan, Matthew Nordhaus, and Jyllian Thibodeau, the panel talked about Rock Band Blitz, and the development roadmap, which included discussions about previous Harmonix beatmatch titles Frequency, Amplitude, and Rock Band: Unplugged. It was pretty interesting to see how much detail is put into making what appear to be small design decisions, but ultimately end up significantly impacting the final product. @MrPope was recording the panel, probably for a future podcast and/or blog feature on RockBand.com, but someone captured a portion of the panel, if you can’t wait for a higher quality version.
Saturday appeared to quickly bleed into Sunday (thanks, vodka), and the next thing we realized, it was time for the Harmonix Podcast panel on Sunday morning. Similar to the bi-weekly Harmonix podcast, the community members from Harmonix talk about things related to Rock Band and the community, often times with special guests, and this podcast had several of them. The panel first talked about how Rock Band Blitz was nearly inadvertently revealed via @JohnVignocchi at GDC in early March due to an errant tweet that went out, but was deleted before virtually anyone saw it. The panel also had @jessabrez read a few “lovely” support emails, filled with excellent grammar (nope), proper punctuation (nuh-uh), and only the nicest of language (not at all). After that, a giant gong was introduced (seriously, they brought in a giant friggin’ gong), and special guests were brought on stage rapid-fire style and gonged (that sounds dirty) after five minutes of discussion each. In attendance were famous industry gaming personalities @dmzilla, @stonechin, @stepto, @greenspeak and @nssteph, @jeffgerstmann, and @justinmcelroy. If you missed the podcast, the entire thing can be listened to over at RockBand.com.
After that, it was nearly time to catch our flight home, and return to real life. Thanks to everyone from Harmonix for being so hospitable to myself and everyone else that attended PAX East! And thanks to everyone that came up and said hi to me this weekend. I would love to call everyone out by name, but I just know that I would probably forget more people than I remembered, and I don’t want to disappoint anyone. And for those that didn’t go, I highly recommend getting out to PAX East or PAX at some point in the future. It’s an amazing time!
Feel free to get a nice taste of the entire weekend through a small photo gallery we put together of our weekend over on Flickr.
NOTE: Because the weekend seemed to fly by, and it was difficult to steal anyone from Harmonix away to get all of your questions answered in a dedicated, solid chunk of time, we’ve sent them the questions to answer directly, and if all goes well, we should be able to post their responses next week.
PAX East was this past weekend, and before the event started, we were invited to Harmonix to get some hands on time with Rock Band Blitz before it was unleashed to the gaming masses on the floors of PAX East. At the Harmonix booth at PAX East, there were six Rock Band Blitz kiosks set up for passionate fans and apprehensive skeptics to try playing a song in a beta build of the game. In our preview, we’ll talk about the gameplay, and give our first up close and personal impression with the game.
As we have said many times since the game was announced here, on social media, and elsewhere, Rock Band Blitz is not meant to be a sequel to Rock Band. It is a spinoff title in the same manner as Rock Band: Unplugged. And it is not indicative of where the franchise is heading. As several people initially thought, this game is more of a spiritual successor to Harmonix-developed Rock Band predecessors Amplitude and Frequency. But while these thoughts are not far off, there are enough significant changes from these two titles to both simultaneously excite and challenge old school beatmatch players and Rock Band players alike.
Some of you may be thinking “OK, but why not a direct sequel to those games?” First of all, those games were exclusive to the Playstation2, and are Sony owned IPs, so if a sequel to those games is coming, it’s Sony’s call. Harmonix doesn’t have much of a say on that. “OK, then why is it a Rock Band title?” If the title was outside of the Rock Band franchise, licensing restrictions wouldn’t have allowed for use of the entire Rock Band catalog in the game, so instead of create a brand new IP, they leveraged an existing one for a spin-off title to maximize in game content.
While the version we played is not final, and gameplay aspects are subject to change prior to release, but the game has actually been in development for quite some time. Originally in development prior to Harmonix separation from Viacom, the project was mothballed for a short time before being resurrected last year and significantly overhauled by several folks. The PAX East panel “Evolution of Beatmatch Gameplay” talked about the long road of development for the title, which had several iterations.
As for the game itself, the current beta build of Rock Band Blitz gameplay first asks you to choose a song from the 25 in-game songs or from your previously purchased Rock Band DLC library. Once selected, the player is prompted to pick one of 16 unlockable power-ups, which help the player maximize his score. While only a few of these power-ups are available at the start of the game, players can permanently unlock power-ups by earning “Cred” through song playthroughs, and purchase single song usage of the unlocked power-ups by spending “Coins,” which are also earned through successful completion of song playthroughs.
Before the song starts, you’ll notice a familiar note highway across the screen laid out in a green, red, yellow, blue, orange pattern. In Rock Band Blitz, each colored note highway corresponds to one of the five standard instruments available in Rock Band (green is drums, red is bass, yellow is guitar, blue is vocals, and orange is keys). If the song you are playing does not have a corresponding instrument, the particular highway will be empty. Using the standard instrument Rock Band charts, two lane note charts are generated for each instrument using an algorithm developed specifically for this game. Unlike similar predecessors, two lane note charts were decided upon based on the complexity of additional gameplay features we will explain below, as well as several other factors including surprisingly ergonomic strain on current generation input devices.
The game has only one difficulty, and is based on expert difficulty. Video was shown of how the algorithm would populate the Rock Band Blitz charts using the other difficulties, and because of the two gem lanes for each instrument, the game’s pace was too slow, the difficulty was too easy, and it just looked “odd.” If you’re not the world’s best player, or like to torture yourself with ridiculously difficult songs, it’s good to know that there is no way to “fail out” of a song in Rock Band Blitz.
At its core, Rock Band Blitz is a beatmatch title where you have to hit as many notes as possible, but this is a massive understatement. Unlike Rock Band: Unplugged, where you can complete all the charts thrown at you (if you don’t miss anything), Rock Band Blitz throws every note chart at you that has an instrument playing in the song. Part of the strategy is for you to figure out which note track to play to maximize your score. This is why you may have seen me describe this title as an exercise in efficient and effective “plate spinning.” The exception to this is when an instrument solo is initiated, which is unique to each song, where only the instrument with the solo is playable. If there are two instrument solos at once, the current algorithm will select one of the charts for you to play.
Then we add in multipliers. Just like Rock Band, multipliers increase based upon successful gameplay, but in this title, breaking a streak won’t reset them, and each instrument has their own multiplier. This comes in to play as the multiplier window, or the difference between the instrument with the highest current multiplier and the lowest current multiplier, is only THREE. For example, no matter how hard you work increasing your drums, bass, vocals, and keys multipliers, if your guitar chart has been untouched (assuming it has a note chart), those instruments won’t go above 4x. Again, there’s a lot of “plate spinning” in this game.
Once you pass one of several checkpoints, your multiplier level cap is increased to three spots above where your lowest instrument multiplier is currently resting. For example, your drums, bass, vocals, and keys multipliers are all at 4x, but your guitar is only at 2x. Once you pass the checkpoint, your level cap is increased by one, as your lowest multiplier is now 2x (instead of 1x), and you can raise your other four instrument charts to 5x.
While breaking a note streak won’t reset your multiplier like in standard Rock Band games, it’s still important. If you don’t break your streak on whichever charts you are flying around on, you fill up the BLITZ meter at the top, which helps to maximize your score.
Power-ups are selected prior to each song. The build I tried had two different flavors, but it looks like there may be a total of three in the final version. One class appear on purple gems across the note charts during the song and are deployed when they are properly hit. The other style of power-ups are accumulated using the familiar white overdrive notes and deployed at the player’s discretion. On the beta we played, we selected Pinball, which fires a ball bouncing further down the note highway and racking up points as it knocks out gems, as well as Bottle Rocket, which lets us fire a rocket further down the note highway, destroying gems and earning you points, as well.
Harmonix has not designed the game with a real-time multiplayer aspect, they will be including comprehensive leaderboards that will show you your friends scores, and will give you in-game messages on how your friends are doing, what songs they’ve beat you at, and more.
Is your head spinning yet? As much as you never really wanted to take your eyes off the note charts in Rock Band, there’s a lot more going on in this game, and basically you’re going to say goodbye to blinking. It’s a lot to take in while reading a preview of the title, but it becomes more intuitive as you play it. The interesting thing I noticed relatively quickly about the gameplay is that strategies developed for one song may not work well for another.
Even if you think you’ve got the hang of it already (and just because you’ve played Amplitude and Frequency, don’t assume this is the case), you’re going to want to try out the tutorial, which features a pretty epic original Harmonix track (assuming they keep it in through to the final build).
Here’s a previously posted full song gameplay preview which may help tie together everything explained above:
If you’ve stuck around to the end of this preview, and have seen some of the videos that have made their way into the wild, there is no doubt that this is a much different game than Rock Band 3. Unlike direct sequels to the core titles in the franchise, I definitely don’t expect everyone to love this game. However, it appears that Harmonix is aware of that, and has designed Rock Band Blitz to instantly export, free of charge, all new-t0-the-franchise 25 anticipated on-disc songs directly into Rock Band 3.
To the skeptics: give the game a shot. If you don’t like it, even if the game maxes out the XBLA pricing of $19.99, you’ve still got an incredible value at a giant 25-song track pack. If you’re anything like several of the people I talked to that were initially hesitant about the title at PAX East, you may be presently surprised and actually embrace this game pretty quickly once you’ve played it for a few minutes!
You know the drill at this point. We tossing this out there to you guys who can’t make it to PAX East, but still have some Rock Band related questions that you would like to have answered. Officially starting in TWO DAYS, we will force feed someone from Harmonix alcohol candy to answer your burning questions (probably mostly dealing with Rock Band Blitz).
Anything is fair game, but chances are good that I’ll combine and edit a bunch to get as much info as I can out of them. Go ahead and add your questions in the comments below!
PAX East starts this Friday, and with it comes almost a full week of exciting things; a veritable Rock Band blitz of information descending upon us. Whether you are on the ground in Boston, or channeling the news through the internet at home, below is a list of all the events that Rock Band fans should know about.
While not directly related to PAX East, Harmonix will be making an announcement debuting a NEW TITLE on tomorrow night’s episode of X-Play. Be sure to catch the 6:30 PM (Eastern) episode for a very special announcement that you will not want to miss. And in typical PAX East fashion, we will publish our story asking for people to submit questions, but we figured we would wait until AFTER the big reveal for you to submit your queries for Harmonix.
Then we move on to the Wednesday before PAX East, where Harmonix will be showing off gameplay previews from the NEW TITLE on their PAX East Preview Livestream from the Harmonix offices. Exact time TBD.
On Thursday, PAX East eve, if you will, the night is being kicked off with the Pre-PAX East Game Swap. Starting at 5:30 PM at the Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge, you can exchange or purchase some hidden treasures from people’s video game libraries, while networking (and drinking) with other friends throughout the gaming and Rock Band community.
The night also includes a double feature, of sorts, at the Brattle Theatre with a 6:00 PM showing of Scott Pilgrim vs The World, followed by Rock Band Night (featuring appearances/judging from the fine folks at Giantbomb) at 9:00 PM. Tickets for Scott Pilgrim are $6.75 to $9.75, tickets to Rock Band Night are $7, and combo tickets to both are $13.
The following day kicks off the official start of PAX East, and if you want/need a map of the event, we’ve got that (in PDF form)!
See the full list of all the Harmonix-related PAX East events after the jump!
The full PAX East panel schedule has just been posted, and there are LOTS of excellent panels that we’re already working into our schedule while we are there. Below is a list of the panels that will feature people from Harmonix that may pertain to the fans that visit the site here (FYI: some panels may be more Dance Central related). We will have more info about other Rock Band related events at PAX East when we get closer to the April 6th event.
And for those too lazy to read everything, Harmonix will be announcing their next new title at one of the panels!
Talkin’ ’bout My (Content) Generation
Naga Theatre - Friday 10:00am – 11:00am
It’s not just Doom and Halo maps anymore. The Rock Band Network, and the many other user-generated content platforms out there, have built up a whole world of dedicated gamers producing and selling high-quality content right inside games. Not only does user-generated content keep games alive even longer, it can make rock stars out of diehard fans. And while it’s not easy being (or working with) rock stars, the crazy idea and crazy people behind the Network have changed what user-generated content can be, and not just for rhythm gaming. Join Rock Band Network authors and some Harmonix staff as they look back at over two years of content and discuss the lessons they’ve learned, the hurdles they’ve faced, and what it all means for bringing more user-generated content to even more games.
Panelists include: Rob Witko [Owner, Fairwood Studios], Carolyn VanEseltine [Associate Producer, Harmonix], Owen Douglass [Owner, Ozone Entertainment], Jeff Webster [Musician/Author, independent], Erich Sherman [Author/Podcaster, Rhythm Authors]
Finding the Soul of your Game
Manticore Theatre - Friday 10:30am – 11:30am
After 3+ years in development, Shoot Many Robots is finally done. Stick a fork in it. But man, if you saw the game when it was a gawky preteen you might not even recognize it (we might not either). Come listen to Demiurge’s designers talk about key decision points, our biggest influences, and how a certain fruit-loving robot got way too intimate with your melon. Somewhere along the way in those three years, we found the soul of our game. This is how it happened.
Panelists include: Matt Boch [Project Director, Harmonix], Dan Chretien [Game Designer, Demiurge Studios], Josh Glavine [Game Designer, Demiurge Studios], Andrew Ziegler [Game Designer, ImaginEngine], Tom Lin [Creative Director, Demiurge Studios]
Fitocracy Presents: Gaming and Fitness – A Surprisingly Awesome Marriage
Wyvern Theatre - Friday 12:00pm – 1:00pm
“Oh, he’s a gamer. He must be a fat slob who hasn’t seen his feet in years.” Do you know anyone who thinks that? Of course you do – everyone thinks that! Unfortunately, gamers often think that fitness and gaming are mutually exclusive. We’ll show you that not only can you achieve both, but people with the gamer mentality can actually be the fittest, sexiest people out there. Our panel consists of two WoW-nerds-turned-ripped, a Guinness Book of World Record gamer who deadlifts over 300 lbs, and Dance Central’s superfit representative. Come learn about the newest revolution in fitness from this Fitocracy-sponsored panel!
Panelists include: Richard Talens [Co-Founder, Fitocracy], Roger Lawson [Founder, RogLaw Fitness], Matt Siegfried [Founder, mattblitzgaming.com], Annette Gonzalez [Fitness Community Manager, Harmonix Music]
Harmonix and the Evolution of Beatmatch Gameplay
Manticore Theatre - Saturday 10:30am – 11:30am
Join Harmonix developers as they discuss and dissect ten years of beatmatch gameplay creation, tracking their long and glorious tradition of designing music rhythm games like Frequency and Amplitude right up to the first public reveal of a brand new title! [Editor's note: We HIGHLY recommend going to this panel!] The panel will include gameplay examples from internal prototypes, honest discussion of our design process successes and failures, insight into how we create and test our games in development, and a synopsis of the design history of a title on public display for the very first time at the Harmonix booth. Q & A to follow.
Panelists include: Matthew Nordhaus [Project Director, Harmonix], Chris Foster [Design Director, Harmonix], Brian Chan [Senior Designer, Harmonix], Jyllian Thibodeau [User Experience Specialist, Harmonix]
Healthy Games: Lose Weight, Live Longer, and Level Up
Wyvern Theatre - Saturday 3:00pm – 4:00pm
Are you a gamer who wants to get healthier? Or a game dev who wants to access a massive new market? This panel will highlight the work of companies that are making going to the gym as exciting as a trip to the World of Warcraft. Learn about new products, services, and communities dedicated to making fitness more fun. There are hundreds of apps and tools for gamers to use and hundreds of billions of dollars in opportunity for developers, this panel will help you learn more about both.
Panelists include: Joseph Flaherty [Sr. Manager, Strategic Marketing, AgaMatrix], Matt Boch [Lead Design/Director, Dance Central, Harmonix], Michael Sheeley [COO/Founder, RunKeeper], Nina Walia [Experience Producer, Nike Fuel Band, Nike], Alex Gourley [CEO/Founder, Bit Gym]
The Harmonix Podcast – LIVE!
Arachnid Theatre - Sunday 11:30am – 12:30pm
The Good Time Charlies at Harmonix have been producing a regular podcast for years now, bringing you the latest in Rock Band and Dance Central news, mixed with a healthy dose of irreverent banter. For the first time ever, we’re bringing you the Harmonix Podcast LIVE at PAX East! That’s right, now you can see all the stupid hand motions Eric Pope (Harmonix Community Manager) makes when describing things! You’ll also be able to feel like you’re part of the show, sharing knowing glances with John Drake (Director of Brand Management) when Aaron Trites (HMXHenry, Manager of Community Development) talks about pogs and M*A*S*H. We’ll be bringing special guests and maybe even SOME SECRETS?
Panelists include: Eric Pope [Community Manager, Harmonix], Aaron Trites [Manager of Community Development, Harmonix], John Drake [Director of Communications and Brand Management, Harmonix], Annette Gonzalez [Community Manager, Harmonix], Nick Chester [Publicist, Harmonix]