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  • Must Read Q&A: With Harmonix Rock Band Community Manager

    Posted on October 13th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    Today, I located a new podcast, known as the X3F Fancast Defense Force Podcast where Holly and Patrick had an outstanding interview with Sean Baptiste from Harmonix.  Sean manages the forums along with all other community events and demos.

    Enough about the background, I’m going to blog what I see as highlights from the interview.  I will skip the BS and post the MUST KNOW info from the interview.  There’s a lot of good stuff regarding Rock Band 2, upcoming DLC, what’s next, and a lot more.  Read on… (and thanks iTunes for recommending this X3FFDF podcast).

    Q: On the Rock Band Forums, there is a HUGE thread known as “Rock Band 2, Request a Feature, Suggestion o Bug Fix”.  The loyal fans have found many bugs, small and large.  They have been posting the issues to the thread.  Is there a patch coming.
    A: Cannot speak to a patch coming, though many (emphasis on many) producers, developers, and QA at Harmonix pays daily close attention to that thread.
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    Q: Why was Jukebox Mode canceled.
    A: It was a last minute technical issue.  They weren’t able to get it right and had to take it out at the last minute.
    NOTE: It’s very easy to fake Jukebox Mode in Rock Band 2 with Game Modifiers.  Just turn on No Fail Mode and Performance Mode and BAM…you have pseudo-Jukebox mode.

    I have tested that and built a 32 song playlist, as a vocalist.  It worked great, and was able to listen to and watch my favorite Rock Band songs while cleaning my house.

    Q: The new Roick Band 2 drum set has an extra port.  What’s it for?
    A: There are 3 for cymbal expansions that Mad Katz has put out, one for the pedal…and the extra one on there, they will be talking about more in the future but have no details today to share.

    May we guess officially supporting double bass-drum and enhancing songs to allow true double-bass drum experience, instead of the current dumb-down double bass drum seen in all songs.

    Q: With no Solo Tour in Rock Band 2, it’s very difficult to manage single player scores and stars.  Will there be a patch that creates single player mode to RB2?  If not, will there at least be a patch that allows display of stars in the Quickplay list?
    A: There is no plan for a single player mode in RB2.  Harmonix stands string behind the model of a World Tour model to the game.  They are paying close attention to the reports of managing single player stats.

    Q: How do songs get into the game.
    A: Many different ways.  Most commonly, Harmonix goes to record labels with the list of songs wanted for the game.  Becoming more common, bands are approaching Harmonix asking for songs to be put in the game.

    Q: You are sticking with 500 songs by the end of the year.  What’s the plan for next year?
    A: The founder of Harmonix made the “500 song” statement at E3 and Sean from Harmonix heard that statement for the first time at E3.  He said, “Wait, we are doing what?  Uh oh.”  So, he has no idea what’s the schedule for 2009.  It’s not going to slow down any time soon.

    Q: When will the 23 FREE DLC songs be released, and what are they.
    A: Will be announced very soon, within next couple weeks. Lot’s of newer, lesser known bands that are going to be awesome for the game, and people should enjoy.

    Q: Where’s Nevermind?
    A: It’s in Seattle. (Thanks, wise ass.) It was mentioned in an interview last year, but it was never officially announced.  It was never fully scheduled to come out.  Don’t know where it is in the works.  It is a good album though.

    Q: With AC/DC’s Track Pack coming out as a disc, should we anticipate more disc bound track packs?  What was Harmonix’ reasoning for choosing this over DLC?
    A: They worked closely with AC/DC to make both AC/DC and Harmonix comfortable.  Although, it is disc bound, you will be able to have the songs part of Rock Band 2 with a one-time import code that comes with the disc.  They will import just like they were downloadable content, even though they weren’t DLC.  Don’t know if they will see more of it in the future.  They like working with the bands and like bring the stuff to us, so it depends.

    My take on it is, AC/DC management was being somewhat of a bitch to work with and said, “you want our songs? Put ’em on a disc mate. We don’t want to be bloody ripped off on that Internet thing.”

    Q: What was the delay with Rush’ Moving Pictures DLC?
    A: Technical difficulties.  It was not because YYZ did not have a vocal part.  It was a fairly boring day-to-day technical issue.  Nothing exciting.

    Q: Now that songs without vocals, like YYZ, are in the game, will songs lacking other instruments (such as White Stripes without bass) be possible?
    A: The technology is now there, but don’t know of any plans at this point.

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