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  • What Is PAX East and Who Is Going?

    Posted on January 20th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    The question “What Is PAX East?” can be summed up in a paragraph on the creators website:

    PAX East is a three-day game festival for tabletop, videogame, and PC gamers. We call it a festival because in addition to dedicated tournaments and freeplay areas we’ve got nerdcore concerts, panel discussions, and an exhibitor hall filled with booths displaying the latest from top game publishers and developers. Even with all this amazing content the best part of PAX East is hanging out with other people who know their shit when it comes to games.

    If that doesn’t give you a clear enough picture, then go here for a video overview. WARNING: That video is NSFW.

    The weekend of March 26-28 twenty-ten, will have downtown Boston overrun with tens of thousands of gaming geeks. More than 22,000 60,000 tickets have already been sold with the entire event expected to sell sold out during February. So, if you will be in the Boston area the last weekend of March, and want to see what the fuss is all about, get over to now and buy some tickets (3-day passes are all gone, only single days for Friday and Sunday remain).

    Who will be there is an interesting question. There will be some gaming famous people, some well known gaming competitive types, some game developers, gaming journalists, related musicians, and unknown enthusiasts like myself.

    To give you a sense of people and events I have confirmed, I’ll post some people on Twitter and their relationship to the event. Some details are below, or you can follow my Twitter list ( to get a more intimate view of who’s who in the PAX zoo.

    @MyGGGo – That’s me! I run this blog, play lot’s of Rock Band (and a few other games), and mess with gadgets in my spare time. I’ll be at PAX East because it’s cheap, close to home, and a great way to blow off an entire weekend doing something that interests me.
    @majornelson – Larry is the face of Xbox Live. You see him on Inside Xbox videos, he hosts the weekly Major Nelson podcast, and is a spokesman for all things Xbox. Yes, he is an employee of Microsoft.
    @thevowel – e, or Eric, also a Microsoft employee, co-hosts the Major Nelson podcast. He works on the network behind Xbox Live. Based in WA, the Xbox team will be flying into MA for the weekend.
    @Stepto – Again, another Microsofter from WA. Stephen is the Director of Policy Enforcement for Xbox Live. He is the guy who heads up the team that shuts down cheaters, and overall bad people on Xbox Live. He will be leading a talk at PAX East.
    @XanderSliwinski – Alexander is a gaming journalist from the Boston area for His focus is on Xbox 360 games and co-hosts The Xbox 360 Fancast (a weekly Joystiq podcast about Xbox 360 news and banter).
    @HMXCasey – Casey a game designer at Harmonix, the company based in Cambridge, MA known for all the Rock Band goodness we write about here.
    @RockBandAide – Tommy is the person behind the “unofficial” all things Rock Band web site and Twitter account. He’s traveling to MA for the event.
    @RG_Studios – Rock Gamer Studios, is a team of Rock Band lovers that have started one of the Rock Band Network authoring companies. Much of the team will be traveling from NY and PA for the event. This team also hosts a weekly Rock Band event at a pub in NYC. Members of the team include @SaikoSakura, @S1ckH4nds, and @smeeguel.
    @WCG_Prod1gy_X – Robert is a professional gamer, who landed in 2nd place on the reality TV show Ultimate Gamer. He will likely be participating in any gaming event in (and around) PAX East.
    @ElectraFi – Tiffany is a gamer who leads up some online gaming clans in first person shooters, and does some design/development work too. She’s trekking up the East Coast for this.
    NEW! @wilw – Famed actor and gaming geek. Leading the kick off session for PAX East, as he has done for previous events.
    NEW! @lauralollipop – Developer on the Xbox Live team, also a co-host of Major Nelson radio.
    NEW! @mc_frontalot – The epitope of white nerdcore hip-hop.  Has a couple songs in Rock Band DLC, and will be playing live at PAX East.

    Also, I’d expect CONFIRMED a much larger Harmonix presence at PAX East. I’d guess that CONFIRMED we will get to see (possibly play) Green Day Rock Band too. I don’t expect a Rock Band 3 announcement though.
    As far as musicians, I wouldn’t be shocked to see CONFIRMED the likes of Johnathan Coulton, MC Frontalot, and some of the Harmonix bands show up to play the event. There is an orchestra known for some of the popular game scores too expected.

    If you are not on this list (and want to be uberfamous), leave me a comment or a Tweet and I will update it.

  • Harmonix Layoffs…Say It Ain’t So-oooooo

    Posted on December 10th, 2009 Shawn 2 comments

    From Joystiq:

    by Alexander Sliwinski { Dec 10th 2009 at 12:37PM } Breaking News

    MTV Games has confirmed to Joystiq that 39 positions at developer Harmonix were eliminated today. The move was part of a restructuring to “better align [the] staffing to best suit [Harmonix’s] product development plans and schedules moving forward.” The publisher claims that “those affected were primarily in QA. The others affected ranged from administrative to other various roles within the company.” At least one staff designer seems to have fallen under the “other” category.

    Although Electronic Arts has a partnership with Harmonix, these layoffs are “totally and completely unrelated” to EA’s issues.

  • New Ways to Spend MS Points

    Posted on October 7th, 2008 Pabel 1 comment

    Ok, so the long rumored merch tie-ins to Rock Band are now official.  From our friends at IGN:

    MTV Games and Harmonix have announced a new merchandise store at where Rock Band 2 players can create customized merchandise that features their in-game characters and bands.

    Here’s the pricing breakdown on the custom merch, in US dollars:

    Bandmate figurine (6″ in height): $69
    T-shirt: $29
    Poster: $14
    Stickers (sheet of 6): $5
    Bumper Sticker: $4
    Key Chain: $3
    Button: $2

    I must admit, I’ll probably fall victim to this side of the Rock Band universe.  Am I the only one?

  • Rock Band 2 Review from IGN

    Posted on September 13th, 2008 Pabel No comments
    Rock Band 2So the first Rock Band 2 review that I’ve seen is from the folks at IGN.
    The reviewer has great things to say about the improved flexibility, extra features, and subtle changes in the game, but was not happy about the World Tour mode not getting much of an update.
    What do you think?  Do you need a change to the World Tour outside of being able to rock with your band online?
  • RB2 Standalone Instrument Update

    Posted on September 11th, 2008 Pabel 1 comment

    Engadget is reporting that the standalone instruments are going to be offered much sooner than originally thought.  Pricing looks to be around the amounts expected.

    Anyone in or do you a) already have your necessary instruments; or b) feel strange continuing to buy varying versions of plastic instruments?

    “Previously, the ship dates for Rock Band 2 instruments ranged from “sometime within the next few months” to “sometime.” Now, however, we’re hearing that the standalone wireless drums ($90) and guitar ($70) will begin to ship out next week (at least for the Xbox 360). Additionally, Mad Catz’s Fender P-Bass wireless guitar controller ($70) and the wired ION Drum Rocker set ($300) should clutter up floor space around the same time. RB2 party to celebrate the Q3 close? Sign us up.”

  • Rock Band 2 Event Hosted By Harmonix Tonight

    Posted on September 9th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    This really hurts since Cambridge is only 30 minutes from home….but I have to be Mr. Mom tonight with the kids.  Please, if you are in the area, go for me…if not for yourself.

    HMXDungHeaver's AvatarHMXDungHeaver

    Exclamation Rock Band 2 Tonight at River Gods in Cambridge!

    We will be showing off Rock Band 2 tonight at River Gods in Cambridge, MA.

    You can personally check out the new instruments and play the songs from the game before it is released! Since it is at a bar, the event will be 21+. I will be attending the event as well as some other fabulous HMX Developers.

    Bring your friends and your love of Rock Band!!

    Event Information:

    125 River St
    Cambridge, MA 02139
    (617) 576-1881

    HMX DJ Dialogue starts music at 9pm, Rock Band action starts at 10pm.

    Hope to see you all there!

  • This Week In Rock Band

    Posted on August 18th, 2008 Shawn No comments

    For me, the guys at Harmonix have been on a roll for three weeks straight.  The DLC has been good, if not great, in my opinion.  And it is continuing again this week.

    Let’s recap, two weeks ago we got System Of A Down (SOAD) and a 2nd edition of Crue Fest tracks.  I picked up the SOAD stuff, and am loving it.  They are one of my favorite bands in recent years.  Last week, we got a heavy metal pack by RoadRunner records, containing the likes of Dream Theater, Megadeth, Killswitch Engage, and more.  I picked up the Dream Theater track, and OMG it is freakin’ hard on drums.  I’ve only played it once, and failed on hard.  I will be working on that one over the next few days.  BTW, Dream Theater is in my top 10 favorite band list of all time.

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    Now, to this week.  Five new tracks to be released, by three bands new to Rock Band.  Reviews are calling it a “new wave” pack of singles, but I’m just calling it awesome.  Duran Duran, Devo, and the Janitors show up on Rock Band DLC this week.  Now, see a recent post on my love/thoughts of Duran Duran making into RB2.  We get Girls On Film and Rio from “double” Duran this week (two of my favorite Duran songs… and an old band of mine used to jam Rio during practices).  The Devo stuff doesn’t include the famed Whip It, so I will give it a listen to determine what I think.  The Janitors is new to me, so I will give them a listed too on Tuesday.

    • “Girl U Want” by Devo – 160
    • “Through Being Cool” by Devo – 160
    • “Girls on Film” by Duran Duran – 160
    • “Rio” by Duran Duran – 160
    • “Get Your Rock On” by The Janitors – 80

    Three weeks in a row of some of my favorite bands/songs (SOAD, Dream Theater, and Duran Duran), equals me needing more MS points.  I’m loving this!

    Let me think for a second, what would I love to see in future weeks?   Hmmm.

    • Dream Theater (6:00, Metropolis)
    • Dave Matthews Band (Too Much, So Much To Say, or something from a live album)
    • Guns N’ Roses (You’re Crazy, It’s So Easy, Double Talkin’ Jive, Pretty Tied Up)
    • Skid Row (Slave to the Grind)
    • Green Day (American Idiot entire album)

    What about you?  Will you be buying this week?  Are you still bitter and holding out for Nevermind, or hoping for something else in the near future?

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