Monday, June 21, 2010

Rock Band 3: More Paradise

In a June 11 interview  over at Plastic Axe, Rock Band 3 Project Lead Daniel Sussman dropped a bombshell (at least for me):
You said that the legacy content already supports cymbals. Did you mean that you’ll see the cymbal icons when playing older DLC in Rock Band 3?!

DS: [clearly amused] Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

Wha — How did that happen? Have you guys basically been planning to do this all along?

DS: Well, yeah. Most of the content — some of the early Rock Band stuff doesn’t have it, but by and large, the vast majority of the entire Rock Band catalog supports cymbals in gameplay.

Wow. I, uh…wow. I don’t have a cymbal kit for my Rock Band 2 set — have I been missing something? Has this always been the case?

DS: No. Without devolving into too deep of a technical discussion, our authoring guys have basically been putting in information that has gone unrealized up until Rock Band 3. So there are a lot of cues and “hooks” in our authoring flow that have always been there; we just haven’t had the software cycles to take advantage of them. Cymbals are an example of that. [Our authors have been] authoring the distinction between a tom hit and a cymbal hit, but the software has never taken advantage of that distinction until Rock Band 3.
That's huge. I have 300+ songs (probably 500+) existing songs, and to be able to play with proper cymbal notation exponentially expands what I can play, because once I play songs with cymbal notation, it's going to be very hard to go back.

Everything I've heard about Rock Band 3 so far has been exactly what I've wanted.

Now, let me activate the mindlink with Harmonix to ask for one more thing (it's the last one, I swear): we need correct cymbal notation in The Beatles: Rock Band as well as the ability to use the MIDI box to connect an e-drum kit. That makes TB:RB more viable in the long run, and if there's any single product that Harmonix shouldn't abandon, it's TB:RB, because it's a masterpiece.

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