Music Gaming Franchises Face Difficulties, But Here’s Why It’s Not Game Over Yet

These drums need a new hit. Photo (CC-BY) Nathan Forget. There’s no more brutal opponent than elevated expectations. At least, that’s one explanation for the recent meltdown of the triple-A music gaming franchises. Harmonix, company that gave birth to the modern instrument genre saw both of its creations hit hard times in recent weeks. Activision gave Guitar Hero the axe [Wired], terminating the division, its employees, and a future game in the franchise Harmonix originally created. Harmonix got an extra life, at least, but it wasn’t pretty: the LA Times reports that Viacom unloaded the company – and some $100 …


Rock Band 3, Behind the Scenes: When A Music Game Gets More Real

Play testing Rock Band’s challenging new play modes. You know, challenging — kind of like music. Alli Thresher, community moderator, and Jessa Brezinski, intern. What Harmonix has achieved with Rock Band, and their original Guitar Hero, is remarkable. At their core, these games are descended from arcade rhythm games, reducing music to simple coordination of a few buttons. Yet numerous studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that, in an age in which recording has made musical experience passive for many, the fantasy of holding a plastic instrument is enough to convince people to explore music making again. Rock Band’s collaborative gameplay …


Rock Band 3 to Add Keyboards; No Idea How it Works, Great News for RB Network

This’ll work great! (Artist rendering; final product may differ.) Bach manuscript image (CC-BY-SA) Nathan Siemers. Mock-up created by the createdigitalmusic.com Future Prediction Department… intern. Kotaku notes that Rock Band 3‘s icons tease something we’ve been awaiting a long time — keys. It’s ironic that in order to make guitars playable in games, they were effectively made into keyboards, yet it’s taken this long to actually get keyboards. Oh, wait — yeah, there is that whole problem of having as many as 88 keys, two hands, and no convenient way to fit the staff notation into the descending gems view. Not …


Music Game Revolution, Now Indie Friendly, as Rock Band Network Goes Live

They are the robots: Flight of the Conchords. Now, you are the robots, too, as Rock Band Network opens the indie floodgates to the music-distribution-as-game model. (And yes, you’ll get to sing along with the Conchords, too.) Photo (CC-BY-SA) kris krüg. Music games Rock Band and Guitar Hero are simple enough in terms of gameplay, but testifying to the power of people’s passion for music, their impact has been staggering. At a time when purchasing recorded music has waned from a 90s peak, downloads for games are proving surprising growth, despite pundits predicting the segment would cool off. The talents …


Drum Lapse: Rock Band Network on CDMu, Gaming as Gateway to Technological Performance

Through my adventures with the Herovision project and Game On (previously on CDMo), I’ve posted a bit about Rock Band and rhythm gaming. Alongside the recent public beta release of Rock Band Network, Peter posted a QA with some more technical details on how the process works. As digital creatives and performers, I can imagine that plenty of visualists will be interested in this, and authoring a track utilizes skills – rhythm, midi sequencing – that are already in your arsenal. Apart from the musical side, each song for Rock Band Network also requires a “Camera and Lights” track (official …


Inside the Rock Band Network, as Harmonix Gives Interactive Music its Game-Changer

There’s a lot of hype around the latest schemes for changing how artists get their music to fans, but not actually a whole lot of news. (It always seems to boil down to a website with some unpronounceable name.) Well, this is news: Harmonix is opening up Rock Band to anyone who wants their music in it, and giving you the same sophistication of tools they use themselves. That’s a real game-changer – literally. And I don’t mean just for the actual game Rock Band. Sure, Harmonix was the house that made music games a phenomenon in the US. They …