GDC session list reveals new Harmonix project

Next game from Rock Band developer to trade in toy instruments for procedurally generated gameplay.

MTV Games didn't pay $175 million for Harmonix Music Systems just for Rock Band. The studio also has at least one other project in development, as revealed by the programming guide for the 2008 Game Developers Conference.

Harmonix senior designer Chris Foster will be delivering a 60-minute lecture at the conference titled "Your Music is the Game: Designing the OTHER Project at Harmonix." (Emphasis in the original.) The session description explains that Harmonix has a history of creating "beatmatch" games in which users tap buttons or strum guitar controllers to match onscreen beats, but the studio's next project would be a bit different.

"Beats would not be authored by tech-savvy musicians," the description said of the next project, "but would instead be algorithmically generated, and the game would lack the dedicated peripherals that were critical to the success of the Guitar Hero series."

The purpose of the lecture is to share how the developers had to change or scrap parts of their established gameplay design in order to meet the needs of the new project. "Special attention is devoted to: the development of procedural gameplay algorithms; unique input mechanics; and triaging unexpected changes in scope and schedule."

Foster's bio on the site says that he's been handling the port of Rock Band to the PlayStation 2, and "on [TITLE DELETED], Chris has split his time between design and programming to bring Harmonix's patented music gaming to a new and uniquely cool platform." Over the course of 15 years in the industry, Foster has worked on massively multiplayer games such as Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar and Asheron's Call, as well as the Lord of the Realms and Caesar strategy series.

The exact date and time of Foster's presentation haven't been finalized, but the 2008 GDC is scheduled for February 18-22 in San Francisco.

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Discussion

43 comments
reneetruss
reneetruss

It would be nice if they explored rap and hiphop music the next game. If there are no instruments involved, it could be possible and the most logic next step.

ImaCarrot
ImaCarrot

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

whitey3221
whitey3221

berlindex has a very good point, and I think that he is partially right. However, I think that because they are not selling the songs, it's not their problem to make sure they have the rights to it. So if they sell a game that can make any song playable which they hinted was what was going on last year at E3 or TGS or PAX, I don't remember which one it was where they were talking about this, because they were all so close to each other last year, but that's what it appears to be to me. Like I said though there should be no problem with music rights, except for the songs that they include in the game...if they include any music. This is ingenious if you really think about it because it gives the gamer the ability to have whatever songs they like without them having to do all the programming, music recording, and all of the other production steps that they normally have to go through. Also they don't have to go out and get the rights and permission to use any songs, because they aren't providing the music. The user provides the music and since the user is not using the music for something profitable they have the right to use it for whatever use they like(as far as I know). Also I looked at the GDC site, and to me it looks like the preliminary name of this project is Phase...that's the way I read it anyways.

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

So while Activision churns out biannual Guitar Hero rehashes, Harmonix continues to develop new, interesting games.

Lumenadducere
Lumenadducere

Title Deleted? Anyone know what that originally was?

berlindex
berlindex

Don't get ahead of yourselves people you must think first! Do you think they can make a game where ou can put "your" music? Have you heard of a little dumba** thing called copyrights? They know you would be putting other bands songs in the game (that's not even arguable because you all know you thought of playing the unforgiven or master of puppets in it...=P). So even tough choosing the music you would put in the game instead of having to play trough songs like "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" to get to bands that I in fact like (The Who, AFI, etc...) is really really interesting I personally don't think that it is viable or possible *hopping to be dead wrong and that someone shoots me in the face for saying this* :P This is nothing but my opinion but, before getting your hopes high, think that I may in fact be right... P.S: If this is in fact possible and true I'm creating PUNK BAND! Oh well I can also dream...xD

oh_fudge
oh_fudge

yes it is darthvulger, but the rock band guitar is special with extra buttons for solos

darthvulger
darthvulger

is it possiable to just get the the Dics cuz i heard that the guitar fom Guitar Hero 3 is compatiable with Rock Band

Zanduar
Zanduar

My theory: They will design an algorithm to pull data from CDs so that you can play a beat game with any CD you insert into the machine. Imagine it, a track list of millions of songs.

Montrealien
Montrealien

Anything that is remotely close to Freq/amp formula and without Sony as publisher makes me very, very happy. Harmonix ftw!

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

Alright... Now we need to get Harmonix to talk with Codemasts and MTV to produce a new MTV Music Generator. The first 2 iterations of that series were awsome. Then something bad happened with the 3rd and it disappeared off the radar. I believe Harmonix would be the best candidate to bring this awsome series back on the next generation platforms. So much more could be done with the amount of space available on a Blu-ray disc. I really hope that someone hears the cries of Music Generator fans and gets us out a next-gen sequel that revitalizes the IP.

ishcabible6000
ishcabible6000

As long as it doesn't cost 200 freaking dollars this time...

STEALTHGAMER22
STEALTHGAMER22

Hope it a game where I can learn how to play an instrument

Mabumania
Mabumania

I remember hearing about this, supposedly music from MP3s (Like ipods Zunes, etc) will be connectible?... if that is how it works, it will be amazing! Can't wait to hear more about it.

Ice_man_1985
Ice_man_1985

i hope it would be like ejay club world.

madcapper248
madcapper248

the algorithm makes it sound like you can put in your own songs. If you could do that AND use the old guitar peripherals this would definitely be a must own.

markevens
markevens

Title deleted, SWEET!!1!!! I'm pissing myself in anticipation.

ou661
ou661

cant wait to get title deleted

Ebisch
Ebisch

So much information to process, brain, can't, handle, it. Pff, can you say Anti-climatic.

yaminoshadow
yaminoshadow

the game's title might be "title deleted". LOL

ZOnikJJ
ZOnikJJ

It sounds really interesting. I can't wait to see it.

gameguy6700
gameguy6700

So its a cross between Frequency/Amplitude and Vib-Ribbon...interesting. I'm looking forward to this since it sounds like they're returning back to the gameplay from Freq/Amp, and if its algorithmically generated that means an infinite songlist/your own songs.

membernametaken
membernametaken

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

guru_roodypoo
guru_roodypoo

Sick. Harmonix, to me, is one of those developers with a "halo" around them - they can do no wrong. (At the very least, not make a bad game.) Can't wait to see what this turns out to be.

vix
vix

[TITLE DELETED] ? I saw on another site, a rumored patent but I'll probably get modded if I post the name of the rumored game here.

mad_tyger
mad_tyger

Hmm, I love the guys are Harmonix so this should be good.

Wurz1515
Wurz1515

well, this should be interesting. Own music would be sweet but doing it would take a lot of coding and writing. Good idea though.

Warfust
Warfust

Hmmm, put in my own music? I'm starting to like this idea...

Holopaw
Holopaw

That would be tight to be able to use your own music.

whitey3221
whitey3221

Sounds like you'll get to use your own music...if this is going to be music related. If it's not music related it should be pretty sweet anyways because procedurally generated stuff is kick ass...more companies should get in on it.

Tmills_basic
Tmills_basic

Umm...they make bad music games....who cares? Why not try and do something, um......DIFFERENT!!! Not everyone likes Rock N Roll

Robert-Sapolski
Robert-Sapolski

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

cansofDOOM
cansofDOOM

oh COME ON!!! GH and Rock Band is ENOUGH to drain my wallet!

SmoothCrimen
SmoothCrimen

hope they release something for Wii or PC =)