Harmonix plays up Rock Band 3, Dance Central

Comic-Con 2010: Members from Harmonix key into Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World," announce new songs for upcoming rhythm games.

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Who Was There: John Drake, the manager of communications for Harmonix, was leading the panel and was joined by Rock Band 3 senior designer Sylvain Dubrofsky and Dance Central's lead designer Dean Tate.

"Rock Lobster" is coming to Rock Band 3!

What They Talked About: Before the panel started, six members from Harmonix played Rock Band 3 using the new peripherals created specifically for the game. Rock Band 3 now includes a Pro mode where players jam on plastic instruments that go beyond colored buttons. For more information on the game, please read GameSpot's preview of Rock Band 3 from the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Drake showed off the Mad Catz wireless Mustang pro-guitar controller that had six nylon strings and more than 100 buttons so that you can play every note that's on a real guitar. A keyboard and a bass guitar are also part of the new peripherals that encourage players to learn actual notes.

Dubrofsky talked about wanting Rock Band 3 to appeal to a wider audience and add even more of a challenge to existing players. Tutorials have been included to guide newcomers along, and he talked about focus-group testing where Harmonix was able to get an idea of how each type of player approaches the game.

He mentioned that Rock Band 3 was, "trying to get non-musicians more attached to music and come out of this with some talent."

Both Dubrofsky and Drake wanted to highlight that players would be learning real-world skills through gameplay.

Before going into the Dance Central portion of the panel, Drake announced the following songs for Rock Band 3: "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears, "Rock Lobster" by the B-52s, and "Foolin" by Def Leppard.

Dance Central uses Microsoft's Kinect and lets players perform 600 unique moves through choreographed songs. Songs that have already been announced include "Funkytown" by Lipps, "Hella Good" by No Doubt, "Poison" by Bell Biv DeVoe, "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga, and "Body Movin" by the Beastie Boys.

Before talking more about the game, a producer from Harmonix performed "Bust a Move" by Young MC, another song that will be in the game. After the performance, Tate went over how the game worked. Players mimic the avatar onscreen, and there are flash cards on the side for reference. Dance Central tracks how accurate the performance is, and there are three levels of difficulty to tackle.

For those learning how to dance, there is a Break It Down mode where the game will walk dancers through each step, making it easier to learn some of the trickier steps.

At the end of the panel, Drake announced three more songs for Rock Band 3, which include Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful People," Filter's "Hey Man Nice Shot," and Foreigner's "Cold as Ice."

For Dance Central, two other tracks that have been confirmed include Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot" and Salt 'n Pepper's "Push It."

Tate did confirm that there is a multiplayer mode that hasn't been shown yet, but it involves dancers alternating and competing against one another.

The Takeaway: Harmonix has taken it a step further and moved the music genre into a realm where it's not exactly considered edutainment, but gamers from all backgrounds can learn what it is like to play a real musical instrument.

Discussion

20 comments
TrinityChica14
TrinityChica14

@HellWithoutSin once again, I was just repeating what you said.

HelIWithoutSin
HelIWithoutSin

@TrinityChica14 You're right that Guitar Hero came out first. You're wrong in thinking that Neversoft created Guitar Hero. Harmonix did Guitar Hero I, II, and Rocks the 80's and then went on to do Rock Band. Neversoft took over for Guitar Hero III and on.

TrinityChica14
TrinityChica14

@ HellWithoutSin If this is the case then how would they copy their own game? @mugofsnow You can stop trying to get all angry by making it sound like I'm stupid, I was just saying it because I was confused. And I still don't understand how guitar hero (Neversoft) could copy Harmonix, when their game (Guitar Hero) came out first.

gbrading
gbrading moderator

Everybody wants to rule the world... Maybe that's Harmonix's gameplan? :P

Mysterywriter
Mysterywriter

I finally put my 5 bucks down on RB3 and now I can't wait to play that Keyboard! Very nice addition and it's about time too!

Zidaneski
Zidaneski

I checked out the RB3 stage at Comic-Con but on Saturday and Sunday I didn't see them using the keyboard,...Soooo mad at that but I did snag a free copy of Green day Rockband for PS3, pretty cool even though I'm not a fan of Green Day.

mugofsnow
mugofsnow

@TrinityChica14 Harmonix made guitar hero 1, 2 and rock the 80's expansion Neversoft copied Harmonix SO, guitar hero copied Rock Band!

HelIWithoutSin
HelIWithoutSin

@TrinityChica14 Harmonix, creators of Rock Band, created Guitar Hero I, II, and Rocks the 80's...

IceJester45
IceJester45

Dance Central has "Kinect's killer application" written all over it. I am seriously excited for it. I used to play DDR and Pump It Up, and I gave Just Dance a try. Dance Central looks like it's a huge leap forward for the genre.

DanteDelacoix
DanteDelacoix

finally some new song info, and once again they are all looking fantastic. still want full setlist info though

g1rldraco7
g1rldraco7

Alright harmonix way to up the appeal of the latest game.

unkipower
unkipower

Rock Band is my favourite game franchise of all time, easily. Rock Band has changed my life. Without Rock Band, I wouldn't of started playing real drums, be in 2 bands, or even really like rock music. Thanks Harmonix.

Dmg051793
Dmg051793

BK-Sleeper. You mean Leave it to Guitar Hero to copy Rock Band and still use the same songs.

XeonForce
XeonForce

I love music games because... well because I love music so much. It's nice to see a developer with passion actually moving the industry forward; gotta love Harmonix. =)

BK-Sleeper
BK-Sleeper

Leave it to Rock Band to actually move the genre forward with something new. Leave it to Guitar Hero to copy Rock Band and just use different songs.

Dan21278
Dan21278

Yay!!! Harmonix been a fan boy since Rock Band 1 :D

Fryboy101
Fryboy101

Rock Band is going to blow Guitar Hero and Power Gig away!