Rock Band 3 lead designer exits stage

Dan Teasdale leaves Harmonix for 'Splosion Man studio Twisted Pixel; working on "ridiculously cool new project."

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With plenty of hype surrounding this holiday's Rock Band 3, one man who's distancing himself from the publicity is Dan Teasdale. The game's lead designer is leaving Boston-area Harmonix for Texas-based studio Twisted Pixel.

Teasdale's new band goes by the name Twisted Pixel.
Teasdale's new band goes by the name Twisted Pixel.

In a post to his personal blog titled "Moving On," the designer expressed how throughout his development career he's collected achievements like "shipping a game," "shipping a game that's good," "make a game that people still replay after the first month," and others. However, when Teasdale came to Rock Band developer Harmonix, that all changed. He lost sight of what achievements he wanted to collect, he said, which drove him to seek a new position where he could be more hands-on.

“As I became a senior and then a lead on AAA titles with 200-plus people on them, the ability to chart the vision and the direction of a title starts to encroach how much time you can spend tweaking the details personally,” he said. Teasdale won't work alongside anywhere near as many individuals at his new office, as Twisted Pixel currently lists only 12 employees on its official site.

"I want to be able to help drive the vision and direction of a game, but at the same time be hands-on and physically implement and iterate on the low level of making games in a more substantial way than time affords me when working as a lead on multi-hundred person titles," he said.

Teasdale is flying to Austin, Texas, tomorrow to join Twisted Pixel where he says the company's new project is "ridiculously cool," well-funded, and built by a "close-knit superteam." Twisted Pixel also created Xbox Live Arcade hits 'Splosion Man, The Maw, and the upcoming Comic Jumper.

As for Rock Band 3, Teasdale said the project is "design complete and on the final path to zero bugs, GM, and distribution." The game adds a keyboard controller, a new 102-button guitar, and three-part vocal harmonies, among other new features. For more on the game check out GameSpot's most recent preview and a Rock Band 3 interview with Teasdale (embedded below).

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