Posted Tue Dec 15, 2015 at 12:21 PM PST by Brian Hoss
The word is transparency.
Having gotten the big December 8th update out of the way and having gotten the 'Rock Band 3' export online (except for PS4 in Europe) Harmonix is going to make some changes going forward for 'Rock Band 4.' (See here.) First off, there is going to be transparency. This should be helpful for deffusing the part of the fan base that feels tired of having legacy feature questions ignored. Likewise, the further promise of features without dates Harmonix behavior is being changed up. Now, much like a crowd-funded project, Harmonix will be very public about where things are at with the game's development going forward.
First up, there is online play. This is a feature that is now officially on the table, but before Harmonix promises implementation, they will conduct a survey to understand what people want and how the experience ought to be improved over 'Rock Band 3.'
Online play with Rock Band is a big deal given the amount of different combinations of player (four potential instruments, different difficulties, song affinities between players, etc.). There is a ton of testing necessary as well technical back end to work through in order to provide a fun, stable experience.
For any feature development, especially features that have existed in our legacy Rock Band games, we want to be able to improve and refine wherever possible. In the case of online play, we have a lot of critical feedback on the Rock Band 3 design that we’d love to be able to address.
Adding this functionality is very much on the table but we’re not yet sure where it fits in our roadmap.
ION Drum support for the Xbox One was mentioned as something that Harmonix is actively working on. (It still will likely take something from Microsoft to get this working.) Again, this is considered a legacy feature, but Harmonix is going to be more open about (any) progress. New features for 'RB4,' like Brutal mode, are likely to come first.
Two legacy features that are promised for 2016 include setlists and practice mode. Before those features, however, players can expect in January improvements to stability, performance and leaderboards. Reflecting a change in prior thinking, exports are going to prioritized. The original 'Rock Band' will be first, hopefully in January. 'Rock Band 2' and 'Lego Rock Band' will follow.
Our monthly update in January is modest in scope compared to the December update. Our focus is on stability and performance. We’ve got fixes for some of the leaderboard issues as well as a few new things that we’ll be announcing down the road as they gel.
Exports! We hear everyone clamoring for the export entitlements of previous Rock Band games, so we’re bumping their priority to the top of the list. We’re shooting to have these up in the store for the folks who’ve exported their prior games in January. We’re starting with the original Rock Band and then following up with Rock Band 2 and Lego Rock Band. This means there might be a week or two in January when we don’t release new DLC tracks.
When those exports hit, Harmonix will take a break on new DLC tracks.
To help the lines of communication stay open, Harmonix will be making [email protected] available.
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