RBN and future RB releases.

DMBilliesDMBillies Road Warrior
edited July 2009 in The Rock Band Network
It would seem with the announcement of the RBN that HMX has "officially" cemented their intention to create a full-blown, option-filled, platform (even in the face of their first standalone game(s) being released). I see it as an excellent thing, even though I am on a PS3 and can't help but be nervous about how "select" and how "few" of the RBN tracks will make it to my music store...time will tell.

For the purposes of this post I am going to go ahead and assume that HMX is working on RB3 (let us not get bogged down on whether this is the case). I would also assume (and I think I've read) that RB2 tracks were licensed with the mind of eventually being exportable. Therefore, by the end of this calendar year there will be close to 1000 HMX-charted songs available for the platform. If RB3 drops September of next year (with a RB2 export), HMX keeps up their current DLC output, and RBN produces at even a rate that matches HMX's output, we'll be looking at darn near 2000 songs (and who really knows what RBN will do). Even people who only buy the base games would have easy access to 250+ songs from the main games alone.

In short, what effect does this influx of music and the ever growing size of our libraries have on how the next main RB title should be formatted? Has it changed what features are most important to you? What should the world tour structure look like in RB3? Should RBN bands be incorporated into the tour? Challenges? What features should RB3 now include that would make the RBN an even more awesome addition to the platform? How ever in the world will people match on DLC? Can a DLC matching system even be implemented with a song pool that large and most people not owning a huge portion of the available pool?

Comments

  • Icyjoe14Icyjoe14 Rising Star
    edited July 2009
    dlc matchmaking could probably work where when you enter band quickplay you can choose to set the number of songs you have to have in common with each member of the band with RB1 being a seperate option. i don't see RBN songs being incorporated any different than normal dlc. i think the next RB should have as many options as possible in song select, such as individual instrument scores and stars, number of times played, bass difficulty. the two things i've always thought would be awesome are create a venue and create a music video, these could be incorporated online so you could visit friend's venues and play setlists that they pick or you could do random venues from your home city. venues and music videos could also be included with RBN bands. music videos would be created where you control a character in the band with a controller and can move, jump, spin, kick, powerslide, windmill, flip drumsticks, throw the mic, get back to back with other band members, etc. HMX could find a way to make it work.
  • topperharleytopperharley Son of Statler and Waldorf
    edited July 2009
    DMBillies;2753650 said:
    If RB3 drops September of next year (with a RB2 export), HMX keeps up their current DLC output, and RBN produces at even a rate that matches HMX's output, we'll be looking at darn near 2000 songs (and who really knows what RBN will do).
    If you look at the video on the creators.rockband.com page, when they scroll through the songs, it shows over 2,800 songs. I imagine many of those are still in the testing phase, but damn that's a lot of songs already.
  • thirdmortalthirdmortal Opening Act
    edited July 2009
    the one thing that I have been thinking about with the announcement of RBN is the idea that you could have quite a collection of music on your xbox (or ps3, etc.). I find myself frequently putting my xbox in pseudo-jukebox mode and listening to the music. Now that I have RBN to find new artists that I like, I would really like to be able to listen to this music in the car, office, mp3 player, etc. I know there's a licensing and piracy hurdle to get over but if there was a way to allow us to take our music other places besides the xbox at home I think this would really make the platform something remarkable. I dunno, just a thought.
  • ZmsZms Opening Act
    edited July 2009
    topperharley;2753775 said:
    If you look at the video on the creators.rockband.com page, when they scroll through the songs, it shows over 2,800 songs. I imagine many of those are still in the testing phase, but damn that's a lot of songs already.
    Yup, lots of fake songs... ;)
    HMXEnosity;2732613 said:
    I just want to chime in before it gets out of hand. Those aren't real songs in the store footage during the video. They're fake songs propped for store testing. The genres and different sorting tabs are all real however.

    The video was to give you an idea of what the RBN store would look like when full of content.
  • DMBilliesDMBillies Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    Icyjoe14;2753697 said:
    dlc matchmaking could probably work where when you enter band quickplay you can choose to set the number of songs you have to have in common with each member of the band with RB1 being a seperate option.
    I am still not convinced such a system would work unless the songs shared threshold was REALLY low. I would think a lounge area where you could see the shared DLC between you and other potential players would be most logical. Then, you send an "invite" to a player that matches a lot. The game calculates and you get another list of the players with the most DLC that matches both of you. The problem still comes down to how long people would be willing to wait to match... in my experience most random online interactions last a fairly short time before people quit out... making it less desirable to take extra time finding good matches.
    i don't see RBN songs being incorporated any different than normal dlc.
    Well, although I am "afraid" you might be right, I would really like to see this massive amount of DLC being much more seemlessly incorporated into a tour structure and creating a tour structure that is much more open-ended (and therefore having more replay value for those with huge music collections).
    i think the next RB should...
    I don't think any of these ideas are bad, but they don't really relate to how RBN can best be incorporated into new RB games. :)
    thirdmortal - the one thing that I have been thinking about with the announcement of RBN is the idea that you could have quite a collection of music on your xbox (or ps3, etc.). I find myself frequently putting my xbox in pseudo-jukebox mode and listening to the music. Now that I have RBN to find new artists that I like, I would really like to be able to listen to this music in the car, office, mp3 player, etc. I know there's a licensing and piracy hurdle to get over but if there was a way to allow us to take our music other places besides the xbox at home I think this would really make the platform something remarkable. I dunno, just a thought.
    Yeah, this would be nice as the investment into the platform grows I think it is only natural to want to take that music with you. Personally, I'd probably rather buy more DLC (assuming there is good stuff available) than re-buy music off of iTunes that I already have for RB. That said, I just don't think this will be a feature any time soon and I'm actually pretty sure we might never see a jukebox mode (which I still assume was scraped because of licensing issues).


    I never really answered my own post though...

    The number one thing I want is to be able to create savable "playlists" that would reduce the songs that show up in the song select screen for things like parties, or when you are only in the mood to play one of your 20 favorites. The bigger the song list gets, the more of a pain in the neck it is to sort through all of the songs. Also, for parties, people want to play songs they know at parties (for the most part) so I wouldn't want my friends to spend the time sorting through all of the indie stuff when they are just going to pick Don't Stop Believing anyway.
  • karmalordkarmalord Rising Star
    edited July 2009
    thirdmortal;2753784 said:
    the one thing that I have been thinking about with the announcement of RBN is the idea that you could have quite a collection of music on your xbox (or ps3, etc.). I find myself frequently putting my xbox in pseudo-jukebox mode and listening to the music. Now that I have RBN to find new artists that I like, I would really like to be able to listen to this music in the car, office, mp3 player, etc. I know there's a licensing and piracy hurdle to get over but if there was a way to allow us to take our music other places besides the xbox at home I think this would really make the platform something remarkable. I dunno, just a thought.
    Yeah,surprised this hasnt been a bigger issue with players here. You pay what : .99 cents at i-tunes and can take it with you but you pay HMX $1.99 a song and cannot. Wonder how many players here have more DLC than MP3s on their ipods.
  • rocker820rocker820 Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    I hope we won't have to wait until next September for a RB3. I was hoping like May
  • munkyboymunkyboy Opening Act
    edited July 2009
    regarding matching DLC with online players...

    If they add the ability for players to jump into a game mid-song, you would be able to search for active bands playing a song you're interested in. This doesn't seem too appealing as jumping into the 2 minute mark of a 4 minute song is kinda lame. Perhaps what would be awesome is if each online band could publish a setlist that they'll be playing through, and have players jump in, that would rule.

    [edit]
    oh, of course this would mean players should have the ability to search for a song of interest in all band playlists :)
  • Ferocious QFerocious Q Headliner
    edited July 2009
    karmalord;2756087 said:
    Yeah,surprised this hasnt been a bigger issue with players here. You pay what : .99 cents at i-tunes and can take it with you but you pay HMX $1.99 a song and cannot. Wonder how many players here have more DLC than MP3s on their ipods.
    *raises hand :o
    rocker820;2756135 said:
    I hope we won't have to wait until next September for a RB3. I was hoping like May
    thats what im hoping for! :)
  • weeyooweeyoo Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    Ferocious Q;2756337 said:
    *raises hand :o

    thats what im hoping for! :)
    Hey Ferocious how much DLC do you have?
  • Robert MaynardRobert Maynard Unsigned
    edited July 2009
    Rock Band 2's biggest fix was the interface used for quickplay and make a setlist. That thing is beautiful.
    With RBN set to explode the potential size of DLC collection Rock Band 3 should be looking at reworking the World Tour mode. Scale the activities in cities to match the amount of downloaded songs, sort of like how the Challenges section keeps growing as you buy more DLC.
    For example, if you add a couple of cities, and tag DLC with the hometown of bands, you could have like "local setlists" popping up, band-focused setlists in the lower tiered venues, and challenges to finish larger setlists of a range of local artists. That probably introduces a range of considerations about difficulty, especially the way they organise the song progression based on where you choose as a starting location.. but anywho. Detect whether previous titles have been exported, and bring the Rock Band 1 and 2 songs into the main menu of activities, as if you were playing all three games at once, instead of having them there only to show up randomly or in make a setlist.
    The main problem I see with all this is that scaling the amount of activities in Tour futzes with the total number of stars you can achieve, which might mess with the current method of controlling progression. Hm..
  • DMBilliesDMBillies Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    Robert Maynard;2756484 said:
    With RBN set to explode the potential size of DLC collection Rock Band 3 should be looking at reworking the World Tour mode...
    I agree that RB2 did address a lot of the issues with interface and added some huge features, but the removal of stars really showcased not only how many people used stars as a motivator for playing the game but also really exposed how limited the tour structure is and how finite it really is. In addition to adding stars back in, I think they need to really re-work the tour to make it more motivating in the long-run and make DLC more valuable to have by actually making it an important, yet still optional, part of the game. DLC is a huge aspect of RB's sales strategy but yet DLC (and past imports) is the red headed step child once you actually start up the game (please let us sort by "recent additions" too... which will be even more important when there are 20+ songs per week coming out).
    That probably introduces a range of considerations about difficulty, especially the way they organise the song progression based on where you choose as a starting location.. but anywho.
    I really think they should define the set list lengths, the tier (or higher) you are required to play, and define "sortable" variables for the setlists (e.g., play songs only from the UK, play songs from the 90's, play metal songs) but still allow players to choose songs that fit those criteria. As long as the on-disk songs can fulfill the sorting criteria, new DLC can just be sorted according to the same criteria and added into the song-select screens.
    The main problem I see with all this is that scaling the amount of activities in Tour futzes with the total number of stars you can achieve, which might mess with the current method of controlling progression. Hm..
    I know unlocking content has something of a history in these games, but I would much rather forgo "linear progression" in order to create an open-ended structure. I think allowing fans to primarily dictate progression by having fans awarded being based on a lot more than just playing a ton of songs -e.g., make the music management choices a bigger part of the game and use a new formula to calculate fans that awards you a more realistic number of fans based on the venue played, length of the set, difficulty of sets, relative performance quality... and make that formula actually penalize you fans so that gaining fans isn't simply an exercise in playing the same things over and over. I also think money should be made a much more important part of the equation. Travelling should cost money. The number of fans you have in each town should dictate how much money you make playing there. Want to get out of your hometown? You need to have the fans in Chicago to justify travelling from Boston to play there. Want to increase your fanbase in new towns? Market your band there, release a CD, do an interview and play a song on a local radio station, etc.

    As long as the tour on this game is just a list of locations and venues that make you jump through different hoops but nothing really changes based on the decisions you make as a band... the tour is going to be limited and not all that more interesting than quickplay. And as long as quickplay remains intact, I really see very little wrong with running with the "game" aspect of RB as they are creating the tour. If the game tracks stats for the songs you do play, scorewhores will still be able to show off their e-peens even if the player is able to dictate the difficulty of particular setlists in the song choices they make.
  • Wasch_24Wasch_24 Rising Star
    edited July 2009
    DMBillies;2757643 said:
    As long as the tour on this game is just a list of locations and venues that make you jump through different hoops but nothing really changes based on the decisions you make as a band... the tour is going to be limited and not all that more interesting than quickplay. And as long as quickplay remains intact, I really see very little wrong with running with the "game" aspect of RB as they are creating the tour. If the game tracks stats for the songs you do play, scorewhores will still be able to show off their e-peens even if the player is able to dictate the difficulty of particular setlists in the song choices they make.
    Nice post...especially the quoted part.
  • Bront20Bront20 The Writing's on the Wall
    edited July 2009
    munkyboy;2756253 said:
    regarding matching DLC with online players...

    If they add the ability for players to jump into a game mid-song, you would be able to search for active bands playing a song you're interested in. This doesn't seem too appealing as jumping into the 2 minute mark of a 4 minute song is kinda lame. Perhaps what would be awesome is if each online band could publish a setlist that they'll be playing through, and have players jump in, that would rule.

    [edit]
    oh, of course this would mean players should have the ability to search for a song of interest in all band playlists :)
    This isn't exactly a bad idea.

    If you could open or close your group to new members, then just play, people looking for a band could be matched up with existing bands with open slots, they'd pop in to a "watch" mode mid song, and join in after the song ends.

    The Wii's Super Mario Kart does something like this where you can get matched up with a group that is currently playing. You have to wait a few minutes while the current race finishes, but I think most people would rather wait 3-5 minutes to get DLC matches than get no matching at all.

    The problem is that the matching algorithms would be rather complex, and it gets exponentially harder to match a 3rd and 4th person if everyone is on a different system.
  • mjsbugzmjsbugz Unsigned
    edited July 2009
    With as many songs as they are releasing being able to create and save playlists seems like an obvious enhancement.
    Also, being able to see your star total for each song (by instrument and difficulty) would be very helpful.
    In tour mode or in a setlist, being able to select your difficulty per song would also make the game much more accessible and let players challenge themselves without the fear of ruining the song for the rest of the band. With so many songs it will be more common to have a mix of songs you know really well and songs you don't, so having the choice of adjusting difficulty makes trying new songs less frightening.
    Incorporating DLC in tour mode more would be nice, too.
  • DJPookaDJPooka Rising Star
    edited July 2009
    DMBillies;2757643 said:
    I know unlocking content has something of a history in these games, but I would much rather forgo "linear progression" in order to create an open-ended structure. I think allowing fans to primarily dictate progression by having fans awarded being based on a lot more than just playing a ton of songs -e.g., make the music management choices a bigger part of the game and use a new formula to calculate fans that awards you a more realistic number of fans based on the venue played, length of the set, difficulty of sets, relative performance quality... and make that formula actually penalize you fans so that gaining fans isn't simply an exercise in playing the same things over and over. I also think money should be made a much more important part of the equation. Travelling should cost money. The number of fans you have in each town should dictate how much money you make playing there. Want to get out of your hometown? You need to have the fans in Chicago to justify travelling from Boston to play there. Want to increase your fanbase in new towns? Market your band there, release a CD, do an interview and play a song on a local radio station, etc.
    I love this idea. I'm primarily a solo player - I only play online once in a while with a couple of mates of mine, most of the time I'm at home playing the solo tour. The step from the lineality of the RockBand 1 tour to the more diverse RockBand 2 Band World tour was incredible step up - but I've got all the DLC so far, and I will continue buying a lot of DLC so I'd love this sort of expansion to the world tour....
  • Ferocious QFerocious Q Headliner
    edited July 2009
    weeyoo;2756381 said:
    Hey Ferocious how much DLC do you have?
    umm, like 300?
  • weeyooweeyoo Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    Ferocious Q;2759062 said:
    umm, like 300?
    Alright cool....i look forward to playing!
  • DMBilliesDMBillies Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    Bront20;2757892 said:

    If you could open or close your group to new members, then just play, people looking for a band could be matched up with existing bands with open slots, they'd pop in to a "watch" mode mid song, and join in after the song ends.

    The Wii's Super Mario Kart does something like this where you can get matched up with a group that is currently playing. You have to wait a few minutes while the current race finishes, but I think most people would rather wait 3-5 minutes to get DLC matches than get no matching at all.
    Having you jump in mid-song would create some scoring issues if the new player could actually play... unless they could just have you jump in and play but not have you count into what the band is playing until the first full song.

    Interestingly, though, this is a great idea to make sure that there is more full band play online (aside from the DLC matching issue). As it stands now, if a member drops out of your 4 person band online, you have to decide between just playing 3 player or going back and waiting for a 4th player to jump in. Having people be able to pop in mid-song would keep the band full without players having to stop playing (1 new player would have to wait a few minutes 1 time instead of a few players having to continuously exit and wait to fill the band). In multiplayer first person games you don't start with one squad and have to re-recruit players every time someone quits...
    The problem is that the matching algorithms would be rather complex, and it gets exponentially harder to match a 3rd and 4th person if everyone is on a different system.
    Yeah, this is a pretty big issue... but having some type of matching system is better than none. One way to deal with it within the above structure, is by allowing solo players to start a "band" that requires anyone joining to have XX% (for an example, let's pick 25%) of DLC shared with the band. That solo player then starts playing and waits for DLC sharing folks to join up. The problem is, if the first player joining only shares 30%, then the second player is going to have almost an exactly matching DLC set to be able to play in that band... so this would work well for matching 2 players, but if you want a 4 person band to share upward of 25% DLC, you'll really have to select people that match a high percentage for the first couple of "slots" in the band and an increasingly small amount as new players match in.
  • thirdmortalthirdmortal Opening Act
    edited July 2009
    DMBillies;2759785 said:
    Yeah, this is a pretty big issue... but having some type of matching system is better than none. One way to deal with it within the above structure, is by allowing solo players to start a "band" that requires anyone joining to have XX% (for an example, let's pick 25%) of DLC shared with the band. That solo player then starts playing and waits for DLC sharing folks to join up. The problem is, if the first player joining only shares 30%, then the second player is going to have almost an exactly matching DLC set to be able to play in that band... so this would work well for matching 2 players, but if you want a 4 person band to share upward of 25% DLC, you'll really have to select people that match a high percentage for the first couple of "slots" in the band and an increasingly small amount as new players match in.
    I don't think matching is really that difficult a task. When you get 4 players and bring up the song selection screen the system pretty much instantaneously shows you what DLC you have in common (everything else is greyed out), so I don't think it will a processing power issue to find players with matching DLC. I think the problem you will come across is waiting forever before anyone comes online that has matching DLC. As it is, when I play band quickplay I usually end up waiting at least 3 - 4 mins before you get a full band. Maybe I'm playing at off times but I've never gotten on and had an instant match up of 4 players.
  • DMBilliesDMBillies Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    thirdmortal;2760058 said:
    When you get 4 players and bring up the song selection screen the system pretty much instantaneously shows you what DLC you have in common (everything else is greyed out), so I don't think it will a processing power issue to find players with matching DLC.
    I wasn't trying to say it would be a processing power issue, it will be more an issue of time waiting vs. getting good DLC matches. I've gone back and forth with myself over whether they should even try because as the song output increases, the percentage of matching songs between any 4 players is likely to continue to go down... of course, the actual number of shared songs will not.

    But speaking of the greyed out issue... it seems pretty essential to have the grayed out songs just completely removed. Most people with little DLC just assume a person with a lot of DLC is taking forever to pick... when in fact they are just being forced to scroll through a setlist of hundreds of songs to find shared music. This would be a huge improvement for online play amongst avid DLCers.
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