PAX East (3/10-3/13) Rock Band Event Calendar!

edited March 2011 in Announcements
Hey gang,

PAX East is nearly upon us, so it's high time we start sharing some of our plans for one of the coolest events we'll be attending all year. Seriously, both PAX Prime and PAX East are amazing, and if you are anywhere near Boston from March 10th to the 13th you should do everything in your power to check it out. Tons of games, early demos, easy access to devs, an excellent community of fans, tabletop gaming, the works. If you want to learn more about PAX East hit up this link for info on badges, exhibitors and an awesome forum.

We'll be using this thread to track all of the Harmonix related events at PAX East. Below you can find a schedule of all the panels featuring HMX folks, including members of the Community Team, Production Team, Art Team, Design Team and even a few special guest appearances from a notable member of the RB community and a beloved HMX almun.

Check out the schedule below, come and hang out with us, and be on the look out for more info on night time events, Rock Band parties, concerts and more!


How Your Favorite Game Companies Use Facebook
Manticore Theatre
Friday, 8:00pm - 9:00pm

Like this. Like that. Facebook has taken the world by storm and has become a crucial platform for community managers and companies to help keep in touch with and grow their online communities. With the constant evolution of social media and Facebook in particular, you may not know some of the cool things happening on your favorite game studio's Facebook page. Join Collin Moore (Community Management Vet) as he moderates a discussion with community managers from across the game industry (Insomniac Games, Playfish/EA, Harmonix, and Robot Entertainment), about the importance of Facebook to game companies, and how pressing the "LIKE" button is just the beginning.

Panelists include: Collin Moore [Game Industry Vet], Sam Houston [Online Content Manager, Playfish - EA], John Drake [Manager of Communications and Special Projects, Harmonix], James Stevenson [Senior Community Manager, Insomniac Games], Justin Korthof [Community Manager, Robot Entertainment]

A Reverse Q&A with the Harmonix Community Team
Manticore Theatre
Saturday, 11:00am - 12:00pm

The Harmonix Community Team spends a good part of their day answering questions about Rock Band and Dance Central on forums, in emails and on camera... but what happens when the tables are turned and they're given free reign to question a captive audience in a PAX panel? Part focus group and part interrogation, this panel turns the traditional notion of a Q&A on its head, giving community members the opportunity to answer questions submitted by developers. You may be wonder: "What kind of questions will be asked?" and "Do attendees answer individually or as a collective?" and "Will this be a disaster?" Continue to wonder, because the Harmonix folks aren't dishing out any answers, only questions.

Panelists include: Aaron Trites [Community Manager Manager, Harmonix Music], Allison Thresher [Junior Choreo Designer, Harmonix Music], Eric Pope [Community Manager, Harmonix Music], John Veneron [Associate Producer, Harmonix Music], Jason Brau [Community Moderator, Harmonix Community Member]

The Roads to Becoming a Community Manager (East Coast Version!)
Wyvern Theatre
Saturday, 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Based on the great feedback we received after this panel at PAX Prime, we've decided to do it again! East-Coast Style. You hear us on podcasts, see us in videos, read our blogs on websites, retweet us, argue with us on forums, and give us high fives at PAX. But have you ever wondered how we became community managers? From games journalism to forum moderation to public policy and QA, every road is different. Find out the random history of some of your favorite game studio community managers, and hear their advice on what skills and knowledge you’ll need to become one of gaming’s next-generation of community managers.

Panelists include: Alli Thresher [Community Moderator, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc], James Stevenson [Community Manager, Insomniac Games], Arne Meyer [Manager, Community, Naughty Dog], Sam Houston [Online Content Manager, Playfish, EA], Jennifer Kye [Company Blogger, Social Media Editor, Gameloft], Michael Abbot [Owner / Writer, Brainy Gamer ], Arne Meyer [Senior Manager of Marketing Communications, Naughty Dog], Justin McElroy [Reviews Coordinator, Joystiq]

The "Other" Us: If We're All Gamers, Does Our Gender Matter?
Naga Theatre
Saturday, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Abbie Heppe's review of Metroid: Other M prompted a wave of backlash across the gaming community. Words like "feminist" got thrown around in comments sections of popular gaming sites as if it were the new "f" word. But what is really feminist versus what is perceived as feminist by virtue of the fact that it comes from a woman’s perspective? Using these reactions as a jumping off point, a panel of gamers, journalists, and members of the industry will look at the ways gender is treated in gaming culture at large. In our debate and discussion of Abbie's review, we'll be looking at the larger question: "As our industry becomes more progressive and, arguably, gender-blind, is geek and gamer culture regressing?"

Panelists include: Alli Thresher [Community Moderator, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc], Abbie Heppe [Senior Gaming Content Producer, G4 TV], Eric Pope [Community Moderator, Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.], Yesenia Cisneros [Games Tester, Excell], Jennifer Kye [Company Blogger, Social Media Editor, Gameloft]

Game Marketing & Community Management Roundtable
IGDA Dev Center
Sunday, 11:00am - 11:45 am

Role-specific roundtables will consist of top game artists, designers, community managers, and marketing professionals. Each roundtable will be structured into four sections focusing on roles/responsibilities, personal history, career paths, and hot topics/issues.

Panelists include: Arne Meyer [Senior Manager of Marketing, Naughty Dog], Chris Parsons [Product Manager, Muzzy Lane], James Stevenson [Marketing Manager, Insomniac Games], Allison Thresher [Junior Choreo Designer, Harmonix]

When I Grow Up: It's Never Too Late to Try Something Crazy
Wyvern Theatre
Sunday, 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Two years ago, Sean Baptiste was at the top of his game. A wunderkind in social marketing in the game industry, he traveled the country meeting fans and celebrities- promoting games he loved. But an inoperable brain tumor and a series of surguries led to long ICU stays over several months. He came home and discovered that he had major memory problems-at times even forgetting his own name. Struggling with simple tasks most take for granted, Sean decided to do the scariest thing he could think of: stand-up comedy. A documentary crew followed Sean as he met a tutor, did an open mic, and debuted in a local stand-up night. Did he succeed? Watch the premiere screening of 'When I Grow Up' and talk to director (Trevor Chamberlain), stand-up tutor (Dana Bein) and editor (Jon Mercer) to find out!

Panelists include: Trevor Chamberlain [Director, Wicked Smart Kids], Dana Bein [Comedian], Jon Mercer [Editor], Urvi Fontenot [Producer], Sean Baptiste [Harmonix]

We Like to Move It Move It! (An Animated Discussion)
Naga Theatre
Sunday, 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Ever wonder what goes into breathing life and character into the heroes and villains of today's games? Animation for games is where old school animation principles meet new school technical ability and game design theory. Come listen to our panelists discuss how they got their start animating for games, and the difference between animating for games versus film. We will also talk about what the panelists look for in a demo reel and their thoughts on the current state and future of animation for games. (We may talk about animation for Red Dead Redemption, Dance Central, Lord of the Rings Online and Afro Samurai too!)
Panelists include: Daniel Salsberg [Lead Artist, Double Tap Games], Andy Welihozkiy [Lead Animator, Rockstar New England], Ron Friedman [Lead Animator, Tencent Boston], John Lindemuth [Animation Director, Turbine Inc.], Calvin Barreto [Animator, Harmonix Music Systems]


  • edited February 2011
    Hey everyone!

    I’m happy today to be announcing an event I’ve been putting together for PAX East 2011. As you may or may not be aware, Harmonix and ImprovBoston have been putting on a regular Rock Band Night that locals have been enjoying for a couple years now. See this video for proof. Now, for the first time at a PAX, we’re bringing our cavalcade of bombast to the masses!! But we’re not doing it alone…

    An unholy alliance has been forged between Harmonix, ImprovBoston, Giant Bomb, Narragansett Beer, and the historic Brattle Theatre to bring you the biggest, loudest, and most over-the-top Rock Band Night ever witnessed. Come solo, or with your own band, and choose from over 2,500 songs with which to showcase your talent to hundreds of rock-starved crowd members. Be sure to bring your A-Game, as the no-nonsense judging panel from Giant Bomb (Professional Gentlemen of Leisure) will not suffer fools gladly!

    Rock Band Night kicks off on Thursday, March 10th at 10pm, but wait, there’s more! At 7pm the Brattle will be showing a 35mm print of the animated sci-fi classic HEAVY METAL on the big screen! Check out the trailer here. It is simply THE BEST animated movie starring John Candy with DEVO in its soundtrack that was made in 1981.

    For the thirsty folks out there, Narragansett Beer, my favorite local beer company, will have CHEAP beer on hand!!! If you’re under 21, no worries, this event is All Ages.

    ***UPDATED*** TICKETS: -PURCHASE TICKETS HERE- A combo ticket is available for ROCK BAND NIGHT and HEAVY METAL together for $14. Admission to ROCK BAND NIGHT only is $6.

  • edited February 2011
    Get psyched up for HMXPope and TheBestSteph's events with some pre-celebrations on Thursday night.

    The Middlesex Lounge in our lovely neighborhood of Central Square will be hosting a game swap w/the folks from Bring a video game (or game accessory) to trade (tabletop games welcome too). You can bring one, or a whole mess, and meet up w/other gamers.

    Entry is $5 w/a game and there will be beverages (for the adults in the crowd), and possibly other refreshments as well. It's a great way to mix, mingle, and meet up before heading out to the rest of the pre-PAX festivities.

    Full details here:!/event.php?eid=186140881424845
    You can also follow @TheSwapaholics on Twitter for more info.

    The Middlesex is close to the 64 busline to Allston and the 1 to Harvard. It will be easy-peasy to get to either the rock show or Rock Band Night from there.

    Event runs 5-8pm.
  • HMXthebeststephHMXthebeststeph Harmonix Developer
    edited February 2011
    Hey! Hey guys! Hey, it's me, thebeststeph! Hi again. I have some questions:

    Are you getting into Boston March 10? Do you like live music, cool people and dark bars? Do you want to find out what a Pickelback shot is? Do you want to experience a sampling of Boston's legendary music scene?


    I'm throwing a party at my all-time favorite Boston bar, Great Scott, in my own stomping grounds of Allston. This bar has it all. Human bath mats, Black George Washington, throw-up music. You get the picture.

    So here's the deets:
    The show will kick off with friends of Harmonix, Andy Maher Candy Bar, in all their indie pop goodness.

    Next up is The Fagettes. You might recognize the handsome devil on drums as Peaches from the HMX art department. This band is full of garage rock fun. Watch Melanie, lead lady singer, croon into a telephone receiver hooked up to an amp! Watch me dance my butt off!

    Spirit Kid will headline the show. This is one of Boston's hottest acts, and the band just happens to be led by the one and only Emeen Zarookian, who you may know from E3 demo videos, a Tom Petty-wigged duet with HMXHellion, and from the HMX audio department! Super fun, super dancey, super poppy, super awesome music.

    Robotkid, aka Josh Randall aka HMX Creative Director aka Dude With Those Cool Blue Shoes, will be on DJ/VJ duties throughout the night, providing backing visuals for the bands and then DJing and VJing the rest of the night. So bring your dance pants!

    The first band will take the stage at 9 p.m. and the night will go until we drop dead from fun or the bar kicks us out ... whichever comes first. It's only $8, and it's 18+, so bring your wallets and bring your kids*.

    I hope to see you there! If you want to get advance tickets (you should), do so here!


    *Please don't bring your kids.
  • edited March 2011
    Because we weren't doing enough stuff this weekend already, we're tacking a mix CD swap on as well.

    A bunch of HMX folks will be making mix CDs for the show, and it'd be awesome if people planning on stopping by our booth made mixes too. It could be your own music, your favorite songs, your least favorite songs, a themed mix, whatever works for you.

    What we'll do is collect a bunch of mixes before the show opens, so whenever you want to stop by our booth you can drop off your mix and pick up another one. It could be random, it could be something you'll grow to love, it could be a total mystery. I love making mixes and I love discovering new music in crazy ways, and I think this will be a lot of fun.

    So if you're going to PAX East, bring a mix with you and share some awesome music at the Harmonix booth!
  • edited March 2011


    Our friends at 2Old2Play have invited us to staff their Rock Band booth at the Gamers Gone Wild party that they're co sponsoring. It's going to take place at FELT at 533 Washington St in Boston on Friday March 11th, and it runs from 8pm to 2am. It's also 21+ but there's no cover.

    We'll have a dev kit fully loaded with every song in the RB library and we'll have shirts and swag to give away as well. Stop by and hang out, it should be awesome!

    Here's a link to their announcement:

    And here's a discussion thread in the Rock Events section of our very own forums:

    Hope to see you there!
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