The original Rock Band was released four years ago on November 20th, 2007. Do you remember this 2007 demo video of a super early beta version of Rock Band, with the HMX team playing “Welcome to the Jungle”? That was the exact moment I realized OMIGOD I HAVE TO HAVE THIS.
(by the way if anyone from Harmonix is listening, we’re still waiting for that song to appear as DLC..)
How time flies when you’re rocking, eh? In commemoration of Rock Band’s fourth birthday, Harmonix put together a ton of behind the scenes retrospectives and commentary. Hear the untold story of the original Rock Band, as told by the people behind the game!
Hear how the guitar, drum, and keyboard hardware almost never made it!
The companion blog post is Rock Band instrument prototypes and insider stories, where we learn what could have been:
We had this AMAZING folding drum kit that would fit under a couch. It had removable heads, integrated cymbal options and custom inserts that allowed to to change the quality of the strike sound so each pad sounded a bit different. It supported 3 pedals, a completely adjustable kick location. This thing was boss (and also would have cost over 200 dollars at retail).
There were SOOOO MANY strum bar prototypes. Clicky strums, spinny strums, smushy strums, stringy strums, clacky strums, invisi strums. We tried everything.
Another crazy idea we has was to attempt to modularize the wireless equipment for each console into a small box that could be plugged into any RB3 instrument. We wanted a way to reduce the total number of models in production, but at the volumes predicted for the RB3 launch and with all the legacy hardware already in the market, we couldn’t justify the additional cost of the Wireless Module. A lot of the tech/design made its way into the MIDI box, though.
It’s also a little scary to think what the Rock Band logo could have looked like:
Harmonix employees reflect on their first Rock Band experience in Rock Band Fourth Anniversary Harmonix Stories, Part One and Part Two. And Harmonix podcast episode 56 focuses entirely on sharing their first Rock Band experience.
I distinctly remember waiting outside Best Buy at midnight to get my Rock Band 1 full game kit — and how deliriously fun it was to play as a full band for the first time.
What was your first Rock Band experience?