Last night I struck up with a conversation with a random individual at a bar, and upon discovering that this person was a musician, I naturally had to ask for his opinion of Rock Band, and similarly musically driven titles. The answer was somewhat consist with what I’ve heard from similar folks: it’s stupid to learn how to play songs with a plastic guitar when one could be learning how to play the real thing. When I told him about the upcoming ability to upload your own original creations for everyone else to play, his tone all of sudden changed: “well, in that case, I guess you ARE learning how to play a legitimate musical instrument then.”
Just launched earlier today is the Rock Band Network’s homepage, which marks the start of the aforementioned and long awaited initiative to allow to regular Joes and their bands to distribute their original content via the game. Pretty amazing concept, though not surprisingly, earlier said than done. Simply check out the page itself and see what I mean. A couple of points:
1. As you can see, things are not quit ready yet. It would seem that plenty of details have yet to be hammered out. But there’s still plenty of information to soak in.
2. Speaking of, you won’t be creating music via your Rock Band instruments, sorry. You’ll have to (semi) professionally record your music to properly tinker with them (i.e. add all the virtual notes that people are supposed to play with). Point being, you’ll still need to know how to play real deal instruments.
3. You’ll also need the proper tools and understand how to proper operate complex software (at least for those who are not musically inclined).
4. Once a song has been submitted there’s several approval processes, mostly by members of the community. So it’s not like you’ll be able to submit a song and then immediately head on over to your friend’s party with the plan to then download your creation for all to enjoy.
5. Thus far, things seems set on the Xbox 360 side of things; along with the aforementioned special software, you need to be part of the XNA Creator’s Club, along with a Xbox Gold Gamertag. I’m still a bit hazy on how much all of this cost (aside from the Gold membership, of course). On the Sony side of things, it’s a lot hazier, other than “we’re working on it.”
But once everything is set in place, you’ll theoretically have a chance to be rolling in the dough, since you’re getting 30% of all sales, which is consistent with the actual music industry, right? Though there are still some rules to follow. Specifically the content of the songs themselves. You can have some naughty words, so long as they’re not TOO naughty. Interestingly enough, songs with semi-salacious lyrics will only be playable on Rock Band 2, and not on Lego Rock Band. Yet there are also some words that are categorized as absolutely do not touch. Kotaku was nice enough to provide a full list, and most make sense. But “spastic”, “pimpleface”, and even “God”? Also, what the hell is “spaghetti cormorant” anyway?