Rock Band 3 lead designer Dan Teasdale has left Harmonix to do more hands on work at The Maw and ‘Splosion Man developer Twisted Pixel.
“Working on something like Rock Band basically allows you to auto-complete most of the achievements on your life list. "Make a game with unique controllers", "Make a game I’m not sick of after making it", "Make a game that makes first parties do anything to help you" and "Make a game that hits the zeitgeist" all got annihilated in the course of a few years,” he wrote on his blog.
“At some point during all of this, I forgot to keep track of what achievements I was going for. The sheer fun of crafting new experiences for players puts everything else in the background. Sure, the hit from releasing the title and seeing people enjoy your games was still a big part of it, but I craved the hit of being hands on. It’s 100% of your job as a staff designer, but as I became a senior and then a lead on AAA titles with 200+ people on them, the ability to chart the vision and the direction of a title starts to encroach how much time you can spend tweaking the details personally.”
Teasdale said that his new role at Texas-based Twisted Pixel would allow him to spend more time working on making games themselves.
“Today’s my last day in the office at Harmonix. Tomorrow, I hop on a plane and fly down to Austin, TX, where I’ll get ready to start work at Twisted Pixel on a ridiculously cool new project. It’s the holy grail of game design positions – I’ll get to contribute and help drive the direction of a well funded and supported new title with a close knit superteam, while at the same time being hands on and able to directly impact all aspects of the game."