There is nothing more surreal than seeing an incredible team project put out the window and realizing that you had the slightest of a fingerprint placed on the work.
Rock Band 4 is now available in stores and online as of October 6th, 2015. This marks my very first opportunity in working for a AAA game studio, let alone any big game studio. Last summer, I only worked as as a composer/sound designer intern for MassDiGI and was still figuring out the steps of how to do work for a game in general!
And don't get me wrong, this is not to put down the incredible opportunity I had being part of MassDiGI's summer program last year. Without having that first step in seeing what working with a team (and in this case, multiple teams) was like, there is no way I would have developed the portfolio and right attitude for a job like this. I am so, so, SO thankful for every single person who has given me so much support and for being someone who cared for me and was not afraid to challenge me. I would not have this opportunity if it weren't for the people I surround myself with in my life.
The thing to note about Rock Band 4, in terms of my work, is that actually, whatever you see and hear on the disc was nothing of my doing. My responsibility as a contract audio QA tester was to test the freestyle guitar solos for RB4's DLC songs, whether legacy DLC or new and upcoming DLC (weekly DLC has been announced, so I can at least say that part!).
Here's a fantastic example of what I got to test. "Pick Me Up" is not a DLC song I personally tested, but making sure a player could sound like this was the goal for my team. I forgot who was the person who authored the work on this solo, but they did a great job. And so did this player when freestyling! Take a listen:
Hopefully I can find out what I can say in detail about my work and my current 2-month experience with the company, but I can not share enough gratitude for how incredible the people in Harmonix are. Every day is a blast, a challenge, and an opportunity. I've had many bumps along the road and growing pains, as I've never been in this type of setting before, but I am so motivated by everyone's drive and love for the products they create.
Here's a photo I took at Harmonix's visit at the GameStop by Downtown Crossing, featuring publishing intern Cian Rice on vocals and audio QA tester Rick Cody on guitar playing along with two gamers enjoying Rock Band 4 a few days before it was released.
Frankly, this blog post and anything I will type will not describe what I gained and am currently gaining from being able to contribute work for the game. To be honest, I've had many challenges coming into this opportunity. I was so focused on getting everything done perfectly that I had trouble relaxing. I made mistakes with communication here and there, and heck, I still do from time to time.
But I'm growing. And I'm having SO much fun growing. I love every challenge presented to me and I'm so happy to be able to blossom more with the people here. I've learned that you don't have to be perfect, even in such a disciplined and professional environment. I've learned that it's OK to relax and to FRICKING CHILL and take breaks, and maybe play some games with your fellow coworkers. But hey, I tend to be hard on myself, as you may know if you're such an avid reader of my oh-so-much-fun blog posts of my life. ;)
I've played rhythm games all of my life, since Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero II, and I still can not believe i can do work like this for a living right now. I hope to not take this opportunity for granted.
Thank you, again, everyone who I am able to work with, and to everyone for supporting me. Even when I'm hard on myself!
Now to take a break from work.
Rock on, everyone.