Somewhere else, that's where. Rock Band 3 lead designer Dan Teasdale is leaving Rock Band developer Harmonix. In his blog, he states why.
"Working on something like Rock Band basically allows you to auto-complete most of the achievements on your life list," he blogged late last week. "'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."
Teasdale was a designer on Rock Band and Rock Band 2. He worked as one of the lead designers on the forthcoming Rock Band 3. And he says that at some point during all this, he forgot to keep track of what he was going for. "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," he wrote, "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."
According to the designer, this put him in a "weird position". He wants to be involved in the game's direction and vision, but still get "hand on" with the actual nitty-gritty game making process in a way that he says is more substantial that working as a lead on a title made by several hundred people.
Last Friday was Teasdale last day at Harmonix. Over the weekend, he flew to Austin to start work at developer Twisted Pixel "ridiculously cool new project".
"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."