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The Design Failures That Led To Rock Band 177

CNN is running an interview with Eran Egozy and Alex Rigopulos, founders of Harmonix, about the long road that eventually led them to the creation of Guitar Hero and Rock Band . It wasn't an quick or easy process, and the two worked on a number of unsuccessful concepts before arriving at the games that redefined a genre. Quoting: "I was watching people interact with our product, and the realization came crashing down on me — we had spent 18 months on a music system that was fundamentally flawed. Karaoke isn't about personal expression. It's about people reproducing the songs they know as accurately as they can. The whole notion of adding improvisation elements just wasn't connecting. So I retreated to my hotel room and was depressed for the next two days. The company was on the rocks. We had zero revenue. We had been trying for four years to make something work. We were out of ideas. Those first four years had been a graveyard of mis-starts and product concepts that never made it anywhere. Worse, there was adequate information about two years into those four years to realize that our big concept was fatally flawed."

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.