The Times just posted the massive cover feature from this Sunday’s magazine on The Beatles: Rock Band. If the game’s premarketing hasn’t yet convinced you it’ll be the best thing since Abbey Road, then we highly suggest you immediately read all 8,500 words of Daniel Radosh’s piece. Our favorite part, though, is the hilarious story about the day the famously easygoing Yoko Ono visited Harmonix headquarters to check up on the game’s development.
A week before my visit, Yoko Ono spent a day at Harmonix, tweaking. “Stop talking about the technology,” [Harmonix co-founder Alex] Rigopulos said she told them. “Let’s talk about the idea of what we are trying to accomplish here. John needs to own the performance, he needs to own the room. Where he’s looking and the look in his eye at every moment matters and affects people.” For the developers who were in the late stages of work and more than a little burned out, it wasn’t exactly a pleasant visit. “You can’t tell a computer, ‘Make his eyes look good,’ ” one artist pointed out to me. “You have to create a quantifiable system,” plotting “interest points” in key places and programming characters to look at those points at key times, say, at the other singer when they both lean in to the microphone, or at the camera when it passes by. Ono told me later that “John had this look that showed he was high-spirited and strong-willed,” which wasn’t coming through in the game.
Radosh doesn’t mention anything about Yoko having a bed delivered to the development studio — but he also doesn’t say it didn’t happen.