How Harmonix has Changed the User Interface of Gaming

Speaker: Ryan Lesser and Dan Schmidt , Harmonix

Date: Friday, November 21, 2008

Time: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Refreshments: 3:00 PM

Public: Yes

Location: 32-155

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Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Michael Bernstein, (617) 253-0452,

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Reminder Subject: TALK: How Harmonix has Changed the User Interface of Gaming


The use of alternative game controllers (such as guitars and steering wheels) provides game design benefits not available when using standard controllers, but also adds corresponding hazards. From Karaoke Revolution in 2003 to Rock Band in 2007 and beyond, Harmonix has designed games for microphones, cameras, fake guitars and drums, and the iPod. We will discuss the hardware and software challenges involved in creating these games, with a focus on the experience of the player.

Speaker Biographies:
Ryan Lesser has been creating video games since 1996. As Art Director at Harmonix, Ryan helped to create the 3D musical interface that would be used in many of Harmonix's music based games such as Rock Band, Amplitude and Guitar Hero. Ryan is an avid artist and musician, participating in gallery showings and playing guitar in the heavy metal band Megasus.

Dan Schmidt is the lead gameplay programmer at Harmonix, where he has worked since 1996. Before then, he worked at Looking Glass Technologies, creating games such as Ultima Underworld and System Shock. He received degrees in computer science and music composition from MIT. He is the principal singer and songwriter for Honest Bob and the Factory-to-Dealer Incentives.

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See other events that are part of the HCI Seminar Series Fall 2008.

Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:23 AM.