I wanted to give you a preview of the song selection interface in Rock Band 3, which we call the Music Library. It's greatly expanded from what you've seen in previous Rock Band games, but it still looks and behaves in a familiar way.
Rock Band 3 Music Library
In designing the Music Library, our goal was to give players better control of how they navigate their songs, especially since there are so many downloadable songs available for the Rock Band platform at this point (2,000 by RB3 launch!). So we expanded the sorting options to include a few highly-requested sort types:
- Sort by Stars. You can now sort songs by the number of stars you've earned playing them. This makes it easy to separate the songs you've nailed from the ones you still need to practice.
- Sort by Leaderboard Rank. This sorts the songs by your leaderboard rank on each song's respective leaderboard, so you can see the songs on which you're globally competitive.
- Sort by Date Acquired. Here, you'll see your most recent song acquisitions, with the newest ones on top. It's very useful for quickly finding songs you've just downloaded from the Rock Band Music Store.
- Sort by Play Count. This sort separates the songs you most frequently play from those you rarely play.
- Sort by Review. This sort orders the song list according to the reviews you've specified for each song, which is a great way to quickly pick out your favorites. That's right, you can now set a review score of one to five "lighters" for each song! Keep reading for more info on how these reviews are used.
Rock Band 3 Music Library Filters
We've also added the ability to filter your song list down to only the set of songs you care about at any given time. Say, for instance, you've just gotten a new Squier Stratocaster or Mustang PRO guitar, and you want to view only those songs that have Pro guitar parts. You can use a filter to hide any songs that don't support Pro guitar.
You can also combine filters to narrow your song list even further. Suppose, for whatever reason, you would like to browse all moderate-difficulty metal songs from the '80s that support keys and harmony vocals. No problem – that's easy to do with the new filter system.
Rock Band 3 Music Library Filters
If you have an online connection, you'll also see recommended songs from the Music Store within the Music Library. This allows you to keep tabs on what's available in the Store while you're browsing your songs. What's more, you can enable or disable the visibility of these song recommendations at any time.
The Music Library is packed with functionality and data about the songs in your collection, and it's all optimized for quick access. As you browse through your library, you'll get a snapshot of your performance on each song via the star rating and friend rankings for each song (just like in The Beatles: Rock Band). But a single button press brings you to the dedicated screen for your selected song, from which you can view complete performance stats, jump into Practice Mode or delete the song from your memory device. The song-specific performance stats include global and friends-only leaderboards as well as your best star ratings and accuracy ratings at each difficulty level, for each instrument.
Rock Band 3 performance stats
With all this data about your music, it's easy to get immersed in the details! So we're also adding new features that are designed to get you playing songs with as little fuss as possible. In addition to the usual Random Song feature, we've added a feature called Party Shuffle that automatically assembles a setlist built using your entire library. When it's building the setlist, Party Shuffle is intelligent enough to take your song reviews and your instruments into account – song selections are weighted towards those you've reviewed highly, and only those songs that support your instruments will show up in the playlist.
Lastly, the Music Library is also the access hub for our new setlist features. There's a lot more to be said here, so I'll save it for another blog entry!