My name is Brandon Zarzyczny, and I recently graduated college with a Chemistry Major and a Psychology Minor. I spend most of my free time playing video games, reading, and watching movies, all while listening to music. I’d say the only time I’m not listening to music is when I’m playing Rock Band, which I happen do a lot (seriously the longest I’ve ever kept playing a video game). Now for a selfless plug, you can follow me at on Twitter @Big7337 or find out what music I love at my LastFM.com profile.
1. How did you decide to get involved with RBN?
Well, ever since I played a demo of Guitar Hero in Best Buy I've been a Harmonix fan boy. I've also always been a huge music fan - combine that with a video game and it was the perfect fit. When I first heard about RBN, I knew I wanted to be involved, but I didnt know where. When I found the thread on RockBand.com looking for new playtesters, I threw my name into the hat. After getting the email I was ready to contribute (with a bit of trepidation over paying 100 bucks [for the Xbox Creators Club membership], but it's definitely been worth it).
2. What qualifications did you have coming into RBN? Music creation? Game development? Reckless enthusiasm?
Well, I played percussion through High School, and Choir through College, I've listened to a lot of music, and I've played a lot of video games. Also, I can get a bit obsessive over things, which is really helpful when trying to perfect a song for the RBN store.
3. How does RBN compare to other peer review / UGC communities youve been involved with?
Well, this was my first one, but I assume that this was a much more hands-on experience. Also, you're testing songs/programs created by members of the community, not the game developer. I'm going to say that it's my favorite peer review community I've ever been involved with.
4. What has been the most rewarding part of being involved with RBN so far?
The most rewarding part has been helping bands I love perfect their songs for RBN. If I hadn't signed up for this I would have never had the multitude of interactions with awesome people and bands. The biggest example of this has been reviewing/playtesting all 17 of The Main Drag songs, one of my favorite bands. Also, its nice to be a valued member of the community, maybe even an asset to the whole RBN process. When we get ahold of the songs, they're like a bird with a broken wing. We playtesters give it some TLC and when it's ready, we set it free to the wicked world of the casual Rock Band players.
5. How do you see RBN growing in the coming months?
In the coming months I hope that more indie artist will make the leap to either get their songs into the game through authoring groups or charting themselves. I see a steady increase of tracks small and large hitting the stores so that whatever song/genre the Rock Band gamer wants to play, they'll be able to buy through RBN.