The lights are on
Dan Teasdale is the lead designer on Rock Band 3, Harmonix's latest evolution of the rhythm game. Even though that project isn't quite finished, we've discovered that Teasdale has left Harmonix to join downloadable game developer Twisted Pixel, the team behind such XBLA titles as Splosion Man and Comic Jumper.
Speaking candidly in a post on his blog, Teasdale revealed that in the process of becoming a lead designer for such a huge team, he has lost the ability to focus in on the details of a game in the way he used to enjoy. He explained, "...as I became a senior and then a lead on AAA titles with 200+ people on
them, the ability to chart the vision and the direction of a title
starts to encroach how much time you can spend tweaking the details
"This realisation put me in a
weird position: I want to be able to help drive the vision and
direction of a game, but at the same time be hands on and physically
implement and iterate on the low level of making games in a more
substantial way than time affords me when working as a lead on
multi-hundred person titles."
This sounds like a good move for Teasdale, then, but don't worry about him abandoning Rock Band 3 before release. The blog post assures that the game is "design complete and on the final path to 0 bugs, GM and distribution."
As for what project Teasdale will be working on with Twisted Pixel, he mentioned only that it is "a well funded and supported new title." The developer is likely just finishing up work on its upcoming third Xbox Live Arcade game, Comic Jumper. The only other project that we know of that the company has in the works is a console MMO being created with Turbine, although Twisted Pixel's website says it's already finished work on that contract as well.
Hopefully we'll have more details on Twisted Pixel's (and Teasdale's) bright future soon.