Character Designing the Beatles for Their ‘Rock Band’ Premiere


Unless you live in a place without children or adults who enjoy thinly-altered versions of Simon, you’ve likely seen the endless stream of promotion for “The Beatles: Rock Band,” the next title in the series of sort-of-music-y video games. While we enjoyed the animated commercial being passed around a few months back, that’s likely as close to the game as we’re going to get (we share Jim DeRogatis‘ opinion of it). But that’s not to say the creation of the game isn’t of interest. That’s why we turn to this interesting piece about the design of the title, talking to Josh Randall, its director. In it, there’s some info about how he and his team created the animated stand-ins for the famous pop group in their most iconic settings. Although there’s a little too much “Oh, I get it. This guy needs to look like a hero” fluff in there, there are bits and pieces of genuine interest about the process of designing the characters. Here’s a bit:

Yoko Ono was particularly helpful when working with the 3-D model of John Lennon. “At the time, our version of John was really not there yet,” Randall explained. “We were suffering because of it. We were trying to figure out what we were missing and, sitting with Yoko, she was like, ‘He was such a strong personality. You need to capture his essence, his spirit.’ “

From there the developers went back to the original footage of the Beatles performing at Shea Stadium. Their in-game model of John looked hunched-over and shy during that performance, but in real life he was apparently much more active. Describing the video, Randall said it was obvious — it just took Ono to point it out.

Okay, maybe it’s all fluff. But we still found it kinda interesting.