Rock Band lead designer leaves for Twisted Pixel

Dan Teasdale, lead designer at Harmonix, has announced today that he’s leaving the Boston-based studio following having completed his design work on Rock Band 3. Harmonix loss is Twisted Pixel’s gain — Teasdale is headed off to Austin, Texas where he’ll join the team responsible for ‘Splosion Man and Comic Jumper to work on a “ridiculously cool new project.”

The reasoning, Teasdale explains in a post on his personal blog, is a desire to work on with a smaller team.

“I want to be able to help drive the vision and direction of a game,” he writes, “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.”

I first met Dan at PAX in 2008, after answering his challenge to a public arm wrestling battle. Despite the fact that he cheated (and then publicly tried to sell his snake oil to other game designers at GDC not long after), I have enormous respect for Dan. He’s dedicated years to designing and shipping games that I hold among my favorites, easily the best in their genre.

I wish him the best of luck with Twisted Pixel, but a word of warning to folks in Austin: his arm wrestling talent claims are fraudulent (but his game design skills are not).

Nick Chester