One frustrating aspect of my Rock Band experience: account management. Maybe all of this makes more sense to people with more multiplayer Xbox 360 experience, but here’s what I’ve gone through since buying the game:
- First, we played anonymously, because there didn’t seem to be any way to create characters from the multiplayer screen. (At least in non-world-tour mode, we weren’t interested in starting a band yet.)
- Then I read the manual, and figured out that you had to create a character in solo mode. So I created two characters, David and Miranda.
- Then we started to play; she could sign in, I couldn’t. Hypothesis: we were both signed in under my account, maybe it only lets you use one character per account at a time?
- So then I figured out (first time I’d done this) how to get different accounts signed in on different controllers, and we created a new Miranda character under her account. But I still couldn’t use my character?
- That was all last week; when starting a band, this seemed important to sort out. In world tour mode, it was willing to let me create a character; but when I did that, it said I already had a character named David. So why wouldn’t it let me use it???
- I went back to my account in solo mode, and noticed the microphone icon next to my character. Ah: I guess the character is linked to an instrument? (Or pair in the case of guitar/bass?) So I deleted the old character, and created a new character who was a guitarist. Using the very annoying d-pad on the guitar, where up and down did the opposite of what I expected.
- After that, we were all set, and had a lot of fun. But now, I’ve just linked to my Rock Band portal account, and my band doesn’t show up! And the old characters do show up, but not the ones I created today?
- Maybe it only updates some of that once a day? Seems odd. But, turning the game back on again, I now doubt the band will ever show up, because it turns out that we created it using the (regular non-instrument) Xbox 360 controller, because it’s by far the most natural one to use. And that’s the one that is linked to the microphone, hence the one that was logged in to Miranda’s (non-Xbox-Live) Xbox account. Or something like that, I can only try to reconstruct what must have happened in retrospect.
- Grumble. Should I ask Miranda if we can start a new band, linked to my account? Probably not, I’d prefer it to be linked to my account, but realistically I don’t think it matters much one way or another, given that we’re only using it locally. Still, it would be nice to show off our progress to the world…
Sigh. Sure, some of this is my ignorance, not initially knowing about logging into different accounts on different controllers. Though there, Microsoft really could have done a much better job of making that whole setup easier to figure out, e.g. adding a “create new account” item on one of the main menus, instead of requiring the user to think of signing out of the primary account (using a different mechanism) first. But it seems to me that I didn’t do anything particularly unnatural in the above scenario, yet I took wrong turns several times that I only became aware of much later.
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