GDC 08 Sessions: No Guitar for Next Harmonix Game, Levine Talks BioShock Storytelling, EA on Sims 3

The next game from Guitar Hero and Rock Band creator Harmonix will be free of the peripherals that have defined so many of its recent efforts, according to a listing of the initial Game Developers Conference 2008 sessions.

The title will, unsurprisingly, be centered around music. Similar to NanaOn-Sha's import-only cult classic Vib Ribbon (PSX), it is said to create custom levels based on a player's own music.

"While the majority of Harmonix built the juggernaut that is 'Rock Band,' a second, smaller team set to work on a game that turns a player's own music collection in an infinite variety of gameplay 'levels,'" reads the description for the session led by senior designer Chris Foster. "Their new title faced unique challenges: beats would not be authored by tech-savvy musicians, but would instead be algorithmically generated, and the game would lack the dedicated peripherals that were critical to the success of the Guitar Hero series."

Other notable talks include a discussion of in-game storytelling by BioShock creative designer Ken Levine, titled "Empowering Players To Care About Your Stupid Story," and a presentation from EA's Richard Evans on the new AI techniques used in the upcoming The Sims 3.

Game Developers Conference 2008 runs February 18-22 at San Francisco's Moscone Center.