I'm blogging about Rock Band 2 instead of actually playing it because my 360 made a nice circular scuff mark around the rim and now it likes to crap out right as I start a new challenge.
Rock Band 2's online component is pretty cool. You can invite people to play in your campaign - and why not? You'll get more fans, leaderboard score, etc. if you do that. The problem? When you join someone else's band, all you get is money, which is fairly worthless unless you like to buy bling at the rock shop. You don't get progress, leaderboard scores, or fans...
But this doesn't seem to be too much of a problem - I've never had an issue getting a couple of people to join my band. I guess some people really are motivated by the fake cash. Or maybe it's a truism of online games: everybody wants to join, nobody wants to host. Kudos to Harmonix for giving people real strong motivation to actually host.
Of course, to get the most points, your band needs a bassist. And nobody wants to play bass. So if you want to lead a full band, you're going to have to play bass yourself.
And this is like life! A former girlfriend used to be something of a groupie for indy rock band i found god - and in 1997, after their bassist quit, Stress, the founder, gave up guitar and took up playing the bass. In LA, it's a lot easier to find talented guys who want to play guitar than play bass. Just like rock band.
Which reminds me of something Peter Drucker said, but I'm too lazy to look up the quote, so I'll paraphrase: leaders fill the void. They do the thing that isn't getting done. In other words: CEO's plunge toilets.
Another example, in the early days of Spider-Man 1, I did a lot of tools programming, a not-terribly-sexy job, because other guys were excited to do the rendering and gameplay and whatnot. I did what wasn't being done.
But there are a couple caveats to the "Leaders Play Bass" rule - (my opinions here are subtle and nuanched.)
First of all, it can come dangerously close to "Putting Yourself In As Your Own Utility Infielder" - if you neglect your management duties to do full time tools programming, that's a Bad Thing. So if the void, the thing-that-needs-doing, is a critical path thing, you're really going to have to fix that staffing problem. After the Spidey team ramped up, management was a full-time responsibility so I passed the tools programming off.
Second of all, there's some reason you're a leader. Some reason you're running a project, starting a company - you want to make a difference, make something happen, and you bring a certain x factor to bear on that. If you're giving up your x factor to play bass - why are you being a leader at all? Stress didn't stop writing the songs for ifg, and I always have influence over the design on the games I work on, because that's why I make games.
So...'Playing bass' is a survival measure. You only do it when you have to. But when you have to, you do it.