The End of Days: Some stats about C3

(This was supposed to go out yesterday, but pksage has been swamped with stuff for our final release. Thanks for your patience!)

When you run a database, any kind of database, you are inevitably drawn to the siren song of statistics. We’ve got two and a half years of customs just begging to be analyzed! Isn’t that exciting??? No? Just us? Too bad! You get to sit through this post anyway.

All stats exclude 2x bass pedal versions, rhythm versions, and the GHtoRB3 back catalog unless otherwise specified.

  • Dates
    • C3’s first release (The Rapture) was on April 9, 2013, and our last release is tomorrow, October 2, 2015.
    • That’s over 129 weeks, or 2 years, 5 months, and 23 days.
    • If we were Harmonix, and The Rapture was the release of RB1, it would be May 11, 2010, and we’d be releasing Judas Priest’s British Steel live album.
  • Songs & Releases
    • C3 released custom Rock Band songs during every one of those 129 weeks, with no exceptions.
    • We released 1321 original songs in total; 1501 unique songs with the GHtoRB3 back catalog, and 1683 song packages including 2x bass and rhythm versions.
      • For an unfair comparison (since we don’t have to worry about trivial things like first-party certification), Harmonix had released 977 DLC songs by their 129th week.
    • We had 132 release dates over those weeks, averaging 10.06 unique songs per week.
    • Our biggest week was Genesis Chronicles (80 songs) on November 14, 2014, and our smallest week was Tears for Fears C01 (3 songs) on April 17, 2015.
    • The artists with the most C3 customs are, in order:
      1. Genesis (77 songs)
      2. Queensrÿche (51 songs)
      3. Dream Theater (33 songs)
      4. Rush (31 songs)
      5. Guns N’ Roses (17 songs)
    • The (admittedly user-defined and kind of shaky) genres with the most C3 customs are, in order:
      1. Rock (268 songs)
      2. Metal (224 songs)
      3. Pop-Rock (158 songs)
      4. Alternative (148 songs)
      5. Prog (138 songs)
    • Each decade of rock music had this many C3 releases:
      • 1950s (5 songs)
      • 1960s (83 songs)
      • 1970s (170 songs)
      • 1980s (294 songs)
      • 1990s (306 songs)
      • 2000s (271 songs)
      • 2010s (189 songs)
    • Multitrack audio stems were included for 291 songs, and partial stems were included in a further 58 songs. (All of GHtoRB3’s back catalog had multitracks, pushing us to 476 songs with full stems.)
    • Almost every release in our DB (including GHtoRB3), with single-digit exceptions for each platform, have been converted to Wii, PS3, and Phase Shift formats. This is entirely thanks to the hard work of StackOverflow0x, TDCMark, bluzer, and AkiraNomuraBCN, often with tools designed by TrojanNemo.
  • Downloads
    • C3 has served over 2 million custom song downloads from over 60,000 unique IPs.
    • The most-downloaded C3 releases, in order:
      1. Guns N’ Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (farottone)
      2. Britney Spears – “Toxic” (Nyxyxylyth)
      3. Guns N’ Roses – “Paradise City” (farottone)
      4. ABBA – “Mamma Mia” (drummerockband)
      5. Guns N’ Roses – “November Rain” (farottone)
      6. Led Zeppelin – “Kashmir” (farottone)
      7. Led Zeppelin – “Immigrant Song” (farottone)
      8. Michael Jackson – “Thriller” (farottone and RUSHEE)
      9. Led Zeppelin – “Black Dog” (farottone)
      10. Pink Floyd – “Time” (Nyxyxylyth)
    • Of C3 authors who released 10 or more songs, these authors had the highest average downloads, in order:
      1. RyanHYK
      2. drummerockband
      3. farottone
      4. BearzUnlimited
      5. Lowlander
    • We had to specify “10 or more songs”, because otherwise Orange Harrison destroys everyone with The Beatles.
  • Pro Mode
    • C3 releases included:
      • 1040 songs with harmony vocals (1188 with GHtoRB3)
      • 162 songs with “(2x Bass Pedal)” Drums charts
      • 859 songs with Pro Keys (919 with GHtoRB3)
      • 89 songs with Pro Guitar or Pro Bass (93 with GHtoRB3)
    • A large number of our Pro G/B charts were authored by columbo777, who I have criminally under-credited since the beginning.
  • Packs
    • We grouped our releases into 166 packs, with an average of 6.15 songs per pack.
    • Within those packs, we had 19 full albums, plus at least two packs that finished partial albums from Harmonix releases.
    • Exactly 300 songs were released as singles.
    • There were lots of “C02” packs, and a few “C03” packs, but only Guns N’ Roses and Queensrÿche made it to 4 packs. (All of Queensrÿche’s were full albums!)
  • Authors
    • It’s hard to pin down exact author counts, but over 90 different people worked on official C3 releases.
    • The most prolific author is farottone, who personally authored or contributed to over 460 songs. This means farottone is at least partially responsible for 35% of all C3 songs.
    • After farottone is Nightmare Lyra, who authored or contributed to 130 songs. After the two of them, there’s a sharp drop before the rest of us mortal authors.
    • Excluding farottone, because he throws off all the numbers, each author contributed an average of ~16 songs.
    • Our author team is from all over the world — at least ten different countries are represented, including Italy, Norway, Canada, the US, and others.
  • Blog
    • Since it launched with The Rapture, this blog has received over 925,000 page views. That’s an average of more than 7,000 views per week.
    • We’ve made 163 posts, most of which are release posts.
    • About 155 of those posts were made by me, pksage.
    • With a very few exceptions, every release post has had at least one preview video. These 170+ videos were made by Lowlander and TrojanNemo, and represent ridiculous amounts of time spent capturing all the footage and editing it together.
  • Forums
    • The old forums had 4500 topics, 61,949 posts, and 2,072 members before they were migrated to the new platform.
    • Our most active poster is (unsurprisingly) farottone, who had 4,124 posts in the old forums.
  • Time
    • Using rough estimates for how long it takes to author a song (~12 hours per song, give or take), C3 authors worked for over 600 days to create our catalog. That means if one person had sat down and authored our entire catalog without sleep, it would have taken almost 2 years. And again, that estimate is very conservative.
    • pksage spent maybe an hour and change preparing every weekly release, between writing the blog copy, populating the database with all of the metadata, copying out the songs to the blog, forum, and bug tracker, and doing other miscellaneous tasks. Counting weekly releases, web development, and other C3 management, pksage has spent over 200 hours doing administrative work for C3, which does not include authoring or playtesting.
    • Speaking of playtesting, we have no actual metrics on this, but we required most of our authors to put their songs through a “sanity check”/playtesting process before release. Almost all of our authors helped out with this process, and total playtesting time is easily in the hundreds of hours.
    • If you were to play all of our customs back-to-back with no time between songs, it would take you 4 days, 1 hour, 51 minutes, and 1 second. (If you add the GHtoRB3 back catalog, it would take 16 more hours.)
    • If you were really bored, and you played every chart for every song on every instrument, it would take you 81 days. I sure hope there’s not an achievement for that.
  • Other Trivia
    • Ten songs from the C3 library had to be pulled because they were announced for RB4 or RB4 DLC.
    • Many of our songs were not given a maturity rating by their authors, but of the ones that were, a full 91 songs were rated Mature for explicit content.
    • The actual release process at 10 AM Eastern was almost all automated, but every week required at least one or two manual tasks right at 10. pksage has done 10 AM release stuff from highway rest stops, from friends’ apartments, as a passenger in a moving car, from two airports, while in a panic from his phone while walking his dog after forgetting about it, and in at least four different US states.
    • farottone and pksage are both married and somehow stayed that way throughout the 129 weeks of C3.

That was…educational! farottone and I might have one final blog post for you tonight, depending on how long our tasks for tomorrow’s release take. Either way, see you tomorrow for our sort-of-grand finale!

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The End of Days: An animated look at the last 2.5 years

 

I’m not very talented at directing or editing videos, but for some reason I find myself time and again making and sharing videos, both in my personal life and in my involvement with C3. In preparation for our last release this Friday, I’ve put together a video that more or less retraces our steps through 30 months of releases, from when C3 was just an idea in an e-mail chain, to last week’s amazing release.

There’s just so much content that it was very challenging choosing what to highlight, but I tried my best to cover the important milestones. My goal was to show how through its releases, C3 integrated the many cultures of its members, celebrated several holidays with what we consider the C3 family, and shared songs from some of the most highly requested artists in Rock Band history.

The ending highlights not only why we are stopping our weekly releases, but also how the community will live on through the legacy left by C3. We have established an amazing community, we have released an amazing body of work comprised of nearly 1,700 songs, and we have provided you with the tools and tutorials to ensure the creation of custom content for this great game never ends.

I know not all of you have 20 minutes of your life to dedicate to a sappy video, so there’s a also a condensed version with just the beginning and the end of our journey. If all you have is 5 minutes, watch that version. But if you can, it would really mean a lot to me and to us if you checked out the full version.

And if the video makes you half emotional as it made us, you might want to prepare yourself with some excuses for why your eyes are so, well, watery…

TrojanNemo

 

Long version:

 

Short version:

The End of Days: Parting words from our authors

The End of Days wouldn’t be a proper send-off to C3’s weekly releases without some wistful blog posts, right? Over the next few days, leading up to our final release, we’ll be posting some stuff about some things. If you’re not a terrible person with no soul, you should read them! We’re only judging you a little.

I’ve said it many times before, but C3 wouldn’t exist without our amazing community of authors. These ladies and gentlemen worked insanely hard, some of them almost every week, to author customs that met our standards, like including all instruments (including vocals and Pro Keys, often a pain to author) and difficulties. Anyone on the internet can author a custom song — we strongly encourage it, in fact! — but these people did it over and over, with all of those charts for every songs, and often having to incorporate feedback, which is a…rocky process, sometimes. And, best of all, they put up with us and each other long enough to make this amazing project happen.

Today the spotlight is on our most prolific authors, the names that appear most often in our 1500+ song database. We asked each of them about their favorite songs and if they wanted to say anything to you guys, the playerbase, and their answers are below. If you see any of these fine folk on our forums, remember to give them a shoutout and thank them for their hard work!

Tune in tomorrow for some boringawesome C3 statistics!

Continue reading

The End of Days approaches!

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It’s often hard to tell an ending from a beginning.

Back in 2013, Harmonix announced that April 2 would be the end. Their tradition of weekly DLC, which had lasted for almost five and a half years, was done. “American Pie” was a fitting gravestone, and Harmonix got to focus on other projects. But many of us had devotedly followed these releases, junkies suddenly deprived of their high. And of those devotees, some of us knew how to make custom songs work, and some of us knew how to author those songs, and a cool idea was born. “One more pack,” we said. We planned out the Rapture, originally a one-and-done pack of community customs. And more than two years after that one-time release, here we are, with well over a thousand new songs for you — the other devotees, just like us — to play.

Now, Harmonix has another big day on the horizon. We’ve kept the candle burning, but Rock Band 4 hits shelves on October 6, and that beginning is also an ending. C3’s final release will be October 2, 2015.

It’s been a wild ride, and all of us on the C3 admin and author teams will have plenty to say about it. Luckily for you, it’s still five weeks and change away, and C3 never lets a big milestone pass unrecognized. Our final weeks are no exception. Please look forward to The End of Days, a four-week farewell salute to our players and Rock Band 3!

The End of Days

  • Week 1 (September 11): I Can’t Believe It’s Not Guitar Hero C02
    A big batch of GH ports! 10+ multitrack hits from the GH series.
  • Week 2 (September 18): C3’s All-Star Farewell
    One song each from every C3 author we could scrounge up, which also means 10 or more tracks.
  • Week 3 (September 25): ???
    Wait and see! Are you ready for more than 20 new songs? (OK, good, because that’s how many there are.)
  • Week 4 (October 2): The End
    What songs? How many songs? It’s a secret to everybody.

Astute observers will notice that there’s still two weeks before The End of Days gets started. They’re not officially part of the event, but they are crazy good releases regardless.

Weekly releases might be ending, but the C3 community isn’t going anywhere, and our forums will stay open indefinitely. We’d also like to make it easier for people to find and share their own non-C3 customs, and we have some stuff cooking in that area that might be ready before October. (As a reminder, C3 will never allow customs of any official, purchasable Rock Band song, including Rock Band 4 tracks. Especially those.)

We’ll have more posts from me, the other admins, and our authors as we draw closer to the end of all things. For now, though, just kick back. We’ll see you, as usual, on Friday.

-pksage

By pksage Posted in News

Harmonix releases official DLC for the first time in 21 months!

Welcome back, Miss American Pie! In a move from out of left field, Harmonix announced yesterday that three new tracks would be coming to the Rock Band music store today, January 13. In case you somehow haven’t seen this news exploding all over the Internet, those tracks are:

  • Arctic Monkeys – “R U Mine?”
  • Avenged Sevenfold – “Shepherd of Fire”
  • Foo Fighters – “Something From Nothing” (Buy for Xbox 360)

Go buy these songs and play them! Our mission at C3 has always been to keep players’ interest in the Rock Band franchise alive, and buying brand-new RB3 DLC is the best possible way to do this. By buying these songs, you’re directly demonstrating your interest in the game to Harmonix, and increasing the odds of future Rock Band content.

Can I buy these new songs and still play customs?
Absolutely! You have two options. For most people, the easiest way is simply to buy the songs from the Xbox Marketplace via your 360’s dashboard, then load up RB3 for customs as normal. It will recognize and load the songs with no issues. If you maintain a TU5 environment on a flash drive or similar (in order to play online, for example), you can also load up RB3 in TU5 and download the songs in-game. The only thing you can’t do is buy them in-game in TU4, because it won’t connect you to Xbox Live.

What does this mean for C3 releases?
Harmonix confirmed on yesterday’s livestream that restoring weekly DLC is not yet in the works, so C3 will continue our weekly customs releases for the foreseeable future. Any C3 songs officially released by Harmonix will immediately be removed from our database, and we’ll be requiring that community customs on our forums follow the same rule.

Will you stop releasing songs through C3 if weekly DLC ramps back up?
We’re discussing this, but it seems unlikely right now. We’ll make a decision if and when we get several weeks of Harmonix DLC in a row.

Will C3 releases continue to support Keys and Pro Keys?
This batch of Harmonix DLC does not include Keys/PK parts for at least one song with a keyboard stem, but we will continue to include Keys/PK in C3 releases whenever possible.

By pksage Posted in News

The Rapture: Launch Announcement

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, on a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

— 1 Corinthians 15:51-54

The Rapture is coming.

On April 9th, everything changes.

Downloads available at http://db.customscreators.com/


With our favourite rhythm game franchise winding down its official content stream, a group of custom chart authors decided to work together with the goal of celebrating this franchise’s incredible run: offering you one more Tuesday of great downloadable content releases. This coming Tuesday, April 9th, these authors are unleashing a collaborative release of 35 customs (plus variants), one of the largest and most diverse selections of new content released in the history of this title. The Rapture brings you brand new, full band customs, as well as complete conversions from other rhythm titles, many of which feature multitrack audio and pro guitar/bass upgrades.

Continue reading

By espher Posted in News
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Video Tutorial: Playing Customs

 

Looking to play custom songs in your favourite rhythm game? We have prepared a video tutorial to help you get started with customs, walking you through the process of preparing your removable storage drives and copying customs to them so that you can start taking advantage of RB3’s ever-growing custom library.

Looking to download Title Update 4? Visit this site.