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Posts with tag ken-levine

Ken Levine does best to clear the storytelling air


As is becoming more and more common these days, a developer heard about the internet debacle that their comments or actions sparked, AND responded with relative quickness. This time it's BioShock's very own Ken Levine and his comments about dumbing down the stories in video games to be understandable for the lowest common denominator. His response was posted over at VE3D, and in it he goes deeper into his side comment about the medium of games having potential through player choice.

In fact he can say it better than us, so we'll just let him do it: "(Players) can, IF THEY CHOOSE, go deeper. That's where in BioShock all the other storytelling devices kick in: the diaries, the public service announcements, the posters, the thousands of little scenes in the world of Rapture that tell the story of what happened there. But I like to assume there's going to be some part of the audience that doesn't care about that, and those people can opt out of it. But for the people who do care, they can choose to opt in and get a fairly complex story (and a VERY complex story relative to other console first person shooters)."

The second part of Ken's response can be found after the break.

Continue reading Ken Levine does best to clear the storytelling air

Bioshock creator: Plot has to be f****** stupid


We all know that Bioshock was a widely praised game. We all know that much of that praise was directed at its storytelling and narrative. So then when news like this comes around it makes us look at things a little differently. In an interview with PC Zone, Ken Levine the project lead on Bioshock, was quoted as saying:
"If you want people to follow your plot, it has to be really f****** stupid." "What are you doing in Bioshock?" continued Levine, "Act 1: Find the submarine and get out. But, the sub goes down. So, Act 2: You go find and kill Ryan".

He's certainly correct (duh), noting that
Bioshock's original story plan involved at least three civil wars and spanned across a total of 70 years (possible Bioshock 2 hints?). Despite lambasting the necessary dumbing down, Levine does praise the gaming medium's ability to immerse the player to whatever degree they choose via player exploration and discovery. With Ken involved, we're not at all worried about 2K Marin, and we have high hopes for whatever new IP he's working on next.

Ken Levine will be involved with BioShock 2

We briefly mentioned this during our recap of the Take Two earnings call last night, but we wanted to echo the story so BioShock fans can sleep easy. At the tail-end of the Take Two earnings call last night Chairman Strauss Zelnick clarified questions we had regarding the BioShock sequel that was announced during the 2K investors call earlier in the day. When discussing the upcoming sequel Zelnick assured listeners that BioShock series creator Ken Levine, "will be working on BioShock 2."

While we hope this means Ken will lend his vision to the 2K Marin team in hopes of creating yet another successful foray into the franchise, who knows if it means Ken will just be in Australia on a LOST landmark bus tour. So readers we ask, how important is Ken Levine's involvement in a sequel to BioShock?

[via Joystiq]

BioShock 2 announced, drops Q4 2009

After BioShock was met with critical and commercial success the prospect of a sequel seemed to be a foregone conclusion and today 2K Games finally admitted that the title is in the works. The surprising news is that 2K Boston, formally Irrational Games, will not be at the helm of BioShock 2's development, rather the job has been tasked to 2K Marin, who are reportedly staffed with former Irrational Games members. No involvement from Ken Levine was mentioned during the announcement.

The info dropped from an investor relations report 2K released today. With talks of an impending buyout on the horizon for parent company Take Two, the timing of this announcement couldn't be better. While the average gamer doesn't care about the business side of the industry, it will be interesting to see how Take Two's stock spikes based on the announcement. Either way, gamers can expect to take-out another group of Big Daddies in the last months of 2009 - so start lining up.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in. Via, Joystiq]

BioShock's Big Daddy just wants to have fun


While trolling the 4chan image boards the team at Bits Bytes Pixels Sprites stumbled upon this a gorgeous wallpaper depicting the Big Daddy and Little Sister having, as our own Dustin would say, "good times."

Ripped from the narrative of the award-winning BioShock, the Big Daddy and Little Sister are central characters in the great underwater city of Rapture and have inspired everything from fan art to developer discussions on the importance of simple stories in games. This beautiful piece deserves to be added to your desktop, so would you kindly download it.

GDC08: Dennis Dyack is worried about GDC


During the Game Developers Conference, 1UP.com was able to record interviews with developers in the guise of their weekly 1UP Yours podcast, one such episode was with outspoken Silicon Knights boss Dennis Dyack. In the episode on February 21, Dyack outlined his worries for the future of GDC based on the marketing spin put on the, "once sacred," developer gathering.

"I worry about GDC [because] how many talks are you learning something versus when somebody is trying to sell you a product?" Dyack asked the crew made up of editors Garnett Lee, Shane Bettenhausen, Bryan Intihar and former 1UPer Mark MacDonald. "Are we calling this the Game Developers Conference [or] are we calling it the Game Demo Convention?"

Continue reading GDC08: Dennis Dyack is worried about GDC

Levine talks BioShock DLC and what's to come

In the latest issue of Games for Windows Magazine, 2K Boston head honcho Ken Levine talks about what's in store for BioShock as far as downloadable content goes and what they're already working on. Levine confirms that their studio is working on new content, but will not be adding new narrative storyline saying that "I'm not a really big fan of expanding things just by linearly adding to the experience, adding a new campaign, as much as I am of enhancing the original experience and adding replayability to that experience". Levine then goes on to say that he feels that BioShock's overall combat can be expanded upon and that numerous plasmids were cut during development, so they could be brought back in the form of DLC.

Nobody knows when the expanded BioShock content will land on the Marketplace or what specifically 2K Boston has planned, but what we do know is that we won't be getting our hopes up for an expanded BioShock storyline or additional campaign missions. Though, we're simple people and would be happy with a few new plasmids.

[Thanks, xenocidic]

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