BioShock: GamerNode interviews the game designer

bioshockguyLate last week, GamerNode was honored to meet with Jordan Thomas, one of the designers of BioShock, to chat about Irrational Games’ upcoming title. We were able to see, first hand, just how things are shaping up with the game. If first impressions mean anything at all, we can say that BioShock looks like it’s turning into a very immersive and entertaining game.

The art direction is excellent — there is very close attention to detail, lighting, special effects and the backdrop of the city [Rapture} has a deep and graphically stunning look to it. But there’s more to BioShock than just great eye candy.

Thomas said, "BioShock is a game set in an underwater utopia [Rapture] that was built in the 1940’s and went horribly wrong over the course of 20 years. You start the game by crash landing outside [this city]. The game follows a mystery format…an adventure where you try to survive and discover the meaning behind the place and yourself…"

Individuals are trying to make a human paradise possible — a select group of people are invited to this domain…the best engineers, scientists, artists; the best of everything. But as this social experiment continues, something has gone "horribly wrong." The story is intriguing and sets the stage for some memorable horror survival moments and great action/adventure.

He said, "BioShock allows you to "mine" the space around you for the story as opposed to forcing it down your throat…In brief, you see things happening before your eyes, in other cases, you see a ghost in your peripheral vision. They are able to show you some history on what has gone wrong. Audio diaries, (tapes) are all over the place…slices of somebody’s life — and they are both touching and disturbing – they are about the people who tied up their lives in this place.

"The desire to tell a story that transports the player completely in the experience and in control throughout the game…we want Rapture to feel like a real place…all the boundaries that you encounter and move thought the game from level to level, you experience more and more of this great city that has fallen apart."

The city itself is a pleasurable visual assault on the eyes. Thomas said that there was particular attention given to making sure the whole city of Rapture provided an art deco look to everything – a popular industrial/artistic look during the era of the 1920s and ‘30s.

We asked Thomas what the design goals were for BioShock.

"We focused very heavily on a single player experience, lots of exploration time – in addition to guns that feel good and do what they do. [They’ll be] familiar to FPS players — we [also] have this suite of genetic powers. What they do is to interact with the environment and that gives you an advantage — hacking into robots to turn it into a friendly, firing at water to electrocute anyone standing in it. As you go thought the game you discover more and more of [these things]. As you go further into the game…you can change characteristics of your character so that he is fire proof, etc."

BioShock has an amazing amount of production value in it. I was pretty much blown away with the great sound track, very realistic and spooky sound effects, visuals and overall presentation of the game.

If what we saw is close to what we’ll see and experience in the final release of the game, you can count us in.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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