“Originally, the Big Sister was a unique character who you fought as frequently as you do now, but couldn’t defeat. And back then Eleanor was the Big Sister. A couple of things irritated me about that: she was too far gone, your input wouldn’t lead to anything, she was too fragmented, and had already done too many terrible things for you to feel like you had done much.
“Another thing was that it felt like a bad twist in the sense that ‘Ooh, the Big Sister was your Little Sister,’ and that was never the intent. Dramatically it had to be that way, because it had to feel like she was the antagonist at first. So a combination of pressures led to that shift to multiple Big Sisters as enforcers and Eleanor taking up the mantle later.
“I’m definitely happier with how it turned out, but I’ve learned my lesson with telling too much early on. With any mystery game I work on in the future, I’m going to be super reticent with details.”
“No amount of talking about prototypes, agility and being more of a guy in a suit from way back in the line is enough to disassociate ‘Big Daddy’ from ‘slow’ and ‘completely immortal’. Frankly if we had made a game around a traditional Big Daddy, it would’ve been fun for an hour before you realized you’re just going to be lumbering down a corridor and killing everything. There’s no challenge there.
“I feel that a lesson of BioShock 2 is that the associations people make with the character – ‘Will I be slow? Will I be immortal?’ – are going to be the subjective experience of anyone returning to play that character. Convincing them otherwise is a challenge which we could have dealt with elsewhere, but the story was so fundamental to that bond that it’s hard to see this particular game as any other form.”
“Introducing Rapture as a setting is daunting in comparison to most games. BioShock had a two-audience challenge: increasing the number of people that are interested in BioShock was a goal, and so we had to make sure this game would introduce you to Rapture, Ryan and some of the core concepts again.
“The fans coming back would be familiar with all that, and so the layering references and skewing the tutorial, giving a child’s eye view of Rapture with Ryan Amusements for example, became a goal, as we wanted to keep veterans interested while getting the huge payload of concepts delivered to them. ”
“There’s a fair amount of stuff in the Big Daddy/Little Sister lore that overlapped with the first game, like references to guys like Suchong who were pivotal in their creation. But we focused on the player, like when Splicers debated what Jack did.
“Not everybody catches this because it’s in the telekinesis plasmid tutorial. There’s an argument going on between three splicers, one of whom says that Jack rescued a bunch of Little Sisters, went back to the surface and is a pansy. The second one believes he’s topside drinking high-balls. And then a third says, it doesn’t matter where he is – he’s gone.
“Those are the three things that you need to know: splicers don’t know what Jack really did, they think he did different things, and that now he’s out of the picture it’s leaving a power gap. That sets the stage for what happens.”
May 18, 2010
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