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BioShock - post-mortem interview

GamesRadar: Can you tell us about aspects of the game that aren't in the final product, but were perhaps considered at one point?

KL: Well, there's nothing that I think should be in the game that isn't. When we focused on making sure the game worked as a great shooter, there were a number of plasmids we took out because they weren't really appropriate. Early on in the game it had more of an RPG focus, more like System Shock 2. Things did "2d6" of fire damage and you would actually find that text in the game. When that became not relevant to the game that we were making, there were powers that were too similar to each other, because one would do "2d6" and one would do "3d6." So we pulled a lot of the plasmids because they just didn't work properly. We wanted them all to have their own space and their own voice.

The other thing, if we had had infinite time and I could have shipped BioShock two or three years from now... I now understand how to do multiplayer in BioShock. I didn't when we started, and we certainly did not have the time or resources to put it in the game. I now have a basic understanding of how to do it. I fought hard not to have it in the game, and fortunately the publisher believed in us, because the last thing I wanted was "Including: Additional multiplayer mode!" If we were going to do multiplayer in BioShock, it would have to be as striking and original and as interesting as the single player game.

GamesRadar: Do you think there is an undue emphasis placed on multiplayer elements in today's market?

KL: Yeah, of course. Well, there's always "Halo has multiplayer and Gears has multiplayer!" And those games have great multiplayer. If you go to Xbox Live, people are primarily playing the same two or three games. It's the same on PC - people are playing Counter-Strike and a few other things. Go to the store and look at the boxes: "multiplayer mode, multiplayer mode." I remember there was a popular single player game at the time when I was thinking about this problem. I went online and I looked on Xbox Live, and I realized six people in the entire world were playing this game multiplayer at that time. Honestly, it's hard to make me cry, and I wanted to cry at that point. All that work and only six people playing. People think about these best case scenarios, like Halo and Gears, but they work really, really, really hard to make those multiplayer modes awesome. If we ever do multiplayer, the goal will be to knock it out of the park.

GamesRadar: But is it safe to say, with the time and resources, you would want to see multiplayer in a future BioShock?

KL: I think I have some ideas about how it's going to work now - I do have some ideas. I'd have to make sure they worked. That's true for any game I work on, but I think now I'm starting to get a sense of how it would work in BioShock.