Ken Levine: The GamesRadar Interview

GR: Other than System Shock 2, are there any other horror/fear-based games, in any genre, that you feel create the right scary atmosphere?

KL I'm pretty hard to scare. I don't think I've been really scared by any movie since I was a kid. As for games, I think Eternal Darkness for the GameCube was probably the best I've played. Those guys had a lot of great ideas. The Aliens total conversion for Doom way back when (like 1996) I think was the game that showed me games could be scary.

GR: Where has the team turned for appropriate inspiration during BioShock's development?

Where haven't we turned. Fight Club, The Shining, The Fountainhead, Rockefeller Center in NYC, Django Reinhardt, Half-Life 2... that's just a partial list.

GR: Irrational is located on the east coast, while many other prominent game developers have set up shop in Texas, California, and Washington. What's the lure of Quincy, Massachusetts?

KL: Well, we kind of ended up here because a lot of us started out at Looking Glass. But we like Quincy (it's a few minutes outside of Boston). Boston is the San Francisco of the east coast. I've lived in San Fran, LA, New York and Boston, and Boston is by far my favorite.

And there's a comic book store, great movie theaters, and several game stores within minutes of our office. I got no complaints.

GR: Care to share your strangest BioShock nightmare?

KL: Getting a publisher to fund the game. You wouldn't believe how much reluctance there is out there to take risks.

For even more on BioShock, check out our sister magazine PC Gamer's September 2006 issue.