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Thread: BioShock FAQ - Work in progress & help wanted!

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron

    BioShock FAQ - Work in progress & help wanted!

    See second post for details on how you can help

    Who is developing the game?
    Who is publishing the game?
    BioShock or Bioshock?
    What platforms is BioShock being released on
    What kind of game is BioShock
    What engine is BioShock running?
    When is the game being released?
    What is the game about?
    Is Eric Brosius the Audio Director for BioShock?
    Is BioShock the sequel to System Shock 2?
    Is there multiplayer included with the game?


    Who is developing the game?
    BioShock is being developed by Irrational Games. Both the Quincy (USA) and Canberra (Australia) studios are involved in the project.
    Irrational's previous form includes System Shock 2, Swat 4 & expansion, and Freedom Force 1 & 2

    Who is publishing the game?
    BioShock is being published by Take 2 Interactive, probably under the 2K Games label.

    BioShock or Bioshock
    BioShock. There was a report that the S had been changed to an s, however this report was erroneous.

    What platforms is BioShock being released on?
    BioShock is being released on PC and Xbox 360. It is not a Windows Vista exclusive game however it does feature some DirectX10 content.

    What kind of game is BioShock
    BioShock is a First Person Shooter. Irrational are hoping to redefine what a 'shooter' is with BioShock.

    What engine is BioShock using?
    BioShock is using the Unreal engine which has been massively modified by Irrational.
    Originally BioShock was being built on an Irrational-modified version of the Unreal 2 Engine known as Vengeance. Since then it has been ported to Unreal 3.0 and has once again been heavily modified. It also features some DirectX10 content. The game also utilises Havok Physics.

    When is BioShock being released?
    North America should see BioShock on 21st August while Europe will see it three days later on the 24th. Other markets have not yet been mentioned.

    What is the game about?
    In the first half of the 20th century an industrialist by the name of Andrew Ryan, built an underwater utopia called Rapture.

    Rapture was populated by the world's best and the brightest and was seen as an unbridled success. A undetermined period of time later a new species of sea slug that secreted stem cells was discovered in the ocean surrounding Rapture.

    This allowed the inhabitants of Rapture to enhance physical and mental capabilities and to heal old wounds.

    These stem cells, known as Adam, became so sought after that a war to control the substance broke out between Andrew Ryan and one of Adam's original discoverers, a scientist named Fontaine.

    The war was eventually won by Ryan, however the population, having modified themselves to survive the war, was changed forever. They were now addicted to Adam and depended on it for their survival.

    The game starts as the player's aeroplane crash lands in the ocean near Rapture ten years after society collapsed.

    God a lot of that needs rewriting.

    Is BioShock the sequel to System Shock 2?
    No. While Irrational has promoted BioShock as a "spiritual successor" to the game design style and atmosphere achieved in System Shock 2, neither BioShock's world nor its story have anything to do with System Shock's world or story. BioShock's gameplay mechanics are also new and original and not specifically based on those from System Shock 2.

    Is Eric Brosius the Audio Director for BioShock?

    Eric Brosius left Irrational Games around two years ago to focus on more music and sound oriented games at Harmonix, most notably Guitar Hero. Irrational has stated that they took great care in choosing his successor, well aware that his contributions were critical to the quality and atmosphere of games by Looking Glass Studios and Irrational Games.
    His successor was named as Emily Ridgway who's previous games include SWAT 4: The Stetchkov Syndicate with Irrational and Destroy All Humans! with Pandemic Studios.

    Is there multiplayer included with the game?
    No, BioShock is a single player game only. Irrational have said that they preferred to make a fantastic single player game than a mediocre one that includes a multiplayer component.


    Thanks: (incomplete)
    Twist
    Vicarious

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron
    Ok, I'd like to use this thread to form the basis for the long-overdue FAQ on TTLG's BioShock site.

    Feel free to make suggestions in this thread and I'll incorporate any relevant & well written examples to the first post and to the FAQ on the site. (This pretty much excludes anything I write or have already written )

    All contributors will, of course, be listed on the FAQ on the site.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Because I've recently read posts on other forums where people seem to really believe this is a sequel to System Shock 2:

    Is BioShock the sequel to System Shock 2?

    No. While Irrational has promoted BioShock as a "spiritual successor" to the game design style and atmosphere achieved in System Shock 2, neither BioShock's world nor its story have anything to do with System Shock's world or story. BioShock's gameplay mechanics are also new and original and not specifically based on those from System Shock 2.

    Is Eric Brosius the Audio Director for BioShock?

    Eric Brosius left Irrational Games around two years ago to focus on more music and sound oriented games at Harmonix, most notably Guitar Hero. Irrational has stated that they took great care in choosing his successor, well aware that his contributions were critical to the quality and atmosphere of games by Looking Glass Studios and Irrational Games.

    (I paraphrased from EdgeTurn's post answering this question and added a little detail.)
    Last edited by Twist; 17th Dec 2006 at 15:17.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Scoville
    Do you want this to cover content related questions as well ("will there be monkeys?")?

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2006
    This is FAQ I did a while ago (I even emailed it to David but it must have not reached the destination). Some questions are already posted, well, I'll just post everything:


    GENERAL

    What platforms will BioShock be available on?

    BioShock is confirmed for release on Xbox 360 and Games for Windows (aka XP and Vista).

    Is BioShock exclusive for Windows Vista?

    No, however it supports key Vista features.

    Is one of the key Vista features support for DirectX10?

    Currently unknown.

    Who is publishing BioShock?

    2K.

    What are system requirements for BioShock?

    Currently unknown.

    What are the differences between Xbox 360 and PC version of BioShock?

    Mostly unknown. PC version will have it's own specific UI, also few technical differences like virtual memory, guaranteed hard drive availability or hardware audio support. On the other hand Xbox 360 version will be as fast as a decked out PC, because it comes with 3 cores and has custom graphics hardware, with a custom written-to-the-metal version of DirectX and a custom memory architecture to support it.

    When is BioShock going to be released?

    2007.

    What is happening with System Shock 3?

    The rights for System Shock 3 are in EA hands. According to Ken Levine EA were not interested in sequel to System Shock 2.

    THE GAME

    What is the story about?

    BioShock takes place in underwater utopia called Rapture. The city was invented and secretly built by Andrew Ryan, Soviet expatriate, in 1946. It was supposed to provide home for all the worlds greatest intelligence: scientists, artists, architects, musicians, and keep them safe from the outside world, that they saw as a world falling apart after World War II.
    Two scientists discovered an unknown sea slug that creates a fluid containing raw stem cells for every cell it consumes. That fluid became known as Adam and made it possible for people to genetically modify themselves and allowed them to get rid of their imperfections and heal their sicknessess. But Ryan didn't control Adam, young opportunist named Fontaine did. That marked the beginning of the full-scale genetic war between them. Because weapons were not stored in Rapture, people had to modify themselves to fight. Ultimately Ryan won, but at the cost of his utopia and humanity of all inhabitants.

    Who are you in BioShock?

    You're a survivor of a plane crash in the middle of the ocean, and it is you, the player in the situation, not a specified character you're just controlling.

    What is the gerne of BioShock?

    Shooter 2.0. It's a first-person shooter that raises the bar for the gerne by utilising elements and features previously ignored in the gerne such as hacking, highly modifiable weapons, crafting system, research system and AI based on relationships. It's "emergent" and open-ended gameplay that focuses on players decisions and choices they make and have to live with them.

    How is the game structured?

    Similiar to System Shock 2, player has complete freedom of exploration and is not limited to one path. He can travel between various sectors and parts of the city, along with coming back to previously explored areas.

    Why Art Deco style for the game?

    Art Deco translates well to polygons. The visual apparence of BioShock is based on silhouettes and so, the shape of both characters and environment is more important than the texture covering it.

    How many weapons are in BioShock?

    Six base weapons with hundreds of modifications and different ammo types. Also Rapture was meant to be peaceful society so no weapons were stored. Most munitions are hand-crafted from household items (you can see a pistol whose ammo feed is made from a tomato tin), others are regular equipment adjusted for military purposes (we can however see a revolver and a shotgun that seems to be normal weapons).

    Is character grown in BioShock?

    Yes. So far it is known that player will use so called plasmids, "X-Men-like" genetic powers and he will be able to put them in, take them out, switch them and re-arrange himself as the game goes on.
    There are four main categories for plasmids: Active, Physical, Engineering and Weapons, each of them can hold up to six plasmids, allowing to combine effects.
    There's total of 80 plasmids in BioShock. [50 PLASMIDS?]

    Will player be able to speak to other characters?

    No. IG wants to give player 100 percent expression and so called dialog-trees always limit this ability, because player is never able to say exactly what he wants to. So in BioShock actions speak louder than words.

    How does modifying weapons work?

    Currently unknown, however it is known that weapons will offer hundreds of modifications and it will be possible to customize weaponry by adding things like ionic gels, explosives and toxins to adjust them to enemies and environment. Just like weapons, various upgrades are hand-crafted.

    How does research system work? Is it similiar to one in System Shock 2?

    So far it is known that it is based on "taking pictures".

    What is crafting system and how does it work?

    It's a system that allows you to create new items. Details are unknown, but it is possible that it will take advantage from invention system introduced in Dark Cloud 2.

    How interactive is environment?

    Objects have physical properties, can be picked up and used. All sort of items (like cash registers) and machines (like vending machines) can be used, too.

    How many gameplay hours is BioShock going to provide?

    It's impossible to predict at current development stage.

    How many enemy types are in BioShock?

    There are three main classes: Splicers, Protectors (Big Daddies) and Gatherers (Little Sisters). There will be a lot of different Splicers, three types of Big Daddies and unknown number of types of Little Sisters. There will also be numerous security systems (bots, turrets) as well as few bosses.

    What is Adam and what does it do?

    Adam is a genetic material that can be used for self-genetical modification. It is required to use security stations and hacking (because Adam became a currency of Rapture). However there is also a material called Eve that is recycled Adam and it's used to power Plasmids. It can be replenished with Eve Hypos. [BADLY NEEDS CLARIFICATION]

    How can I get Adam?

    The main source are dead bodies, however Adam they contain is inert and it needs to be recycled to become Eve. The only characters that can do this are Gatherers, so in turn, they are your primary source for Adam. Other than that, you may look for it in (for instance) cash registers as Adam is the currency of Rapture.

    How is it possible to get Adam from Little Sister?

    There are few known options. You can kill her which will provide you with a large amount of Adam, but you will have to face her Protector and force yourself to execute an innocent children. Second option is to threaten her so she will give you some Adam to let her go. Third option is to befriend her. It's been also confirmed that you can make her think that you are a Big Daddy. It is uncertain whether the last two options are in fact the same one or not.

    Are there physics traps and/or puzzles in BioShock?

    It's certain that there won't be any Indiana Jones-style traps/puzzles, designed to complicate players life. Primary role of physics in BioShock is to reinforce immersion of being in a realistic environment.

    Will there be multiple endings?

    No. According to Ken Levine it's hard enough to write one good ending for a story.

    Will there be multiplayer?

    No, BioShock is about single-player experience.

    TECHNOLOGY

    What engine is running BioShock?

    It is not certain. Originally BioShock was backed by heavily modified Vengeance engine which was based on Unreal Engine 2.0. However Ken Levine stated that IG switched to Unreal Engine 3.0 because of benefits they have this way, porting all of their own work over. Also the entire lighting system and render were rewritten and water effects were created from scratch. It is uncertain whether BioShock uses Unreal Engine 3.0 itself or just its development tools.

    Water effects... ?

    Irrational Games hired water artist and water programmer to work on water effects in BioShock. The result of a year-long work is the most realistic and unique water yet. The reason for this special attention payed to water effects is that IG wants to maintain the feeling that the ocean wants to drown Rapture.
    Water effects in BioShock feature real-time reflections, refraction, distortion, depth-layered fluid simulation (which simulates turbulence) and surface simulation (water that flows over surfaces in realistic ways).

    Which physics engine is used in BioShock?

    Havok 3.0.

    Are fire and water static?

    BioShock will have dynamic fire lighting, spreading, and extinguishing. No information on water.

    Is seamless loading implemented?

    There are streaming systems for sound and textures developed by IG but loading screens will most likely made their appearence.

    DEVELOPMENT

    How long has BioShock been in development?

    BioShock has been in development approximetly since mid-2001, counting conceptual stages. Real development began around 2005.

    Why conceptualism took so long?

    IG tried few ideas and concepts before they finally came with the version they were satisfied with. There were a lot of concepts and at least few working prototypes. IG decided not to go on with ideas they were not fully happy with.

    How far in development is BioShock?

    Pre-Alpha in mid-2006.

    How many people are working on BioShock?

    22. [BASED ON WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE - NEEDS CONFIRMATION]

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    Actually, I had a mini-faq post in the "We're interviewing Irrational - you're asking the questions!" thread since I was tired of people asking the same stuff that has already been answered. This information may have become obsolete by now, but feel free to use anything in there.

    Also worth mentioning, is the confirmed plasmid list so far: Security beacon, Springboard Trap, Telekinesis, Pyrokinesis, Cryogenic Touch, Speed Boost, Splicer Irritant, Gatherer Cry, etc... These plasmids are clearly split up into four categories in the e3 walkthrough movie, Active, Physical, Engineering and Weapons, with mention of a slot bonus in the descriptions. Other notables are that plasmid swap machines require adam to be activated, Eve is processed Adam that is used as mana, 3 kinds of big daddies and the following from a previous post.

    ...7 levels overall (most likely split into further sub levels or quite big overall with plenty of stuff to do), and mentioned that the level seen at E3 was called fort frolic and another two where mentioned in the preview. One set in an arboretum where you have to stop a virus engineered by Ryan to exterminate the plant life that gives oxygen and air to rapture. Another set in a dome where you try and prevent sabotage of the power that is supplied to rapture by volcanic vents.
    Last edited by The_Raven; 18th Dec 2006 at 15:53. Reason: Forgot gatherer cry plasmid

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2006
    I seem to remember it was also said that they were consulting Eric Brosius on some aspects of the sound even though he's not working directly with Irrational

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    Something else that occurred to me recently, is that it has been mentioned that you can bribe the little sisters for ADAM with lollipops. I remember this being in an interview, but I'll probably have to do some searching to find it.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron
    Quote Originally Posted by Schattentänzer View Post
    Do you want this to cover content related questions as well ("will there be monkeys?")?
    No, not really. I would like to avoid content-related questions if possible as they are subject to change and should, in my opinion, be something a player finds out while playing.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by The_Raven View Post
    Something else that occurred to me recently, is that it has been mentioned that you can bribe the little sisters for ADAM with lollipops. I remember this being in an interview, but I'll probably have to do some searching to find it.
    haha seriously? I remember reading that, but I thought it was a figurative thing...a joke.

    Jesus.

    to clarify- Jesus as in 'if that's true', not Jesus as in , 'you're an idiot'.
    Last edited by Uponemandus; 18th Dec 2006 at 16:56.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me. I thought they were serious at the time, so I don't know what to think of it. I'll just chalk that one up to me being an idiot and the internet not being the best of mediums for sarcasm.

    EDIT: I feel a little better after a quick google search shows I'm probably not the only one. I'll probably take my leave of this thread before I embarrass myself further.
    Last edited by The_Raven; 18th Dec 2006 at 16:40.

  12. #12
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Boston, MA, USA
    We're officially at Alpha now, by the by.

    A lot of the lower-level design stuff being discussed in this thread is no longer true. We do a lot of prototyping and iterative revising as part of our design process. For instance, all the Plasmids mentioned by The_Raven *did* exist at the time they were talked about, but many of them have been modified, combined, or replaced since then. Even if I were allowed to give you a full list of Plasmids now, it would only reflect the current state, and probably would end up changing at least once more before we were done. I concur with David that it's best to keep the FAQ at a high level, at least until we've actually gone gold.

    Oh, and there are no lollipops in the game at this time :-)

  13. #13
    I can't help thinking Springboard Trap got axed. It seems a little arcadey. Or maybe Kagero.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexxKay View Post
    We're officially at Alpha now, by the by. (...)
    Good to hear that, but do you really think you can move from Alpha to Gold in 6 months?

  15. #15
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    i highly doubt this but it's been done before!

  16. #16
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Boston, MA, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Vicarious View Post
    Good to hear that, but do you really think you can move from Alpha to Gold in 6 months?
    Yup. Might be some long nights involved there, but this project is worth it.
    Alexx Kay
    Designer, Irrational Games

  17. #17
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    The finer things in life, sleeping in the office.

  18. #18
    New Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Dr. evil's lair
    Will there be a beta demo?

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron
    Okie dokey v1 of the faq is now up on our BioShock website.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: under pressure
    I don't know how frequently this question is asked, and just a yes or no answer would be great, but are there going to be any basketballs or macarena bots? Easters coming soon...

    I wonder if it would be better to never have this question answered though...

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron
    That would come under the 'content' banner, which we are avoiding with our FAQ.

  22. #22
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2007
    Of course the most important question one could ask is will it have a tagline as good as Fallouts? "War. War never changes." Oh and do we know the voice actor for Ayndrew Ryan yet?

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: Poland
    The answer about Eric should be updated, he IS working on BioShock.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: here
    Quote Originally Posted by van HellSing View Post
    The answer about Eric should be updated, he IS working on BioShock.
    True, according to what Ken Levine posted here, on 19 May:

    http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/sho...10&postcount=7

    Eric actually came back for the last 6 months or so, along with Kemal Amarasingham- the two guys responsible for the sound on System Shock 2.

    Btw, Irrational_Alexx mentions in the same thread that he does not believe Terri Brosius (Shodan, Delacroix, Viktoria) is providing any voiceover in Bioshock.

  25. #25
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    On July 18th, Elizabeth Tobey of the 2k Games BioShock forum is taking part in a meeting on the IRC network I am on. Users will be able to submit their own questions - with the best earning themselves a limited edition copy of BioShock. We are also planning a release party in August. I can post more details about that as the time approaches, but if you guys would like to know the info for that network now, I can post it here if no one has any objections.

    I'm part of staff there, too, so if anyone has any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

    (2k Games thread link: http://forums.2kgames.com/forums/sho...p?t=664&page=3 )

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