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Thread: We're interviewing Irrational - you're asking the questions!

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

    We're interviewing Irrational - you're asking the questions!

    We are lucky enough to have been asked to submit an interview to Irrational regarding BioShock and we'd like you to contribute some questions!
    We're not after bog standard questions that you'll see in a lot of other interviews because, lets face it, they're not always interesting and they've probably already been answered fifty times!

    We'll be picking the best and most interesting ones from all of these, plus the ones we've made up ourselves and I'll be sending them off to Irrational on Monday or Tuesday. So please don't be offended if yours doesn't get asked.

    I know there are some Irrational folks who read the forums, so they'll be getting a sneak preview if they're reading this!

    So start with the questions already!

  2. #2
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Trolling the British.
    David: Does this mean we have to behave?

    Reformat or ask me to do so if necessary.

    - On TTLG, will the fanbase for this be primarily British? :P

    - Exactly how much of this "emergent gameplay" stuff is something your publisher is hyping or is making you hype? How do you personally (individually if multiple people answering) feel about how your game is going to live up to what the market hype is telling us to expect? Is there a significant difference of opinion among the top-level IG folks on this?

    - Will you be in any way responsible for porting this across platforms? Or will that be up to the publisher mainly? In either case, is there anything you can do to see that this doesn't get an "Enter The Matrix" botch-job on the PC version? (Remove question if this has been answered elsewhere, or show me where so I can refine the question.)

    - Do you believe you've anticipated the expectations of your fanbase as completely as possible? (Or, to what degree do you believe you have done so, if you prefer?) Do you believe you've anticipated fan expectations while still leaving lots of room for expression of new ideas and your own artistic purposes?

    - lol frist poast

    Invitations to rephrase or just posting the same question in a better form are, of course, welcome. I promise not to flame you YOU FAGS. As long as the intent of the question shines through, I suppose. Maybe we can re-work them later on, too. As-complete-an-interview-as-possible ahoy!
    Last edited by Ultraviolet; 28th May 2006 at 04:44.

  3. #3
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Chemistry
    Will there be a demo? What are the minimum specs? I need to get a new laptop so this information would be rather usefull!

    Any plans for multiplayer?

    Will there be a level editor / SDK released?

  4. #4
    New Member
    Registered: May 2006
    Are you planning PS3 version?

  5. #5
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Trolling the British.
    Quote Originally Posted by d0om
    Will there be a demo? What are the minimum specs? I need to get a new laptop so this information would be rather usefull!
    I'm willing to bet you'll pay a pretty penny for a laptop that'll run this. :P

    Any plans for multiplayer?
    [Question expansion] Can we hope for some good cooperative support, with some adjustment to the amount of Adam available for both players to accomodate them and let them complement each others' skillsets without stifling character development? Will the characters be nameless enough at the beginning that the story will support there being two survivors of this plane crash at sea or whatever it is that happens? Can there be a competitive mode, something like Deus Ex deathmatches, where you set up your skillset beforehand and it determines how you play (or how you prefer to play determines your skillset)?

    Will there be a level editor / SDK released?
    Considering this is UE3 engine game (at least I thought I read somewhere?), I'd say that's very likely and likely to be very broad in terms of capabilities.

  6. #6
    Registered: Jan 2000
    Location: Chemistry
    Well my 4 year old laptop ran tribes vengeance fine. It was below minimum specs though, so there was an odd glitch with the volumetirc lighting in some places. I had to turn all the details down obviously, but it was still fun to play I really hate it when games refuse to run as you don't have as good a graphics card as they want; at least let me TRY To play it rather than refusing to run. (Damn thief3)

  7. #7
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Escape Pod #1
    Quote Originally Posted by d0om
    Any plans for multiplayer?
    They aren't doing multiplayer, according to an interview with Ken Levine I've just read in a Dutch magazine.

  8. #8
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Trolling the British.
    Quote Originally Posted by NHJ BV
    They aren't doing multiplayer, according to an interview with Ken Levine I've just read in a Dutch magazine.
    BE GONE, THOU CRUSHER OF HOPES AND DREAMS! You hate Freedom, don't you?

  9. #9
    Registered: May 2006
    Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
    Since Rapture is an underwater City, made of glass and steel, what would happen if you shot at the glass windows? Is it possible to break them and water comes crushing in? E.g. you encounter a room full of agressor, you shoot the glass, flood the room and close the doors to prevent water from flooding the entire city.

    What security messures did Ryan use to prevent a flood? I imagine somthing like shielddoors.

    One of the Protectors has some sort of tank on his back, what is in it? And what happens if you shoot it? E.g. if it is oxygen will he suffocate?

    Who was/is Fontaine, what traits allowed him into Rapture?

    Will we be able to take a ride in the ferris wheel in this picture? this

    Is there going to be a love story, like in System Shock2?

    In System Shock 2 the ammo, Nanites and Psi-hypo shortage somehow put a restrainer on how much I wanted to explore. I often found myself wondering if it would be worth exploring this section or if I would end up worse of.
    How have you balanced the ammo shortage in comparison to System Shock 2?

    Is there any chance on earth you guys would be able to snatch the System Shock license from EA?

    Are we going to see some decent damage models, where you shoot a guy in the knee and he limbs around? What about headshots?

    In SS2 you used Nanites to hack, repair and modify, and you used Psi to use Psi-powers, what do you use in BioShock to use plasmids? It was really frustrating that Psi didn't regenerate over time, is this changed in BioShock?

    Since everyone in rapture wants Adam, will the Agressors attack me if I have'nt upgraded or never picked up any Adam? I really want to explore rapture without being attacked all the time.

    Oh and last question, when do we get to see a video?

    Eh, just one more question, what is Irrationals new game that is a sequel to the most loved PC franchise? Freedom Force 3?

  10. #10
    New Member
    Registered: May 2006
    Will we be able to see the PC's body?

    Is there a day-night cycle in Rapture? Do you need to eat? Sleep? Do you get tired? Does this depend on how much weight you carry?

    Do all NPC types respawn, or only some types (i.e. the aggresive ones)? Are there 'permanent' NPCs?

    Can you use an arbitrary item (eg a chair) as a melee weapon? Can you throw things?

    Is the inventory managed automatically (ie Shock 1) or manually (ie Shock 2)? What are the differences between the interfaces of the PC and the XBox versions?

    Is there a quest log? an automap?

    And yes, when do we get to see a video?

    Edit: state plainly the question about respawning and permanent NPCs.
    Last edited by Danielo; 28th May 2006 at 16:40.

  11. #11
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: Sweden
    * Is the world seamless or will there be loading zones like SS2?
    * Will there be any mini games?
    * Will there be any encounters with sharks, octopusies or any other sea creatures?

  12. #12
    Registered: Feb 2000
    Location: on the periodic table
    Did you remember to salt the fries?

  13. #13
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Edmonton Alberta Canada
    System Shock 2's interface was not only functional, but worked within the context of the story as a HUD makes sense if you have optical implants. What has been done in BioShock to address this?

    Also we've heard of the three classes of AI's: Protector, Gatherer and Aggressor. We've also seen screenshots of the first two. Will there be variations in their design? Ex. A little boy gatherer instead of a little girl?

    Shock Multiplayer has really kept the game alive for me well past it's prime. I know that with BioShock you're focusing on the single player but could we possibly have a multiplayer patch at a future point, and it simply isn't on the current agenda?

  14. #14
    Assuming there are different ammo types -
    Is it possible to adapt yourself to be protected against certain ammo types?

    If so, will that protection carry to a weakness to another? E.G., I adapt against Energy, but that leaves me vulnerable to Anti-Personnel.

    More generally, BioShock has NPCs that have already modified themselves using Adam - will we see this modification continue in any way?
    Perhaps to better fit into their (new, player-changed) environment, or adaptation against weapon types.

    And, of course, what tungsten said.

  15. #15
    Registered: Feb 2003
    Location: On my bicycle \o/
    Will there be monkeys?

  16. #16
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ottawa
    Can we expect to see some fancy physics beyond the typical Havok motion modelling? Will it affect (or possibly effect) any interesting gameplay? I mean it's fine and good to move stuff around the environment (and create little caches like in SS2), but will there be any environmental interaction beyond that?

    ps it's "rememeber"

  17. #17
    Registered: Jul 2004
    is there a gravgun

  18. #18
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Location: In His hands
    I'm not sure if this has been answered before or not:
    How far advanced is the BioShock civilization? I know that there are audio logs, but how far technologically have they come? Will we see things like computers and other modern items, or is there going to be using more time-specific equipment?

    Will there be player regenerations, or will it be "once-you-die-you're-dead"?

  19. #19
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo

    fun for us \o/

    I don't think this has actually been answered yet: Is there swimming (or much swimming)?

    Is there ever a point where you go into open sea?
    Are there mutated sea monsters?
    Are there modifications that are swimming related?

    Related, is the water mostly just for show, or does it have gameplay functionality at points, e.g., you (or an enemy) can flood a room or use a high powered hose as an obstacle or a weapon?

    If we wanted to read up on Ayn Rand (Fountainhead, or any other book or author for that matter) before we play, do you recommend any particular parts we should read or themes we should focus on that would give us some insight into Rapture, Ryan, etc.?

    When you say you have freedom to explore the city, how much "freedom" does that mean? Is the layout more linear like SS2 (but you can backtrack) or more like hub and spokes, so you can visit a lot of areas in the order you want, and maybe some areas will open up to others?

    The rest are plot related ones, not sure if they'll get answered or not, but worth throwing them out there: Are there any humans left, or just mutants? Are Fontaine's forces largely human? Can you ally yourself with Ryan's or Fontaine's side, or are you everybody's enemy, or is it something you can manipulate (and not just in the "magic powder" sense)?

    It was mentioned that the society is highly stratified between something like haves and have nots. Is the line largely mutant vs human? Is that also the line between pro-Ryan vs. pro-Fontaine? I was also wondering, since Ryan has a mutant army and Fontaine is a biotech scientist ... is everyone pro-mutant? Is the fight over Adam *just* about access to it, or does the place of mutants in the society have something to do with it as well? You said you get to confront Ryan in the game; will you also get to confront Fontaine?
    Last edited by demagogue; 28th May 2006 at 19:19.

  20. #20
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Just a musing but I'd stay away from any questions geared towards particular trivial details of the game (ie. will there be this or that, what is this thing in this picture) since 1. you're going to find out when you play the game 2. its a trivial detail that only spoils the game by providing fragments of the whole thereby reducing its mysterious potency 3. Its not terribly thought provoking in the way that prepares a player mentally for a game.

    My q's are:

    How are you planning to enhance the ambiance of the game through different forms of perception (ie. the sound system, the colour schemes, the lighting, etc) to affect the player in accordance with the current circumstances he is in?

    Plasmids aside, how do you intend to re-inforce the themes of change and what it is to be human, as you've done in system shock 2. Are there any new themes that you are beginning to find attractive in emergent gameplay that will show themselves in bioshock?

    What elements of either the UE3 engine or the supported graphics API are you most interested in taking advantage of for this game and to what ends are you using this technology?

    Hope none of this is redundant.

  21. #21
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: West Coast, USA
    How have you approached the level design in BioShock? Did you learn any lessons about level design from System Shock 2? Is there a "master plan" of Rapture already in place with rooms mapped out, or is it just a rough idea with each designer building as he sees fit?

    Rapture is probably going to be really really big. Will there by any player-piloted vehicles to cut down on travel time?

    Will the player character speak in-game? What narrative strategies are you employing for BioShock? For example, the Half-Life series is notorious for avoiding cutscenes and having a mute, "invisible" protagonist.

    A lot of people here at TTLG are big Thief fans. Are there any "stealth" sneaking systems or mechanics in place? Or are you thinking of something "halfway" as in Elder Scrolls Oblivion?

  22. #22
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Are there any plasmids which allow me to manipulate water?Turn it to ice or steam?
    How destructible is the environment?Just objects or walls too?
    Will some plasmids have any negative effects?
    Can we learn to communicate with some NPCs?
    Will the AI morph during the game in response to my actions?

  23. #23
    New Member
    Registered: May 2006
    Gameplay Questions for IG:

    Will BioShock have dialog? (earlier I read that there wasn't any)

    Are there any "passive" plasmids? Meaning like when this plasmid is inplanted
    or whatever, you will have a small, but constant bonus to your speed or something.

    Will there be computers and hacking other then security systems?

    I hope that the PC version is diffferent then the console version.
    Will the PC version be "dumbed down" to make it Xbox 360-friendly?
    I hope not.
    IG please don't give us another Deus Ex: IW.

    This has been asked earlier, but will there be any sort of demo for the public?
    I'm dyin' here


  24. #24
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Maritime Provinces (Canada)
    Summation of question I'd like to see answered:

    1)Given BioShock's Player/Moral Choice emphasis what kind of gameplay/story elements might reinforce these ideals?

    2)Will installing/swapping plasimids have negative consequences? (ie replacing one instead of adding a new one, if plasmids are similar to augs in deus ex 1 then replacing one will negate any upgrades that plasmid had received).

    3)What kind of post-release support/editing tools might we see released for BioShock?

    4)Will there be a separate set of skills as well as the plasmids (ie hacking, reparing, etc..) or will for example hacking be biological in nature? (neural net instead of channels and buslines in computers)

    5)Since it appears to be established that the xbox360 is given priority for now. What things will be given careful attention in the transistion to PC? Technical limitations are less of a problem with the 360 right now but things like the user interface, which in games like BioShock are traditionally heavily mouse and hotkey driven (ie 'b' to swap ammo types) and given the fact that oblivion and Deus Ex: IW are critised for having GUIs that are more suited for consoles than PCs. How might these concerns be dealt with?

    6)Can you really support yourself by making games for MIT grads? :P

    Questioned I've already seen answered:
    Vechicles is no
    Co-op is not in (at least for now)

  25. #25
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Scoville
    I'm not too keen on content specific questions, they'll get answered elsewhere anyways. David, ask them questions that matter plz

    Your goal has been to design a game "where a walkthrough would be useless". How much of that goal has been achieved, what were your major problems in that regard, and what did you learn for future games?

    As an addition to the one above: How do you feel about the concept of self-creating content in games?

    The screenshots I've seen drip with athmosphere - SS and SS2 got well known and loved for their emergance and vibe. How did "keeping up with the legacy" and the harsh critcs that some games with similar history recieved (DX:IW, TDS) influence your work?

    Developers and fans lament that in recent game history, the same few genres are produced over and over again. What is the innovation in BioShock you are most proud of?

    In addition to the above: How do you think the game industry can become as colorful and creative as it used to be again?

    I'd also like to know something about their views on the change in game distribution recently: Steam, Oblivion mini-add ons, continous game segments... but can't phrase it into a good question, native speakers help plz

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