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Thread: Ken Levine podcast

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Novato, CA

    Ken Levine podcast

    Next Generation Podcast: Levine Talks Bioshock

    It clocks in at a hefty 55 minutes.

    At 5:07, Ken says they'll be releasing the X06 "Hunting the Big Daddy" video soon!
    Last edited by dphrygian; 24th Jan 2007 at 13:09.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Ken kinda looks like John Fallon from Joblo.com, only with hair.

  3. #3
    Sweet. The interviewer is usually pretty sharp, too.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    New video soon, yay.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: The Netherlands
    Nice link...thanks

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: The Doldrums

    This is pretty much exactly what I would want from an interview with Ken, no story details that we don't need to know right now, but more about Ken and his thoughts about development and the industry. I hope, though, that the Cult of Rapture podcast will be more focused on BioShock and more technical than marketing. Two thumbs up.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron

    Well that was pretty damn cool
    Althought it was about BioShock as an overall theme there were plenty of interesting tangents in it. I hope for some more podcasts of this quality, it's really nice to hear (what at least appear to be) the unedited versions of interviews rather than an overview and a few quotes crammed onto a page.

    Great stuff!

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    I agree, but with that said, I hope 2K Elizabeth will continue to give us the exciting little details and in-depth stuff from her CoR podcasts.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: Ebbw vale, wales
    Im realy loving the way this is "just" an fps, but the best fps most involving fps your ever going to play .
    I love that streamlined, stripped down approach.... this game is getting sexier by the day, colorful, frightening, inspiring, its got so much going for it .
    You can start a boss battle where ever you want and and when ever you want, cool
    Last edited by dylan barry; 25th Jan 2007 at 00:04.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: May 2006
    hahahahaha

    "It's better then the car, it's better then the wheel, it's the best thing you can possibly imagine... I have complete perspective on this too!"

    that was awesome, well done

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2003
    Sounds like Ken really has a solid understanding of the marketing side of the business. Too bad he didn't apply any of that knowledge when System Shock 2 was released or it would have sold better and we'd be playing SS4 by now.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Oh that Ken.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Laser Eyes View Post
    Sounds like Ken really has a solid understanding of the marketing side of the business. Too bad he didn't apply any of that knowledge when System Shock 2 was released or it would have sold better and we'd be playing SS4 by now.
    Yes, shame on him for not retroactively applying several years developmental and managing experience towards his first game

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Scoville
    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post
    Well that was pretty damn cool
    Althought it was about BioShock as an overall theme there were plenty of interesting tangents in it. I hope for some more podcasts of this quality, it's really nice to hear (what at least appear to be) the unedited versions of interviews rather than an overview and a few quotes crammed onto a page.

    Great stuff!
    Nothing to add there!

  15. #15
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Pretty cool. Looks like he's got his head in the marketing game.
    Really some fascinating issues going on.


    The ("no comment") suggestion that they might release post-game episodic maps is interesting ... Warren Spector always touts the idea. I guess a big question is to what extent it would be like how he talked about multiplayer gaming (only a small % will really take advantage of it so does it justify the extra work? But unlike multiplayer it's post-production at least it doesn't deflect resources going into the core game, and of course modding in new maps and assets is probably much easier and cheaper once the core gameplay is in place.) versus it being something sort of new to gaming, serialized stories, like television or comics, where a good number of people keep coming back to see where the story goes next, even to the point where there an expectation starts being fostered (at least until the story jumps the shark).

    My next big question about it would be, what are the implications for the chances of getting an SDK? One one hand, fans putting out maps might compete with the "official" extra maps, but on the other fan maps might alternatively fan the flames and generate even more hype (and market) for official maps, as TTLG and Thief FMs would itself suggest. But of course we don't have any real information on it, so maybe it's useless to speculate too much.
    Last edited by demagogue; 25th Jan 2007 at 05:35.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    That was a great interview. My favorite line from Ken was (when he couldn't answer a question):

    "I don't have my PR person standing behind me with, like, a knife on my neck right now."

  17. #17
    That was a wonderful podcast. It has made me more excited about BioShock and less worried about it not living up to expectations than ever. It also made me feel bad for being far too harsh on the team in the past. It kind of reminded me that they're just people who are trying to make the right decisions (and probably making them, given their track record). Ken's first comment about BioShock being the best product in any industry was extremely funny too/

  18. #18

    adaptive difficulty again (apologies)

    After hearing Ken's comments about the decision to avoid a multiplayer option, I'm afraid I have to bring up "adaptive difficulty" again.
    I was thinking *exactly* the same things as Ken was re: multiplayer, only about AD: "how much time/resources is going towards this that could have been directed to other elements of the game? Is it justifiable?"
    I resisted the urge to post the comment earlier because it sounds like adaptive difficulty has been confirmed (no point in complaining), but after hearing Ken's thoughts on MP... well I hope everyone involved is thinking along those lines when devoting energy towards adaptive difficulty. I still don't understand the real need for it.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    I doubt adaptive difficulty takes any more effort than non-adaptive difficulty settings. Believe it or not, a lot of thought usually goes into the amount and placement of resources. An algorithm makes THAT portion much simpler, since you can wing it and count on the system to smooth out the rough patches.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Canada
    The second podcast with Melissa Miller is interesting,hope to hear allot more,dying to buy this game and support IG.

  21. #21
    There's a second podcast? Where? I don't see one on the cult of rapture site. Glottis, could you please provide more information or a link? Are you talking about the next-gen podcast with Ken Levine?

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2006
    I think he's thinking of the first podcast.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    I doubt adaptive difficulty takes any more effort than non-adaptive difficulty settings. Believe it or not, a lot of thought usually goes into the amount and placement of resources. An algorithm makes THAT portion much simpler, since you can wing it and count on the system to smooth out the rough patches.
    Indeed, this may be the reason why AD algorithms are becoming popular. Why actually design the game experience if a system can do it for you? AD probably makes things easier from a developers standpoint (in the long term).

    Not that I agree with it or support it though, but then again I would still welcome multi-player options...

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by misunderstood hybrid View Post
    I'm afraid I have to bring up "adaptive difficulty"...Is it justifiable?...I still don't understand the real need for it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyrian View Post
    I doubt adaptive difficulty takes any more effort than non-adaptive difficulty settings. Believe it or not, a lot of thought usually goes into the amount and placement of resources. An algorithm makes THAT portion much simpler, since you can wing it and count on the system to smooth out the rough patches.
    I really love adaptive difficulty, I mean really, and I love dynamic resource placement also. The reason being that it stops me obsessing about every little resource and fumbled attack. I can get really obsessed with being as efficient a power-gamer as possible, and with stockpiling as much of the game's currency as possible, to the point where it dictates my in-game behaviours right down to the way I choose my weapons and tactics, how I move through the levels etc., (e.g. SS2, getting replicator expert, and hacking skills so that I could hack the one replicator that gives ammo at the cheapest price possible and that also renders the damage-to-cost ratio in base 10 so that I can more easily work out the cost of each shot fired and the efficiency of each kill in monetary terms). Stuff like adaptive difficulty and dynamic resource placement creates kind of a gray area and provides a margin for error which totally short-circuits my need to obsessively calculate everything, and really lets me relax and enjoy the game. It also adds to the replay value. Plus it adjusts itself so that you're more often than not able to remain at a level of difficulty that facilitates the flow state, which is huge in terms of creating immersion and enjoyment. It also makes the game more user-friendly for a much wider audience and reduces the learning curve for less capable players while maintaining a high enough level of challenge for more seasoned players.

    Resident Evil 4 has adaptive difficulty and dynamic resource placement, and while I can still get obsessive about collecting Pesetas on the first play-through (e.g. using just the default handgun and TMP and carrying no other weapons, turning the space where the shotgun and shotgun ammo would be over to handgun bullets, so as to force the game-engine to generate nothing but Pesetas and TMP ammo (the cheapest ammo type)) the margins for error make the whole experience a lot more user friendly and enjoyable for the power gamer. In adapting, the adaptive difficulty system also facilitates a range of playing styles to cater to more or less everybody interested in the game.

    Having said that, there is a good argument for set parameter's and finite resources, but I imagine it's pretty tricky to get the balance right.

    Ultimately I guess it comes down to what most suits the style of game. RE4 is a survival title that's designed around the concept of attrition, requiring certain levels of efficiency for success in getting through the game, so the system it uses seems to make sense, both in terms of its theme and its execution.
    Last edited by TheManySingsTheBlues; 26th Jan 2007 at 16:45.

  25. #25
    TheManySingsTheBlues, could you please explain why you think dynamic resource spawning facilitates a variety of playing styles? I don't see how you get that, given that it is designed the move the player towards equilibrium in resources?
    Last edited by a rabid chicken; 27th Jan 2007 at 10:48. Reason: realized that the discussion is somewhat relevant

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