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Thread: Exclusive info about the Little Sisters

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Location: France
    Daddy/sister doesn't match the father/daughter thing. I think they use Daddy instead of brother to avoid confusion with Orwell's or Endeamol's (sic!)
    On the other hand, fathers or brothers aren't all good, real life can tell... So in a virtual corrupted place...

    - choice before to engage BD or not
    - choice after to save or harverst LS
    ... That's quite a good amount of choices for me !
    Last edited by Skizomeuh; 24th May 2007 at 10:23.

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Behind you...
    I am angered by this prospect! Look, I have no trouble with killing innocent children in a video game.
    Besides, who wouldn't kill something like that?
    I mean, her eyes are HUGE! And one day she is going to be an emotion teenager! Mine as well stop her life now!

    What if you kill her in an inventive way:
    LISTEN UP:

    first tie a barrage of: Bowling balls,rusty nails, a used syringe, a famous painting, a record player, and a heavy fish. To a pulley to the top of the ceiling.
    Hook the other side to a big daddy.

    Throw a lollipop in the directly below the barrage of stuff.
    Distract the big daddy so the barrage wont fall.
    Wait for a little sister to find the lollipop.
    Either cut the rope or trip up the big daddy.

    You should hear a nice "Squish!" sound followed with "BLEAH" in a raspy voice.

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Ls were set up to harvest Adam.Whoever set that up must have also set up the protection system, Big Daddy.Big Daddy protects Adam production.If your going to save little sister and make her less whatever she is and more human this would endanger Adam production as well.It could be the affection they feel is programmed genetically to foster the relationship.Your killing Adam production (if you choose that route) and increasingly need more to survive .It seems the choice will become increasingly hard to make.
    You are being forced to have your choice mean something in the game rather than just offing her without any qualms,which in itself would make all the game setup as far as the ethical dilemma less powerful.
    Last edited by paloalto; 24th May 2007 at 11:25.

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    I'm starting to think that Little Sisters are a "personal improvement" version of the Smarties from Giants

  5. #55
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: The Doldrums

    Quote Originally Posted by Fafhrd View Post
    The harvest choice NEEDS to get you in the gut, hard, and it needs to be just as hard a decision to make every. single. time. you make it.
    From what I hear, you do see the consequence of the choice - while it probably won't be graphic as Ken says, you do watch the Little Sister die if you choose to harvest.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Mar 1999
    Location: I can't find myself

    had this all worked out in my head last night. now, not so much

    Quote Originally Posted by mothra
    remember: many movies do not show the act of murder but its consequences, they fade away or hint at it and still are very effective, if not more, than
    the typical frag-fests.
    The difference between film and games is that we're not supposed to BE the characters in a film, we ARE supposed to be the character in a game. Film only has to evoke the emotions, and to do that hints at what the characters are doing are all that is necessary. BioShock is attempting to create these emotions, and actually direct the player's emotions back on to themselves. To do that you can't merely hint at what the player character is doing, because to do that, it creates a further disconnect between the player and the character. You might hate the player character for doing these things, but you don't hate yourself for doing these things.

    It keeps coming back to the idea of the "bare minimum of information." That's a very vague description and could mean practically anything. For all I know you're given an object (perhaps the needle device I hypothesized) and you use it on a Little Sister, and the game fades to black for a second, and then fades back up and the eviscerated corpse of a Little Sister is on the ground in front of you. The problem is in the fade to black. That adds another barrier to the immersion, and removes the player's culpability in the act of harvesting. It's no longer "I killed a Little Sister," it becomes "I told the player character to kill a Little Sister."

    This applies directly to the "games as art" debate, because what sets games apart from film is the idea of responsibility and culpability in the actions of the story, as opposed to vicarious experience, and Ken says as much. But the player is no longer accountable for the actual actions involved if there's any disconnect in the decision to do the action, and the action being carried out.

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    very difficult situation indeed.
    I won't say that this is a VERY GRAVE SITUATION but this
    could lessen the impact of the game and I like to hope that IR got it right.
    but if that M-rated game suddenly goes PG for publicities sake and
    not because of story's sake this will be very, very bad.
    if they made the decision purely from a design/taste/morality-standpoint,
    to be the first dev studio to tackle things differently, I can accept that.
    but anticipatory obedience is not the way to make a game.

    .....hoping.....

    maybe ken could be so nice to elaborate a little more on exactly what the
    reasons for that decision were and what they did to ensure that the game
    still has the impact and disturbing vision it was being advertised for by him and 2k as well.
    i cite the trailer: BS let's you make meaningful and deep choices -> will you exploit the
    citizens of rapture or risk it all to become their savior

    --->

    [sarcasm]
    please make choice now:
    (A) harvest adam (don't do it, it's naughy ! 1% of adam goes to terrorists)
    (b) save little sister (don't fuel americas war against virtual violence which could be a comment on the real world)

    thank your for choosing
    (A) - you bad boy, i won't give you the pleasure of seeing your victim suffer
    (B) - there she goes, healed, see her hopple away, how cute

    now continue slaughtering splicers indiscriminately
    [/sarcasm]
    Last edited by mothra; 24th May 2007 at 12:55.

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2007
    I think Irrational´s decision is the right one and I can perfectly understand it. And I don`t think this is going to have any negative influence on the game whatsoever.

    This discussion is a bit like those horror movies where some people prefer the "psychological fear" and others simply want to see blood and gore, sort of.

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    well, its a FPS, you should experience it "firsthand".
    abruptly ending the interaction and giving you a 0/1 choice
    could very much grind the game to a halt.
    you see, my first posts were very defensive but I am concerned, too.
    this is very risky. but like i said, i think there are still enough things
    IR can do right to make this not a bummer.

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    I still think to a large degree it is because Irrational can't find a way to protect the Little Sisters from you during a fight.How many times in the video could you have wounded LS even when B Daddy was shooting at you?If LS runs away and seperates from BD it makes her even an easier target.With having a projectile weapon it is pretty impossible.Hell you could have shot her or lobbed a grenade when she was downing ADAM.To give a LS a large amount of hit points would not be realistic either.

    Only some symbiotic forcefield might work that is active as long as a BD is alive.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Vienna, Austria
    yeah, this always bothered me as well.
    but you have to logically explain invincibility within
    your gameworld if you wanna make a good immersive game.
    as long as it is logical for rapture, the player can accept it.

  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: The Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by paloalto View Post
    I still think to a large degree it is because Irrational can't find a way to protect the Little Sisters from you during a fight.How many times in the video could you have wounded LS even when B Daddy was shooting at you?If LS runs away and seperates from BD it makes her even an easier target.With having a projectile weapon it is pretty impossible.Hell you could have shot her or lobbed a grenade when she was downing ADAM.To give a LS a large amount of hit points would not be realistic either.

    Only some symbiotic forcefield might work that is active as long as a BD is alive.
    The Little Sister does in fact die in the video, but she immediately respawns. I hope that's not the way this is being done...

  13. #63
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu
    The more I think about this revelation, the more I'm starting to side with the people who express disappointment in the decision. Not because I was looking forward to gleefully smearing Little Sisters all over the floor, but because it feels like a slightly unnecessary castrating of the fundamental premise behind the "moral choices" and "will you help or exploit" and whatever else it's been framed as.

    The closest comparison I can think of would be GTA, but then didn't San Andreas receive an AO? And I know no one wants to give nutcases like Jack Thompson more ammo.

    But removing the possibility of accidentally or deliberately doing harm (or threatening harm) to a Little Sister has effectively taken them from being an interesting, intriguing, and original sort of NPC concept and made them into a far more generic and toothless thing.

    That said, I don't believe the decision to make Little Sisters unkillable is a particularly devastating thing when looked at in a bigger context. When looked at in the context of my expectations for BioShock however, it's a very big deal to me for some reason. Like I say, I wasn't slavering over the idea of popping some Art Deco caps in a child's ass, and I have seen how juvenile and stupid some of the discussion on Other Forums has been on this subject -- but at the same time it feels like one of those hideous compromises that drastically short out the original, bold high-concept in some way.

    It's not going to make a difference to anyone's enjoyment of the game, I'm sure. It just seems like the Stones are singing "Let's Spend Some Time Together" on the Sullivan show again.



    (edit) And I swear that all of this can be traced back to the completely ill-advised idea of calling the protectors and Gatherers "Big Daddy" and "Little Sister" in public. Use that as in-house shorthand, fine, but you knew something like this would end up happening as soon as "Big Daddy" / "Little Sister" started to become the common terms.

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    But removing the possibility of accidentally or deliberately doing harm (or threatening harm) to a Little Sister has effectively taken them from being an interesting, intriguing, and original sort of NPC concept and made them into a far more generic and toothless thing.
    To me it doesn't make the LS any less interesting than the other AI's I can kill.The central story seems to be built around their origin and backstory which still intriques me.They still hold the power of producing ADAM and I hope we will get a few surprises along the way.
    In fact if they were killable and easily killable they would lose more interest and power to me and the Big Daddies role would fall apart as well taking out one of the important relationships in the game.I don't think there is a solution that everyone is going to like.

  15. #65
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    It's all so spectacularly facile. In that podcast Ken spends 15 minutes going on and on and on about examining and making hard moral choices, but then when the subject of harming the Little Sisters comes up, he launches into this frenetic stumbling tapdance of reasons why it's perfectly reasonable to make them immune to the player. In his own bizarre words, "It was not necessary to elucidate the choice that we were asking the player to make". What the hell?

    Worse, from a gameplay perspective, this inconsistency breaks immersion. Little Sisters are invulnerable for apparently no in-game reason, and you interact with them in a way inconsistent with every other creature in the game.

    And furthermore, doesn't Irrational realize that by making them invulnerable, they'll have inspired people to go out of their way to beat the crap out of them? Think back on the invulnerable Golden Child in Thief II, and the trouble people went to trying to kill that little bastard.

    Just be honest, Ken. Little Sisters are invulnerable because you don't want your game to get banned.
    Last edited by ZylonBane; 24th May 2007 at 17:16.

  16. #66
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu
    Quote Originally Posted by paloalto View Post
    In fact if they were killable and easily killable they would lose more interest and power to me and the Big Daddies role would fall apart as well taking out one of the important relationships in the game.
    I see it as exactly the opposite, but I think it's because you've left out a key concept -- the Little Sisters (and to some extent, the Big Daddies) are gameworld things we feel some sympathy towards.

    The decision to kill a Little Sister for her Adam is not a light one -- not only is there the general sense of wrongdoing in the act of murdering / robbing an unarmed and completely inoffensive child, but there's also the added consideration of the Big Daddy who is surely nearby. It turns the encounter into a very sophisticated bit of utility calculus, one which (if resolved in favour of killing) would likely leave a feeling of regret. How badly do you need the Adam? Is it worth the inevitable confrontation with the Big Daddy? Do I have enough ammo for this? How much is a new modification really worth to me in terms of my continued survival?

    That last one is the noose. That's the one which would be forcing you to relive the Splicer's Dilemma yourself, effectively underscoring that a) we are what we choose (echoes back farther still to Ryan's intro proclamation) and b) if it was a matter of survival, what would you do?

    These are complex and mature questions for a video game to be presenting, implicitly or not. This is the kind of thing that made the concept so fascinating and ballsy.

    So I guess I do think that making the Little Sisters "killable" is a step away from keeping them (and the overarching concept behind them) interesting and compelling, yeah.

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ottawa
    The "big" issue for me is that it detracts from the verisimilitude.

    It's not that I want to kill the Little Sisters -- in fact it's exactly the opposite. If I know that by hitting one with bullets I'll see it react accordingly, I'm far less likely to want to do it at all.

    It's not really a big issue as far as overall enjoyment goes, but having immortal Little Sisters lowers the emotional impact of the encounters. They end up more like puzzles and less like genuine interactions with real beings that I may (or may not) care about.

    I can see why they made the choice, but it is slightly disappointing.

  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Mossad Time Machine
    Quote Originally Posted by Brigg View Post
    Well, So much for making moral choices. Seems they've already been made for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    Just be honest, Ken. Little Sisters are invulnerable because you don't want your game to get banned.
    5char

  19. #69
    Irrational Games
    Registered: Oct 2004
    Cross posting this from Cult of Rapture, guys- Ken

    Hey guys-



    So some thoughts on the situation. First of all, this approach was entirely directed by me, not by any corporate marketing department or the ESRB. I’m going to use the word “I” in this post a lot, instead of “We” not because I did the wonderful Little Sister animation (that was Shawn Roberston and team) or I implemented their AI (that was John Abercrombie and team). I just want to be clear that I called the shots on this, and if people have issues with this, they should direct their issues at me and not marketing or members of the team. 2k has stood by us on this morally challenging and very, very intense game.


    My goal has always been to make the game impactful and disturbing but not exploitative. BioShock is the thematically darkest game I’ve ever made. It might be the thematically darkest game I’ve ever played. (SOME SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS IN THE REST OF THE PARAGRAPH) Insurgents hang from street lamps. Entire families are found in obscene, undying portraits, a bottle of poison sitting on their coffee table. The streets of Rapture are filled with a thousand individual scenes, of lives and dreams obliterated in a brutal civil war at the bottom of the ocean. Even the woman advising you not to harm the Little Sister in the game is a scientist, a survivor of the the concentration camps who once experimented on her own people.



    At the end of the day, you are indeed choosing to either rescue or take the life of one of these little sisters. However, given the nature of the subject matter and the gameplay impacts of this choice, we took a very particular course of action regarding the Little Sisters for the following reasons:



    1) Intention.

    As another member posted, Little Sisters and the Adam they carry are indeed a limited commodity in the game. In our original testing, we found people were unintentionally having violent interactions with the little sisters all the time. This really pissed off players who were intent on rescuing them.

    Well, you might say, how could this happen? BioShock is a game with a huge amount of player expression and, well, controlled and uncontrolled chaos. Setting a trip wire trap for a Big Daddy and having a Little Sister stumble frankly sucked from a gameplay perspective. A gunshot goes wild, fire spreads throughout the world and ignites passersby, a grenade takes a bad bounce…

    For the player really pushing down the character growth path of Little Sister rescuing, the insults of potentially dozens of unintentional attacks on Little Sisters

    2) Impact. Remember the original E3 demo video? There was a bug there and a Little Sister got caught in the crossfire. From where I’m sitting. It wasn’t impactful. It wasn’t shocking. It wasn’t anything. The action was unintentional, at a distance, and made an emotional impression of zero. (on me at least, I can’t speak for others out there). In contrast, the sequences now where you save or harvest the little sister is pretty intense. When you’re fighting the Big Daddy, she’s pretty vocal:

    “UNZIP HIM MR B!”

    She shouts, eferring to Mr. Bubbles, the nickname she has for the Big Daddy.

    "TEAR HIM INTO LITTLE BITS!"

    -she cries, until the Big Daddy goes down. After you kill a big daddy, the little sister is found literally mourning over the corpse of her former protector. She’s crying, and you can hear her lamentations over the loss of her friend. It’s kind of awful.



    “…what am I going to do now…” she cries, or pathetically intones “Muh-muh-muh Mr. Bub-bub-bles…”

    And there she is, defenseless. And you’re left with a choice. And this isn’t a choice you make at a distance. It isn’t a choice you make when her protector is breathing down your throat, that you can later make excuses for. This is a choice you have to make when she’s standing right in front of you, weeping because the closest thing she knows as a parent is lying dead in front of her.

    But don’t get me wrong. I’m not making a game that has anything to do with the joy of hunting down a childlike creature with a gun. My goal was to distill the choice down to what it’s really about. There’s something that may or may not be a child in front of you. If you want to survive, if you want to save the wife and family of the man who’s been helping you survive Rapture, you must harvest the Adam from these Little Sisters.

    The Little Sister is defenseless in front of you. Gone are the tools of the first person shooter, the tools that you use so often and after years of gaming, without thinking. What you now have in your hand are the almost surgical tools of Adam extraction.

    Rescue or Harvest. Rescue or Harvest.

    It’s up to you.





    (note: for those worried about the fictional justification for the Little Sisters resistance to damage from sources other than the Adam extraction tools, they are indeed in the game. If people want to know more about this, I can post on the topic.)

  20. #70
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Irrationallevine View Post
    “…what am I going to do now…” she cries, or pathetically intones “Muh-muh-muh Mr. Bub-bub-bles…”
    Ahem. About that. Is anybody over there at Irrational aware that "Mr. Bubbles" was the pseudonym of a rather infamous (alleged) child molester? If that line really is in the game, well... it's going to have an impact all right, but I doubt it's the one you're hoping for.

  21. #71
    Previously Important
    Registered: Nov 1999
    Location: Caer Weasel, Uelekevu
    Well, that sounds more like what I was concerned about. Awesome. I'm still going to miss the "oh whoops did I catch her in that blast?" moments, but the important stuff has just had its focus shifted a little.

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: The Doldrums

    Thanks for your post Ken. My sentiments regarding the podcast have pretty much been voiced in some of the posts here so I needn't bother adding them, but I think the biggest issue with accepting the decision was whether it was consistent with the fiction of the game that you couldn't shoot a Little Sister. Since you assure us there is a justification I think I can swallow this point better - I don't particularly want to know it now, by the way, we can wait to learn of it in the game.

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Hm. I'm still not entirely convinced. If it's not about ratings, it would make more sense to me to simply up their health values a bit so they don't get caught in the crossfire too often, and force ADAM extraction to only work on living girls.
    Any explanation for total invulnerability to weapons is going to sound more far-fetched to me than an explanation for what I just suggested.

    The impact will be there, for me anyway, when they die unintentionally. Just make sure their corpses don't disappear like it was some sort of holodeck.

    It just seems so silly to be able to blast the area with 230482895671 grenades and have the little sister walk away unscathed, unless her heavily armored protector -who was somehow not made invulnerable to weapons fire like she was- was killed, in which case she'd go mourn him.
    This will just encourage carelessness and get in the way of believability.

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    I still don't agree with this decision, but I've resigned myself to it. The inevitable hack to make the Little Sisters vulnerable will eventually show up anyway, and a moral choice that has been taken away from the players will be restored.

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Scoville
    Interesting problem. I agree that having to make a choice "in cold blood" is the better variant, on the other hand I hate NPCs with god mode. Simply increasing her hitpoints wouldn't solve it, because there's no way to predict a maximum amount of accidental damage.

    I'd probably let her go into a torpor after receiving lethal damage, with the option that BDs can wake her up again if they chance upon her in that state. Killers can harvest (thus removing the option for revivication), Savers could maybe spend some Adam to resurrect her themselves.
    Last edited by Schattentänzer; 24th May 2007 at 19:48.

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