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Bioshock Infinite - Interview @ Gamespot

by Couchpotato, 2013-08-12 00:31:11

Gamespot interviews Irrational Games Lead Level Designer Forrest Dowling.

How has it been for you to switch to combat-focused design?

Dowling: Refreshing! I think that one of the reasons why a lot of people like the job of level designer is that you have so many different responsibilities at different times. That is definitely true at a place like Irrational, where sometimes it's the level designer's responsibility to properly tease a narrative over time, and sometimes it's just to make kick-ass combat. So much of the time I spent on BioShock Infinite was making sure voice-over lines trigger at the right time, or when a piece of freight passes over, it's just the best moment. Being able to step back and say "Now my job is to see if it's fun to fight three firemen and a handy man" is different, but also rewarding in a different way.

One of the greatest discussions around BioShock Infinite is the connection between combat and narrative. Was there ever a moment when someone at the studio felt apprehensive about focusing too much on combat? Is it a given, for a game that people want to see more of, that this is a natural way to do that?

Dowling: I wouldn't say it's given as a game, but BioShock is a game that people play for a couple different reasons. Some people are really interested in the story, some are really interested in the gameplay, and some are in between. As a gamer, I tend to be of that ilk. And you know, Clash in the Clouds, we knew it wasn't going to be for 100 percent of the people out there. It was going to be for people who are really into the gameplay experience, and that's what they wanted more of.

I think I went into it with open eyes. I'm certainly aware of all the conversations that are going on around it, but at the same time, I also saw that there were a lot of people who reacted very positively to the combat and the gameplay and the simplest stuff, like 1999 mode. I thought that there would be a sizable group of our fans who would really be into this sort of experience. Ultimately, it's up to them to let me know if I was right or not.

Information about

Bioshock Infinite

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Historical
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released