The past few weeks have been a busy time for BioShock Infinite news, with many gaming news sites announcing Infinite in their "most anticipated" lists. Below are some highlights of major news related to the game.
More Information on 1999 Mode
Following up on their promise to explain the newly announced "1999 Mode", Irrational Games answered selected questions from fans in their blog. Check out the full articles for more details.
In response to questions of how the game mode would be available, Irrational Games had this to say:
|“||1999 Mode doesn’t require you to complete the game before you can experience it. However, since we don’t want just anybody stumbling across it by accident and getting overwhelmed, we’re toying with the idea of “unlocking” it from the main menu. I’m sure you can imagine some ways we might do that.||”|
Ken Levine also elaborated on that subject in an interview with Rock Paper Shotgun:
|“||I think the plan right now – my thinking, anyway – is we’re going to hide this mode behind an old-school up, down, left, right, left, right, start button combination on the console to unlock it. You’re not going to have to finish the game to unlock it, but we’re going to hide it because the last thing I want is some guy who’s not an old-school gamer stumbling into this thing, because he’s going to think “alright, this game sucks, I’m never getting into this because it’s so brutal and so punishing – forget it!"||”|
In an interview with G4TV, Irrational's design director Bill Gardner had some interesting things to say about how "respawning" would work in BioShock Infinite:
|“||I don't want to get too much into the specific mechanics of our respawning, but I think the key difference here is that we're definitely going to be paying the price in 1999 Mode. When you die and respawn there is a resource associated with it. I'm not really at liberty to talk about exactly what that is, but there are some pieces that will perhaps change in the environment when you respawn. The most important bit is, you are being charged a resource and when you run out of that resource, you're gonna actually have a game over. Talk about old school.||”|
Behind the scenes: recording audio for BioShock Infinite
- Irrational Interviews: In the latest Irrational Interviews session, Troy Baker, Courtnee Draper and Ken Levine explain the process of casting and recording the voices of BioShock Infinite: "Irrational Interviews 10: Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper"
- The Gun Range: The Irrational Games audio team recount the experience of going to a gun range to record gun shot sound effects for BioShock Infinite.
|“||When the team focused on the finer details of the sounds a gun makes, they also noticed that there are specific audio characteristics, giving each weapon its own personality. When someone listens to a gun being fired from a few feet away, there’s that distinct, sharp pop most associate with it, but when shooting the guns themselves, a new experience awaited. When firing a weapon, the team could hear all the fine mechanical sounds the weapon had to offer. They’d be able to hear all the metal parts moving around, even hearing the bullet leaving the chamber, all over that small timeframe.||”|
Viral Marketing campaign coming?
|“||While the registrant of each name is hidden behind Whois privacy, the domain servers listed (NS.TAKE2GAMES.COM, NS6.ROCKSTARGAMES.COM, NS5.TAKE2GAMES.COM) belong to Take-Two Interactive.||”|
SOPA and PIPA aftermath
People who were paying attention probably noticed the massive internet backlash against the proposed SOPA and PIPA legislation on the 18th. Of course Wikia (the company that hosts the BioShock Wiki and other sites of user created content) was concerned about how SOPA and PIPA would impact their business. You can read about their participation in the January 18th protests here: "SOPA and PIPA Situation Summary"
SOPA and PIPA were also very important topics for the gaming industry. The ESA (Entertainment and Software Association) was one of the bills' main supporters. For those who don't know, the ESA is an organization that protects the interests of many major game publishers, including Take-Two Interactive (the parent company of 2K Games and Irrational Games). For perspective, in the past the ESA has played an important role in protecting free speech in video games, opposing laws that would limit the sale of video games with violent content (such as in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association). For the ESA, supporting anti-piracy legislation (such as SOPA and PIPA) is clearly in the best interest of their game industry members. However, this position caused a widespread backlash from fans of the game developers who are members of the ESA. There was much confusion and shouting about which development studios tacitly supported the bill and which ones had or had not outright stated an opinion on it.
Finally, on January 20th (two days after the widespread internet protests and several hours after the bills were put on indefinite hold) the ESA formally announced that it was no longer supporting SOPA.
- Ken Levine responded to fan focus on Elizabeth's bust size, and IGN analyzes what it implies about the gaming industry.
|“|| In terms of her body type, I think certainly people on the Internet have spent way more time thinking about Elizabeth's chest than I have. It's something I've barely thought about.
We sort of evolved her over time, and that's the challenge when you show stuff early on - you're still in the creative process and you're still evolving the creative process. I'm sure Elizabeth may evolve a little bit more over time because until it's out, I haven't made the definitive statement on it... so I certainly don't spend as much time thinking about this issue as the Internet does, and I'm not sure what that says about the Internet but, you know.
- Irrational Games' art director Nate Wells discussed the world and character building of BioShock Infinite in an interview with G4TV: "BioShock Infinite Art and Environment Preview"