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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 10:56am 20/03/12 | 6 Comments
Speaking with Eurogamer, Irrational's Ken Levine has revealed that BioShock Infinite will be one heavily dialogued piece of gaming, and that in terms of voice scripting and acting, in just "one level of BioShock Infinite writing and the amount of character interaction we have is probably three or four times as much writing as in all of BioShock 1".

"When I first came up with these characters Booker and Elizabeth talking to each other and interacting with their world, I didn't consider how much writing that was going to be," he told the site. "I'm doing the vast bulk of it and it really is... it can get overwhelming. But on the other hand it's a world that I absolutely love to write. Mostly because it's a new challenge. Thinking how these scenes are going to play out, how we keep them interactive and how you communicate the ideas."

He also touched on his favourite topic of in-game narrative versus cut-scenes, but maintained his stance, revealing that it all began for him on the game that really put him and Irrational on the map.

"It would be so much easier just to write tonnes of cut scenes - I could tell the story much more easily" he said. "But my gut feeling, which probably comes from being forever changed by playing System Shock 1, is to keep the experience going."

BioShock Infinite is scheduled to release worldwide on October 19 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. A host of new videos for the impressive-looking game have also recently been released, all of which you can find on our BioShock Infinite game page.

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Latest Comments
Posted 12:14pm 20/3/12
Sounds awful.
Posted 12:43pm 20/3/12
sounds like the right way to tell a story in a game - ie. never make a player sit and watch what they can play.

Although sandbox games are all the rage, IMO they never have the same payoff as a well scripted linear set peice and the way GTA IV handled it, by excessive cutscenes, was a big turn off for me. (though there is not really any other way to do it in 3rd person games)

anyway, its all about execution so none of this really means anything unless its handled well.
Posted 01:37pm 20/3/12
Hate cutscenes. Cant remember the last time i watched one when given the chance to skip it, except for Batman - awesome cutscenes and characters. Games that let me listen to story elements while playing (audiotapes for example) are great.
Posted 03:58pm 20/3/12
Yeah the info narrative in Portal 2's developer commentary gives some great insight into the various aspects of the design process that the devs went through. It's more of a technical game though so I suppose it's to be expected when they start talking about software they used and machine time taken to compute animated sequences.

Its good that they are sticking to the surrealist story narrative that the series has so far delivered.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 05:33pm 20/3/12
See, it depends though. Having no control over a cut-scene can definitely be a misguiding and annoying [in]experience. Batman worked because you worked towards those cut-scenes and they were never too long, unlike those in say GTA IV. Mass Effect has massively lengthy ones, but having control over the dialogue and where you take the cut-scene is, in my opinion, as compelling as actual gameplay.

Designers just need to find a balance. On-the-fly narrative is my favourite kind though. I always loved scanning for information in the Metroid Prime series. No voices, but that added to that game's solitude.
Posted 10:22pm 20/3/12
I remember in one of the recent Splinter Cell games (can't remember which) the mission outline and other dialogue were projected on the walls in the world making the gameplay and mission focus tie closer together. I also can't remember if this was enough for cut scenes to be omitted from the game itself but it was a good example of a game developer thinking outside the square.
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