BioShock Creator Ken Levine Discusses His Current Inspirations

BioShock Creator Ken Levine Discusses His Current Inspirations

Ken Levine

Ambulatory BioShock generator Ken Levine has started writing his next game, and his list of inspirations is simultaneously erudite and vaguely confusing.

Statistically, it's safe to say that those of you reading this text have played BioShock. As such you know that Ken Levine, the creator of the franchise, draws inspiration from a number of disparate sources. Art deco architecture, Objectivist theory, Tears for Fears; All of these otherwise unrelated elements have found their way into the BioShock franchise at one time or another, so while we don't know any concrete details on this new game Levine is writing, we do find it interesting to hear of the man's current fixations.

Early this morning Levine took to Twitter to offer the following, "Game writing this afternoon. This is something else."

Real informative, huh? Shortly after, a fan asked Levine to list his inspirations, and he responded with a handful of interests that read like a list punched into an online dating profile by a twentysomething law school graduate. To wit:

What do you do for inspiration? --mad men, pt Anderson, Coen bros, Kubrick, soderbergh, Stoppard, Sondheim, games.

Does this tell us anything about the game Levine is working on? Not really. There are scant links to be found there beyond "Levine's got a fascination with the past" - something we already knew thanks to the BioShock games - and possibly the importance of music. Otherwise Levine's list is all over the place. Stanley Kubrick and Stephen Sondheim may as well be polar opposites in the entertainment world, and we're going to guess that Levine's interest in Mad Men has less to do with his latest project and more to do with the fact that everyone is into Mad Men at the moment.

The only truly intriguing part of Levine's tweet is that he opted to simply write "games," at the end. There's no specificity, no developers called out by name. Assuming Levine isn't inspired by the mere concept of games, we have to think anything more concrete would have let the cat out of the bag on where Levine's plans are headed.

Either that or the man ran out of space. That 140-character limit is the worst.

Source: Twitter

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A Clockwork Orange style city for the next Bioshock game would be cool, go for a 1984 feel focused around brainwashing and a police state getting out of control.

I can't say any of those names listed are bad influences, so murky as this information is, I'm not displeased

How about that Bioshock Vita, Ken?

I know it's likely Sony's fault, but damn ... The portable wonder could really use some games that didn't suck... :(

....Seriously? We're doing articles on Twitter posts now? Not since 24 Hour Cable News have I seen such speculation coming from so little.

I can't believe that the man who made the masterpiece that is System Shock 2 would go on to make such a shit and idiotic game as Bioshock Infinite, I've lost all respect for Ken Levine to be honest.

A Don Draper dating sim featuring Jeff Bridges would be hilarious.

JazzJack2:
I can't believe that the man who made the masterpiece that is System Shock 2 would go on to make such a shit and idiotic game as Bioshock Infinite, I've lost all respect for Ken Levine to be honest.

While I wouldn't call it "shit and idiotic", I wasn't terribly impressed. I felt while playing it like someone through together a somewhat interactive version of a book he had written. "There needs to be gameplay? Fuck it, throw together a corridor shooter with a shield and a 2-weapon limit, I've got masterful storytelling to do".

This article itself is rather telling, using the words "writing" as opposed to "designing" the next game. I wonder how much influence he had over the hacking, playing the AI against each other, elemental puzzles, and such in Bioshock as opposed to strictly Andrew Ryan and the objectivist philosophy at hand. Blurbs on Bioshock used to say "No 2 gamers will play it the same way!", but we all played the same Infinite.

Thank goodness The Escapeist has a new portrait of Levine. That back-focused one with the bookcase was driving me crazy. Otherwise there is nothing noteworthy here.

DrunkOnEstus:
I've got masterful storytelling to do...

Well I guess he forgot to add that into the mix.

JazzJack2:
I can't believe that the man who made the masterpiece that is System Shock 2 would go on to make such a shit and idiotic game as Bioshock Infinite, I've lost all respect for Ken Levine to be honest.

Good to see someone to share an unpopular opinion with. I'm amazed at how many people were impressed by Bioshock Infinite's awful story. While the twist ending was neat, everything else about it felt sloppy and lazily written, like Levine slapped together three different scripts with no concern for tone or in-universe logic.

Earnest Cavalli:
BioShock Creator Ken Levine Discusses His Current Inspirations

Either that or the man ran out of space. That 140-character limit is the worst.

Source: Twitter</a]

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Slow news day?

I actually thought this would be an actual interview with the word "discusses" in the title.

Apparently, Twitter equals journalism. I was sadly mistaken.

Is it just me or does he look kind of like Charlie Day but with a somewhat thicker face?

I don't get the point of this. "Inspiration" isn't going to give you much of an insight on whatever the artist is working on given that one doesn't know what part is doing the inspiration, nor what is being inspired. I could be inspired by the haunting tone of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but my creation could have nothing to do with space, evolution, crazed AI or anything else typically associated with it. Naming off creative people and some titles is completely pointless and writing an article about it a waste of time.

Slow news day is slow I guess.

Let's hope the next one doesn't sacrifice everything for a 20 minute ending cut-scene with an obvious twist. I still can't get over the fact that the game showed at E3 was nothing like the game we got. It had so much more complexity, depth and diverse gameplay put into a pre-rendered demonstration than was present in the ENTIRETY of Bioshock Infinite.

Deu Sex:

JazzJack2:
I can't believe that the man who made the masterpiece that is System Shock 2 would go on to make such a shit and idiotic game as Bioshock Infinite, I've lost all respect for Ken Levine to be honest.

Good to see someone to share an unpopular opinion with. I'm amazed at how many people were impressed by Bioshock Infinite's awful story. While the twist ending was neat, everything else about it felt sloppy and lazily written, like Levine slapped together three different scripts with no concern for tone or in-universe logic.

Don't you guys say that out loud, some people will fight you in the streets for daring to point out the bland gameplay, terrible characters, plotholes, unexplored themes and boring empty world. You could spend days with people telling you about how they interpreted everything in the game makes the story so awesome, failing to realize that you having to make up most of the motivations and plot is exactly why it fails so hard.

CharlesCarmichael:
....Seriously? We're doing articles on Twitter posts now? Not since 24 Hour Cable News have I seen such speculation coming from so little.

Ermahgerd! Ken Levine instagrammed his breakfast! It's oatmeal! The next Bioshock will be about farming!

 

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