Irrational Games prototyped ideas for six months before deciding on the basis for BioShock Infinite.
There may be a segment of people out there that believe Irrational Games immediately moved the original BioShock to the sky when it decided to create BioShock Infinite. Not true, according to studio co-founder Ken Levine, who says that Irrational spent months prototyping new ideas before settling on what BioShock Infinite would eventually become.
Levine told CVG: "[We worked on] a lot of prototypes for this game and other games. We played around with a lot of different things we were thinking about doing." He reveals that Irrational did six months of "prototyping" to figure out what it should do to follow up on the industry high note it hit with BioShock, a six months which he calls a "luxury."
The process involved a lot of throwing ideas in the trash. "The way Irrational works is we throw out way more of that than we use for our stuff," Levine said. "We start work, we try it, 'does it work? Does it not work? Throw it out'. That's a time consuming process but at the end of the day I think it makes a better game for the fans."
After Irrational's brainstorming, it came up with the idea of a floating city and the time period of the 1900s "very early." As for the "notion of the American exceptionalism - that July 4th 1900 feeling with flags waving," Levine says Irrational didn't decide upon that until eight months ago.
This is very similar to the development of BioShock, for which Irrational "didn't have the objectivism thing until relatively late," Levine admits. "You can't imagine BioShock without Andrew Ryan but it WAS without Andrew Ryan for a very long time."
So is Irrational simply replacing textures and environments and calling it a day? Who knows, but I seriously doubt it. I do know this: It'll be a long wait until BioShock Infinite's expected release in 2012.