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We need to "protect" traditional gaming from motion play - Bioshock dev

But "if we don't experiment, we don't progress", cautions Ken Levine

Experimenting with motion sensitive gameplay is fine "as long as we can firewall off and protect what we know works", reckons Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine. More familiar mechanics like those offered by upcoming shooter Bioshock Infinite need to be "protected" from any dabbling with gestural control.

"Any experience that sits in the realm of motion play needs to be kept separate from the main experience," Levine told OXM in an E3 interview. "It needs to be firewalled off so that if this experiment isn't for you, or doesn't turn out to be all that great, you just ignore it.

"Any new experience we add, we need to be able to protect this experience," he went on, referencing BioWare's recent efforts. "I like the stuff they're doing with Mass Effect 3, in terms of making some of the interface aspects a little less thorny - more the squad commands than the conversation, as that's a bit of a challenge on the controller."

BioWare co-founder Dr Ray Muzyka has said that Mass Effect 3 needs to be "awesome" regardless of control method.

"What you don't want to do is add something in and enforce it on anybody," Levine explained. "Do an experiment, fine! We're in the experimental stage, and people shouldn't be afraid of experimenting as long as we can firewall off and protect what we know works. If we don't experiment, we don't progress."

He was unwilling to comment on whether Bioshock Infinite might call on Microsoft's Kinect (the game already supports the PlayStation Move controller), but made it clear he wasn't leading the charge for motion sensitive integration. "I'm a hardcore gamer - I do most of my gaming on mouse and keyboard. I'm always open to new things, but I'm a really conservative guy at heart. I'll try it out slowly, but I'll be doing so very conservatively."

Levine is a believer in the importance of resisting "tick box" design, arguing in April that multiplayer is a marketing priority many games can do without.

Look out for more on Bioshock Infinite in issue 75, on sale 7th July. In the meantime, here's our 15 things you didn't know feature.

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