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"BioShock should have flopped"

"BioShock should have flopped"

According to BioShock's lead programmer, the game should have flopped massively.

Lead Programmer Chris Kline was obviously delighted when BioShock turned out to be such a success, gathering many Game of the Year awards, but admits that he didn't actually expect the game to do very well at all in a recent interview.

Speaking to Gamasutra, Kline says that when he was working on BioShock, he was convinced the game was going to die of mismanagement.

Apparently for the first few years of development, the team had little more of an aim than to remake System Shock 2 and the development of the game stalled more than once.

"The very first failure was that we wanted to base this whole thing on System Shock 2," says Kline. "After a couple false starts, it wasn't until the E3 2006 demo that the team really had to think about things like making the game work and creating a "compelling user experience."

"BioShock should’ve failed... In fact, it did fail a lot, over the course of time. A series of big mistakes and corrections and slipped ship dates, but all of these helped make it a good game... Some people think that constantly messing up, and pushing dates isn’t a good way to make a game, but as far as I’m concerned it’s the only way to make a good game."

So, there you have it - proof that beauty can sometimes come from chaos after all.

What did you think to BioShock? Was it really all it was cracked up to be, or did the polarising endings and weak final boss ruin the final stretch for you? Let us know what you think in the forums.

39 Comments

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DXR_13KE 24th June 2008, 13:46 Quote
chaos theory... it works!
Timmy_the_tortoise 24th June 2008, 13:59 Quote
Bioshock is over-rated. I don't like it.. Too much Art Deco.. The twenties should definitely be forgotten.
yakyb 24th June 2008, 14:08 Quote
very pretty game but very repetitive (but not as repetitive as assasins creed)
cjoyce1980 24th June 2008, 14:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
very pretty game but very repetitive (but not as repetitive as assasins creed)

name a game that isn't repetitive....
Mister_Tad 24th June 2008, 14:28 Quote
COD4, any game which lasts for only 6 hours doesn't have a chance to get repetitive.
Bindibadgi 24th June 2008, 14:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Bioshock is over-rated. I don't like it.. Too much Art Deco.. The twenties should definitely be forgotten.

Uh, no. Art Deco and Nuvo are fantastic art styles.
wuyanxu 24th June 2008, 14:38 Quote
this shows the importance of planning and Gantt charts.

but thankfully, it turned out to be great.
Jordan Wise 24th June 2008, 14:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Bioshock is over-rated. I don't like it.. Too much Art Deco.. The twenties should definitely be forgotten.

the art deco was by far the best thing about it! i'm quite annoyed that no other games have experimented in style the way bioshock did
Veles 24th June 2008, 14:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
COD4, any game which lasts for only 6 hours doesn't have a chance to get repetitive.

CoD4 is quite repetitive;

Get to checkpoint
Die
Restart from checkpont
Die
etc.

Bioshock could have been a legendary epic game, but instead it turned out to be a better than average FPSRPG, although I did enjoy the game, I think it could have been so much more.
Timmy_the_tortoise 24th June 2008, 14:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Bioshock is over-rated. I don't like it.. Too much Art Deco.. The twenties should definitely be forgotten.

Uh, no. Art Deco and Nuvo are fantastic art styles.

So your opinion goes...

Art Deco makes me, personally, feel sick. I hate it.
Solidus 24th June 2008, 15:04 Quote
The game never deserved the 10/10 mark it was given. Too many websites gave into the media hype.
Gunsmith 24th June 2008, 15:12 Quote
bioshock: a poor mans SS2 for the console generation.
CardJoe 24th June 2008, 15:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
So your opinion goes...

Art Deco makes me, personally, feel sick. I hate it.

True, but the game is set in the 40s and 50s, not the 20s anyway.
Cobalt 24th June 2008, 15:42 Quote
They didn't make a good new game they made SS2 with a different setting and consolised it. Still wasn't as compelling as SS2 though. Bioshock never really scared me, despite the graphical enhancements and surround sound.
KoenVdd 24th June 2008, 15:54 Quote
Quote:
Some people think that constantly messing up, and pushing dates isn’t a good way to make a game, but as far as I’m concerned it’s the only way to make a good game.
I think VALVe already knew this for a Loooong time. Hope this bodes well for DNF
Mentai 24th June 2008, 16:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
So your opinion goes...

Art Deco makes me, personally, feel sick. I hate it.

True, but the game is set in the 40s and 50s, not the 20s anyway.

Mere technicalities in the face of art deco hate!
alexandros1313 24th June 2008, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunsmith
bioshock: a poor mans SS2 for the console generation.

This man has said it all.
Demon Cleaner 24th June 2008, 17:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
COD4, any game which lasts for only 6 hours doesn't have a chance to get repetitive.

I love COD4 as much as the next person. But I have to admit it took me about 15minutes of repetitive shooting from the same building (mid game) before I realised that the enemies were going to respawn forever.
knyghtryda 24th June 2008, 17:51 Quote
Bioshock is a great game for those gamers who missed out on System Shock 2, just like Deus Ex 2 was a decent game for those who never played Deus Ex (please, if you haven't played Deus Ex, go play it. It may be flawed in parts, but it takes one hell of a flawed game to get GOTY awards all over the place...) My main dig against Bioshock however is that they took the EXACT SAME story arc of SS2 and stuck it with an art deco setting. Who needs spoilers when you already know the big twist because its exactly the same as the previous game? I thought the big reveal was done well in Bioshock, but it was nowhere near as disturbing, scary, or moving as the big reveal in SS2.
Omnituens 24th June 2008, 18:56 Quote
/agree with gunny. however SS2 in Bioshock engine (with original game mechanics, not dumbed-down mode) would be win and pant-wettingly scary.
Gunsmith 24th June 2008, 19:15 Quote
i agree omni
Veles 24th June 2008, 19:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by knyghtryda
(please, if you haven't played Deus Ex, go play it. It may be flawed in parts, but it takes one hell of a flawed game to get GOTY awards all over the place...)

The only flaw of Deus Ex is it's too awesome :p
Smilodon 24th June 2008, 19:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
Bioshock is over-rated. I don't like it.. Too much Art Deco.. The twenties should definitely be forgotten.

The Art Deco environment, and the whole mood of the scenes was the only thing that kept me from putting it away. Unfortunately, as a game it wasn't good enough for me to even bother to finish it. (And I even finished Dreamfall: The longest journey (for the very same reason, really))
Cobalt 24th June 2008, 19:48 Quote
The environments were good, I'll give them that, but the bad guys were far too cartoony. It was an attempt to make them grotesque and disturbing but IMO they missed that mark. Something slightly more human would probably have been better, making use of the "uncanny valley", most of the enemies were too far out the other side to be really creepy.
Lepermessiah 24th June 2008, 20:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
COD4, any game which lasts for only 6 hours doesn't have a chance to get repetitive.

The sad thing is, even being that short the game is repetitive after 20 minutes, same as COD1.
Lepermessiah 24th June 2008, 20:27 Quote
Bioshock like most games today that are hyped, are overrated. it seems everytime a good game comes out IGN and gamespot give them top scores, or even 10`s now.
Lepermessiah 24th June 2008, 20:41 Quote
Consoles = lower standards.
lewchenko 24th June 2008, 20:51 Quote
I enjoyed this game. I bought it on the PC and played it quite a lot, but never finished it. It was slightly repetitive, and there was a serious issue with the mouse response on this game. Saying that... I will buy it again for my PS3 and aim to finish it next time.

It did so well because it was different. The whole theme, the choices, the plasmids, the story etc.... it deserved to do well, even if the management behind the scences was poor.

Roll on Bioshock 2.
D3s3rt_F0x 24th June 2008, 22:19 Quote
Personally I loved the game especially the city and the story, maybe it was just wanting to escape uni work but I found it compelling and loved the whole "would you kindly" twist

Some might call me a heretic but personally i thought Deus Ex was a crock of ****......

But certainly looking forward to Bioshock 2 hopefully see more of the city (loved the art deco styling) along with learning more about it. Id really love the game to be in there when the city turned bad perhaps from the plebs point of view all those people who were used and abused by the powers that be.
alexandros1313 24th June 2008, 22:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3s3rt_F0x

Some might call me a heretic but personally i thought Deus Ex was a crock of ****......
If these were the Middle Ages we would burn you (and your cat). :)

Deus Ex is one of the best games of all time (the best one being UFO: Enemy Unknown of course). I don't have high hopes for Deux Ex 3, because it is nearly impossible to top the original.
Kysi 24th June 2008, 22:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
very pretty game but very repetitive (but not as repetitive as assasins creed)

as far as shooters go you cant really have a game that isnt repetitive....
i did occasionally find the "go to this place and get that" tasks to be monotonous, but overall i liked the game quite a bit
Ryan_Pospichal 25th June 2008, 01:01 Quote
Actually Chaos does spawn Beauty. For example Hiroshima. Bomb+torched earth=Chaos from the Chaos flowers and grass grew.
Same goes for when people burn prairies, burn a prairie down and in it's place grows a more bountiful prairie.
mike_beef 25th June 2008, 02:26 Quote
Anyone think Bioshock's art deco 40s/50s theme was very similar to Fallout series?
CardJoe 25th June 2008, 07:57 Quote
Not really. Bioshock was forcibly art deco and stylish. Fallout was a load of 50s buildings blown to bits. Occasionally you'd see a gargoyle or something, but that was it.
liratheal 25th June 2008, 10:02 Quote
It should have flopped because it was bloody awful, in my opinion.

It tried ever so hard to be Fallout and System Shock 2 in a really horribly art deco themed universe. I enjoyed bother Fallout and System Shock 2, but if I wanted to play those games, I'd play those games, not some crappy attempt to recreate them :/
[USRF]Obiwan 25th June 2008, 10:26 Quote
I liked bioshock especially for the make your good/evil choice, the scenery was great, and added greatly to the mood, i also enjoyed the long lifety of the game. I had almost a week playing time and finished the game. Loved the end and sequenced and such. What i really hated in a while where the water pipe puzzles.
Da_Rude_Baboon 25th June 2008, 12:06 Quote
Quote:
So, there you have it - proof that beauty can sometimes come from chaos after all.

Polishing a turd does not make it beautiful. It just makes a shiny turd.

Rubbish game that failed as a shooter and was completely pointless as an RPG. Most of the plasmids were useless, there is no strategy to them as you get enough adam or what ever it was called to power them all up anyway and there is only about 5 different enemies.
NiHiLiST 25th June 2008, 13:35 Quote
I loved Bioshock for what it was, a beautifully presented and well-polished FPS with a great storyline. No game has gripped me like it since Half-Life was released.
Timmy_the_tortoise 25th June 2008, 14:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timmy_the_tortoise
So your opinion goes...

Art Deco makes me, personally, feel sick. I hate it.

True, but the game is set in the 40s and 50s, not the 20s anyway.

Also true.. But art deco is almost synonymous with the 20s.. I don't like the fashions which were prevalent in Britain and the US during that time.. looking at pictures of people wearing those awful clothes, in those awfully decorated buildings.. Urgh...
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