Friday, April 5, 2013

Elizabeth the in-game designer


Bioshock Infinite is clever, but I hadn't realized how clever until we had a discussion about her in the concept room at work. We were discussing her "tear" ability (being able to create turrets, ammo, health, doors, etc...) by opening tears into alternate realities/times.


You can't choose where they go or what they contain, so why not just have that stuff sitting around the level from the start? Then it hit us. Game designers are always putting videogame stuff where it doesn't belong. Their priority is fun gameplay, not believable world-building. They'll put turrets in restaurants, crates of ammo in bars, hiding health in alleyways. What Elizabeth offers is an in-game explanation for all the videogamey stuff that has to be crammed into a beautifully created world. Gameplay is satisfied, and the integrity of the world-building remains intact.

Brilliant.


6 comments:

  1. That's a pretty cool realization. Although Bioshock Infinite doesn't avoid that trope completely, as you can dig through trash cans for cash and ammo.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In the original Prince of Persia Sands of Time - The Dagger was a plot device to allow the design team to not need a death mechanic ("Thats not how it happened" and rewinding time).

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would much rather have the game be about the challenge of navigating a world where there aren't $100 bills wadded up in trashcans. It would be interesting to actually have to make some hard choices based on resource management which would effect how the player interacted with the story. I guess that's a different kind of game, though.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Awesome Matt, glad you're enjoying the game, I myself was playing through it over the weekend and I am really enjoying it. The tear mechanic in the middle of battle really add more fun and joy into the gameplay rather than just gunning and shooting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Amazing!! Your artistic work is one of the best i saw. I'm talking, no just of this one, all of your draws are incredible!

    ReplyDelete
  6. With your blogs focus on game design I thought this might interest you: http://www.onlinegamedesignschools.org/esports/

    ReplyDelete