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Ken Levine’s Secret Notepad of BioShock Ideas

posted on September 29th, 2010 by jackson
  • BioShock — A city under the ocean (not Atlantis) is populated by murderous psychopaths. Everyone here also has superpowers. A little girl and her dozen twin sisters wander around needing to be rescued. Andrew Ryan talks to you about why his city is so great. After you kill everyone in the city the moral of the story is that killing children is bad. (Chance to prove that videogames can have moral messages just like movies?) I think this game could give people a lot to think about, like how it’s dangerous to give everyone in a city inherently destructive superpowers.
  • BioShock Infinite–A city in the sky is populated by an evil Tea Party analog (to prevent moral ambiguity make sure their eyes burn and they roar like monsters so there’s no confusion over who the bad guys are). Everyone still has superpowers like in the last game and they use them primarily to destroy things. This is our chance to finally prove that videogames are art and can be as deep as political cartoons. (Possible moral: next time you build a city 10,000 feet up in the sky make sure it has a big fence because otherwise immigrants will just hop over.)
  • BioShock Beyond–A steam powered city on a hill (a steam powered hill?) is run by a guy named Edward Jonathan. The city is divided into two factions: Jonathan’s religious cult and a rebellion of evil witch scientists. Everyone is still a murderous psychopath and they all still have superpowers. After you exterminate the evil witches you learn that they were actually not evil and that Jonathan is the real bad guy so then you get to kill all of his people too. The moral of the story is that evolution is real and that through the power of science we can give ourselves totally sweet superpowers. I like this part because I get to make up my own science and you get to listen to a dozen audio logs explaining it.
  • Super BioShock–A city in Earth’s orbit (note to self–research if steam power works in space) has fallen into chaos because everyone got superpowers and turned into murderous psychopaths. An oil tycoon named Benjamin Peters is destroying all of the city’s surrounding wildlife in order to drill for more oil… except that it’s not really oil. It’s the very substance that gives people superpowers and makes them crazy! You must stop him at all costs, even if it means killing every last human being in the city (fortunately it does!) You’ll be given choices throughout the game to use steam or gas powered machines. If you use gas then at the end of the game it turns out you’ve released so much carbon into space that Neptune melted and flooded Earth.
  • BioShock Unleashed–A city was built in the lowest circle of Hell by a guy named G. R. Inch who is determined to destroy Christmas. This actually isn’t hard though because everyone in his city has superpowers and is mentally unstable. It’s your job to find the little girls wandering around and give them dolls (or other female-appropriate toys). If you give them male-oriented toys then you get the bad ending where independent women overthrow the patriarchy. (This is bad because if little girls aren’t characterized as weak and passive then we won’t have anyone for you to rescue.) But either way the game ends when you realize that Mr. Inch was right all along and Christmas is just an opportunity for the bourgeoisie to exploit the working class and that you have been a drone of commercialism all along. Hopefully we can slate this game for a holiday release.
  • BioShock–Whenever the next generation of consoles come along I figure we might as well just reboot the franchise. There are a few ideas I have that I think could improve it too, like maybe a villain named Robert E. Bart.

(Cross posted from my blog)

2 Comments

  1. Cunzy1 1 said on September 30, 2010:

    This is truly a great post!

  2. christian said on September 30, 2010:

    I haven’t examiend Bioshock Infinite very much, but if the screens I’ve seen are a clue, the last sentence in the pitch here should have been “also, tits”

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