Posts Tagged ‘Ken-Levine’

Gaming Made Me: Ken Levine

As we mentioned last week, after hurriedly deciding to do the Gaming Made Me feature we hurriedly sent a mail around to those RPS-correspondents and famous-folk we didn’t feel too bad about hurriedly asking to hurriedly write a little thing about the games that made them who they are. 2K-Boston’s Ken “System Shock 2/Freedom Force/Bioshock” Levine didn’t write a little thing, instead giving us a thousand words on the games who made him who he is today. And you’ll find it below…
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Ken Levine at PAX

Bioshock’s big daddy, Ken Levine, took some time to talk to the masses about his life at the recent PAX. He tells a familiar tale of growing up with geek-tendencies, and then finding games as his place in life. It’s a story that wouldn’t have been out of place in this year’s most exciting book about videogames.

Anyway! PAX keynote beyond the jump.

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Levine On His Next Game, Bioshock 2 & Rumour

Kieron’s currently out at the Develop conference for us, so expect exciting missives soon. Or, more likely, incoherent booze-addled rambling about Kenickie. So, while he struggles manfully to work out what a wireless internet is, we can instead harken to reports from elsewhere in gamingdom. Specifically Videogaming247‘s coverage of Ken Levine’s bravely-named “BioShock and Awe: Immersing the Gamer in an Alternate World Without Drowning Out the Gameplay” lecture and some quotable interview gobbets they tickled out of him afterwards. Tempestuous Mount Bioshock never quite goes dormant, it seems.

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I wish I still had my savegames from 1993.

I had it in my head that this had been properly confirmed ayyyyyyyyyges back, but apparently it’s still stranded in rumourland. Furthermore, it’s a rumour that seemingly had yet to reach everyone’s ears, as evidenced by the internets suddenly talking about Bioshock creators Irrational 2k Boston reportedly working on a new X-COM game as though it’s some sort of ‘news.’ Still, might as well give you fine folks a chance to talk it over here.

2K – the publishery bit – picked up the X-COM rights last year, so it’s pretty much a dead cert to happen at some point, so the mystery remains which dev will make it. That Ken Levine has handed over Bioshock 2 development to a different 2K team further supports educated guesstimation that he’s off working on a super-exciting project like this.
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The Thursday Papers

HAWX: probably buff, sweaty men

Hell, any day can be round-up day. Rather than Kieron’s regular Sunday collection of notable word-sciences though, instead this is a one-off, rather more hotchpotch grab-bag of happy happenstances that have caught my eye today, as I fight the urge to pretend this has any relevancy whatsoever to Space Week.

First up, we’ve got the announcement of Tom Clancy’s HAWX, which totally sounds like a group of male strippers, but is actually an aerial combat thingum set in the GRAW universe. Which, for all the oppressively heavy branding, is actually kinda appealing – we don’t get too many dogfighters these days, so it’s nice to see a new big-money attempt at making one for a broad audience.
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Making of: System Shock 2

Yeah, see what we did here.
[Since it’s Space Week, it’s a good time to pull my Edge-commissioned Making Of System Shock 2 feature out of Stasis. The material for this was drawn from the lengthy conversation I had with Ken Levine last year. So, yes, before Bioshock. I’m quite fond of this piece, if only as it reveals the secret origin of the Psychic Monkeys…]

The lights are low. Everyone’s panickedly fighting against a seemingly impossible, oppressive deadline. At every turn there’s a crippling lack of resources. Viewed by any objective criteria, the small inexperienced team doesn’t have the skills to achieve their aims. They’re all crammed into a single room – in fact, half of one, since it’s one room bisected with screens. When you look at where and how Irrational worked on their first game, it’s easy to think of the claustrophobic horror of RPG/Shooter System Shock 2 as a pure product of its environment.
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The Staring Eyes of Ken Levine

This better not be another running joke.

To be honest, I’ve nothing else to add to Walker and Alec’s opposing yet illuminating pieces. Just the urge to form a triad of Ken Levine Eyes grew unbearable. Forgive me.

Keeping Up With Ken Levine

Sometimes, we like to race. Today, John won, throwing up his thoughts on Ken Levine’s recent post-mortem natterings about Bioshock’s narrative before I could lay my oafish mitts to a keyboard.

After literally seconds of consideration, I’ve decided to do so anyway, as a) John’s kindly gotten the hard labour of summary and quotation out of the way for me and b) I’ve got some slightly different feelings about what Levine’s said/is maybe trying to say/perhaps failed to say. This isn’t at all a rebuttal to John’s piece, though there are inescapable elements of point-counterpoint.

Apologies, by the way, if we’ve gone a little September 2007 today: Bioshock’s one of those games that never quite goes away.
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I Can’t Keep Up With Ken Levine

The man confuses me. It comes down to this.

Mr Levine

When Ken Levine was interviewed by Kotaku’s Brian Crecente earlier this month, he explained to the site’s editor,

“I underestimated, way underestimated, the impact the story was going to have on people. I didn’t realize it would change people’s perspective on what to expect from gameplay. I didn’t think they became that invested in what was going on. You have this great mystery of your own identity and once it is solved the story is over. I think it was a miscalculation on my part.”

So why did Levine announce in his GDC speech,

“The bad news for storytellers is that nobody cares about your stupid story.”

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Making Of: Freedom Force


[Considering Mr Levine’s turned up in the rumour mill today, I thought turning an eye back at one of Irrational’s other games would be a worthy endeavour. This interview with Ken was done in the run up to the second Freedom Force game.]

“We had a lot of internal arguments at the time. Some people wanted it more dark and gritty, and others preferred it in a lighter style,” recalls Irrational head-honcho Ken Levine, “I remember waking up in the middle of the night, before we shipped and going “What did I do? Why did I go and make it so it was retro? What was I thinking?””. Read the rest of this entry »