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Posted 5:00pm

Writing BioShock Infinite

The toughest question to answer is “How do you write for a BioShock game?” Wait, let me back up.

I started at Irrational almost a year ago. At that point, there wasn’t a “writing team”, it was just Ken Levine. Luckily, Ken is a smart guy and knew that the game was going to be big. Bigger than any game he’d worked on before.

So I tricked him into hiring me, and a couple months later we realised it was still a REALLY BIG GAME, so Joe Fielder tricked us into hiring him as well. And the three of us, along with Jordan Thomas, tried to wrangle the beast that is BioShock Infinite.

The writing team at Irrational is structured a lot like a television writing staff (at least I assume – I’ve never worked in TV, so maybe they DON’T have a special room for footrubs and/or quiet sobbing). We’ll sit down with a problem to solve (“How do we make Infinite make any sense?”) and pitch various ideas (“Free drugs in every box?”) until one of them sticks (*INSERT ENDING OF BIOSHOCK INFINITE*). Then we’ll grind on that idea until it either sucks and we start over, or it becomes something…well…good, hopefully.

But the key is this: We’re never satisfied. Something can always be better. The first idea is never the best one.

Our roles at Irrational are pretty well defined: Joe is the guy who can churn out an insane amount of writing in a very short amount of time and I hate him for it. I’m really good at finding pictures of dogs who think they are people.

And Ken is able to take everything, mash it up and deliver a coherent, challenging and medium-defining piece of art.

So back to the first question: “How do you write for a BioShock game?” You just start. And then you do it again. And again. And again. And eventually you get something pretty damn cool.

Hopefully on 26th March, you’ll all agree with us.

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Lunastra78 25 January, 2013 @ 5:54 pm   1

I’m gonna platinum the **** out of this game! :)

TINTINTB303 25 January, 2013 @ 6:08 pm   2

Patience… ;-)

“So back to the first question: “How do you write for a BioShock game?” You just start. And then you do it again. And again. And again. And eventually you get something pretty damn cool.”

That’s how I write, create something and then refine it constantly, although sometimes I have found that starting fresh can help if I am not completely happy with a story.

Interesting post, and it is nice to hear that a developer has a writing team. I thought more often than not that the developers created there own stories in games. Here’s to more developers introducing writing teams.

I have the Songbird edition ordered and I can’t wait to play it.

I have the Collector edition guide ordered as well and I will get the key as well.

Stonesthrow 26 January, 2013 @ 11:44 am   5

Definitely one of my big games of 2013, next to GTAV, Last of Us, Beyond, and hopefully others like the Last Guardian, FFVERSUS13 and the new MGS.

Private-Lu 27 January, 2013 @ 11:26 pm   6

26th March?
Nooo, I thought it was coming out 8th February. Deadlines are evil.

No vita version, NO LOVE.