While interviewing Ken Levine earlier this month for my story on the use of objectivism in BioShock we talked quite a bit about the plot. Near the end of the interview I found myself compelled to tell Levine what I thought of the game.
"I know I'm not a game developer, I just write about games," I said to Levine, steeling myself for his reaction. "But I wasn't exactly thrilled with the ending of the game. I felt like the confrontation with Ryan, the deneumont of the story, should have probably been the game's ending. It felt like you dragged it out too much after that and it ended up watering down the experience."
Then I waited, for a second, in silence before hearing Levine say he agreed.
"I underestimated, way underestimated, the impact the story was going to have on people," he said. "I didn't realize it would change people's perspective on what to expect from gameplay."
Levine said that when writing a story, deep down he never really expect people to pay attention to it.
"I didn't think they became that invested in what was going on," he said. In BioShock "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."
I'm still a little shocked that Levine so readily agreed with me about the ending of his game, which is why I'm all the more intrigued to hear what he has to say later this morning during his Game Developers Conference talk about BioShock and storytelling.
Make sure to stay tuned to my impressions after it wraps up.