We all remember Irrational Games, right? If you’re unfamiliar with the name, they’re the group of developers responsible for birthing BioShock (under the 2K Boston moniker) and BioShock Infinite from their creative mental loins. The former brought to light a narrative heavy with the philosophy of Ayn Rand; the latter left us alone to contemplate quantum physics and the multiverse as the end credits rolled. Both, however, were spearheaded by creative director Ken Levine. Now armed with a handpicked team from the Irrational Games roster, Levine stands at the helm of a new ship: Ghost Story Games.
To commemorate the transition between identities, Ghost Story Games re-uploaded a talk from Ken Levine held at GDC 2014. This insight into Levine’s unabated artistry is intended to spark discussions and conversations to help further develop ideas. This isn’t an announcement for an unrevealed game; rather, it’s an ongoing conceptualization of systems and ideologies to act as a foundation on which a game is built.
The talk above focuses on a playable, player-driven narrative. Coming from Levine, this comes as no surprise. Levine’s penchant for environmental storytelling can be traced all the way back to System Shock 2 in 1999. The intention here is to tap into the unlocked potential unique to the video game medium, simulating characters–not people–within the confines of AI. Environmental storytelling would be at a peak as you are part of the environment. Instead of discovering a world full of macabre wonder and extreme philosophy, you would be affecting the very outcome of the world’s narrative with your own actions.
It’s a pretty wonderful discussion. Head up top to watch Levine’s talk–there’s even a little Q&A afterwards with some thought-provoking inquiries. I’m hoping that the announcement of Ghost Story Games’ existence means we’re close to seeing what Levine and his team have been working on for the past couple years (with these theories in mind).
What do you think about the topic at hand? Personally, my imagination goes wild. Even in a time with an absurd amount of exciting game releases coming out in droves, I find equal enjoyment by just pondering the possibilities here. If you have any thoughts on the matter, head to the comments below. I’d love to see more people talking about this.
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