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The Shock That Almost Wasn't 57

According to a senior designer on the 2K Boston (formerly Irrational) game Bioshock a number of publishers turned them down when the company brought the title to their doorstep. "Ken (Levine) spent years pitching the game to publishers but no one was interested, incredible as that seems now. I joined Irrational in December 2004 and my first job was to get a publishing deal for the game (I worked as the Business Development Director for the first six months). I remember pitching the game to one publisher who later told a friend of mine that it was 'just another f-ing PC FPS that's going to sell 250,000 units." Just in case you didn't catch it over the weekend, there's a demo for the game up on Xbox Live. PC owners hold tight: a PC demo is coming, and hopefully before the game launches on the 21st.
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The Shock That Almost Wasn't

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  • by provigilman ( 1044114 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @06:19PM (#20217695) Homepage Journal
    Exactly, it's not so much that Bioshock is the "BEST GAME EVAR!!!", but rather that it's already doing quite well in preorders and looks to be one of the heavy hitters of 2007. Will it beat out Halo 3? Probably not. Will it sell a lot more than 250K copies? Yes.
  • I like it so far (Score:4, Interesting)

    by grapeape ( 137008 ) <mpope7&kc,rr,com> on Monday August 13, 2007 @06:50PM (#20218129) Homepage
    Wonder how many of the mediocre comments are ps3 fanboys?? I just finished the demo, the atmosphere is awesome, good lighting effects, fantastic water effects, yep its a FPS but it looks to have a decent enough story and different enough setting to make it well worth while. Its really creepy, kind of like when I played F.E.A.R. the first time, the setting's 1950's look with the radio playing constantly gives it a weird haunting feel even when nothing is happening. Irrational has never let me down before (loved Freedom Force)so im looking forward to the full game.
  • by scumdamn ( 82357 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @07:37PM (#20218689)
    I just ran through the demo a couple of times and I can tell you that the game will only sell less than 250k copies if the marketing plan is utter trash, because the game itself is excellent. It has this weird atmosphere that's an amalgum of the '50s and Blade Runner, almost. It's totally weird. And there are these people with bunny ears chasing you around and stuff. I mean, c'mon! How can you not love that? It doesn't even matter how good the graphics are because what really counts in this game is the tight controls and the weird-ass underwater city you're running around in. You'll see what I'm talking about if you play it. It's well worth it. I'll be buying it for sure.
  • by Dachannien ( 617929 ) on Monday August 13, 2007 @08:05PM (#20219001)
    One thing that I've found is that the camera field of view makes a huge difference in whether I get motion sickness or not. A game programmer can set the "camera" to have a wide or narrow field of view, just like changing an actual camera lens. If the field of view approximates what you're used to, it removes one contributing factor to motion sickness. However, some programmers like to give their cameras a wider field of view, which increases your peripheral vision (Thief I and II and System Shock 2 both had a touch of this going, which is why I can only play them in limited doses). This is particularly apparent when turning, since objects on the periphery appear to move toward the center much faster than objects that are near the center move across the center (uneven optic flow).

    Another factor is the closeness of the camera to walls, floors, and ceilings. If you're moving along really close to the ground, for example, the optic flow (the apparent motion of objects or patterns in your field of view) is increased, and that can contribute to motion sickness if the effect is not what you're used to in real life.

    Also, any sort of gratuitous bobbing motion is a great way to induce motion sickness. Descent was a chief perpetrator of this back in the day.

    If you want a good example of all of this stuff combined, try EverQuest. Get a levitate for your gnome character (low to the ground, while levitate induces a bobbing motion), get your character drunk (induces a weaving motion when going forward and greatly increases your camera's view angle), and move forward while turning. About ten seconds of that is enough to send me to the couch for a long rest.

    As for trying to reduce motion sickness, here are some suggestions: Play in a well-lit room, and don't sit right up at the screen. This provides a stationary background to match your stationary inner ear. Turn off any sort of camera bob options, if possible. Don't watch other people play - their unexpected motions can have a detrimental effect. And finally, you might have luck playing in shorter doses.

    Personally, I've found that a really high frame rate makes my motion sickness worse, but that may be because I'm used to playing games with a slower frame rate (15-20 fps).

  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Tuesday August 14, 2007 @03:12AM (#20221979) Homepage
    The demo convinced me. I had been intending to avoid the game as "another hyped FPS," but the game shows both a strong edge of story telling, and a shockingly strong artistic vision. It almost feels like a cross between myst, and Half Life 2, but adding in elements of a hellish children's book. Also, since it isn't intended to be a multiplayer game or a multiplayer platform, they can get away with weapons and scripting that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

    Truly an experience.

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