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Ken Levine's Acceptance Speech That Never Was

Zonk posted more than 5 years ago | from the letting-rapture's-creator-speak dept.

Games 24

When Gamecock rushed the stage at the SpikeTV VGAs this year, BioShock creator Ken Levine was denied his chance for an acceptance speech. In a recent discussion with 1up, Levine had the chance to finally get across his thoughts on working with 2K. "I had a tireless, amazing team who was on a mission to make BioShock great. We didn't have 300 people or five years. We had an insane amount of passion. I'd like to thank the people who made it with me, the families that patiently waited while we did our thing, the publisher with the guts not to make us change it, and the fans who showed that gamers have a much broader range of interest and intellect than anybody in certain parts of the media or the political space is comfortable giving them credit for."

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Am I?... (3, Funny)

Slashdot Suxxors (1207082) | more than 5 years ago | (#21822400)

Am I the only one who thought Gamecock was a typo? =/

Re:Am I?... (3, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 5 years ago | (#21822694)

Am I the only one thinking the better title for the related article should have been "GameCock lives up to name at VGA's"

Re:Am I?... (1)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 6 years ago | (#21826716)

My title would've been "Who the hell is Gamecock?"

Well treated talent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21822410)

Good to hear from folks like this instead of publishers or journalists. I hope it sparks other publishers to work with their dev teams, not simply when marketroids demand it,

huh (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#21822488)

1UP: The Northeast ain't exactly the hotbed of game development. Where are you finding your talent?

KL: Having a hit game makes recruitment a lot easier. I remember the early days of recruiting on System Shock 2, we'd get some pretty depressing resumes. But we're extremely selective. It took us ten years to build the team that made BioShock.

Ahh, West Coast arrogance. Maybe they weren't attracting top quality talent because nobody had ever heard of them?

Re:huh (1)

Scotland Tom (974094) | more than 5 years ago | (#21822712)

Indeed. There are highly talented people in many fields all over the country - all over the world. Just because they don't move to the West Coast doesn't mean they don't exist.

Re:huh (1)

LithiumX (717017) | more than 5 years ago | (#21822718)

I think that is exactly what the man was saying. No hit = no notoriety = weak resumes.

Re:huh (1)

Chr0me (180627) | more than 5 years ago | (#21822812)

Yup. Never heard of the people who made Thief or System Shock or Tribes: Vengeance. I guess the write ups in PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, and Next Generation Magazine in the mid-90s missed the top-quality talent. Must have been busy. Maybe trying to get on that Duke Nukem Forever gravy train.

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#21823648)

Wait, the east coast is allowed to be cock suckers and stuck up as fuck, with every national weather/news station in the country biased towards them, but the west coast is arrogant? wtf.

Re:huh (2, Funny)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 6 years ago | (#21831302)

Shut the fuck up, you pot dodging draft smoaking hippy.

Re:huh (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#21823964)

You do realize that the national news covers the east coast far more thoroughly than it does on the west coast, right? And that election coverage gives you guys far more of a say in national elections than is appropriate as well. Or the arrogance to assume that that is appropriate for the betterment of the US.

I do think that there is a bit of irony in the insistence that because your region lost to us at something and that we noticed makes us arrogant. I mean lord knows that those sophisticated east coast residents would never lose to us poorly educated and hickish west coast residents. Roll eyes out of sarcasm. Perhaps if east coasters wouldn't feel compelled to post this sort of drivel, we wouldn't think you were all a bunch of arrogant jackasses.

As for the matter at hand, the reason why the majority of those kinds of ventures ended up on the west coast was merely a matter of availability of cash, and the willingness of those with the cash to put it into things which were interesting. The same thing could have, or even can happen in the future, on the east coast it's more a matter of being willing to support the infrastructure to make it happen.

Yes we did have an advantage in that we weren't as built up in most areas, but that still shouldn't be that much of an issue if you can make it worthwhile to people to move their businesses there, and it certainly shouldn't be a bigger advantage than having a much larger population base from which to get the innovations from.

Shut the hell up... (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21826960)

I'm here in Alaska, I don't claim to belong to any region of the "normal" US, and even I can see that the West Coast gets more coverage. All entertainment news focuses in on LA, all computer news focuses in on Seattle and San Fransisco. California gets a few fires, half the state's face is on the news. An area the size of California, in Alaska, is burried in smoke and flames, and we're lucky if we get a footnote.

Hey, I hate Alaska, and fuck California, and fuck the East coast too... hell, fuck all of the US, as far as I'm concerned. But the fact remains, if you think that the West Coast is being neglected, and the East Coast is getting all the publicity, then reach down and pull the "dipshit" stick out of your ass. NY gets far less airtime, and the only things that Washington ever gets reported on take place in one of three buildings.

Re:Shut the hell up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21830394)

Does the insurance pay out if your igloo melts?

Re:huh (1)

Samuel_Gompers (1071856) | more than 5 years ago | (#21825234)

The arrogance is a bit justified: Seattle - Nintendo, Valve, MSFT, etc__ Bay Area - ERTS hq, a bunch of studios in SF's soma, lucas, almost every major tech company on the planet in SC county__ LA - every major publisher within a mile of the 405/90 interchange, every major film studio on the planet__ Boston is a distant sixth or seventh behind Austin, DC and possibly NYC and the NC triangle. Good sports teams, though.

Re:huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21827174)

Gosh...'cause. y'know, no good games got developed in the Boston area last year.

Like Bioshock.

Or Rock Band.

Or Lord of the Rings Online.

Nope, no award winners up here at all.

The world doesn't revolve around LA, and the signal to noise of the games being developed in the Boston area is much, much higher than it is in other parts of the country. I just wish more investors would realize that, and realize just how much college power is up here (nah, no gaming geeks at places like MIT or WPI or Brown, are there...), and maybe stoop automatically thinking that game development must happen in LA.

Re:huh (1)

Samuel_Gompers (1071856) | more than 6 years ago | (#21835746)

Of course, 2 out of 3 of those were developed for publishers based in the Bay Area. Turbine is to be commended, of course, for their success. Any recent release of subscriber #s? In any case, I don't think anyone would confuse three or four teams with maybe 400 devs collectively with a strong presence.

Next time work "with 2K" on 1 more thing (2, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 5 years ago | (#21822586)

The PC version of the game was only allowed to have 2 activations at any given time. Fun anti-user nonsense, that is. If anyone could pressure the publisher into giving up on such BS, I would hope it's the developer. Gamers definitely can't.

That said, this was a good read. And the Gamecock thing was indeed confusing during the show. I remember watching it and not understanding why they went up there with the Bioshock devs, but it turned out they were just acting like the idiots they are. Bummer to have them steal the spotlight like that.

Re:Next time work "with 2K" on 1 more thing (1)

Daltin (1153533) | more than 5 years ago | (#21823222)

The PC version of the game was only allowed to have 2 activations at any given time. Fun anti-user nonsense, that is. If anyone could pressure the publisher into giving up on such BS, I would hope it's the developer. Gamers definitely can't.
Which was later patched: expanded to five, and no one has complained about it in months.

Re:Next time work "with 2K" on 1 more thing (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 5 years ago | (#21823264)

Well I suppose that's because the game came out months ago. It shouldn't ever have been an issue to begin with and was terribly shortsighted. I'm glad pressure on 2K prompted a decent compromise, however.

Re:Next time work "with 2K" on 1 more thing (1)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21826840)

I didn't complain at all, I simply did not buy it. However, I really wanted to buy after playing the demo. As it stands, I used the money for a competitors video game.

Story. (1)

ZJVavrek (952066) | more than 5 years ago | (#21822678)

I'm glad he acknowledges the problems with the third act of the game. As much as I enjoyed BioShock, as good a game as it is, story always becomes the strongest part of any video game for me (if the game has a notable story at all.) Despite the gameplay, BioShock left a poor taste in my mouth when I was done with it because of how the finale was handled.

Here's hoping BioShock 2 is even better.

Re:Story. (1)

CommunistHamster (949406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21825964)

I saw the last level as kind of a celebration of the gaming tradition of The Final Boss. Bioshock knows that it's a game, like when you pick up the EMP bomb, it's ridiculous because it's huge, and it disappears, and you're walking normally! A commentary, if you will

Maybe I'm reading too far into it, but that's how I saw it.

Re:Story. (1)

Ponzicar (861589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21826600)

The problem is, even if it was done with postmodern self awareness, the last boss was still a rather bland and disappointing fight, especially compared to most everything earlier in the game. It's not enough for the designers to wink at the audience and let us know that they know they're following the genre's conventions, they still need to make that next step and put that self awareness to work in something that's surprising, insightful, or at least memorable.

Re:Story. (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21826976)

Hey, the final boss wasn't all that revolutionary, but then, what part of the game's gameplay was? What was great about the game? It's style, it's streamlined polish, maybe its moral dillema (though there are hundreds of other examples just as good), but its gameplay? No. The gameplay was GREAT, but it was pretty standard FPS/Adventure game fare.
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