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BioShock Infinite multiplayer 'experiment' cut due to resources

by Steve Watts, Dec 12, 2012 10:15am PST

BioShock Infinite's multiplayer mode has become a casualty of the game development process. But to hear Irrational head Ken Levine describe it, the mode was always a risky "experiment" that serves as an example of how the developer iterates and tosses concepts that don't work or can't be finished.

"We look at this way: we play around with a ton of things," Levine told IGN. "So much of it is experimental that you really have no idea... In a game like this, where we start this thing and we’re like 'okay, it’s in a flying city in 1912 and you're this guy and there's this girl who can change the nature of reality,' you don’t quite have a lot of guidelines to go with. We probably tried 40 different versions of [Songbird] before we found the right one."

This iterative process led to toying around with multiplayer, which Levine called an "experiment" from the get-go.

"So, like everything, you try certain things, and the multiplayer, we got to a point where we said 'okay, this is the you-know-what or get off the pot moment,' and we decided to get off the pot because it wasn't there yet. But that makes it sound like I'm dissing on what the guys did. No. Actually, I think they did some really extraordinary stuff, but we felt we didn't have the resources and time to finish the experiment to the level we wanted to. And we weren't going to ship something that was not consistent with the overall package."

That makes the modes sound pretty mysterious, but Levine isn't talking about what exactly set them apart from the average multiplayer shooter. He declined to elaborate, saying that "you never know when we'll go back and revisit something. There was some really cool stuff there, but it just wasn't ready for what we were doing."





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