Ken Levine, best known for his work in both BioShock and BioShock Infinite, wants his next game to feature characters who are more believable by focusing on their passions, wants, and needs.
After “winding down” Irrational Games prior to the launch of BioShock Infinite, those left started working on a new project that would focus on a new type of narrative experience. The untitled project will feature characters who has a number of passions, wants, and needs. “The player now has the ability to facilitate those wants or needs or go against those wants or needs or ignore those wants or needs,” Ken Levine shares in a recent interview. “The reason I think the system is going to work is because it’s a very organic way to look at a character. It’s a quite systemic game. The system we’re in, the character’s feelings about you change, they go up and down. But the heart of a character is still wants and needs, and that makes it no different than anything I’ve ever written before.”
The untitled game will feature a new system that will exist to support characters with authentic motivations and increase their genuine nature. "If you look at the characters and what they want and need, that’s the heart of what the characters are," he said. "It’s not their skin color, not their religion, not their sex. It’s what they want, what they need, and what’s in their way. That’s a function of talking about who they are and how they got to this place. Sometimes it’s skin color, race, or gender gets them to that place. But that’s a story."
Levine mentions some interesting mechanics to his upcoming game. We’ve already experienced a number of games that touched us emotionally, but if he’s able to make his game with a much deeper character development system, this could be one of those features that will often be imitated, but rarely duplicated.