The original BioShock was a fairly chatty game, but the upcoming BioShock Infinite is poised to puts its predecessor to shame. Series creator Ken Levine has revealed that there is “three or four times” more scripting in a single level of Infinite than in the entirety of the original game combined. That leaves a lot of room to say “would you kindly” a couple more times.
According to Levine, the increase in dialogue was necessary in order to effectively tell the tale of protagonists Booker and Elizabeth. Of course, the original BioShock featured a mute lead. Levine said:
When I first came up with these characters Booker and Elizabeth talking to each other and interacting with their world, I didn't consider how much writing that was going to be.
Just one level of BioShock Infinite writing and the amount of character interaction we have is probably three or four times as much writing as in all of BioShock 1.
Levine continued that he’s personally handling the bulk of the writing, a task which can get “overwhelming” at times:
But on the other hand it's a world that I absolutely love to write. Mostly because it's a new challenge. Thinking how these scenes are going to play out, how we keep them interactive and how you communicate the ideas.
Levine explained that keeping the game interactive during moments of narrative exposition is difficult but key:
That makes it more challenging, as you keep on ramping up the audience's expectations of the kind of stories you're going to tell. So you come up with certain rules, like, if there's ever a moment where the player is locked to the ground, there must be some context. We don't just lock a player's feet to the ground. There has to be a reason why they can't move - they're using a machine or something.
You can join the conversation on 19th October, when BioShock Infinite launches on PlayStation 3.