Interview with Irrational’s BioShock Infinite Art Director
Recently G4-TV’s X-Play interviewer Adam Sessler had the opportunity to interview Irrational Games’ BioShock Infinite art director, Nate Wells. This interview included talk about the most recent Video Games Awards trailer, history in BioShock, and character development.
The purpose of the VGA trailer was to show the ‘darker side’ of Columbia. The hard ships which the flying city is dealing with are quite un-ideal for Booker to enter into. It Vox Populi spawn from these hardships to show the wrongs of the current government. These two factions will be the opposing forces on Columbia.
Anyone who has enjoyed the BioShock series knows that history is a huge element. Wells says, in the interview, that history comes first in their development. Once the team is content on a time period and location, then they focus on adding their story to the greater picture. In Infinite, Irrational Games wanted to hit upon different themes in history sort of playing off the cliché of ‘history repeating.’ Even though Columbia is fictional, the team wanted real possible elements to still exist as if Columbia was real. With the skyline, they looked at it as if it was real, in say New York City, and how people would have dealt with it.
A strong focus in BioShock Infinite is character development. The interview focused on character expressions in the game to show deeper emotion. Especially in Elizabeth, the designers are toiling over the slight movements in her face to show her joy, concern, and sorrow. A goal in the Infinite experience is to develop the relationship with not only Booker and Elizabeth, but also the player and Elizabeth. Through her expression, the team wants you to be able to ‘read’ her.
The interview was in-depth and was rather lengthy, which are both good things. The clip is embedded below, watch it, enjoy, and get more excited for BioShock Infinite.