Ken Levine: Linear games lead to 'a lot of closed doors'
Ken Levine is sick to death of linear games.
The BioShock creator and co-founder of Irrational Games is pursuing a different path with his next project, his first endeavor after closing Irrational Games in February.
Games like last year's BioShock Infinite, he said at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, are expensive — and they're not very replayable. He now wants to create experiences where "all narrative elements trigger off player action.
"Linear narrative puts a boundary between the developer and the audience," Levine said. "Because once you have a 'would you kindly' or something like that in your story, you can't say, 'Hey, player, open alpha!' Because once that's revealed — once those key story bits are revealed — that's really your secret sauce.
"So we had to have a lot of secrecy. We had to have a lot of closed doors. And we got very good at keeping secrets, but I don't think we ever really enjoyed the process of keeping secrets. It got very stressful, and I don't think it was great for building relationships with the audience."