Bioshock “A Sequence of Failures and Errors,” Originally Planned as Remake of System Shock

No, not that movie starring Jim Carrey, although you’re forgiven for making the mistake. See, at the Paris GDC, 2K Boston’s Chris Kline took a fond gaze back into Bioshock’s past, and it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows — even if the end result was.

“Bioshock was basically a sequence of failures and errors,” he said. “But every one of them was a good thing – it forced us to look at the game and reassess what we had, which worked in our favor.”

As an example, Kline discussed the first game plan for Bioshock, which was to reassemble System Shock 2. Yes, Bioshock, one of 2007’s most original games, was drawn-up as a remake.

Additionally, you may remember Ken Levine’s impassioned speeches about Bioshock’s A.I. ecology, and how it would be “life around you, but also without you.” Yes, in the end product, with little to no coaxing, Rapture’s giant-brained denizens could and would walk right into obviously-placed trip wires. Obviously, Bioshock’s initial ecology system also found itself sitting in shards of glass, glancing mournfully back at the window from which it has just been ejected. The reason: it was boring.

In the end, though, Bioshock was a spectacular game. Why?

“Iteration was responsible for all of the major things in Bioshock that people liked,” Kline concluded, “but I don’t think you can put any methodology behind it. The real thing that you have to realize is that mistakes aren’t always a bad thing.”