I know I've been asking a lot, my apologies. If you were to build a level in BioShock what would it be?
It’s all good :) I’m sorry for taking so long to answer!
think about this question all the time actually. If i ever made a game,
it would 100% be underwater and rip off Bioshock shamelessly. lol
Although i know very little about game design, i know what kind of areas
i’d like to explore and what kind of things i’d like to see in a level.
To start with, it would be a mix of the Welcome to
Rapture level and Fort Frolic. Both their layouts (a decent bit of
verticality with branching paths) and their aesthetics (over the top
stylish Art Deco everywhere you look with lots of variety and pleasing
textures) make them my two favorite places in the game.
level would have a more blueish tint to the water with the background
buildings/skybox closer to the earlier versions of the game.
I would also add in more touches of color to break up the monotone look, and just because i love bright colors.
these little “warm” spots/areas give the eyes something to gravitate
to, which is where i’d put lots of goodies to pick up (health, ammo,
audio recorders) and they help give a sense of safety and comfort, which
segues into one of my other favorite things in games (and life!), small
cozy spots. There would be tons of little areas like this spread out
around the level.
Of course i’m going to need a bunch of
tall statues and pillars, preferably all broken apart, strewn across the
level as well (you’ll be able to climb all over them (with goodies
sometimes placed at the top), because i always try to do that and get
disappointed if some invisible force field knocks me off of them). And
you better bring an umbrella, because i’m doubling or even tripling the
leaks of water everywhere.
When it comes to the visual
part of level design in Bioshock, other than Art Deco, the most
important things are windows looking out into the ocean and glass
tunnels that connect different rooms. Without them, you’d never know you
were underwater. So i’m putting a ton of these all over the place.
Larger ones too, like the one surrounding the Atlas statue.
windows alone wont cut it, there has to be something interesting to look
at out there. So almost every window will have a story to tell.
Plant/sea life, forgotten about Big Daddys, broken pieces of Rapture. It
will all be out there for the player to take in and wonder about.
I’m also a fan of some of the older floor and wall textures of Fort Frolic, so those are going back in too.
looking through a window at interesting stuff, i also want the player
to be able to go out there and explore. Going “outside” of Rapture was
what got me into taking screenshots after all, so i feel an almost
magnetic draw to being on the outside looking in. Love how Bio 2 let you
I’d like to find a way to blend this with
gameplay though, so i’d give the player a choice. They can break almost
any window and go outside (your character has a diving suit on, i
guess), but it floods the room/s (some kind of sealed wall/airlock would
come down at certain parts of the level when this happens, to keep the
whole place from filling up with water). Flooding the room/s opens up
all kinds of possibilities other then just being able to explore the
outside area. It will cut you off from going into some rooms inside, but
at the same time, open new paths to other parts of the level. You can
also wipe out all your enemies at once, but now you have to worry about
angry sea life attacking you. Once an area is flooded, you can go back
inside and see how it destroyed everything (this gives the level more
visual variety) and you’ll be able to revisit parts you were previously
at much earlier in the level, that have now become flooded due to your
Finally, there would be more epic moments like the plane tail crashing into the tunnel. That part was so unexpected and immersive, that afterwards, i hadn’t even noticed that i had moved to the end of my bed, like a foot away from the tv screen, due to the anxiety about drowning.
I could go on and on, but hopefully this gives a bit of insight into my imaginary Bioshock level. :)
// Hello friends. Just wanted to pop in to say that today the guy sitting in the cube next to me mumbled into a near-silent room, “Holy shi…” and trailed off into appalled laughter. The need for this blog was thoroughly reaffirmed.
I did not tell him I would announce this to thousands of people on the internet, so hopefully he doesn’t follow this blog.