Hard as it may be to remember now, the original BioShock was anything but a surefire hit. The game had a long, difficult development cycle, and during that cycle, studio Irrational was acquired by publisher 2K, becoming 2K Boston in the process.
Of course, the game went on to be one of the most lauded of the current console generation -- and despite its heavy themes of Objectivism and its unusual setting and art direction, also became quite a commercial hit at the same time.
The sequel is currently under development by 2K Marin, a new team that includes key members of the original game's staff alongside newcomers to the project. One of these original staff members of executive producer Alyssa Finley.
Here, Finley ruminates about what elements of BioShock's game design led to its wide popularity, how a deep story can allow for different hooks into the game's setting, and how building a new studio with the right people is an essential piece of the puzzle when creating a game like this.