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Don't do multiplayer "because some marketing guy is telling you to do it" - Ken Levine

OXM UK: "Irrational's Ken Levine thinks developers should resist publisher pressure to create multiplayer components."

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Pikajew2435d ago

People do multi player because they want to.

Quagmire2435d ago

No, its because its what the 13year old demographic who grew up on COD wants out of games now.

dirigiblebill2435d ago

Yeah, but can anyone besides COD (plus the others I mentioned below) do multiplayer in a big way and turn a profit?

badz1492435d ago

seems like he's kinda hate the fact that Bioshock 2 exist!

palaeomerus2435d ago (Edited 2435d ago )

Well, the story of Bioshock 2 doesn't fit very well with the premise of Bioshock and stinks of serious retcon, and we all kind of knew about Rapture so seeing Rapture more screwed up was not as novel. I think the little sister timed assault-turret defense and then sister fight mechanic kind of bothered a lot of people. On the other hand, the shooting mechanics and bio-power usage got a LOT better, the hacking was better, and the plot made somewhat more sense overall.

I enjoyed Bioshock SP and MP.

I'm glad that the Dead Space 2 devs didn't follow Levne's advice because I liked their "tacked on" multiplayer mode too.

I wonder if Levine isn't a little bothered that his attack on the extreme case of an objectivist utopian philosophy was later used to attack collectivist progressive Utopian philosophy.

palaeomerus2435d ago

BioShock infinite seems to be attacking early America ideas of 'manifest destiny' and 'exceptional-ist' aggression except he's somehow turned them into a withdrawn, xenophobic, twisted-Shangri-la type society instead of an aggressive, voracious, expansive one controlled by the interests of highly subsidized and vertically integrated corporate monoliths who seek to supply a rapidly growing urban society that is leaving the old agrarian economy and shaping a new industrial one.

For instance he harps on an exaggeration of a fundamentally "American" fear of foreigners and legal immigration in an era when, in the Northeast and parts of the central heartland, it was the now well established first and second waves of immigration who were the main group hating on the third wave of the mid to late 19th century, and on black americans who were moving northward looking for work during and after the civil war.

The problem was partly over population and poor conditions in urban areas and because these established immigrant populations who were not quite done melting in the melting pot deeply feared competition for wages, and being displaced.

The beginnings of a violent anarchist movement, a fading religious revival, rampant alcoholism, and gobs of eagerly embraced pseudo-science marketed as progress, and crazy writings of upper class twits who were also hobby eugenicists didn't help matters either.

Also, the memories of the brutal Civil War, mixing of the races, all the new technology, the boring hum drum beat of works studied industry, and fears of industrial automation causing mass unemployment were all freaking people out quite a bit.

Turning that into a crazed white pure twisted mechanical ideal of America hiding from "immigrants" and plotting foul plots from up in the clouds is a bit shrill and simplistic compared to the era itself.

I strongly suspect the whole thing is designed as a none too subtle condemnation of people who object to the modern prevalence of illegal immigration and refusal of the Federal Government to enforce it's own immigration laws or prevent local governments from openly defying them on humanitarian grounds and to avoid any appearance of racism.

If so, that's a bit shrill and I'd hope he could take a more serious, honest, and two-sided approach to addressing the complexities of the illegal/undocumented immigration issue instead of reducing it to a white hat/black hat melodrama that appeals to the self righteous instincts of the lowest common denominator. It is one of those issues where both sides really do have a lot good points to their views and both have laudable motives and yet seem willing to stoop to demagoguery and despicable means to pursue them.

palaeomerus2435d ago (Edited 2435d ago )

I sometimes think Levine wants to make deeply allegorical comments on philosophy, world view, and history in a science fiction context but he seems prone to doing that without really understanding his subject.. Or maybe he thinks he needs to pare it down for his audience who need to shoot a hulking thing more than they need to argue about elements of his game's background.

Either way, his work comes off as a a bit preachy and one sided much like Lorne Lanning's Odd World stuff. Fun but flawed. I think the central idea that 'any philosophy taken to an extreme is always a deadly trap, hip deep in abominations, and atrocities, all created in the name of pursuing a utopia' is a pretty convincing argument borne out well by history.

But if the only philosophies he personally dissects are rather insensitive parodies of those that are founded on anti-leftist values, well...in my opinion it loses a bit of its intellectual seriousness and starts to look more like slander and agitprop in the service of promoting center-leftist ideals in a rather cheap way.

I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong. But those are my instincts about his work so far. Obviously I have not played BioShock Infinite yet, so I may be misconstruing some of what I've seen.

And there's nothing really wrong with being shrill or one-sided. Beyond the scope of answering criticism, people can be pure rhetorical polemicists if they want to. Especially if they act from a point of view it motivates them more and helps them to tell a more engaging story. Objectivity, even handedness, and scholarly detachment are good things, but then passion is a good thing too.

Jack London wrote "The Iron Heel" and while it is a shrill and bloody "socialist comic book" of an adventure novel, it's an interesting read (if a wee bit racist, by today's standards). It's not really Mr. Levine's obligation to the public tell a balanced story.

For every HG Wells, Sinclair Lewis, and Jack London out there, there are George Orwell(Eric Blair), C.S. Lewis, and Yevgenny Zamyatin around to provide a different more individualist and pessimistic point of view. It is really up to the reader to look to other works for balance if he or she wants it.

TBM2435d ago

Not every game needs a multiplayer mode, I'll take a great single player 95% of the time over online play.

ComboBreaker2435d ago (Edited 2435d ago )

I want multiplayer added to every game, even games like The Last Guardian needs a multiplayer mode where everyone runs around with AK47 shooting Trico.

And Heavy Rain needs a multiplayer mode where everyboyd runs around with no weapon, shouting out Jason, Jason, Jason. The one that shout out Jason's name the most per minute wins.

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dirigiblebill2435d ago

I think the problem with multiplayer on console is that it's completely skewed towards a few big names: COD, Halo, Gears and Battlefield. Of course, that's sort of true of the market generally, but at least in single player you don't have to worry about keeping servers running or policing a community.

CherryLu-Chan2435d ago

I couldn't give a chuff about multiplayer. Give me an engaging single player campaign and a great story.

The only game to which I can say i've enjoyed the online component is Demon's Souls, which did something genuinely involving, inventive and new.

Whilst I understand the masses adore their CoD and it's endless "pew pew, got you", it's refreshing to hear someone of Levine's caliber go against the 'popular' publishing grain.

Add to the reveals he's made regarding Infinite this week, colour me even more excited for what's on the cards with the new Bioshock. He made me adore Rapture to pieces. I can't wait to see the fresh cards about to be dealt.

The_Nameless_One2435d ago

Hear, hear. While I do enjoy a good mp now and again it always gets old and stale very quickly. The problem is that most fps developers can not make a good sp to save their lives so they are counting on the mp to carry the $60 price tag.

WhiteNoise2435d ago

Aw yeah. That's what I like to hear. I only buy games for single player.

If single player games die then I quit gaming for good.

DelbertGrady2435d ago (Edited 2435d ago )

Marketing guy: "Hey Ken, how about re-using all the code from Bioshock 1 and just add multiplayer in the sequel? And screw the manuscript, just cover it in lots of combat. It'll cost you less to develop and give you more $$$"

Ken Levine: "Well, when you put it that way all I can do is derp diddely derp derp - Bioshock 2: Adam Warfare"

labaronx2435d ago

the story, dialogue, and pacing, added to the overall epicness of the first bioshock, bioshock 2 was a good game but, i felt they gave in to too much media demand

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