Bioshock Infinite Catch-All

The short answer is there is no definitive answer. It's subjective. Even in a singleplayer game, if you didn't enjoy the garden level then that's wasted effort for you that could have been spent elsewhere on a level you did enjoy. One side of the coin is that Irrational have to make the game they want, the other side is that they're making a game for other people to buy and enjoy. Cue the art discussion.

BadKen wrote:

Same reason I'll probably never play Mass Effect 3. I don't want my dollars going to those kinds of games.

There is a very odd phenomena I've noticed when it comes to things people don't like in games. If you complain directly about it people say, 'Well don't just moan vote with your wallet. Don't buy it!' or 'But you bought it anyway so it's your fault!' but as soon as someone doesn't buy something the comments turn to, 'That's waste of time. Losing one game sale is nothing to these people,' and some others comments I can't remember just at the moment.

I actually don't see these arguments being used here (and some might be valid) but all together they seem to form a loop.

BadKen wrote:

Every year there are more multiplayer games and less exclusively single player games, and that makes me sad.

I'm with you in theory Badken. With both AC and ME3 I would have sworn that multiplayer was a horrible idea but, in practice, I've found Assassin's Creed and ME3's multiplayer to be enormous fun. A lot of time, thought and creativity went into them and they didn't feel tacked on (Bioshock 2's not so much. Some folks loved it.) In all three cases I'd say single player didn't suffer. Well, I suspect ME3's did but I have no proof :).

Perhaps wait until you feel the games are so cheap that the games companies profits will be minimal and then pick them up. In all three cases I'd say the single player is not to be missed.

BadKen wrote:

Really? I generally don't like online multiplayer games. Mostly because I am old and my reflexes are sh*t. So that means I have a very narrow outlook on things? A plethora of colorful retorts present themselves.

There's nothing wrong with not wanting to play online multiplayer. You are getting retorts, though, because of your close-minded claim that you wish to boycott games just because they have a mode you don't like. You couldn't have picked worse examples because the multiplayer in both Mass Effect 3 and Bioshock 2 got a pretty positive reception specifically because they didn't feel tacked on. It seems like a weird foot to put in the sand to say you refuse to support games with an excellent campaign on the basis that it has a tacked on multiplayer, except you never play multiplayer so it's just an assumption you are making about it's quality anyways.

Also, the idea that a single player campaign is suffering from this is a myth. Many developers have been pretty public about the fact that while you can obviously point to exceptions like Skyrim, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of games sell more and get traded in much less if they have an online component, so their budget directly reflects it's inclusion. The most recent example I can remember is a lead developer for Dead Space 2 who was confronted about their multiplayer portion, who said that if they didn't include multiplayer, those resources just flat out would have never been hired. If they made the game single player only (and they were given that option), then they actually would have gotten fewer resources to make the campaign, not more.

My thoughts:

Bioshock 2's multi-player: Felt tacked on because it was built within an established world (and gameplay mechanic) that, at the time of release, never seemed to support the idea of multi-player. However, the MP in Bioshock 2 was created by an entirely different studio, so it wasn't as if an entire's studio's love didn't go into the single-player, or received less love because resources were stripped from the development. That brings about a whole other discussion about multiple studios lacking synergy along with communication and blah blah blah. This is all coming from someone who hasn't played Bioshock 2, because-- at first-- I was turned off by the seemingly tacked-on multi-player as well, but now I just have too much else to do and other games that I'm far more interested in.

Now compare that to Assassin's Creed multi-player: Seemed tacked on at first because of similar reasons as Bioshock, but the world in AC, at least, was already set up with multiple players in mind: if there's this society of assassins, what are all the other guys doing while I'm assassinating all these folks? Also haven't played it-- again, time constraints-- though I'm definitely in for AC3.

And Mass Effect's MP: Personally, from what little I played, at least, it fits the game's world and basic gameplay structures pretty well. The only problem I have is that Mass Effect's gunplay has always sucked-- floaty controls and way-too-small, distant targets due to the Field of View/Focal Length settings combine to make a sh*tty experience in a gunfight. Thank god they allow you to pause the gameplay with the abilities selection ring stuff-- oh wait, not in multi-player. One of the reasons I haven't been too obsessed with finishing the game.

For me, at least, I don't play the *Shock games to enjoy the experience with others, I play it to enjoy the gameplay, graphics, and world put forth by Levine & friends, and honestly I find multi-player experiences too frenetic to really appreciate the rest of the game's elements beyond a cursory glance. So I'm not really bothered that Infinite might go without, though the fact that it is being developed by Levine & Friends makes me think that if it is in there in the end, it will probably be okay.

The way I see it, from the gamer perspective you can never know how it works internally (disclaimer, unless they just come out and say it, which is bloody rare). The publisher might set a budget for the whole game based on how the previous game sold and then assign a set proportion to the MP, or they could have an arrangement for "if game 1 does well, then we'll do game 2, and if it does this well we'll add X million to do MP". Or who knows.

Seeing as how BS2 was by another studio and Irrational went on afterwards to make BI, I'm guessing 2K decided to start 2K Marin on the premise of seeing how far they could go with a sequel, and that involved a MP side. I'd say whether BI has MP is at least partially down to who's in charge of the project, and I'd say that's whoever is writing the cheques.

WipEout wrote:

My thoughts:

Bioshock 2's multi-player: Felt tacked on because it was built within an established world (and gameplay mechanic) that, at the time of release, never seemed to support the idea of multi-player. However, the MP in Bioshock 2 was created by an entirely different studio, so it wasn't as if an entire's studio's love didn't go into the single-player, or received less love because resources were stripped from the development. That brings about a whole other discussion about multiple studios lacking synergy along with communication and blah blah blah. This is all coming from someone who hasn't played Bioshock 2, because-- at first-- I was turned off by the seemingly tacked-on multi-player as well, but now I just have too much else to do and other games that I'm far more interested in.

Now compare that to Assassin's Creed multi-player: Seemed tacked on at first because of similar reasons as Bioshock, but the world in AC, at least, was already set up with multiple players in mind: if there's this society of assassins, what are all the other guys doing while I'm assassinating all these folks? Also haven't played it-- again, time constraints-- though I'm definitely in for AC3.

Except we're responding to: "Because I don't want to support studios tacking on multiplayer for reasons other than making a great multiplayer game in the first place." Bioshock 2 is a great multiplayer game. Technically it was 'tacked on' in the sense you're talking about, but that's not the sense we (or at least I) am talking about.

(although I'd also say that there's a cool little tie-in between the first Bioshock and the Bioshock 2 multiplayer)

Well, I have no objection at all to multiplayer being available in BI. I just don't want to be put in a position where I have to play it to get satisfaction out of the single-player. I finally just used a save editor for ME3. I'm done with any new Bioware title for a good long time for that, maybe forever.

I even went into the multiplayer screens and took a look at maybe playing a few rounds. The first thing I saw was the button for RMT buffs, front and center, and the match-making stuck me with people of so high of rank that it was ridiculous. Yeah, right.

Maybe, after 20+ years of this hobby, it's just not going to be worthwhile for me anymore. I've got a really bad taste in my mouth from the last six months.

CheezePavilion wrote:

Bioshock 2 is a great multiplayer game.

I think the thing is that opinion varies on that point.

Resources are finite on a project, so it's open to "what if" situations like "what if the resources they spent on multiplayer were instead used on (another level/tightening up the graphics on level 3/different plasmids/using something besides GFWL on the windows version/something else)"

I thought Bioshock 2 was amazing. Particularly Minerva's Den. So I just ignored the MP and played a great game. I just got the impression from this article that Bioshock Infinite was possibly affected by the jag into MP.

Scratched wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Bioshock 2 is a great multiplayer game.

I think the thing is that opinion varies on that point.

I don't think that is the thing--WipEout said he didn't play it, so it would be strange for him to have an opinion on the gameplay of a game he didn't play!

Yeah, I believe that people really enjoyed BS2's multiplayer, and I could very well enjoy it myself. I just have no desire to play it as there are other things I'd rather do with my time. I was initially turned off of it for similar reasons to BadKen's reasons for boycotting it entirely. I've thought about buying it on sale, but I don't since I just don't care about playing it any longer.

My point was just that, while the multiplayer was tacked-on in the sense that it was a stand-alone MP game created as an addition to an already-well-established SP world, at least it wasn't pulling the resources developing the SP campaign, as it was an entirely different studio developing it. It just came across as a cash grab to me, which was disheartening.

Skyrim did okay for itself, although I'm not sure if that's a success of marketing, something I don't really associate 2K with. Spending on the game is just one place to spend it. I've heard a marketing spend is directly proportional to copies sold, and in many cases such as COD can equal or surpass the game budget.

I think we should get past this idea that decisions made for monetary reasons are inherently despicable. If you take that approach with all consumer goods you'd not buy 90% of what you don't think twice about normally*. They need to keep the lights on, feed the families, they're a business. If they saw 4 million people with Bioshock on their 360 achievement list but only sold 2 million copies, I can't blame them for wanting to take steps to avoid that situation. The common retort is, "well if they just make a quality single player game, everyone'll buy it," which is very questionable logic. If it weren't an issue you wouldn't see this sort of thing and online passes in so many games, even single player games like Reckoning.

We can gripe about the integrity of game development as an art but we don't understand it half so well as the people who do it for a living. A lot of incredibly talented, creative people put years of work and heart into Bioshock 2. I wouldn't feel right dismissing that out of hand because a first person shooter features a multiplayer mode.

*Ramblematic note on consumer goods: Games are only starting to establish best practices, seeing what works best from a business perspective, and they're in flux constantly. We're the guinea pigs. Other industries have these things figured out. The idea that you're actually seeing "on sale" prices at clothing stores (or most other stores, actually) is a complete sham and money grab. If you want to get really hypothetical about it, casting the prettiest women over the best actress in movies (this happens at least 75% of the time) is also about making money. Concession pricing at sporting events, fresh meat prices, beer, you name it. Consumerism is a game and almost nothing is against the rules.

Scratched wrote:

Skyrim did okay for itself

The educated consumer knows that Skyrim is the type of game you can play anywhere from 40-200+ hours, the type they know they'll get their money's worth. Bioshock at $60 as a 10-12 hour experience, not so much. Would Bioshock as an experience been better served by an additional 20 hours of single player content? Plenty of people felt the last 2-3 were already superfluous.

Blind_Evil wrote:

Bioshock at $60 as a 10-12 hour experience, not so much. Would Bioshock as an experience been better served by an additional 20 hours of single player content? Plenty of people felt the last 2-3 were already superfluous.

And with regards adding less-than-brilliant multiplayer to that, I can't help thinking "two wrongs don't make a right".

I don't see the wrongs, if you'd like to point them out. Bioshock 2 was a fine game, very well regarded critically. I prefer it to the first game, the shooting model is much improved and there is more incentive to utilizing all the player character's abilities. The multiplayer is also favorably remembered by most, even if it didn't have the staying power of more multiplayer-focused titles. If you think being anything short of brilliant is a wrong move, I applaud but don't envy your high standards. I consider on average 3 or 4 games a year brilliant.

edit: eh, conversation's moved on anyway.

Cheers.

Ultimate and Premium editions announced. Get your preorders in!

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/LXvoX.jpg)

http://www.theverge.com/gaming/2012/...

I wonder if another round of previews are going to hit, or if they're waiting until the new year now.

Scratched wrote:

I wonder if another round of previews are going to hit, or if they're waiting until the new year now.

Embargo lifting soon I imagine. Weren't they talking about "reintroducing" the game this month or next? Also, a couple of Infinite related things were tossed into Steam's CDR database in the last month (see here).

EDIT: Actually, new trailer dropping on the 20th.

As I'm going to be moving in February I am greatly tempted to grab that Collector's Edition (I'll actually have space for that statue).

But as I'm going to be moving in February I'm not sure $150 is what the doctor ordered.

I don't care if I have the money for it or not-- I'm going to pre-order that sh*t so hard! I'd love to have that statue on my desk here at work.

I have a Big Daddy from the collector's edition of Bioshock 2, and I'm very, very fond of it. I'm very likely to grab this one, too.

I can't get behind collectors editions of games anymore or pre-ordering anything. Even if it is Bioshock and Ken Levine and Irrational, I can't take any product on faith any more when spending my own money. I want this game to be great, but I can't justify spending oodles and gobs more for it.

But look at that statue!! Sexy time!

Le0hart85 wrote:

I can't get behind collectors editions of games anymore or pre-ordering anything. Even if it is Bioshock and Ken Levine and Irrational, I can't take any product on faith any more when spending my own money. I want this game to be great, but I can't justify spending oodles and gobs more for it.

But look at that statue!! Sexy time!

Usually, I agree with you, but in this case A) That statue IS sexy! B) A good game designer/developer, to me, can be like a good film director-- you know from previous experience that this new experience will likely also be enjoyable. C) Art book! You'd probably be paying around $150 just for that plus the statue, so why not get a game and some other goodies to go along with it?

I'd still rather get a making of documentary than any of those things, but I think I'll just have to resign myself to no one wanting to make those for some reason.

I mean, they're a part of DVD and Blu-Ray by default, but video games? PFFT! Making-Of...yeah right!

And it's not like it couldn't be beneficial. When I was still stupid and starry-eyed (as opposed to just stupid) I watched the Making-Of for Halo 2 and Oblivion that you got with those special editions and it made me want to work in the games industry! And Halo 2's had guys clearly over-tired and over-worked, putting the reality of games development right there!

Don't we want people to 1) want to make games, and 2) want to see what it's like? Or how about those of us that are just fascinated by the potential changes that make it in throughout development? That's the best damned part!

I think the problem is that for the most part it probably makes for a boring video, an office sitting in front of monitors. I'd say that movies are a bit more understandable in that it's like a theatre performance captured by camera, but a video game is like translating a bunch of text somehow into behaviours (for example, this is what controls character movement in doom3), models and textures into things that represent real world things, lots of pre-planning and trial and error to get game systems that are 'fun' somehow. I suppose abstract is the word I imagine suits a video game during development

Scratched wrote:

I think the problem is that for the most part it probably makes for a boring video, an office sitting in front of monitors. I'd say that movies are a bit more understandable in that it's like a theatre performance captured by camera, but a video game is like translating a bunch of text somehow into behaviours (for example, this is what controls character movement in doom3), models and textures into things that represent real world things, lots of pre-planning and trial and error to get game systems that are 'fun' somehow. I suppose abstract is the word I imagine suits a video game during development

Code might not be interesting, but a well made documentary could attack some of the problem sets presented for the layman in a very interesting way.

MisterStatic wrote:
Scratched wrote:

I think the problem is that for the most part it probably makes for a boring video, an office sitting in front of monitors. I'd say that movies are a bit more understandable in that it's like a theatre performance captured by camera, but a video game is like translating a bunch of text somehow into behaviours (for example, this is what controls character movement in doom3), models and textures into things that represent real world things, lots of pre-planning and trial and error to get game systems that are 'fun' somehow. I suppose abstract is the word I imagine suits a video game during development

Code might not be interesting, but a well made documentary could attack some of the problem sets presented for the layman in a very interesting way.

Yeah, the Double Fine documentary going on right now is awesome. I'm with MisterStatic on this one. I may go for the Premium Edition just for the soundtrack, but I don't really want a boxed copy. Hopefully they'll have a Steam version with the soundtrack for an extra 10 bucks or so.

I was all over Bioshock 2's special edition. That's the coolest special edition of a game I've ever bought. I rarely buy special boxed editions of games. I actually bought the Steam version too because I couldn't wait for the shipping.

Remember this one?

IMAGE(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/videogames/detail-page/bioshock2.se.lg.jpg)

Well, that statue is pretty rad. I'll give it that.

MisterStatic wrote:
Scratched wrote:

I think the problem is that for the most part it probably makes for a boring video, an office sitting in front of monitors. I'd say that movies are a bit more understandable in that it's like a theatre performance captured by camera, but a video game is like translating a bunch of text somehow into behaviours (for example, this is what controls character movement in doom3), models and textures into things that represent real world things, lots of pre-planning and trial and error to get game systems that are 'fun' somehow. I suppose abstract is the word I imagine suits a video game during development

Code might not be interesting, but a well made documentary could attack some of the problem sets presented for the layman in a very interesting way.

This. In truth there's only a brief few points in the Halo 2 making-of that has the guys coding. A lot of it ends up showing some of the drama of having to start over after the initial E3 demo, enemies that didn't make it into the game, and then even showing graphically what it's like to jump in a partially built world, some of the sound designer's job, etc.

Actually, Bungie uploaded the hour-long documentary themselves onto YouTube, so if you have an hour to kill you can see what I mean (except for the stupid "Because of/For You" pop rock during the E3 segment, it's pretty solid).

It also highlights a lot of what goes into a game outside of coding. Voice actors, and now we have motion capture, concept art, music composition, so on and so forth.

Imagine a documentary like Alien 3's Wreckage and Rage, only for Duke Nukem Forever's long ass cycle. That is a fascinating story I'm certain.

EDIT: So I just got sucked into watching that video myself, and oddly enough they have a bunch of content on the DVD that's cut material from Halo 2 that could have been in that documentary instead of a bunch of guys in Connecticut doing a LAN or the Red vs. Blue guys.