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Ken Levine talks “fluid relationships” in his new game

Sam Loveridge

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Bioshock

Ken Levine, a man famous for creating System Shock and Bioshock games, has teased some new details on his brand new project.

According to Levine, his new game will focus on “fluid relationships” between characters that are a structurally different to what we’re normally used to.

In an interview with Game Informer, Levine explained that the game will offer a new approach to give gamers more agency with non-player characters.

“When you look at Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite, you had some tiny bits [of agency] with the Little Sisters when you harvested, but it led to one of two monolithic endings,” Levine said.

“In the new game, you have very fluid relationships with the characters. They have a spectrum of feeling about you based upon what you do and if you help them or go against them. That changes dynamically, and you can end the game with a character absolutely despising you or somewhere in the middle.”

“The path to getting there doesn’t have seven or eight stops like your traditional branching tree structure. It has potentially thousands of stops with hundreds of thousands of potential states you can be in with all your relationships to all the characters and wants.”

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Levine went on to explain that these relationships are the biggest focus for his team and making sure his characters are driven by passions, wants and needs.

“The player now has the ability to facilitate those wants or needs or go against those wants or needs or ignore those wants or needs. The reason I think the system is going to work is because it’s a very organic way to look at a character.”

Levine and a small team of others started their own development studio after Irrational Games was “wound down” last year.

So far, all that we know about his new game is that it is a “smaller, more entrepreneurial” title that Bioshock or System Shock and it will run on Unreal Engine 4.

The game will have some sort of science fiction angle and be mostly targeted at PC gamers.

Meanwhile, 2K Games in California has acquired the rights to the Bioshock series, but has yet to announce a new entry.

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