BioShock Infinite's Elizabeth was initially a silent character

Motion capture was nixed in favour of animated, exaggerated features.

BioShock Infinite's leading lady Elizabeth initially didn't speak.

1
Elizabeth: the strong, talking type.

The character's origin was revealed at a GDC talk today attended by Eurogamer. Irrational's Shawn Robertson explained that the studio was worried her quips would get old and irritating, but ultimately decided she needed to talk because the plot dictated that she'd have to communicate with other characters.

"She has to talk," Robertson said. "At the time, we were not confident in our ability to create a talking character, which is why we went so far down the road in creating a character that couldn't talk."

He later added, "the decision to make Elizabeth a talking character was hugely controversial around the office at the time." But ultimately it came down to cutting her completely, which Robertson said "was not an option" or giving her a voice. And thus the latter was chosen.

Elsewhere during the panel, Robertson noted that key mapping Elizabeth looked better than motion-capturing an actress - something that fell into the uncanny valley.

"Having exaggerated proportions of her face really helped sell her motion... We're not a studio who's going to leap across the uncanny valley and create this character who everybody's going to fall in love with. We knew our limitations here."

"By staying out of the uncanny valley we were less worried about the visually realistic AI and could focus on the emotional believable AI," he added.

"For us, realism is not the goal. Emotional connection is the goal."

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

Jump to comments (19)

About the author

Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

Contributor  |  mrdurandpierre

Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984.

Related

Video game voice actor Troy Baker is now promoting NFTs

UPDATE: "The 'hate/create' part might have been a bit antagonistic…"

Digital Foundry | God of War on PC is a simply sensational port

What's improved over console and how to get the best optimised experience.

New Sega trademark and logo emerge for Sega NFT

And for a Sega Classics NFT Collection too.

Cory Barlog says Sony's own studios pushed to get PlayStation games on PC

"They were like, 'I'm tired of hearing all this. Fine, we'll do this.'"

You may also enjoy...

Cory Barlog says Sony's own studios pushed to get PlayStation games on PC

"They were like, 'I'm tired of hearing all this. Fine, we'll do this.'"

New Sega trademark and logo emerge for Sega NFT

And for a Sega Classics NFT Collection too.

Video game voice actor Troy Baker is now promoting NFTs

UPDATE: "The 'hate/create' part might have been a bit antagonistic…"

Supporters only

Comments (19)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments
Order
Threading
Eurogamer.net

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch
Explore our store