"Messing up" was crucial - BioShock dev

"BioShock should've failed."

BioShock lead programmer Chris Kline has said that "constantly messing up, and pushing dates" is "the only way to make a good game".

Speaking at GDC Paris this week, in comments recorded by Gamasutra, Kline explained that "BioShock should've failed."

"In fact, it did fail a lot, over the course of time," he added, pointing to "big mistakes and corrections and slipped ship dates".

Kline's contention, however, is that Irrational Games - these days known as 2K Boston - wouldn't have enjoyed so much success without learning things the hard way.

Examples include the need to emphasise the game's first-person shooter credentials - something that only really became clear after its first E3 showing - and a decision early on just to remake System Shock 2 with "all the things that kept it from being financially successful".

Like System Shock 2, BioShock debuted to huge critical acclaim - it currently has a Metacritic average of 96 on both Xbox 360 and PC, which means a lot to publishing types - and became the first shooter in some time to win credit for its narrative as well as its ambitious location and mechanics.

Just last week, an associate professor of classical studies at the University of Connecticut in the US said that BioShock was "capable of the depth of artistic-philosophical expression reached by the Iliad in the Choice of Achilles".

We didn't say exactly that, but it was on the tip of Kristan's tongue throughout his review, probably.

BioShock 2, developed by 2K Marin, is currently in development, while a PS3 version of the original is due out this year.

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About the author

Tom Bramwell

Tom Bramwell

Contributor  |  tombramwell

Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.


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