ken-levine posts

Ken Levine completes his portion of BioShock novel

Irrational Games' head man Ken Levine has now completed the promised task of providing the forward for BioShock Rapture, the long awaited prose novel that will serve as a back story for the events in the BioShock and BioShock 2 first person shooters.

On his personal Twitter page, Levine wrote, "I wrote my tiny corner of the BioShock novel last night. Hard to describe the feeling of writing for Ryan again after 3 years." He's referring to Andrew Ryan, the creator of the underwater city of Rapture at the heart of the first two games in the BioShock series. When asked by another person if it was hard to write the character again Levine replied with, "It wasn't difficult, but I had to say something about him that I hadn't said already. I think I found a tiny, tiny new corner."

As we have reported before the BioShock prose novel was first announced back in 2009. John Shirley wrote the bulk of the novel
and it's currently scheduled to be released via Tor Books in July.


Bioshock prose novel now scheduled for March 2011 release

Some of you may remember that back in 2009 plans were revealed for a prose novel to be written based on the Bioshock game series from developer Irrational Games. However the novel from publisher Tor Books pretty much from sight. Now and Tor's parent company Macmillan both have a new listing for the novel, titled Bioshock: Rapture, stating it will be released on March 1.

The novel is written by John Shirley but will have an introductory chapter by Irrational Games' head man Ken Levine. It will feature the back story of how the underwater city of Rapture was established by Andrew Ryan. The novel will be released both in hardcover and trade paperback format, each with different cover art work. The novel was supposed to be released around the time of BioShock 2's release in early 2010 but according to a post credited to Shirley on the 2K Games' BioShock message boards the decision was made to incorporate characters and plot points from Bioshock 2 into the novel. That caused an additional 30,000 words to be put into the book.

PC gaming "will always be the place that drives innovation" says Irrational's Ken Levine

Irrational Games may be making titles for multiple platforms nowadays but when the game developer started it was a PC game only creative team (System Shock 2, the Freedom Force games and others). And as far as its founder Ken Levine feels,"... when it comes down to it, as a gamer, I'm a PC." In a guest post on Kotaku, Levine talks about his continued fondness for playing games on the PC, stating, " ... I like the ergonomics of the thing, the mouse and keyboard, the effortless transition from gaming to browsing to typing. I'm an alt-tab kind of guy."

While the column was supposed to be about Levine's views on the future of PC gaming, he admits, " F*** if I know." But he does say that PC gaming " ... will always be the place that drives innovation." He adds, "If you want to know the future of gaming, buy a PC. And pay attention. Because above all, that thing on your desk is a crystal ball."

BioShock movie is still being "actively" worked on, says Ken Levine

There have been some publicly reported budget issues with getting the planne BioShock movie up to production speed. However that doesn't mean the adaptation of Irrational Games' 2007 first person shooter is stalled. Speaking to, of all places, the Washington DC sports radio station DC 106.7, Irrational's head man Ken Levine stated that while he wasn't sure the movie version will ever be made, " ... it's something we are actively discussing, quite actively, and actively working on."

The film was announced by Universal in 2008 with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski signed on to direct. However in 2009 the film was put on hold due to concern that it would be too expensive to produce. Later that year it was revealed that 28 Days Later's director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo would be stepping in to direct the movie with Verbinski moving to a producer role. In June 2010, Verbinski stated that he, Universal and Fresnadillo were still working to " . . . get the budget down."

[Via Kotaku]

Ken Levine on BioShock Infinite: "It's a sequel. But it's also not a sequel."

So Thursday we got the first glimpse of BioShock Infinite, the next first person shooter game from Irrational Games. Many people were shocked to learn that the team behind the original BioShock was making another BioShock game instead of something totally new. Irrational founder Ken Levine explained some of the reasoning behind this in a chat with our sister site Joystiq but he expands on those comments in a post on the Irrational Games web site.

He states up front, "That's right, this is a BioShock game. It's a sequel. But it's also not a sequel." He then goes on to explain that statement with some more details on why this sequel isn't a sequel. For one thing, you are playing a real character instead of a mystery person. That character also has a real purpose in the city of Columbia rather than just wandering in the city of Rapture.

Levine assures the readers that Irrational Games won't be taking the easy way out with BioShock Infinite, saying, "Everything else that people know or think they know about BioShock is open for negotiation." And with the game not due for release until sometime in 2012, there should be plenty more to learn about the game in the months to come. Levine states, "What we present to the world today is merely the tip of a very large iceberg."

BioShock Infinite announced for 2012 release

By now some of you may have seen the newly released trailer for Irrational Games' next title at the web site and said to yourself, "What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is that?" The CGI trailer, which you can check out for yourself after the jump, introduces us to the flying (yes flying) city of Columbia. That's the setting for BioShock Infinite, the next game in the first person shooter series from publisher 2K Games.

The game is still a long ways from completion with 2K Games saying it will debut sometime in 2012. Our sister site Joystiq got to see a presentation of BioShock Infinite and also chatted with Irrational Games' head man Ken Levine about the game. They ask the big questions like, "Why a new BioShock game instead of a completely original title?" and "Why a city in the sky?" and more. You can bet there will be a lot more revealed about the game in the coming months. In the meantime you can check out the official press release after the jump.

Get the BioShock Infinite trailer at Big Download (134 MB)

Irrational Games' Ken Levine wants a moment of your time

Tomorrow, the moment we and a lot of other people have been waiting on for about three years will finally be here as Irrational Games reveals the next game from the Boston-based developer. But before that happens, Irrational's head man Ken Levine wants the many fans of the developer's games to prepare for the announcement correctly.

In more specific terms, Levine wants people to check out the CGI trailer that will premiere at the web site tomorrow at 1:45 pm Eastern time before the rush of media reports from Irrational's press event for the game starts at 2 pm. Levine doesn't say why we should do this but does say, "Trust me, there's a reason." We only hope the web servers for are prepared for the massive amount of traffic they will surely have to deal with on Thursday. We would hate to be the system admin for those web boxes at 1:44 pm.

Rumor: Irrational Games to reveal next game August 11?

It's been nearly three years since the original BioShock was released by developer Irrational Games. Since then Irrational head man Ken Levine and his Boston-based team have been pretty good at keeping their mouths shut about what Irrational's next game will be, other than vague hints that it will be a "shooter title" and that it will be "more ambitious than anything we've ever done. Even more, substantially more ambitious than BioShock."

Well the wait may be close to ending. Our sister site Joystiq got a "save the date" note for some kind of an event on August 11 in New York City. That's all the info we have but it's unlikely that any "save the date" announcement is for a simple employee party. Just a hunch but we think that the reveal of Irrational's next game will be made at the event.

System Shock 2 secrets revealed at Irrational Games' site

It's still something hard to believe that a company that no one had heard before creates one of the best games of all time as its debut title. Yet Irrational Games did just that when they released the FPS-RPG sequel System Shock 2 back in 1999. Now the newly revamped Irrational Games web site is spilling a few of the development secrets from the game.

For example, did you know that the game started out with a kind of Heart of Darkness-Apocalypse Now style plot? Or that there were plans for a zero-g sequence outside the space ship hull? Well those secrets and more can now be read at Irrational's web site. We just hope the reveal of their next game is "soon".

So what is Irrational Games' next title?

This past week Irrational Games returned to its original name and as a result its head Ken Levine has been giving a few interviews to various web sites. He also chatted with Game Informer magazine in its latest print issue and Shacknews reports that in that chat Levine still refuses to talk about their next game, saying, "I can't say yes or no to any particular thing, but I can say this: Don't believe everything you read." That's likely a reference to various rumors that the studio might be working on an X-Com remake.

So when will we learn about their first game? Our sister site Joystiq got Levine to say the announcement will happen "sometime after PAX (East) and GDC." That sounds awfully like an E3 2010 reveal to us.

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