Ken Levine will put “a little friction” in his new game, make it harder than BioShock

Ken Levine Interview

At Rezzed 2017, Ken Levine had a nice sit down chat with Eurogamer editor Oli Welsh. He discusses his past, but also talks about what Ghost Story, his new mini-studio, are working on. There’s no name or proper announcement, but it seems the main thrust – alongside the narrative-based FPS nature – is for it to be more challenging to the player than BioShock ever was.

Here’s the definitive list (by us) of FPS games on PC.

“We’re less concerned with making sure this is as smooth an experience…” Levine told Welsh. “I mean, we worked hard on BioShock and BioShock Infinite to make it fairly frictionless. I’ve been inspired by games which are comfortable with a little friction, which doesn’t hand you things, which tests you both with difficulty and how it works. How things work aren’t laid for you.”

Fans of games from Dark Souls to The Witness are probably getting excited at this point, but what on that scale Levine is talking, he doesn’t mention. Partly, no doubt, because he doesn’t yet know exactly what the final product will be like.

He does specifically say that it will be a “more difficult experience” than either BioShock game he worked on. Essentially, with a smaller team it seems like Take-Two are willing to let the man experiment in areas that more niche games have had a lot of success in. Dean Hall talked about something similar in regards to his new game, Stationeers.

Levine says that the reason for the change in how he’s making games, particularly focusing on replayability, was spending untold hours creating a game that players absorbed, fully, in all of a weekend. “I’m really envious of games like Civilization which I’ve played for a very long time. A lot of games now are built to maintain a long relationship with the gamer. My games haven’t really had that. So this appealed to me.”

That sounds to me like the possibility of a ‘live game’ has crossed his mind, with regular large content updates and some kind of ongoing revenue stream. It’s unlikely the business model is something taking up a lot of his thoughts right now, but look for possible surprises there in the future.

Much more in the above video, as well as at Eurogamer’s summary of the talk.

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