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Irrational’s Ken Levine Talks Setting and Inspiration for Time Period in BioShock Infinite

November 14, 2011 Written by Alex Osborn

Irrational Games spent several years fleshing out the mysterious and incredibly detailed world of Rapture for the original BioShock. So why aren’t they building upon that underwater foundation?

Apparently, several different sources of inspiration led them in a new direction. Levine has explained in the past that BioShock accomplished everything he wanted to achieve in that sea-buried dystopia. But why take things to the sky?

Levine explains his inspiration for the world of Columbia, saying to CVG:

When we first determined that we were going to not go back to Rapture, we, as a studio, said what we wanted to say about Rapture. We kicked around the idea of, ‘What if we were to keep the core principles of BioShock, but everything else really was really up for grabs at that point?’

The first thing we said was what if we went to a very different time period. The turn of the century was very attractive to us and if you looked at the sort of art for that period, especially the sci-fi art, there’s always these images of cities in the sky. And that just really inspired us, and that was really the starting point.

Judging by the footage we’ve seen of BioShock Infinite already, it’s clear that their design changes have really paid off. It’s no wonder the gaming community can hardly wait for the game’s 2012 release.